SPOOKY CITY Escape from Apathy in Downtown Dallas AUSTIN That mysterious city to the north, Dallas, was as chic and urbane and spooky as ever last week. It’s a lovely city, my old home town, but it’s always a little scary when you return. Some people say it’s the Republicans. Waiting around for the Brannan speech and the Texas Democratic Women’s Luncheon in the Baker Hotel, I strolled the rocks and rills of the downtown district, peered at a Cinerama poster, pressed my nose up against a Neiman Marcus show window, and appeared, at best, a rube in town for a spin in the sin pits. Once, wandering through one of those gigantic office buildings, I came across a door that proclaimed: FACTS FORUM Dispels Apathy I stuck my head inside the door and looked around. There were a few magazines on a table and numerous other offices leading off the reception room. There was one worker, a young man, busily bending over a typewriter. He turned and raised his eyes as if to speak. I slammed the door and fled in terror. I decided to try to contact Phil Fox, that greatest of all political hucksters, whose campaigns in recent years have hinted darkly that Homer Rainey, Barefoot Sanders, Special to The Texas Observer FORT WORTH Dr. R. A. Ransom, Negro physician, got into the runoff against his opponent for a seat on Fort Worth’s City Council in the recent election here. He lost two-to-one in a clean campaign, but his candidacy caused a turnout twice the usual size in the precincts he carried. Drawing for help from Negro and Latin-American groups and from religious leaders, Ranson carried 17 precincts. These accounted for 24 percent of the total 1955 vote while in 1953 they drew only 10 percent of the total. The liberal candidate carried 16 of these 17 precincts in 1953; 15 were carried by Ralph Yarborough in 1954, and 15 by Adlai Stevenson in 1952. Thus, political observers here conclude, the Ransom candidacy resulted in a heavier vote in Democratic precincts. As Ransom himself puts it: “It would certainly be a sign of rare wisdom for the Dremocratic Party to avail itself of this huge reservoir of strength as a bulwark against the vicissitures of the future, for the Negro, both locally and nationally 100 percent Republican, is now fully 90 percent Democratic in his thinking and in his undying hope for general acceptance. To include rather than reject him is the better part of both Democracy and Americanism ….” During the campaign, Ransom asked the minority populations of Fort Worth and Texas to awaken not only to their intrinsic worth but to their ability to crystallize these possibilities and to make their influence practical so that their friendship and support would be sought “in a way that would result in improvements in everyday living and working conditions.” Ransom appeared with the white candidates for the council at various gatheringscivic leagues, city employees, church groups. There is a strong feeling here that the campaign was conducted on a high level by all parties. One result of the campaign was the appointment of Ransom as a contributing member to American Legion Post 239, which was formerly all-white. Ransom did not mention his opponent at all during the campaign except once in connection with the city water supply. More than one-third of Ransom’s runoff suport came from precincts with .little or no Negro population. He did not carry these precincts, but his support there and the generally decent treatment given the Interpretive THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 3 May 2, 1955 and Ralph Yarborough, to name only a few, are Communists. He wouldn’t see me. Almost relieved, I went to the Baker for the Brannan speech. Reporters at the press table were frankly amazed at the crowdthere were more than 500 women and a few men packed onto the terrace ballroom of the Bakerand they said so several times. When Henry Wade, the district attorney for that reactionary-ridden city, took a nearby seat, one of the newsmen said:”There is a brave man who has just committed political suicide.” Wade, it is said, is thinking of running for Congress. The word in Dallas is that conservatives are out to defeat District Judge Sarah Hughes. She was there, making the welcoming speech, and she didn’t appear, to be worried. campaign in local media have heartened the Negroes and convinced liberals that many non-Negroes will vote for Negro candidates iri the future. Old Bill To the Editor: Well, it was with a great amount of amusement that I read your article in your April 18 issue entitled “Solons’ Influence Worries Senator.” It would seem from this article that it is Senator William Shireman who is so badly worried all of a sudden. Now, I wonder if it has occurred to Old Bill that it has gotten around to the point that a lot of the common voting herd are now worried about senators. Of course, I am sure that Old Bill has no nersonal or political motive for his great concernit’s only his great, great love for the people. Yorktown ‘Small Inner Voice’ To the Editor: Some of the comments in the press quoting some folks seem to indicate there is nothing wrong in any conduct “looting the taxpayers” that is not a clear violation of or ‘ clearly barred by the statutes! To such depths have public morals fallen with some folks …. … twisting and warping a law that was framed to give Texas GI’s the most value for the least cost … to give promotion “swindlers” and “bribers” unconscionable and extortionate profits is slick trading! \(in the opinion of crooks and …. To an ethical practitioner, lawyer or realtor, the limit of five percent commissions would seemingly apply. Otherwise, manipulating with bribes for the use of names to unload on the State notes in excess of values in lands purchased would seemingly t o straight thinking folks be easily called swindling per se. How else could it be viewed? …. The tragic fact seems to be that sb many no longer hear that “small inner voice” that formerly Once, when the pro-Democratic forensic was running a high temperature, Bob Hollingsworth, political reporter for the Dallas Times Herald, cracked: “I’m a Republican myself.” Hollingsworth said that George Sandlin of Austin, chairman of the State Democratic Executive Committee \(the Shivers committee you can hardly tell one committee down on him. He said he had been trying to get some information’ on the Texas Foundationan “educational” project set up by Sandlin’s group to stimulate interest in politics. Some unkind critics called it a cute tax dodge for raising proShivers campaign funds. He said Sandlin had promised him a statement on the foundation’s organizational structure and operation some time ago. “I call him every weekit sort of irritates himbut he still isn’t talking about it,” said Hollingsworth. Franklin Jones, this newspaper’s good friend from Marshall, spoke at the luncheon and visibly irritated the reporter from the Dallas Morning News, young Mickey Huffman. Franklin referred to a “pious editorial” in the News recently, which stated that the newspaper couldn’t give all the facts in the Irving school situation because of the libel laws. How can they talk about libel laws, asked Franklin, when during the past summer the editorial pages were filled with “undiluted sewage” against Ralph Yarborough. “Who is this man?” asked Huffman, suddenly seized in a fit of note taking. “I think he hurt Mickey’s feelings,” said Hollingsworth, a newsman from the rival Herald. He enjoyed it immensely. BB was a compass and chart for more people than now hear and follow it. The courtesy that strangles any truth that should be spoken in public matters cannot be a virtue. Expose the record and the facts, let the chips fall where they may. F. G. SWANSON Tyler What’s Happened? To the Editor: I enjoy the Observer. It does not seem to be afraid of the truth like the press. Just what has happened to our law-makers? Don’t we pay them enough to perform their work with integrity? Maybe this new proposed bill requiring them to register their beneficiaries under penalty of law will entitle them to more pay …. There was a statute enacted creating the three board members of the Veterans’ Land Board, charging them with honest administration of the purchase of lands by veterans at fair value. Now when it bogged down only one member seems to be responsible. Just what kind of hogwash is this? Now they propose that two members be civilians, after the horse has been stolen. Tell me if I am wrong. HARRY 0. BERSET McAllen Flat Give the News To the Editor: Enjoy your paper and the way you publish the facts. I believe it is the only one in Texas to flat give the news. Every newspaper nowadays seems to want to influence the people in their thinking and their voting. I for one wish there was a law to stop this sort of editing. Just publish the news and that “Frankly Speaking” was very good, and more power to Mr. Franklin Jones …. A. E. LEWIS Houston Senator Jimmy Phillips of Angleton, the chief investigator into the veterans’ land scandal, told a friend hard for Governor now and “doesn’t see anybody on the horiozn he can’t beat.” …. A shocker of a report has been prepared on athletics at the University of Texas. It confirms many suspiCions about the protected lives of athletes at that institution, hits hard at “a privileged class” of students. There have been efforts by the Athletic Council at the University to suppress it. …. The beer lobby gave a big party one night last week for all legislators who wanted to come. Then, the next night, they had a barbecue out at Homer Leonard’s lake placeand invited only those who had voted with them against an increased beer tax in the omnibus tax bill. It was a big success. …. The Legislature will be in session beyond the May 10 date after which their $25 a day stops coming. The slow progress of the tax bill in the Senate, the need for a conference committee after Senate passage, and the possibility of another floor fight in the House assure some delay beyond the May 10 date. If the Senate tries to tack on a two-cent gasoline increase tax instead of the one-penny levy okayed by the House, the bill will meet further House resistance. …. Readers will be interested to know what members of the House voted on the same day to put a 20 per cent sales tax on rolling tobacco and to remove the tax on corporation stock transfers. Actually, the 20-percent sales tax was not put into the bill by a record More Power To the Editor: …. You are putting out a wonderful piece of work …. More power to your effort. CHARLES M. ALBRE’CHT Yoakum To the Editor: Congratulations on your fine coverage of neglected Texas news …. Keep up the good work. ELWIN H. POWELL Okla. Pertinent Question To the Editor: I’ve heard recently some talk to the effect that Allan Shivers might be a vice-presidential candidate on the Democratic ticket. If he is, I wonder if he will support the ticket? GRADY PRICE Austin Fourbucksitis To the Editor: I want to thank some anonymous donor for my recent subscription to the Observer. As an old reader of the East Texas Democrat, I received the first few issues of your newly reorganized publication, but being without four bucks, I never did get around to subscribing. I’m sorry now that I didn’t and I assure you that when my three-month gift subscription is out I will earnestly endeavor to keep the paper coming …. I have to agree with your edi right to be bigoted. I can’t refrain from commenting, however, on his observation that he “is a white Christian.” He may be white, but he certainly is not Christian. How Christ must suffer to see his belief in the brotherhood of man under the Fatherhood of God distorted so! GUSTON H. BROWNING Minister, St. Paul’s Methodist, Henderson …. Senators of bygone years who maintained the dignity of the Legislature as a separate branch of government would have been amazed to have heard the following conversation in a Senate committee the other day: Senator X: I don’t think the governor wants us to pass these bills. Senator Y: Well, I talked to him, and I think he does want them passed. The Chairman: Suppose we handle it this way. I’ll go talk with’him and if he approves, then I will report the bills favorably. If he doesn’t, we’ll just leave them here in committee. Is that agreed? Senators X, Y, Z and several others: That’s fine. That’s the way to handle it. And so it was done. Texas at Large PHILLIPS AFTER BIG ‘UN; BEER LOBBY ENTERTAINS Negro Candidate in Forth Worth Helps Liberal Vote Substantially vote, but a few days later an effort was made to take it out, and a roll call did develop on that. Just for the record, here are the 30 members who voted to put the 20 per cent sales tax on the Bull Durham smoker, and to remove the tax from ‘ the buyer of corporation stocks. Mack Allison, Mineral Wells; Louis Anderson, Midland; Bill Andis, Amarillo; Ben Atwell, Dallas; Robert Baker, Houston; Garth Bates, Houston; Douglas Bergman, Dallas; John E. Blaine, El Paso; Warren Cowen, Fort Worth; J. 0. Gillham, Brownfield; Jean E. Hosey of Galveston; Horace Houston, Jr., Dallas; Obie Jones, Austin; Moyne Kelly, Stamford; Jim Moore, Arlington; Charles Murphy, Houston; W. C. Ross, Sr., Beaumont; Charles Sandahl, Jr., Austin; Leroy Saul, Kress; Scott P. Sayers, Fort Worth; Frates S. Seeligson, San Antonio; Ed Sheridan, San Antonio; Richard C. Slack, Pecos; Vernon E. Smith, Fort Worth; R. L. Strickland, San Antonio; J. B. Walling, Wichita Falls; J. F. Ward, Rosenburg; Richard C. White, El Paso; Sam r. Wohlford, Stratford; and James W. Yancy, Houston. …. The Capitol Press is fully oriented psychologically to the “scandal stories” of the last year. One wire service newsman wrote and sent out across the state, in a routine story about University of Texas bonds, “…. The Regents are now limited to investments in guilt-edged bonds.” …. Allan Shivers appeared “in the door of the Senate” for the second time this session last Tuesday. He was cordial to almost everybody. Later the same day he was seen huddled in concentrated conference with Read Granbery, parliamentarian of the House, and also his personal aide a situation unique in Texas politics where the
You May Also Like
Texas Professor Leonard N. Moore’s “Teaching Black History to White People” is a memoir, history lesson, and instructional manual.