TO, VOICES OF GOOD MEN MARSHALL Throughout East Texas you meet men and women of substance in the white communities who wince at the suffering of the Negroes and would, if they could, help them get an equal chance in life. These people are there, concealed behind compromises of language and laughter, fearful of the future but helpless before the past. Marshall, for instance, has many people of kindly feelings and gentle values who can read what the preachers and the judges are saying and don’t need the Citizens Council to tell them the difference between right and wrong. The pressures on them pressures to go on using Negroes as they have been so long used, to ride with the town’s civic discriminations, to apply no reason, nothing but color-thinking, to the great divisive issue of the centuryare manifest in their language. First they say “Negro.” Then he was a “nigger.” Then it is “the Nigrahs.” Then it is “a Negro cafe.” They feel wrong and at once justified in their adjustments to the passions they do not feel but dare not defy. If a white man will have it that he will live in Marshall, he must live as a grocer, or a public official, or a teacher, or a mechanic. He cannot live here without relating to the Galvest GALVESTON The work of those two Texas anti-Americans, Reps. Jerry Sadler and Joe Chapman, and their segregationist cohorts during the last legislative session is now being felt in some sections of the state. Galveston and Port Arthur, both of which already had made plans to integrate their public school systems starting next September, have been hit by the obviously unconstitutional stalling. maneuver. Several other school boards in similar situations will doubtless soon bow their heads and for the time being cancel plans for giving Negro children really “equal”. educational opportunities. It was, we suppose, to be expected. that Galveston’s school board members would decide to shelve integration plans. But their action along this line was particularly disappointing because they had access to information on the subject which few boards have had. We refer to the report on “Educational Desegregation in the Galveston Public Schools,” which was made by a 26-member committee of Galvestonians from all walks of life 20 men and six women, 17 white and nine colored. The committee did an exceptionally outstanding job of presenting a solution to the problem : not just saying we should or should not integrate, but working . out a detailed plan for each district,. and citing precisely where, how and why better educational benefits should be given isle Negro children. The Galveston School Board, with considerable reluctance on the part of some members, finally decided it should at least start “gradual” integration next September. This was considerably less than the committee report had recommended but still was probably a great deal more than would have been contemplated by the board had not the study committee’s report been so well prepared. Now, the isle school board, acting on the advice of its attorney, Adrian Levy, has decided that it must not go ahead with integrating first grade classes in Galveston. pressures. And those pressures are invariable ; they are sensitive to deviation and ruthless in its punishment. We do not in this state or elsewhere often find a man or a woman who will suffer to be able to stand alone among his brothers for a hated cause. Yet the time is not as far as the head-shaking thinkers think when the courts will order compliance and the rednecks go to work in their ubiquitous shelter, night. If the men and women of troubled conscience in the South are not upon their places then it will be too late to scramble up. In 1860 Lincoln said about slavery what is true now about segregation, and to substitute the current word is to find a text for the crisis of the Civil War centennial and all who feel morally involved in it : “If segregation is right, all words, acts, laws and constitutions against it are themselves wrong, and should be silenced, and swept away. If it is right, we cannot justly object to its nationalityits universality ; if it is wrong, they cannot justly insist upon its extension its enlargement. All they ask, we could readily grant, if we thought segregation right ; all we ask, they could as easily grant, if they thought it wrong. Their thinking it right, and our thinking it wrong is the precise fact upon which depends the whole controversy. Thinking it right, as they Although he frankly stated he considers the state law to be unconstitutional, Levy told board members : “The dual public school system cannot be abolished by you without the mandate of the voters …. Moreover, if you should for any reason determine to inaugurate the desegregation program commencing Sept., 1957, the district would be ineligible for accreditation and ineligible to receive any foundation program funds.” He continued : “We have been advised that the Texas Education Agency will strictly abide by all provisions of this statute and will ,withhold all payments of foundation program funds from any school district which violates them. If such payments from the state were withheld the public schools could not be maintained …” Isle School Board Chairman William H. Smith was quick to remark : been taken out of our hands.” The board, computing that $1,300,000 i n foundation program funds might be withheld if desegre …. A non-paid session of the legislature would be “exactly what the lobbyists want,” says the Jacksonville Daily Progress. “To permit a non-paid session would be playing right into the hands of the greedy lobbyists, defeat any anti-lobby legislation, and become a public scanhas long been the tool of the lobbyists, who tempt hungry legislators.” Speaker Waggoner Carr is polling members on the non-paid session plan. …. Abilene Reporter-News has a feature on Andrew Howsley, lobbyist for Midcontinent Oil & Gas, of which he is vice-president and general counsel. He “has the ear of some mighty, mighty big people,” said the story. “But not through free meals, bus trips, or Chanel No. 5 for the Mrs i . He got it because he’s smart, his friends tell you.” do, they are not to blame for desiring its full recognition, as being right ; but thinking it wrong, as we do, can we yield to them? Can we cast our votes with their view, and against our own? … Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the government nor of dungeons to ourselves. Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.” Is there nothing gentle Southerners can do ? Must they stand on the hot sidewalk in front of Recknagel’s Drug Store across from the courthouse and watch their sleepy towns disintegrate into arenas of violence? A friend coming out of the South suggested that white moderates there can do this : they can he opposed to violence. Only the worst of the rednecks can object to this stand ; only the dregs who would be simpler bullies if they were not racists. The churchmen of the South should take the lead in forming a Southwide committee against violence. To it would come many men whose courage is real if it is not martyrlike. For the union is moving again toward tragedy and nothing can arrest it and nothing can restrain it but the voices of good men. RONNIE DUGGER gation plans were completed, voted to rescind its earlier order. This, indeed, is regrettable. It is probable that the school board’s attorney, Mr. Levy, gave his clients the “safest” and most popular opinion possible. And, the board quickly followed it. But we would like to respectfully inquire whether an attorney ever could be right to advise his clients to abide by a law which he, himself, considers unconstitutional? Why should not Mr. Levy and his school board, armed with a soundly based report on desegregation, the Constitution and recent Supreme Court rulings, call the TEA’s hand on following the new laws to continue segregation ? Members of the Galveston School Board were elected to direct and oversee the education of all the children of the community. The board has in hand a comprehensive report showing that a large portion of the children are not being well educated, and the report makes detailed recommendations on how the problem should be solved. It should be followed. Board members of conscience and basic beliefs in rights of all Americans would not be deterred. BOB BRAY …. The bulletin of Texas Assn. of Plaintiffs Attorneys quotes extensively from the story, “The ‘Orthen urges higher dues for T.A.C.A. members to be used “to inform the work as lawyers and as citizens of their communities.” …. Doug Cater, writing in the Reporter, said Lyndon Johnson’s efforts in the civil rights debate reduced “fratricidal bloodshed” in his party. His technique, said Cater acutely, “was the familiar admixture of domination and subservience.” Cater quotes an unnamed northern Democrat as stating that John son told Jim Eastland of Mississippi “to get off the Senate floor and stay in the cloakroom, that he was an albatross around the party’s neck.” Sen. Johnson Maneuvered Jury Decision WASHINGTON It’s the unanimous opinion of Senate observers that passage of the jury trial amendment and the civic rights bill without a filibuster can be attributed solely to Sen. Lyndon Johnson of Texas. They also agree that his backstage maneuvering was sheer genius and that he should go down as the greatest political general of all time. There is no unanimity of opinion, however, on whether the bill, as amended, was good for the -United States, good for General Motors, or even good for Lyndon Johnson. Probably it won’t be good for Lyndon Johnson, because what he wanted most of all was to keep civil rights out of the 1958 election debate, and it now appears certain that Republicans in the House or . Eisenhower in the White House will block the bill, and it will be Drew Pearson THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 3 Aug. 9, 1957 n Board Faints Out The Listening Post thrown into the 1958 maelstrom with a vengeance. Probably it will be good for Gen eral Motors, because under the new bill General Motors would not have to worry, too much about the court decree ordering it and Du Pont to . separate. It could ignore a court or der and take its chances with a jury. Probably it won’t be good for the country, because trial by jury will weaken and perhaps make unenforceable such important laws as the pure food and drug act, the antitrust laws, the minimum wage act, the Davis-Bacon act, the WalshHealy act, and approximately fifty laws which are enforced by court orders. These court orders can now be sidetracked by trial by jury. However, let’s leave to the lawyers the question of whether abolition .of our age-old system of court orders should or should not be wiped out. Instead, let’s take a backstage look at how Lyndon Johnson accomplished his political miracle. God and Johnson “No one except the Lord and Lyndon is sure exactly how he accomplished it,” said one senator just after adoption of the jury trial amendment. This reporter pretends to have no divine power of perception. But here are some of the techniques by which Lyndon accomplished the miraclethereby perhaps outsmarting himself. Simple techniques Some of his techniques were quite simple. He kept rootin’, tootin’ professional Southerners in the background. He kept moderate liberals and middleof-the-roaders out in front. When he heard that Jim Eastland of Mississippi was about’ to make a speech, he went to Byrd of Virginia and Russell of Georgia and shut Eastland up. He had O’Mahoney of Wyoming, Church of Idaho, and Kefauver of Tennessee carry the ball on the amendment. Young Church, baby of the Senate, made his two amendments with careful coaching. When Bobby Baker, secretary of the Senate Democrats, sometimes called “Lyndon, Jr.,” went over to him on the Senate floor, Church rose and introduced the amendments putting Negroes on juries and extending jury trials to all criminal contempt cases. It was Church who made the speech, but it was the hand of Johnson that gave the cues. Counter-intelligence . techniques Johnson knew what was going on inside Republican ranks. He knew how some administration senators
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.