Let those flatter who fear, it is not an American art.JEFFERSON `HAPPY NEW Y -?’ ethic-J and PoiiticJ Who can deny, who can even argue the need for agreed-in-advance rules for state conventions? The Fort Worth convention was as shabby an instance of scuttled democracy as we have ever seen, excepting, possibly, the JohnsonStevenson election of 1948. Is Jake Pickle the state Democratic executive committee ? If so, let’s dispense with the conventions and let him go on speaking for a state committee that won’t be there at all. If not, the state committee ought to tell its director to be silent on policy matters until the committee can speak for itself. Who was he to say, of the Democrats of Texas code of ethics for party affairs, that it “is just simply a means of dividing the party further rather than bringing it together.” He prejudices the committee’s consideration of the most constructive and nonpartisan plans the Democrats of Texas could come up with for harmony an& integrity in party politics. Just because pro-Daniel people are conservative, and p r o Yarborough people are liberal, as the elastic categories go, one need not conclude that everyone on the other side is a dangerous person with twisted motives. Honest people get -interested even in politicsand on both sides! oLirrciE the A new civil rights brouhaha is assured in Washington. The rightto-vote bill was whittled down to very little, yet the Southerners are intent on sponsoring a new bill designed, in the words of a San Antonio Light correspondent, “to circumvent the basic purpose of the civil rights law” to give Negroes equal voting rights. With Little Rock fresh in the national memory, the liberals will be pressing for new protections for minorities. A filibuster seems likely. We hope the time has at last come whenthe liberal forces in the country will limit the right to filibuster by the higher right of the people to a vote of their U. S. senators when a majority of them wish to vote. We are sorry if the fight will embarass the Texas delegation in Washington, especially Sens. Johnson and Yarborough, but if we are to deserve the trust of underprivileged people around the world, the need to scrub race prejudice out of the social structure of the South is more important than the welfare of any politicians. The ripe time has passed for -Johnson on this issue. While we approved his and Yarborough’s support of the jury trial in the right to vote bill, we did not realize at the time that they were also helping strike from the bill its most commendable provision an authorization to permit the U S. Published by Texas Observer Co., Ltd, JANUARY 3, 19iA p ., e Ronnie Dugger Ar k Editor and General Manager Lyman Jones, Associate Editor Sarah Payne, Office Manager Dean Johnston, Circulation-Advertising EDITORIAL and BUSINESS OFFICE: 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas. Phone GReenwood 7-0746. We have read the DOT code through, and it seems to us to be an effort to assure that the majority will win the convention. To be sure, good faith members of the executive committee, better versed in politics than we, may see in the code aspects they object to, but these ought to be cause for negotiation, not for wild-haired, caustic contumely. Many honest Texas conservatives admit the liberals had the majority of the bona fide delegates at Fort Worth : surely the DOT is entitled to have its rules considered. Why has it been true that citizens who go to church on Sunday, and a p p o i n t frozen-shouldered Baptists to state jobs, and teach their children to be truthful, and to give in like good sports when they lose, forget all this when they go to political conventions and lie, steal, and cheat like pirates and hijackers? Is party politics a compartment of life to which the rules of honor among men do not apply? Is there not some common ground where conservative and 6 liberal Democrats can meet and have a parley? Are there not some elementary rules of fair play to which all Democrats can subscribe? Has not DOT advanced some of these rules in its code of ethics? Jiiittt.3ter attorney general to seek injunctive remedies in federal courts to restrain localitieS and individuals from violating the civil and constitutional rights of individuals. This in . effect deprived Negroes in the South of the protection of the federal government. Still, Johnson was justifiably commended for manipulating the passage of any bill at all. After Little Rock, Johnson had an opportunity to crusade throughout the South for law and order. It would have made him a national figure, but he passed up the chance. He was not big enough, we suppose. Now the liberals of both parties must take out on their own and restore majority rule in the Congressand politicians from. Texas, and the South, take the hindmost. aliaJ If the New Orleans court was wise in giving Dallas another delay in integration, it was -wise because Dallas school officials have been unwise. The officials have given neither leadership nor even candor to the people, They must put aside their Old .South prejudices and come to terms with the times. If they do not, they will share responsibility if violence comes in September. 10 Published once a week from Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $4 per annum. Advertising rates available on request. Extra copies 10c each. Quantity prices available on orders. HOUSTON OFFICE: 2501 Crawford. Mrs. R. D. Randolph, Dean Johnston. Entered as second-class matter, April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Bartlett Appears Exclusively in the After the death of Joshua the people of Israel inquired of the Lord, “Who shall go up first for us against the Canaanites, to fight against them?” The Lord said, “Jiidah shall go up; behold, I have given the land into his hand.” …. Then Judah went up and the Lord gave the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand; and they defeated ten thousand of them at Bezek. They came upon Adonibezek at Bezek, and fought against him, and defeated the Canaanites and the Perizzites. Adonibezek fled; but they pursued him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes. And A.donibezek said, “Seventy kings 6. with their thumbs and their great toes cut off used to pick up scraps under my table; as I have done, so God has requited me.” And they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died there. Reflections on utopias seem absurd only because the race is young. They upend assumptions, and dissolve truisms, and boldly address the caverns of human nature. What might be the relations among people five hundred or five thousand years from now? Will be be better ? worse? at all? Will “we” be “we” or an ethically different kind? Will crime be followed by punishment ? In a book called New Horizons in Criminology penologists Barnes and Teeters say punishment is based on a belief that evil is a spirit that can be scourged, or on the group’s right to revenge. The more recent emphasis that punishment deters crime, they say, “is simply a derived rationalization of revenge. We are told severe punishment does not deter crime, although the certainty of some punishment does. As science and the lights of the last full century have led us to suspect righteousness as primitive, we have come to wonder, as Barnes and Teeter say, “whether we desire to punish convicts or to reform them and to train decent citizens.” Punishment is a primitive idea. Without conjuring the agones of hell, or the most sophisticated but not less coercive anguishes under the displeasure of an eternal judge, theologians, having no civil authority, could hardly hold their flock. But punishment on earth is corrodingly real. “Surely ten years of convict life in the average peniten. tiary produces more suffering than 50 lashes with a rawhide whip, and is more degrading to the human personality,” say Barnes and Teeters. Ex-prisoners “point out tbe abnormality of the social life they are forced to lead, all the innumerable rules they must obey, of the deference they must pay the custodial officers.” The felon is repudiated officially by his peers : he is told, “You are a net minus.” Then he is locked away. He is given number, uniform, cell, bunk : he is given the instructions : he is given the permanent band of the humiliate. Instead of hospitalizing socially ill citizens and trying to help them, we plunge them all together into the same pit, there to fester in their own sickness, and acquire the sicknesses of others. We send them, not to a place of healing, but to “a place of contamination.” As Barnes and Teeters say, the prison cannot reform, cannot be truly rehabilitative, because it is the concrete form of the philosophy of incarceration. Even tually 95 percent of the convicts return to the free life. Society, far from protecting itself, has tortured its outlaws and released them, freshly embittered and better trained in how to break the laws and stay free. Psychiatry is too expensive, not only for the mass of men, but also for governments prejudiced against the rational reform of life and neurotic within a suicidal system of national competitions. Were the state prepared to spend as much for the psychiatric care of her felons as she spends for their humiliation, the ancient arts of punishment in prison might some day pass away. Which is to say, we regret having said that three years is not a harsh penalty for Bascom Giles, instead of saying rehabilitation must replace punishment, punishnient is wrong, and the meshes of its logic humiliate the mind. R.D.. Zip &leas Olistrurr Judges, 1.1-7. Texas Observer Second Thoughts
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