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`Now What, Friend?’ Let those flatter who kar, it is not an American art.JEFFERSON TEXAS AND POLITICS ei* In 1902 the warden of the Cook County jail invited Clarence Darrow to address the inmates. Darrow accepted and, in his speech, took the side of the prisoners against the more sophisticated and skillful criminals “outside.” He said : “See what the law is : when these men get control of things, they make the laws …. When your case gets into court it will make little difference whether you are guilty or innocent, but it’s better if you have a smart lawyer. And you cannot have a smart lawyer unless you have money. First and last it’s a question of money …. The laws are really organized for the protection of the men who rule the world …. “Let me illustrate,” he said to the prisoners. “Take the poorest person in this room. If the community had provided . a system of doing justice, the poorest person in this room would have as good a lawyer as the richest, would he not? …. Your case would not be tried in 15 or 20 minutes, whereas it would take 15 days to get through with a rich man’s case. “Then if you were rich and beaten, your case would be taken to the appellate court. A poor man cannot take his case to the appellate court ; he has not the price …. If the courts were organized to promote justice the people would elect somebody to defend all these criminals, somebody as smart as the prosecutorand give him as many detectives and as many assistants to help, and pay as much money to defend you as to prosecute you.” Darrow’s indictment against the system of law stands 56 years later against the Texas courts and lawyers. Within the month a man was released from prison after serving three years of a longer term for a burglary to which another man belatedly confessed. They had picked him up, he looked like a likely enough crook, since it wasn’t a capital case the court did not appoint him an attorney ; he pleaded Not Guilty and Have Mercy on Me, and they gave him seven years. He was innocent. Beyond that, how many men have From the discussion of how “right to work” actually operates in Texas that the “right to work” means the right to break the union. TMA lobbyist Ed Burris himself says it makes it harder to organize a union through the organizational strike. Four labor leaders say it discourages union organizers and makes breaking an existing union easy for management. As an editorial sup gam. College students were soaked by the oil-dominated 1957 legislature, which doubled college tuitions rather than enact a natural gas tax. Nov the Texas Commission on Higher Education recommends abolishing state support for college medical services and intramural programs. At the University of Texas alone this would reduce the state support $300,000 and divide up that amount among the students. The lobbyists go too far. Published by Texas Observer Co., Ltd. NOVEMBER 14, 1958 Ronnie Dugger Editor and General Manager Larry Goodwyn, Associate Editor Sarah Payne, Office Manager Dean Johnston, Circulation-Advertising HOUSTON OFFICE: 1012 Dennis, Mrs. R. D. Randolph, Dean Johnston. we jailed for years laid them astride a hard iron cot, there to rot and ingroW on their rot who would not have been jailed had they been adequately defended? Who can soon forget that the week before Bascom Giles was convicted, a Negro in East Texas was sentenced to 40 years for having stolen $40; the same week, a lady in Houston was sentenced to seven years for stealing two cartons of cigarettes ; but Giles, for stealing hundreds of thousands and agreeing to $74,000 in bribes and betraying thousands of veterans and his public trust, was sentenced to six years. He could pay the lawyers. Is one to conclude then that the smarter way to be a thief in Texas is to steal enough to pay the lawyers? Yesthat is essentially true. The “legal aid clinics” at the law schools are well and good but what, really ?law students volunteering to give advice to charity cases. No one could maintain that’s “equal justice under law.” The court-appointed attorneys \(when they are Recall the recent case where a West Texas conviction w a s reversed when it was proved the court-appointed lawyer had not paid his bar association fees, and the case not long before in which the competence of a court appointed lawyer was called into serious question. Even when the lawyer is competent, how much of his monied time is he going to give to a charity case? How much of his imagination, research, passion ? There are not many Clarence Darrows in a generation, do not look for them in Midland or Dallas. The solution is a system of “Public Defenders.” For each district attorney you have a public defender, for each prosecuting investigator, a defending investigator. Until Texas adopts such a system we shall stand justly indicted : Money Buys Verdicts in Texas Courts. Or, to return to the attorney for the damned, “There is no very great danger of a rich man going to jail.” “First and last, people are sent to jail because’ they are poor.” plement, we pass along the observations of Sen. Henry Gonzalez of San Antonio during a brief visit in Austin. “In San Antonio,” he said, “stringent labor laws, plus a lack of tradition, have produced an intolerable situation where the minimum becomes a maximum and pretty soon the workers are content to shoot for that one dollar an hour, which then tends to become a ceiling. You find that in a tremendous number of San Antonio factories not engaged in interstate commerce, the old minimum of 75 cents an hour is considered very good. In San Antonio the net result of rightto-work type labor legislation has been that where you had seven union shops in one given line of industry ten years ago, you now have only three, and the other four don’t have such benefits anymore as health clinic facilities, guaranteed vacation time, and piece rate minimums over the federal minimums. Oh, the way they cheat those poor peopleit’s tremendous.” 10 EDITORIAL and BUSINESS OFFICE: 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas. Phone GReenwood 7-0746. 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. Entered as second-class matter, April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 8, 1879. \( One way to approach a broad subject for a provincial journal is to try to get everybody on the record about it. Another way is to talk to people on the record, but not for attribution, as we did for the May 23, 1955, edition on bribe-passing in the legislature. This latter way Larry Goodwyn uses now in frank interviews with assorted politicians, scholars, civic leaders, optimists, and misanthropes, all of whom knew their names would not be used. The subject is Texas and Politics. AUSTIN Texas is a struggling giant without a comfortable niche in tradition. For over two. centuries diverse cultures have competed for the prairies, and the changes, though deep, have not been broad ; Texas today is neither Mexican nor Southern nor Western, neither cosmopolitan nor provincial. The different intruding cultures have succeeded only in fragmenting the whole into distinctive parts, each part responding in its own way to different visitations from the past, each maintaining its own customs and values, each looking to the future through its own very special lenses. In East Texas stand the piney woods, fertility and shelter within easy reach of the plow and the ax, so that survival is not a desperate thing. There is time for procrastination and docility, time to incubate habit into custom, time for the sudden flashing of unreasoning violence that is a talent of some idle Anglo-Saxon provincials. In West Texas are the men, and the children of the men, who stepped out onto the plains, surveyed the miles, wrangled over the railroad routes, erected the court houses, all in the last half-century: There has been the struggle to avoid intimidation before the treeless land. In those who have continued to plot against the dry clouds, the sand, and the omnipresent wind, there is a heartiness and a thin braggadocio that has found a place in the legends and myths of the nation. In South Texas, a hinterland of brush, a semi-tropical feudalism supported by Mexican labor where “vaquero” means a small measure of dignity and “migrant” means none_ On the upper Gulf Coast, a bristling industrial complex conceived in the oil of Spindletop, nurtured by the new bonanzas of sulphur, natural gas, and water. Here the Texas Manufacturers Assn. and the CIO match angry glares and the word both understand is “organization.” Today, there are nine million Texansblack and white, Anglo and Latin, rural and urban; their habits and thoughts sharing in the folkways of Atlanta, of Detroit, of Mexico City, of the weary blacklands of the Mississippi Delta. Some, with names like Sepulveda, ,Garcia, and Ruiz, spend half their lives in the stooped posture of the farm laborer and want to learn the language. Some, with names like Washington Carver Brown, Jefferson Jones, and John Smith know the silent humiliations of the unadmitted ; they want status. Some, with names like Anderson, Clayton, Florence, Murchison, Richardson, Hunt, and Brown see a pattern of life honored and traditional, passing from the contemporary scene ; they want to hold what they have and regain what has been lost. Yet the Garcias, the Browns, the Richardsons are not the people ; rather they are symbols of what divides the people. The people are the surging, sometimes inarticulate four million who live in Texas’ major cities, and a like number, less organized, flung out in the towns and hamlets and crossroads. They are southern people and western people and, in many cases, people with no sense of the past at all. All this diversity puts cruel strains on the state’s politicians. In the sapping 100 degree heat of last summer’s election campaign, a frazzled reporter breathed out the fact, “The state is too damn big for one than to cover in a campaign, and the people are too different. You have to keep running, running and shifting gears, shifting gears. And last year’s gear shift doesn’t fit this year’s election.” And the conservative politician : “If he just keeps talking about Reuther and the niggers, he’ll win.” Then, after a pause, he adds, “I think.” And the liberal politician: “Of course you can’t use the word ‘liberal.’ The newspapers have ruined it. I can remember back in the thirties, a man ,110. W0r4o gip gnats Olistrurr