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I BUNDLES TIED FOR RUSSELL’S EXPRESS MARSHALL Sen. Russell would be the first to concede that he is not serious in proposing to spend’ some four billion dollars to transpose all Southern Negroes to the North and an equal number of white citizens to the South. At worst the proposal is a joke in poor taste. and at best it is a natural extension of the “put a nigger next door to vice president Nixon. and see how he likes it” answer to desegregation. It cannot be said that the senator has a “sweep it under the rug” philosophy ; even St. Ike found out that questions affecting millions won’t stay under when so swept. No, he has exemplified the attitude of Southern frustration that gives rise to what Harry S. Ashmore well called the “you’re another” retort to the suggestions of racial oppression in the Souththe “just you, let your Negro population equal that of the whites, and see how you will like integration” approach. Unhappily, the senator is right in large measure, but let us pursue his fantasy; for little else it could be. Say we have twenty thousand Negroes, ready for exchange from the senator’s home state to a Northern one with a small percentage of colored population. No doubt these exchangees would welcome the thought of migration at government expense and likely be anxious to leave. But what of their replacements? Would the senator acquaint them with the life they would be expected to take up ? Necessarily, the Northern whites would have to enter the economic and social vacuum created by the exodus of the Negroes. When the writer was a boy the Southern Neg -ro had the unquestioned right to take the sacrament and vote for his preacher. He was accorded some privileges min addition to these natural s ights, and eventually was allowed to pass white pedestrians on the sidewalk without getting in the gutter, or being pushed there. Today he is battling in many places for the simple human dignity of beingcalled “Mr.” or “Mrs.” and not “boy” or “girl” until he reaches sixty-five, and thereafter, “Uncle” or “Aunt.” What white. Northern citizens, senator, will replace these colored Southern emigres? Do you have information that any would willingly exchange places with them? Let us be realistic. To staff Tuskeegee with white PhDs who would be pushed out of vote registration lines/ and gerrymandered out of any political rights would not be impossible. There arc always the missionaries in any cause. But the devout and consecrated do not come in droves, Franklin Jones and when millions of whites were sought for these indignities, even bounty men could not be found. Nor can it be fairly said that the decadent economic, educational, social, and political state of the South will be transformed overnight by a mere change of the color of its lowest stratum. Some in social, economic, and political favor owe much of their position to the system made necessary by Reconstruction. Those with a vested interest in fear and ignorance will not willingly permit a true replacement of the scapegoat philosophy, and above all, of as convenient a goat as “the nigger.” We in East Texas saw this clearly in 1954 when a desperate candidate for Governor deliberately about-faced in the summer on the question of integration. There must, for survival of the Southern political machine, be a means of yelling “Wolf ! Wolf !” to the voters when the grip of its manipulators seems to slip. The most convenient method to date has been the scare cry of racial miscegenation ; the “do you want your daughter to marry a nigger?” clincher. In the blindness created by this taunt those closest to the Negro’s unfavored economic position have in the past reliably voted against their own interests and for the machine. Without this scare cry, established by those who never took Appomattox seriously, the poltroons who have held liberalism in subjugation in the South for generations would not last until daybreak. Sen. Russell may not know this, but make no mistake that the machine operators do. They have long known the political wisdom in the remark of Booker T. Washington, that “It takes two white men to keep one Negro down in a ditch.” So long as all three are down, there is little chance that they can look up or far enough to see the perpetrators of their economic subjugation. And economic subjugation it is in the end. The political strife is but the top dressing. At heart the Dixiecrat is much more interested in keeping the economic status quo than retarding political advancement. It simply requires the latter to achieve the former, and the Negro “question” in the South serves admirably to bring about both. Oh, this . is not to say that in its absence some other form of prejudice would not be conceived, in the fashion of the Port Arthur story, to shut out the political facts of life; but this would require time and effort. The machine oilers are not going to give up a proven fuel without a fight. So if any Southern Negroes are looking Hopefully to the North, bundles tied, for boarding Sen. Russell’s version of the underground railway, let them settle down. They aren’t going anywhere, but they might brood over the ingratitude of those who owe their political fortunes to the –r-c-i -\(, *.\( lines of manuscript and sig in facsimile Should the Majority Rule?–Johnson Says No AUSTIN Senator Johnson’s article, “My Political Philosophy,” in the winter Texas Quarterly is more a statement of his political method, but in many ways his method is his philosophy. It is difficult to say what the most suggestive parts of the statement mean; it is characteristic of Johnson that his general statements justify his conduct but in the most oblique and invulnerable manner his ingenious mind can contrive. But because one suspects that when he was writing this, his mind was working out his justifications for defending the filibuster when the new Congress opens, the statement is worthy of some speculative attention. “I am a free man, an American, a United States Senator, and a Democrat, in that order,” he said. There, you see, is the persuasive way of saying, let’s not claim too much victory, now that the Democrats have won let’s not have too much reform. One finds this the recurring theme of the statement, but never so said. WASHINGTON The holiday mail today brought a special report from Maurice Rosenblatt, director of the National Committee for an Effective Congress, on what to look for after Congress reconvenes. Rosenblatt is one of the sharpest observers of the Washington scene ; his views are always worth studying. Apparently he does not believe Senate Democratic Leader Lyndon Johnson has suddenly acquired stature. Johnson, the report says, is the sort of man “who will not venture an attractive goal unless he clearly sees the way, or at least the way back ….” The report notes than in his “program” for the 86th Congress Johnson “significantly omitted” civil rights and “even failed to mention education which would have reminded people that schools were closed in Arkansas and Virginia.” While Johnson spoke if the “new heights” to which the “I do not believe there are necessarily two sides to every question,” he says. \(And what does this mean? for we all know that most questions have as many sides as any diamond may. It means that now the Democrats have won most handily and have total control of the House and Senate in Washington, Johnson is trying to discourage the thought that “our side” ought to take a firm control of legislation, just as, in 1956, he prevented the Texas liberals from taking the state Democratic executive committee in the spring, with disastrous results “There is likely to be merit in the views of the minority, quite as much as there is wisdom in the views of the majority,” the senator writes. “We have, as I see it, an obligation to seek out that merit, if it is there, and not merely to content ourselves with obliging the majority, for the majority’s wisdomhowever wiseis never the sum of all wisdom.” All quite true, of course. But the meaning? The .mean country must rise, the NCEC director described his program in these terms: “Reduced to its essentials, Johnson’s program is warmed-over New Deal and Fair Deal with missiles flying overhead.” So far as Rosenblatt is concerned Johnson and Vice President Nixon are both “political stylists.” Johnson is described as a “short range tactician” and Nixon as the “long range operator.” If the party’s younger men rely on Johnson, Speaker Rayburn, and other veteran politicians, their fight will be lost before it has begun. The first and earliest tests come with moves to end the filibuster and to curb the power of the Dixie-dominated House Rules Committee. What happens in these crucial battles will be the measure of the Democratic congressional leadership, as well as an indicator of the party’s chances two years from now. ROBERT G. SPIVACK ing seems to be that majority rule is not really the guiding principle of American democracy : that “the Congress reaches a very dubious decision when its choices are made solely by head counts of the partisan division” in other words, by the majority. This now almost explicit hostility to majority rule in the Congress is the one sophisticated defense the friends of the Senate filibuster have. The argument runs like this : we do not trust the majority, what we must have is the consent of most of the peoplenot the consent of the majority of the governed, but the consent of most of the governed. Majority rule is insufficient for decision-making. As long as a minority refuses to agree with the majority in a vehement way symbolized by the filibuster, the decision must be delayed. Do nothing. Wait. Let the evils if they are evils accumulate until everybody, including the evil-doers if they are a virulent minority, agree it is time to reform. This argument appeals mightily not only to Southern bigots, but to a few intellectual, liberal, and somewhat patrician fellows whose devotion to the idea of democracy is somewhat attenuated by their fear of its processes. “I do not believe we have arrived at an answer,” Johnson writes in T.Q., “until we have found the national answer, the answer all reasonable men can agree upon, and our work is not done until that answer is foundeven if the process requires years of our lives.” Now I will tell you what : I am not worried about years of a senator’s life, years of a representative’s life; the politicians have asked us to let them spend their years legislating for us. I am worried about the years of the lives of the Negro family I visited not long ago in the Longview area. The teen-age boy had fled the country after a false arrest. The father .was not home. it was a very cold day. A child not yet ten was in the bed with a bad cold and no doctor ; and the wind came through the cracks in the wall. The mother came to the door barefoot with a baby girl hanging onto her skirt. The years are passing in their lives. As Senator Johnson says in his astute article, he has been in public life 50 years. These people have been oppressed more than 200 years in the United States. They do not have much voice in “the national answer,” they are neither sophisticated nor powerful. They had always thought the majority ruleswhen a politician gets a majority vote he’s considered elected, isn’t he ? But now that they are nearing the realization of their rights, Senator Johnson says, explicitly, that the majority is not enough, that the majority, once the noble grouping of enough men in enough agreement to decide, has now become a mere “head count of the partisan division.” We did not hear this talk from Senator Johnson when he was elected to Congress by 27 percent of the voters, to the Senate by an 87-vote majority. A majority was good enough for him, but he does not think it is good enough for the people. Well, it is. What reasonable man will not admit misgivings about democracy? But what reasonable man will not also admit misgivings about any form of government? The belief in democracy is not that it is perfect but that it is the best workable system. In the theory of government the first test of type is, Who rules? If a majority rules, it is a democracy. To the extent that a majority does not rule, it is not a democracy, and to the extent that a small clique rules, it is an aristocracy of one kind or another. To say that “all reasonable men” must consent before a decision can be reached in the United States Congress is to say \(since there is no parliamentary way to distinguish between reaas long as any effectively filibustering minority says “No.” the answer is “No.” Since to delay a change is to decide against change, the result is rule, not by the overwhelming majority, but by a miniscule and outvoted minority. If this is what Senator Johnson says when he professes faith in democracy, somebody ought to send him a government textbook. R. D. THE POINTED OMISSION