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Texas Observer Ltd. BOOKSELLERS BOOK FINDERS In association with the House of Books, Houston Buy All Your Books Through The Observer PROMPT DELIVERY Regular Retail Prices No Mail Charges GOODBYE TO A RIVER by John Graves. Need we say more than Bill Brammer’s excellent review in the Observer of December 2.3. A beautiful and slowly paced book. You will enjoy it. Knopf $4.50 I’LL TELL YOU A TALE by J. Frank Dobie. An anthology some of Mr. Dobie’s own favorites. Several are guaranteed to make your hair stand on end. Folklore told in his usual admirable style. Little Brown $6.50 Send your order for ‘ANY book to DEPT. B, Texas Observer, 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas. In The Progress of Interests South Africa: Revenger’s Tragedy SA’s Bond Issue The Holy Steamer of Apartheid AUSTIN The battle for the conservation of natural beauty and public property against the depredations of private greed will be renewed in San Antonio Jan. 10, when taxpayers of the city will vote on a series of bond issues, including one to finance a North Expressway clipping off edges of Brackenridge Park and smashing through the lovely woodlands of Olmos flood basin and Olmos Park. This is the only item in dispute. The main purpose of the North Expressway, besides providing additional business for San Antonio’s already profit-glutted construction firms, is to provide rapid access to real estate off Highway US 281, in which H. B. Zachry \(among’ others whose names would be in and richest of these construction firms, has invested hugely. This purpose has effectively been obscured by a smokescreen of propaganda. It has even been suggested by W. W. McAllister Sr., prominent money-lender, in the San Antonio Express, that the Conservation Society, opposing the Expressway, is “being used as a ‘cat’s paw’ by vested prbperty interests who do not live in San Antonio”that is, residents of the northside suburban cities of Olmos Park and Alamo Heights. This propaganda line is echoed by Paul Thompson, in the News for Jan. 4, where he gossips that “some people” say “Millionaire’ Tom Slick is “violently opposed to the North Expressway, though he himself has said nothing publicly. “It’s true the expressway skirts his elaborate home in Olmos Park,” adds Thompson, insinuating that opposition is confined to a few of the selfish rich, although, in truth, the North Expressway would benefit well-to-do real estate owners and the purchasers of homesites in their exclusive new additions. A bond issue for this project was defeated last June by barely 300 votes, when it was tied to the badly needed Westside Expressway to secure the support of the Mexican Chamber of Commerce. This time the two projects will be voted on separately; the Mexican Chamber of Commerce has refused to endorse the North Expressway. County Commissioner Albert Pena is quoted in the Light as “unalterably opposed” to it: “It is vague. It is unexplained. It has been the subject of a ridiculous amount of double talk, with the city manager assuring no route can be guaranteed until after the bond issue is passed, while other proponents contort themselves with fancy plans and pic THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 7 Jan. 6, 1961 Subscribers Please show our advertisers in your city you appreciate their appearance in the OBSERVER by communicating with them. tures of a route they guarantee will be constructed.” The original plan, as reported in the Observer, Sept. 18, 1959, was to “zip through the heart of 01mos Basin and Brackenridge Park.” Frantic opposition from the San Antonio Conservation Society and other civil leaders forced the proponents to modify this plan. In an interview with F. M. Davis, then district highway engineer, who subsequently resigned to become an employee of H. B. Zachry, it was learned that “Zachry, local construction magnate, has heavy financial interest in the completiOn of the expressway. He and associated interests have acquired large tracts of land on Highway 281 in Bexar County whose value as residential tracts would be enormously enhanced by an expressway. Davis readily showed the Observer where the land in which Zachry is interested lies.” In a hearing before ,the State Highway Department, June 30, 1959, San Antonio’s city manager Lynn Andrews is quoted as saying, “I might point out here that we are , holding up Mr. Zachry, through R. A. Nelson’s development, at this point, just north of where North Expressway would come into 281we are holding up his development at the present time waiting a decision on this, and he is getting rather impatient.” From the Observer, Oct. 2, 1959: “In San Antonio, the only city in Texas that is endowed with the mellow charm of antiquity, the Conservation Society, composed almost entirely of women, is engaged in constant and usually triumphant battle to defend that charm against the unremitting onslaughts of troglodyte businessmen benighted enough to devour their own young.” C.R. AUSTIN News has reached us of the graduation of the second Dale Carnegie class behind the walls of the Huntsville penitentiary. If the traditional double goal of Carnegie students holds true in prison as well, the 35 graduates of this class may be glad to know that, while it would be presumptuous to offer our friendship from this distance, we most certainly are . influenced by their efforts. What will o’ the wisp objective, this, baldly and unashamedly stated, to “win friends and influence people.” We remember cracker-poor people plunking down their dollars for the book, or the course, during the depression , of the ’30s, with the dream of A Job or A Raise or Happiness luring them on through the lean days. Depression dreams and prison dreams probably have something in common, excepting that the latter of course are encased in a gilt, recoco Outside frame. If nothing else, the ego must be Joseph Jones, associate profesEor of English at the University of Texas, has spent the last several months in South. Africa. This is the first of two installments on apartheid. JOHANNESBURG If this report shows bias, it is a bias derived from experience rather than preconception. It is a bias, moreover, that I have heard expressed not only a few times by a limited number of South Africans, but in literally hundreds of conversations. I recall almost no social occasion during which the talk did not sooner or later veer around to South African political and social problems, most commonly through South African initiative, not mine. I came to South Africa last March, determined if possible to maintain an open mind. I left in mid-December the same year. I had read a fair amount on both sides of the apartheid question and was prepared to listen to more. After arrival I read almost nothing from overseas; my impressions and conclusions are of local vintage. I think I can truthfully say that I have heard both sides. My chief conclusion is that a beautiful, productive, hospitable country is in a desperate and all but hopeless position, for which its present rulers are to blame. My conclusions, I feel sure, would be substantially agreed with not merely by a few malcontents but by a very sizeable number of entirely loyal South African citizens, people for whom I can feel nothing but the profoundest sympathy. They and their children, short of a miracle of grace, are to become the victims of what may be described as a revenger’s tragedy. In many respects they are already its victims. ONE OF THE FIRST lessons the visitor to South Africa \(as to learn, is how do forget generalizations and begin making distinctions. This is no easy matter in South Africa, for there are a great many distinctions to be made and some of them are quite finedrawn. It might be supposedin fact, is rather widely supposed hat the racial issue in South Africa involves whites versus blacks. It does, of course, but that is far too simple and easy a statement. By no means all whites are antiblack, nor are all non-whites antiwhite. In saying “non-white” I have already introduced one of the pumped, pruned, fed, goosed, cur ried and fondled, in prison as out, and in prison for a special ur poseas Sid Terrell, editor of the prison paper, The Echo, put it “to divert a man’s interest from his own miseries.” Maybe that has been the Carnegie come-on, the charm course come-on all along and everywhere: the mo mentary diversion from miseries. B.S. MARTIN ELFANT Sun Life of Canada Houston, Texas CA 4-0686 numerous distinctions necessary: “black” will not do, for the nonwhites include three sharply divided groups. These are the native the Coloreds, who are a mixture of white and other races including both African and Asiatic, especially Malay. Tensions and frictions between these three groups are deep-seated and often very serious. If the issue were clear-cut as between whites and .non-whites, solutions might be proposed with much more confidence. As it is, there are conflicting interests not just along two sides of one line, but along several radiating zigzags. With so many distinctions that have to be made, it is not surprising that the government should have attempted to sort out and regularize at least one major distinction: that between whites and Africans, which is the principal aim of the policy of apartheid or, as it is now being called, “separate development” in “Bantustan” areas. In abstract, idealistic logic, this is a solution with much to offer: justice and opportunity for ‘all, along parallel lines that threaten no cul-de-sacs to either side. If the Bantustans could actually be made to operate, it is conceivable that the Colored and Asiatic groups could be absorbed into white society. Historically, something or other approaching this sort of thing has been proposed off and on for a hundred years or more, but only in the past ten years or so has it been resolutely tried. The results are not encouraging. South Africa’s whites are all but hopelessly divided here as well. Again it is tempting to make a facile generalization and partition that puts whites into opposing camps of “Afrikaners” \(people largely of Dutch and Huguenot descent who ‘speak and write Afri”English.” But this will not do: the Afrikaners and the English are by no means all diametrically opposed to each other, politically, socially, or any other way: The urban Afrikaner may very well differ from his rural cousins much more fundamentally than he does from his English neighbors. Or he may not. It will depend on how long he has been urban, what he does, and the rest. But it is hardly too much to say that many a collision of interest and culture exists between these groups. They are far from being united on the race question, although the majority of both groups undoubtedly wish that somehow or other there could be apartheid without tears. Full equalitarian society has relatively few proponents. Among these few there are very capable, unselfish, and high-minded people, but as yet they form an ineffective political ‘opposition. They are only a small vanguard: intellectually important but wielding little practical power, functioning as troublers of the corporate conscience. There is a corporate South African conscience to be troubled. Furthermore, it is not strictly white, for the African extremists also must answer for shortcomings. Most South Africans of whatever race, so far as I have been able to observe them, are deeply disturbed and would like above everything else to settle the race problem, to be rid of a perforating moral ulcer. \(So, of IN ITS PURE FORM, apartheid I proposes a complete separation of races with built-in safeguards to protect everybody. Nothing except reality stands in its way. Reality, in South Africa, means ships to be loaded and unloaded in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban; gold to be mined in and around Johannesburg, coal and a variety of minerals; vineyards to be tended at Pearl and in a thousand other communities; cattleherding, sheep-herding, grain-harvesting, railroading, fishing and whaling, dry-cleaning, car-repairing, shoe repairing. Work is’ the rude, everyday reason why theoretical apartheid won’t function and never can function. Yet any compromise with the theory admits all manner of specific inequity, and destroys any alleged validity the theory may have had. The question, consequently, of how to categorize apartheid is beside the point. Perhaps it is a kindly-conceived, rosy-tinted utopia; perhaps it is a hell-hatched invention of depravity. The fact is that apartheid simply has no exstence outside the mind, and never can have, in South Africa or anywhere else in the world of today. There isn’t enough people for it, there isn’t enough money for it, and there is far, far too much work for it. It is a dream, but a dream loaded with nitroglycerin. These conclusions are only in a verbal sense my own. I have heard them and read them time and again during my nine months in South Africa. They are the daily grist of newspaper editorials in such papers as the Cape Times, the Johannesburg Star, the