‘I’m Scared of Americans’ Broadside of Accusations by Haley’s Texans Dr. Don I. Riddle, a Paris veterinarian, was ostensibly in charge, as chairman of the Texans’ Committee for Education, a unit of Texans for America. Riddle handed out copies of his committee’s “textbook criteria,” written by Mrs. Ilanon Moon, a Latin teacher in Conroe, deep East Texas. The criteria reads in part: “The stressing of both sides of a controversy only confuses the young and encourages them to make snap judgments based on insufficient evidence. Until they are old enough to understand both sides of a qUestion, they should be taught only the American side . . . “Freedom of religion should be maintained at all costs, but regardless of denominations or creeds, the principles of Christianity are the same for us all .. . “The child should be reminded that everybody who owns anything is a capitalist. The communist trick of separating ‘human rights’ and ‘property rights’ should be exposed for what it is . . . “American youth should be taught about their own country before the whole wide world is presented to them . . . Such thinking is not conductive to patriotism. . . .” ‘Just Scared’ R. A. Kilpatrick, an attorney, one of the first critics to speak for the Haley group, told the committee: “Now, I know some of you think we’re just a bunch of crackpot radicals . . . that we’re just scaredwhich we are . . . I’m not scared of Russia, I’m scared of Americans.” Kilpatrick condemned United States History by Gavian, Hamm et al, published by D. C. Heath, for these reasons: “The omissions of such heroes as Nathan Hale, Patrick Henry, Davy Crockett and many others is noteworthy. None of the famous sayings of these men and thinking of their patriotic views are expressed in this book. But time and again it makes reference to men who have been cited by the House Un-American Activities Committee.” Among those he mentioned later as being listed as subversive by HUAC but either quoted or referred to in this history are Upton Sinclair, Jack London, Ida Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens, Sinclair Lewis, Carl Sandburg, Stephen Vincent Benet, James Weldon Johnson, Pearl S. Buck, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Charles Beard, Henry Steele Commager, Bernard DeVoto, Theodore Dreiser, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Ring Lardnet Jr., Allan Nevins, and Preston Slossen. The list was extended by other critics of other books. Kilpatrick deplored the fact that Will Rogers was mentioned only once. “Guess he was too American for the author of this textbook,” he said. Kilpatrick continued: “It fails to explain fully the beauty of the free enterprise system; knocks big businessno mention of the risk taken to go into business for profit. Too much discussion on ‘classes’wealthy or well-to-do against the common or poor people.” “Seems to have nothing but praise for the way the federal government took over the farmers’ business. Smoothes over the fact that our farm problem would not even be a problem if the government had kept hands off.” America First He felt the book is critical of nationalism. “What is wrong with Americans thinking of America first? Especially when it was against getting us in the World Court, which is also mentioned on the page in a seemingly complimentary way. “The discussion of disarmament is spoken as if everyone was in agreement that this was the best way and the only way to solve our problems. There should be contrary discussions.” He also complained because the chapter headed “Life in the Incredible Twenties” included pictures of Ben Turpin, Will Rogers, and a gangster’s funeral, but none of Coolidge and Harding. On page 771 of this text is the statement: “There was concern over the growing practice of demanding manding ‘loyalty oaths’ from teachers, over the scrutiny of textbooks for ‘un-American’ or unpopular ideas. . . .” Kilpatrick said of this that it “is not only badly stated but does not belong in a history text.” The publisher’s representative pointed out that Kilpatrick had stopped short of the book’s full statement, which continued: “. . . and over the tendency of many persons to label ideas or proposals they do not like as ‘red,”com. munistic’ or ‘subversive.’ There was also considerable discussion of the fairness of applying the principle of ‘guilt by association’ to those who had been members of various front organizations or who expressed sympathy for reforms that happened to have communist approval.” Neither did Kilpatrick like the book to label as isolationists those people who opposed entering the League of Nations, or the fact that the book gives five paragraphs to “telling the good side of the Social Security Act, but there are not any giving the other side of the story.” KKK Defended Riddle reviewed A History of the United States, by Alden and Magenis, published by American Book Publishing Co. He said the book followed in line with “a trend in recent years to point out faults of founding fathers.” He said he protested to the publishers the book’s saying that the Ku Klux Klan is a more enduring blot on the history than the Communist Party and he was not at all satisfied with their explanation that the KKK is more enduring because it is a strictly home-grown product, while the Communist Party is not. He disliked the summation of the late Sen. McCarthy’s efforts as a “reckless red-hunt” and he said this portion of the book “approaches character assassination of Senator McCarthy.” Miss Jeanette Farmer, a former teacher in the Fort Worth school system, said AmericaLand of Freedom by Hartman, Billias et al, published by D. C. Heath, “resorts to half-truths, distortions, makes no mention of fact that social security has become a social evil . . . socialistic,” and fails to mention that “UN sold out in Korea.” Of The Story of Our Country, by Mason, West, et al, published by Allyn & Bacon, chief investigator Haley said, “There is no mention of the fact that Ralph Bunche has 12 mentions of communist front affiliations. . . . The publishers feel it is not to the point that he is a willing tool of the communist conspiracy . . . or that he is a national director of the NAACP.” He said the authors proposed that we should be proud of the poet Langston Hughes. “Read his poem ‘Goodbye, ‘Christ’ and see how proud it makes you!” Haley said heatedly. He took time out right there to read the poem aloud. He added: “We protest the inclusion of this communist-fronter ‘n this book or any book,” and he -rgued that the fact that Hughes had received the Harmon gold -necill for literature, a Guggenheim and a Rosewald fellowship, and a grant from the National Institute of Arts and Letters “does not show his achievement in literature but the degeneracy of those who make these awards.” Mrs. James Fortson of Corsicana, reviewing Living World History by Wallbank and Fletcher, published by Scott, Foresman, protested the book’s statement that World War II was brought on by super-patriots, on the grounds that “patriotism shouldn’t be discouraged.” Oath Not Enough To the book’s statement that “Altogether, 20,000 Africans were snatched from the homeland . . . ,” she objected, “This statement even if true, and the figure seems rather highshould be qualified by the statement that many Africans were sold into bondage by their own people.” There is a state law requiring textbook authors who hope to sell their wares in Texas to take a loyalty oath, and every author of every book under debate had dOne this, but Mrs. Joan Slay, Fort Worth housewife, reviewing Rise of the American Nation by was not content with Curti’s oath. “I believe Mr. Curti’s record speaks for itself,” she said. “It is possible for men to take a loyalty oath and still be tainted. Atheistic factions would not be bound by an oath.” She said that the statement, great pleasure in hunting, in entertaining, and in community affairs” is a statement straight from the “liberal train of thought” because it “omits the fact that Washington served his country without pay.” Earlier Washington had also been defended by Miss Farmer, who said the book she read had “four paintings of George Washington that eradicate the familiar features of kindness and dignity which his picture shows. One view looks as if George Gobel posed for the painting. When the traditions and customs of a nation are erased by the iconoclastic means of propaganda, the nation collapses.” \(The publishers pointed out that all four likenesses were done by eminent early American painters, The book quotes T. S. Eliot as calling the machine age “grim, barren, standardized, commercialized, cheap and vulgar.” Mrs. Slay said, “We object to this slander of our country being burned into the hearts and minds of our children.” ‘Sly Insinuation’ Mrs. B. W. Woolley of Dallas, a former teacher, criticized The Making of Modern America by Canfield and Wilder \(published shall did not favor the communists, but he recognized the inefficiency and corruption in Chiang Kai-Shek’s government.” Said Mrs. Wooley: “This charge of inefficiency and corruption is an old pro-communist line.” Elsewhere the book said, “During this period also, American culture was rounding out, and some progress was made in helping the poor and the oppressed.” Mrs. Wooley read this and then asked, “Who helped them? The government? And who opposed the ‘poor’? The ‘rich’ or ‘big business’? Here is the same sly insinuation of class clash and the rich or big business are against the poor or the working class.” But probably the most dramatic accusations came from Haley when he discussed This Is Our Nation, of which Dr. Paul F. Boller Jr., history professor at SMU, is co-author. Said Haley: “We object to thin book particularly because of the communist-front connections of Boller.” Haley said Boller is “soft on communism,” and he argued that just because Boller does not belong to any group on the attorney general’s subversives list means nothing because “the attorney general’s list is inadequate.” :74.4 Haley quoted Boller as saying last February, during a panel discussion at SMU, that “if they were going to talk about international communism, they had a very big subject, but if they were only going to talk about domestic communism, they didn’t have much to talk about because the party is almost defunct.” Haley said J. Edgar Hoover, on the contrary, has said that “size is relatively unimportant because of the iron-clad discipline under which the communists operate.” Haley said the Southern Conference for Human Welfare was sponsored by the Communist Party in 1938 but later died out under criticism and then “came up under a new name, the Southern Conference Educational Fund,” and Boller is “prominent among this group.” Haley said he was convinced the SCEF is soft on communism because “it favored complete racial integration in line with the 1928 plank of the communist party to disrupt the South.” The representative for Webster Publishing Co. said Boller had boarded a plane in Dallas as soon as he heard that Haley was going to denounce his loyalty, but Boller didn’t get to Austin in time to defend himself. The Webster agent was carrying a fistful of letters from wellknown educators testifying to Boller’s loyalty and scholarship. Riddle, in summation, declared that “because publishers say the authors are not listed by the FBI as subversive means nothing because such information is not available” from the FBI. He said the Texans for America made up their lists from information supplied by the Senate Internal Securities Committee, the House Un-American Activities Committee, and by several state investigating committees in other states, notably California. He said “subversion by the nature of the word is not the big bold type of thing,” and he quoted California State Senator Nelson Dilworth to the effect that “the really loaded book would have only five per cent party-line, perhaps as low as two percent. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 3 Sept. 22, 1961 The DAR’s representative, Mrs. Forester, explained her group judged the books by a number of criteria, including: “Is sufficient or equal attention given to all the rights of the American citizen, or does the text give a great deal of attention to ‘civil liberties’ such as freedom of religion, speech, and press and very little or no attention to the right to acquire and hold property, the right to work, the right to engage in free enterprise, the right of a free society to protect itself against subversion, etc?” She said one book told about UNESCO’s “educating for world citizenship,” and she added, “Young people of ‘America do not need to be trained to be citizens of the world … What’s wrong with nationalism? Let’s put America first!” Few publishers made any oral rebuttal at all, and though they had filed written rebuttals, the Texas Education Agency refused to release copies of the publishers’ written statements to the press. J. B. Golden, head of the TEA’s textbook division, said, “Running off extra copies was a big job, and we just didn’t do enough for the press.” Golden also told the Observer he thought the appearance of the Haley group “might do some good,” one way being to “keep the publishers on their toes.” The press turnout was extremely meager. Only Bill Gardner of the Houston Post and Sam Kinch of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram stayed out the day \(aside from other reporter showed up at all. Haley told the Observer there are similar groups fighting textbooks in California, Mississippi, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin, and they correspond with each other although there is no official link between the groups. He said he stressed subversion in the textbooks because “subversion is anything that lowers the standards of morals and taste.” He said he knew he wasn’t very subtle, but “I only understand the frontal attack. I know how to
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