The Texas Observer An Independent-Liberal Weekly Newspaper A Window to the South Volume 53 TEXAS, OCTOBER 27, 1961 15c per copy Number 30 Intergration Dispute at UT Negro Students Punished -Students, Teachers Protest ABILENE, SAN ANTONIO Several electric co-operatives have filed suits against the West Texas Chamber of Commerce and the South Texas Chamber of Commerce seeking an injunction that will prohibit those organizations from denying electric co-operatives the right to advertise in chamber publications. Although the complaining cooperatives are, or were until recently, members of the regional chambers, they were prohibited from buying ad space in the CoPC magazines. Executives of the two regional chambers made it clear that other members feel the coops are not the kind of businesses chambers of commerce should include in their membership, much .less assist in advertising. Electric co-operatives have never been allowed to buy ad space in the West Texas Chamber’s magazine “West Texas Today.” The first refusal came in September, 1959, with the board of directors giving no specific reasons for the refusal. Friction between the South Texas Chamber and member cooperatives reached a climax this spring, when the chamber undertook an intensive campaign to oppose House Bill 2, a rural electrification bill, the chamber arguing that the bill would allow the cooperatives . to go into competition with private plumbers and electricians. The co-ops responded that the criticized portions of the bill actually had the same wording of the original rural electrification act which was approved by the legislature in 1937. \(House Bill 2 Unlike the West Texas Chamber, the STCC’s “South Texan” accepted throughout 1960 ads which told how electric co-operatives are beneficial. But when the chamber launched its legislative campaign the STCC executive committee, Haleyites Condemn Two More Books AUSTIN The Texans for America, headed by J. Evetts Haley, have notified the Texas Education Agency they have new criticisms to make of two history textbooks still available for adoption, and that they repeat their old criticisms. Drawing special criticism now from the organization are This Is Our Nation, by Dr. Paul F. Boller Jr. of the Southern Methodist University history department, and Rise of the American Nation, by Dr. Merle Curti of the University of Wisconsin. Haley’s followers have questioned the loyalty of Boller and Curti, although both men have taken the official loyalty oath required by the TEA and both have passed special loyalty investigations authorized by the state textbook committee after Haley threw suspicion on these authors. Haley flatly told the state textbook committee he didn’t think without a vote of the board of directors, decided no mare ads would be accepted. That was in March. ‘Suit is Right’ 0. W. Davis, manager of the Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative and a member of the STOC board of directors, went before the chamber board and appealed for the advertising to be restored, but he was turned down. Suing are the Guadalupe Co-op, the Jackson County Co-op, and the Karnes Co-op. Named co-defendants in the South Texas suit are Kermit Dyche, president of the STCC, and Herschel Nix, the group’s vice president. Nix, in San -Antonio, told the Observer: “This came as something unexpected, to say the least. We just got back from our annual meeting in Corpus Christi and read about the suit in the papers. “The suit is right when it says that our organization did actively oppose the electric co-operatives’ legislation. And their suit is correct in stating that we rejected the electrical co-operatives’ advertising. We started rejecting it about last March, when we decided to oppose this legislation. We thought it would be inconsistent to do otherwise.” Nix said at one time “five or six” electrical co-operatives belonged to the South Texas Chamber of Commerce, “but right now I don’t know if there are any; there may be one.” He said he does not know if he would reject future membership applications from electric co-ops. “I would have to see their application before me,” he said, “and judge it individually.” Uncertain Position Nix said their action was based on antipathy for what the electric First of two articles EAST TEXAS Looking around East Texas these days, one gets the impression thatdespite the subtle formula changes in race relations in the big cities and the state university \(see related to change in the back country is the color of the foliage. Bob Sherrill Neither white East Texan nor Negro appears to be working for, or even talking earnestly of, integration in the schools or anywhere alse, if the tour made by the Observer this week uncovered reliable opinion. From the land of the scrub cedar to the piney woodsfrom Giddings, on to Brenham, Navasota, Huntsville, Trinity, and Lufkinthe attitudes encountered were fairly uniform in their remoteness to what is happening in the cities of the South. The slow social counterpoint was especially A dispute which has largely been simmering beneath the surface for many months at the University of Texas came abruptly to a head this week in disciplinary action against Negro students, in a student referendum on desegregating var Willie Morris sity sports, and in threats of a legal suit to test the segregation policies of the UT board of regents. An undisclosed number of Negro students were placed on disciplinary probation last Saturday for defying “properly constituted authority” when asked to leave a University dormitory during sitin demonstrations two days before. They had been protesting University segregation policies in general, as well as regulations banning them from the lobbies of white dormitories. The student body Wednesday approved, 5,132 to 3,293, a referendum favoring integration of varsity athletics. There were a total of 26 boxes, and all but onethe college of businessregistered favorable votes. The graduate school had the. heaviest “yes” vote, 58485. The disciplinary action against the Negro demonstratorsunder a strict interpretation of the rules they would be prohibited from engaging in extra-curricular activities and would be suspended from school upon further violation of regulationsprovoked a protest rally mostly of white students early this week and generated a wave of hat anger in some faculty circles. A hastily circulated faculty resolution calling on chancellor Harry Ransom and president Joseph R. Smiley to revoke all rules and regulations “governing the conduct of students in University dormitory and eating facilities according to racial criteria” drew 125 signatures evident in conversations with Negro educators. Elton Parchman, a very lightskinned Negro, is principal of the 306-student colored school in Giddings. He has been in education 25 years and has a BS from Prairie View. He was doing a crossword puzzle when we entered, but he didn’t mind talking. Parchman was asked if he would welcome integration. As a matter of fact, he said pleasantly, he would not. “I may be censured for this, but I believe it doesn’t take Integration to get a good education,” he said. “I try to teach my smarter students thattry to teach them self-pride. If the other fellow doesn’t want to mix with you, go your way; you’re just as good. Plenty of Negroes have done well who got their schooling in a shack, in a shed. You can get good schooling under a tree, if you want.” The walls in Parchman’s tenyear-old cement-block school building are laced with wide zig more than the necessary 50 for consideration in a general faculty meeting next Tuesday. Student leaders, led by student body president Maurice “Mo” conferred with UT administrators this week and agreed to a oneweek “cooling off” period on further demonstrations and sit-ins. The entire controversy is ‘against the backdrop of a decision reached by the board of regents last summer stating that integration at the University had gone far Reporter enough, that further desegregation would be against the sentiments of a “majority of Texans,” and that ‘student and faculty demands were the work of a “vocal minority.” Recommendations for integration of varsity sports and at least token integration of University housing were turned down. The regents’ action drew immediate criticism from student quarters, including the Daily Texan, student newspaper. Student President Olian called the decision “backward, narrow-minded, and hypocritical.” When Thorton Hardie of El Paso, chairman of the regents, demanded a public apology, Olian refused. A large ; number of faculty mem zag cracks. We suggested that maybe in 25 years of working under segregated conditions he had simpily learned to adjust. “Maybe,” he said. Maybe his views represent the older generation? “Maybe. But the young ones aren’t always right. They \(he ideas from their professors in college.” \(All of his teachers have degrees, some have MA’s, all from professor in our Negro colleges is from the North. They wear their academic keys from their Northern schools and talk about how the South should integrate. Why aren’t they teaching in Northern colleges? Because they can’t get jobs there, that’s why. You can count on your hands the number of Negro professors in Northern and Western integrated colleges. That’s why I’ve never gone back for, my master’s degree. I couldn’t take that kind of talk without speaking out.” hers were also known to be ired by both the substance and the language of the regents’ statement. A faculty committee on minorities, appointed by then-president Ransom, had lodged a detailed report which was forwarded to the regents, who quietly Ignored it. Smiley has since appointed a new minorities committee of a decidedly more conservative composition. By a decisive vote last spring, the faculty had approved a resolution urging the regents to integrate all University facilities with deliberate speed. The student assembly, by a vote of 22-2, resolved in favor of integrating varsity athletics and 23-0 for integrating one men’s dorm. Protest movements among the students, spearheaded by an organization called Students for Direct Action, had been gaining momentum ever since a series of demonstrations in the spring of 1960..A long period of stand-ins at two movie theaters on the Drag, across the street from the campus, resulted early this fall in a decision by theater owners to desegregate. Announcement of the regents’ policy last summer did not discourage the student movement against continued segregation in housing and varsity sports. A student petition in September, believed to be the largest in UT history, drew over 6,000 signatures in favor of desegregating the intercollegiate athletic program. The apparently spontaneous demonstrations by the Negro students at Kinsolving Dormitory and the disciplinary action which ensued have brought campus sentiment to its most feverish pitch since the Barbara Smith episode of 1957. Commented Houston Wade, a graduate student and a leader in Students for Direct Action, on the student leaders’ agreement for a one-week moratorium: “Reaaion among the students \(at * W. I. Alton, who has a BA from Prairie View and an MA from Northwestern University and who has been teaching since 1926, is principal of the all-Negro Pickard High School in Brenham. He has been principal since 1937. The frame building was built in 1928. Asked to predict when integration would come about in his town, Alton said, “It’ll be a long time, I ing to get a new school, and I guess we’ll get a new one out of it too. It’s not so much that we don’t have room; it’s just that it’s too much like living in a shack. We’re antiquated.” What efforts had Brenham Negroes made to bring . about integration? “Don’t hear much about it in the community. I suppose if we had had equal facilities this never would have come up.” Would he welcome integration? “It depends. Not just for the sake of getting to mix with whites. If I were a student, and if there ELECTRIC CO-OPS BANNED 2 CofC’s Face Censorship Suit East Texas Lingers On ‘More Obscenities On Their Doors’
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