II r Gift . Subscriptions to the Observer for Christmas 52 Weeks for $4.60 each The Texas Observer 504 W. 24th, Austin, Texas Please send an Observer Gift Subscription to the following; Name Address City and State Special Gift Card to accompany subscription should be signed as follows: The Texas Observer 504 W. 24th, Austin, Texas Please send an Observer Gift Subscription to the following; Name Address City and State Special Gift Card to accompany subscription should be signed as follows: The Texas Observer 504 W. 24th, Austin, Texas Please send an Observer Gift Subscription to the following; Name Address City and State * Special Gift Card to accompany subscription should be signed as follows: The Texas Observer 504 W. 24th, Austin, Texas Please send an Observer Gift Subscription to the following; Name Address City and State Special Gift Card to accompany subscription should be signed as follows: 110 ‘Influential’Human Events ‘A crusading opposition newspaper’Look ‘A bright, militantly crusading Texas weekly’The Progressive ‘Reports regularly on political shenanigans which are seldom mentioned in the met ropolitan press’Harper’s ‘An eloquent voice of the Texas eggheads’ The Reporter 10′ ‘Frequently discusses issues most newspapers find either too hot or too difficult to handle’American Mercury ‘A weekly newspaper`The Dallas News /01 ‘A modern danger’Louis Catorze As an Observer subscriber, you join a select company which includes Pres. John Kennedy, Sens. Ralph Yarborough and John Tower, Henry Steele Commager, Kenneth Galbraith, Reinhold Niebuhr, Arthur Goldberg, Eleanor Roosevelt, Arthur Schlesinger Jr Gov. Robert Meyner, J. Frank Dobie, Dan Strawn, and many others. WE WILL SEND TO EACH RECIPIENT We hope you enjoy your year’s subscription to The Texas Observer. -But Watt Went Home DALLAS Ten, twenty years ago the only jobs open to Latins in Dallas were menial. Janitor, elevator girl, cornmon labor in construction and industry, ‘delivery service, gravel truck drivers. The new generation is English-speaking, Texas raised, often with eight to ten years schooling. They are doing better. They live crowded but they all have cars, clothes, television sets, and beer on Saturday night. Among themselves they speak Spanish, especially the women and the old folks. The old-time Dallasites, however, have spoken English for a generation or more. It is the newcomers from Laredo and South Texas who have revived the use of Spanish in the group. SEVERAL ATTEMPTS have been made to start a Dallas newspaper in Spanish. The latest, “La Voz,” was a Dallas-Fort Worth venture. They all run up againSt the hard fact that the United States Latin has by and large turned his back on his Mexican heritage. While many still speak Spanish, relatively few have learned to read it. They feel no need for adherence to a Latin-American social, religious, or political group or organization of any sort, preferring participation in the larger life of the community or none at all. There are exceptions. The Orchids, the Camellias, the Benito Juarez Societies, the American GI Forums, the LULACS organize for civic activities and to hold dances. The great mass participate only to the extent of going to the dance or occasionally buying a raffle ticket. No one feels more utterly his alienation from Mexico than the Texas-born Latin who makes a trip to Mexico. While Mexico has made much progress lately, the Texas Latin sees most of it from the American point of view. The backward villages and the rich city natives snob him, the man on the street smiles at his own unlettered, half-learned country boy Spanish. He comes back knowing he has .burned his bridges. Texas is his home. Mexico has made cruel ridicule of these ex-citizens in a new film called. ‘Los Desarraigados,” the uprooted. It depicts a border people who have lost touch with Mexico’s culture and have somehow failed to acquire the American culture. The youngsters have no moral foundations. The church and family ties are loosened. The young are sex-happy, car-silly, moneydriven. A couple who lost three sons in the war are shown “doing very nicely” from properties and a small business acquired with the insurance money. Some speak atrocious Spanish while others, obviously of Latin extraction, change their names and deny their heritage. While some of this may be true, most of it is grossly exaggerated. Let’s interview these young men coming out of the theater. “Good show,” we volunteer. “Yeah, man! No lie!” “What did you like most about it?” “The skirt.” He pointed to a poster showing a hippy actress. “Real cool.” The other fellows laugh self-consciously. I ask if he understood all the Spanish. Yes, sure. Can he read it too? Can he read this poster? “Eres Arleta . . .” he starts haltingly. “No puedes negar to raza.” What’s that word, the title? “Oh, I can’t read the big words.” Further friendly conversation brings out that he is a young married man, has a steady job, finished high school in Corsicana, Texas. But he has never been to Mexico, never studied much Spanish. Didn’t he feel insulted about the way the movie depicted Texas Latins? “Oh, that’s not us.” “That was Laredo. I know that street. I been there, in Laredo,” another lad speaks up. “Besides, . . . that’s not us.” He burns rubber as he leaves in his late-model car, stripped of chrome, low-slung and with a plaque in tow identifying him as one of “The Panthers.” “The Panthers” is not some sinister juvenile gang. It is just a name of thousands of plaques sold by a Chicago hot rod supply house. I HAVE an acquaintance who I owns a $44,000 home in South ‘Oak Cliff, overlooking the country club, and with a beautiful view of the whole Trinity valley and the Dallas skyline. He has a swimming pool and a three-car garage. His son drives a Porsche, whatever that is. There is a Negro college being built in the area. Negroes keep moving his way from the area surrounding the old Dallas baseball park and the bus barns. The whites are selling in a panic. Most front yards in the vicinity display a realtor sign or two, or a “For Sale By Owner” placard. He has a problem. His house is pretty well paid for and he cannot get a loan for even half of his valuation of it. At the same time property values are dropping rapidly and he stands to lose probably $15,000 or more, whether he sells or sits tight. The White Citizens’ Council has been very active in Oak Cliff. This is the Bible belt, as solidly Protestant as Nashville, and bone-dry, The only bookstore in Oak Cliff is a religious bookstore. Two-hundred-thousand strong, its citizens dwell in a small-town atmosphere in the midst of sophisticated, metropolitan Dallas. Its twice-weekly paper, the Oak Cliff Tribune, is against Negroes, against urban renewal, against city hall spending sprees, against Democrats, and for Bruce Alger. In my high school days there were five white high schools, and Booker T. Washington. Now the once-white Forest Avenue High is the James Madison High for Negroes. There are the ‘Lincoln High and Sequoia Junior High Schools, both Negro. Say Louisiana to a Dallas Negro audience and you say “home” to many of them. I was talking to the doorman in the motor lobby at the Adolphus Hotel about my trip to Louisiana. It turned out that he was from New Iberia, deep HUMANISM The movement which attracts Independent Thinkers! Ethical, humanitarian; nonpolitical, non-supernatural. Interested? American Humanist Association welcomes you; local chapters, publications. Send $1 for 3month Trial Membership or $5 for a year: American Humanist Association, Dept. TO-2, Yellow Springs, Ohio. MARTIN ELFANT Sun Life of Canada Houston, Texas CA 4-0686 had known about the other. There are 150,00 Negroes in Dallas County today. Outrageously underprivileged in comparison with many Dallasites, nevertheless some sport fine cars and good clothes. Not so many are out of work. In fact, too many of the mothers have to work, leaving the children to grow up with little care or attention. Maids come high in Dallas compared to the small communities of East Texas. Fifteen, twenty dollars a week if full time. Occasional help, five, six dollars a day and carfare. I once escorted three French engineers around town, as a fellow engineer, guide, and interpreter. The French are not noted for enlightened colonial policy, and at home the French worker has never known the material abundance of our economy. No doubt my French friends had been led to expect the worst in the South’s treatment of Negroes. We stopped at a service station. Three Negro construction workers, their sweatshirts and trousers caked with cement and lime, were straining to get a car started. The car was about five years old. The European is extremely conservative of his mechanical possessions. A five-year:old car is considered new. Failure to care for it is unforgiveable, criminal. They have never countenanced our system of planned obsolescence. mobile?” Yes, I replied. They probably bought it second hand, at a third the new-car . price. “And ‘those grunts, that patois, do you understand? Yes? Is it English?” TIS LIFE in Dallas. We have I European immigrants, too. The Jews, the Hungarians. The Italians, and French who cluster around SMU, the Opera, the symphony, the theater and Nieman Marcus. Up the street lives a middleaged couple from Vienna. The lady teaches piano. Serious music is her life and love. She is quite exasperated at the low cultural level of Oak Cliff. A perfect blonde lioness of a woman, she berates her neighbors. “Dey haff money! Dey haff boat wit’ motor! The children come to door and listen to me play. Yet dey won’t pay for lessons! Dey never go to musicals.” Then there was Tom Watt. A Scotch immigrant, he came to us fresh off the boat. The boss’s great uncle once claimed he could trace his ancestry to Old Scotland, so Watt got a job. He stayed with us a month, then got on at a place where some ex-seamen, also Scots, were working. He had been straw boss in a factory in his home country. He was restless and discontented. He wanted something better for his wife and two girls. One day he bought passage to America. Everywhere his Scottish brogue evoked smiles and staring incomprehension. He had never owned a car and didn’t even know how to drive. He arranged shortly to borrow money to fly his family to America. Then one day the phone rang. “Meesterrr Jones? Tome Wote her-r-re.” \(He had written his name on his job application before I understood it the first going back home to Scotland. His wife had found the Texas summer much too hot. I suspect it was more than the heat. The Scot was an oddity in Dallas. Our way of life was strange to him. And rather than straw boss he was immigrantsocially and economically at the very bottom. Dallas found room for the exfarmer, welcomed the Louisiana cajun and the Negro, made the Jew, the Hungarian, and the Italian feel at home, hired the smalltown Texas Latin, each year recruits half the graduating class of most North Texas high schools, even tolerates thousands of Yankee organization-men on active duty here. But Tom Watt and his family decided to go home. ROBERT N. JONES A CHANGING DALLAS in the Acadian country. The Hertz car rental agent, a handsome young man whose cubby-hole, office was a few feet away, also “Ces sauvages . . . those primihailed from New Iberia. Neither tives . . . do they own that auto
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