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The Texas Observer An Independent-Liberal Weekly Newspaper A Window to the South Volume 53 TEXAS, FEBRUARY 23, 1962 15c per copy Number 47 BOBBY VERSUS TEXAS ODESSA, BORGER, AMARILLO Panhandle Center Of Ultra Writers SEMANTIC JUGGLING Labor Supports Don Yarborough WEST TEXAS When Lynn Landrum, “the old columntator” on the Dallas News, died a few months ago the dominant force of far right-wing editorial writings shifted to the newspapers in the high plains “box”—from Odessa and Midland northward throughout the Panhandle. It was a logical shift, for in the mass, Panhandlers are to the rest of Texas what the Catalans are to Spain: violently surly toward regulation, even the fraternal reg ulations winding out of Austin. This is the land of Bronco, Muleshoe, Lariat, Earth, Shallowater, Sundown, Wildorado, Turkey, Sunray, and Happy. It is also the land of Odessa, Borger, and Amarillowhose daily newspapers rival for the title of ost reaet Jona inthe state and of Tulia, whose weekly is one of the most liberal in the state. With a circulation of 3,300, the Tulia Herald is one of the largest weeklies in the Panhandle. If circulation amounts to influence, the most influential paper among these is the Amarillo News ial high mogul is editor and copublisher Wesley Izzard, whom syndicated columnist George Dixon has described as “a veritable Sir Galahad among vigilantes. who has never been besmirched by even the breath of liberaliism.” Izzard writes an occasional page-one column called “From A to Izzard.” a catch-all for editorial asides, homespun saws, snappy wisecracks, and quotes from conservative leaders both local and national. About the “Turn Toward Peace” demonstrations in Washington, Izzard suggested darkly in his Feb. 17 column: “Such peace demonstrations, while based on a natural human aversion to war, involve a good deal of confused thinking. It would be interesting to dig into the background of the movement and see if it is not inspired by some hard-headed organization that has been in the business of agitation a long time and is expert in spreading confusion . . .” Two days earlier Izzard had praised Alvin R. Allison, Levelland attorney and member of the Texas Tech board of regents as “among the stoutest defenders of Americanism in these parts” for having said in a speech, “There are a great many people who oppose communists, but really favor communism, if it is given a repectable name like the ‘welfare state’.” Izzard faithfully takes the side of capitalism, which usually seems to be the side of the producer, a bias fostering such witticisms as: “People don’t want a cheaper car. They want a more expensive car for less money,” Sarcasm is one of Izzard’s favorite tools. On Jan. 23 he wrote: “A tip to Bobby Kennedy: We know of a private housing development that is practicing flagrant discrimination. It’s near Phoenix, and people under 50 years of age are barred.” Two days later he wrote: “A disillu AUSTIN It happened so suddenly and the impact was so violent that there is still considerable confusion about it . all. Jakarta is the place U.S. Atty. Gen. Bobby Kennedy said it. That much is certain. It was during a question and answer period with students at the University’ of Indonesia. But first: What was that thing that flew out of the audience and just missed Bobby? Time Magazine reported it to be “a cold fried egg.” United Press International said it was “a duck egg.” Why did it miss? Time said Bobby “nimbly dodged.” UPI said the thing “went wide of the mark.” Anyway, unsplattered, he began answering questions, one of which was, How does the United States justify its part in the Mexican War? Just what Bobby answered is not clear. The Associated Press version differed slightly from the UPI. Both differed slightly from the version filed out of Washington by the Houston Post’s Felton West. And the version used by the Houston Chronicle in its Houston story differed slightly from the version the Chronicle filed out of Austin. And they all differed from the version released from the State Department tape taken on the spot. But in every version the message came through: Bobby Kennedy considers this nation’s part in the Mexican War to be unjustified and certainly nothing to be proud of. Texans heard and responded. “One of those pussy-footers who cater to socialists,” the Very Rev. Anton Frank, chaplain of the Sons of the Republic of Texas, said of. AUSTIN, DALLAS Houston liberal Don Yarborough drew the state AFL-CIO’s “recommendation” for governor Saturday night in a juggling. of its normal procedure of “endorsement” which a top labor spokesman told the Observer was “a semantic proposition more than anything else.” The Committee on Political Education, meeting in the Adolphus in Dallas, decided with one dissenting vote to go with Yarborough because his “general political philosophy and attitudes more nearly coincide with our programs than do those of the other gubernatorial candidates.” Drawing the same “recommendation” in precisely the same language were House Speaker James Turman of Gober for lieutenant governor, Tom Reavley of Austin for attorney general, and Judge Woodrow Wilson Bean of El Paso for congressman-at-large. The administrative committee, headed by state AFL-CIO president Hank Brown, pointed out it was not employing the word “endorse” for any of the approved candidates. The other gubernatorial candidates who appeared were John Connally, Gov. Price Daniel, Atty. Gen. Will Wilson, and Marshall Formby. Wilson and Formby asked COPE not to endorse anyone in the first primary. A number of factors are important in appraising the action of the some 300 delegates from across Texas: 1. Yarborough got COPE’s backing for two reasons, both indispensible: first, he had the warmest and ‘widest support among the labor representatives, and sec, ond, the state leadership took a firm stand behind him. 2.The decision to “recommend” rather than endorse was the fruit of compromise between those forces within labor who wanted an outright and unequivocating endorsement of Yarborough and those who, for varying reasons, preferred not to endorse anyone at all. 3.This compromise must be viewed in the context of the Maverick-Gonzalez duel that split Texas labor into warring halves last year. The state leadership wanted to avoid even a smaller split this time. 4.About one-third of the delegates, perhaps slightly more, favored a policy of no-endorsement. One state leader told the Observer: “Probably 90 percent of the people who wanted the ‘recommendation rather than an en. dorsement are for Yarborough.” Among this one-third there was a reluctance not to offend Daniel, Connally, or Vice-President Johnson. 5.How cohesive will the 200,000plus labor votes be in the May primary? “As cohesive as we were in 1956 with Ralph Yarborough,” one ranking labor official said. It should be recalled that Texas labor has never voted in a solid bloc, even when the choice was between Allan Shivers and Ralph Yarborough. The Building and Construction Trades Council, the Tapping the University Liberals’ Ferment AUSTIN Several dozen University of Texas students marched on the capitol and paraded up and down Congress Avenue last Saturday carrying placards supporting the national “Turn Toward Peace” movement of liberal collegians, some of whom picketed the White House in Washington last week. The signs carried by the group in Austin bore slogans such as “The Deeper the Shelter the Big= ger the Bomb,” and “Free the Human Race from the Arms Race.” One woman pushed a baby buggy whose occupant was swaddled in the sign: “I’d Rather BE.” But the liberal picketers did not walk alone. Accompanying them were opposition pickets from the campus chapter of the Young Americans for Freedom, who carried placards advising, “Pacifism Means Surrender: What Price Life?” and “Freedom Through Nuclear Strength” and “Neither Red Nor Dead Nor Under the Bed” and “Repudiate the Pacifists, Dime-Store Nehrus.” Each side handed out literature explaining its position, and a soapbox debate ended the demonstration. This was only the most recent evidence of politicalor socialmoralferment on the University of Texas campus, in sequence with the theater stand-ins and integration petitionings. Sometimes the ferment. is traceable to reaction to slowly-developed, contrary ideologies. Sometimes it is the spontaneous response to an ad hoc situation. But in practically every instance, the part played by the liberal groups has been the most dramatic and the most inventive. What has motivated the leading campus liberals? What do they go to for guidance? Are they disappointed in President Kennedy? Do they do what they do out of irritation with the far right-wing, or are they moved by impatience with their own laggard social reformers? The Observer took these questions to key campus leaders, both student and faculty. Some of their answers are given here. Perhaps least impressed by talk of “political ferment” is Dr: John Silber, head of the state committee for the abolition of capital punishment and sponsor of the campus chapter of that organization. He said that the growing radicalismto the extent there is anyis from the extreme right. “On the left, the activity is the Bob Sherrill most orderly and mature I’ve seen among college students. It almost makes you wonder. During the theater stand-ins, there wasn’t a single incident where a picketer beat hell out of somebody.” He said there is some concern in liberal circles because Kennedy has not been more vigorous, but among this group it is commonly felt that Lyndon Johnson is the bete noire, holding Kennedy back. Nevertheless, Silber thinks Kennedy’s reputation is “gaining momentum.” If campus liberals are impelled by any fear, it is more a fear for the civil tights of the whites, since “they feel they are winning the civil rights fight for the Negro,” and an “increasing fear of the press, that the basic systems of communication are just voices of concentrated business interests. The theses of Vance Packard and C. Wright Mills and, among the older writers, Norman Thomas are really beginning to sink in.” Not that this means Silber thinks the politically conscious students are well-read. He doesn’t., He feels most of them are “politically illiterate. I don’t think they know a lot. I don’t think they read a lot. What they do, they do quite largely from emotional response. That’s why so many of them read The Conscience of a Conservative. There is no liberal manifesto. Just the other day a boy told me I was lying when I said Roosevelt refused to nationalize the banks. This boy just didn’t know anything about it, and he’ll probably be the next president of the Young Republicans.” Houston Wade, graduate student in genetics and leader of the Students for Direct Action, is one of five or six students who epitomize the most idealistic of left wing activities on tht campus. Even if the “superficial” problems easily seensegregation, censorship, capital punishment, attnospheric testing are licked, says Wade, there is.still the overriding problem of “where do we go as a consumer society? When we get all our leisure time, it seems to come to nothing if there is nothing to do. I. think we have largely mistaken consumption for freedom.” He feels segregation is “easy to deal with. The most naive freshman ‘recognizes the injustice of it recognizes that it contradicts the constitutional freedom we beat our chest and boast about.” Among campus liberals of Wade’s temper, favorite reading material is not so much in books as in periodicals, and the periodicals most often referred to are the Nation, Progressive, New Politics, and Dissent. There is some reading of the New Republic and Reporter magazines, but in general among the stauncher liberals these magazines have lost caste, the Reporter be \(Continued on