4 UNITY AND DIVISION `When Texas Politics Was Run by Squires’ AUSTIN Sigh. Unity and harmony. Extremists of the left and right. It is not as if Lyndon Johnson were running again. It’s as if Lyndon Johnson’s ghost writer is running again. says he will give us, “a new and prosperous era of unity” that will do in, once and for all, “divisive forces of extremism.” “They have recognized, and rightly so,” he says, “that the people of Texas have determined upon a new course of unity!” What is this all about, this appeal for unity? It is nothing less than an appeal for silence in the body politic. Unity and harmony were the slashy context in which, until 1955, Democratic bosses could run this one-party state just about the way they wanted to. The people were not heard from, they were not expected to participate in the decisions of the statesmen, because they were sent slipping around on Democratic harmony all the time. real issues. He favors the repeal of the sales tax, and he understands that Texas consumers are paying it because, in the oversimplifying but morally true formulation he uses from the stump, Eastern monopolies prevented the legislature from passing fair taxes. He favors the repeal of the general sales tax and said in Dallas of his opponent, “If he does not have the courage to stand up against one man in this race, how can he have the courage to stand up against the Eastern monopolies?” Yarborough is going somewhat too far, at least judging from press reports, in his personal criticism of Connally. He is right to attack him frontally for having been a gas lobbyist, for abandoning his Navy secretaryship in another Johnson power play, for throwing in with the land speculators on the Padre Island issue ; in other words, on the issues. And it is fair enough to ask once or twice in the debate about the debate, “What’s he scared of ?” But reflections on Connally’s courage are not well taken. Yarborough’s own excellent programs are a better theme. Connally isn’t saying anything. In common with Johnson he has the effrontery to ask people to come to hear him tell them they should all be one big happy family. This is the analogy on which the idea of political unity and harmony rests, because everybody wants happy families, but a great democracy is not a family ; it is millions of people, and their vital differences create the tensions that produce the resolutions and the change. The family has the big daddy; the healthy democracy has no use for one. This may sound like an argument for the divisive forces of extremism, and it is. The onset of John Tower’s Republican Party in Texas, questionable as are its substantive aspects to persons of liberal values, has done as much to illuminate the meaningful choices before Texas voters as any liberal chantings have. A two-party state is healthy because it is a state in which issues of importance are honestly debated, but such debate is dangerous to men who would like to run the state by big business accommodation behind the miasma called “Harmony.” This hypocritical aspect of the “unity-harmony” theme is distressing enough. By calling Republicans and the Democrats who prefer the national Democratic Party to John Connally “extremists,” Connally is actually would be all right, if he admitted it, engaging in divisive debate. That but he asserts the opposite. Politics tumbles words like a dice cage the dice. By “Unity” Connally really means “Unity behind me.” BUT MORE DISTRESSING is the utter lack of originality with which Connally has tried to disguise himself behind pleas for unity. You’d think with all that money they could turn up something a little more diverting. Connally might plead -ignor ance of state issues. That would recommend, at least, his candor. Or he might try the theme, “I can’t tell you what I think because you might understand.” This would endear him to South Texas bosses and would make the Shivers people work even harder for him. He might even explain, “This is one great nation, now, Texas, and we’ve got to realize that what’s good for the General Gas Committee is good for Texas. This provincialism has got to stop.” But no, he continues to treat us like his children. We are not his children. That, in the Johnson-Connally lexicon for Texas politics, means we are plagued with the divisive forces of extremism and must turn the government over to the calm statesmen who never say what they mean because that would be divisive. Let us hope the voters do generally understand that the plea for unity and harmony in the politics of a free country is really the plea a powerseeker makes to keep the people from taking an interest in what he is going to do with the power if he gets it. Let those who wish to unite with John Connally, et at., against principle do so. Let those who wish to unite with John Tower, et al., for conservative principles do so. Let those who wish to unit with Don Yarborough, et al., for liberal principles do so. And then let’s the rest of us do our own thinking. R.D. Index for Hopeful Change ,HAT CONNALLY seems to be calling for is a return to the days when Texas politics was run by squires and when anyone who breached the rules by mentioning a matter of principle, whether “extremism of the right” or “extremism of the left,” was descended on by the agents of those who know very well that such principles are dangerous to their interests, simply because, either by affirmation or negation, they state the real issues. That is what Don Yarborough has been doing : stating too clearly the An Apology For Not Going AUSTIN A note to our readers. I. wish to apologize for not going to Huntsville Tuesday night to watch them kill Howard Stickney. I know you would have liked to know about it. I just couldn’t go. Once before I went. Charles Elbert Williams, a Negro boy. I felt he was innocent. Do you remember? I didn’t know whether Howard was innocent or guilty. There was a doubt, there was a doubt, there was a real doubt. Tuesday morning I knew they would be killing him that night. The Supreme Court had turned him down. That, of course, was that. I had my wife check the bus and plane ways. There was no plane. You have to get there by 4 o’clock in the afternoon to see a man before they kill him at midnight. Leave at 7 in the morning, or drive. I am doing other work. About living things. About mistakes we have not yet made. And I just didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to see it again, to smell it again. I’ll try to go to another one for you sometime. Maybe you should go. It means something about us you can’t get rid of, once you feel it. To see us strap a man up in a chair and send electricity into him until he goes limp. It means something irrevocable. As a whole, we don’t give a damn. We don’t give a damn about individuals, unless they’re our individuals, or me. That’s the individual the individualists are talking about! Irrevocable, irrevocable. R.D. DALLAS Since the summer of 1960 the following public services have been desegregated in Dallas: The State Fair of Texas and all its attractions. The Fair Park Midway amusement features, including sporting a n d musical events in the park. Bus, railway, and airport waiting, dining, and restroom facilities. YM and YWCA cafeterias. Rooms in the Statler, Sheraton, and Adolphus hotels \(but not the dining Taxicab service. Forty-five department, drug, and dime stores with restrooms, dressing rooms, lunch rooms and counters, and cafeteriai open to all without discrimination. ALL THIS HAS come about because Negro leaders were determined to make a start to end discrimination and improve the “good name of Dallas.” At the same time white business leaders anxious to avoid the costly experiences Of Little Rock and Nashville agreed to co-operate. With this common agreement a committee of fourteen, seven whites and seven Negroes, was formed in the spring of 1960 to implement a broad program of desegregation of public facilities. Credit for the formation of this bi=racial action committee should go to Dallas members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People who have worked for years to do away with discrimination. As members of the committee they did not represent the NAACP officially. Credit should also be given to the white “power structure” business men who took a broad-minded and forward-looking approach to a serious community problem. Supporting the Negro members on the joint committee was the Dallas Community Committee, made up of delegates from Negro churches, civic organizations, and non-Negro antisegregation groups. This committee mobilized action by the Negro cornmunity, with some white buyer cooperation behind a “don’t shop where you can’t eat” campaign. Stores and lunch rooms were picketed for several months. The city was organized into districts with a DCC member in charge of arranging for the wide distribution of handbills at churches and scheduling speakers at meetings. An important part was played by members of the youth group of the NAACP and white students at Southern Methodist University. A NOTABLE EXAMPLE of this effort was a women’s campaign in the summer of 1961 on the theme “don’t buy downtown.” Signed pledges not to buy were secured from .2,000 women, including some white consumers. A paid advertisement with the names printed was run in the local Negro newspaper. The Negro members of the committee of 14 made regular reports to the weekly meetings of the DCC and took an active part in the city-wide campaign of desegregation. There were no prolonged sit-ins at any eating place, no disorder in picketing or elsewhere. The police did not interfere at any time. An important factor, of course, was the final acceptance, after the exhaustion of all legal dodges, by the Dallas school board of the federal court order to begin first grade school desegregation with the September term. City authorities and the Dallas financial establishment were of one mind that there should be no disorder in this connection. A public relations firm from the industrial community launched a quiet campaign with printed matter \(“Dallas At The eon clubs, and a TV shortall emphasizing orderly compliance. The newspapers sounded this note editorially. Since then both the Dallas Community Committee and the downtown committee of 14 have only had occasional meetings. Some progress has been made, with two bakeries employing a few Negro salesmen to head off a bread-buying boycott. “Unfinished business” before the committee of 14 includes several large cafeterias, hotel dining rooms, and restaurants; theaters ; employment on merit in public and private business; and enlargement of an employee upgrading program. There is no significant die-hard opposition’ to desegregation in Dallas, with the exception of housing. All public library reading rooms, educational movies, and bus seating have been desegregated by voluntary action for years without incident. Most Negroes still go to the back of the bus, and “open” lunch counters are usually bypassed for all-colored ones. Old habits have a way of hanging on. The job of encouraging the convinced to be more active really gets down to finding the place where the Negroes’ situation pinches bad enough for them. to want to relieve the pressure. This is the job of the Negro leadership. Housing and employment on merit are probably the most important issues here now. Negro pressure to the pocket book nerve of the business community is the kind of action everyone understands. The term “good name of Dallas” means that it is of first importance that nothing must happen in any important area to keep new industries from locating here. Picketing, boycotts, publicized protests by Negroes, hurt the Dallas image as a decent, up-to-date, civilized city. This is nothing more than enlightened self-interest, which also, happily in this instance, is decent and humane. Dallas is fortunate in having some business leaders with this point of view. They do have to be pushed firmly and persistently, however. Years ago a public official who was being crowded by the organized farmers said : “The squeaking wheel gets the grease.” It’s as simple as that. CARL BRANNIN
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