ENLIGHTENED OPPOSITION RIGHTS FOR WHITES Cade S tudy Observer Notebook One of the favorite tactics of the extreme right in America has been to apprise us of the fact that subversives have infiltrated the schools, the churches, the government, and the female sewing circles. It is somewhat ironic that these peripatetic heirs of know-nothingism are themselves caught in the act of using respectable members of the community, holders of public office, and charitable civic organizations as a means of promoting their vast lore: America is not a democracy, Warren is a traitor, England has gone communist, and all those other heady invectives which once seemed so entertaining and new. Austin, a reasonably enlightened Texas city, seat of state government, site of the South’s largest university, second home of the Vice-President of the United States, provides this week something of a case study in the organizational mystique of the far right. A small group of people have been able, by playing upon the sincere civic pride of such men as former mayor Taylor Glass and Mayor Lester Palmer, to bring to Austin under the aura of respectability and civic sanction such chautauqua tent professionals as Clarence Manion and Tom Andersontwo of America’s most sterling representatives of that mentality which equates even the moderate conservatism of an Eisenhower with a certain brand of bolshevism and which selects an unusually small slice of our citizenry as loyal Americans. Let them be heard, anytime, anywhere, from the 50-yard line of Memorial Stadium to dead center of Mount Bonnellbut not under official civic proclamation, and not with the blessings of elected officials telling the whole city, “This is the way to be patriotic.” Such projects are taking place more and more frequently in Texas. Is there We excerpt this comment from that lively weekly, The Hayes County Citizen.Ed. KYLE “Generally we are inclined to be indulgent when politicians become malevolent and rancorous in their denunciation of people or groups with whom they disagree. “Anyone who plays around the boiling political caldron should expect to get scalded now and then when the caldron boils over. So we seldom raise our voice in anger when someone castigates JFK, Goldwater, LBJ, or Tower. In rare moments, we can even smile wanly when someone derides this august journal in caustic terms. “But when a congressional candidate, who faces the task of trying to defeat the most popular representa tive to ever serve the 10th District, gets so het up he feels compelled to attack one of our nation’s most beloved poets, then perhaps it is our turn to grab a dipper full of caldron contents and counterattack. “We passed the boiling point last week when Jim Dobbs attacked Robert Frost in a campaign blast. Dobbs, Published by Texas Observer Co., Ltd. Entered as second-class matter, April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. OCTOBER 19, 1962 Willie Morris Editor and General Manager Chandler Davidson, Associate Editor Sarah Payne, Office Manager Ronnie Dugger, Contributing Editor any way an intelligent, moderate citizen can counteract this rightwing revivalism in his own city? The time for shrugging off the Birch Society mentality, we feel, is past certainly in Texas. It has become all too evident that a growing number of people will believe any nonsense whatever, just so it is distributed under the guise of patriotism, acquires the sanction of a few public leaders, and is repeated ad nauseum. There are a number of things the citizens of Austin, for instance, can do before Manion comes to town Oct. 23 to sever the bonds his followers have sought to establish between him and the community. 1.One can protest to the president of the Austin school board, Thomas J. Graham, the use of a public school band to promote an emphatically partisan enterprise. 2.One can protest to the mayor against the use of his office to dignify the “Americanism” speakers. 3.One can make it clear to his club or organization, if it is to engage in ticket sales, just what the tickets are for. 4.If one is qualified to speak on the subject the speakers are to presentand this applies particularly to teachers, professors, and attorneys he should make every effort to challenge them to debate. It is no longer possible, many Texans of all civilized political persuasions learned during J. Evetts Haley’s latest rampage, to sit at home and hope the fringe elements will quietly fade away. They never do. Only enlightened opposition, which finally came, postponed textbook censorship. On matters similar to Austin’s Americanism Committee, the extremists have had the field to themselves too long all over Texas. a former preacher who has stepped down from the pulpit to carry the banner for the Republicans against Homer Thornberry, criticized Frost’s recent tour of Russia and censured him for not having ‘a deeper belief in the American system.’ “We suggest that Robert Frost’s poetry expresses eloquently a fierce devotion to his country seasoned in many years of contemplative thought. But he knows that love of country is not based on how high you wave the flag or how often you boast your patriotism. Our nation has not survived on the hot air expelled by politicians, preachers, or printers. Some of us in these professions get so preoccupied with our shouts about how our country should be defended that we never get around to being fitted for its uniform when war finally threatens. “Enough of that . . . But we are cruel enough to suggest that the world will remember the giant Frost precisely because he is a deeply moving voice of fundamental Americanismlong after sundry political pygmies and journalistic gnats have returned to the dust from whence they came.” Published once a week from Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $5.10 per annum. Advertising rates available on request. Extra copies 15c each. Quantity prices available on order. EDITORIAL and BUSINESS OFFICE: 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas. Phone GReenwood 7-0746. HOUSTON OFFICE: Mrs. R. D. Randolph, 2131 Welch, Houston 19, Texas. AUSTIN THE BROWNSVILLE Herald, a member of that eminent Hoiles chain whose masthead declares it is dedicated to “the great moral guides expressed in the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, and the Declaration of Independence,” took an eight-inch AP story on a , Mississippi senator “hinting” in a speech before a “segregationist rally” in New Orleans that a federal marshall shot the French newspaperman during the Oxford riots, gave it a healthy six-column headline, and published it at the top of the first page. THIS LETTER, circulated in Houston by Robert M. Hayley, a conservative Democratic leader, speaks entirely for itself : “Dear Fellow Conservatives: “The Democratic platform, adopted at the State Convention in El Paso, illustrates that the Conservatives have maintained their control of the Democratic Party in Texas. This fine platform was written by John Connally, and we must look to him for outstanding leadership and guidance, as well as to our other Conservative candidates, Preston Smith, and Waggoner Carr. Each of these men deserves our support and I urge you to join me in working for their election on November 6. “However, you and I must continue to vote our convictions and there are a number of Harris County legislative positions which deserve our careful attention. I urge you to strike a blow for liberty by voting against the left-wing group of Eckhardt, Brooks and Whitfield, and to vote for their Republican candidates. “This letter is being sent to each of you at my own personal cost and in the interest of better government in Texas. Can we count on you for support of Connally, Smith and Carr?” NOTE from Amarillo, the Athens of the Dustbowl: Mayor Jack Seale, who is given an odds-on chance to unseat conservative Democrat Walter Rogers for Congress next month, calls General Walker “the greatest living American,” H. M. Baggarly reports. Seale, we are told, would be expected to vote considerably more conservative than Long John Tower, whose record on the latest Americans for Constitutional Action scoresheet was a mere 100 percent. We were chatting a few day ago with one well known Austin liberal who lost religion at an early age, needed a devil, and found Lyndon Johnson, and were fascinated to learn he is voting for Republican Jim Dobbs against Homer Thornberry, Johnson’s close friend. A vendetta of this sort borders on political paranoia. Thornberry has voted almost consistently with the administration. Dobbs, a farout huckster of the new school who does more mumbo-jumbo to history than the average civics teacher in the Vladivostok public school system, strongly suggested last week that Robert Frost is un-American. Robert Frost has seldom constituted an issue in District 10, and we seriously doubt if Professor Dobbs could tell a Frost poem from a Saturday Evening Post limerick. It would be worth a small fortune, in fact, to hear Professor Dobbs lecture Frost on being American. Professor Dobbs has yet to call William Faulkner un-Mississippian or J. Frank Dobie un-Texan, but before he does we hope Thornberry swamps him all the way from Bastrop to Dripping Springs. A FORMER director of the Census Bureau, writing in the October issue of Scientific American, says that more than half the families in Texas have incomes of $4,800 or more a year but the state ranks 35th in average income. THE HARRIS COUNTY legislative delegation had a public hearing the other day to hear complaints about insurance payments for damages done by Hurricane Carla. One citizen, a Humble engineer, said an evasive company paid him only five cents on the dollar to settle his claim for property damage. Four suggestions were made, and they are good ones: one, that the burden of proof on water damage be on the company rather than the policy holder ; two, that the company pay the court and attorney costs of claimants who win their cases ; three, that state board of insurance members be elected ; four, that when a company offers a premium which is not as high as the one specified by the board of insurance, this be in writing on the premium. THIS LITTLE LITTLE circular is being given out in Austin’s downtown by those lusty folk selling so many tickets to the patriotic celebration. Under the title “Rights for Whites,” it is in the form of an article from the Centreville, Alabama, Press. We reprint it here to illustrate a point or two in the adjacent editorial: “You will notice that both political parties are hell bent on adopting a strong plank in their platform to protect the rights of the Negroes, but no one gives any thought to protecting the rights of the white people, the Indians, Mexicans, Japanese, Chinese, and other people in this country. Every Northern radical you can find is out to do something for the Negro. “The Negro today is the best treated human being in the United States. He is the only person that can live without working. He can have 40 illegitimate children and get by with it. He can have 10 common law wives, and nobody seems to care. He can get on the welfare program when good, honest, hard-working white people are unable to qualify. The government makes the rules for the welfare department and just about every Negro can qualify. The federal government will set him up in a housing project, where he can live in a brick building with steam heat, pay very little rent and go to the mail box once a month and get his welfare check. Who’s being mistreated? “It seems to us that some political party should adopt a civil rights program to protect the white people. We are beginning to need it, because we have to pay the biggest portion of the bill to help take care of the Negroes who are tired of working.” IN ITS traditional spirit of enlightened tolerance, the Austin AmericanStatesman last week refused advertising space to the Mothers’ Action Council, the Negro mothers’ group which is picketing the Austin Ice Palace. The segregated palace was recently opened in East Austin, a predominantly Negro section of town. MAC had collected over $300 for a half-page ad. Their representative, upon being refused, asked the paper’s advertising manager, Al Jennings, if he would suggest a change in wording which would be suitable to the paper. Jennings said the paper didn’t care to run the ad. MAC was given space in La Fuerza, a small Austin weekly. 5roJt and 21,M THE TEXAS OBSERVER e t l e .’-e =
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