Negro leader who was cowardly murdered. In this mourning now, we affirm the solidarity of man. A hero is a person who has borne the danger we all should bear. A martyr is a hero who has died of this danger. Medgar Evers is a martyr, and we are among the millions of Americans who, agreeing with the justice and urgency of the cause for which he died, could have as easily died, but were not there to die. Nothing we say can make nobler or less painful his death. “We cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground.” A martyr’s life lives after him not in what we say about him but in what we do because of him. If he had come here before he was murdered he might have said to us, You are lucky in Texas. You have many regions where integration is accepted. Perhaps a third of your legislature votes for integration. But why is it that east Texas is still as segregated as Mississippi? Of all the regions of the south, east Texas could plausibly have come first. Yet it is last. Why is that? The news from east Texas, from Marshall, Tyler, Longview, Gilmer, Carthage, Lufkin, and nameless people in nameless farmhouses on nameless tracts, is no change. There have been demonstrations and some change in Austin, Dallas, Corpus Christi, Houston ; but not east Texas. The conscience, of Texas on integration is like a doctor who has a patient with cancer and treats the patient for anemia, sinus trouble, malnutrition, and a nervous condition, but does not treat the center sickness, the cancer. It has intimidated him, as segregation in east Texas has intimidated the conscience of Texas. And there is only one thing for this conscience, to save it from the death it dies every day that passes without change in east Texas, and that is to go to the center of the sickness and deal with it. We are from Austin, and Lubbock, and Houston, and Dallas. When he was called an outside agitator in Birmingham, Rev. King wrote, in his letter from a Birmingham jail, “I am in Birmingham because injustice exists here. . . . Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. . . . Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.” Medgar Evers’ brother has just moved from Chicago to take up where his brother left off in Jackson, Mississippi. But Charles Evers is not the only brother he has. In the perfect tragedy of Medgar Evers’ death he has moved us beyond mere gestures and correct liberal positions to renew again, and then, weakening, to renew again and again our total commitment to the brotherhood of man. We are called upon to rise from the dark of the theater where he was killed and go forth into the sun and into the darkness also to do work worthy of what we were told when he died. No ordinary death can move ordinary men and women to extraordinary deeds; and it is extraordinary deeds we are called on for. It is not ordinary to confront one’s countrymen with rebuke so deeply left, one’s own body is the ultimate argument offered them in peacefulness and love. Medgar Evers offered his body, and three of his countrymen took it. His blood must stain still the corner of his carport. Had he given it in hate, it might be now a hideous call to more bloodshed. But because he gave it in love, it calls out across the south the humanity of man. It calls out to all of us, of what color no matter, who have done, in the cause of man, anything less than all that we could, the ancient rebuke to the living of the martyred dead. For Medgar Evers has now done everything that he can. POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE The Texas-launched Goldwater boom has taken flight nationally. In an inter view with Hearst’s Ruth Montgomery, Gold water said Peter ‘O’Donnell, Texas G.O.P. national committeeman who is leading the boom, and Sen. John Tower “don’t even discuss it with me, for fear I’ll ask them to drop it.” Hearst’s Montgomery said, “High officials on the Kennedy strategy team concede that if the election were held tomorrow, Goldwater would carry L.B.J.’s own state of Texas and the South.” The Dallas News said in a copyrighted story that of 38 state G.O.P. chairmen respond ing to its poll, n said their states were for Goldwater, 11 for Rockefeller. Tower told the News during the Denver meeting of G.O.P. leaders that, as to Goldwater, “It looks even better than I had imagined.” A group of Amarillo businessmen led by J. E. Stroud announced a fund-raising drive for money to be used only in a Goldwater presidential campaign. Tower’s fund-raising for the G.O.P. has included three speeches in June and includes another three in September; he is a speaker at the Gold water rally in Washington July 4. g o of Ex-Gov. Allan Shivers is now the cen tral figure in conservative Democratis’ plans to beat Sen. Ralph Yarborough. The Dallas News says unannounced meetings have, been held by “the group” in Dallas and Houstonthat is, a group who are joining “with dollars” a “mushrooming draft” for Shivers or “whomever Shivers chooses to help.” But the News says the odds “are strong that Shivers himself won’t run. Tower has told the Cushing News that “Republican primaries in Texas would defeat Gov. Shivers in the Demo cratic primary. . . . Practically every vote in the G.O.P. primaries would otherwise be a Shivers vote. This would greatly underline the governor’s I Shivers’ posi tion.” Gov. Connally, who reacted some what sensitively when the Observer pub June 28, 1963 15 AMERICAN INCOME LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY OF INDIANA Underwriters of the American Income Labor Disability Policy Executive Offices: P. 0. Box 208 Waco, Texas Bernard Rapoport, President
You May Also Like
The documentary in Falfurrias is sinister and spiritual.