The Governor and the Poll Tax Although Gov. John Connally, when questioned by the Observer at a press conference whether he favors ratification of the pending federal constitutional amendment to abolish the poll tax, replied that he had not taken that approach, but had supported action by Texas voters for its abolition in Texas, the Washington Post has assumed Connally favors the federal amendment’s ratification and has asked him to call a special session to ratify it. In an editorial Jime 28, the Washington newspaper noted that 36 states have ratified the amendment, raising the question “whether two additional legislatures will be called into special sessions to complete the action. Usually states regard it as a privilege to write the final strokes that put a popular constitutional amendment on the books, and the door to such opportunity is now wide open.” The editorial continued: “It would be highly salutary . . . if the ratification process were complet ed within the next few weeks, and the states to which the honor should go are North Carolina and Texas. . . . The governors of both Texas and North Carolina are said to favor its ratification. The whole country would experience a lift if they would call their legislatures into special session and provide a final coup de grace to taxes on the right to vote.” President Kennedy wired Gov. Connally during the legislative session and asked him to urge the legislature to ratify the amendment, but.Connally did not. Texans will vote on abolition of the poll tax in Texas only next November. Unless .Connally calls a special session and opens it up with a recommendation for ratification of the federal amendment abolishing the poll tax in the other four states where it applies, the federal amendment probably will not be ratified until next year, probably too late for the 1964 elections in the other four Southern states where it is still in effect. individual regardless of his color or creed the full measure of his rights ‘as an American citizen.” When he took his governor’s oath, he said, “that oath was not limited to Texans of a particular creed or color: it applied to all Texans.” He told the crowd that when he had met them during his campaign, “Each time I said I had no promises to make you and no commitments other than that I would try to be a governor who was aware of your problems, interested in your welfare, and dedicated to the welfare of the entire state. I made no promises to you about appointments.” He had stressed to them his desire for better higher education in Texas, and he had added to them, he recalled, that after higher education is assured, there is also a job to be done “to see that every child had to have an opportunity to put that education to work and that they had to have job opportunities. This is really all we talked about, because these are the basic things,” he said. He had appointed the honorees, he said, “not simply because they were Negroes, but because they were qualified.” He noted that Negroes for the first time now constitute a majority of the board of T.S.U., the formerly all-Negro college. He said his appointment of Rev. Holliday at first had been said to be a major blunder, but that the senators overwhelmingly confirmed him, with, he had read. only four negative votes. “It’s something that all of us can be proud of as citizens of a great state,” he said. “As time goes by, you can be sure that I will continue to honor Texans with such distinguished records, such as tonight’s honorees,” he said. This probably produced the hardest applause of the night. The governor then referred to a U.S. department of labor study of the racial composition of work forces on federal building projects hi thirty cities. Giving figures for just seven of these cities, he showed that proportionally there were more Negroes at work, and more on skilled jobs, in Baltimore, Md., Charleston, S.C., or Austin, Tex., than in Brooklyn, Chicago, Kansas City, or Pittsburgh. He concluded that job discrimination is not a state or a sectional, but is a national problem. It was at this point that he laid down his slam at craft unions that bar Negroes from pipefitters’ or carpenters’ jobs, fitting in behind the subsiding applause this significant passage: “We’ve come a long way together, and we still have a long way to go.” This is a time of “danger” and “demagogues,” and it is necessary that we “avoid the perilous path of unreasonable coercion.” The progress they had made together was a result, he said, of “the very fellowship we have tonight, from warmth of the heart, recognizing above all else that we’re all men and women, the noblest creatures of an Almighty God.” As Connally sat down, a Negro lady at the table where this reporter was sitting handed across the table to her husband a note she had penciled on the back of her program. She had written : “i.e.: no demonstrations please.” U.P.O. had not adopted any resolutions about sit-ins, stand-ins, walk-ins, or lie-ins; about school integration, segregation in state parks, the ghettoes of the North, or the prod-sticks and police dogs in the South. They want jobs and job-creating policies from the men in power in the state government, and they have got a few, and they are after more. They are quite visible proof in a rapidly changing Texas that liberalism has no color, nor conservatism, either. R.D. `No Point To Trying’ In addition to specific remarks reported elsewhere, Harry Carr, the Texas employment commission’s placement specialist in charge of improving job opportunities for members of minorities in Texas, and himself a Negro, delivered to the united political organization meeting in Austin last week a general statement on Negroes and jobs. Jake Pickle, chairman of the T.E.C., was present when Carr made his speech, so, although Carr had written out his statement in his own minute lettering style, what he said can be taken as the official policy of the state government. In this light we reproduce Carr’s general remarks from his hand-lettered script: gg One may view . . . discrimination upon minority workers by making it analogous to the disease of polio, pre-Salk vaccine and post-Salk vaccine. Prior to Salk and other oral vaccines, when an individual was stricken with polio, all efforts were concentrated in treatment of the disease. At the present time health authorities are engaged in preventive medicine. There exist within our minority communities groups of our citizens who have experienced this dread disease known as discrimination, as evidenced by their lack of training, as in some cases limited training was available to them; lack of job opportunity, as limited jobs were available for them; limited ambition, as frustrations were ever apparent in their daily lives. Treatment for the disease of discrimination has been tedious and ineffective as the Negro all too often has been trapped in a vicious circle from which he cannot extricate himself. Little in the Negro boy’s environment was likely to give him any sense of aspiration or any direction. He has few male models to follow and little reason to assume that education offers a way out of his predicament. His lack of education and aspiration in turn emakes it virtually impossible for the Negro youth to find a job with dignity and status, even where discrimination is absent. All too ‘ often, therefore, he has decided that there is no point to trying, and he loses the capacity to take advantage of such opportunities as do arise. In the language of the social worker, he has developed a selfdefeating mode of living. . . . I read the -other day that the work-life of a trained engineer is now limited to ten years unless he returns to college to be trained in the latest developments within his field. This is true of many of our present-day occupations. Continuous training and education is fast becoming accepted as a way of life. What the Negro child needs, in short, is the same kind of education the white child needs and is beginning to get: an educa
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