Page 12


From Lord Russell Thank you very much for having published my article on the Doctrine of Extermination [Obs. June 28 ’63]. I have been intending to write to say how deeply impressed I am with your journal which seems to me as good as any I have seen. I thought the article by Roger Shattuck extraordinarily good and should be grateful for some extra copies. Please convey my congratulations to him. Bertrand Russell, Chelsea, England. Sad to Say I am just an old guy who has devoted most of his life to being a loyal Democrat, because I believe in democracy for all our people, regardless of race, creed, or origin of the individual. My grandfather was a Southern veteran. I have played in the old abandoned slave houses of my great-grandmother’s farm in Tennessee. My best friend when I was around eight years old was a colored boy, the son of former slaves who were working on my uncle’s farm. He could not go to school when I was going, and it always stuck in my mind that it was an injustice and a loss to our nation that schools were not provided for the colored people as they were for us white boys and girls at that time. My grandfather used to tell me that the education of all our people would be the strong foundation on which our country could build a strong and worthwhile country. Sad to say, it’s been a long time coming, and the battle isn’t won yet in Texas and a lot of other states. Witness what our last session of the legislature did for education! I had to get this off my chest. John T. Lassiter, 6912 Myrtle St., Houston, Tex. Run Up the Battle Flags For some time I have meant to write you to say how much I enjoy reading the Texas Observer. What I suspect I enjoy more than anything else is your lack of self-pity and that paranoidal angst which often seems to be the silicosis of the liberal intellectual. There is only one way to beat the reactionaries and that is to run up the battle flags, blow, the trumpet, and slug it out. There is an old Irish saying that when you feel sorry for yourself, look up the man behind your problems and belt him a coupleTexas and Irish liberals seem to have that tradition in common ! John P. Roche, national chairman, Americans for Democratic Action, 1341 Connecticut Ave. N.W., Washington 6, D.C. Property Rights Also Basic Prejudice, whether it be of the liberal or the conservative, is usually blind to basic truths. It seems to me that your liberal bias has blinded you to some truths to be considered in the Kennedy public accommodations proposal. Absolute freedom is neither possible nor desirable, for when one freedom begins to infringe upon the rights and freedoms of others, it becomes oppression and tyranny. Just as constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech and of the press are properly restrained by laws of slander and libel, so all rights and freedoms must not be’ allowed to infringe upon equally basic rights. In downgrading the businessman’s property rights, you ignore the fact that this property is integral to his earning a livelihood, certainly as basic to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as are any of our rights. I consider Negroes as much my brothers as any of my fellow whites, but nobody, white or Negro, can get my love and friendship by demanding it or by passing a law to compel it. Nor is true freedom gained by demanding it or infringing upon the rights of others. In fact, when you stop to think about it in the light of recent court order enforcement by troops, the public accommodations law would bring us all too close to a police state and in time to the end of all freedoms. Bob Lusk, 1415 Fairwood, Austin 22, Tex. You Intellectuals, Get On The Ball A stronger and broader-based $1.25 per hour minimum wage law, federally enforced, would be a damn sight better for Negroes than any “public accommodations” law. Why don’t you intellectuals go all-out for economic reformssocial reforms will necessarily follow.A. J. Sleight, 10908 Prospect N.E., Albuquerque, N.M. PASO’s Hidalgo County Foes Somebody sold you a bill of goods when they told you that the anti-PASO group organized in Hidalgo County was made up of middle-class Latin-Americans. That is, unless you want to call the political bosses who still remain in Hidalgo County middle class Latin Americans, for it is these characters who have organized against us. They know that their days in politics are gone forever, but they have chosen to go down fighting. The so called Citizens Progressive MARTIN ELFANT Sun Life of Canada 1001 Century Building Houston, Texas CA 4-0686 League is comprised of the few political bosses who still exist ‘Lin Hidalgo County and their stooges. They are finding it very hard to hold meetings, for it is very apparent to everyone who knows them here that they are the same old faces under a different disguise. We, the PASO leadership, beat these same characters and the conservatives in the last Democratic primary election when we carried our county, Hidalgo, for Don Yarborough against them, despite all the money that was available The Hidalgo PASO group is growing at a tremendous pace. We have upwards of 500 members and our people are responding enthusiastically to our requests for membership. That, plus the possibility of the abolition of the poll tax by next year’s election, makes our hopes for the future very bright indeed. Leo J. Leo, chairman, Hidalgo County PASO, P.O. Box 1, La Joya, Tex. Webb’s Ideas Apply to Asia I’m certain that this is one of many letters from your readers who wish to express their feelings of pleasure and tribute to our dear friend and teacher, Walter Prescott Webb. I am living in a part of Asia that needs our support rather than our solutions, which have been moulded in terms of our Western environment. As Webb defined and explained the concepts of land, culture, and people adapted to the terms of the Plains and the American frontier, so Marston Bates in “The Land Where Winter Never Comes” helps interested students of the tropics to appreciate the culture and environment here in Asia. Just as the culture of the Deep South could not penetrate the Plains and the desert, Western civilization and in particular twentieth century September 20, 1963 15 Professors- Say, professors of provincial world history ; fragments of an incipient literature; idealism under pressure; the economics of journalism, and the journalism of economics; government by consent of the politicians; applied ethics; patriotized Puritanism; Americanized education; commercialized regionalism Do your students know that anything is happening in and around Texas except what they read in the The Observer offers a special student subscription rate of $1.50 per student per semester for orders of ten or more subscriptions that can be delivered in bulk to one address. Student subscribers for the fall semester can receive free copies of the Walter Webb issue, as long as they last. Student subscribers this fall term can start off with the Observer’s Sept. 6 issue on East Texas if they wish. Please specify if you want your packets stamped, “Antidote to the