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Since 1866 The Place in Austin .. . the students and the professors, the politicians and the lobbyists, dine or drink beer in rather unfamiliar proximity.” Willie Morris in Harper’s. 1607 San Jacinto GR 7-4171 Three Sequels: Look Away, Look Away, Look Away, Dixieland Marshall, Texas In the nineteenth century, the young man who mentioned the word “consumption” in polite society became a social outcast. The cloak of gentility was so fully thrown about the body politic that sordid truths were disguised if not suppressed. Coming to grips with reality was reserved for a later day, and not until tuberculosis was sought out and put to rout by science was its existence recognized by the finer folk. Looking about us at racism throughout the land, a similar approach may be found in some areas. Many communities seem to think that if some ugly practices are ignored, they will disappear, and that if the unrest of racial minorities be sufficiently hidden and unreported, it will go away, or spend itself without being noticed. A gray wall of silence seems to be the Maginot line for those who wlil not see the present freed from the past. 12 The Texas Observer Franklin Jones The refrain of Dixie has become the approach of some of our journalists who surely know the truth, but in some illusory sense of self-justificationto avoid troublefail or refuse to report it. A group of white teenagers ride through the colored section of town throwing rocks at houses. Pretend it did not happen, “Look away, look away, look away, Dixieland.” Young people sit in the white section of the movie house, just under the colored balcony. Objects are thrown up at colored targets by them, and cushions are thrown down on the whites in return. After much more of this, a midnight show ends and a small racial fracas breaks out, and mills toward the courthouse some two blocks away before it is broken up by the police. Say nothing, we can’t admit there is friction, “Look away, look away, look away, Dixieland!” The Negro leaders find unanimous backing from a large audience in demanding more than the bi-racial committee and school board have been willing to give. They resolve to boycott a local fair. During the entire fair week, no Negro attends on a paid admission, or at best a mere trickle takes the place of the flood of attendance of former years. Ignore the meeting, and report that attendance at the fair was off due to a rainy day, when the sprinkle scarcely settled the dust. The fair may not be able to make another opening, but sweep it all under the rug, “Look away, look away, look away, Dixieland!” If concessions are made to Negroes, and some of their complaints met, hide the progress from public knowledge, lest the men of good will be debased by being called “nigger lovers.” Up the racists, down the revolt of 1963; fog the air, bring out the blinders, “Look away, look away, look away, Dixieland!” This turning of the gaze, this denial of reality, at one and the same time deceives the searcher after truth and gives a field day to the hate mongers, who are ever ready to supply ugly rumors to fill the vacuum that should be filled with hard facts. “They” say Martin Luther King came to Birmingham directly from a communist meeting. “They” say that the communists bombed the 16th Street Church to discredit the segregationists and weaken America by bringing about integration. The same “they” say that the Negroes planted all of the earlier bombs in Birmingham to gain sympathy for their movement. When, oh when, will journalists in the heated environs of changing racial relations and conceptions find the fortitude to face facts and report news? When will they realize that the local suppression of news of racial frictions often results in unsuppressible national news of bombings, race murders, tear gas, police dogs, and fire hoses? When will “Look away, look away” become the reportorial “Look at this, look at this”? AMERICAN INCOME LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY OF INDIANA Underwriters of the American Income Labor Disability Policy Executive Offices: P. O. Box 208 Waco, Texas Bernard Rapoport, President WV