A Letter to Marshall \(Readers will recall that Jack Cargill, Jr., graduate history student at the University of Texas and member of a family that has lived in East Texas 120 years, wrote, for our East Texas issue, an article on a residential wall between the races in Marshall, and that the issue also contained the first two chapters of his honors thesis on the economic and social decline of East Texas. Cargill has sent a letter to the editor of the Marshall News-Messenger that is self-explanatory, and which we print here. The Marshall editor was reported, at our press time, to be planning to run a OPEN LETTER TO THE CRITICS AND FRIENDS OF JACK CARGILL, JR: I understand that my name has become a dirty word in Marshall; that I angered several people with a letter to this column on July 22, and that the whole town seems to be incensed with an article of mine in the September 6 issue of the Texas Observer. For this situation I am sorry. A leading local power has, I am told, been feverishly circulating reproductions of the issue; certain “friends” of mine and my family’s have revealed their true natures by their recent actions; and many genuine friends have been far too silent. That I expressed sorrow at the situation is not to be construed as an apology, for I have done nothing either illegal or immoral, merely something highly unpopular. Let it be noticed that my severest critics, who would piously proclaim their “Americanism,” would give that name to: attacking freedom of expression, advocating disobedience to federal law, and organizing hate campaigns. The ones who would label me a “subversive” would themselves subvert every liberty, every decency, of the American way of life. They would not give such attention to another publication of mine in the same periodical \(Texas Obother writer for his soft line on the communists. In short, though a lot of decent people have been swayed by their actions, the leaders of the smear campaign have no motive except to crush someone who seems to be critical of the present local situation while he is still too weak to fight back. I trust that in time I shall deserve their estimate of my potential. Think, my friendsI have done nothing but advocate a policy of honesty, decency, and self-examination ; many of you may disagree with me on the factsbut how would you like it if for that reason I decided, and had the power, to crush you? If our republic cannot tolerate constructive criticism, is it a republic or a despotism? If our city cannot, then what is it? My life is my record, and anyone who knows me can attest to my honesty and fairness; I ask them now to do so, publicly. Among my dearest friends are many with whom I disagree on the most vital of issuesbut civilized men do not try to force others to their way of thinking. There have been people hurt inadvertently by my descriptions of groups of which they are membersthe school superintendent and certain members of the school board, the Marshall high school principal, some clergymen and teachers, some ordinary businessmen and citizens. “Texas Squanders Non-English Resources” is the title of the October, 1963, Texas Foreign Language Association Bulletin, published by the University of Texas in cooperation with the Modern Language Association of America. In an article by the Bulletin’s managing editor, Mildred Boyer, Jacques Wilson’s challenge [“An Appalling Waste,” Obs. Aug. 23 ’63] on the subject of bilingual public education is taken up and amplified. The Bulletin concludes: Non-English languages are not unAmerican. For the proper pedagogical, psychological, and social development of the Spanish-speaking child, Spanish as the initial medium of instruction, and continued study of Spanish as his mother tongue, is essential and right. Cultivation and conservation of the Spanish in our Spanish-speaking population is in the national interest.” Thirty-one counties in Texas reported an enrollment of 50% or more Spanish-surname pupils in 1957, said the writer. Texans who have a native control of Spanish are the state’s largest single foreign language resource. They “are our best hope for communicating with the Spanish-speaking world outside our borders,” it is stated. The state’s program to teach pre-school Spanish-speaking children English is reducing their retentions in the first grade, but is not yet solving their special problems for later grades. It “is concentrating on too limited a time-span and on only one-half of the question,” the article says. The developing program to set up a sixmonth curriculum for migrant children apparently, the article observes, “will be devoted to ‘Americanism’ by the exclusive use of English.” The planners “fail to recognize . . . that when an initial educational foundation in his mother tongue is denied a For these unintended wrongs I humbly apologize. But as for any insult given to hypocrites, or hatemongers, or turncoat “friends,” or people who would stoutly refuse to face reality, I would only make a hypocrite of myself by expressing any regret for criticizing them. It was Patrick Henry who said: “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?” and Thomas Jefferson who wrote: “Let those flatter who fear : it is not an American art.” To the degree of anti-Americanism in these sentiments, I plead guilty, and to no more. JACK CARGILL, JR. child, his success in operational skills such as reading and arithmetic is seriously prejudiced,” the Bulletin declares. “If the average performance in the regular public school of Texas .is two failures in the first grade for the . Spanish surname child,” the writer says, “one can anticipate with horror the statistics to be recorded in the new program for migrant children, whose mobility and short school term must be added to the already existing obstacles confronting this group.” Discussing the procedure of requiring Spanish-speaking children to do all their learning, from grade one, in English, the article says: “How wrong this procedure is can be understood if we imagine for a moment what it would be like if our English-speaking youngsters in the primary grades received all their instruction in Spanish. It would be the sheerest heresy for us to present reading and writing in Spanish in grade one. At this stage, to introduce reading and writing in English to the Spanishspeaking child is equally heretical. The order of learning is completely upset.” At the beginning, the writer says, “To English, his foreign language, he [the Spanish-speaking child] should be introduced audio-lingually, using materials exclusively designed for the native speaker of Spanish. . . . After a year or so . . . he should be taught reading and writing in English . . . again . . . with materials prepared specifically for him as a learner of a foreign language. . . .” October 18, 1963 13 GLENDALE FUNERAL HOME 1015 Federal Road Houston 15 Phone: GL 3-6373 We Honor All Burial Insurance Ed R. WatsonPresident EUR OPE An unregimented trip stressing individual freedom. Low cost yet covers all the usual plus places other tours miss. Unless the standard tour is a “must” for you, discover this unique tour before you go to Europe. EUROPE SUMMER TOURS 255 Sequoia, Dept. 3Pasadena, California More About a Waste
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