Although many Negroes have just cause for being impatient and disenchanted with white liberals, I believe we are very misguided if we think we will get better results by joining the ranks of conservative whites. It is hard for me to imagine a more grotesque and ridiculous sight than a Negro talking about “conserving” and not disturbing too much the status quo. I am not suggesting that the American ideals be changed, only the practices that belie those ideals. An individual Negro may personally gain much for himself by being an accomplice of conservative whites, but he can hardly expect many gains to accrue to the Negro masses from such a course of action. Many a well-to-do Negro would like to sever his kinship with the impoverished Negro masses. A black snob is the most monstrous and ridiculous snob I know. Nevertheless, most Negro snobs depend upon their livelihood from the underprivileged black masses. This dependence breeds contempt, not compassion. . . . The same forces and accidents operate in the white class structure, and the well-todo whites are guilty of the same sins. The major difference between the white poor and the Negro poor is that the latter have their problem compounded by their color. This should cause the well-to-do Negro to be more sympathetic. But how sympathetic an animal is homo sapiens? Of course, as Steinbeck has pointed out somewhere, Americans expect Negroes to act more nobly and selflessly than whites. I hate to say it, but only a little of the good in the American Negro has been inspired by the whites and much of the -bad has been caused by the whites… . The values that transcend a particular person’s well-being go beyond the race 16 The Texas Observer question. They comprise social and job security, a minimum standard of living, and medical care for all needy human beingswhite and black. A dedicated and vibrantly militant Negro must be concerned about more than the welfare of himself or even the Negro. He must be concerned about the welfare of all the underprivileged. The Negro problem cannot be solved isolated from the problem of automation and perennial unemployment. Yet, the self-satisfied Negro, like many of his affluent white brothers, self-righteously feels that his Negro brothers should go out and be lucky enough to improve their lots, maybe even inherit a store. Kenneth S. Tollett, 3822 Palm, Houston, Tex. Willfully Into Darkness Thanks for printing the transcript of Editor Dugger’s UT debate with Wild Bill Buckley. I’d say R.D. did quite well, considering he had to batter against Buckley’s Massive shield of anti-humanity with mere intelligence and feeling; however I’m afraid that little good comes of such effort. A man who thinks he must tell Castro \(a not see that racial violence is caused not by a Negro demanding his rights but by the racist responding with firehoses and dogs, a man who assumes that World War II could never have been won without the complete obliteration of Dresden, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, is hopelessly lost in darkness, plunging ever willfully away from the light. . . . Harris Green, 331 West 87th St., New York 24, N.Y. The Radical Choice of Death I enjoyed reading the debate between you and Mr. Buckley. You both did a good job of presenting and defending your respective convictions. It seems to me, however, that Mr. Buckley pressed his arguments about weapons and war on the assumed basis of the earcatching phrase, “better dead than red,” as if no other choice was possible. What happened to democracy along the way? Is it eliminated because communism is in the world? Aren’t there really many choices besides these? One can choose to be red \(a term applied by a few to all who are slightly to the democratic, cautious, free, and alive \(with choose to be bellicose \(which possibly could cause him to soon be dead along with Honestly, Mr. Buckley, most of us had rather be democratic and alive than either dead or red! If we are to be democratic we must explore every possibility for an honorable and safe peace. We can always fall back to the radical last-ditch choice of death when all else has failed. And about that apple. . . . \(It must have been a taffy apple since it was stuck in the advocated taking the apple away from anybody who has it and wants to eat it himself, but if a person puts his apple up for saleat a specific price or the highest bidwhy let him have the freedom to discriminate against the first customer who has the price? When the private apple is offered for sale, the purchase of the apple becomes a public privilege. Let the apple peddler who does not want to serve the public take his sign down and keep his apple for private and personal use! Howell Watkins, Box 507, Fluvanna, Tex. A ‘Nosy’ Clergyman I have long held that American funeral practices were not Christian, nor in the tradition of our people, nor anything else but expensive, in poor taste, and about as beautiful as dime store gee-gaws. Miss [Jessica] Mitford is quite correct in her observations concerning the pressures applied by undertakers to the survivors at a time when they are in no shape to resist. I have been concerned with funerals in five different towns, ranging from small to very large. The pressure is there, from the well arranged display rooms to cramming unwanted services down the throats of the survivors. Until things change drastically, it is going to take something more than an invitation for coffee to keep this “nosy” clergyman out of the coffin selection room. If you think Miss Mitford was exaggerating about the cheap merchandise being kept in the garage, stay calm. I was there when they tried to sell a widow, who had been making the living for herself and invalid husband by baby-sitting, one of the most expensive funerals possible. Grave-robbing has just assumed a different form .. . Rev. Paul T. Chapman, the Methodist Church, Water Valley, Tex. A Simple Solution With all the talk about the high cost of funerals, it should be of interest that the Southwestern Medical School is willing to accept bodies for student study, and the expense of burial or cremation of the remains later is borne by the school. This is open for persons within 200 miles of Dallas. I know of a couple who prefer a simple memorial service to a formal funeral with the corpse present and with flowers. They also prefer cremation. \(Their family situation is such that their wishes will be to the Dallas Eye Bank and their bodies to the Southwestern School. There will be no expense to their estate. They have simply signed will blanks sent by the school and returned them. They each carry a card stating where the body should be sent in case of sudden death. It’s that simple. Persons interested in this idea should Write Dept. of Anatomy, Southwestern Medical School, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, Tex. Carl Brannin, 5614 Ridgedale, Dallas 6, Tex.