reports emphasized. But the Negro at Malibu, who has worked with white reformers in Watts, said that all the witnesses he had talked to told of a pregnant Negro woman who was also. involved. A policeman had hit her on the head, “not hard, you know,” and then as she was walking around the front of the police car he had shoved her, and her belly was pushed into the car bumper. That was what the people talked about, he said. He had not seen it himself but he had no doubt that it had happened. Then he told us this: “All right, white man, you violate our women, we’ll throw bricks at you. All right, you won’t let us have jobs, we’ll get you! You won’t let us have jobs that pay enough for us to dress up, we’ll break in your stores and really dress upto a T, you know, top to bottom! Now baby, that’s what they were saying.” Fred and I had wondered to what extent the rioters were acting in rage they understood, so Fred asked if this had been just one man talking or if many Negroes had expressed these kinds of thoughts. “Oh yes, babyoh yes, it was all over.” The Negro was lost in a scene still fresh and vivid in his mind as he told us, “There was this one cat, a real big one, and he was angry. I mean, he wasn’t just high or something, he was angry, and I wouldn’t want to … you know. He broke the window, and went on in. Well, there it was, open, and the people followed him in. But he didn’t grab anything for himself at first, he just went through, and sweeping things off tables onto the floor, and throwing them across the store. Then he picked up what he wanted and got his arms full, and said ‘This place’s got to go,’ and the others did, too, you know, taking things, and then he lit it with a lighter . . . gasoline first, you know. I saw lots of scenes just like that the last three days, lots of them. “Of course, it was illegal, against the law, but you know.” THE TIME MAN wasn’t listening or didn’t recognize what he was hearing when the Negro wife volunteered, in what context I’ve forgotten, that the men don’t run Watts, the women do. “It’s funny,” she said with an odd little shake of her head. Of course she was describing the breakdown of Negro family life. The Negro man can’t support his large family so he becomes a night-cat and the women become the rulers of the families there are. The Negro woman’s husband told us that Negro men were talking differently to each other in Watts during the rioting. “They usually talk low to each other, you know, like they don’t respect each other. But now they talk politeto each other only, you know ; like they usually would do their white employers.” A story in the Los Angeles Times the morning before had told of a recent U.S. labor department report that says that more than five out of every ten Negro children have lived in broken homes by the time they are 18, compared to one out of ten white children. One Negro family out of four is fatherless and one Negro baby out of four is illegitimate. The national birth rate has declined sharply_ for the last three years, probably because of the pill, but during the same three years at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, where the poor of Dallas get their medical care, the births have increased steadily by 400 children a year. The conditions in the ghettoes are getting worse, not better. Fred told me that his analysis of the death rate by census tracts in Los Angeles shows that it is 42% higher in the Watts ghetto than in the rest of the city. “The right to live is also a civil right,” he said. In the same Los Angeles Times of the morning of August 14, a Negro who witnessed the rioting in Watts wrote, “Every time. a car with whites in it entered the area the word spread like lightning down the street: ‘Here comes Whiteyget him!’ The older people would stand in the background, egging on the teen-agers and the people in their early 20’s. Then the young men and women would rush in and pull white people from their cars and beat them and try to set fire to their cars. “One white couple, in their 60’s, happened to be driving along Imperial. . . . They were beaten and kicked until their faces, hands, and clothing were bloody. . . . Those not hitting and kicking the couple were standing there shouting ‘Kill! Kill!’ Finally they turned them loose and an ambulance was called and they were taken away. . . . “Two white men were beaten so badly one man’s eye was hanging out of the socket. Some Negro ministers made their way through the crowd and carried both men into an apartment building and called an ambulance. The crowd called the ministers hypocrites. They cussed them and spit on them. Some Negro officers tried to dis Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorporated the State Week and Austin ForumAdvocate. We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of man as the foundation of democracy; we will take orders from none but our own, conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. Editor and General Manager, Ronnie Dugger. Partner, Mrs. R. D. Randolph. Business Manager, Sarah Payne. . Contributing Editors, Elroy Bode, Bill Brammer, Larry Goodwyn, Harris Green, Franklin Jones, Lyman Jones, Larry L. King, Georgia Earnest Klipple, Willie Morris, James Presley, Charles Ramsdell, Roger Shattuck, Dan Strawn, Tom Sutherland. Charles Alan Wright. Staff Artist, Charles Erickson. Contributing Photographer, Russell Lee. Subscription Representatives: Austin, Mrs. Helen C. Spear, 2615 Pecos, HO 5-1805; Dallas, Mrs. Cordye Hall, 5835 Ellsworth, TA 1-1205; El Paso, Mrs. Jeanette Harris, 5158 Garry Owen Rd., LO 5-3448; Fort Worth, Dolores Jacobsen, 3025 Greene Ave., WA 4-9655; Houston, Mrs. Shirley Jay, 10306 Cliffwood Dr., PA 3-8682; Lubbock, Doris Blaisdell, 2515 24th St.; Midland, Eva Dennis, 4306 Douglas, OX 4-2825; Odessa, Enid Turner, 1706 Glenwood, EM 6-2269; Rio Grande Valley, Mrs. Jack Butler, 601 Houston, perse the crowd, but they were jeered at, sworn at, called traitors and stoned.” A white man whose fiance was struck by a brick thrown through their car window was quoted in this same Los Angele, Times, “It was that look on their faces a look of pure hate. They just kept coming toward our car, and the Negro woman that led them kept screaming, ‘Kill them, kill them, kill them.’ You’ve never seen such hatred. . . . Something has made those people awfully mad to show that much hatred.” AT SANTA BARBARA, W. H. Ferry, vice-president of the Center, was preoccupied with the riots, as we all were, and handed some of us copies of an article of his, “The White Nation and the Black,” that had been published, not in Life or even the Saturday Evening Post, but in Liberation, which had a circulation the last time I saw a figure of about 5,000a fact to reflect upon. In this article, Ferry quoted from the now famous memorandum on the Triple Revolution, which he helped write, that “The Negro’s cfaim to a job is not being met. . . . Jobs are disappearing under the impact of highly efficient, progressively less costly machines,” and went further for his own part, “I believe there is little chance that today’s unemployed Negro will ever again be taken into the private economy.” Ferry quoted Thomas Merton, “We are not really giving the Negro a right to live where he likes, eat where he likes, go to school where he likes, or work where he likes, but only to sue the white man who refuses to let him do these things,” and Ferry added, “We have allowed Negroes into our legal system but McAllen, MU 6-5675; San Antonio, Mrs. Mae B. Tuggle, 531 Elmhurst, TA 6-3583; Cambridge, Mass., Victor Emanuel, 33 Aberdeen Ave., Apt. 3A. The editor has exclusive control over the editorial policies and contents of the Observer. None of the other people who are associated with the enterprise shares this responsibility with him. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them the editor does not necessarily imply that he agrees with them, because this is a journal of free voices. The Observer publishes articles, essays, and creative work of the shorter forms having to do in various ways with this area. The pay depends; at present is is token. Unsolicited manuscripts must be accompanied by return postage. Unsigned articles are the editor’s. The Observer is published by Texas Obseriter Co., Ltd., biweekly from Austin, Texas. Entered as second-class matter April 26, 1937: at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Second class postage paid at Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $5.00 a year; two years, $9.50; three years, $13.00. Foreign rates on request. Single copies 25c; prices for ten or more for students, or bulk orders, on request. Editorial and Business Offices: The Texas Observer, 504 West 24th St, Austin 5. Texas. Telephone GR 7-0746. Change of Address: Please give old and new address and allow three weeks. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Texas Observer Co., Ltd. 1965 A Journal of Free Voices A Window to the South 59th YEAR ESTABLISHED 1906 Vol. 57, No. 16 7 August 20, 1965
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