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it will be broken. The election Sept. 7 is a bold and brassy attempt to get around the Supreme Court ruling. If the eight new senators are voted in Sept. 7, Texas will continue to be ruled by the group of oil, gas, insurance, utility and big-rich lobbyists that now are opposing more medical schools, favoring a sales tax on food and year by year eating us up with higher car insurance rates. If there is one good reason to vote against a 39-member Senate Sept. 7, there are a hundred, but just remember one: Your car insurance which was cooked up by the senators who cooked up the Sept. 7 election. 1 Dialogue Why Should I? Re: your query as to why the United States has never pledged to not use nuclear weapons first . . . If you and I each have a six-shooter and you’ve pledged not to use yours, but your teen-age son has seduced my teen-age daughter, poisoned my dog, beat up on my ten-year-old boy and pats my wife on the popo, why in hell should I pledge not to use my six-shooter? Ron Skaggs, Oklahoma City, Okla. The Puzzle Your . editorial, “The Fire This -Time” [Obs. Aug. 20], is the best I have read on the Los Angeles riots. It identifies the sense of despair and hatred which must be recognized as motivating eruptions of this typenot glossed over or excused as many have done. It is good to know, too, that qualified people are concerned with the very great sociological problems which must exist even in a relatively low-density and attractive ghetto such as Watts. It was a little 16 The Texas Observer surprising to read, therefore, that you attribute the breakdown in Negro family life in America to the flight of the father when he finds himself economically unable to support his large family. This may well be an operative factor in many cases, but surely it must be described as a result rather than a cause. I have recently read a much more meaningful suggestion about why the American Negro society is run by the women. It is simply a cultural adaptation forced on the American Negro by the practice of slavery, which was concerned mainly with individuals, not families. For many generations Negroes in America were not allowed to live in family units. It should not surprise anyone that the adult Negro male does not generally have a sense of responsibility about the welfare and progress of his family. For when has he ever seen or known a male “head of household” to emulate? In addition to what many might call a sense of “basic responsibility” about his family as a unit, the American Negro lacks also a general sense of social responsibility. We must remember that the white, AngloSaxon Protestant ethic of hard work, accumulation of money, and social awareness in a particularly materialistic sense is a concept which is limited to a small portion of the Western world. The Negro has never had this tradition as a free man and cannot be expected to assume it readily, especially when it is very much opposed to centuriesold traditions of quite other natures \(some of which we would do quite well to emulate The real tragedy, as you point out, is that we have promised much \(and Southern California may be particularly vulnerdelivered so very little. But most important, we have failed to deliver the knowhowthe training, the slow painful working with children and young familiesthe path to take to the promised land. We have failed to make clear what the real alternative is, and have thus withheld the key to the whole bewildering puzzle; and this feeling of having missed some vital clue must at times become intolerable. It may well account for a large measure of the despair and hatred, was well as for the soothing rhythmic lull of “Burn, baby, burn.” Catherine H. Powell, 1315 E. Mulberry, San Antonio, Tex. The Fire Next Time The rats must have got into your copy of The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin. Baldwin didn’t “just name” the book. On the last page he stated the thesis very clearly, that if “the relatively conscious whites” and “the relatively conscious blacks” do not work “to end the racial nightmare, and achieve our country, and change the history of the world,” we’re going to have all hell to pay.-His last sentence: “If we do not now dare everything, the fulfillment of that prophecy, recreated from the Bible in song by a slave, is upon us: God gave Noah the rainbow sign, No more water, the fire next time!” As for his “messing with the Black Muslims at the time,” I think a more careful rereading will show that while he understood the motivation of the Muslims, he did not agree with them. As he left an interview with Elijah Muhammed in Chicago, Baldwin was on his way to have a drink with some white friends and he thought, of Elijah, “because of what he conceived as his responsibility and what I took to be minewe would always be strangers, and possibly, one day, enemies.” Jim Presley, Box 2025, Texarkana, Tex. \(I stand by what I wrote. My memory did not regard Baldwin’s giving the origin of the title as a sufficient explanation of it, and I believe my memory was correct in this. I know, and so did my memory, that Baldwin formally disavowed the Muslims; but he also conveyed a powerful atDeath Penalty Do-Gooders Wonder what you capital punishment abolisher do-gooders would do now about abolishing capital punishment? Say, for example, the case against the University of Texas student holds up in court. It is said that he has admitted strangling the two coeds. Heor someonedragged their lifeless bodies out of his apartment, into a car, and out to the north side of town, where he ditched them in the weeds of a field, to be bleached out by the sun until they are found days later. The whole community is aghast. Scared. . . . No more heinous crime could have been committed. . . . Isn’t there anyone who believes society needs the full protection of the law? Yes, we must be sure who is the guilty party, but when we are sure, be sure the punishment is made to fit the crime committed. And when we go to bed tonight let us thank God that the state legislature has not abolished capital punishment. Elton L. Miller, 1200 Bentwood Rd., Austin, Tex. The same letter published in Dialogue Aug. 20, “Wright Commended,” from Dean Butler of Ft. Worth, also appeared in the Dallas Times-Herald of Aug. 19. We regret that we did not know in advance that Mr. Butler had sent the same letter to more than one editor; in that case we would not have published it. Advised that a note about this would be included in this issue’s Dialogue, Mr. Butler wrote: If an apology is forthcoming because of a letter I sent to the Observer that was also published in the Dallas Times-Herald, the Ft. Worth Press, and the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, I hereby publicly make such an apology. . . . After releasing this letter to the local papers, I was urged by friends to send a copy to the Observer. Being unsure that it would be printed by any of these papers and considering the Observer a statewide newspaper, I sent you a copy. Medicare and the war on poverty being close to my heart, I felt that the more people who knew Mr. Wright’s stand on this, the better.Dean Butler, 3709 Neches St., Ft. Worth.