Page 7


could be counted on to exchange reassurance of the white leaders for a position of some respect and influence in a shadow zone between the world of white and Negro. Arguing that the McCone commission’s viewpoint was legalistic, rather than sociological, Blauner cited the threat to the young Negro’s manhood as an overlooked factor and theorized that militant rights groups, as well as spontaneous street riots, offered an affirmation of a young Negro man’s “Negro-ness” as well as the manliness threatened by his subordinate role in the world of white commerce. The soldiers in wars are men, and despite the roles of women sociologists and politicians on the Houston Negro scene, the shirtsleeve or ganizer like Joe Rainbolt views the struggle as a man’s struggle. One of the problems of Rainbolt’s neighborhood civic club, he said, is that of the ladies who would like to see the meetings held in “respectable” place \(a living room instead of his in coats and ties instead of their workaday clothes. Rainbolt, who wants a movement, not a “whist party” \(as Negroes call a Blauner concluded that the McCone Commission, in suggesting child training and a healthy respect for the law, ignored the roots of the problem. Oliver O’Conner talks of Kelley’s group’s “nibbling at the edges instead of the guts.” Blauner argued that welfare colonialism and a white middle-class pattern of reform are not the answer and that what is needed is a way to link the values of the white and Negro world. For Houston, perhaps it will come in the community organization planned for this summer, or through a heightened Negro participation in politics. It may be a matter of the child development program, which cannot begin until autumn at the earliest, or of the civilian review board which Negroes want watchdogging the policemen. Or it may be too late. “Everybody’s working. Are they working fast enough?” Fr. Stevens said. “We have to leave that in God’s hands.” L.L. Observations Liberalism’s Low Ebb in Texas Austin Surely this May was the low ebb for liberalism in Texas in statewide elections this decade. The lead horse, ‘Stanley Woods, never caught the eyes of the voters. The state press concluded that he was a minor entry and that Franklin Spears was the only liberal with a chance to win. Covering it that way, they helped make it so, of course. Spears now has a very difficult task in the runoff. Crawford Martin leads him into it, five votes to four, with two who voted for the all-out conservative, Galloway Calhoun, available to join Martin now. Election night Martin said the problem in the runoff is getting out the vote, but, he said, he feels that he has the “advantages” in this effort. Indeed he may: the entire Connally organization, to name one. But Spears also has an opportunity. Stray voters won’t vote in the runoff ; just those who somewhat care. Spears did not turn the liberals on. He could have run against crime without causing as much cynicism; it was that damn whistle blowing that put them off. It was a gimmick, pure and simple, and gimmicks don’t appeal to thoughtful people. To win in the runoff Spears, in my judgment, must discuss what really is involved: first, the quite desperate need for at least one powerful office-holder in the statehouse who is independent of Connally’s interwoven, interlocked machine of political control, and second, the need for a man high in state government who is for the peoplefor the war on poverty, civil rights, Yarborough, and all that. The things to be learned by the statewide returns are the things on the surface. This rock-bottom spring there was a protest vote of 25%. One out of four voters said no to Connally, even though Woods could not have got through to them much, appearing on TV one time early and making little impression in the dailies’ roundups. This anti-Establishment vote in the Democratic primary dropped \(in Monday morning’s 216 thousand for Bill Hollowell for lieutenant governor and 219. thousand for Jack Willoughby for U.S. senator. That means, it appears, that one out . of four of the protest voters didn’t know enough about Texas politics to identify the targets of their displeasure other than Connally. Since Willoughby’s campaign, well-meaning though it was, made no impression even when it was close up to you, his vote was a protest vote, and that’s all. Hollowell probably lost some votes because he voted for the racist bills in 1957 and is from East Texas. Spears was able to run this protest vote from a fourth up to a third in the first primary. Monday morning he had 426 thousand to Woods’ 280. The senator from San Antonio had more money to spend than Woods and was able to turn out middling crowds interested in him as well as in the overall picture; but clearly he has to step faster to win now. Martin can an d expected to increase his labor-baiting, and liberals may be permitted to hope that labor people will take sufficient offense and turn to for Spears with a will, but the crucial difficulty can be solved only by Spears: motivating the national Democrats and the minorities to vote in the runoff. Together, Paul Haring and Puss Ervin thousand votes against Byron Tunnell’s 688 in the semi-final returns. Haring’s brave campaign yielded him just 225 thousand votes; no money, no troops, just the right on his side. Railroad Commissioner Tunnell will think three times before he takes another new Cadillac from his friends; Haring helped educate those he reachednot manyin the realities of the politics of oil in Texas. But he must be terribly discouraged. This is what we have come to: money wins. The money goes to the candidates who please the men with the money. The more truth the candidate has -in him, the less money he gets. As the Observer noted before the pri mary, the commonplace conjecture that the 635,000 new “free” voters would vote liberal did not hold up prospectively under analysis; in the retrospect, with Woods getting in the neighborhood of 280 thousand votes, Spears in the neighborhood of 430 thousand, it all seems, right on the surface, obvious. The problem continues to be communication. No knowledgeable Texan would contend that the citizenry know what the issues are. They have hold of a feW symbols; that’s about it. Day in, day out, they get scraps and fragments in the press. Texas needs a great metropolitan daily newspaper dedicated to the public welfare, such as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. CONSIDER, for instance, the disgusting performance of the once halfway moderate Houston Chronicle. With an editorial misleadingly entitled “A Vote for Albert ThomaS Is a Vote for Mrs. Thomas,” -\(which would have been true only had the Chronicle literally urged citizens to vote for a dead man. Anything to stop Bob Eckhardt! But it didn’t workeven with the Houston Post supporting one Larry McKaskle and Eckhardt won handily. which Is a very good thing for the country. The Chronicle, owned now by John Mecom, plummeted in the esteem of intelligent men. The President lent himself to the campaign for Mrs. Thomas. Bill Kilgarlin, the liberal, lost to the conservative incumbent in Houston, Bob Casey. Frank Briscoe, the right-wing prosecutor, won nomination over John Wildenthal in the county’s third congressional fight. It’s my guess Republican George Bush will take Briscoe handily in November. Regrettably the independent from Lufkin, State Sen. Martin Dies, Jr., lost to right-winger John Dowdy, Athens, 47 to 44 thousand. Ray Roberts knocked Lindley Beckworth out of the Congress, which is May 13, 1966 .5