The Charlotte News
Monday, June 10, 1940
Site Ed. Note: The "Red Scare" piece points up how outrageously absurd paranoia, or just the excuse to vent long pent-up racial hatred, turns itself into a virtual mirror image sometimes of the enemy opposed in time of war or imminent peril. It should be pointed out that Native Americans not only served the country in World War II as soldiers but in a very notable instance an entire tribal unit of Navajo with a language which was sui generis, not understood even by other tribes, aided Naval and Army Intelligence in developing a fool-proof coding device for delivery of secret messages, a crucial device especially in those times when there were no computers, no secure telephone or telegraph lines which could not be easily tapped at any point along the line, and studied decryptors at the other end busily trying to unravel every code developed, on either side.
As many of these editorials point out, a free society's worst enemy may sometimes be members of the society itself dividing to privately conquer, out of sheer personal avarice of one sort or another.
The Jackal Springs
Mussolini Destroys the Good Name of Italy and Takes Her on the Road To Certain Destruction
The jackal has followed his instincts. As for the speech in which he attempted to justify himself, it is beneath contempt. The statement that Italy has sought peace is a lie, and all the earth knows it.
For sixteen years this man has blackmailed Europe under threat of war--never daring to strike until the stronger scoundrel had arisen in Germany and paved the way.
The act is the most cowardly and despicable in history. Western men have always loved and respected Italy. Western civilization as we have known it was born there. At Rome took place the synthesis of Greek, Roman, and Christian thought which was to make a pattern for 2,000 years. But Italy today turned her back upon her own and marched out to join the crusade for barbarism being waged by the brute horde from the North. Today Italy has drawn upon herself the contempt of every decent man left on earth--a contempt she will never live down, a contempt that no amount of boasting and strutting in the hour of victory, if it comes to her, will atone for.
But in reality no victory can come to her. If Hitler wins, she will be his prisoner. And she will be able to boast and strut only as a servant boasts and strides in his master's name in the servant's hall. The doom of Italy has sounded, whatever the outcome of this war.
Let us not, however, assume that Hitler is going to win in the end. To say it is to say that the spirit of man has died, to grant that we have grown so soft that to keep on living we will accept the destruction of every value by which we have lived and consent to become brutalized slaves for the glorification of a gang of swine sitting in the great ugly city of Berlin.
Before the monstrous new fanaticism which sweeps over Europe toward us, we shall have to achieve fanaticism of our own--a fanatical determination that freedom and decency shall not be destroyed from the earth. England and France seem already to be achieving it, and it is likely that every foot of France that Italy passes over will be paved with Wop dead.
The men who stand and fight now--their battle, our battle, and the battle of all the earth--are performing a work as devoted as that of any scientist who inoculates himself with disease to save humanity from a plague. There are times when killing is a necessary cleansing thing, there are creatures whose existence on earth is incompatible with the existence of humanity as humanity. Rattlesnakes, tigers, Fascists, Nazis.
Hitlerism will not win if we will that Hitlerism shall not win. If we cannot rise to that will, then we shall deserve our fate.
Will the Boys Like This One As Well As in Past?
It is a pity that it had to come to a generation which prefers to imitate the Dead End kids to Deadwood Dick and Buffalo Bill. Still maybe they can be roused out of it.
Mr. John Collier, Indian Commissioner, tells the reporters at Secretary Ickes' press conference that the Nazis are going after the Indians--the old red Indians of America--for Fifth Columnists. Adolf has ruled that these Indians are "Aryans." The anthropologists, indeed, long ago ruled that they are in fact Monguls, and so just as "Aryan" as your Chinese laundryman. But Adolf, of course, knows best.
In South and Central America, says Mr. Collier, Adolf's agents have been doing exceptionally well among the 30,000,000 Indians residing there. Among the 351,000 in these states, not so well. Still, they have done well enough to set off some noisy demonstrations here and there.
And in our time as boys that would have been quite enough. Imagination would probably have conjured up a vision of the redskins descending upon the nation in stealthy scalping raids, burning and slaying, while our hero--being of course ourselves--slew them in a manner worthy even of a Nazi at each report of Old Betsy, the trusty muzzle-loader.
But perhaps we despair too easily of the imagination of the boys of the time. After all, since we come to think of it, the old horse opera seems to be still greatly in favor at the theaters.
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