The Charlotte News
TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 1940
Site Ed. Note: "Title", as well as other similar editorials preceding and following this day, are more detailed accounts of Cash's statement in The Mind of the South: "And Huey Long was dead and his gang in prison or on the way to prison. But there was Bilbo, of Mississippi, in the Senate and proposing to solve the problems of the South by deporting all its Negroes to Africa; and Robert Rice Reynolds, of North Carolina, posing as the great champion of the people, but doing nothing for them except attempting to stir them to as crusade of hatred against aliens, of which his state had the smallest proportion in the nation." (Mind, Book III, Chapter III, section 22, p. 422) Undoubtedly, Cash penned this sentence, the only mention of favorite editorial target Robert Rice Reynolds, just seven pages from the end of the book, during this period of mid-June, a little more than a month before he would finally finish the manuscript.
We Can Show Sympathy for Allies Clearly In This
There's a good deal of frustration about these days. "Why don't we do something?" is the question everybody asks.
With mounting horror and anger, we watch the Nazi horde sweep through France, toward England, and eventually toward ourselves. And we want to do something fully to express our sympathy with the Allied peoples, at a recognition at long last that their cause is our own also. A great many of us write or wire the President insisting on ever greater aid for the Allies. Many more write and wire demanding that we go to war at once, as the best way of defending ourselves.
But the response seems maddeningly slow and inadequate. Washington, remembering its politics, moves with the ponderosity of a balky circus elephant. The little dribble of planes we are able to turn out to the Allies is plainly hopelessly inadequate, and there is no sign yet that the output is increasing at any noticeable rate. More and more money is appropriate. But to the layman's eye it seems to be going to work at a snail space. Moreover, there is no agreement as to what we really ought to do.
On one thing, however, we can agree. There are three million refugees in France at this moment. These people must be fed, clothed and housed if they are not to die. France can't do it. The Red Cross has asked the country for $30,000,000 with which to do it. Of that Mecklenburg County's share is $20,000. About thirteen cents for each person in the county.
Contributing to this fund is something concrete we can do to show our sympathy with the French. And if we let the drive fail, our professed desire to do something is going to look pretty empty.
A Gentleman of the South Who Made His Way
The life history of the late DuBose Heyward was essentially like that of many other Southern aristocrats of his period.
Born into one of the best of the Charleston families, he was to have no silver spoon. In Charleston in the 1880's, silver spoons were rare. The old wealth was gone and a living had to be made, pride or no pride.
Heyward's father died when he was two. At nine he was selling newspapers. At fourteen, he left the public schools to go to work in a hardware store. At twenty he was a checker in a cotton warehouse on the Charleston waterfront. For him there would be no colleges and universities, and a literary career seemed altogether out of the question.
But that was what he wanted and that was what he got. At 38 he appeared as a poet, in collaboration with Hervey Allen, who was afterwards to win fame with "Anthony Adverse." And in 1925 his first novel, "Porgy," was to raise him to the status of a man of letters of international importance.
There was a term which used to be common--"broken-down aristocrat." What is suggested was not merely the loss of wealth and power but the decadence of the scions of the old gentry. And decadence there was in some cases. But many of the old families of such places as Charleston have gone on proving that, far from being decadent, they were made of the stoutest stuff. Heyward was not the exception. He was almost typical.
Politicians Murdered France; Who Will Save America?
Sixty days ago, it would have been utterly incredible. Nobody would have believed that the best army in the world, with an impregnable fortress line between it and the enemy, could have been penetrated and driven back almost at will.
We know differently now, to our everlasting sorrow and dismay. In two short months or less, France has been overrun, its millions of fighting men a futile defense against another army encased in steel.
And these men, the dead and the living, have a claim, a terrible, unenforceable claim, against the succession of their masters who sent them out to fight nakedly for the France that the weakness, the pliability, the stupidity of those masters betrayed.
When they come to write the epitaph of La Belle Patrie, let it be carved in stone that she was done to death by the blunders of her politicians. And when they come to write the fateful chapter of America, let us make sure as far as we can that no similar betrayal awaits us.
This Idea Seems To Have A Fatal Flaw In It
It has long been apparent that the Achilles Heel of Latin-America was its dependence upon European markets for its products. Culturally and traditionally, it might be pulled through Spain toward Nazism. But that might be over, if we can make it dependent on the United States for its markets. Unfortunately for that, we already have unwieldy surpluses of most of the things Latin-America produces.
The cartel idea being talked in Washington now represents an attempt to escape from that dilemma. What it proposes is the organization of a giant corporation to buy up the chief Latin-American products, as wheat, beef, coffee, cotton, and copper-and re-sell them to Europe. Idea is to rescue the Latins from having to trade with the Nazis through the barter system, a form of trading which is always accompanied by Nazi political pressure.
It is expected that we might lose as much as half a billion dollars a year in the deal. But if it would work to keep the Nazis from getting control in Latin-America, it would be cheap insurance. And it is not improbable that the Latins themselves would welcome it. For nobody likes to be paid in more aspirin than you can use for a decade, and guns for which parts and ammunition cannot be had, and saxophones.
But there is one obvious hole in the idea. The Nazis have no way to pay much for these goods save in those very goods they would otherwise barter to the Latins. Which means that we should have a flood of cheap goods which would certainly compete with our own industry to a considerable extent, and which would set up such a cry of anguish from the high tariff boys as this earth has never heard before.
How a Hero Has Come By a Designation
The pals and admirers of Robert Rice Reynolds have taken to calling him "The Hero of the Hill."
No, not that they mean to infer that Robert Rice ever led any actual army charge up a hill with cannon roaring to meet him. Long ago Robert did sometimes appear on a charger in cavalry parades in Asheville. In those days he was a captain in the National Guard. But he resigned his commission about the time trouble started in Mexico and showed no further interest in matters military.
It is another kind of feat which has earned Robert his title. The hill referred to is Capitol Hill. And he is called hero because of his success in leading the charge against aliens. Under his leadership, the Senate has passed a bill to wreck the iron and steel industry at a time when it needs to be going full blast by making it a crime for any interstate employer to have more than ten per cent of aliens among its employees. And another to get a good many entirely harmless persons sent back to Europe to die in concentration camps. Seventy more anti-alien bills are on his program.
None of these bills makes the slightest attempt to distinguish between sheep and goats among the aliens. All go after the innocent as well as the guilty. Which is exactly what Robert wants. The whole drive is simply an attempt to take advantage of the national alarm to the end of stirring up a crusade of hate against aliens. And when you get a crusade of hate against aliens going, it will be easy to get a crusade of hate going against Jews or Negroes or labor unions or what have you. The charge "The Hero of the Hill" is leading is actually a charge straight toward Fascism.
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