The Charlotte News

Thursday, May 22, 1947


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Greenville, S.C., the all-white jury had the previous night acquitted all 28 remaining defendants in the trial for murder by lynching on February 17 of Willie Earle, who had been arrested on the morning of February 16 for stabbing to death a cab driver, T. W. Brown, in Greenville the night before. The acquittals came despite 26 written statements from the defendants implicating each other in the lynching and several stating that Carlos Hurd had been the trigger man who finally shot to death Mr. Earle by blowing his head off with a shotgun.

These white-trash reprobates and the white-trash jurors who dared to free them will find the going tough, perhaps, when they reach death. Thou shalt not kill applies to white trash also, no matter how stupid and illiterate they are.

Ditto for their white-trash "legal counsel" shysters who presented reprehensible "arguments" designed to appeal to white trash reprobate illiterates, deliberately seeking to reach base, irrational emotions, knowing that such feelings, that Willie Earle was no more than a stock animal to be put down at the first sign of rabidly rearing up against his master, had been bred into them generationally since prior to the Civil War, and that no quality education had intervened since to staunch such madness at its roots with rationality and redirection of the killing urge into creativity. Instead of presenting sensible, dignified arguments in the face of such overwhelming evidence against their clients, seeking mitigation on the grounds of the defendants' lack of education, some not being able to write even their names, and consequently enraged animalistic passions with insufficient cooling time or resort to better fettle within higher mettle to attenuate those passions, thus hoping for verdicts of voluntary manslaughter, some of their number sought, instead of beseeching justice and fairness at the bar, rather to gain their clients' freedom in tyranny to play demi-gods again, as any tinpot dictator with power to decree life and death at whimsy, through the only means available to them, their slavering jaws venally and sanctimoniously seeking vindication through nullification, that Willie Earle was no man but rather a "mad dog", fully deserving death at the hands of the mock-saviours of the race of the only true men, white men. For to these men, if it were not so, if they could not directly wreak retribution for the unmitigated murder of one of their gilt caste, accorded special favor by virtue of licensure, then they were no men, but emasculated, impotent swine, no better than a murdering nigger.

One eminent lawyer of a firm who had declined representation of any of the defendants expressed shame at the verdict, though recognizing that a majority of the community were glad of it.

All of the white trash defendants, 26 of whom were taxi drivers, were jubilant at the verdict and returned to their jobs.

No white person had been convicted in South Carolina for killing a black person in nearly a century, and so the verdict came as little surprise.

The nine-day trial had established a first, however, in any Southern state, for whatever good that did.

No one will ever know as a result of these reprobate bastards whether Willie Earle was in fact guilty of the murder or simply a scapegoat for the white trash urges to kill.

It was this sort of mentality which allowed the lynching with impunity of 14-year old Emmett Till in Money, Mississippi, eight years later for doing nothing, and of the three civil rights workers, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and James Chaney, in Philadelphia, Mississippi, in June 1964, for doing nothing more offensive or subversive than trying to register black voters.

In Forrest City, Ark., a female taxi driver was found by the roadside with her throat cut and appearing to have been raped.

In Sylvania, Ga., a black man, 25, was convicted of raping a white woman and sentenced to die in the electric chair. At least, he got a trial.

He was also accused, but not tried, on a charge that he had stopped a stolen truck with the woman he had raped crouching on the floor, halted a car and raped a second woman, locked her and her child in the trunk, and then proceeded several miles in another stolen car before being captured by two youths.

A mob had gathered after his arrest, but the Sheriff informed them that he had been removed and taken to the State Prison—which was the only reason he got a trial.

The President signed the 400-million dollar Turkish-Greek aid bill, the cornerstone of the Truman Doctrine. Greece was to receive 300 million dollars of the money, divided equally between military aid and relief and rehabilitation.

The Senate voted by unanimous consent to postpone until June 10 action on the four billion dollar proposed tax cut. Fiscally conservative Senators Walter George of Georgia and Harry Flood Byrd of Virginia were insistent that a tax cut should only come if there were first substantial cuts of like amount or more in the budget to allow for substantial payments against the wartime debt.

The Veterans Administration stated that an estimated 200,000 World War II veterans had knowingly or unwittingly received benefits to which they were not entitled. The situation had, however, improved in recent months because of more thorough investigations. Veterans who were either employed or attending school were collecting unemployment benefits both from state and Federal sources.

The Navy stated that a complete blood count had been ordered for all military men who had participated the previous July in the Bikini Atoll atom bomb tests, Able and Baker. The order applied to between 35,000 and 40,000 participants in the tests. The check-ups were described as routine and no ill effects had thus far been found in the men.

The D.A.R. voted to oppose turning over public lands to private ownership, as being attempted in the Western states. They also favored a permanent WAC corps for the peacetime Army.

Martha Truman, the President's 94-year old mother, was progressing nicely in her recovery. The President remained at her side.

In Las Vegas, Dorothy Parker was sued for divorce by writer Alan Campbell, who claimed estrangement and mental cruelty from their wartime separation. Prior to the war, they had been a film writing team.

In Hollywood, Roland Winters was selected to be the new Charlie Chan, a character made famous by the late Warner Oland and then by Sidney Toler, who had died the prior February.

Also in Hollywood, actress Yvonne De Carlo called off her engagement to actor Howard Duff, for his like and her dislike of nightclub parties.

On the editorial page, "Everybody Talks About Taxes...." tells of taxes continuing to be passed and implemented by states and localities despite talk of reduction of taxes. The need for revenue drove the engine.

"The Elimination of Grade Crossings" discusses the recent series of aerial photographs on the front pages of The News, showing troublesome grade-crossings in Charlotte. R. F. Beasley, Editor of the Monroe Journal, had observed that the State Supreme Court had long ago ruled that the wagon roads took precedence over the railroad right-of-ways because the former predated the existence of the railroads. By the same logic, he reasoned, railroads took precedence over automobile roadways.

The piece suggests that, regardless, there was a need to eliminate the problematic surface-level crossings, and it favors eliminating all of them in Charlotte with overpasses or underpasses. The railroads did not like them either. But there were considerable engineering difficulties to be overcome in accomplishing the task. It would require cooperation between the City and the railroads, and probably shared costs.

"The Propagandists Must Register" comments on new legislation in the state passed in the previous session of the Legislature, sponsored by State Senator Gordon Gray, to require propagandists to register with the Secretary of State. Thus far, only two such organizations had done so and a few others were seeking information on the law. Secretary of State Thad Eure was allowing the organizations themselves to determine whether they were required to comply. The law, says the piece, needed clarity and, it being a law which served a valid public function, hopes that it would be amended in the next Legislature.

A piece from the New York Times, titled "An Overnight Arrival", tells of the unusually quick arrival of spring after late frosts. Suddenly everything was in bloom and blossom, "as though time lost its meaning—for a few days."

Drew Pearson informs of building and loan lobbies actively trying to block public housing legislation. As example, he tells of lobbyist Morton Bodfish engineering the appointment of new Congressman Charles Fletcher to the Banking & Currency Committee. Mr. Bodfish advocated the sale of emergency war housing built by the Government to large real estate interests. Chat Paterson of the American Veterans Committee wanted the housing available for purchase by veterans and localities for use by low-income tenants. But the building and loan representatives objected that such a program was socialized housing.

Mr. Paterson stated that private industry had failed in its promise to build housing once controls were removed in 1946. The building industry contested the contention.

President Truman heard frank talk on his domestic and foreign policies at the latest White House gathering of Democratic Party leaders from around the country. A committeewoman from Utah stated that many voters opposed the Truman Doctrine and were worried that too many military men were being appointed to high level positions. Western state leaders generally, however, supported the Doctrine but also believed that an exemplary liberal democracy at home was the best way to fight Communism abroad.

There was concern expressed over a witch-hunt in the Government which might discourage liberals from serving. The President denied there would be any such thing while he was in office. He asserted that Communists were very conservative, serving conservative masters.

A former Congressman and Governor of New Mexico, Jack Dempsey, reminded the President that the Republicans had labeled Democrats Communists for the social security legislation, which the President readily recalled. Now they were all for it.

Marquis Childs, still in Albany, N.Y., tells of Governor Dewey and his economic team holding back on dipping into the State's half-billion dollar surplus, accumulated during the period of high taxes and prosperity of the war, to replace worn out public buildings, some of which in New York City dated from the Civil War and were fire-traps. Their reasoning was that construction costs were 100 percent above pre-war levels and thus the fund would only stretch half as far, prompting them to await reduction in prices of construction. Moreover, contractors were not bidding on public projects as they wanted to capitalize on high-paying private jobs. Unemployment was rising in the building trades in New York City.

The metropolis suffered debt and high costs, looked thus to the State for aid. Mayor William O'Dwyer expressed concern about the condition of the subway system and wanted some of the State fund to rehabilitate it. That plan, however, did not fit Governor Dewey's program.

He had worked with the Legislature to raise teacher salaries in the wake of the Buffalo teachers strike earlier in the year. The salaries now ranged between $2,000 and $4,100 per year, and higher in larger communities of more than 100,000 population. In New York City, the range was $2,500 to $5,125. The State was carrying the bulk of the burden for the increases but had left some of it for the counties and cities to raise, to which there had been objection at the local level.

The Governor and his team were playing a political game by rules they had set up long before. It was unlikely they would change the rules save in unforeseen circumstances forcing their hand.

Joseph and Stewart Alsop contribute a joint piece, the first such piece since their alternating syndicated column began appearing in The News April 2, discussing the phony colloquy regarding tax and budget reduction. Individuals did no harm by fancying themselves to be poached eggs. But it was dangerous for the political leaders to indulge in such fancy.

Research into the new weapons, guided missiles and supersonic aircraft, was taking central stage in the budgets for the armed services. More drivel had issued regarding "pushbutton" wars than any other single subject. Such was not a possibility in 1947 but might be ten years hence, provided enough investment in time and research would be made. Large wind tunnels had to be constructed for both missiles and aircraft. These wind tunnels required enormous power supplies, such as at TVA or Boulder Dam, necessitating a capital investment of a billion dollars over a period of three to five years, with annual operating expenses in the hundreds of millions. Such outlays for this research were not included in the original budget proposals for the Army and Navy. So the question remained whether the Congress would appropriate the funds in a session marked by seeking budget restraint and cuts.

If no counter-measures were undertaken with respect to the anticipated monetary crisis, then the Greek-Turkish aid program and other such programs would go for naught. These programs might require as much as 20 billion dollars to be fully implemented. The Export-Import Bank was lacking in wherewithal to provide funding. The President was seeking an emergency fund from the Congress for use between sessions. Senator Arthur Vandenberg, however, had stated that no more money would be allocated for use abroad during the current session.

It was believed that 500 million dollars would be needed for Korea, alone, and thus cutting off further funding was putting the country's security at risk by allowing the rest of the world to flounder in a time of necessary rebuilding. It was all at the behest of fiscal conservative, Congressman John Taber of New York.

A letter responds to two letters of May 17 which had labeled Prohibition a failure in the 1920's. This correspondent elaborately proceeds to try to defend it, saying that the crime in the Twenties and early Thirties was only petty by comparison to the enormous liquor-related bootlegging ongoing since 1933 and repeal of national Prohibition.

There is a bridge for sale also...

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