The Charlotte News
Thursday, November 21, 1940
A Note Concerning Logic Of Aid-Britain Proposal
The William Allen White Committee and other aid-to-Britain groups are reported to be turning the heat on Congress for the modification of the Neutrality Act so that American ships can carry non-military cargoes to England.
England needs such help badly, and we may have very soon to make up our minds whether we are going to let her go down and try to live alone in a Nazi world or go much further than this proposal about the Neutrality Act.
But it is as well to understand thoroughly what we are doing. If we are going to send ships into the war zone, we are going to send some of them to certain destruction. Military cargoes are no more contraband than food cargoes, and there is no use trying to make the distinction. If the ships go, some of them will perish on mines, and the Nazis are certain to torpedo and bomb a great many more. Such incidents, coming now, are certain to mean war.
There is only one way the ships can be even half safe. That is to have the navy convoy them, with mine sweepers clearing the way. But that will be using our navy to help Britain, and undoubtedly will be treated by Germany as an act of war. And if we are going to use the navy to aid Britain in that fashion, we had as well go ahead and use it in wholehearted fashion. For it might well decide to work quickly by taking Italy to the cleaners and smashing Hitler's dream of invading the Near East.
This is no argument against the modification of the Neutrality Act as proposed. All that and all we envisage in this editorial, and more still, may be necessary if England is to survive and we are not to face Nazism alone. But we are kidding ourselves with all this talk about "measures short of war." We have already committed acts of war against Germany in sending Britain arms of all sorts, including naval ships. And we are heading for more. The American people had better understand that. You can't really be in a war with one foot and out of it with the other.
A Way Out
Pro Football Might Make Colleges Colleges Again
The man was talking about professional football. He had been up to Washington to watch a couple of pro teams play. No, he knew there wasn't much interest in pro football down here in the South as yet, but it would come.
It seems a pretty good idea, and the sooner the better. Interest in football in this region is probably as high, perhaps even higher, than in any other section of the country, unless it is the Middle West and the Pacific coast. And it long ago spilled over out of the group of the alumni and supporters of the colleges. Indeed, these are now only a small fraction of those with a consuming interest in football.
The attempt to satisfy this huge audience's demand for really spectacular play goes far to explain the disproportionate emphasis on the game which now reigns in the colleges. But the loyalty of the non-alumni fans to this or that college is manifestly a purely adventitious thing, and transferring it to professional teams ought to be as easy as it was in the case of baseball, particularly in view of the fact that professional teams would give many more of them a chance to see the game actually played.
And it ought to give the colleges a chance to remember that the production of great triple-threat men is after all only incidental to their primary purpose.
But Decision in Cureton Case Is Gain for Justice
The facetiousness of Associate Justice Winborne, of the North Carolina Supreme Court, in his opinion on the case of the Charlotte Negro, Noah Cureton, might well have been left out. In the course of his life, the Negro had been charged with shooting at three men.
"Unfortunately for him," wrote the Justice, "this seems to be the third strike-and out." No man who is about to die ought ever to be the subject of jests and least of all from this court.
But aside from that unfortunate lapse, the decision that the Negro must die in the gas chamber seems to be eminently just and salutary. The evidence was plain that he was guilty of premeditated murder.
In one respect, indeed, the Negro has ground for complaint. He had almost no reason to believe when he committed the crime that it meant death for himself. For years and years Negroes have been committing first degree murder against other Negroes in Mecklenburg, and North Carolina, and the South generally, and getting off for second-degree murder or manslaughter-sometimes going scot-free, often drawing no worse sentence than a chicken thief.
Only twice in recent memory has a Mecklenburg court sentenced a Negro killer to death. And so Cureton probably feels astonished and aggrieved.
But a beginning has to be made somewhere. Already in this year, Charlotte alone has had more than 40 murders, all but three of them of Negroes by Negroes. That is not to say that Negroes charged with murder ought to be convicted and executed merely by way of example. But it is to say that it should be driven clearly home that Negroes as clearly guilty of murdering other Negroes as Cureton is, may expect to pay the full penalty as certainly as the white murderer of a white man.
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