The Charlotte News
Friday, July 12, 1940
Site Ed. Note: "Immune" presents poignant commentary by Cash on the impunity with which organizations engaged in actively dispiriting, segregating, harassing, and denying rights to large groups of Americans, organizations like the Klan, appeared to operate in the United States in 1940. The coincidence with discussion of an announced discovery by Martin Dies, Texas Congressman heading the House Un-American Activities Committee, of a Texas Bund acting in obeisance to the government of Mexico may write a page of Cash's Will, especially when that is combined with "Pot and Kettle" of August 1, 1940.
It is worth remembering a little obscure history on Mexico in this regard, that against the advice of Robert E. Lee, Matthew Fontaine Maury, of whom Cash makes passing mention in The Mind of the South, led a colony of recalcitrant, thoroughly unreconstructible Confederate emigres from the United States at the end of the Civil War through the late 1860's. While many returned to the north, many stayed and settled permanently in Mexico and took Mexican wives. (Shirt-Sleeve Diplomat, by Josephus Daniels, Chapel, 1941, pp. 338-344) Add this to the large German population in Mexico, plus the contingent of at least 250 bona fide Nazi spies and a volatile mix was quite probable.
The "Vindicators" of which Cash also makes mention was the group whose most prominent voice was isolationist Senator Robert Rice Reynolds of North Carolina, an active target of Cash throughout his last months as editorial writer for The News in 1940-41. Reynolds, incidentally, did in fact in 1941, whether deliberately or not, provide sensitive information on French shipping and ports to a Nazi Abwehr agent.
There Are More Important Fish Than the Bund
Martin Dies proudly announces that he has unearthed a new chapter of the German-American Bund in Texas, which he broadly hints has been working in conjunction with a "nearby government." If he has any proof of that last, he should offer it to the nation at once, for it can mean only Mexico. If he hasn't, he should be careful about such pronouncements, for Mexico is immensely important to us now.
Putting down the Bund is all very well. It is dangerous. But it is not the ultimate danger. All it has succeeded in appealing to so far has been the disloyal element among the Germans in this country. And if all the Germans here turned disloyal and go along with it, it still could not of itself bring about a successful Nazi revolution here.
That can only be done with the active aid of large bodies of native Americans, who have been converted to the Fascist idea. And the people who are doing the best work in preparing the ground for the conversion of these large bodies of Americans to Fascism are those who are busily preaching racial, religious, and ideological hatred and intolerance in the nation.
And of these Martin Dies has never shown any inclination to investigate any but the least important. He has taken Deatherage over the coals mildly. He has made a perfunctory pass or two at Pelley. But he has never shown the slightest interest in investigating the Ku Klux Klan. Or the Vindicators. Or Coughlin. Why?
Why an Unpopular Bill Suddenly Won Victory
The passage of the new Hatch Bill in the House, a move which sends it on its way to the President for his signature, goes almost unnoticed in the press of news about war. But it had a curious career, and its final passage is worth observing.
When it first came up along toward the first of the year, it didn't look to have a chance. The boys, both Democrats and Republicans, were overwhelmingly against it, including those who had been hot for the first Hatch Bill. That one had only made it illegal for Federal employees to engage in active politics and the Republicans and the anti-New Dealers were all in favor of that. The new one makes it illegal for state or county employees who get any part of their pay from Federal funds to engage in politics. That hits, above all, state highway departments, which are the backbone of most state machines. Democratic or Republican. And so all the beneficiaries of those machines were against it. Rep. Hatton W. Sumners and his House Rules Committee even tried to squelch it in secret session, and would have succeeded but for the uproar in the newspapers.
But now it passes, 243 to 122.
Why this amazing about-face? The answer, masters, lies in the fact that 154 of those who voted for it were Republicans. It looks, you see, as though we may have a very close national election. And the outcome may well depend upon the Republican ability to carry a number of states now in the hands of Democratic machines. And if these machines can be crippled by the Hatch measure, the Republican chances will be much better. True, it may involve also crippling of Republican machines here and there also, but the odds in the case will all be in favor of the Republicans. And as against that nothing else counts.
Concerning a New Marvel Of Life in the Seas
What is probably the greatest wonder produced by this war has gone largely unnoticed.
It has long been known by the human race that certain living creatures have the power of restoring lost organs. Cut off a lizard's tail and he promptly grows another. Deprive a crayfish of his leg and he doesn't much mind, seeing that he'll be whole again in short order. Cut some types of worms in two and simply get two new worms, complete to the last detail.
But nobody has ever before believed it can be true of inanimate objects. Nevertheless, there is no longer any doubt that wicked old Albion has solved the problem, probably by a compact with Satan.
Take the Hood, the swift 40,000-ton battle cruiser, whose battery of eight sixteen-inch guns the Germans and Italians particularly dread, because they have nothing to match it. At least five times already the Hood has been put out of commission by bombs according to the German High Command. Yet she always promptly turns up again to sink French navies or to get bombed out of commission once more. Tuesday, the Italians now suddenly remember, she was put out of commission again, this time by an Italian bomb. But we confidently expect to hear of her again in a few days. For she has obviously acquired the secret of the lizard and crayfish and knows how to grow herself whole again within a few hours.
But not even that is the sum of it. The British began this war with fifteen battleships. The Royal Oak was sunk at Scapa Flow, and for some inexplicable reason is still at the bottom of the sea. But since that time, the German High Command has announced the sinking of 21 British battleships. And Wednesday the Italian High Command announced the sinking of another. That seems to make the British Navy a minus quantity by seven battleships, which is absurd in view of the fact that British battleships are eternally turning up to smack down German destroyers in Narvik Fiord, to blast French battleships off Africa, and to chase Italian battleships into the shelter of shore guns.
Obviously, therefore, the only explanation is that British battleships have gone biology one better and have learned the trick of pulling themselves up from the bottom of the sea when sunk and going back to battle with all wounds healed. And in addition they seem to surpass biology in learning how to reproduce themselves, not in miniature but full-size to begin with.
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