The Charlotte News

Friday August 23, 1940


Site Ed. Note: For the third time in the month, Cash editorialized on the dark connection between the Klan and the Nazi Party, not something generally discussed or appreciated at that time. As often he did on this subject, Cash used their own racist symbols turned about in the mirror. And, at the same time Cash gave praise in the second editorial to the better aspects of Shelby, where his parents lived at the time, he culled the title of Shelby native Thomas Dixon's original racist novel of 1903, applying the Biblical reference in matter of fact manner to the Klan itself. The editorial is quite humorous to anyone of normal sensibilities, but to Klan members who Cash had already pointed out on August 9 in "An Intruder" were starting a new chapter in Charlotte, it was probably not so funny. Cash was dead within less than a year.

But the Giant Kuku Bell "giving sympathy" to Kuhn--and unable to be rid of his haunting prepossession, his obsession with his grandfather's "Spots", which, being immutable, he himself therefore could do nothing at all about, and so persisted beneath his woodpile--lived on, at least for another four decades or so, until KKK, Inc. was finally, for all intents and purposes anyway, put out of business--by trial lawyers, and quite courageous trial lawyers.

Hocus Pocus

But the Leopard's Spots Can't Be Erased Like This

The love-feast between the New Jersey Ku Klux Klan and the German-American Bund at Camp Nordland last Sunday set off an angry uproar. And so now James Colescott, Imperial Wizard of the Kukus at Atlanta, has ordered the removal of Arthur Bell, Grand Giant of the Jersey outfit.

Colescott, says the Associated Press, declared that Bell had failed "to adhere to the principles and ideals (sic) of the Klan" in allowing an officer of the German-American Bund to appear on the platform at the meeting... "There can be no sympathy on the part of the Bund and the Klan."

But Colescott's action is obviously no more than a play to get the Klan out from under fire by blaming one of its agents. And his words are empty. The unmistakable fact is that there can be sympathy between the Bund and the Klan, that there is inevitably mutual interest between them. And that Giant Bell did not violate the "principles and ideals "of the Klan in allowing the Bund officer on the platform and the Klan speaker's open professions of sympathy for Fritz Kuhn. For the "principles and ideals" in both cases are essentially the same.

The Bund believes in racial hatred, intolerance, taking the law in its own hands, violence, the brutal suppression of its chosen victims and all those who disagree with it. As everyone knows, these are precisely the things the Ku Klux Klan has believed in and practiced ever since its foundation after the World War.

You can take a Senegambian out of the woodpile all right, and whitewash him. But he remains a Senegambian still. And Wizard Colescott's attempts to make the Klan respectable are not going to fool anybody but born boobies.

Shelby's Story

Founding of County and Town Is Celebrated

To our desk comes the hundredth anniversary edition of the Shelby Star, a huge compilation which tells the story of Shelby and Cleveland County from the beginning to the present, and which does signal credit to Publisher Lee Weathers and his staff.

The area which is now Cleveland County began to be settled around 1740 by German and Scotch-Irish settlers coming down from Pennsylvania. Beam, Hoyle, Gardner, Graham, Hamrick, Webb, Allen, Weathers, McSwain, Bridges, Roberts--these were among the leading names of the early settlers. And their descendants still make up the backbone of the population and a large part of the leadership.

The County was formed in 1831 (that is the hundredth anniversary meant). [sic: The printer's devil--the date was actually 1841, (though 1831 was when Garrison's Liberator began publishing).] And Shelby came into existence shortly afterward when a landowner named James Love donated 250 acres on which to build the town. It was named for Colonel Isaac Shelby of Revolutionary fame.

For a long time the section was one of red roads and one-room schoolhouses. Shelby remained pretty much of a village down until the World War. After that, however, growth set in rapidly, and the town is now one of the most thriving in the state with many textile factories and a population which is in the neighborhood of 20,000.

The Shelby Star is one of the outstanding smaller dailies in the South, and the anniversary edition is unusually well got up and informative.

Leon Trotsky

His Story Is the Story of Fanaticism for an Idea

The murder of Leon Trotsky in Mexico, apparently at the hands of OGPU men dispatched for the purpose by Stalin or perhaps by Nazis, removes the last of the old doctrinnaire Bolsheviks of importance.

Stalin is no ideological Communist but a former bandit from the Caucausus--which is to say a sort of savage--who loves power as hotly as Peter the Great or Ivan the Terrible, and who was Marxian only so long as it serves his purpose of keeping the Russian people in subjection and extending his way abroad. And the men he has around him are all much the same sort.

Trotsky was another kind. Born in Leiba Davidovich Bronstein at Odessa in 1879, this tremendously energetic Jew of small stature was a revolutionist from childhood. And not as Stalin was a revolutionist, not because of rage against his own wrongs or his estate in the world (his father was a well-to-to member of the middle-class), but because of burning zeal for an idea. Lenin alone among the old Bolsheviks had so much of that zeal.

Had he been gifted with more capacity for restraint, he might have been a highly useful man in the world. He wrote powerfully. With his energy went great organizing capacity; the Red Revolution was largely engineered by him and it was he who built the Red Army. And his iron honesty was unquestionable.

But like many another reformer, he was betrayed by his own capacity for inflexible fanaticism. It took him over from the Social-Democrat philosophy he had first espoused into the ranks of the Bolsheviks, and it stripped him of all capacity for humanity, made him as ruthless as Stalin himself ever dreamed of being.

In the annals of revolution he belongs by the side of Robespierre.

Ship's Course

Senator Bone Indulges in Some Silly Insinuations

How completely the base suspicions of anger are taking control of a good many minds in this country is well illustrated by Senator Bone's demand for an investigation of the War Department's orders to the transport, American Legion.

The ship, with 927 Americans aboard, was proceeding from Petsamo, Finland, to New York when the German Government announced that the waters it would pass through had been mined and that it might be bombed or torpedoed. The United States rejected the warning, ordered the ship to keep on its course, which passed through a narrow passage north of Scotland, which the Germans claimed to have mined.

Bone wants to know why the ship was not routed further north after the warning. The obvious answer is that the British have long ago announced that the waters from the coast of Norway to Iceland and thence to the Orkneys have been mined. And the obvious reason--the reason which manifestly ought to occur to every mind which is not hysterical with suspicion--why the War Department ordered it to stay on its course was that it had knowledge that the ship would be at least as safe on that course as on another.

It may well be indeed that it knew that the ship would be a good deal safer. Britain's naval might makes it possible for her to lay mines in the northern seas and keep them laid, because the Germans are in no position to sweep them up. But Germany's claims to successful mine laying have never so far held up long. Moreover, in view of the well-known standard Nazi methods, it is even possible that the whole thing was a hoax designed to steer the ship into the British mine fields, get blown up, and so make trouble between our Government and Britain.

Yet Senator Bone makes the case a basis for dark insinuations that the administration was deliberately trying to have the ship run into a Nazi mine, so as to set off war with Germany!

It is to say that the President of the United States, Secretary of War Stimson, General Marshall, and all their associates are willing to murder 927 passengers and several crew members, in order to make war--that they are appalling criminals who roundly deserve to be hanged out of hand!

But Bone is not alone in such nonsense.


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