The Charlotte News

Friday, January 1, 1943


Site Ed. Note: We will include through the end of the series, Dorothy Knox's articles for The News on "Our Forgotten Children", which began appearing three days earlier. (Eventually, we shall include the other three parts and set them all out on a separate index page, (similar to the organization of the articles in January and February, 1942 on the mental institutions by Tom Jimison and an anonymous former patient at the Women's Hospital), accessible from this week's main index page for 1943.)

The series focuses on the Caswell Training School at Kinston, N.C., and its need for funding to expand its services. The admittees to the school, all white, as this dayís piece elucidates, were not necessarily mentally retarded, in the clinical sense of the term, but were simply those children who were deemed too slow to learn, for various learning difficulties, to be a part of the ordinary public school system.

Black children were afforded no similar remedial institution at all, but were simply cast into the skimption-funded segregated mental hospital at Goldsboro.

Ms. Knox points out, from a resolution adopted by the American Legion Post at Wilmington, (hometown of David Brinkley), that during the previous year and a half of Army induction pursuant to the draft, many men had been found unfit mentally or physically for induction.

As pointed out earlier in 1942 by a News editorial, the criterion established was that the mentally fit soldier would have to pass an examination demonstrative of ordinary fourth-grade equivalency learning skills. A great many failed the test.

She argues, therefore, that, since the resolution also identified many of these rejected inductees as war babies, born during or shortly after World War I, when funding was scarce for education, had the money been spared for proper educational facilities of these children, subject to being educated ultimately in the ordinary public schools, their status by 1942 would have otherwise rendered them at least fourth-grade fit for service. (The reader should draw no prejudice toward someone entering the Navy, for instance, as a lieutenant, junior-grade. The two qualitative gradations are without connection.)

She pleads, therefore, that the resolution sent to the Legislature would be amended to shift more emphasis to the Caswell School, which had been deemed by the Legislature to be without sufficient priority in time of war to receive increased funding, arguing that it was the very place from which many of the future potential soldiers might come twenty years hence, in some future war, but for the learning disabilities besetting them.

We note that Lee Harvey Oswald was said to be dyslexic. Often, this condition suggests a higher form of intelligence, simply scrambling data being received by the brain in disjointed fashion such that connections between the data are being made, subconsciously, faster than the childís brain, for want of proper stimulus, sleep, exercise, diet, etc., may properly process them consciously, in orderly, logical fashion. Scrambled eggs often result.

Sometimes, of course, our greatest artists are thusly produced, those who see the world through a slightly different prism than that to which the rest of us are accustomed, and thus educate us to our foibles.

Better a genius of some description than a suicidally proned returned defector, turned warehouse book dollier, wouldn't ye say?

From C.A. Paul's "On the Square" column, we note that Walter Spearman, the subject of the piece's opening remark, had, in his position then as Dean of the U.N.C. School of Journalism, invited W. J. Cash to speak on May 3, 1941 at the Scholastic Press Institute in Chapel Hill. Mr. Spearman was a former News colleague.

It was at this presentation by Cash that Joseph Morrison, eventual author of W. J. Cash: Southern Prophet, published by Knopf in November, 1967, heard Cash speak, shortly before the recently graduated Morrison joined the armed forces.

Anyway, because of the announcement on yesterday's front page of newsprint rationing by ten percent for the duration of the war, we are going, once again, today, to cut this session a little short and make you do some of the work yourself.

Oh, we'll do our share, but only after midnight.

But, for now, in order to build up our store of rationed newsprint, to have a greater go at it when the news breaks wildly as the year progresses, we shall leave today somewhat abbreviated.

Besides, we are still trying to figure out who was this "General Eisenhour" whose brother was reported on yesterday's front page to have witnessed enormous starvation in Africa and suggested, in consequence, immediate provision of remedial funding to eradicate the problem, lest a holocaust in that part of the world ensue from simple neglect of worn war-torn regions, previously held at the mercy of the plundering Nazi boot-heel. Regardless of who he was, he certainly had his eyes on the hour, and on the prize. So, his name must have suggested something more poetically fathomable than the stark literal German translation of "Eisenhower" as "iron beater", as pointed out earlier the previous year in The News.

Besides, we are anxious to catch tomorrow some of those radio programs listed in the logs. We are especially keen to hear "Hillbilly Hilarities" and "Caucasus Melodies" on WAYS and WBT, respectively. We'll be listening closely with our eyes. It better be good.

If not, we shall settle tonight for the "Cab Calloway Orchestra" on WBT, and "QED" on WAYS.

We might even get a palm reading by Madam Ruth. That would be different. That, or try to find a Stradivarius to play.

Anyway, thatís enough Little Pep for this New Year's Day, 1943. Our mind is too busy wandering, having spent some time recently in front of that spooling machine, the one which sends all the print whiiiiizzzzing by our eyne to the point where we are reeling for two or three days afterward. It makes us dizzy, as surely as does Lizzie Dilling, as we have before mentioned.

Tomorrow, we shall provide the results of the Rose Bowl and Orange Bowl games played today.

Here is the front page. Here, the editorial page, to begin the New Year for you. Then, we shall read them ourselves, after the midnight hour.

We note that it was National Prayer Day, as declared by the President.

So, we hope that the flood in Pennsylvania subsided--and that similar floods and their streams will not beset us in the near future. With careful planning and a new outlook on fossil fuel consumption worldwide, we shall gain our insurance, perhaps, against it, at least to forestall its worst effects until we finally get the collective wisdom to dispense with fossil fuels altogether. Or, until the wisdom is imparted to us dramatically, much as it was to the world during World War II for lack of the same sort of stewardship after the World War, too busy celebrating for eleven years, until Black Tuesday, when the bottom fell out of the market and it rained on the whole world for the next 16 years.

Remember the lesson imparted by Mrs. Partington. A broom will not work to stop its encroachment on our shores. Katrina taught us that lesson only too starkly a mere four years ago. The trends are to be recognized, not necessarily in annual cycles, but over longer periods of time. We stress that parable to those who possess some form of Attention Deficit Disorder. It is, ultimately, the acceleration of a process into a compact period of a mere 150 years which ought be taking thousands, during which Nature may adjust, that is the natural cycle of ice floes melting and then re-freezing. Crippling, artificially, through manís fast, fast, faster technological advances during that period, that adjustment process so that it cannot occur naturally, has been and still is the problem for our world. It did not begin in 2005 or in 1970, but rather somewhere in the mid-1800's when the barons of commerce, who began steering the ship away from our Founders, were largely a bunch of galoots off the farm, in more ways than one, and had not the mental or moral capacity to think in global terms, beyond, that is, some vague notion of geopolitics to stimulate the size of purses, such as those terms which proved captious to the little corporal genius, Adolf Hitler.

We counsel some dimouts, not of the mind, but of the electric lights, as they did in New York City, during this 1943 New Year's celebration. In our estimate, Governor Davis, back at the turn of the century, had the right idea, precisely. Some very bright dimmed-out Californians, however, en masse--the same idiots who discharged summarily four members of a consumer-protection oriented State Supreme Court in 1986, substituting it with a new lot of geniuses--too dumb to open their eyes, too spoiled as little children for far too long, closed their eyes, to reality--as with all good little Nazis. Now, where are you, Nazi punks, but broke? Your courts must stay closed one Wednesday of each month just to pay the bills. We suggest disbanding all of them and letting the voters start over, and without the geniuses, Howard Jarvis and Paul Gann, to tell them what to say and do at the ballot box, as in 1978, 1982, 1986, and, by the dim lights of their dimmed out moonshining ghosts, 2003. That's our counsel for 2010 resolvulutions. Dig it.

And put it in your pipe and smoke it.

We know what you are thinking: Was it fired five times, or six? So, the question is: Do you feel lucky, punk?

Happy New Year and Happy Eighth Day of Christmas: Eight platypuses plating. Or, is it Eight mimes mining? We forget.

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