The Charlotte News

Monday, May 29, 1939



A Democrat Is Somewhat Excessively Tender Of Republicans

The Hon. Martin J. Kennedy, Representative in Congress from New York, is hard to understand. He is a Democrat, and moreover he does not seem to have plumped for the Townsend old age pension plan in the last election. But he is up in arms against the House Ways and Means Committee for having reported out a bill to implement the Townsend nonsense. That, he says, is a "shameless piece of shysterism and trickery," designed simply to embarrass some of the Republican members of the House.

That's probably so. The committee knows very well that the bill has no chance of passing and could just as well have smothered it in decent privacy. But after all the Republicans in question asked for it. In the last election they indulged in some "shameless shysterism and trickery" on their own account, by garnering votes in under the pretense of thinking well of the Townsend plan and of being prepared to vote for it. To smoke them out now and show them up is in reality a public service, regardless of the motives of the committee.

But how does it happen that the Hon. Martin J., a Democrat, is so full of tenderness for Republicans? It might be retorted, of course, that what appears on the surface is the truth--that the gentleman is actually indignant over the spectacle of the committee pretending to take an idiotic measure seriously in order to get in some blows at the minority party, but to accept that, we should have to have more positive proof than now appears. For such an attitude in a Congressman would be more wonderful than the spectacle of a diplodocus or a gigantisaurus strolling down Pennsylvania Avenue.

Axis Claims

They Are Largely Nullified By German And Italian Methods And Acts

Mr. Gayda, Signor Mussolini's Charlie McCarthy, is candid about it, anyhow. The Axis powers don't want just this and that little piece of territory--they want the lion's share of the swag of the earth.

Well, he can only make out a case. But Germany and Italy are nations whose resources are not equal to the needs of their population. Germany, for instance, produces nothing in excess of her needs save coal and chemicals. She doesn't produce nearly enough food to feed her people or enough oil to run her vehicles even in peace times. Nor does Italy. Both genuinely need sources of raw material and lebensraum.

But this argument is pretty well nullified by the methods they propose to use to obtain the goal. Candor compels the admission, certainly, that they would never have got anything so long as they remained unarmed and weak. Nevertheless, Britain and France, who own most of the slag, cannot afford to surrender anything at the point of the gun. For there is every reason to suspect that one such surrender would simply call for other such surrenders--until they had given up everything. The President of the United States has pointedly suggested to Mr. Hitler that he come into a conference with his gun checked at the door. And Mr. Chamberlain has indicated Britain's willingness to discuss the return of the old German colonies. But all that has only set off loud sneers.

Moreover, there is the fact that the Axis itself has been thoroughly contemptuous of the rights of other people to lebensraum. When Hitler raped Czechoslovakia, he pretty thoroughly destroyed the moral case for Germany's claims. If force is to be the only law, then Britain and France have just as much right to use it as Germany.

A First In Peril

But Not Enough To Be Taken Too Seriously As Yet

It has gone unnoted, what between Mr. Hitler, elections, and the war over Frank Littlejohn. But Charlotte is in imminent danger of losing one of the most notable firsts. We mean its title to being the first or at least the second most murderous town of its size or about its size in the entire country. In past years, the score, as we have often noted, has usually run to an average of about three murders per month, though in the great year of 1936, it towered up to the splendid total of 50-odd. But in only one month of the current year has the standard average been recorded--in April, when the sap rose up and accounted for a dead Negro man and two dead Negro women. The score for the current month is at present two. But January, February and March only ran up the puny showing of one each,--one white man and two Negroes. A grand total of only eight in five months.

The old town is still doing pretty well, of course, even as against other towns in Dixie, which--God bless her!--still proudly outran the rest of the nation by odds of four or five to one. Atlanta, which took the title away from us both in 1937 and 1938, was a way out in front for the first quarter of the year, according to the report of the Federal Bureau of Investigation--hanging up a record of twenty cases, which, considering her population and ours, gave her an advantage of more than two to one over us. But we measured almost up to Memphis, which had ten for a population of 300,000. And we made bad old Chicago, which can only show 36 for four million people, look like a piker.

Altogether, we do not despond. After all, we were alarmed last June by the fact that the South had gone nine whole months without a lynching. But all turned out well--with the record for 1938 standing at six. Moreover, there is quite positive comfort in the increase in April and May over the first three months of the year. Allons! We shall down Atlanta yet.


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