The Charlotte News

Wednesday, November 16, 1938


Site Ed. Note: As we have pointed out previously, Cash's distrust of Hugo Black, as stated in "Jefferson's Successor!", founded primarily on Black's prior brief membership in the Alabama Klan, would prove without justification. Had Cash lived, he no doubt would have been pleased by the decisively civil rights prone voting record of Black, one which he began to demonstrate early in his tenure, earning him recognition by the Honor Roll of Race Relations in the Schomberg Collection of Negro Literature at the New York Public Library in 1941 for his defense of civil rights. (See note accompanying the editorials of January 11, 1941)

Perhaps, it goes to demonstrate that awarding a justice early in his tenure such lofty titles as that below provides that justice a mantle which he feels obliged then assiduously to merit. And, as Cash well knew at the time, Frank Porter Graham, the elector of the mantle in this instance, was a solid liberal in the best sense of that term, the Jeffersonian sense.

Then again, Cash always enjoyed pricking balloons, even ones blown up and out of proportion by and of the friendly to his own basic belief system, especially when he sensed any breath of hypocrisy or chicanery in the offing. So, perhaps he would have inveighed to the end, regardless of how long he might have lived.

"A Job Is Done" sounds more like the writing of Cam Shipp than Cash, but we include it. Again, we hope to provide you with some of the highlights of this 50th edition one of these days soon. Meanwhile, you can read part of it from the 60th anniversary excerpts we placed online a few years ago.

Jefferson's Successor!

Chosen by the Southern Conference for Human Welfare as "the South's most outstanding statesman and promoting human welfare along the lines of the philosophy of Thomas Jefferson" was--prepare for a shock-- Hugo Black! Chairman of the committee which selected Justice Black was our own Frank Graham, President of the University Of North Carolina.

Ah, masters, we have fallen on strange days, days which would have troubled even the keen, clear eyes that looked out on the world from Monticello. The end, sirs, justifies any means. Honor has come to be personal achievement, not the achievement of personality. And the obstreperous little Senator, distinguished chiefly by his ruthless methods of prosecution--for an end--and his willingness to try anything once--the little Senator who sat in the cloakrooms while his appointment, made half in malice, was being debated on the Senate floor, and who let his colleagues, acting with his knowledge and consent, heatedly deny an allegation that he knew to be true, and whose only defense, when Klan membership was proved on him, was that he had resigned and later had not solicited the honorary membership that he had accepted--this is the metamorphosis of "the South's most outstanding statesman in promoting human welfare along the lines of the philosophy of Thomas Jefferson!"

Not our Thomas Jefferson! Not our South!

A Job Is Done*

Many a carrier boy went home last night, after distributing several times his weight in papers, dog-tired and ready for bed. His customers, however, still had an evening's work ahead of them. They had the Golden Anniversary Edition of The News to negotiate. We know; we had it to do, too.

We are not disposed to over-laud the excellence of that edition, since all who read it must have perceived that it was a notable recording in word and picture of the history of a town. Modesty positively forbids our saying that it was as entertaining as it was instructive, and that a great part of it was worth preserving among the family archives as a commemoration of the past and the present for the edification of the future. And since comparisons are odious, we shan't permit ourselves to say that it was the best doggoned edition ever put out anywhere by anybody. No; we won't brag on it. But one thing we would like to say.

Do you remember some years ago when a baseball player caught a ball thrown from the top of the Washington Monument? Well, that was nothing. We here at The News threw the ball and caught it too.

The capable, faithful men and women who turn out a paper seven days a week also prepared and assembled that gargantuan work which went out over the country yesterday, and did it virtually without extra assistance. Truly, it was a feat in individual endeavor and masterly co-ordination which deserves, and herewith receives, this final recognition.

Toward Fascism

Is the final price paid at Munich going to be that the United States will be left as the only great democratic power in the world?

The evidence for that proposition mounts, certainly. Now it is France which is upon the road to joining the Fascist bloc. She hasn't got there yet, of course. But Daladier's move to get himself declared "dictator within the framework of republican government" for two years, is exceedingly ominous. And far more ominous still is the new decree of the Government "which permits the Foreign Ministry to start prosecution of newspapers publishing statements offensive to the head of a foreign state."

This last is obviously a servile attempt to bow down to Adolf Hitler's will to impose his censorship on all nations. And it strikes a terrific blow to freedom of speech, upon which the existence of all democracies ultimately rests. The next natural step is the complete forbidding of any publication to which the Government objects. And once that comes about, France is through as a democracy.

The French are temperamentally unsuited to such a regime. And it may very well be killed off in Parliament. If it isn't, the alternative may be revolution. But revolution itself is quite likely to end in a totalitarian regime, whether Communist or Fascist.

And if France goes, how long is England, under the leadership of Bumble, likely to hold out?

Holding Our Own

Our usual proud interest in Charlotte's murder score has somehow slipped out of mind during the last two months, what with Mr. Hitler staging an exhibition of gang rule on an international scale, the elections, etc. But the arrival of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's third quarterly report for 1938 brings us back to it with a jerk. That report does not list cities under 100,000 population--only the fourth quarterly bulletin does so--but we know our own record for the year, and it is interesting to compare it with the figures the report does contain.

Absolutely, we do not seem to have been doing so well at killing this year. The score for murder and non-negligent homicide is only 23 down to date, whereas we wrapped up 37 in 1937, 54 in 1936, and some 40-odd in 1935. But relatively, we still seem to be far out in front. Thus, the average for all towns of over 10,000 people in the South Atlantic states, to which group we belong, is about 11.5 per 100,000 population--which puts us ahead more than two to one. And as against all such New England towns, we lead almost 25 to 1. As against the average for North Carolina (based on returns from nineteen towns), we seem, moreover, to have an advantage of about three to one.

And as for the cities of over 100,000, we find that Atlanta, which last year snatched first place in the nation away from us, had 22 cases from July 1 to Sept. 30. That may mean that she is going to beat us this year. But none of the rest of the towns--neither Birmingham nor Memphis nor Houston--offers any very serious competition. In short, though business may be a little dull, we still stand to come out second-best at the worst.

Non Sequitur

"I have lost just $118 on account of the cotton control law in effect in the county. I hope the farmers of this county bury it so deep in the voting it will never be resurrected again in Gaston. I could have made three bales more than I did, had all the necessary implements, mules and the land. Would have cost me no more than what I did raise."

Thus The Gastonia Gazette's "Along the Avenue" department quotes "a well-known farmer of the county" anent the Federal crop control laws.

Well, we have no intention of taking up the cudgels for those laws. They are pesky. But all the same we cannot resist the temptation to point out that the gentleman's argument is no argument at all. Last year saw the greatest cotton crop in history--19,000,000 bales. The price, as everyone knows, fell all to pieces. This year, the crop runs to somewhat over 12,000,000 bales, and still the price had made little advance. But suppose it run to 18,000,000 bales again! In view of the condition of the world market, it is a very good guess that we'd be seeing the lowest price of record--a price beyond all rescue by price pegging.

The assumption of this farmer that if he had grown three more bales he'd now have $118 rests on the assumption that the price would be what it presently is. But that in turn rests on the assumption that every other farmer who "had the necessary implements, mules, and land" to raise more bales than the Federal controllers allotted him would have obligingly stood aside and let him--this one farmer--alone have that privilege. And that, of course, is just a little improbable.


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