The Charlotte News

Wednesday, November 23, 1938


Site Ed. Note: It is worth noting that, as to Alice Lee Jemison's take on treason by that dastardly group, the ACLU,--with whose causes cudgeled, such as the allowance of the march of the Nazis through a predominantly Jewish community in Skokie, Illinois back in 1977, we don't always agree or believe are necessarily salutary ones, even if we understand the general principle sought to be established, sometimes to the extreme ends of extremity and thus somewhat questionable--Alice Lee's tribe, the Yosemite, derives its name, so says the National Park Service, from Yohemite, meaning "some of them are killers."

The Yohemites were a people, whether referring to other sub-tribal units of the Miwok or the Paiute is unclear, who lived in Yosemite Valley in the Sierras in California. The Miwok called themselves Ahwahnichi, meaning "place of the gaping mouth", perhaps referring to the Merced River, though further elucidation as to that ultimate derivation is provided only by extrapolation from a visit to the place, not by the Park Service literature.

In seeking to understand that origin, we also ran across a website which devotes itself to correcting what it terms is an offensive myth perpetrated by a Federal employee somewhere along the line, that Yohemite means what the Park Service indicates in its official literature. This website claims foul and that it does not mean that at all, but rather, in Southern Sierra Miwok language, "people of the East, toward the High Sierra and Great Basin". It goes on to explain that "Yosemite" in the Central Miwok language means "the killers", and then takes issue therefore with how the Park Service came up with the sanitized addition of the words, "some of them are..." It explains its consequent belief, altogether reasonable, that the word thus derived that meaning to the Central Miwok to explain their fear of the Yosemite Indians. Of course, the website does not profess to go further to explore the history behind any such belief and whether there might have been some rationale therefore for it by the Central Miwok. We don't know about all that. We have never looked into it. It gets a little too esoteric for our tastes, candidly. We prefer simply to enjoy the splendor of Yosemite when there, without worries about whether "some of them are killers" or not. The bears, quite frankly, are our chief concern always when out in the wilderness, not the Indians.

Of course, it is altogether possible, especially judging by this one person, Alice Lee, in 1938, though by no means should we ever judge a tribe by one spokesperson or one bureaucrat or one Federal employee even, such as Mr. Dies, for instance, that Yohemite means exactly what the Park service says it means--because, perhaps, they were so narrow-minded and short-sighted, seeing Reds underneath every bush and behind every tree that they went about killing what they couldn't understand or with whom they couldn't get along, hence the name, hence their migration, probably forced, from the central tribal unit to the spiritual peace and beatitude of the mother lode of all such natural splendor, Yosemite Valley--to chill out. (If you've never spent a day hiking there or, better, camping in it for two or three days, then by all means, get your hybrid vehicle, or better yet, your bicycle--as they have a problem with cars polluting the valley, rightfully--and go. Such a place, in our opinion, of co-equal beauty does not exist within the lower 48 otherwise, and we have seen virtually all of it of note. The air itself has an evergreen pervading which fills the sense with such a purity, and at anytime of year, even late November, when few venture there, as to be positively inducing of a type of clarity which no other place, save perhaps the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone, may even begin to approach. So, perhaps, being banished there was a form of divinely inspired punishment which caused the Yohemite to evolve a better understanding of themselves and other with respect to nature; it certainly should have that impact on all who visit. (Notwithstanding the tragedy which took place there about 7 years ago involving a park maintenance worker--as some of them, of any tribe, always are killers, unfortunately.))

Obviously, some of the Southern tribe are killers, for instance, always have been. Does not mean by any stretch that all or even a substantial minority of them are. But we seek to eliminate the worst aspects in any group and so we still hear that old charge of the Southern Rebel brand being tacked sometimes pejoratively to anyone who speaks their mind from the South, no matter the substance. Not to be offended, we critique our own when they step too far out of line, especially to the point of violence or killing, or we should so critique them.

Thus, to the latter-day Paiute who obviously must consider themselves entirely and uniformly saintly to be offended by the National Park Service ascribing such a meaning etymologically to the name Yosemite, purely for educational and informational purposes, not so that tourists would steer clear of the Paiute. (Candidly, in our several visits over three decades to Yosemite Valley, we have never knowingly encountered a single Paiute or been the least chary of same in any event, literature or not, as we said, being far more concerned about predatory beasties than any form of the human species, all of whom we found most empathetically considerate and friendly along the trail, more so than in any city we ever encountered anyway.)

Not meaning to cast insult either upon any portion of the Miwok, perhaps in the case at least of Ms. Alice Lee Jemison in 1938, the meaning "place of the gaping mouth" carried with it special meaning, in combination with "some of them are killers". But that's just our opinion, in hindsight. One can hardly blame Ms. Alice Lee Jemison for seeing so many Reds and Pinks in high places of the ACLU, especially when no doubt she was being paid or promised many things for so saying these things to Mr. Dies and his committee of Red-hunters. (Incidentally, "Alice Lee", our dictionary tells us, as to this instance so surnamed, means "she who derives of he with fingers in many pies".)

"Design for Murder" tells just how they did it, the Nazis vis á vis the Jews, how any group, some of whom are killers with gaping mouths, do it. Again we suggest that a loose metaphor might be drawn from that which went on precisely on this pattern in Nazi Germany in the 1930's and that which occurred in the ghettoes within America in the 1960's and the resulting riots of the mid-sixties, to the similar frustrations pent up, the similar strains of economic depravity leading to chaos and criminality, urged on by corrupt and racist cops, Storm Troopers after a fashion, which led to the riots in South Central L.A. of 1992, indeed, of any sort of such repressive ancien regime which ultimately leads on to chaos, quite deliberately, to enable the call to put down repressively with "law and order" that resultant chaos, and thus gain with it the approval of the greater part of the unseeing, unthoughtful middle class cowering from--the Indians out there threatening to scalp you on the farm in--northern Virginia, and so employ--Custer and his boys to cut 'em down and put down the rebellion.

Land and territory, lebensraum, sacred hunting grounds, ceremonial lands, places on the turf of terra firma, "ya'll are down here"--all of a piece of man's migration, be he of any race, color or creed, when becoming wedded too much, too positively, to too much of the territory into which he is born, beyond his own plot of ground, to that of the many? Yet, whether so or no, it is of note to speak without question of the sacred nature of land and earth and water, as giving us all life, and always to keep that single human principle, if no other, uppermost in mind--that we do not possess the land, any of it, really, but that we must act as its stewards, good and true, in all generations and among all peoples of all tribes wherever and in whatever circumstances in which we may find ourselves.

Did Hitler have a solid example in mind, both as to its founding principle of racial and religious discrimination and as to its territorial and resource acquisition, geopolitics, not to mention its means of realizing it through propaganda tools of the oldest sort, in seeking his Nazi hegemony in Central Europe and elsewhere, seeking to subjugate non-"Aryan" races to his slavering will as a cheap source of labor? Perhaps, he only did it in such manner as to be less hypocritical than his forerunners to the notion, stating precisely what he intended, instead of posturing behind prettified ideals and promises not kept when the bargain was most severely tested? Some might say so. We have heard as much from Native Americans on occasion, perhaps understandably so.

But we shall not be so cynical. It is better to understand, we think, that the principles enunciated as ideals of this country in the Constitution are those to which we constantly strive daily as goals, high-minded, noble, perhaps even unattainable in any absolute or lasting sense, but nevertheless always to be maintained as goals, by which to measure ourselves, our consciences and our individual means of achievement, never to be set aside as useless verbiage or outmoded by circumstance of modernity, any more than they were outmoded by the largely prairie and agrarian environs in which they were laid down on parchment in 1776 and 1789.

There are always members of any tribe who don't get that, who cynically set it aside and seek not to strive for it, for the apparent futility of living up to the principle, for they have never truly striven to it, themselves. Can't be achieved; silly, posturing nonsense for schoolboys and schoolgirls on which to dream. Kid stuff. So be done with it and achieve on the basis of self, that old self-reliant self. It is a hard and difficult upper passage, indeed, by which to follow to conquer that temptation to follow that old self-deceiver, but once done even a little, following those ideals, worth the fine breathing air as pure and cleansing as that in the vistaed elevations, far, far from the snaking road through it below, where only the birds may be heard and the rush of the river by you, and the soft, crisp sound made by one's feet on the turf in the morning air, free from the stifling, muffled mix of ruthless urbanity, which one achieves in such a place as Yosemite--whether it means some of them are killers, or, moreover, therefore, by logical negative inference, most of them are not, being of little consequence, in truth. The high climb, and the fine breathing thus achieved, is the meaning of itself, and the understanding then of the reason for the ideals.

But, always, beware the bears! Sometimes, they are hungry. And, hospitals remain noisy. So, carry a flashlight, plenty of batteries, a lanthorn, matches, a good map, and something with which to make a little noise when necessary so them b'ars will not be unduly attracted to the silence.

Ever, by accident, having hiked a little too far, wound up hiking alone at midnight in Yosemite, in Teton? We have, as to both, twenty years apart. We are glad we took the above advice on the latter occasion, even if we forgot some of it on the earlier, former one. On that one, feeling the way, for must have been 1000 feet, down a 60 degree rock cliff, abridging a wide landslide washout in the trail, properly marked on the map, but rendered useless by absence of light, on a moonless night, with which to see it after a dark which pervaded for staying longer than anticipated at the start--wont to happen in such splendor--brought on, no doubt, by youthful esprit to adventure, cavalierly and deliberately not bothering to remember all of the above insuperable rules. Where every perilous set of the blind foot forward, could spill the perilously balanced rock before you cascading, your foot and you with it, into that which you know, by the remaining daylight image cantered and cemented on your retinal memory from a few hours earlier, is the dark, now unseen chasm nevertheless still existing starkly below, not designed to catch human flesh save in cold treasure melding everlasting fealty to the spot as one's final marking. That one. But, at least we were yet wise enough even then to remember the most insuperable one of all: move slowly and cautiously, when confronting results of one's own youthful tendency to run, while infra, supra the rules of Nature, especially after dark in terrain with which one is not familiar, terrain prone to the vicissitudes of gravity, disinclination thus at times to hospitability to those ignorant of its need to relax itself from holding firm to a changeless hobgoblin of consistency, its ruthless insistence to accommodate change, and where some of them, those agents of change in Nature, are killers. Saves a noisy hospital visit.

Spotting Treason

Yesterday appeared before the Dies Committee Alice Lee Jemison. Alice Lee is a Yosemite Indian, and she holds a nice job as Washington lobbyist for an organization calling itself the American Indian Federation. And what Alice Lee had to tell was terrific, simply terrific! And sinister,--my, my, you have no idea how sinister! Alice Lee had the lowdown on Harold Ickes, Indian Commissioner John Collier,--yes, and on Congress itself.

What Alice Lee told Mr. Dies, that great defender of the republic, was that, to her knowledge, Ickes and Collier have actually expressed a belief in the principles of the American Civil Liberties Union. And Congress--believe it or not, Congress has actually passed laws recommended by the Civil Liberties Union.

Ourselves, we are simply appalled at the shocking news. The Civil Liberties Union, we knew all along, has some Reds and a good many more Pinks on its committee, but we had sort of excused it on the score that it had more Liberals. But now we look it up, and what do you think are its principles? Why, the defense of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution of the United States. The defense of the right of free speech and assembly for all comers, precisely as that Bill of Rights provides. Think of Ickes and Collier actually confessing to believe in such principles! Think of Congress daring to be so un-American as to enact laws in defense of such basic American rights! Alice Lee and Mr. Dies--let us never overlook Mr. Dies--deserve a roar of thanks for having unearthed such nefarious doings in high places.

Quiet, Please!

A hospital is a clean, mysterious, sharply odorous place of corridors, rhythms and operating theaters in which a man walks timidly--timidly, because he has come there helplessly to turn his intimate pain over to an institution, or to greet (feeling like a guilty oaf) his offspring, or to cheer with false, hollow robustness some ailing friend, or apologetically to die between cold clean sheets.

A hospital is a place where scrubbed and crisp young women in starch take an impersonal editorial interest in pain. "Let's straighten our pillow." "Does our back hurt today?" "My, our temperature is acting up, isn't it?" They are remarkable girls, able to perform prodigies of solace, to offer just the right confidence in comforting reality to the wretch yammering and struggling under the nightmare of anaesthesia. Men often fall in love with them and why not?

A hospital is a place where science and art are expressed by surgeons' fingers, where deft miracles are performed with scalpels upon the shrinking brain cells and the quivering liver, and where the poor and the old and halt and blind, with no coin in their pockets, come to find release and panacea for their ills.

But with all these comforts and miracles, hospitals still lack the one healing beatitude that all men in their terror and hurt, and all animals even, in their bewildered resignation as they creep away to die alone, always crave. Hospitals lack the boon of quiet.

Hospitals, indeed, are the noisiest places in the world, incomparably noisier than hotels.

No reader can fail to recall out of his experience how jangling were the trays in the hall, how nasal was the midnight conversation of the orderlies, how horrible were the hoots and gear-grindings of automobiles in the restless night. And the nearby wails of the anguished weak in spirit are no bolster for the tight-lipped patient nursing his own woes and clutching feebly for the vanishing cloak of sleep.

And so we take an unequivocal stand on the matter. Hospitals ought to be quiet. Hospitals should provide, above all else, surcease and easement, protection from the assaults of nervous noise--and a kind of twilight forgetfulness in which an ache can be nursed and a handful of fears slept off.

Experts and architects have had a regard for this, we hope, in planning the new Presbyterian and Memorial Hospitals. We are confident that they will be models, boons to the practice of medical science. But we are only hopeful about quiet. This is a revolutionary thought, a brand new idea that will fall upon doctors taken aback, probably, by astonishment.

"Quiet?" they will say. "Why, our hospitals are quiet."

Gentlemen, they are not quiet. Shhhhhh--the patient is tossing.

Design for Murder

The weekly paper said Jews soon would become impoverished in Germany and in that status might become a "community of hundreds of thousands of criminals."

Should that occur, it said, Germany would root out "the Jewish underworld just as we used to root out our criminal elements in our land of order, with fire and sword."

Thus the Associated Press reports an editorial from Das Schwarz Korps, organ of the black-uniformed Elite Guard.

A cooler and more cynical design for murder has never been put forward by creatures passing for human. You see how it works. You want to murder all the Jews. So first impoverish them by playing the common highwayman and robbing them of all they have. But, that is not enough. The Jew takes to crime very unwillingly--so unwillingly that it is only very occasionally that they produce a criminal anywhere. So now you must not only rob them of all they have, but you must use all your cunning to invent ways of making it quite impossible for them to get bread save by crime. And when you have made them so desperate by hunger that they turn at last to crime, why, then, there you have it. The Jews are criminals, and criminals must be put down by fire and sword, must they not?

It need surprise no one, however. Such designs are inherent in Nazism. For Nazism is an effort to turn a civilized society back to the savage ideal, whereunder every tribesman gives unquestioning adherence and obedience to the tribal pattern. And to accomplish it, it is necessary to murder all elements which insist on the right to dissent. The Jews are only the beginning.

That Mystery Again

The United States Government has some $10,000,000 in claims, yet to be arbitrated, for farm lands belonging to Americans expropriated by the Mexican Government. Nobody, of course, expects Mexico, once she has agreed upon what she owes, to make more than token payment. She can't spare the money, and besides, if she settles in full for the farmlands, Uncle Sam might expect her to settle for expropriated oil properties, which amount to many times as much.

But there is a way to pinch our little neighbor to the South into doing the best she can on her obligations, and at the same time to pay these land claims off in a very short time. Every week this nation buys from Mexico between $500,000 and $600,000 of silver. Now, this silver is of no earthly use to us. We are surfeited with the stuff already. We have to go to the trouble of storing it and guarding it and taking inventories of it.

If it maintained Mexico's internal stability and the volume of our trade there, this weekly subsidy of a half-million or so might be worthwhile. But it hasn't worked out that way. Mexico has become more and more unstable, and has almost closed the door to imports from America.

Why wouldn't it be simple good sense to apply the half-million on the land claims and let Mexico keep her silver? Better still, why wouldn't it be positively astute to cease buying silver altogether, and keep our own good money?

The Line's Busy

The Shanghai American Association is an interested party, of course. It represents those who have business or other interests already established in China, and who want the United States to take active steps to check Japan's obvious moves to exclude the whole non-Japanese world from the country. But it is certainly right when it argues that orthodox diplomatic protests are entirely useless. Mr. Hull is said to be drafting the hottest note of his career for the Japanese, but it will serve no purpose but that of keeping the record straight.

Japan, like the Fascist powers, understands and heeds no language save that of force. And the whole question at stake is whether or not we want to use force. To use it all, we must have the co-operation of England and France. With that co-operation, the Panama Canal and the seaways which pass Singapore can be closed with a view to starving out the Japanese, who are wholly dependent on western nations for the materials of war. But that quite probably would mean the necessity for direct military action in the end. The Japanese are likely to use every means at their command to break the blockade, including direct naval attack. And Germany and Italy are sure to make trouble.

In short, any attempt at the use of force is apt to end in war. And war in the East is about the last thing the American people, in their present mood, want. Which being so--well, the Shanghai American Association and the rest of us had as well face it; we are probably about washed up in China and the East as a whole.


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