The Charlotte News

Tuesday, November 8, 1938


Site Ed. Note: "Something in Revenge" discusses the incident which would prompt during the ensuing two days that which is known as Kristallnacht in Germany, the night the Nazis indiscriminately broke shop windows of Jewish merchants and otherwise harassed, beat, killed or rounded up Jews in various towns throughout Germany. The thuggery was prompted by the killing of German diplomat in Paris, Karl von Rath, by Polish Jewish student Herschel Grynszpan on November 7. In the two nights of retaliation urged by Hitler through Goebbels directly, 91 Jews were killed, scores more injured, 7,500 businesses and 177 synagogues were burned, and twelve thousand Jews were arrested for being Jewish. Many were transported to Dachau ultimately to die.

One may draw a vague parallel perhaps to the riots in the ghettoes of Detroit and Watts and numerous other cities in the hot summers of 1967 and 1968, provided that is one sees these latter riots through a glass darkly, with some careful discernment as to what likely prompted them. Oddly, despite the curtailment of freedom in the ghetto through thuggery and deceit and crimes by misfeasance and malfeasance and, probably most often in form, misprision, that is, as with prison guards historically to maintain order, allowing the known thugs to run rampant or even directly encouraging thuggery among the ignorant, to provide excuse to maintain law and order, these riots ostensibly having been initiated by African-Americans, occurring exclusively within the ghetto itself, not directed at the white community outside it. And the resultant substantial curtailment freedom, bordering on if not passing into martial law, persisted largely through 1992, when more riots erupted in South Central L.A. regarding the acquittal of the cops who brutally and without remorse or justifiable reason beat Rodney King, live on videotape. Gorillas in Gargantua might be the name of this story were it fiction; it was, however, reality.

Sociologists, in the wake of the riots in the sixties, posited with good faith in play, that they derived from increased expectations engendered by the promises of the Great Society programs of the Johnson Administration, the reality of deliverance of which could not keep pace with the goals, equality of opportunity in education, in employment, in social standing, and in perceived and recognized equality otherwise, in the collective mind of the perceiver, both seer and seen. That the development of an African-American middle class which could compete in a majority white society could not be thus achieved in a matter of just five years, after 300 years of subjugation, at least half of that time, maintained in actual, visible bondage, with education most usually not only not afforded to the bondsman, but in many farms and plantations where villeins were held, was actively forbidden upon the threat and unprovoked or only mildly provoked example of the lash. Thus, the riots of the mid-sixties hot summers spilling into the streets, lashing out at anything, the most handy thing, not able with ease to band and wander to the white community's districts, business or residential, often just a couple of miles away, but rather, as in Berlin after the war, being barred by a wall, a barrier, though here exclusively that of the mind while in Germany, a combination of that plus the physical barrier erected in 1961; regardless, either one of which was impenetrable to those held in lockstep under chill of head-bashing should they misstep the line. Thus, the war upon their "own", merchants in the African-American neighborhoods. But why? Mere frustration, self-loathing, failure of identity, the perception that the economic sustenance and thus the identity of the merchants, encased in the white brands, was bound up in the white culture?

What is not often discussed, that which came more clear in the wake of the L.A. riots in 1992, is that the tricksters, sometimes infiltrators, sometimes reactionary coppers, bent on actively exæstuating young known hotspurs to riot, by making false or picayune stops, planting evidence, hitting the hotspur in the head when they were "known troublemakers", finally agreeing to forego the charge by the evidence thus accumulated or in fact at hand, provided newly-submissive nigger Sambo will go ahead and cooperate with the copper, boiling the blood to riot or be killed for not doing so.

If so, and it would appear to be so, why? To kill the dream, of course. To cause whitey in middle class suburbia to sit honkyfied, fried and shocked at these niggers, these niggers rioting on tv. And so, the thought was that whitey, dismayed over these liberal policies enacted by these nigger-lovers, this agenda of helping the niggers, giving them the inch so that plainly they were now taking that mile, ever inching closer to honkyville, these niggers needed some law and order handed 'em to be provided by who else? Why, the Nixies, of course, those little gnomes, those oak-kings, those werewolves, those wood nymphs, goblins and alps. Whitey would thus prevail, having been bitten by the black tarantula. Dancing in perpetuum mobile, til somebody says, "Nix my dolly" or "Nicht verstehen" or "Nix lads, buttons! He's the One" Dixonites of the ancien regime would come back into vogue, having now eliminated the New Frontier with bullets, the Great Society with killing fields, buckets of blood, headless horsemen, severed ears as souvenirs--crazy, man.

And, now, today. Where are we in that perpetual continuum? Well, you cogitate on that a little season. What once was comes back again in a flash when the atmosphere is thus kindled and spun round in the fiery cauldron, with all the usual ingredients.

Then, not unrelated, there is below the story of Fulgencio Batista y Zaldivar in Cuba, el Presidente by 1940, coming to power as Army Chief of Staff in the 1933 "Sergeants' Revolt"--not unlike the Littlest Corporal in Germany--until his overthrow by Fidel Castro on January 1, 1959. Batista, the dictator, supported, however, by Eisenhower-Nixon and the general policy at the time of the U.S. as a bulwark against Soviet-style Communism in Latin America, just off our coast. Batista who had retired after he could not seek re-election as el Presidente in 1944 and then came to Miami in 1952, only to be suddenly stricken with the mood to become dictator of the little island, returning to establish his rule over the satrapy. Batista, who slaughtered in purges and secret police beatings in the dead of night. Batista who permitted the thuggery to flourish in the casino trade after the March, '52 coup, enabling the Gambler to have his offshore refuge to sate that little need to roll the die against the spin of that big wheel of O Fortuna, that game which the Nazi-Fascist mind craves, ever craves, though by no means limited of course only to Nazis and Fascists, just provided by same--often a time filler for the idle with nothing better in play to fill the hours, nurtured by the need to have that rush of winning out against Ol' Horny, beating that one in a million odds. Beating the Fascist Beelzebub.

That fulgent Baptist, cleansed by the waters of his friends from el Norte, yet still in the favor of the Nixies, as they looked back on that salt pillar, and made the Big Deal with the Golden Isle and the Brass Rail, whereby the Baptist in Havana received 30% of the profits from the Gambler's Wheel.

Batista's successors, swooping down from their training camp in the Sierra Maestra of the Oriente Province, the Veinte-seiz de Julio, would have planned by the Big Deal orchestrator an operation for Julio's removal by force, Bajia de los Cochinos. The plan was not of course put into play by Eisenhower, but held in abeyance, on reserve, in case it was needed, in case, it would appear, the Nixies lost in sixty, needed by those people who were allowed into the house after the War by some short-sighted, good at the military part, not so hot in statecraft sometimes, mixing technological need for progress with the culling of certain ideas of Nazis and Fascists, daring in the process to fail to imagine for one moment that with these ideas, part and parcel of the Nazi-fascist mentality, that particle adoring mentality, that dangling particle mentality, would inexorably flow inextricably interbound with the philosophical assumptions underlying them, the assumption that id and ego may be separated into component parts and systematically divided within the whole, that dividing particles ever more finely may ultimately render truth, that division itself is a basis for a collectivity in society, dividing to conquer a whole, sounding of course not much unlike communism, chillingly enforced by militarism and paramilitarism in the form of those chilling cops and infiltrators, orchestrators, and busthead men. Can't have the one without the other, can't possess the cake unless the cake is also eaten. Can't have the rocket ship and the atom-split without also the concomitant, the hair split, the awful hair split.

Then, too, this date, we have the curious little metaphorical story of "Old Bill". Who was he? Who is he? Is he, or was he, kin somewhere down the line to Rameses II? Communist? A Bill named "Satan" came to power in 1914, successor to "Three-to-Nothing Jack Dalton". Old Bill is thought by the mystics to be a necessary concomitant to safe seamanship. He rides the old ships. Probably a subversive though, that Bill. The predecessor to the Old Bill discussed below had risen to power when he responded to an ad soliciting the "meanest and fiercest ... possible". Very strange, indeed. Bill VI then stepped up to the plate with bluster. The longest reigning of the Bills was the XIV, for twelve years, after his predecessor had been kidnapped by the Army. That was in _____. [Classified.] Old Bill IX reigned during the sixties.

Then there is also Chesty, not discussed below. But whether we discuss that will await further decision, pending the outcome of current operations re de-watering and closed contracts, no-bid rig-jobs provided only to companies held in check on potential pain of their becoming canaries, necessary objects of mollification, barrowed, too, because of knowledge of participation in other operations previously, it would appear likely--maybe when they were a part of that big Sob.

There have also been two cats, a dog and a carrier pigeon, before Old Bill came to be in 1903.

The Signal Corps uses a Cat.

The Great White Fleet of 1907, which sailed to San Francisco for the Panama-Pacific Exposition, for which the Marina was made fill, before burning in 1989, had many--three goats, two cats, one dog, four parrots, a Trinidad monkey, a wallaby, a bear, a jaguar which jumped ship, and a pig named Dennis.

Then there was the little black and white cocker named Gyro, belonging to the VB-140 bombing squadron during World War II. Gyro had his own military identification card. Gyro, we understand acquired a checkered rep. on board ship.

Which one of these was the Communist infiltrator is still yet to be determined.

The Fascists and Nazis, however, and their collaborators, become Kristall clear. Particlize all susceptible of further reduction until nothing exists in whole any longer, no understanding capable, only information to be used at the will of the informationalists.

An increasingly strange story, this 1938 period post-Munich, especially if you were reading it later, say juxtaposed to events of the latter 1950's, early 1960's.

Here's another little riddle of Ni-yonian history: Kline, Fraundienst. Key-ice ritual--with a twist, a piggy little twist, from that described in The Mind of the South, as having been chronicled by Carl Carmers in Stars Fell on Alabma.

Klieg lights - 1951 'J. Wyndham' Day of Triffids viii. 141 At the first blink it was as dazzling as a klieg light. 1957 New Yorker 13 July 21/1 My brother and I [sc. Mr. John H. Kliegl] invented the klieg light around 1911-the first practical light for taking motion pictures indoors. It projected a beam, by means of carbons, that emitted a light of high actinic power.

b. klieg eyes, an eye condition caused by exposure to very bright light, characterized by watering and conjunctivitis. Hence klieg-eyed adj.

1923 Sci. Amer. Oct. 243/1 The burning of the eyeball by the ultra-violet rays.+ This malady appears so freely among motion-picture actors+that a name, 'Kleig eyes', has been coined for it. 1941 Amer. Cinematographer Dec. 589 The ultra-violet glare from those unshielded arcs+literally sunburned the actors' eyeballs and created the dread malady, 'kleig eye'. 1973 Rolling Stone 30 Aug. 38 Most folks got back to San Clemente sated, klieg-eyed and tired.

Actinic - 1870 Proctor Other Worlds x. 246 Besides light and heat, the stars emit actinic rays. 1871 H. Macmillan True Vine 124 We produce photographs by a power in the sunbeam called the chemical, or actinic power. 1874 Hartwig Aer. World vi. 68 These ultra violet, actinic, or Ritterian rays, as they have been named, after their discoverer Ritter.

For more on the subaltern, see "The Lion in a Net", June 26, 1939.

Site Ed. Note: These two items also from the editorial page today:

A Lady Shocked

(Linotype's Shining Lines)

A woman wrote to Jacob Riis, once famous as a newspaper man and social worker, and told him she had always admired Theodore Roosevelt until she had heard that he said "Damn" when he led his men up San Juan Hill. If that were so she would regretfully be compelled to change her opinion of Colonel Roosevelt. Roger William Riis said his father was asked to verify this upsetting rumor. The father's impatient answer was confined to this: "Dear Madam: I do not know whether Colonel Roosevelt said 'Damn' when he went up San Juan Hill, but I know that I did when I read your letter."

Southern Sands

By Maude Waddell

The cold white light that future times
Shall focus on bright Southern sands.
Like the clear tones of English chimes,
Will show the worth of love's commands.

Honor first and duty stern,
Are written in the South's deep soil
And in the hearts that loving yearns
O'er Southern pride and Southern toil.

The glint of gold in Southern sand
Flings back the Old South's honor bright,
And Southern hearts and Southern hands,
Are ever raised in Southern rights.

These Southern sands gleam far afield.
As beacons bright that light the way
Along a path by flowers concealed
That leads to history's yesterday.

Immortal wreaths surround the brows,
Of those whose blood flowed in the sands,
And loving hearts and sacred vows
Are offered them with reverent hands.

Something In Revenge

Nobody is going to catch The News condoning murder or deadly assault for any provocation whatever. But if ever there was an excuse for it, the 17-year-old Polish Jew who yesterday shot and critically wounded a secretary of the German Embassy in Paris--that Jew boy had an excuse.

The aristocratic and impeccable young secretary, himself only 32, of course isn't responsible for Germany's cruel mistreatment of Jews as a race and the grim little joke Hitler played upon Polish Jews in Germany by ordering them deported overnight. But somebody is responsible. When a family is driven from its home and means of livelihood and compelled to find shelter in an abandoned boxcar and to scrabble for food in a nether zone between two highly amused countries--why, the murderous instinct is altogether understandable, and if its outlet is against some subaltern instead of the tyrants in chief, why, that is only because subalterns are more accessible.

And for being representatives and beneficiaries of the order of Hitler in Germany, young secretaries of embassies must take the consequences. They live by the sword, and if a few of them perish by it, they will only be proving that the old axiom still holds good.

Ordeal by Fire

The saddest voice in the campaign was that of Governor Clyde Roark Hoey speaking in Gastonia last night on the theme of Robert Rice Reynolds.

If there is anything certain in this world, it is that the name of Robert Rice Reynolds is not dear to the Governor. Everything Robert represents the Governor does not represent. The Governor is a thorough-paced conservative, who believes in the things that are and have been. It is no secret that the New Deal does not make him sublimely happy. The last Young Democratic convention held in the state--the convention dominated by Governor Hoey's young men--came within a hair of not including the name of F. D. R. in its list of endorsements. Above all, the Governor believes in the regular Democratic Party organization and its office-holding hierarchy--its right to name the succession to office.

But Robert Rice--to call him a genuine insurgent will not do, of course. What he may believe or not believe is a mystery. But he pitches his appeal to the masses. He announces beforehand that he means to vote "yes" on all New Deal measures, and does almost invariably so vote. Worst of all, he is a rebel against the regular organization--a maverick candidate who got his job in defiance of the established succession of the hierarchy.

Still, his name is on the party ticket. And so Governor Hoey, in urging the voters to vote the straight ticket, had also to mention Robert Rice, and somehow to find words in praise of him. It was a painful thing to hear. The words seemed to halt in the Governor's throat, where words are not wont to halt. But in the end he got manfully through it, and with an almost audible sigh of relief went on ahead.

Batista to Washington

Col. Fulgencio Batista, the Cuban strong boy, is coming to Washington this week at the invitation of General Malin Craig, Chief of Staff for the United States Army. And there is little secrecy about the fact that he has been summoned to talk over "a mutual defense policy with the United States."

Under the old Platt Amendment, Cuba was bound to follow the foreign policy, laid down for her by Washington. But that amendment was washed away in the general anti-American outburst which, in the earlier years of the Roosevelt Administration, resulted from the long policy of blunt dictation and exploitation pursued by Republican regimes. Since, we have had very little to say to Cuba. Meantime, however, she has drifted into dictatorship. And more than that, very strong elements of Fascist sympathy have been growing up. As in other countries to the south, many of the principal newspapers and radio stations are busily engaged in making propaganda for Franco and Fascism in general. Batista himself is no Fascist, but simply a dictator on the old South American model. But the stage is plainly set for Fascism, and since Munich the danger has become more pressing.

So what Batista has really been summoned for is probably two things: (1) to make it perfectly clear to him that, Platt Amendment or no Platt Amendment, the United States has no intention of letting the foreign policy of Cuba get out of hand; and (2) to consider ways and means of setting up a pro-American propaganda which will effectually counteract the Fascist bedlam.


The name of our co-worker Heywood Broun was brought into the proceedings of the Dies Committee yesterday. A renegade Communist, one Matthews, said that he and Heywood formerly were closely associated in at least five Communist fronts.

One thing about Heywood is, he gets around. The wonder is that he didn't belong to 500 Communist fronts. Not that he'd have stayed very long in any of them: no, not that. Heywood is primarily a dissenter. He joined up with the Socialists one time and even ran for Congress on that ticket. But soon he had unjoined. He dissented. The Socialists weren't radical enough.

Heywood's heart beats for the common man. And meanwhile, his typewriter taps to the tune of $37,000 a year for Heywood. Heywood in one of his more ebullient moods would cheerfully cry for the downfall of capitalism just to hear the noise. But Heywood always cashes the handsome checks that same capitalism draws to his order. In fact, Heywood will take the capitalists' checks for writing pieces giving capitalism hell.

But that very trait of Heywood's comforts us and makes our association less irksome than it might be. If the tumbrils should finally roll again and the revolution come, Heywood would not be among the mob. He would be off somewhere turning out pieces giving the revolutionists hell. That's Heywood.

The Case of Old Bill

The problem of Old Bill, the Navy goat, looks to be settled. Somebody threw monopoly-busters of the Department of Justice into a dither by writing in to inform them that Bill was the head and front of a nasty monopoly--that somebody had a deadlock on supplying the Naval Academy at Annapolis with its caprine mascots. The trust-busters took one look at that, and fell upon it eagerly, scenting the juiciest scandal since the dissolution of Standard Oil.

But up stepped Lieut. Jean Moreau, of the Navy Athletic Association, to announce stoutly that it was all a base libel. There have been, he deposed, either seven or eight Old Bills at Annapolis. The first one was annexed by a football team en route to a game, when they discovered him calmly chewing on tin cans beside the road. Another arrived in a freight car, without anything to indicate his antecedents. None of the goats had come from the same place. And as for Old Bill VII or VIII, as the case may be, he's a Texan with a pedigree a yard long, donated by the Texas Centennial Exposition. Lieut. Moreau was a little vague, indeed, as to why the Centennial Exposition gave him away. But the mystery will hardly perplex even the trust-busters.

Toward A Better Rule

The text of Federal Judge William Clark's new order to Hague & Co. contains a good deal sounder doctrine than the original ruling he handed down in the case a short time ago. For it provides that the CIO and other organizations banned by Hague must be given the right to hold meetings in the public streets unless "a deliberate policy of forbidding meetings of any kind in any of the public streets" is adopted and carried through. And that kind of rule can fairly be justified in a town where traffic conditions are as congested as they are in Jersey City. At the same time, it leaves the parks, which Hague has also tried to close to the CIO, wide open.

But in the original ruling Judge Clark recommended a "modified censorship," to be invoked where speakers were known to have violated the "decencies of discussion," or "where their appearance threatened repeated disorder." And that, of course, made it easy for Hague to keep out any speaker he desired. For who is to determine what are the "decencies of discussion?" And isn't it common knowledge that Hague's own hoodlums see to it that the appearance of any speaker they do not like is accompanied by disorder?

Fortunately, Hague & Co., determined to have a whole victory instead of half a one, have appealed to the Circuit Court in the district. And though Judge Clark has recently been elevated to that Court, it is quite probable that it will reverse this decision. If it doesn't, the case will probably go to the Supreme Court, which would be the most fortunate thing of all. For it is unthinkable that the Supreme Court would do anything but hand down a decision which once for all would halt the Hague and all his little imitators in their effort to destroy the freedom of speech and assembly.


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