The Charlotte News

Tuesday, June 27, 1939


Site Ed. Note: "Man To Honor" gives well-deserved praise to renowned sociologist Howard Odum of the University of North Carolina. As set forth in Cash's book-page article, "Roosevelt Looks To Odum", July 17, 1938, Odum's research on the South, especially his Southern Regions, influenced views and socio-economic policy vis á vis the South all the way to the top echelons of government.

Odom was an early mentor for Cash when Cash was formulating his initial ideas for The Mind of the South in 1929. The two exchanged several pieces of correspondence during late 1929 and early 1930. In one such letter dated November 20, 1929 from Odum to Cash, he stated: "I think there is a real place for a book of the sort which you plan, giving it a sort of zestful attack somewhere midway between the factual analysis and critical philosophy... In my own case I should not draw the lines very closely between the different cultural groups of the South. That is, the line between your old-time romantic gentleman of the South and other types or between one generation and another generation of the same family were not always so closely drawn as the ordinary picture would suggest. That is, many of the southerners who were reputed to have a plantation and leisure still ate dinner in their shirtsleeves and washed on the back porch and let the chickens roost in the top of the trees in the yard. Or did they? Many of the beautiful old homes and great families grew up from log cabins in the pioneer wilderness, enlarged and rebuilt and then entirely transcended by the big house. What was the difference between the first generation and the third? Even so, for the purpose which you have in mind, it is important to set forth each of these stages or characterizations in so far as it can be done..."

In 1942, Odum chronicled both white and black attitudes on race in Race and Rumors of Race, published by the U.N.C. Press in 1943, ostensibly a work to determine the truth of rumors circulating in the South regarding a planned violent uprising by blacks supposedly collecting knives and icepicks and forming "Eleanor Clubs" at the behest of the First Lady; Odum's research failed to substantiate the rumors.

And since we reprinted another letter to the editor by J. B. O'Meara on the sad state of radio, appearing on June 23, and made some comment of our own in retort, we thought we would also re-print this more astute sounding piece on the world situation, indicative of J. B.'s active reading of Cash's daily editorials on the subject.

We also reproduce the short letter by one Tillie Eulenspiegel, aka Mary Bagley Ross, Cash's future wife. Sounding somewhere between the pre-cursor to Professor Irwin Corey and Emily Litella, it points up a primary reason for the success of their relationship.

What Germany Deserves If She Starts A War

Dear Sir:

Reading in the newspapers today about the blockade that the Japanese are carrying on in China, not only to the disgust of Great Britain and France, but the whole civilized world, it seems to me that the secret of the thing lies with Italy and Germany. They demonstrate clearly that all they want is to get Great Britain involved in trouble with Japan so that they can have a free hand to gobble up in Europe whatever they think is valuable to them. Some years ago I had great respect for the German nation, but in the last two or three years, under the curse of Nazism, they have started out to take and steal everything they think would be beneficial to them as a nation, so they can use all that they steal to increase their military power, and not to pay a cent that they owe justly to other nations. It is my wish that if they succeed in bringing on another European war, which they have been trying to do for a year, they may be wiped off the face of the earth, and that a German nation will never again exist in the civilized world. Their treatment of subjects in acquired territory stands out as an outrageous blot on the civilization of the world.



Note In Sympathy For An Anti-Beal Man

Dear Sir:

Thank you for reprinting the piece by a Mr. Dave Cluck who is the editor of a bulletin called the Textile Bulletin. I mean de piece vhere he calls the fellers names dat's trying to get old bad Fred Beal outa de pen.

Fred Beal is a unspikkable toincoat. Look how he talks so bad and written soch bad tings about Rhossia vhen he come back to dis country from dere. Sure he oughta stay in de pen.

I vhish to heartily endorse dis Mr. Dave Cluck. I am completely in sympthity wid him.




A Far Away Speech Is Echoed In Mecklenburg

The County Commissioners, we fear, have been studying the example of the Japanese. Anyhow, the spokesman at Tientsin had hardly got that speech about "in principle" out of his mouth yesterday, before the local boys were on the verge of applying the general idea. They were, it appeared, against "sin and wrongdoing in all its forms"--so strongly that they had themselves spread on the record to that effect.

But they had just refused Solicitor McAulay's request to revoke the beer licenses of three men convicted in County Recorder's Court--one for operating a public nuisance, another for violating the liquor laws, and the third for having rented "tourist" cabins for immoral purposes. The three license-holders were there in front of them--"accompanied by a large delegation of neighbors and friends who told the Commissioners the holders had good reputations."

Then Solicitor McAulay got wind of what was happening, grabbed Police Chief Henry Moseley, and hastened before the Commissioners to read the court records of the three men and to urge strongly that their licenses be revoked for the public good. Whereupon the Commissioners hastily reconsidered and--decided to revoke the licenses after all? No, not that. But they did decide to reopen the matter, and talk it over later on in the week. Maybe they will get around to the revocation then. But, as matters stand at the moment, they are against "sin and wrongdoing in all its forms"--in principle.

In Principle

The Japanese Make Clear A New Process Of Logic

The Japanese "spokesman" explained that his country wasn't going to investigate that British report that a British woman had been stripped naked by Japanese soldiers at the barrier around the concession in Tientsin, because "in principle such a case cannot happen." Was he willing to deny that it didn't happen? Yes--in principle. You just make a rule you see, that it didn't happen. And let 'em fume.

All of which helps us at last to understand a lot of things. For instance, many very good people have solemnly assured us that the stories about the German performance at Guernica, when 700 men, women, and children were bombed to death from the air, and about Franco's multiple murders over Spain, that "they just didn't happen." That has puzzled us a good deal. For the overwhelming evidence of trained American reporters said that all these things did happen. But now we think we begin to see the light. Franco and his German and Italian friends, you see, were fighting for "civilization"--for "Spain and religion against Communism and Atheism." And that being so, of course they couldn't have done these things--in principle. And if the facts say they did--well it just isn't so: in principle.

Welcome Economy

If You Want Gov't. Mail, You Have To Ask For It

With the advent of the New Deal, the Government's printing bill began to rise by flood stages. Millions were added to the cost of this venerable agency, which has always printed up more downright tripe than the average editor has thrown away, and before long almost every bureau in Washington was putting out its own magazine or clipsheet or house organ. The urge to print--ah, combined with a free printer, it becomes irresistible.

The effect of all this was bad enough on the budget and worse on Jim Farley, who had to carry the franked stuff through the mails. But it was worst of all on newspapers. Every post brought a stack of this-a and that-a which had to be gone through for the reason that the Government does not classify its mail and none of it bore a 1 1/2 stamp to indicate that it was of relative importance to the sender himself. We came to recognize some of it by its wrapping, such as "Consumers' Bulletin," a weekly treatise on how to buy groceries, but the most of it had to be examined before being thrown away.

Effective July 1, however, this waste of good paper and better time will be drastically curtailed. By Public Resolution the Congress has decreed that Federal departments and agencies cannot transmit releases free of postage except upon request of the recipient. Surest things you know are--(1), that recipients are going to be exceedingly modest in their request, and (2) that nobody connected with the Government is going to buy any stamps.

Why Did He Skip?

Political Stealing Is No Crime In Louisiana

The clearest thing about the disappearance of LSU's Prexy James Smith because of alleged "financial irregularities" is why he should have thought it necessary to run away. He's a politician, ain't he? He had to be to get his job from Huey Long and to keep it under that grand rascal's successors. And in Louisiana the rule is that politicians are entitled to all they can get away with. That is one state, in fact, where politicians have even got away with defrauding the U.S. Government of income taxes, the unforgivable sin.

To be sure, there are polite and impolite ways of stealing in Louisiana. One of Huey's methods was to collect back taxes due the State, for a commission of 33 1-3%. Later on, taking a leave from Huey's book, former Governor Noe and Seymour Weiss, onetime treasurer of Huey's gang, dragged down in one year $92,396 apiece as officers of the Win Or Lose Oil Co., a cash-less corporation formed to exploit the State's oil lands. And got away with it.

Estimates of the shortage at LSU--several hundred thousand dollars--would seem to establish the grand scale of Dr. Smith's embezzlement, and therefore would make it essentially polite and entirely permissible in Louisiana. So why did the great educator run away? We haven't the slightest idea, unless--unless it was to divert suspicion and public attention from the resigning Governor Leche himself, who happens to be charged with irregularities on his own account.

Man to Honor

Harvard Bestows A Well-Earned LL. D. On Odom

There are honorary degrees and honorary degrees, but when Fair Harvard confers her LL. D. on a man, you may safely take a bet that he deserves it.

And so last week when Harvard University draped her crimson-hooded gown around the shoulders of Howard W. Odom, she saluted a man who is not without honor in his home country but whose eminence is not, perhaps, fully appreciated. Let it be said, however, that a good part of the liberal name which the University of North Carolina enjoys derives from the same Odom, long a Ph.D. in his own right. His statistical distinctions are too numerous to be listed here, and, besides, are only evidence of a known worth. In him are combined the scientist's passion for hard fact and the humanist's urge to soften it.

Indeed, the man is the original source of a great deal that the South now knows about itself and would like, saving its bitter-end defenders, to change. His books are a liberal education on the South, his Institute for Research in Social Science a progressive chart for the South. In addition to all that, he is the prime authority, or should be, for Southern editors, which may be why we hail his newest honor and call him worthy of it.


A High Price Was Paid For The Recall Of That Devaluation Power

The action of the Senate in revoking all the President's power for further devaluation of the dollar is a matter for debate. The argument is certainly sound that the power as it existed left the way open for inflation--or at least that devaluation to the rest once allowed would have been to take a step toward inflation. But on the other hand, the revocation of the power has stripped the President of his single most potent weapon in international trade. If other countries should commmence a currency war, this country could not fire a single shot.

But if the revocation of this power is a subject for debate, the method by which it was achieved isn't. For it was done by a coalition of conservative Republicans--i.e., mainly Republicans primarily anxious to embarrass the Administration--with the wild-eyed silverites from the West: by these Republicans voting to up the price paid by the Treasury for domestic silver (which it is required by law to buy) from 64.64 cents an ounce to 77.57. And the latter is simply a plain steal. And not only by the difference between the price paid and the world price of about 43 cents. For you already have enough silver buried in the earth to meet our own and the whole world's need for the metal for many years to come. The money is being paid out for the continued digging up of a stuff that for all practical purposes is no more good at the present time than so much mud.


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