The Charlotte News

Thursday, July 20, 1939


Site Ed. Note: "Women's Luck" tells us how little has changed as to the number one killer among adults, though improvements have been made obviously in the resistance to cancer and stroke. Men are still substantially more prone to death by accident than women, just as in 1939. The Center for Disease Control reported in 2002 that the leading cause of death among women, responsible for 28.2 percent of deaths, is heart disease, second, at 21.6 percent, are malignant neoplasms (tumors), third, at 8 percent, cerebrovascular diseases (brain and its blood vessels), followed by chronic lower respiratory diseases, Alzheimer's, diabetes, all accidents, (tied with influenza and pneumonia, at 3 percent), nephritis (kidney disease), and septicemea (blood disease).

For men, the statistics run: Heart disease, 28.4 percent, malignant neoplasms, 24.1 percent, accidents, 5.1 percent, followed by cerebrovascular disease, chronic lower respiratory disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, suicide, nephritis, and chronic liver disease and cirrhosis.

When you factor in that the country is more than double the population it was in 1939, 131.7 million in the 1940 census compared to 281.4 in 2000, we have not done too badly on accident-related deaths, accounting for about 70,000 male deaths and 37,500 female deaths, about 43,000 of these deaths coming from automobiles, just 3,000 more in 2003 than in 1937.

Shall we therefore typologize? Men are more accidental in their relations to the world about them than women; they are also more suicidal. The question thus becomes: Is that engine driven by the testosterone or by the estrogen looking on, driving it to greater heights? Montague, after all, took the fatal dose first, and on false belief that he only followed his star-crossed Capulet. Time doth not change fast this mortal coil.

As Prophesied

Fascists Read Neutrality Defeat As Go-Ahead Signal

In the Associated Press news report yesterday appeared the following dispatches:

The press of Berlin and Rome... hailed the (neutrality) decision as a defeat for Mr. Roosevelt.


Fascists (at Rome) today interpreted President Roosevelt's abandonment of efforts to revise the neutrality act during the present session of Congress as a surrender to "isolationists."

That seems clearly to destroy the arguments put forward by the "isolationists" and such commentators as General Hugh Johnson, and perfectly to bear out the President's warnings.

The great danger in playing partisan and spite politics with this issue has never been that failure to lift the arms embargo would seriously deprive England and France of the arms. If the present bill were interpreted as it was in the case of Spain, it would indeed automatically bar the purchase of planes here if war came. But in fact it probably would be interpreted otherwise, and the "isolationists" would probably be glad to acquiesce in order to escape the consequences of their own deeds.

The great danger has lain all along in the prospect which now begins to be borne out--that Germany and Italy, both addicted to wish-thinking, would interpret the President's defeat as meaning that they could safely discount the United States in estimating their chances of winning a war. And such an interpretation is, we believe, a tragic error--for the United States as well as the world. There is no doubt as to where the overwhelming sympathy of the United States lies. And those people who think that in case of a long war that sympathy will be content with mere words, take little account of human nature, and particularly of the nature of the American. If a war comes and lasts long, our chances of staying out are pretty slim. And the "isolationists," in order to vent their spleen and their partisanship, have done their level best to insure that it will come.

Women's Luck

The Automobile Is Not So Dangerous For Femmes

If you wear pants, the greatest menace that hangs over your head is that you'll drop dead with a heart attack. After that, according to the National Safety Council's latest report, the next greatest menace is that you'll die in an automobile accident. But if you go about in skirts, the chances are that you are going to die of heart disease, cancer, cerebral hemorrhage (apoplexy), chronic nephritis (Bright's Disease), in that order, before ever the motorcar gets you. More than that, in skirts the chances that you will escape being bumped off by an accident of any sort are four to one better than if you go about in pants.

Besides proving that this is a woman's world, that also, it occurs to us, disposes of the argument that the pedestrian is to blame for most motor accidents in towns. For the average woman pedestrian notoriously pays no more attention to where she is going than a chicken which has just had an axe struck briskly across her neck. Maybe it's because they stay at home more, though, on reflection, that does not seem likely. Probably, the gods just like 'em better.

In 1938 the automobile death toll came down considerably over 1937--18 per cent, to be exact. The figures were: in 1937, 39,643 deaths; in 1938, 32,400.

After the motorcar, the next great cause of accidental deaths, believe it or not, is falls. In 1938, the automobile accounted for 34 per cent of all accidental deaths, falls for 28 per cent. After that comes drowning, which accounted for 8 per cent, and burns which accounted for the same proportion of the total.

Site Ed. Note: A letter to the editor of July 28 by W. F. Alexander, the Charlotte manager of the Carolina Times, a black-owned newspaper, would give praise to this editorial.

Sharing the Guilt

Courts Cannot Entirely Shift Blame To The Cops

The Police Department is catching it these days. Judge Don Phillips, trying a Negro murder case yesterday, directed a verdict of not guilty and blessed out the police for not having gathered sufficient evidence on which to try the case.

Only defense put up was by one officer who had had something to do with the case. He explained, pretty lamely, that you just couldn't "get evidence out of them" [Negroes] and that "it was time for changing shifts, too."

Do you hear that? Time for changing shifts. Murder must wait.

But let Judge Phillips distribute the blame for the official indifference towards Negro killings of Negroes where it belongs. The police are at fault, to be sure, yet only partly so. Why should they stay overtime in a murder case, with the madam and the kids waiting at home, when the high chances are that--

(1) Solicitor Carpenter is going to settle for a lesser offense, anyhow, and get it over with;

(2) A jury of white citizens is going to treat the whole affair lightly as just another nigger killing;

(3) The judge on the bench is going to let the case take its course and in the end temper his justice too much with tolerance.

There is no disputing these statements. In our files we've got two folders fat with precisely such incidents. Indeed, three or four years ago, violent crime among Negroes got so bad and punishment remained so lenient that a committee of Negro ministers petitioned the authorities to treat murder as murder, no matter the race of the corpse; and they said:

"From the office of the clerk of the court we find that there is no case on record (in Mecklenburg County) where a Negro has been sentenced to the electric chair for killing another Negro, and only one case where the maximum of twenty years has been given for manslaughter. The prevailing sentence for a Negro convicted of killing another Negro is from three to five years. Hence the general feeling among Negroes involved in a crime against other Negroes is that they will get off with light sentences if they are convicted."

Judge Phillips' caustic lecture to the police may do some good, but in all fairness they should not be charged exclusively with the blame for this Friendly City's murderous propensity. It traces to race, ignorance, indecent living conditions--and to official indifference all along the line.

Site Ed. Note: Despite the fact that war would start there, with the firing in the grey early morning hours of September 1 by the Nazi battleship Schleswing-Holstein of eleven-inch shells into an ammunition supply depot at Westerplatte, twenty-five minutes after a plane dropped a shell on the fishing village and airbase at Puck, Danzig, or known today and historically as Gdansk, would not be destroyed by the war, as much of old Warsaw, where the most stubborn stand of the Polish military and civilians alike was effected, would be. Gdansk survives as a thriving port city in modern Poland. It was on its docks in 1980 that Lech Walensa's Solidarity union began, ultimately playing a central role of course in freeing Poland from Soviet tyranny in 1989.

Historically, from 1466, the city, originally capital of Pomerelia, belonged to Poland; then, it passed to Prussia in 1793 and, except for seven years when Napoleon made it a free state between 1807 and 1814, remained as part of Prussia, serving as the West Prussian capital, until 1919 when it was granted to Poland by the Treaty of Versailles. It was this limited fancifully historical claim only from the 19th century therefore, plus the predominant German population of it, upon which Hitler laid his claim to the all-important Baltic seaport. As Cash pointed out, it was as silly an argument as Hitler laying claim to various American cities at the time with populations of predominantly second, third, fourth, fifth, ...tenth generation German extraction.

A speech by Hitler at Langer Market in Danzig on September 19 began, in typically mendacious form, this way:

"You are not alone in experiencing this moment with the deepest emotion; the whole German nation is experiencing it too. I myself am conscious of the greatness of this hour. For the first time I am treading upon soil of which German settlers had taken possession five hundred years before the first white men settled in what is today New York State. It is thus five hundred years longer that this soil was German, had remained German and will--of this we may all be convinced--remain German."

What he referred to apparently was that the Teutonic Knights conquered Pomerelia and Gdansk in 1308 and held it for about 150 years.

But, of course, as everyone must know, there are many of us who descended by marriage from the Bruce of Scotland and indeed founded Scota single-handedly ourselves with broadswords unsheathed from our hip-swinging scabbards--why, don't you know. Thus, we shall collectively to Scotland for our rightful inheritance upon the Stone.

There are those, we find from a perusal of the internet, who even still believe that it was the Poles picking on the poor "minority Germans" which brought the saviour Adolf to their grand rescue on September 1, (as if they couldn't have left on their own if their fate was so horrible in Poland), even producing supposed photographic "proof" of supposed atrocities by the Poles against the "Germans" in Poland. Such beliefs, of course, are based on digging up 1939 Goebbels-inspired propaganda and being so stupid as to believe it to contain truth.

Ah well, one and the same can and probably do also still believe there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in 2003, that their neighbors (and all Liberals) plot in code terces in the thgin to toohs them where they peels, and so...

Danzig Faith

These At Least Plainly Don't Expect War

The "optimism" about Danzig which has popped up in some circles in Europe is somewhat inexplicable, if one supposes that the Chamberlain Government actually means to back up Poland in the showdown. For it is manifest that Hitler means to go right ahead with the taking of the city. He is plainly feeling out the ground, to be sure--as in the sending in of the 40 trucks loaded with men and arms. That was pretty clearly designed to test out what the English would do. They did nothing and so he probably will now wax bolder. Indeed, he is already waxing bolder--for the "discovery" of a "Socialist plot backed by Russia and Poland" is certainly another step toward the time when the city will suddenly announce its "voluntary" adherence to the Reich.

Maybe the "optimism" is a mere rumor started by Berlin, as the French charge, to cause the British and French peoples to relax their vigilance--in preparation for abruptly confronting them with a fait accompli and the nerve-shaking choice of submitting or choosing war. Or maybe it reflects the fact that Chamberlain is still bent on "appeasement" and that we are on our way to another Munich.

Anyhow, it seems that the Danzigers themselves, mistakenly or not, are convinced that there will be no war when they throw down the gage and prepare to choke Poland to death. For no city willingly commits suicide. And if there is anything certain, it is that, if war comes, Danzig and its whole population will be wiped off the face of the earth.


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