The Charlotte News

Wednesday, January 10, 1940


Site Ed. Note: "Football" tells us what it was--and why it was dangerous to try to effect the goal by any method but slow grinding, inch by inch, in the ground game.

What it became of course over the ensuing three decades was open-field murder, more and more bold, in the daylight, even on film, for us all to see. Although their masks they continued to maintain, just hidden in plain view.

What it was not, or if so ever, rarely, was the work of "loners"; rather these men and, sometimes, their women, worked quite in concert, quite sociably, by their own murderous standards, to effect the lynching to maintain their social order in caste. It was their pastime because they hadn't the sense or creativity, whether they were the best people, even sometimes reasonably well educated, or the worst, the hapless fool at the bottom looking for a leg up, as often a mix of the two they were, to conjure any other form of activity to ease their refractorious minds, bent on anything other than reflection.

And anyone who came along as the pathological, proverbial Negrophile, whether black or white or else, to use a politer term than they ever deigned to conjure, one would likely first be deemed "unsociable", then if that didn't entreat the malfeasor to accept and do it their way, then the highway, often figuratively, if not actually, tarred and feathered, by ruined reputation, before being sent to its endless downward slope; then, if after all that, the poor dumb reprobate still insisted on recognition of that evil document, the Constitution, why then hang the lad or the lassie's lad, and teach them what's what--if not an actual hanging, by making the journey so utterly without respite from dark circumstance that they would wish death instead of life's cold solitude.

The Nazi learned from them his lesson well.

Doesn't go on any more in the South, or anywhere else, you say?

You apparently don't get around much, or when you do, you don't look very hard at the whole picture, believing what you are told and want to see to make you feel good about it all, then, we respond.

Easy Undoes It*

Justice And The School Fund Lose By Sloppy Administration

Mecklenburg County's new Grand Jury went to work with a will yesterday, returning indictments against a score or more of persons for crimes ranging from drunkenness to manslaughter. However, the Grand Jury, if its members read The News, must have wondered privately if there was much sense in deliberating so earnestly over the guilt or innocence of these persons accused.

At least, they must have wondered how many of them would ever be punished for their crimes.

That "How To Stay Out of Jail" series of articles in The News, taken directly from the records, indisputably shows that any number of guilty persons are let off, not because of the leniency of the court but because of the slipshod administration of court business in the bailiwick presided over by the Hon. John Carpenter, State's Solicitor.

Were any private establishment in the county to be run in as negligent a manner as this district's court of justice, particularly with reference to its accounts receivable, it would not last the year out.

Considerable money, earmarked by law for the school fund, is involved in balances due on fines and costs which the court, exercising its ultimate authority, imposes. The published list of unpaid items ran up to a total of $1871.35, or enough to pay the salaries of a couple of teachers for a whole term.

But the money, of course, is secondary. The thing that ought to disturb us all is the failure of the court organization to carry out judgments handed down from the bench. Flagrant contempt, we'd call it. And inexcusable.


We Do Not Seem To Have Monopoly On It

England seems to have its Coughlins--and perhaps not to be without its George Van Horn Moseleys also.

The War Office is examining an unsigned-letter, headed "A Call To All Loyal Englishmen," which makes a violent attack on Hore-Belisha (himself a Jew) and the Jewish race generally, charges that the army, navy, and air force are in the control of Jews and aliens. It is written on War Office stationery, said to be stolen. But that last looks a bit odd in view of the fact that it is said also to have been widely circulated and to have reached many army officers. Stealing that much of such stationery must have been rather difficult, unless the thief was operating from inside.

All this merely brings into the open what has already been rumbling beneath the surface. There have been rumors for many months to the effect that the Jew-baiters were out to get Hore-Belisha, and that some of these baiters were persons high placed in civilian and army ranks.

It is not to insinuate that Jew-baiting had anything to do with his actual dismissal. It is possible that the latter action was taken on the legitimate ground that he was unable to get along with the generals--that his retention would have led to an open break, a horrible thing in wartime. It was one of the great merits of Lloyd George in the last war that he could ride herd on the official stupidity of the generals without ever forcing things to an open showdown.

But if Jew-baiting did have anything to do with the case--then England, if it stands for it, roundly deserves to lose the sympathy of all decent people in the United States and the other neutral countries.

Business Man

A Baltimore Medico Raises An Interesting Question

Maybe Doc Joseph E. Moore, of Baltimore, and his brother, Doc John Moore, of Villanova, Pa., are good New Dealers and were merely taking a sardonic poke at business. Maybe not. Maybe it was all unconscious humor.

But that remark Dr. Joseph made to the reporters, that, in releasing Al Capone from prison, he had recommended eight years abstinence from "business activity of any sort," seems to us to be a prize exhibit of euphemism.

Nobody, we know, ever did pin it on him. But it had been our understanding that the last "business activity" in which Mr. Capone was engaged was that of playing czar to the rum-running trade in Chicago and points west, east, and south.

On the side, as we heard, he also had his hand in on the gambling trade and the quaint old-fashioned commerce of tossing pineapples into the shops of various little men who wouldn't play ball.

There were even some rumors that, while he did not want to appear openly in the connection, he was one of the very largest of American employers in the trigger--otherwise known as the "Put-Em-on a Spot" and "Take 'em to Ride"-trade.

Anyhow, as we say, it is not for any of that but for a little disagreement with the Federal Government over an unfortunate neglect to declare his income correctly, that Mr. Capone some years ago went into retirement at the well-known California coast spa, Alcatraz.

It will be interesting to see what new form of "business activity" he will take up, now that he is out of retirement and the Doc only specifies a year more of taking it easy. The repeal of Prohibition has of course pretty well ruined the rum-running trade--though he might still find some fairly good openings in places like Mecklenburg and Western North Carolina generally. But, as we hear it, there are plenty of swell chances in the numbers, the ponies, etc. for a man with sufficient enterprise.


Controversy Over Lynching Bill Is Less Than Candid

The candid fact about the eternal anti-lynching bill, which comes up in Congress today under the name of Gavagan (in time past it has been Wagner and Van Nuys and what have you), is that the controversy over it is a good deal less than honest.

If it were fairly certain that a Federal anti-lynching law would actually aid in putting an end to the practice, we should favor it. But we have our doubts that it would.

Jealousy of "outside" interference with local authority is a dominant characteristic of the South. Moreover, nothing is more certain than that many Southerners, particularly in the South, see the whole effort to pass such a law as an effort to coerce the South in regard to the Negro--sort of a revival of the era of William Tecumseh Sherman and the Freedmen's Bureau. And the characteristic response of such Southerners to that notion has always been not less but more violence.

Nobody, however, bothers with the pro and con of this view of the matter.

The real reason that a large portion of the House membership, mainly Republican but including some Democrats, voted to make this bill the first order of business in the current session of Congress, is that this is an election year. And that there is a great contest on for the vote of the Northern Negroes, which in some states may be decisive.

In the Presidential elections in 1932 and 1936, the Democrats corralled nearly the whole of this vote. But in the last two years they have been gradually losing Negro support, and the Republicans are very hopeful of winning it back again. They figure that a tremendous show of militant determination to put down lynching is perfectly calculated to aid them to that goal. And the Northern Democrats from districts heavily populated by Negroes, seeing themselves on a spot, feel that it is up to them to make an even more militant show.

There probably are a few men in both the House and the Senate who honestly believe in the bill and honestly want to see it passed. But it is doubtful that the majority want any such thing. For passage would deprive them of a perennial political football--would deprive the Yankees of the chance to delight the Northern Negroes with their everlasting charges for it, and the Southerners of the chance to derail their simpler clients by their heroic charges against it. The thing, in short, is valuable more as hocus-pocus than anything else--so valuable that, in the last session, we actually saw many Republican Senators rushing to the aid of the Southerners in heading it off, when for the moment it threatened to get out of hand and pass willy-nilly.

Site Ed. Note: The following also appeared on the page of this date. We cannot at present provide you the title, author, or the first few paragraphs as the upper part of the column was clipped in the copying process.

We might note, too, as a corollary to those three requisites for civilization ascribed to Justice Holmes, a concept he certainly endorsed generally: that all such rights must flow to each citizen of the society equally, and at all times, especially when the society is under most stress, or they are all mere folderol, temporally enjoyed by an ever-diminishing few until no one finally has any rights, as the many must be walled away from the few who enjoy them to maintain the luxuries inherent in their caste, ultimately to societal oblivion--Spengler's cycle come true, as in the prelude to the American revolution, as well that of the French revolution, and any other disordered state of affairs, founded upon strict order, whereby the many enjoy fewer privileges, provided as crumbs only by the smaller moneyed classes who hog the lion's share.

And, although we do not have the quote at hand, we assume Holmes included within the concept of contractual relations not only the usual context involving business intercourse, but also the mutual social compact which is inherent in the fabric of any democratic society.

Lord Lothian does not believe that there is a single ideological "solution" for the manifold problems of this earth. I gather from his speech that he does not think that there is an unbridgeable gulf between "socialism," democracy, and private enterprise, nationalism and internationalism, but rather that what we must seek is a synthesis; not a single answer but a whole series of adjustments, each made with a definite, realistic object in view, and not a Utopian ideal.


The British Ambassador did not quote Mr. Justice Holmes in his speech but he might well have done so. That late great member of the Supreme Court once said that there could be no civilization or culture without three things: First, some modicum of private property--that is to say, some place where the individual can be absolutely secure in the ownership of what he has earned, with the right to do with it what he pleases; second, regulation of the relations between the sexes for the sake of the preservation of the family; and, third, the validity of contracts.

Our interpretation of these things may change. Certainly our interpretation of the rights of property has changed and will continue to change. But we cannot have any kind of a free social order or any kind of a civilized social order unless there is some point where the individual is free, some point where he is absolutely secure as against the state and everybody else, and unless a signature on a contract means what it says and can be enforced.


The totalitarian states have violated all three of Mr. Justice Holmes' three prerequisites of civilization, itself.

They have made the individual a subject of the state in every particular. If he owns private property, he owns it not as a right but as an act of grace that can arbitrarily, at any moment, be abrogated.

Families have been ruthlessly broken up on racial grounds that take no account whatsoever of the psychological, spiritual and erotic ties that bind together men and women and their children.

And where all law is arbitrary all contract is invalid.

One has only to compare the speech of the British Ambassador with the speech made in Lodz, Poland, by Dr. Robert Ley, head of the German Labor Front, on Dec. 17, to see the discrepancy between the totalitarian concept of an international order and the democratic concept.

"The German race! That is our faith!" exclaimed Dr. Ley. "We have the divine right to rule and we shall assure ourselves of that right." And he echoed an authoritative article published in November in the "Boersen Zeitung," which said: "It is not true that all nations have equal rights... General equal rights of peoples and nations is the same liberal fallacy as the twaddle of general human rights!"

This same liberal twaddle, however, happens to be in the line along which the Western World has moved since Greece. And if Western civilization means anything it means the constant re-vindication of this "twaddle."

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