The Charlotte News

Wednesday, February 14, 1940


Site Ed. Note: "Hard to Hold" tells again the story of the Man who bid au revoir and again walked away from the Lion’s Den, to surface yet again, to walk away yet again. Reason? He was, simply put, a Royal snitch.

"English Taste" tells us how and why, ultimately, the Fab Four saved the South for awhile, 25 years later…

"Wise Move" tells us how the Fairness Doctrine enabled the record burners to get in gear when they despised the free speech exhibited of the Fab Four…

"Berserk" tells us how the Communist Youth within the Youth Congress gave free speech a bad name…with or without touting the Fab Four…

And "Coercion" tells us the contrary to some who cannot see through time and instead hinge their opinions of Cash to his wary position, enunciated in The Mind of the South, on force bills to put down lynching as likely to excite the hair-trigger temper of the recalcitrant Southerner resistant to any hint of Federal force generally, and thus make the mistake of believing he would not have been at the forefront of proclaiming the rectitude of the civil rights movement in the fifties and sixties.

It doesn’t become much plainer where he would have stood had he lived so long: "So long as the anti-lynching bill has not been passed, the South has no excuse in coercion. On the contrary, it is squarely up to it to put down lynching for good and all. And if it fails, then it may rest assured that Federal coercion will be ultimately resorted to. And quite justly."

Ultimately, the reason for lynching, psychologically, was inextricably bound up with this notion of Elaine the Fair, (and maybe Mrs. R, too), plus the need to feel superior to someone:

"The upshot, in this land of spreading notions of chivalry, was downright gyneolatry. She was the South's Palladium, this Southern woman--the shield-bearing Athena gleaming whitely in the clouds, the standard for its rallying, the mystic symbol of its nationality in face of the foe. She was the lily-pure maid of Astolat and the hunting goddess of the Bœotian hill. And--she was the pitiful Mother of God. Merely to mention her was to send strong men into tears--or shouts. There was hardly a sermon that did not begin and end with tributes in her honor, hardly a brave speech that did not open and close with the clashing of shields and the flourishing of swords for her glory. At the last, I verily believe, the ranks of the Confederacy went rolling into battle in the misty conviction that it was wholly for her that they fought.

"'Woman!!! The center and circumference, diameter and periphery, sine, tangent and secant of all our affections!' Such was the toast which brought twenty great cheers from the audience at the celebration of Georgia's one-hundredth anniversary in the 1830's."--The Mind of the South, Book One, "Of an Ideal and Conflict", Sec. 9, p. 89 of 1969 ed.

...Who's inadequate?

Hard To Hold

Parole For Massey Would Not Add Respect To Law

The proposal to parole bald-topped Jim (I’m the police) Massey, bootleg king of Charlotte's Negro districts, seems a little curious.

If the fellow is sick and needs to be treated, that of course should be looked after--is already being looked after. But if the daily trip to a clinic isn't enough and he needs hospitalization, then there's surely no objection to paroling him into Good Samaritan until he is well enough to resume the service of his year’s sentence.

Jim claims to have abandoned the bootleg trade, protests that he has never done any harm to white man or woman, has turned up many Negro criminals. That last perhaps explains this movement for parole, which seems to have the backing of both the police and the sheriff's office. The cops plainly have a soft spot for Jim, on the score that he has been most useful to them in the past.

But if Jim hasn't harmed white man or woman--a doubtful proposition, in view of his sale of bad hooch to some of them--he certainly has done harm to black men and women. And offended against the State. Since 1924 he has been in City, County, State and Federal courts at least 47 times. Seven times he has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, several times convicted. And over and over he has been convicted of selling liquor. Yet all the sentences imposed upon him in the whole period, including the year’s term now hanging over him, come to only eighteen months in jail.

We have no desire to see him treated brutally. But to free him of his jail term because the cops want it that way is simply to substitute the wishes of the servants of the law for the law itself. And to convince many people that if only you have the good will of the police you can break the law pretty much with impunity.

English Taste

Plus Independence, May Save Tar Heel Tobacco

Harry Hopkins predicts that England will go back to buying American tobacco in a short while. And it appears that he may be right.

Reason for the English withdrawal from the market, with resulting disaster to Carolina tobacco growers, were two: (1) she wanted to conserve her buying power in this country to pay for warplanes, etc.; and (2) she wanted to cement her ties with Turkey by providing a market for the tobacco which that country had formally sold to Germany.

But, as has happened before, the Tory Government seems to reckon without the English people.

Most of the cheap cigarettes favored by the Englishman in the street had been made out of so-called "Virginia bright leaf"--in reality produced mainly in North Carolina. Moreover, Englishmen are great pipe smokers, and like a fairly light tobacco made from a mixture of American bright leaf and burley. The Turkish tobacco is generally direct and heavy, and the lower grades are only a little less godawful than the fearsome black tow smoked by the common Frenchmen or the soggy hay the Germans get. The Englishman emphatically doesn't like it.

Before the war is much older the Germans may be ordered to smoke scrap paper, and if they are there is no doubt that they will dutifully obey. But the Englishman is no German. What he doesn't like he waxes vocal and angry about. And that fact may be the salvation of Tar Heels in the eastern part of the state.

Wise Move

Church Cannot Afford To Let Priests Preach Hatred

If the Washington Merry-Go-Round story of yesterday is accurate as to the reason for the mysterious cancellation of Coughlin’s Sunday radio address, then the Catholic Church in America is to be congratulated.

The Church has quite rightly leaned over backward in its efforts not to interfere with the fellow's legitimate right of free opinion and free speech and politics. He has the civil right to advocate criticism of social order which seems to him desirable, including Communism or Fascism. And he even has the civil right to preach racial hatred. The radio ruling--which, curiously enough, has never been applied to him--that controversial subjects must be discussed only when the other side is provided with an opportunity for rebuttal, seems to us a very fair one. But under the Bill of Rights, men must have the right to say what seems to us to be damnable or free speech ceases to exist.

But in relation to the Church, he certainly has no right to preach racial hatred and to defend Christian Fronts, which propose to put racial hatred into practice by force. Speaking in his capacity as priest, he inevitably produces the impression in many minds that his position is the Catholic position. That he has convinced many ignorant Catholics on that point is indicated by the Merry-Go-Round's statement that the Catholic authorities hesitated to discipline him because of the fear that it would set off a schism in the Church. And it is common knowledge that many Protestants, hitherto friendly to the Church, had been increasingly bitter about the matter.

The Church serves itself and all it stands for well when it moves to make it unmistakably clear that it will not stand for the fellow preaching his poison in the role of priest.


Youth Meet Does Its Best To Prove Critics Right

The Youth Congress has probably sealed its own doom. However true it may or may not be that the rank and file is not made up of Communists, it is certainly going to get set down in the popular mind as a Red organization as a result of its clownish tactics in its session at Washington.

A grosser exhibition of bad manners has rarely been on view in the Republic. It had to be asked not to boo the wife of the President of the United States, who had often defended it from those who had charged it with Communism. It put on a rank display of hoodlumism in the House. And it snarled and sneered at the President himself, the moment his back was turned.

What is even worse, it loudly and brashly proclaimed its faith in the Communist version of the war in Europe, clearly revealed hatred for Finland and the Allies, sympathy for the Nazis. It wildly cheered the pronouncement of the secretary that Communists were welcomed with open arms. It whistled and shrieked with delight when an insolent Communist delegate from India presumed to say that the American people are thinking. And worst of all, it made it quite plain by its conduct when some Congressmen of which it did not approve attempted to speak in the House where it was a mere guest, that it is dead against free speech except when that is used to defend its Red friends.

It may be true that it was a noisy Communist minority which engineered and staged this exhibition. But its servile acceptance by the majority, the refusal to even consider doing anything about it, at least suggests strongly that the majority is one of the most muddle-headed ever heard of. Perhaps it ought to be largely overlooked. But it is not likely to be.


The South Is Extremely Allergic To The Idea

Governor Maybank, of South Carolina, takes up the same position on lynching that The News has long maintained. That the Governor is no friend of lynchers is amply demonstrated by his vigorous drive to lay hands on the Ku Kluckers who kidnapped the man at Anderson. But he fears that the effect of the measure like the Gavagan Bill, which undertakes to levy heavy fines against the county where the crime is committed, may be simply to excite the lynchers to action. He says in a letter to Congressman McKellar,

"As you know, the South, and I might say particularly South Carolina, abhors the thought of Federal interference in states' rights, insofar as police powers are concerned."

It is manifestly so. Reconstruction is a long way past now, but the suspicions born of it still survive.

However, this is also to be said. So long as the anti-lynching bill has not been passed, the South has no excuse in coercion. On the contrary, it is squarely up to it to put down lynching for good and all. And if it fails, then it may rest assured that Federal coercion will be ultimately resorted to. And quite justly.

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