The Charlotte News

Monday, February 5, 1940


Site Ed. Note: We include the following couple of little pieces from the editorial page of this date. As to the first, the probable explanation is high religiosity in the South, still so today, inhibiting suicide, the Christian belief that the errant goes to Hell in consequence of such an act being deterrent to the self-imposed end date for life—with good intent obviously, subject to abuse by others who then take it that the hapless idealist Southerner, the non-joiner to those groups stressing "Americanism", not religious or constitutional ideals, as their rallying cry, should therefore endure merciless treatment at the hands of such recalcitrant, recondite night-riding murderers of mystery as discussed both in "Refugee" and "Hoods Again", thus forced to suicide, condemned to Hell for it. Except that it does not actually work that way, of course, in reality.

Things have changed, however, over time with respect to the proportionate suicides by region. The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta reports that during the period from 1990 through 1994, 154,444 persons committed suicide in the United States. Of these, 57,509 or 37% of all suicides occurred in the South, 38,709 or 25%, in the West, 34,492 or 22%, in the Midwest, 23,734 or 15%, in the Northeast. When based on rates per 100,000 population, however, the West at 14.1 topped the scale, followed by the South at 13.1, the Midwest at 11.4, and the Northeast at 9.3. Thus, since 1940, the South has jumped to number two from last, while the Northeast has fallen to last in suicide rate.

When the manner of the suicide between 1990 and 1994 was examined, rates were highest in the West for all methods except firearms where the South was pre-eminent with 69.8% of all suicides being accomplished by firearms. Firearms were the leading method in all regions, 58.3% in the West, 57.8% in the Midwest, and 44.9% in the Northeast.

Regional variations were greatest for overdose from drugs and firearm-related suicide rates. For overdose, the adjusted suicide rate in the West was approximately a hundred percent higher than in the Northeast, which had the lowest rate. Adjusted firearm suicide rate was highest in the South, 130% higher than in the Northeast.

What does all of that mean? No one can say for sure, of course. If our first hypothesis is correct, then does it suggest lower religiosity today than in 1940, almost assuredly the case, in the South? Does it suggest higher religiosity today in the Northeast than in 1940? But, one also has to factor in the considerable variable of greater stress in everyday life generally, a faster-paced society, larger, more mobile populations than in 1940, greater proportions of immigrants with fewer initial ties to home and kin? Or, do we overstress these variables, given what we see of the same attributes, in relatively increasing proportion, ascribable to society in 1940, especially in an increasingly war torn world just beginning to creep out of a decade of economic depression both in the United States and abroad, as ordinarily urbane people shrieked and ducked into hidey holes on the strength of mere local radio pronouncements that the world would end next day?

Are we not susceptible still to the same nonsensical reactions to radio and tv pronouncements of the same variety, perhaps not that the world will end absolutely, but such nonsense as that "the world as we know it will never be the same," a gorgeous self-fulfilling prophecy if there ever was one having been touted by the mass media corrupters of thought since 9-11? Hogwash to that one. Three airplanes being crashed into buildings scarcely changed the world, except as we allow it to be so by mass insanity and the need for insularity from the world at large, always a dangerous place for fragile little man bestride it, all in the wake of an act of insanity by a mere 19 crazy individuals, crazed by their own fervent religiosity, or that which they took to be such. To allow it to be so changed is to inspire the next madmen bent on similar self-immolation and self-ingratiation into the history books as having changed the world, just as sought by Mr. Cho with his desperate act in April, 2007.

It is worth noting that we humans sometimes are curious creatures with our consciousness. If we want tragedy to befall us all, to provide that insular feeling against the cruel uncooperative will in Nature, the world at large, likely then it will.

That is not to say, of course, that we may duck our heads in the sand and it will all go away, either. But being prepared and cautiously wary is a far cry from being insanely pre-emptive to the point where no one any longer has freedom to speak, think, or to go out of doors without being subject to an insanely pre-emptive eye bent on taking away freedom to speak, think, or travel unimpeded.

Balancing by the learned hand through understanding is, in the final analysis, the only way to avoid such paradoxes leading on to more violence and decay collectively of the human mind to the point of barbarism and concomitant will to suicide.

As to the second little piece, a filler, we can only say that he got him a medal that he won in the War, weighs 500 pounds and it sleeps by the door, and, peeking out, after the War to end the World and thus all wars, at 3 o’clock fast, all being over by a quarter past, someone turned the lights on, even though no one paid the Con. Ed. Bill...

Suicide In Dixie

Raleigh News & Observer

One puzzling aspect about the suggestion that the South is Economic Problem No. 1 lies in the official figures on suicide in the United States. Economically the South may be bad off but the preference for this world over the deliberate entry into the next one seems to be stronger in the South than anywhere else in this land. Indeed, there seems to be a positive affinity between suicide and riches and one also between poverty and love of life in the suicide statistics.

By almost all of the indices by which the sociologists, statisticians and other experts rate the economic and social status of states, South Carolina and Mississippi rank low. But strange to say, fewer people commit suicide in those states than in any other in the American union. In rich New York the suicide rate is nearly twice as high as comparatively poor North Carolina. Nor is this to be explained by the difference in urban and rural populations, for almost wholly rural Vermont has the highest suicide rate among all the Eastern states.

A Western community is mystified by the disappearance of seventeen manhole covers. We shall look for these in the cartoons, among Goering's medals.


How One Alien Threatens Our Native Institutions

We have no doubt that the Hon. Robert Rice Reynolds will be interested in this little story.

The Hon. Robert, like the Hon. Martin Dies, wants to deport all the unnaturalized aliens in the country, to stop all immigration of refugees. They are, he infers, Reds. And when somebody points out to him that it plainly isn't so of most of them, he counters by saying that they are responsible for most of the crime in this country. And when somebody quotes him the figures which show that they are in fact the least criminal group of people in the nation, he takes refuge in shouting that they are ruining us economically--eating us out of house and home. And when somebody gently reminds him that, under a law he himself helped to pass, they aren't even allowed on relief rolls, he thunders triumphantly that they are taking jobs away from American workmen.

Here's how. When Hitler took over Austria, one Arthur Denes, described by the Associated Press as a "spry little Jew," escaped to the United States--bringing with him 200 pounds of paprika, the first genuine paprika seed ever brought to the United States. Eventually he landed in Louisiana, a state suffering, like the other Southern states, from cotton poverty. He interested Horticulturalist Julian Miller, of Louisiana State University, in his seed. And now he's planting a 350-acre farm, giving his seed to his neighbors. Horticulturalist Miller says it will eventually mean a $10,000,000 annual crop for the state.

A wicked alien, you see, displacing the good old American cotton with foreign paprika, and making us richer. No doubt, if you looked into it, you would find that it is a Red plot cooked up by International Jewry.

Site Ed. Note: We don't like paprika, ourselves, whether derived from L.S.U. or elsewhere, so don't serve it up to us, please. But that doesn't mean that others might not like it and thus have, among their spices, the perfect right to it.

Site Ed. Note: Somewhere, somehow, somebody must have kicked you around some...

Hoods Again

Revival Of Ku Klux Klan Is An Ominous Sign

One of the disquieting movements in progress in this country is the revival of the Ku Klux Klan, the infamous hooded organization which fell into decay in the late Twenties because of the long string of crimes in which it indulged.

It has long been evident that there was no real danger of any Communist revolution in this country, but that there was a very good chance of a Fascist revolution. Not openly appearing as such and organized under Nazi or other foreign auspices--no. But masquerading as a 2,000 Per Cent American and anti-Communist organization, and devoted to preaching race-hatred, labor-baiting, etc. as patriotism.

The Red doctrines have never attracted any great body of Americans. The Fascist doctrines, in their essence, have--unfortunately. It has not been generally noted that the Ku Klux Klan was the first Fascist organization to appear in the world after the great war. And in some sense Fascism and Hitlerism are only imitations of it. It preaches exactly the same sort of thing, and proposes to go after attaining its objectives in exactly the same way--by lawless violence and coercion.

Hence, its revival is to be viewed with something less than equanimity. It has been heard of in both South Carolina and Georgia recently engaged, as usual, in crime. And now it pops up in Oklahoma, raising the claim that it is going to clean the Communists out of CIO, boasting that, though it does not solicit membership from the unions, it has already gained control of several locals. How it gained control is pretty easy to guess.

It is a phenomenon which is a thousand times as dangerous to anything which actually deserves the name of Americanism as the activities of all Mr. Browder's crackpots.


British Cling To Bumble For Reasons Odd To Us

Parliament's overwhelming rejection of a Laborite motion to place an economics minister in the Cabinet over Neville Chamberlain's veto, amounts to an endorsement of the latter and his determination to run the war in his own fashion.

Many people in the United States will probably set that down simply to politics on the part of the Tory majority. But in point of fact it is doubtful if that explanation really goes far enough, though politics naturally played a part.

Most Americans think Chamberlain ought plainly to be got rid of. The man is manifestly a muddler, he failed abysmally with his "appeasement" plan after selling out Czechoslovakia, and, with Stanley Baldwin, his predecessor in office, he undoubtedly bears a good deal of the responsibility for making Germany strong enough to dare war at all.

But that is only the American reaction. Britishers generally have an intense distrust of brilliance in their leaders, always believe they are safer in the hands of a muddler--actually pride themselves on that very muddling quality. And, despite the great growth of Labor and radical opinion in the country, the majority of them undoubtedly still prefer to think of a Tory of Chamberlain’s sort as being somehow more substantial, more capable of responsibility than anybody else. (We are not maintaining that it is true, but merely that the English think it is.)

And so it is probable that the vote in Commons was less a result of politics on the part of the majority in Parliament itself than of the prevailing sentiment in the nation at large. It is a view which the opinion polls amply bear out, for they show that Chamberlain is still the general choice as head of the Government.

Medical Center

New Institution Is More Than Hospitals Of Past

Increasingly of late we are hearing the term "medical center" applied to the Charlotte Memorial Hospital. The distinction is not only an expression. A medical center has to be more than a hospital. It must be a city of healing, equipped to handle every possible kind of accident or illness under every conceivable circumstance.

Dr. Morris Fishbein, nationally known as a spokesman for the medical profession in the United States, made this clear to us in his talk the other night. There is a long list of medical and surgical services without which a community of this size cannot truthfully call itself civilized. We have been lacking many indeed of these services up to now. But all of them will be provided us when the Charlotte Memorial Hospital opens its doors.

For the first time, for example, Charlotte is to have an up-to-date out-patient department containing the necessary clinics and dispensary. Dr. Fishbein called the lack of this "pathetic." Indeed he might, for there probably is no other city of this size without one. The knowledge that we will possess this vital department in our medical center should strengthen our civic pride.

Charlotte Memorial Hospital will also give us for the first time a completely equipped and manned section to handle contagious diseases. We will have, too, a department for nervous and mental disorders. Another first in our medical center will be a resident staff on hand 24 hours a day for emergency service.

Dr. Fishbein pointed out to us, as well, that "a modern hospital cannot fulfill its purpose if it regards itself as merely a place in which to take care of the sick." Education and research, for instance, are necessary to a fully-rounded hospital service.

Physicians and surgeons must keep up with a constant advance in the science of healing. The lack of a newly-evolved treatment, or knowledge of its use, may mean death instead of a cure. A medical center has to educate nurses and interns, and thus, as Dr. Fishbein said, we get not only a constant supply of these missionaries of healing, but we keep our doctors on their toes.

No science is advancing as fast as the medical profession, which means that we simply cannot afford not to provide our high-class doctors with a means to continue their educations through their careers.

A $1,250,000 medical center that will be Charlotte Memorial Hospital lacks only $215,000 to pay for its completion. This opportunity to help when so much is at stake is a privilege of which we should be justly proud.

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