Demonstrates how clearly the DTH was behind the civil rights protest and an end to segregation

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Demonstrates how clearly the DTH was behind the civil rights protest and an end to segregation - Let Us Go Forward To Where We Began The...
Let Us Go Forward To Where We Began The judicial system of the United States and the systems of each state do, in most cases, closely parallel our own personal conceptualizations of what is just and what is unjust, or more simply simply and less philosophically, that which is fair and that which is not. What we have, by virtue of our nature nature as a free republic and our English heritage, is a rather delicate balance between the rights of the individual and the welfare of the group. There are conflicts arising daily from this system and we tread a thin and much disputed line in our attempts to defend against either the rule of the minority or the tyranny of the majority. Most reasonable reasonable Americans would agree that our system is good and they would also assert assert that it is vital to our system of government that the balance between the whole and the part be maintained. But this formulation of ideals is not what makes our system of justice strong. Ideals are much less important to us than our gut reactions, and our system is strong because Americans are somehow possessed of an overdeveloped, overdeveloped, instinctive sense of fair play. Blatant miscarriages of justice anger us, and it doesn't really matter on what level the miscarriage occurs. It can be a bum decision by the judges in a prize fight or the obvious negation of a man's right by a judge in a traffic or police court. On any level, we are rankled by what we feel to be unfair. But something seems to be happen-. happen-. happen-. ing to us, and it appears to be happening happening to us as Southerners especially. We suddenly seem to be willing to tolerate such gross perversions of the lawT that we mock our heritage as a free and just nation. We watch four young men get thrown in jail in Americus, Georgia for participating participating in a civil rights demonstration. They are charged with "inciting insurrection," insurrection," a capital crime in Georgia, and they remain in jail for three months without benefit of bail. After a federal court orders their release on bond, the Sumter County Prosecutor tells us jokingly jokingly that he really wasn't going to press for the death penalty which the charge carries. But we wonder what happened to a nation during those three months? Where were the howls of indignation which have been raised in the past? Where is the national censure which descended on Little Rock and Oxford? An American professor gets arrested by the Russians and 24 hours later the entire country is up in arms. Is it because because the Russians did it, or because the professor wasn't in a civil rights demonstration? Or is it just that we are so used to these breaches of justice in the South that we are wreary and bored ? We watch while Leander Perez of Plaquemine Parish, Louisiana, gloats over the prison he is preparing for any demonstrators who might happen his way. He is converting the powder magazine magazine of an old Civil War fort, nestled .in the middle of a swamp, into Louisiana's Louisiana's first concentration camp. He says proudly, "I got two cattle boats to haul 'em out there and we're putting barbed wire all around it." The top strands of Gary Blanchard, David Ethridge Co-Editor Co-Editor Co-Editor Business Manager Managing Editors '. Art Pearce Wayne King Fred Seely Advertising Manager Fred McConnel EDITORIAL STAFF Associate Editor - Peter Harkness Photo Editor .... - Jim Wallace-Sports Wallace-Sports Wallace-Sports Editor Curry Kirkpatrick Asst. Sports Editor Night Editor Copy Editor John Montague Jim Wallace Bob Samsot the wire are electrified. How much voltage? "As much as it takes to keep 'em in," he says. Perez also readily admits admits that the place is infested with snakes and that mosquitoes are a year-round year-round year-round problem. And again we ask, Where are the cries of "no"? Where are the angry epithets that should be crashing around this man's head? Almost a hundred years ago we watched in shocked revulsion revulsion as the tales of Andersonville unfolded, and now we sit by and watch a political boss rebuild that horror in the middle of the 20th Century. Are we shocked into silence? Are we so shaken by disbelief that we can't find the words? Or don't we care? We'd better care. For the problem has nothing to do with the way we feel about integration or demonstrations demonstrations or civil disobedience. It has to do with our historic claim as a just nation. nation. It has to do with our sense of fair play which has characterized this country country since the first days of the Republic. Republic. The South has already worked itself into the sterile position of allowing one issue to dominate all other considerations considerations for the last ten years. Because many Southern legislators have become become so completely belligerent on the race question, some Southern states can't even pass a road, bond bill, and-much and-much and-much federal legislation is needlessly killed by their spite voting. Is it now conceivable that we shall quietly allow this geographic recalcitrance recalcitrance to engulf and destroy that sense of justice which is so precious to us? Granted that most of these misdeeds are perpetrated against civil rights demonstrators, but we must lay our differences on this question aside and ally ourselves against the misdeeds alone. It was this recognition of priorities priorities which led the NAACP to intercede in behalf of the Ku Klux Klan in Greensboro last month when the Klan was denied use of a public auditorium for a rally. Neither group was particularly particularly comfortable being allied with the other, (the Klan was downright embarrassed embarrassed by finding themselves with their unsolicited bedfellow). But the NAACP's commitment to the principle of equal application of this basic freedom, freedom, the right of assembly, was so strong that it was willing to ignore the differences between the groups and defend defend the rights of its bitterest enemy. And as it was with them, so it must be with us. For if we permit the law to be unjustly applied to our enemies, we must do so with the full knowledge knowledge that we are increasing the chances of it being unjustly applied to us. We must ally, no matter how much discomfort discomfort it causes us. We must protest, and if that doesn't work we must howl bloody murder in order to stop this new brand of justice which ultimately threatens us all. As Mr. Justice Schaefer of Illinois said in an Oliver Wendell Holmes Lecture Lecture in 1956, "The quality of a. nation's civilization can be largely measured by the methods it uses in the enforcement of its criminal law. That measurement is not taken merely in retrospect by social social historians of the future. It is taken from day to day by the peoples of the world,, and to them the criminal procedure procedure sanctioned by any of our states is the procedure sanctioned by the United States." , It is our duty to prove to the people . of the world and to ourselves that the . United States is better than her Sumter Sumter Counties and Plaquemine Parishes, . by protesting, passionately and at . length the prostitution of justice that characterizes these areas. I is

Clipped from The Daily Tar Heel17 Nov 1963, SunPage 2

The Daily Tar Heel (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)17 Nov 1963, SunPage 2
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  • Demonstrates how clearly the DTH was behind the civil rights protest and an end to segregation

    talidegroot – 25 Oct 2014

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