Clipped From The High Point Enterprise
Violence, Non-Violence (Editor's Note: Spread of 'sit-in" demonstrations by colored students at "white only" lunch counters in the South has directed more national attention to race relations than any development since the Little Rock disturbances over school Integration.) Negro students in southern states won the right to attend school with white students through court processes. They have adopted direct action in seeking the right to eat in public places alongside white persons. The recent rash of "sit-in" demonstrations at variety store lunch counters, which began at Greensboro on Feb. 1, has been described as passive resistance. It may actually provoke more race relations trouble than the slow- moving legal battle for school integration. Negro leaders who have taken over guidance and support of the sit-in movement, which apparently started and spread spontaneously, laud the principles of non-violent resistance developed by Ghandi in his campaign for the independence of India. Those principles were applied by American Negroes four years ago in the celebrated bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala. That protest against segregated seating was marked by several bombings and by threats of other violence. So- called non-violent resistance tends to develop feeilngs of frustration in opponents and lead to physical attack upon the resisters. This is why the sit-in movement may mark the beginning of new and dangerous phase in the Negro's campaign for full equality with white citizens. Resort to direct action, though the action is no more than peaceful demonstration, may because it touches a sensitive nerve among white southerners brought up in the tradition of racial segregation. There is a long-standing prohibition in the racial code of the South against white and Negro Kitting at th« «ame table to eat. This is a part of the strong white aversion to social equality for Negroes. That aversion in turn is rooted in a fear that breaking down the barriers to racial mingling will invite intermarriage. On the other hand, growing numbers of Negroes now in school and especially In college have grown Impatient with the slow pace of school desegregation sine* (be Supreme Court decision, handed down The High Point Enterprise SftiDllshed ISM AN INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER Published Every Afternoon end Sunday Moraine RATE* RY MAIL 1 Yr. S Mo. S Mo. 1 Mo. Dally and Sunday MM 9»M S4JO SUV Published!* TOT DOR POINT ENTERPRISE. INC. SOM07 North Main Street HUH Point, N. C. D. A. RAWLEY President MRS. R. B. TERRY ... .Sflcretary-TrMsurer HOLT MePHIKSON Kdltor JOE BROWN Minifliu Editor C. W. PATTCMON, JR. .. AdvertlalBf liirector V. W. IDOL JR. . Buitneee Mtnit«t CIARLH R. LOfUN .... Circulation Manager Cniercd as second-clist antler at tne . Post Of nee, Rlfh Polat, N, C. under Act o< March 1,1ST* In 1954 when most of them were children. They are said to be psychologically nnpre* 0 pared to accept segregationist practices with the resignation of their elders. Segregation at lunch counters has been a leading cause of dissatisfcation, because there are few decent places in the business sections of many southern communities where Negroes can buy lunch and sit down to eat It. The sit-in demonstrations have produced more repercussions around the country than did school integration. Most of the variety stores where the sit-ins have been staged are chain stores. Not a few of their branches outside the South have been picketed by sympathetic white students. Other protests have included a silent march by faculty members and students of Yale Divinity School through New Haven streets and White House picketing by mixed groups of colored and white students. Although violence has been held to a minimum, in several southern cities mobs gathered and riots were averted only by ><vift police action. Tear gas and fire hoses were brought into play on several occasions, and mass arrests occurred in a number of places. Before the end of March more than 1,000 persons, mostly Negroes, were taken into custody. The arrests brought promises of legal assistance from the NAACP. The Congress of Racial Equality and the National Christian Leadership Council, organized two years ago by the Rev. Martin Luther King who led the Montgomery bus boycott, had already offered guidance to the protesting student groups. It has been asked what the Negroes hope to gain from the sit-in demonstrations—emotional release from pentup frustration or actual acceleration of the progress toward full equality with whites? According to King, the first gain is new self-respect In the protester; the next gain Is a rousing up of silent sympathizers; and finally the effort "reaches the opponent and so stirs his conscience that reconciliation becomes * reality." Other observers think the recent demonstrations have hardened southern resistance to desegregation. It has been noted that it was a Supreme Court decision that finally ended segregation on Montgomery's buses, and that Montgoery officials closed public pafks rather than admit Negroes. There are signs, however, that the lunch-counter protests are having some positive effect. Sit-ins jn San Antonio, Oklahoma City, and some other cities outside the Deep South have led to abandonment of segregation at lunch counters. Gov. Leroy Collins of Florida said in a broadcast address on March 20 that he considered it "unjust and morally wrong" for a store to invite the patronage of the general public and bar Negroes from a single department. Collins announced that he would appoint a biracial advisory committee on black-white relations, and he urged all Florida communities to do the same. Such communities have recently been set up. or were already functioning before the sit-in movement developed, in half a dozen or more large southern cities.