Pittsburgh Courier, 6 January 1945, p. 8
By JOHN H. YOUNG m, Special Correspondent THIS II wiru. w inc. I CORSOOtSiy Stnigcnaa fO fm .tfilf aff dend f rrm ereJutflesi - d Llon. A. tha tfe thct fhlj is written, th people of Virginia hare forced tha cdHsg of o ccHrutlcrv 'i8nrn,,w - - r . i i u prmqsniT Tor voting. At present tnero is a grccp Gflrglnians who cro uga sponsor for the introduction of a bU in the State Leejslerurt which wO c&e&h lfrttjon on bibw aura aus in Virginia. ATiere lsf ue uovcruv s wMf m mih uun, uto rvpurt ui an inter - Ljjj committee which recornmends an historynaldng plan Cjjc increase of per capita allowance for Negroes for edu - 4ai to equal that of whites; Very . recently Virginia ac - 'amlished an equalization fmmrtmj v.y y I MB. YOUNG Vteachers' salaries. fill returning Negro vet - find Virginia a . State of poll tax restrictions voting - Perhaps. Be - poll tax exemption can e a tact, tne werais. the State must maxe xar e serious inroaas r into ranks of those machine twirians who hold the the - y that the people do not it repeal. There is some Ration that liberal forces 2 making these inroads. . By far, the most impor - at liberal factor in Vir - nia is a militant and pro - ssive press. Both of the chniond dailies, the Times match and the News - ader, are extremely liber - Editor Virginius Dab - t fa credited with forming pattern for Virginia part. White dailies of Nor - k, Roanoke and Newport iws are militant in their xnisal of rights for minor - 3. Alongside this progressive press is arrayed a militant sup of Negro and white individuals and organizations it are ever pressing for full status of Negro citizens. The 0, headed by Ernest Pugh, is slowly but surely making elf felt in the struggle for justice and equality. As gallant as is the effort of liberals, they still have ong way to go before they can shake off the shackles of .chine politicians who bide their real fear of loss of rer under the cloak of. acting according to the - demands their constituency. Too, according to Mr. Dabney, his ber reaches only 10 of the population. If other liberal bers reach an estimated 20 more, there still remains a i majority oi tvyo ox ue people oi Virginia wno must reached by the liberals if there is to be any "people's ent" here. In the meantime, four leading - Democrats e come out for repeal - of the poll' tax.' Only through tuan efforts will the liberals or the state De able to base this number and remove this restriction for return - servicemen. ' i Better Housing, More Jobs Returning Nesro soldienH '.will - find improved living Hitions in Virginia; that is J with the possible exception onoiK. un tne wnoie, uvmg conoiuons ui vixguua. are say commendable. ; For the most part, JNegro .com - rtipfl arc rlAfln with, tmlvm streta : and mod. licrhtinfir. Jfo, returning soldiers will discover in Richmond a most jutxauc aacution to novuung in uxat tne ncwwi sppruvcu l. m i 'v - ma a f - m r . t a. M fcT - i ior Duuaing can xor a ratio ox zou xuuu zor ixegrues 250 for whites. i ! , As for lobs, Negro veteranswill I return to a fairly w economy in virgimx. xiot muui ux y uguxia. o muiu - cas been converted to war emergency, uiotmng, to - o, railroads, - sbib buildms and shipping are still the t sources of employment for Virginians In all of these SStries, the TSIrro. hrttfif6reL has been tvDed to serve lowest skilled or unskilled capacity, rne returning veteran will discover that the CIO is making a gal - fight to end discrimination' in employment in Virginia. rill be wise to join in the fight. Whites Are Tolerant A treat miMtirm hr In Virginia, is: "How does John fircnian feel towards the desires for a change for the to the tAtu of thm Nesro citizen?" In the bus from ksburg to Richmond, on the corner of Third and Broad vhiA.j ii mrt - irv m Ht(nmnnn in Ht News, downtown on Brambleton avenue in Nor - at the Seaboard station in Portsmouth, I've asked of almost wrv rank in life whether or not they that there should be a repeal of the poll tax and the of Negroes on a par with whites. Almost to the tnev exnmM) the liberal point oi view, xney icit ioubt in my mind. The people of Virginia are ready to lt Negroes a lonsr - deserved status of equality. There tains the obstacle of that political group, which seeks famdufiatre th real will of the people because of a fear f08 of power, that must be overcome before Virginia point the way for other Southern states. Public Attitude Friendly Meanwhile. th white neoole of Virginia meet you with Qile and give you the impression that you are a human S - From the Governor down to the city ' officials there spirit of sincerity which cannot help but meet the ap - ral of returning - Negro veterans. - Voluntarily, John Q. Virginian is taking the situation his own hands. On the Pulton trolley on Broad street pchmond, a white couple voluntarily sat behind three p"o" seats and struck up conversation with Negroes. Imctorraan was oblivious to this seating and was more ferned with avoiding traffic than he was with the issue rfegation and white supremacy. On the boat, S. S. puaa, which takes passengers on an hour's ride from rport News tn Km - fniv whit and black sat indiscrim - y; this despite the fact that half of the boat was ed "colorprf'aw hm nthi half twhft.M U there is any truth in. the theory that people reflect in tneir races, men we queiil wcix iuu vu vu - for ruitmui rym m(ti1lr and strtnrwiiaion in th h. For surely, there is reflected on the faces of the te f Virginia, a panorams of goodwill for their less ?nate brothers of th Nmto race. Recrardless of all pad things in Virginia, the inspiring esprit de corps of r iJwpie gives noixnsnment to tne oeuet mat vir - nce again assume her place as one of the fore - of the United SUtes of America. ; If not, then Vlr - MJ well as other SUtes, will be forced to endure the pet of strife with an embitteredV itturntog Negro "I'll Eire Officers Who Mistreat Negroes," Warns Police Chief RICHMOND, Va. I walked into the City Hall in Richmond and asked to aee the chief of police. A secretary ushered me into an of flee where aat a man who looked more like a Wall atreet banker than a chief of police. Slightly greying; at the temples, six - foot Chief Ed mond Hutson OrgiLn warmly greeted me. i told him of the fear of returning Negro veterans that they would be mercilessly handled Dy tne police. "riot in Richmond, he declared. I will fire any member of my force who is guilty of unnecessary violence in the treatment of Negro citizens of Richmond." To substantiate his rule of no violence - ," Chief Organ told me of the dismissal of a white of ficer named Blanton. who was guilty of manhandling Lawrence Turpln, a Negro barber of this city; this, despite the fact that Turpin had a record of 15 previous arrests. would usxrr asms TO POLICEMEN Chief Organ has a plan that might weU be copied by other States of the Nation. To take care of any emergency. Chief Or gan has appointed only business and professional men and out standing citizens to tne auxiliary police. I ma means tiiat inteuir gence will be on his side in any emergency. I asked him If be felt that lt was absolutely necessary that op erators of transportation should be armed. He pointed out that only in rare cases were trolley operators armed and then for their protection against robbery at the end of the line. Expressing his sentiment on this issue, he informed me. that he was recommending at tne next annual meeting of Virginia Chiefs' association the passage of the Baume's law (making a third conviction tantamount to a sentence of life imprisonment) and the Sullivan law, which outlaws the carrying of firearms by anyone other than regular members of the police force. "Negro soldiers win De well sat isfied with the treatment accorded them by Richmond police," Chief Organ said. Chief Oxcan has been a mem ber ortb Richmond police 1 since 1915. He" rose to the rawc oi Chief - of Felice in 1940. He is a credit to the people of Virginia. A PLEDGE "Negro veterans returning to Richmond will find an atmosphere of progress in this community. They will find broadened social work, school work, and a spirit of co - operation." Major JAMES ANTHONY Director of Public Safety CIO Seeks Negroes RICHMOND In an interview here, J. K. Lombard, secretary - treasurer of the Congress of Industrial Organizations and treasurer of the PAC in Virginia, said: "In Virginia we are following the policy of 'no discrimination' as practiced by our national body. We fight discrimination against Negro workers in our union in Virginia, wherever we find it." Mr. Lombard said that the CIO was still in its infancy in Virginia, having an estimated total of some 55.000 members. He spoke of the hard fight to convince some Negroes that they should belong to a union. He felt that with the policy of the PAC more clearly defined, it would probably begin a great program of education which would increase membership. Also at this interview was Max Sussman, - president of Local 45 of UCAPAWA and international representative of CIO. He spoke of a fight now being waged in Larua Brothers' Tobacco company here against a proposed jim - crow local sponsored by AFL. VITAL FOR THE POST - WAR By VTRGrNIUS DABNEY (In the Richmond, Va, TIMES DISPATCH) It Is generally agreed, we believe, that .when the colored soldiers return to civil live in Virginia and the other problems will be created. W1U they be able Southern States, important to get jobs, will they feel that they are welcomed back, will the opportunities offered them and their race be greater .than when, they went awayl i rr will thetfl"1 ur wm y I be forced to conclude that nothing has changed, and that although) they have served their country In war they are to be granted noh than they had before? I wider opportunities in peace than they The Pittsburgh Courier, one of the leading Negro newspapers, has received. many letters on this' subject fjom Negroes in the armed services. These letters reflect anxiety, and even bitterness, over the prospect that when the colored soldiers and sailors return to - civil life they will find the same discriminations and Injustices that plagued them before they went away. This is a deep and widespread feeling among the Negro troops, and lt is something which we on the home - front most think about, now. so that when 'the war ends we shall be reasonably prepared for the conditions which may be expected to present themselves at that time. If the colored soldiers of Virginia come back to this State and find obvious and tangible evidences of change for the better It will be highly conducive to a" more cordial Interracial feeling. If colored policemen anvL firemen have been installed by that time on the forces of several Virginia cities, for instance, . as has been done in many other parts of the South, with highly beneficial results; if steps have been taken, looking toward an all - Negro staff at the i Piedmont Sana torium for Negroes at Burkeville, such as several other Southern States have already; If segregation has been abolished on our urban street cars and buses; if the poll tax is definitely on the way out, or if only One or two of these things are a reality, the returning servicemen and women will have genuine grounds .for encouragement. With a view to finding what advances of this nature are in prospect for the South. The Pittsburgh Courier is sending one of its staff writers, John H. Young III. on a tour - of the region. Mr. Young, who lives in Nashville, has visited Richmond, and he reports that he Is much encouraged by what he has found here. He is genuinely hopeful, and on his visit to the Times - Dispatch gave the impression of desiring earnestly to write understanding of the situation as it ex ists in this part of the country. His newspaper, which is believed to have the largest circulation of any Negro newspaper in America, will present a series by him on the subject. It is a subject which needs sympaOietie and non - belligerent treatment, and he indicates that this is what he will provide. There are few more Important issues before us than this. If The Courier can create in the minds of the returning colored servicemen. numbering hundreds of thousands, the feeling that there are Im portant and Influential white Southerners who desire to help them. much, friction can be avoided. (Edl Mirimimg Sfiir' By JOHN H. YOUNG m PETEBSBUBG I walked out of ths bus station in Petersburg and he stood there . . door oi his cab open. He greeted ma, "Good morning, sir." I was a Negro and he was white. Yet, In Virginia, a Southern State, ho greeted me thus. Those three words gave me more of a lift than all of the exhaustive speeches I have heard at Interracial meetings, lt was that, fundamentally, he recognized me as homaa being. I will travel to many States and observe many eonstroetive and tangible accomplish meats, bet 1 shell always remember these tares words nttered by wbJU cb driver en Uu4 November " aaerabsg In Petersbvrgt "Good morning, sir." '