Center for Labor Education & Research, University of Hawaii - West Oahu: Honolulu Record Digitization Project

Honolulu Record, Volume 9 No. 12, Thursday, October 18, 1956 p. 2


Eastland in His Own Words

By John E. Reinecke

The investigation of the Honolulu RECORD, the ILWU and UPW and " their attorneys by the Senate subcommittee on Internal Security headed by Sen. Eastland, scheduled to, begin Nov. 27, will be a matter of lively interest in these Islands. We are printing a series of articles on the views and activities of leading members of the subcommittee.

"Senator Eastland:. 'The U.S. Supreme Court seems to be issuing just one pro-Communist decision after another.' "Senator McCarthy: 'You're so right.'

"Senator Eastland: 'What explanation is there except that some Communist influence is working within the Court?'

"Senator McCarthy: 'Either incompetence or the influence you mentioned.'" (June 26, 1956, during the course of a hearing before the Internal Security subcommittee.) Sniffs Communist Influence A man who can sniff Communist influence within the Supreme Court will have no trouble finding it anywhere else, including Hawaii Since Senator James O. Eastland of Mississippi has already expressed himself at length on the Red-ness of Hawaii, his findings in the coming investigation may safely be predicted. What sort of a man is the senior senator from Mississippi — the defamer of the Supreme Court — the leader of defiance to its school integration decision — the man whom a McCarthyite magazine recently suggested as presidential timber? While Sen. Eastland isn't precisely stupid, he doesn't rank among the more intellectual members of Congress. No one will ever call him an egghead.

Gets in by Few Votes

Eastland's style is plodding and rather vulgar. Once in a while he can get off a phrase like ". . . while the pure blood of the South is mongrelized by Northern politicians to obtain political favors from Red mongrels," but he doesn't hove the imagination and the fire to make a real rabble-rousing demagogue like some from his part of the country. Eastland was "born to land and politics." His father was a wealthy planter and an attorney general of Mississippi, and Mr. Eastland himself owns a 5,000 acre plantation. At 24 he was elected to the state legislature, at 37 he was appointed to fill an unexpired term in the U.S. Senate. He was elected to that body in 1942, again in 1948 and still again in 1954. By reason of seniority he now is chairman of the powerful Judiciary Committee. In Mississippi, says Eastland, "any man who meets the qualifications can vote."

Mississippians must be clearly the most unqualified of all Americans, for the votes which Eastland received, in a state of over two million people, were: (1942) 51,355 unopposed; (1948) 151,478 unopposed; (1952) 100,848 to 4,678. West Virginia, a state with a smaller population, cast these votes in the senatorial contest for the same years: 256,816 to 207,045; 435,354 to 328,534; 320,821 to 264,540. But then West Virginia has a real two-party system, while Mississippi has only one party, and practically all of its Negroes and most of its whites, do not "meet the qualifications." Says Blood Makes a Race Sen. Eastland shares to the fullest the Southern white supremacy attitudes. On May 27 1954, he rose on the Senate floor to quote Benjamin Disraeli, the famous British statesman, against school integration. "That is a very strong statement, Mr. President: 'All is race; there is no other truth.' . . . Disraeli would have been horrified at a program designed to mongrelize the Anglo-Saxon race which he so greatly admired." Again quoting Disraeli: "Language and religion do not make a race. There is only one thing that . makes a race and that is blood." (Disraeli of course was a very clever statesman, but he lived a long time ago, 1804-81, and knew no more about race than a hog does about Christmas.) "The white people of the South," went on Sen. Eastland, "do not have race prejudice. They have race consciousness, and they are proud to possess this awareness of the significance of race. Had they not possessed it the South would have been mongrelized and southern civilization destroyed long ago." "Mongrelized" People Words that will not endear Mr. Eastland to Hawaii, where so many of us, from Gov. King on down, are "mongrelized" but still fancy we are civilized. As for his other views, Eastland may be described as not quite a McCarthyite, though showing great aloha for Joe McCarthy and the late Sen. Pat McCarran. A complete conservative, he gave as one reason for voting against Hawaiian statehood, that Hawaii's "Communist-controlled" senators would vote to repeal or "destroy" the Taft-Hartley Law and the racist McCarran Immigration Law. The Supreme Court's decisions de-segregating schools, parks and other tax-supported public institutions naturally enraged East-land. So he has taken off on the Supreme Court, completely without regard for truth or good taste. Supreme Court "Brainwashed" "The Supreme Court," Eastland proclaimed, "has been indoctrinated and brainwashed by left-wing pressfare groups." Indeed, he opined, "left-wing pressure groups are in control of the Government of the United States." Of Chief Justice Earl Warren he says: "I'm not accusing him of being a (Communist) party member. But he takes the same position as they do when he says the Communist party is just another political party."

Of Justice Hugo Black: in his youth "a racial and religious bigot of the first order."

Of Justice William O. Douglas: He has "completely . . . become the creature of leftist groups and the CIO" . . . "has been traveling throughout the country espousing pro-Communist causes" . . . ''resorted to legal chicanery in an effort to save from execution two Communist spies."

The quality of Eastland's mind, and his lack of respect for truth, come out in his attack upon the famous footnote to the Supreme Court's decision in the school integration cases.

Says U.S. in Sorry State

The Court of course based its decision on the Constitution as interpreted through previous decisions. In a brief footnote it also called attention to the bad effects of segregation upon the Negro youth, as described by several social scientists. One of the, books cited was An American Dilemma, a sort of encyclopedia on the American Negro prepared by the Swedish scholar Gunnar Myrdal with help from dozens of American scientists both Negro and white. Myrdal is a Socialist (strongly anti-Communist) and he once said the U.S. Constitution does not completely fit present day needs. This is what Eastland makes of it: "Our country has come to a sorry state, of affairs when the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, speaking for all the members of the Court, should cite, as his authority for a decision, a book compiled by an alien who advocates the destruction of the American form of government . . ." Then followed another perfect example of the "guilt by association" technique as practiced for political ends. Out of some six dozen contributors to the Myrdal study, Eastland's subcommittee investigators discovered "Communist front" affiliations for 16. (That is, Eastland calls them "Communist fronts." We haven't checked to see if other witch hunters would agree.) This writer does not know the work of all those smeared, but he recognizes among them some of the best known and most highly respected Negro scholars such as E. Franklin Frazier and Charles S. Johnson, president of Fisk University.

From this list, Eastland drew a conclusion to suit his purposes: "Who is obligated morally or legally to obey a decision whose authorities rest not upon the law but upon the writings and teachings of pro-Communist agitators . . .?"

Armed Defiance

As readers of the daily press know. Sen. Eastland has taken the lead, both on the Senate floor and in public meetings, in urging defiance to the Supreme Court's ruling.

"Mr. President," he said in the Senate, "Let me make this very clear. The South will retain segregation."

He went on to counsel armed deiance of the court order by the states.

"The governor of a sovereign State can use the force at his command, civil and other, to maintain public order, and prevent crime and riots. He can use these forces to prevent racial integration of schools if this is necessary, under the police power of the State, to prevent disorder and riots. In fact, it is his duty to preserve order and prevent turmoil and strife within the state."

It is this man, elected from a state half of whose population is deprived of the vote," who vilifies the Supreme Court and lies about its decision, who counsels state nullification of the Constitution by armed forces—it is this man who heads the subcommittee coming to investigate subversion in Hawaii.

(In our next issue, Sen. Eastland's views of Hawaii as expressed during the statehood debates of 1953 and 1954.)

p /> I do not say that at odd hours a patient must be given the regular hot dinner or supper. Few people would expect this.
But what is so complicated about opening and heating a can of soup, making some toast, or preparing instant coffee or tea? Why cannot a night nurse do these simple things after the kitchen to closed? Is it just too much trouble?

It is only common humanity to feed the hungry. If our hospitals are too big, too complex, too impersonal to do these small kindnesses for the sick, something is very wrong.