|©1950, Austin American, June 6, 1950. Reprinted
with permission of the Austin American Statesman
SOUTH IN TURMOIL OVER SWEATT RULE
ATLANTA, June 9 (AP) Governor Herman Talmadge of Georgia shouted defiance Monday in first southern reaction to Supreme Court decisions hitting at racial segregation.
Others hailed the opinions as putting the south "in the parade of democracy."
The court ruled that a Negro law student must be admitted to the all-white University of Texas because separate facilities for Negroes there are not equal.
It said white and Negro students in graduate work at the University of Oklahoma cannot be separated. And it ruled out racial segregation on railroad dining cars.
Declared Talmadge: "As long as I am governor, Negroes will not be admitted to white schools.
"The line is drawn. The threats that have been held over the head of the South for four years are now pointed like a dagger ready to be plunged into the very heart of southern tradition."
TALMADGE DECLINED to say what he will do if courts order specifically an end of segregation in Georgia.
W. A. Folkes managing editor of the Atlanta Daily World, Negro newspaper, said the decisions "certainly will be a means by which the South will join in the parade of democracy."
And George Mitchell, director of the Southern Regional Council, said "the Supreme Court made it perfectly clear that unequal facilities are illegal. It remains the South's duty to provide equality. The right way to do that will be for our institutions of higher learning to welcome qualified Negroes who seek admittance."
The council is an inter-racial organization of southerners formed to promote equal opportunities.
The decisions found the South with many glaring educational in-equalities. Not a single southern state supports a Negro medical school. A Ph. D. degree is not available at any southern Negro university.
In Georgia alone, state school Superintendent M. D. Collins estimated it would cost $100,000,000 to equalize Negro public schools.
In North Carolina, four suits are pendingone demanding entrance of Negroes at the University of North Carolina law school, and three demanding equality or a breakdown of segregation in public schools.
Charles Harper, secretary of the Georgia Negro Education Association, called for a special session of the Georgia Legislature to finance Negro school improvements.
SIX COURT SUITS already are pending in Florida for admission of Negroes to various professional and graduate schools of the all-white University of Florida. Two suits are pending in Georgia demanding equality in public schools.
Florida Superintendent of Public Instruction Thomas D. Bailey said "the ramifications of those decisions are of such vital nature it's difficult for me to foresee the results."
J. M. Smith, Tennessee commissioner of education and president of Memphis State College, said: "The particular instances cited in this case are not applicable to Tennessee because: 1We have an excellent Negro state college; 2 Therefore no Negroes have been admitted to the university."
Former Governor Millard Caldwell, chairman of the Board for Southern Regional Education, said the decision will not affect that program. The board supervises a plan under which southern states which do not meet the needs of white or Negro students help pay their tuition to out-of-state schools.
In a Maryland case, a state court already has held that sending Negroes to out-of-state schools does not solve the problem. It held that equal, facilities must be provided within each state.
In New York, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People issued the following statement:
"The NAACP is gratified by the opinion of the Supreme Court in the Henderson, Sweatt and McLaurin cases, particularly since our attorneys argued the latter two cases and filed a brief in the Henderson case.
"THE SUPREME COURT decisions emphasize once more that the courts of the land are far in advance of the Congress in recognizing the legal and moral obligations of our government to grant civil rights to all citizens regardless of race, creed or color.
"Without having carefully analyzed the complete text of the opinions it appears to us that segregated educational facilities on the graduate and professional levels have been declared not to be equality within the meaning of the 14th Amendment. This is a great step forward.
"In the Henderson case, the opinion would also mean that inter-state carriers may not impose segregation on travelers because of race or color. This is an opinion that the entire American Negro population has been awaiting because of the onerous and humiliating restrictions that have been placed upon Negro travelers in certain sections of the country."