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22 THE CRISIS Charlotte Observer (white) calls the agitation a "developing menace" and says: "It is no excuse that harm was not intended to the colored man or his wife, but that it was merely an attempt to scare him from the neighborhood. He owned the home in which he was slain and he had the right to live there in peace and safety, so long as he conducted himself as a law-abiding citizen. The mob had as much right to scare him as it had to kill him. "The Observer is in agreement with Mr. Garren in his theory as to the inciting cause. When, a few nights ago, the home of a Negro in Vance County was set on fire and the man and members of his family killed, this paper drew the inference that behind that crime was a feeling born of the segregation idea. The Catawba County case, following so closely, tended to strengthen that impression. By force of habit, some papers may refer to these occurrences as 'unfortunate.' That does not fit that case. They were wantonly wicked, and each one brought public shame upon the community in which it was perpetrated. If it is true that these occurrences are the outgrowth of the segregation propaganda, that fact should be only the more reason why the hand of the law should be felt in its utmost severity at this time, that the spirit in which it is bred may be stamped out in its incipiency. In these occurrences may be seen a developing menace to the social and moral conditions in North Carolina, and one that should cause those charged with the administration of the laws grave concern. The Observer has always held that segregation of the races is a thing of ultimate achievement, not by statute process, but through the operation of moral and natural laws." TAXES WHO PAYS THEM The Norfolk Journal and Guide, a colored paper, has this excellent economic argument: "The colored man who rents a flat in Norfolk for $7.00 per month or $84.00 per year, pays his landlord $77.28 and the city gets $6.72. "The colored flat-dweller, who pays a yearly rental of $108.00 at $9.00 per month gives his landlord $97.36 and the city receives $8.64. "The colored man who rents a house for $12.00 per month or $144.00 per year pays his landlord $133.48 and the city $11.52. "The colored man who lives in a house in Norfolk for which he pays a rental of $15.00 per month or $180.00 per year pays his landlord $165.60 and pays the city $14.40. "Norfolk's population is now estimated at 90,000, about 40,000 of which is colored. This would give us approximately 8000 colored families, occupying 8000 houses or flats. As colored property owners pay taxes on real estate assessed at very nearly $100,000.00, let us say that 6000 of these families are renters. The average rent would be $10.00 per month or a total of $960,800.00. From this yearly rental from 6000 colored families the city should receive $76,800.00 in taxes. "Now then, what does the colored rentpayer receive from the city of Norfolk? "He gets streets to walk upon but they are not paved in the sections in which he is segregated. He gets sewers and water. He gets limited protection for his life and property, policemen and firemen to guard his person and home from assault, robbery or disaster, but in case of either, the policeman is on another bear and the fireman cannot reach his home on account of unpaved streets in the section in which he is segregated. "He gets limited schools for his children and there are three thousand unable to gain admission to these, on account of over-crowded conditions. "There is no building or equipment provided for the education of his children about the seventh grade. "His health is not safeguarded but there is an alms house provided for the care of the poor and the healing of the sick. "He is not provided with any parks or zoological gardens or recreation centers of any kind. He is disfranchised and is not permitted to participate in the elections that are arranged 'at which you may elect you mayor and aldermen.' OPINIONS 23 "It is possible that the humble rentpayer and producer of wealth with receive his just proportion of municipal benefits in Norfolk when the public conscience is awakened to the exact relation of the rentpayer to the community." THE NEGRO VOTER NAIVE TESTIMONY The Richmond Virginian (white) says: "Before passing the bill repealing the law which makes unpaid capitation taxes a lien on real estate, the Senate will do well to make up its mind as to what course it will pursue with regard to the bill already passed by the House, which provides machinery for the collection of the two million in back taxes, and declare not only that unpaid taxes shall constitute a lien on real estate, but on personal property as well. The Virginian has already expressed its belief that these taxes should be collected if there is any possible way of doing so without subjecting the State to the danger of additions to the Negro voting list. Those who favor the collection bill point out that as these taxes cannot be collected until they are three years old and that no man is eligible to vote whose taxes have not been paid for three years preceding the election in which he desires to vote, the bill will not open any loopholes. This argument is met by the contention that a man who pays any very large amount of back taxes will pay the full amount, including the three years which will be necessary for voting. This in turn is met with the statement that the additional three years will constitute, for most Negroes, too heavy an expense, and that even were it paid registration of the Negro voters wold be necessary, which would be adequately handled by the registrars." Note the "Adequately handled by the registrars"! A LOVER OF CHILDREN A PLEASING INCIDENT The Playground reports that a white man, Edward H. Abbott, living in Chattanooga, wrote recently to the daily papers: "An Open Letter to Girls and Boys Who Go to School: "Dear Children- Out at my house on Lindsay street, by the river, I have dug up about five hundred roots of my iris plants that I want you to come and get and plant in your yards. I want to make it easy for a lot of people to have some furnishing flags." While the invitation of Edward A. Abbott to go to his home and get a supply of flower roots and bulbs was extended to all the school children in the city, and while the response was gratifying to him, so far as numbers were concerned, the children from the colored schools did not avail themselves of the opportunity offered. Now Mr. Abbott extends an invitation to all colored school children-and to them only-to appear at his home at 8 o'clock tomorrow morning and get supplies of the roots and bulbs. "The great fun I've had in giving away 350 bags of iris and lily plants to the school children has been marred by disappointment of a host of colored young folks who came to my house too late and too numerous to share in last Saturday's distribution. I was prepared for 200 of the young garden enthusiasts, but was not fixed for the 300 or 400 who answered my call to get 'next to the ground.' "To repair, as far as possible, the disappointment of these children and reward their zeal and patience I have made another raid on my iris and lily beds and have made ready another hundred bags of plants for those who found the way to my place, but went away empty-handed. So, only those who were here last Saturday and got no plants, are expected to come next Saturday to help me repair the damage a big lot of disappointed children may have suffered at my hand because I under-estimated the number of people who want to plant and raise something good to look at. Come after 8 and before 9." "EDWARD A. ABBOTT." About 42,000 iris and 1,000 lily bulbs were distributed, and Mr. Abbott says what was remarkable to him was that of all the children who came none failed to be courteous to one another and to him.
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