Box 16, Folder 9, Document 53

Dublin Core

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U.S. News & World Report



“stated by top officals--that feraehipa ‘and |
tin ing eae: etaie: sHOfs,- crime,

Following are excerpts from a letter fo “The Beaumont
(Tex.) Enterprise’ from Mrs. lrene Palmer of De Quincy,
la., and published in “The Enterprise’’ on Aug. 3, 1966:

These marches, demonstrations, riotings, lootings, police
slayings and the such makes me literally sick, especially the
reasons our Government officials are trying to cram down

our throats as causes of these law-breaking episodes.
Sir T bce suhst herd served

r- = Weartiny hes iship, pain and suing
is. I had polio at age 5 months which left my left leg one
and ‘ofte-half inches shorter than my right and about one
third the size.

My father died at 6 p.m. Sunday in 1935, was buried
Monday on my seventeenth birthday. My brother died at
5 a.m. Tuesday and was buried Wednesday, leaving me
with two-small sisters and my mother to support.

At 17 I was not a drop-out in school. With no education
—not enough, anyway—no experience and with only one
good leg, I quit school and went to work to support a fami-
ly. I didn’t have a teen-age life because my working hours
were always from 10 to 20 hours a day. In 1948, I got my
right hand—my working hand; I'm right- handed—in an elec-
tric ice shaver and mangled it. It was doubtful whether I'd
ever be able to use it again, but after much pain and suffer-
ing I learned to use what I had left of a hand. This left me
with one good leg and one good hand, but I didn’t give up.

“Follow Me Just One Day—"’

- .1 would like for Earl Warren, President Johnson, H. H.
Humphrey, Martin Luther King, and all the hell-raising
juveniles to come to my home and follow me just one day.
I can guarantee that they wouldn’t have enough pep left to
“go on a demonstration, marching or rock-throwing partv.
My day begins at 4 a.m. and ends about 8 or 9 p.m.,
when my health permits. [ do my own housework, cooking,
washing, ironing. sewing, raising fowers and a garden. In
fact, for the past three weeks I have been standing in a hot
kitchen, over a hot stove, canning my vegetables. Have an
air conditioner? Are you kidding? Neither do | run up town
when I get hot and tum on the water hydrants. nor start
rioting and looting stores. Do you see any civil-rights work-
ers doing this kind of work, trying to add to their income?
If vou do, show ine.

U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT Aug. 22, 1966

dlependence on goverhment
“aidner: this is nonsense, -
ppled, oan Jeave. school ot 17, Mrs.
ine has worked: hard, without. lexuties,

Seok: “You will i6ver ‘see us ina ‘marching

. demonstration’ line “wanting something. for
“Tothing. V We're too" pen for thot.“

L have two wonderful children who were reared most. of
their lives in hot. crowded apartments. They know what it
is to do without a lot of the better things of life. If we
could have afforded just one vacation for them, it would
have been a luxury, vet neither are rioters, rock-throwers.
nor lawbreakers.

I would like to show some of the officials in Washington,
the marchers, rioters, and all those who have their hand
stretched oul for a barmivui, some of the baudicapped peu-
ple who are making; it on their own and not asking Mr. No-
body for anything. ...

“Excuses for Riots Are Tommyrot”’

Sir. can our President, Vice President, any civil-rights
worker, agitator, or whomever they may be, stand-up and
look us handicaps, whose very life itself has been a struggle
for most of us, in the eye and try to cram down our throats
an idea as idiotic as hot weather, crowded living quarters,
low income, hard working conditions and all the other ex-
cuses they try to pass on to the people as being reasons for
these riots we are having? I for one cannot nor will I swal-
low such tommyrot.

You may see us handicaps become furious when we see a
gang of able-bodied men and women, whether they are
black. white, purple or spotted, running up and down our
nation saying I want this, gimme that. without lifting «
finger to earn it, but vou will never see us in a marching
demonstration line wanting something for nothing. We're too
proud for that.

I believe a great lesson could be learned from the handi-
caps. First, faith; then courage, patience. love, kindness,
long suffering, pride. competence and al] the things that
make lite worthwhile.

Sir, I didn’t intend to write a newspaper when I started,
but IT have watched so much of these disgraceful crime
waves. which are so useless, on television, and read so much
about it in the papers, until I just had to say my piece.

So | will close and leave an open invitation for the Pres-
ident, H.H.H., Martin Luther King and his followers, the
agitators or whoever it may be who thinks it takes a crime
wave to make a living in this old world, to come and follow
in my footsteps just one day and I'll show them what can be
done if anyone has the get-up about them to try.


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