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Dropping Things-Josiah Bailey rose in Baptist wrath to read from Ferdinand Lundberg's America's 60 Families, the New Deal's current antimonopoly handbook, a passage in which Author Lundberg maintained that those who bathe frequently experience a subconscious feeling of guilt.
"I've heard about the private bathroom in blue marble in Mr. Ickes' office," snorted Joe Bailey, "but I've never seen it and I wouldn't go so far as to say that Mr. Ickes takes a bath." With an angry gesture he raised his arm and wham, flung the book to the floor. In a twinkling, Oklahoma Democrat Elmer Thomas scrambled over to pick it up, lay it gently on a desk. At this point tobacco-chewing Cotton Ed Smith, who had no doubt been restrained by his colleagues from giving his standard anti-lynching argument on behalf of Southern womanhood, relieved his feelings by grabbing America's 60 Families, slamming the book to the floor, stamping his big feet on it.
But Jimmy Byrnes dropped the first real bomb. Pointing straight at a small man seated quietly in the gallery, his voice tense with passion, the wiry South Carolinian cried: "The South may just as well know , . . that it has been deserted by the Democrats of the North. . . . One Negro . . . has ordered this bill to pass and if a majority can pass it, it will pass. . . . If Walter White," and Jimmy Byrnes was fairly shouting his angry tribute, "should consent to have this bill laid aside, its advocates would desert it as quickly as football players unscramble when the whistle of the referee is heard."
Paleface-The Negro who did not acknowledge this extraordinary attention was Secretary Walter Francis White of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Not the least reason for Southern hatred of antilynching bills is that for the past decade they have been inextricably associated with Walter White, and that the gradual growth of the anti-lynching movement had by last week made spunky, dapper, 44-year-old Negro White the most potent leader of his race in the U. S.
Son of a fair-skinned Georgia postman and his fair-skinned wife, Walter White is blond and palefaced. He himself does not know how much Negro blood runs in his veins; Harvard's far-ranging Anthropologist Earnest Alfred Hooton computes it at 1/64. But despite a skin that last week fooled fellow guests at Washington's Hay-Adams House, Walter White has always regarded himself as a Negro. He remembers that his father's house was almost burned down during an Atlanta race riot in his childhood. He recalls too that his father died in agony when the surgeons of the white ward of an Atlanta hospital, to which he had been mistakenly taken for an emergency operation, balked upon learning his race and insisted on shipping him in the rain to the Negro ward across the street.