High Point Enterprise Newspaper Archives Jan 6 1974, Page 41

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High Point Enterprise (Newspaper) - January 6, 1974, High Point, North Carolina High Point Enterprise sunday january 6,1974 9c nation goes through period of disillusionment i m looking at the present and it does t work by Eric f. Goldman newspaper Enterprise Assn. Three times in modern America a during the depressions of 1873, 1893, and 1929 a the nation has suffered economic dislocations at least As serious As today a inflation. Before Richard Nixon Ulysses Grant and Warren Harding also presided Over administrations besmirched by serious malfeasance. In the 1890s the farm population then the largest segment of the country was in a state As worrisome As today so Urban crisis a the backlash against world War i in the 1920s bore Many resemblances to the present rancor concerning the Vietnam War. In one decade or another the United states of the last Century has known in Strong form All the varieties of woes and discontents being Felt in the 1970s. Yet the atmosphere which has developed in our own Era is unique. For the first time in american history a whole concatenation of circumstances a whether the aftermath of a peculiarly unpalatable War rampant inflation crumbling life in the cities an a edifying presidency a have combined and combined in a Way to produce an unpriced entry deep and widespread attitude. Call it a cynicism a a alienation a a a disillusionment the words Are Only varying descriptions of a general pattern of thinking and reacting. In the first Radiant Days of the russian revolution the journalist Lincoln Steffens got off the famous line a i have seen the future and it in the glum United states of the 1970s, millions up and Down the economic and age Levels Are thinking to some degree a i am looking at the present and it does not the evidence is everywhere the striking number of thoughtful people who Are ready to agree with the statement of the social commentator Margaret Mead a the United states has a Slid into a pit of deterioration the latest report of the Institute for the future an organization seriously attempting to project the coming decades which expresses thoroughgoing pessimism the opinion polls indicating spectacular Large percentages of the population who Are Quot disenchanted not Only with american politics but with other Bedrock institutions. Nothing a not the educational system not the corporate Structure not organized Medicine or the Legal apparatus a escapes the corrosive doubts. Technology someone has remarked has been the Bible of the american people. Now Many of them watch technology a greatest Triumph the space program in a mixture of Pride and of apprehension that the machines whirling men to the Moon May really represent technology gone berserk. All of this matters and matters a great Deal. Over the Long Span of history fewer civilizations have disintegrated or gone into decided to open opportunities we be got to right ourselves to the Black assumed that the 0ver the tw0 Cen tunes of the dangerous disarray As a result of foreign armies or of economic collapse than of a loss of Faith in themselves. The malaise invariably causes a withdrawal into private concerns numbs the impetus to Correct the correctable leaves the society careening rudderless into Ever More turbulent seas. The Root of the contemporary american problem seems to lie in the special nature of the National life since world War ii. The country emerged from the conflict stupendously powerful generating huge Waves of Prosperity filled with social churning that promised victories Over All Many a ancient ills. Aspirations and expectations both personal and for the nation soared and kept right on soaring. The United states would police the world and Lead it to comfortable non communist ways every american child would go to a Fine school and almost every one. To College families would vault from a slum to a Levittown then to Pusher Suburbia without grinding through the usual generations of striving. Even the last group remaining outside the Barbecue the negroes would be brought in at least to some degree. A americans a Harry Truman once observed a Are human beings and More so than Homo Sapiens . Variety rushed ahead with All his High expectations and Little regard for consequences or for changes he might have to make in attitudes and institutions to permit his anticipations to approach being facts. To mention Only one blatant instance most Whites who new Orleans sniper mystery still unsolved by Bill Crider associated press writer new Orleans apr it seems like a Nightmare now. The Marine helicopter clattering out of the misty rain hovering a few feet above the 18-Story hotel with its Landing lights glaring Down on the roof. Rapid gunfire a a Nasty stuttering sound. Streaks of red tracers and the Whang of bullets ricocheting off Concrete Over downtown new Orleans breaking windows in tall buildings blocks away. One of the most extraordinary gunfights in new Orleans police annals taking place a Block from City Hall ending after 30 hours with seven dead one dying 16 wounded. Paint and plaster have erased the Bullet Marks but not the mysteries left in the after math of Mark James Robert Essex a terrorist attack on the downtown Howard Johnson hotel last Jan. 7. A key mystery which May never be solved was whether Essex was a loner on a suicide Mission or just one who did t get away. He was a 23-year-old Black from Emporia kan., bounced out of the Navy As a troublemaker. His private Graffiti written with Spray paint on the Walls of his two room apartment foreshadowed convulsion to come. A hate White people beast of the Earth a he wrote. A kill White Devil and kill White it seems strange that when ease escalated from Spray can to a .44 magnum Rifle which shoots a Bullet As big around As your thumb his first victim was Black a police Cadet Alfred Harrell Iii. The fact that Harrell was killed with Essex a .44 magnum was established by ballistics tests after the hotel gunfight. Harrell was shot on new years eve of 1972. A sniper hid in the dark near Central lockup and fired As the unsuspecting Cadet stood in a brightly lit Entrance. That was a week before Essex wounded a White grocer a puzzling incident police wont discuss. From there pursued by police he whipped his stolen car into the hotel parking Structure and circled to the fourth floor level. Scrambling around the hotel from one floor to another Rifle in hand he lit fires shot every White he encountered in the Halls and fired from windows at firemen trying to Deal with the flames. A maid said a Black Man took away her keys told her the revolution was on. And added a a done to worry sister we re Only shooting Whites then like a treed Wildcat he was on the roof holed up in a virtually impregnable Concrete room squatting above the Zigzag stairs in the emergency stairwell. Luckily Many guests were out sightseeing when murder stalked the hotel Halls. Others hurried Down to the lobby or huddled in their rooms or on balconies outside their windows. Six of the 18 floors were afire involving 44 of the 300 rooms. When police on nearby rooftops could t get at the sniper a Marine Sikorski helicopter was pressed into service. It carried half a dozen police gunners armed with automatic rifles on some 15 strafing runs Over the hotel roof. At about 9 15 sunday night As the chopper was swinging away Essex popped out of his shelter to get a better shot at it. He was Cut Down by a torrent of bullets a from the helicopter and from police gunners in surrounding buildings. He was the seventh to die. Those he took with him included or. Robert Stegall 27, and his wife Here from Roanoke va., on a delayed honeymoon. A hotel assistant manager and three policemen. Another hotel official died of his wounds 20 Days later. Sporadic shooting went on through the night after Essex was slain. Other snipers were thought to be trapped on the roof. Police barricades blocked off much of the downtown area monday. Police supt. Clarence Giar Russo says evidence gathered in the intense investigation indicates that Essex was alone. Some will never believe it. Quot there had to be at least two snipers a insists Louis san Salvador recently retired As fire superintendent. A my firemen feel the same Way Quot it happened a year ago but it Isnit Over for a lot of the people involved and it Isnit porpoise has sonar scientists believe the porpoise uses a form of sonar sending out clicking sounds by forcing air from the sacs near the blowhole and from echoes knows direction distance and size of objects. Over for me a he added. A it was too much too process could be carried out without paying More taxes for the negroes preparations and without disturbing their own Tenor of life by permitting him to live next door or to Send his child to their Public school. As a person who spent three years in the Washington of the 1960s, i can testify How Little Public interest existed in rudimentary workaday alterations necessary to bring politics into the service of the sharply heightened demands being made on it. Vast yawns were produced by talk of controlling Campaign expenses shaking up the Clammy seniority system of Congress or seeking More effective ways to nominate and elect a president capable of wisely guiding a nation through that most Complex of revolutions a revolution in expectations. So the failures the catastrophes worst of All the feelings of Dull sliding into seeming nothingness came. The Vietnam War turned into the Vietnam Nightmare a Levittown Home less an achievement than a Strait jacket the Black Man the Quot Urban the watergate of Richard Nixon a presidential candidate tossed up amid massive Public indifference to its own requirements for the White House provided a rallying Symbol not to rally. Harry Truman s human beings and More so were reacting like human beings and fleeing into How far and How permanently have they fled in 1973 a Seattle reporter interviewed an Auto repairman and was told Quot the whole damned country has gone to hell. But this is America and National experience the descendants of men and women who picked themselves up off the weary floors of battered civilizations and crossed the oceans to the a new land have not been known to remain comfortable for very Long in any atmosphere of disintegration or decline. If the Early 1970s Are a period of unprecedented malaise they could nevertheless be subject to the Long running american Cycle in which originally important parts of the Public have sunk into a cynical languor and then burst into highly productive demands on the institutions around them. Certainly a new literature is appearing and seeping into mass thinking which attempts to adjust expectations to possibilities an to imperatives for change. The trend is most noticeable in the Field of foreign policy but in internal affairs As Well the dominant emerging tone is one of reduced anticipations lessened bombast and pinpointed pragmatism. Some results Are already flowing and could whet the appetite for. More. However glacially a population perhaps wakening slowly from the torpor of feeling overwhelmed is pushing corporations even medical associations into action in line with the real and or inflated potentialities of the 1970s. Watergate in addition to dispiriting people seems to have provoked Many of them any close study of the polls suggests that it is raising questions about the presidency and general political processes rarely heard before in the popular Arena of discussion. And there is one fact muted by More resounding news. Which has its special symbolism if not its thumping importance. A the Day somebody says something about the congressional seniority the late sen. Everett Mckinley Dirksen declared a will be the Day of the second coming a a in the Early 1970s somebody did something about it not much but something. The later 1970s could if not bringing the second coming at least avoid apocalypse. All weather Coats with zip out lining Reg. 55 Reg. 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