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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 12, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta Wednesday, September 12, 1973 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 35 CHARLESEYERS Candid civil rights leader in trouble By BRUCE RUSSELL FAYETTE, Miss (Reuter) The man who established the first tiny enclave of negro administration in the once white-dominated state of Mississippi is running into op- position today from his own race Charles Evers. brother of assassinated civil rights leader Medgar Evers. was first elected mayor of this ru- ral town ot in May, 1969 He was returned unopposed for a second term in May this year But a group of his black critics, saying they wanted to "put some curbs" on the dynamic and outspoken mayor, opposed and defeated two of Evers' slate of five aldermen A close friend of President John and Senator Robert Kennedy, Evers has been spearheading a campaign to get more black elected officials in Mississippi while running his small town He recently ran for governor of the state, getting 22 per cent of the vote Back in 1969 Evers was swept into office as mayor of Favette to wild Negro rejoicing in what was seen as a vic- tory of tremendous symbolic significance A self-confessed former racketeer and brothel owner Irom the black ghettoes of Chicago and Detroit, he re- turned to Favette to invest his money in his native state and become a respectable businessman Explaining why he has been so frank in his autobiography about his shady dealings of the past, Evers, 50. says That was the only way a black man could make money in those days I want people to know me for what I am Nobody's going to blackmail me Evers decision to return to Mississippi came after the assassination of his brother in 1963 The passage of the federal Voting Rights Act in 1965 paved the way for black voter drives and Evers running tor office Blacks in majority He picked Favette where blacks outnumber whites by 70 per cent to 30 per cent The town had had the same el- derly white mayor, R J Allen, for 20 years Evers had already made himself a force in the town before the election by investing his money in a shopping centre, motel, restaurant and otner businesses "White folks taught me economics and politics go hand in hand he said in an interview "I believe that capitalism is the greatest way in the world to live, so I'm making all the money I can make, do- ing all the good I can for my folks and living as honestly as I can In his autobiography, the puts it even more suc- cinctly "The only color that is important to me is green." he says But Evers had no sooner moved into the little brick town hall built in the last vears of Allen's term than he began to run into what he called icalousy from his own people Evers is inclined to give scant attention to this opposi- tion He describes the blacks who head it as a "lot of fuddy-duddies In his first four years Evers succeeded in bringing to Favette an International Telephone and Telegraph sub- sidiary which makes circuits for anti-pollution devices in cars He got the town a clinic a day-care centre for children and a vocational training centre All of this created 500 new jobs in the tiny community Criticism of Evers mainly centres on his passion for strict law enforcement and over-zealousness among the newly recruited seven-man black nolice force Four ol the original five-man white force walked off complaining the mavor treated them like dogs and the fifth later resigned "I m stiictlv a law and order man Evers says "I be- lieve in strict observance ol the law I broke the law so man> times in rm time that I know what it's like He cracks down Evers cracks down on speeding motorists, forbids guns in the town and deals sternly with drugs, drunks and unru- ly teen-agers Evers points out that under the old regime whites were rarelv prosecuted and police largely ignored crimes blacks committed against blacks "But if a black broke the law against whites, boy, you had it A black man was shot in 1965 right here in this town because he was supposed to have cursed a white woman Evers adds "One thing you won't hear in this town is that law enforcement is a racial thing We give white folks, black folks, young folks, old folks the same treatment White owners of small gas stations, while delighted over the opposition Evers is getting from his own race, admit business has never been better Rogers King, a 24-year-old school teacher who opposed the Eveis aldermanic slate and was elected with more votes than any other candidate, says he admires much of what Evers has done but thinks he needs the sort of control provided by opposition Most ol the criticism ot Evers is directed against his dogs not on leashes, alleged use of unnec- essarily brutal tactics Evers admits some of the criticism is justified and at the same time keeps a close watch on the actions of the police particularly for any possible corruption 'Over-zealous1' Sure My policemen are no different from any other policemen They get a little smart some- times When that happens I chop 'em right down Eveis insisted that the police bring traffic offenders back to the police station to issue them traffic tickets so there will be no temptation for them to accept a bribe out on the road white drivers tend to panic when they are escorted back to the police station The mayor continues to devote a lot of his time to get- ting more Negro officials elected in Mississippi which hp says already ha.s the third highest number of black offi cials in the nation Of his own successful attempt to run as state governor he s.ivs It's not important that 1 should have What was important was that I won the attention to make it possible for some voung black one day to become gover- nor Charles Gain not bitter towards Calgarians ff intes slumps go on sale OTTAWA (CP) The first two stamps of a special series on the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games will be issued by the post office Sept 20 it an- nounced Monday The five-color stamps will ho issued in eight and 15-cent denominations with a design toatulmg live mtoil.iood nngs downed with a symbolic M Twentv million eight-cent and 10 million 15-cent stamps will be released post office spokesman sdid revenue Irom sale of the stamps will be used to pay production costs Any surplus on s.ilos to collectors will go to to help pay tor the CALGARY (CP) Charles Gam. briefly hired as Calgary police chief last year, has been unable to find another job ottering the challenge he thought he would find in Calgary He resigned a year ago in the midst of an emotional debate over whether an American citizen should head a Canadian police force Today he is still working as head of the Oakland. Calif department of police services, a position he held prior to the Calgary appointment the Calgary thing I ve been offered several jobs very I didn t take anv because none had the challenge that Calgan did Chief Gam said in a telephone interview from his Oakland office "So 1 just stayed here and I have no plans to leave He was hired by the Calgary police commission after it screened a number of appli- cants in search of a replace- ment lor Duke Kent, who re- tn ed 'ihe announcement elicited public outrage that the com- mission was unable to find a suitable Canadian for the job City council voted 7 to b 10 ask the province to amend the Police Act to preclude anyone but a Canadian citizen from being a police chief in any provincial jurisdiction On the same evening as the council vote. Chief Gain told Jack Prothroe. chairman of the police commission, that he would withdraw from the job In Oakland, he had moved from patrolman to chief in 23 years Now 49. he has been eli- gible to retire since February. 1972 said when this whole thing blew that is the that 1 had gained a greater knowledge of Canada and got to know a lot of people there." Chief Gam said "I didn't have any ill feelings toward anyone The openness of the citizens and the fairness of the media im- pressed me Sears sq.yd. Shag that spreads more colour at your feet than ever before! Here's shag at its colourful best! 41 lush up-to-date largest selection ever offered in one carpet. But why not see for yourself? Feel the pile. Deep, springy. And because it's DuPont nylon it's got muscle too. Takes all the wear and tear an active family can dish out. Cleans beautifully. Most spots wipe up with a damp cloth. Surely such easy-to-live-with luxury deserves the floor! 12' width. Save ON 9' x 12' rug. 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