The following is the tenth of a series of articles, “This Fascist Racket,” by Mr McGrady, exposing, from the inside, the workings of a typical Fascist organization here, and revealing, through publication of the Fascist “chieftain’s” correspondence, how and in what manner these racial rackets are operated. The series appears daily in the Jewish Daily Bulletin
Despite his frequent protestations of a “press conspiracy of silence” against his movement George W. Christians, head of the Crusader White Shirts, appears to be doing pretty well for himself.
By having a number of his aides in various parts of the country lead ignorant workers in demonstrations, the only possible objective of which is to publicize the movement, he has succeeded in gaining some publicity.
Christians has a habit of claiming credit for every demonstration among strikers. He is ready at any time to lead any group into action (providing it doesn’t jeopardize his own tender hide) for the publicity that will spring from it.
Perhaps the only publicity he has received during recent months, aside from that given him by one or two German Nazi propagandists in German language periodicals is that in which his aide in Tampa, Fla., was mixed up in some agitation in which shady tactics at primary polls are charged. The aide is T. O. Busbee, secretary of the League for Honest Voters. In a long article, the Crusaders received mention in passing merely once. Here they were referred to by one person, the County Solicitor, as “The American Nazis.”
“SUE TO GET PUBLICITY”
In pursuit of further publicity Busbee, in a long letter to Christians, wrote in part: “I think it is a good opportunity to bring the Crusade movement before the public by filing a damage suit against the County Solicitor and the Tampa Morning Tribune. . . .
“I expect to call another mass meeting in the next ten days, at the Band Stand in the Court House Yard. The League of Unemployed congratulated me on our mass meeting last Friday night. They were there in great numbers. They agreed to get together several thousand of their unemployed members, bring them to the Court House and do their ‘Whoopee Stuff’ while our speakers lambast the public officials.
“They are impressed with the fact that our speakers can publicly advocate violence and mobs, without being thrown into jail. The Leaders of the Unemployed came upon the stage at the Municipal Auditorium after the meeting and congratulated me, saying, ‘You men have said things here tonight, that they would have thrown us into jail for saying.’ “
HUNGRY FOR VIOLENCE
Christians’ letters to his lieutenants indicate an insane desire to create violence in the name of the Crusader White Shirts regardless of the consequencesâ€”regardless of whether or not workers realize their demands.
In quest of attention Christians writes “sizzling” letters. The one to Thomas F. McMahon, president of the United Textile Workers of America, for instance. He says in part:
“Sooner or later, whether you A. F. of L. men like it or not, we are going to take the matter out of your hands and put on a general nation-wide strike for Economic Liberty and get it.”
And to General Hugh S. Johnson, NRA administrator: “In spite of recent ballyhoo to the contrary, no one really expects any honesty or patriotism from a Wall Street Racketeer who is the side-kick of a New York Jew Communist. However, you should have intelligence enough to realize by now that we have shot your Communistic Dictatorship all to pieces.”
INSULTS SENATOR CUTTING
Or to Senator Bronson Cutting: “What a gravy train political control of our banking system would be for you lousy politicians. How far do you think you are going to get with that kind of a racket? By the way, besides yourself, whom do you think you crooked politicians are fooling nowadays?”
Or to the National Steel Corporation: “I hereby tender my services and the services of our national organization, without compensation, to your company in defense of your life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness and your right to conduct your business in a manner which seems to you most advantageous to your interests. . . . I hereby accuse the President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and his brain trust consisting of Messrs. Moley, Berle, and Tugwell, and Bernard Baruch and his associates, General Hugh S. Johnson and Donald Richberg, of conspiracy to overthrow the American government.”
In the preceding article it was shown that such persons as Christians receives readily the aid of persons in power like Congressman Louis T. McFadden, the bitter anti-Semite from Pennsylvania, probably the most unpopular man in the House, who has been deprived of most of his powers in various committees because of his crank propensities, and who slinks back to his office after making a speech to insert scurrilous remarks against classes and “(Applause)” signs in his speeches for reproduction in the Congressional Record.
CARTER AIDS CHRISTIANS
That this aid goes beyond the gentleman from Pennsylvania is evidenced by some correspondence in Christians’ files. There is that of John Carter, who writes under the pen name of Jay Franklin.
Excerpts from letter from John Carter to George W. Christians, dated January 19, 1934:
“You will probably not be surprised to hear that I have been appointed adviser on political economy to Secretary Wallace in the Department of Agriculture. I took the job only on assurances that I would be free to continue my independent writing and political contacts and would not be expected to act as propagandist for the department.
“It offers me an immediate opportunity of bringing my ideas to bear at once on the situation and I hope that you will regard me as a channel through which your ideas can be given attention. As you know, my feeling all along has been that President Roosevelt offered the most immediate, practical means through which reform could be obtained, and as his administration is moving in the right direction, I believe that now I can most usefully work within it for the objects which I have been advocating on the outside. Yours Very Trulyâ€””
On February 7, 1934, Carter wrote: “Have received and acknowledged Fulliam’s letter, which caused a distinct fluttering in the dove-cotes, but left me without doubt as to his sincerity. The only point is: How many people does he influence? How many people are prepared to follow him or you along Fascist lines? What methods do you propose to follow to gain your power? In other words, is he simply a ‘nuisance value’ for political purposes or is there any real belief in your inner councils that Fascism, organized as a political movement will get to first base in this country?
“Now as a practical man, I don’t care how we get economic liberty, whether through HR4747 or another device, whether through the Democratic party, the Communists, or ‘the American Fascists.’ As a practical man, however, I believe that the shortest route to action lies through the man who has the power of initiative and political action, namely President Roosevelt, and all of my present activities are directed to making desirable action politically expedient, where you would make failure to take that action politically dangerous.”
DENIES HE’S A CRUSADER
On March 30, 1934, Carter again wrote: “Tell Higgins I immediately and formally contradicted his statement that I am a supporter of yours in the political sense. I am not and never have been. I am supporting Roosevelt and will continue to do so until further notice, as you very well know.
“Your financial plan for economic liberty is what I am interested in, but your political methods are entirely different to my own, and I want it perfectly clear that I am no more taking orders from you than you are from me. I have no more intention of wearing your livery than I have of coming out as a Fascist or Communist. I’ll work with Roosevelt so long as he is going my direction, as he is now. Yoursâ€””.
Christians was more than eager to surrender the above correspondence to me. I believe he may have pouted in this manner at Carter’s failure to join him wholeheartedly. It is possible that Christians had felt that a number of other persons whose confidential correspondence is exposed here had outlived their usefulness to him.
Also in the Christians files is some correspondence from Senator Huey P. Long’s office. Long, I mentioned in an earlier series, is head of a movement to make “Every Man A King.” The gentleman from Louisiana has promised to abolish poverty, hunger, long hours, and practically all the unpleasant things in life. He would give every man an income of about $10,000 a year, long trips during vacation, and cut the “big fellows” down to a million a year income. As to whether or not this system would entail a dictatorship by the Louisianan, Mr. Long maintains as a deep secretâ€”perhaps as a surprise. In any event he claims to have a following of almost a half million.
SENATOR LONG NOT CHOOSY
The good Senator does not hesitate to fraternize with other movements of a radical character, as the following exchange of correspondence will indicate:
From Earle J. Christenberry, Long’s Secretary, to Christians, on June 19, 1933: “You have possibly seen in the newspapers that Senator Long plans to issue this Summer a national weekly which will give to the public an accurate explanation of legislative matters here in Washington. I believe it will be possible for us to mail out about 200,000 complimentary copies over a period of several weeks, and I am wondering if there would be any objection to your furnishing Senator Long a list of your members and their addresses. If this is agreeable and your names are on addressograph plates, I would be very glad to pay whatever the cost is for having them run off on cards.”
Clever fellow this Long, whose ultimate political aspirations are far more clouded than his personal record, which has so frequently been debated in the public press and in legislative chambers. But not much shrewder than Christians, who replied:
“I regret that I can not furnish you with a list of our members for various reasons, the principal one being that we are under obligations not to reveal our membership. We greatly appreciate the Senator’s activities in tearing down and showing up the Wall Street racket and its henchmen. We have done a lot of this destructive work too.
“However we feel that the destruction is about complete and that it is time to forcibly present our constructive program. We are starting this with a patriotic demonstration of the Crusaders for Economic Liberty on July 4th at Columbus, Georgia. We cordially invite the Senator to take part in the demonstration and feel sure that his own interests would be immensely benefitted by getting on the band wagon at the start.”
LONG SENDS ‘REGRETS’
Christians hopes of having the colorful Long lend his services to the White Shirts were in vain. He erred somewhat in giving as the prime reason for failure to present the list of followers because of obligations not to reveal the membership. As Christians once told me:
“If we have a single paid-up member, I don’t know about him. The financial matters I leave to the rest of the boys” (whom he frequently pointed to as being in the movement purely for the “graft”).
Long wrote through his secretary, gracefully acknowledging his failure to proselyte the Christians following, on July 7th as follows: “I am certainly sorry that your communication did not reach me in time to advise you sooner that a previous speaking engagement made it impossible for Senator Long to accept your very kind invitation to participate in the patriotic demonstration sponsored by your organization at Columbus, July 4th … I should have realized that your membership could not be revealed even before you reminded me of the fact..”
To Be Continued Tomorrow