ask you, every month, to read aboutnMississippi. This letter is from thenSouth, but it won’t by any meansnalways be about the South.nAnd it won’t presume either to presentn”the Southern point of view” onnwhatever its subject happens to be.nThe fact is that on many subjects,nthere’s no such thing. And when therenis, sometimes I don’t share it.nStill, I do believe that most Americansn(and nearly all Americans that arenworth a damn) reflect in their opinionsnand even in their beliefs the regionnthey come from. So this monthly letternwill doubtless reflect a Southernnviewpoint—my Southern viewpoint.nIf my fellow Southrons don’t like it, nondoubt they’ll make themselves heard.nAnd that’s as explicit as I plan to getnabout what I’m doing here. Let me tellna story.nNot long ago, some of us wentnfishing down on the North Carolinancoast. The group included my buddynPeter, a recent immigrant from Boston.nWhen we stopped in a generalnstore for provisions, I spied a capnemblazoned with crossed Confederatenand U.S. flags and the motto, “Americannby birth/Southern by the grace ofnGod.”nI coveted that cap. (I know it’snwrong, but I’m weak.)nwhen I asked the trailer-campnmama behind the counter how muchnit cost, Peter (who, as a matter of fact,nwas wearing a New York Yankees’nbaseball cap) started giving me a hardntime: “No real Southerner would wearnone of those things. Nobody but anderacinated, self-conscious, effete”n—and so forth.nThe woman at the register gave thenFlatbush Flash a pitying look.n”Honey, she said, “a real Southernernwill wear any damn hat he wants to.”nFrom Alabama in early July camenword of the acquittal of the “MarionnThree,” Black political leaders whonhad been charged with ballottampering.nThis must have been andisappointment not only to the JusticenDepartment, which brought the case,nbut also to those liberals who longednfor a replay of the glory days of thenCivil Rights Movement, if not of thenScottsboro case. On the other hand, itnwas clearly a relief both to the defend­nants and to many other Black Alabamiansnwho, after all, have had no veryngood reason to trust the good intentionsnof white electoral officials.nFrankly, Alabama strikes me as annunlikely place^ and this case an unlikelynway, to begin to clean up the electoralnsystem. But the situation that gavenrise to the indictments clearly wasn’tnwhat Thomas Jefferson had in mind.n”You can’t win an election in thenBlack Belt of Alabama if you don’tnhave a sophisticated get-out-theabsenteenvote effort,” one organizerntold a Southern Regional Council re­nporter. What that means in practice isnthat carfipaign workers locate potentialnvoters among rural BlackSj often illiterate,nsometimes old and infirm. Theynhelp them register, get absentee ballotsnfor them, and “assist” them in fillingnout the ballots. It’s the sort of practicenthat would pass unremarked (andnJDrobably does) in Chicago: good oldfashionednAmerican machine politics.nAll of this is unquestionably legaln—which does not, of course, make itnparticularly edifying to watch., Norndoes it excuse even uniritentional violationsnof the law, and a grand jurynFor His Integrity, ScholarSiiip,nand Personal and Intellectual CouragenEdward J. RozeknRecipient of the 1985nAmerican Values Awardngiven bynThe United States Industrial CouncilnEducational FoundationnEach guard walks alone, and the tiny halo of his lanternnmakes our fearful hearts stouter. — William Alexander PercynThe USIC Educational Foundation promotes economic and politicalnliberty — the foundations of a free society — among the nation’s youth,nits press, and its leaders. With the American Values Award, we honornthose of courage who continue to espouse traditional values withncreativity and grace, against a current of hostile criticism. AndreinMavrozov, editor of the Yale Literary Magazine, and Henry Regnery,npublisher, are previous recipients of the Award.nJames C. QuaylenChairmannAnthony HarrigannPresidentnUSICnEducationalnFoundationn200 WAVERLY BUlLDinQ • BREriTWOOD, TEHMESSEE 37027 • (615) 377-4792nnnOCTOBER 1985137n