The Bomb that killed Harry T. Moore was ironically symptomatic of the remarkable forward strides of Southern Negroes in the past decade. For violence always accompanies change and the bomb was part of a wave of anti-Negro explosions in Dixie ‚ part of a last-ditch stand by status quo Southern bigots.
Once in the South lynch mobs would have tried to halt progress; today it is individual terrorists with bombs. Mob violence, long the mark of the South's subjugation of Negroes, is on the way out. The "lynching party" where an out-of-step Negro was strung up on the nearest tall oak while even small children watched is a thing of the past. Tuskegee Institute listed but one lynching for 1951. That was the killing of Melvin Womack, 26, at Winter Gardens, FL, not far from where Moore was slain. Womack was beaten to death by four masked white men and even his murder did not follow the old-time lynching pattern.
Today it is a handful of southern whites ‚ a willful minority ‚ who still believe in and practice violence to halt Negro demands for equal rights. They operate as individuals rather than as mobs.
Encouraged by lax police and bigoted politicians," they have flouted the law in their attempts to turn back the clock. With bombs, they have tried to stop admission of Negroes to lily-white universities, to halt a record number of Negro voters going to the polls, to stymie equal salaries for colored teachers and decent Federal housing for Negroes.
In Florida alone, there have been a dozen bombings in recent months. The bomb pattern spread swiftly to other states.
Attorney General J. Howard McGrath turned a dozen FBI agents loose on the bombings. In Mims, bloodhounds were used to track down the killers of Moore, where once they were used by lynch mobs. FBI head J. Edgar Hoover "has never been so disturbed over a case," reported the NAACP's Walter White.
The manhunt was again a symbol of a new South. This time the law was on the side of the Negro.
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