Science in Christian Perspective

Letter to the Editor


From: JASA 15 (September 1963): 100

In the March issue concerning my Dec. letter about the Ole Miss situation you mentioned that an anonymous reader indicated that "eyewitnesses of the desegregation conflicts at the University of Mississippi who have different values from those of Professor Maatman report greatly divergent details as to certain of the events referred to in the letter." . . . We in our family have collected from local newspapers over one thousand articles since the Sept. 30 riot concerning the desegregation conflict. We rechecked these after reading what the anonymous reader said. Not one eyewitness disagrees with what I (and others) wrote. No one is willing to say, for example, that he saw the marshals start the fight. There are, however, countless articles which say that the marshals attacked coeds, incited the crowd, etc. -but no one says he saw any of these things. Anyone bringing forth such a story would be a local hero.

I know dozens of persons . . . who were at all conceivable positions in the riot area. All such witnesses give, at their peril, the same evidence. The local AAUP chapter could therefore make its now-famous statement saying the chapter had eyewitness evidence that the mob, through many vicious acts, began the riot. Over sixty faculty members signed that statement, and many of those gave individual, public accounts of what they saw.

This evidence is the bone in the throat of those who despise the Mississippi integrationist. They want to change history, to convince themselves that they were attacked by brute Federal power. But they were not attacked.

Is it not significant that the reader who takes exception to my eyewitness reports prefers to remain anonymous? Isn't he guilty of the same thing others have been guilty of when they have anonymously inspired news stories claiming attacks on coeds and other atrocities ? . . . My report is well corroborated and was not affected by my personal values. Thank you for giving me another opportunity to discuss the matter.

Russell Maatman