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PAGE 2

Brann Vs. Baylor
by [?]

The claim set up by my assailants that I had slandered the female students of Baylor University is a malicious calumny, that was but made a lying pretext for the attacks. That my article in the October ICONOCLAST did NOT impeach the character of the Baylor girls is amply evidenced by the fact that my offer to leave the matter to the decision of a committee of reputable business men, to abjectly apologize and donate $500 to any charity these gentlemen might name in case the decision was against me, was flatly refused. “The honor of young ladies is not a proper subject for arbitration,” I was told. Quite true; but the proper construction of an article which is made a pretext for mob violence, IS a proper matter for cool-headed and disinterested parties to pass upon. The Baylorians insisted upon being judge, jury and executioner–proof positive that they well knew the article would not stand the arbitrary construction they had placed upon it. After the first outbreak the Baylor bullies of the lost manhood stripe and their milk-sick apologists held a windy powwow in a Baptist church, and there bipedal brutes with beards, creatures who have thus far succeeded in dodging the insane asylum, whom an inscrutable Providence has kept out of the penitentiary to ornament the amen-corner–many of whom do not pretend to pay their bills–some of whom owe me for the very meat upon the bones of their scorbutic brats–branded me as a falsifier while solemnly protesting that they had never read a line of my paper. They proclaimed in stentor tones and pigeon-English that would have broken the heart of Lindley Murray, that I was a defamer of womanhood–while confessing that they didn’t know whether I had ever mentioned a female. They howled that they “were willing to sign Brann’s death- warrant”–on mere hearsay. These intellectual eunuchs, who couldn’t father an idea if cast bodily into the womb of the goddess of wisdom, declared positively that I would be permitted to print nothing more about their beloved Baylor–and that without knowing whether I had advertised it over two continents as an oasis in a moral Sahara or a snakehole in the Dismal Swamp. It was a beautiful, a refreshing sight, this practical approval of mob violence by unfledged ministers on the campus of a Baptist college, this raucous tommyrot about death-warrants and ropes, this sawing of the air and chewing of the rag by people so d—-d ignorant that they couldn’t find either end of themselves in the dark, this chortling over the fact that one desk-emaciated welter-weight had been caught unawares and trampled upon by a sanctified mob–a refreshing sight, I say, in a temple consecrated to that Christ who forgave even his enemies from the cross. But every man at that meeting who said he never read the ICONOCLAST deliberately lied. The Baptists all read it. Some subscribe and pay for it like gentlemen, some buy it, some borrow it, and the rest steal it from the newsstands. The greatest trouble I have is to prevent, Baptist preachers spoiling my local sale by telling everybody in town what the ICONOCLAST contains before the revised proof-sheets are read. It is but fair to say, however, that the Baptists were not alone to blame. Much of the noise was made by a lot of tickey-tailed little politicians who have no more religion than a rabbit, but who were trying to open a popular jack-pot with a jimmy. Some of the brawlers were self-seeking business men, willing to coin blood into boodle, ready to slander Deity for a plugged dime, anxious to avert a Baptist boycott by emitting a deal of stinking breath. These bloated financial ducks in a provincial mud-puddle have had entirely too much to say. When the present lecture season is over; when I get the Baptist mob thoroughly cowed; when I can walk the streets without expecting every moment to get shot from a stairway or double-banked by the meek and lowly followers of the Messiah; when I have time to amuse myself with trifles, I’ll sue this brace of Smart Alecs for $20,000 each for deliberate defamation of character, and if I recover the money I’ll use it to make a partial payment on the grocery bills of the rest of the gang. Intellectual pigmies who accumulate much cash by trading in cash or tripe in a country town are quite apt to become too big for their britches and require to be taken down a peg or two, to be taught their place. They sometimes have the nickel-plated nerve to play Rhadamanthus to the purveyors of brains–swell up like unclean toads and conceive themselves to be in “select society.” Some of them actually imagine themselves of more importance to this community than Judge Gerald and Waller Baker; yet you could scrape enough intellect from under Gerald’s toe-nails to build the crew, while Baker forgets more every fifteen minutes than they have learned since they were born. The meeting held at the Baptist church to ratify the outrage was composed of a lot of self-seekers and whining hypocrites, half of whom would sell their souls for a copper cent and throw in their risen Lord as lagniappe. It was a mob that writhed and wriggled in its own putridity like so many maggots, while the local press cowered before its impotent wrath like young skye-terriers before a skunk. If I couldn’t beget better men with the help of a digger Indian harem I’d take to the woods and never again look upon the face of woman. It was a glorious sight to see these “pore mizzuble wurrums of the dust” spraining their yarn galluses trying to hurl the writhen bolts of Olympian Jove–and now bellyaching because hit in the umbilicus with their own boomerang. The second assault, more brutal and cowardly than the first, followed as the logical sequence of that powwow of pietists, peddlers and politicians. The utterances of that congregation of unclean adders, the resolutions adopted by that sanctified body of dead-beats in the sanctum sanctorum of the Baptists, was a bid for blood-injected the idea into the warty heads of a trio of thugs that by way-laying and beating me to death they would pass into history as heroes. Then the real manhood of Waco rose en masse and laid down the law in no uncertain language to the hungry hypocrites and their Baylorian hoodlums. They declared that religious intolerance would no longer be permitted to terrorize this town. Fearing just retribution at the hands of the citizens, Baylor called out its three military companies and mounted guard with rifles furnished by the government, while the very girls in whose name they had dragged me around the college campus with a rope, laughed them to scorn and sent me flowers–and the password of the bold sojer boys. One young lady writes: “The password for the night is ‘Napoleon.’ Our bold soldiers halted a milk wagon at daylight this morning. Probably they thought Brann was concealed in one of the cans with his bowie-knife.” Half a dozen men armed with cannon-crackers could have chased the brave mellish into the Brazos and danced with the Baylor girls till daybreak–and I suspect that the latter would have enjoyed the lark. For a third of a century the bigotry of a lot of water moccasins had been the supreme law of this land. To obtain an office the politician had to crawl to it on his marrow bones and slavishly obey its behests. To obtain trade the merchant had to sneeze whenever it took snuff. To obtain patronage the local publisher had to make it the absolute dictator of his policy. Like Jehushran, it “waxed fat and kicked”–until it got its legs tide in a double bow knot about its OWN neck. Its tyranny became insupportable, murderous, there was a new declaration of American independence, and now this J. Caesar that erstwhile did bestride Central Texas like a colossus, is more humble than Uriah Heep. And what were the A.P.Apes of Waco doing while honest men were raising the standard of revolt and chasing the Baptist hierarchy into its hole? Were they in the front rank shouting their war-cry of “no union of church and state”–the “little red school-house” rampant on their orange-colored rag? Not exactly. They had sneaked off to some bat cave to plot against the whites, to protest against the
proceedings of their fellow citizens. Had a Baptist editor been mobbed on the campus of a Catholic college they would have howled a lung out about Popish tyrannys stood on their heads and fanned themselves with their own shirt-tails.