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April 09, 1968 - Image 17

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-04-09
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Page Ten

p

THE MICHIGAN DAILY MAGAZINE

Tuesday,

April 9, 1968

Tuesday, April 9, 1968

THE MICHIGAN DAILY MAGAZINE

, . .

.M m

The.

Alin

elation

..

Of

ghetto

Students

"Equal Educational Opportunity"

was never

taken

so seriously

that it

was brought about. And desegregation really
doesn't amount to integration, anyhow.

pletely concentrate on my courses,"
states Mann. "When kids are killed in
Orangeburg, for example, there's just no'
way I can study."
Pointing to the low degree of activism.
on American campuses as compared to
that in other parts of the world, Mann
charges that the University lags behind
even most other U.S. cplleges. This has
presented another problem to his group,
which claims obnly about 18 hard-core:
members.
"The atmosphere on campuses and in
black communities is the same all over--
it's something you can feel. But it's not
hearly as strong here at the University.
Some blacks won't join our group for
fear of being branded militant. That's
where the black Greek system is Impor-
tant-to give them 'safer' means of
maintaining their black identity."
The University, as the rest of the edu-
cational system, has been teachinglies,
Mann feels. It was his organization
which initiated the crusade for the Negro
history courses now planned for next
winter.
"The amount of red-tape we had to go
through was absurd," he says. "And the
course apparently won't come near to
meeting the needs of black students who
want to take it. But at least it is a start
In the fight to destroy current myths
about black history
"But why should these lies be perpetu-
ated at all? The black people know how
it is. They are going to do something
about it. Why not face up to what's
going on?"
Mann notes also that society is not
'facing up to what's going on' in the
ghettos. Latest reports show 'that the
U.S. census missed a quarter of the black
males in this country. Members of this
sinvisible population," he says were
missed by the census because they live
and die in the streets.
"Last summer, these people were riot-
ByCity:

ing hi the streets and were killed by the
cups' bullets. When they died their
identity was ignored. The actual death
count of the Detroit riot, for example,.
was actually two or three times the 'offi-
cial' total of 46.
THE KRESGE MEDICAL RESEARCH
BUILDING is a modern structure at the
northern edge of campus. Inside it are
numerous small offices and laboratories.
Room 4026 belongs to Prof. Albert
Wheeler, president of the Michigan con-
ference of the NAACP.
Wheeler, a soft-spoken, middle-aged
Negro who is active in both University

"Today there is a new type of segre-
gation - a ''re-isolation' which comes
from entirely new motives. Black stu-
lents are banding together for positive
reasons - self-identity, self-determina-
tion - as a source of movement and di-
rection.
Wheeler, considers the -militancy of
many young blacks today as a natural
"over-compensation" in the atfempt to;
achieve equal rights. "I've talked to mili-
tants . . . they don't want ot fight, they
don't want to die. But they aren't going
to stand for the frustrations previous
generations went through. They can see
that this resulted in docile blacks and

Y::: N~~~i.:1r"ir'..r: w .::r''.r ... . .'..,...:...,..,....1. ."3"rn::.':... .....________h":
"we are trying to reach white peo-
ple.. We are saying, Hey, listen
to -us before it-'s too late. You are
headed for a catastrophe."
.. .:...:.s ::. : .

By KENNETH MOGILL

With huge sums of money and
faith, Americans several years-ago
began to work for "equal education-
al opportunity." If the educational
gap between the rich and the poor
could be bridged, America's urban
shame might be overcome. But well-
intentioned persons left "equal edu-
cational opportunity" to realize it-
self--and "equal educational oppor-
tunity" was lost in the process.
Ironically, some schools which
least needed their educational pro-
grams upgraded most easily gained
poverty funds. "In this communi-
ty," says a Birmingham school board
official, "a family earning $9,000 is
living on a subsistence level." Agree-
ing with this reasoning, the state
Department of Education allocated
$97,000 to the Birmingham Public
Schools. The money was used to op-
erate a poverty program under Title
I of the Elementary and Secondary
Education Act of 1965 for the 1966
fiscal year.
Birmingham officials admit the,
average family income for their
community in 1960 was $17,700-.
and county officials found only eight
welfare cases in Birmingham. But
Birmingham continues to receive
funds designed "to meet the special
educational needs of educationally-
deprived children in school attend-
ance areas having high concentra-
tions of children from low-income
families." A "low-income family," as
defined in the Act, is one with an
annual income of $2,000.
Birmingham's coup is not unique:
financial aid to education has fre-
quently been channeled into some
of the richest communities in the
nation. Grosse Pointe has similarly
gained funds to upgrade its schools.
And while the schools of wealthy
communities are being enriched, the
truly impoverished schools of urban
ghettoes have been neglected. The
attack on urban under-education
has at best dealt with ' symptoms
rather than causes. The federal Civ-
il Rights Commission said last year
in its "Report on Racial Isolation in
Public Schools" that programs to
raise the educational levels of per-
sons who have suffered from inade-
quate education have largely failed
-and that 'whatever gains have
been made in such "compensatory
education programs" have not been
sufficient to be of any lasting help.
Suburbs have financial resources
which ghetto communities are de-
nied by their very nature. The aver-
age suburban school spends from one
and a half to twice as much per
pupil each year than the aiverage
central city school district. And
while suburban districts are able to
devote more than half their budg-

N

surface. Efforts in and out of the
courts since the decision to-desegre-
gate Southern schools have knocked
down the legal barriers to racially-
mixed education without actually in-
tegrating in the South. And de fac-
to desegregation, in the North is a
.much greater problem.
While their current position is un-
clear, only in isolated instances have
federal -or state courts, notably in
California, been willing to declare
that segregation for any reason is
a denial of Fourteenth Amendment
guarantees of equal protectin of the
laws. Most courts have let segrega-
tion in public education stand if it
is, not the direct result of school
board policy, such as when former
school board policies 'have mani-
festly gerrymandered school attend-
ance boundaries to segregate the
races.
Plaintiffs challenging the legal-
ity of de facto segregation usually
contend that segregated education
for any reason is a denial of equal
educational opportunity and there-
fore violates the Fourteenth Amend-
ment's equal protection clause. Sup-
porting this contention is a large
body of sociological data indicating
that a youngster attending an all-
black school is severely handicapped
no matter how good his teachers
and how much money is spent on
his education.
The problems inherent in segre-
gated schools are primarily prob-
lems of social class. Ghetto schools
tend to be inferior not because they
are black but because their quality
of education is significantly infer-
ior to that obtained in a predomi-
nantly middle-class school. Nor is
it a problem of lower quality teach-
ers. Former Harvard President
James Conant found that teachers
in inner city schools were at least
as qualified as those in suburban
schools, and in a recent survey this
person found the most highly quali-
fied educators in Northwestern High
School in Detroit's black ghetto.
The so-called Coleman Report of
the U.S. Office of Education, studies
by sociologist Alan B. Wilson; and
the research of former Institute for
Social Research member Richard A.
Schmuck indicate that of all the
factors related to school achieve-
ment-family background, personal
ambition, personal ability, quality of
teacher and peer groups - peer
group relationships are most impor-
tant. If a child goes to school with
peers who do not have the means
to achieve their goals, as in a lower-
class school, then that child will not
tend to achieve the means of reach-
ing his goals. However, a lower-class
student in a predominantly middle-
class school is surrounded by stu-
dents who can achieve their goals,
and the tendency is that in such an

and community affairs, understands the
importance of activist students like
Larry Mann.
"There were an awful lot of black stu-
dents between the 1940s and the 1960s,
who went through the university leaving
no mark. Hopefully, today's students
will make an imprint, bring about some
changes.''
In his 30 years on campus, Wheeler
has observed stages in the black student's
character evolution. "I think that Negro
students here have come the whole swing
of the pendulum. When I was an under-
grad, Negroes lived together, ate togeth-
er, sat together in the Union. The girls
lived in a separate house.

indifferent whites, and they don't want
it to happen to them."
Due to this change in attitude, Wheeler
notes that there is today something of a
generation gap. "But we can always
count on white society to help us close
it. Three years ago there was quite a
gap between- militants-and moderates-
but the sense of self-preservation is nar-
rowing this rapidly."
"Negro students have two roles today,
the primary one being in the university.
There is a lot to be done here. Students
will have to take part in relevant-student
organizations. They, will have to partici-
pate in helping to shape new University
policy.

"A Nice Place

To Live In"

"This h
due to the
and part
from inne
limited :
within th
cipate.
"They <
tive critics
evaluate s
tive, bigot
the Unive:
if it is re
versity ha
to only c
this must
The sec
is within
the black
do with t
I think t
both side
"There
go into t]
grass-root
would likA
of this. It
ties betw
students.
"Even i
the white
own com
ponents t
Nobody t
black fol
tility situ
CHARL
that whit
do their
"Take I
their pea
ins, and
are whit
can't comr
society, t]
anything
"And di
out of ti
are burni
hippies ar
Like W'
white libe
perform.
problems
and radic
urbanites
"We bl
the white
LARRY
erals have
ing the b
very disill
care - e
where. Ti
didn't knc
care. The
would."
"Tradit
rationaliz
just too p
"Black
that the
on paper.
reality. T
can only
know it.
LUTHE:
either Ma
more optin
"I agre
intellectus
sibility, b
students :
in the chE
ever, the
access to
power lead
the corpor
"For ex
talk to y
talk to y
his more
"White :
cere if the
they must
ions of th
"The sa
erites .
themselves
them, to r
It means t
Black Pow

to get our
society."
"Yes," a
are a lot
lot of thir
dred and
can't expe
It requires
work. We
Copyrigi

(Continued from Page 5)
And, more significantly, there has been
range in the white-over-black syn-
drome.
"Very few low-income people have
been allowed in the program. A few have
been fitted into positions with little re-
sponsibility. But the OEO is run by the
well-educated and well-provided-for,"
McDaniels said.
"Poor people need to find someone
in these programs to identify with, some-

gardner, OEO director in Bay City. "They City, the audience baited and heckled

need a lot of help."
"People in Bay City don't even want to
recognize that there- are black people
living here - let alone poor black peo-
ple," said Jim Mosby, reporter for the
Bay City Times and a member of the
NAACP.
Over 40 per cent of all Negro families
living in Bay City-have an annual in-
come of less than $2700.
Mosby, former public relations man for

~~~~...*,.*.;:t .".: ...'. :''. . YJ. ":. '."Y.::'t.".:::T J.!" *. . . . . .".. . . .: r::. . .:".'..: :
".'. .':. . . . . . ..."" f!..x. :t

A School Playground:

Cleveland,

Ohio

Photos hy Thomas R. Copi

" . The comfortable American does not
enjoy thinking about the human misery
festering at the other end of town. He does
not enjoy knowing that many of his fellow
ciizens live in conditions that breed every
hind of social eviL It is not easy for him
to acknowledge that his own infant, if
dropped into that ruinous environment,
would just as surely fall victim to it. He
avers his eyes from the human damage that
occurs there."
-Former Secretary of Health, Education
and Welfare John W. Gardner

Robinson.
"But can you believe in God?" asked
one woman.
First Presbyterian, although located
only three blocks from the First Ward,
has no Negro members in its congrega-
tion.
Except for Jim Baker, few Negroes
are known in the white community.
Baker's wife, Joy, is the only local Ne-
gro woman to break the social barrier on
the Times' women's page.
The bedrock in Bay City still has not
begun to erode. Almost unanimously the
white majority sees .. the problem of
ghettos as a function of poverty rather
than race. "We have Mexican families
who arecworse off," is a common refrain.
But does Knepp hire Negro clerks?
"Well, I've hired a. few colored - boys to
wash the windows," he answered.' Only
a small percentage of Bay City's down-,
town business establishments have' Ne-
gro employees.
When McDaniels was in high school,
he repeatedly stressed his conviction that
America had a non-racist society. "Edu-
cation and economics are the keys. Race
is not an issue by itself," he said then.
Now he isn't certain. He plans to leave
his OEO position soon and return to
Central Michigan University in the fall.
He has not decided whether he will re-
turn to. Bay City.
"Bay City Is just like the rest of Amer-
ica. It has refused to adapt to its prob-
lems while they can still be solved by
conventional methods," says Bruce Les-
lie, Central High social studies teacher.
"It has always tried to remedy today's
problems with yesterday's solutions, even
when it has known that the answers
were no damn good even then."
McDaniels is an unwilling member of
the black power revolution. "I still think
I can find a way to work out my ideal-
ism," he repeated.
But he also admitted. "There must be
a better way than the one I'm trying
now."
Copyright, 1968: The Michigan Daily
All Rights Reserved

ets to education,
only about a third
on their schools.

big cities spend
of their budgets

Cities are further plagued by a-
vicious spiral of increased transpor-
tation, police, sanitation and wel-.
fare costs; they are vexed by de-
creasing -tax bases due to the flight
of families and businesses to sub-
urbs. As the needs of citiesgrow,
their ability to meet them declines.
As their problems grow, more per-
sons flee to the suburbs - exacer-
bating the decline even more. The
urban education system, the only
governmental agency requiring vot-
er approval for financial support,
suffers most.
But if urban schools matched sub-
urban schools in -finances; they'd
still be defeated by the overwhelm-
ing effects of segregation. At the

elementary and junior high level,
whites go to school with whites and
blacks with blacks. Surveys indicate
that while secondary schools are
somewhat desegregated, the Ameri-
can public education system as a
whole is still 90 percent segregated.
High school teachers in the lily-
white Detroit suburb of Hazel Park
say, "We don't have any racial prob-m
lems in our school; we don't have-
any Negroes."-
Desegregation is not integration.
When black and white students at-
tend the same school they are de-
segregated. But unless they can so-
cially relate they are not integrated.
When the Supreme Court in 1954.
found segregation "solely on the ba-
sis of race" unconstitutional, the
problems of racism in education were
not solved, they merely came to the

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one they can respect,"' McDaniels ex-
plained. "They need someone who rises
from within their own ranks and be-
comes a director. That's not happening
in many cities and it's not going to
happen in Bay'City, because the people-
here won't let -it happen."
McDaniels accused OEO directors of
administering their program with a mis-
sionary-native psychology. "They're'very
patronizing," he said. .
"It Is simply going to take awhile be-
fore these poor Negroes can accept re-
sponsibility. We're trying to start them
in that direction," said Mrs. Doris Baum-

folk singers Peter, Paul, and Mary, is
exasperated at the; low leyel. of social-
awareness in Bay City. "I grew up as a
hard-core Republican. But I'm becom-
ing more and more radical as I watch
problems being ignored or suppressed."
The Women's Association of Bay City's
First Presbyterian Church, one of the
most 'prestigious In town, recently at-
tempted to probe the Negro's point of
view. Edwin Robinson, claims represen-
tative for Bay City's social security of-
fice, was asked to speak at a luncheon.
'Dominated by older women represent-
ing some of the oldest families in Bay

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