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April 10, 1968 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1968-04-10

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Seventy-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom

In Controversy Lies the Cure

- - 4W

ere Opinions Are Free, 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MICH.
Truth Wil Prevail


NEWS PHONE: 764-0552

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Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.,

Y, APRIL 10, 1968


Ad Building Chain-In:
Radical Means, Liberal Ends

FEW WHITES can understand the uni-
que crosspressures felt by black stu-
dents at the University.
These pressures stem from the dif-
ficulty many black students have in re-
conciling their presence in an institu-
titution structured to serve the ends of
white society with their growing con-
sciousness of the implications of their
distinct racial identity.
Yesterday's seizure of the Adminis-
tration Building by black students re-
flected this dilemma as they coupled the
tactics of radicalism with demands which
had the semblance of liberalism.
For the demands which focus on two
appointments and an endowed chair ask
the University to do little that would ra-
dically change the racial complexion of
the campus. Rather, what they stress is
that the University merely do what is
expected of it - such as implement the
Greene Report.
MANY, IN VIEWING the militance of
the tactics, will be quick to point out
that, the black students could probably
have arranged Monday's meeting with
President Fleming, by merely requesting
Yet this view fails to recognize the
symbolic qualities, justifiably important
to the black students, which character-
ized yesterday's demonstration.
And the dramatic seizure of the Ad-
ministration Building complete w i t h
chains- across the doors highlighted for
the mass of white students the funda-
mental discontent of the all too easily for-
gotten black student minority on this
President Fleming's sympathetic at-
titude toward the demands reflected his
comprehension of their fundamental
moderation. The University, reflecting
the well-meaning liberalism of academia,
generally is perfectly willing to drasti-
cally increase the number of qualified
Negroes in its employ, and more import-
antly, in its student body.
THE ISSUE only becomes controversial
when focus is turned to the meaning
of the word "qualified." The University
generally maintalns that the absende
of qualified .students and personnel, ra-
ther than any bias, is the prime reason
the University has remained a school for
"rich, white students."

And to illustrate the obstacles the Uni-
versity faces, they note their strenuous
effort to keep Negro employees from be-
ing lured away by the lucretive offers of
other institutions.
It is probable that the University has
failed to admit or hire many Negroes be-
cause of the ineffectiveness until recently
of recruiting programs and the use of an
excessively white-oriented definition of
quality. But it would also be blatantly
unfair not to acknowledge that many of
the University's. complaints of the ab-
sence of "qualified" Negro applicants
have substantial merit.
Therefore the underlying question
raised by yesterday's demonstration is
what should be the University's role, if
any, in compensating for the inadequate
training programs provided by the larger
HERE THERE is no simple answer. To
drastically increase the numbers of
Negroes in the student body would, in
all likelihood, require special tutoring
and special programs. The self-segrega-
tion inherent in such a program might
seriously dilute the substantial advan-
tages of increasing the number of Ne-
groes at the University.
However, to do nothing would be in-
For if the racial inequities in America
are ever to be resolved, it is incumbent
upon' socially sensitive institutions like
the University to be in the vanguard of
those promoting change.
Therefore, without jeopardizing qual-
ity education and within obvious finan-
cial limitations, the University must do
everything in its power to improve the
educational opportunities of tblack stu-
It will be a difficult tightrope for the
University to walk between the demands
of the black students concerned with
their own problems and the obstruction
of those in the University community
who strongly resent any alteration of
the sacred status quo.
WE SUSPECT that yesterday's demon-
stration was only the first of a series.
It is essential that the University com-
munity respond to future protests with
tolerance and all the understanding it
can musterprather than taking the easy
road of scorn and derision.

IT IS HARD, very hard, to think or write anything these
days without talking about the quick succession of
hope and despair experienced this past week. The two
great problems which have dominated my four years at
the University-the war and the racial crisis-are now
reaching some kind of climax. It seems America's day of
reckoning is at hand: the nation must choose a path of
peace abroad and soothe the war at home or it will suffer
the, growing hell of the past four years. And it is the
demanding confrontation with this problem, quite frankly,
which is at the heart of an American education today.
During my first week in Ann Arbor in the late sum-
mer of 1964, Negro writer Louis Lomax addressed an over-
flow Hill Aud. crowd on the racial crisis. He warned of
rising racial unrest with grim consequences for life in the
U.S. "The effect of the present civil rights struggle on
America can be compared to that of an annealing furnace
on a bar of metal," he explained. "The result of the
battles taking place now will be that America-in the
heat of battle inthe process of discord in the North,
idealism in the South and action on all fronts-will have
her imperfections hammered out."!It seemed an imagina-
tive hyperbole then-a vision of America smoldering
from coast to coast, burning red hot so that the long-
neglected poison in our society would come to the sur-
face-but now it is as real as the next hour's news
report. The annealing process has begun.
My freshman year also witnessed the University's-
and the country's-first teach-in, a soul-searching look

at the U.S.'s new-born escalation in Vietnam. It was all
rather innocucous then-grads and undergrads sheltered
by their wholesale deferments, a President in the White
House whe had voiced the folly of massive land involve-
ment in Asia. But, like the cities and the blacks and
poverty, time has not been the great healer.
THE STUDENTS and the universities have grown a
bit wiser through all this. The academic centers have
become both a mirror of the nation's troubled conscience
and a reflection of that trouble itself. College protests
have helped bring a reassessment of foreign policy and a
closer look at the urban crisis, but the universities have
simultaneously helped produce better bombs and bomb-
ers, insidious chemical weapons, more "effective" coun-
ter-insurgency-much of this behind secret doors in our
allegedly open society. Sometimes the shrill cries of
campus critics have exploded into rowdy demonstrations.
Yet, perhaps in no more important way than these pro-
tests has the university fulfilled its commitment to
America. "A university that is not controversial is not a
university," said educator Robert Maynard Hutchins. "A
civilization in which there is not a continuous con-
troversy about important issues, speculative and practical,
is on the way to totalitarianism and death." The Amer-
ican dream, whatever remains from these years of Amer-
ican nightmare, is being preserved in the thoughtful
debate and vigorous protest of the academic sphere.

THIS AWAKENING questioning by students is one of
the most hopeful signs in an otherwise depressing na-
tional landscape. It would be nice to think that the
serious probing and challenge to sacred illusions and
social ills will continue past the ivy gates, but one won-
ders. A University professor once described the student
rebellion against the technological society as "like fish
revolting against the sea." It is the painful truth in this
observation which should convince us that universities
must closely guard their freedom and independence, that
they must become, if necessary, 'powerful critics of so-
ciety and not mere agents of government and industry.
IF AMERICAN SOCIETY is to be reformed-or re-
volutionized-there must be an autonomous force for
change. If it is not already tdo late, the university can
fill this position. And then, perhaps, when students leave
the academic environment their ideas will not suffocate
like fish on the sand.
Things have changed in my four years here, or so it
seems looking back. Perhaps it is that I have changed in
this period, but that alone can not explain the growing
importance placed on higher education, not merely as
a center for students but as' the most significant new
institution on the American scene. The best hope for to-
morrow is that the finest ideas and ideals of the uni-
versity will become the model for American society, and
not American society the model for the university.



King 's Legacioy: Hp elessness Lingers. On,

Daily uest Writer
Last of Two Parts
PERHAPS FOR this generation's
blacks, and American society,
it is already too late. The un-
educated black of 20 faces 40 odd
years without much hope. But
where we have the technical
means to do something, where
hope can be realized, nothing is
being done. The ghetto child is
being crushed, lied to about his
chances for opportunity and im-
provement, while ,in practice the
society apathetically sits by doing
For the ghetto's children the
school is the prime institution for
upward mobility. Yet because
American society refuses to help
give its underclass a chance the
school itself only serves as a
further repressive mechanism. (If
you think I exaggerate or over-
stress this point consider whether
any improvements have been
brought to our primary education
system in the last few years. The
average class size of the ghetto
primary school is still between 35-
40.) Yet if the black child demon-
strates any intelligence or sen-
sitivity, like refusing to accept his
condition, the white man slaps him
down and calls him "unrealistic.'
For calling "Charlie," white so-
ciety may give him a few crumbs;
for saying he has a right to his
own culture and to defend himself
he gets only a gun in his back or
a jail term.
You, the white liberal, will pro-
test, disclaiming any personal re-
sponsibility or guilt. Yet the courts
and police are your agents of op-
pression. LeRoi Jones gets an ex-

tended jail term for what? For
daring to utter his thoughts, not
for his actions. Rap Brown the
same. Free speech except for those
with a vision of a destructive
apocalpyse? Liberal society can-
not tolerate the phophets of its
White city hall, in Newark,
Watts, and Detroit, gave out with
the same essential response. Each
gave the police license to lawlessly
slaughter innocent black men. In
each the black man's civil rights
were "temporarily' abrogated un-
der the guise of maintaining "law,
and order." Violence to what end?
The frightened reaction of New
Jersey's 'Governor Hughes, one of
the liberal governors, exemplifies
the control and condescension the
white can-and does-use to
manipulate the black. (I speak not
of the crypto-fascists like Reagan,
lacking any idea except that given
out by the tube.)
ican society lies in its white power
structure. Its first reaction last
Friday, following King's death,
was to send troops onto the streets
-to keep the black man in his
But had anything happened to
Justify such a show of martial
force? Were there street riots?
Was there any sign of a "clear and
present danger?" None, but never-
theless this weekend's deaths will
result from panicked government
officals wanting to test out some
plan and thus allowing trigger-
happy cops or national guardsmen,
armed by us, to rent their ven-
geance and destruction. (If one

wanted to be entirely cynical he
could argue that any trouble this
weekend was caused by the emer-
gency goyernnient decrees. The
curfew, prohibition of liquor sales,
the army Patrolling the streets,
and precipitate arrests so upset
normal weekend activities that
they caused unusual behavior.)
The American press has distort-
ed the position of the young black
militants. If one reads Carmichael
or Brown closely he will find that,
unlike Sorel and the European
syndicalists, they duo not advocate
violence as a positive act in itself.
They argue for essentially a de-
fensist position, that violence is a
legitimate means the blacks ought
to feel justified in imploying to
defend themselves. That is, the
black man ought, to feel no guilt
in doing precisely what the whites
are doing today. Why should 12th
Street be distinguished from Li-
vonia? Who can justify the grotes-
queness in the arming of Detroit
and American suburbs?To defend
themselves from what other than
their own paranoid fears? To solve
what problems?
THE OTHER dimension of the
"black power" argument is that
moral suasion leaves the black man
at the whim and caprice of the
extant power structure, and this in
itself is degrading. Why should the
black man have to beg for his
rights? And, given the history of
American political life since World
War II, the whites will respond
not to moral pleas but only to ac-
tual power. That is, ideals do not
move public men (what has
changed in the South since Brown

vs. Board of Education?), but only
'actual economic or political power.
Until the black man has estab-
lished these on his own his voice
will continue to be disregarded.
The black power argument rests
on a critique of two deeply held
American myths. The first is the
belief in individual self-improve-
ment as a source of historical
change. The second is the idea of,
America as a great melting pot.
The first, in terms of social
groups, is a lie.
Today we accept the general
argugment that the social environ-
ment determines character and
not vice versa. Given ghetto con-
ditions' black children have no
chance to attain personal success
within the accepted norms of this
society. (This is not to say, as
Jones and Baldwin have said, that
because the society is corrupt and
the black man has been excluded
from it he therefore is pure. Nor
is he p articularly virtuous because
of his suffering.) But given the
constant restrictions on the black
ghetto, likef police harassment, in-
dividual success or improvement'
will remain the exception. The
blacks today are "outside and be-
low" the law, with little chance
of upward social mobility.
Historically the idea of the
melting pot is false. In practice;
what has happened in America is
that each minority group has es-
tablished its own private monopo-
ly in some institution, achieving
some sort of public status and fi-
nancial success, and then been,
allowed to keep some of its own
prior social values and habits in-
tact. The Irish had Boston politics

and in New York City the police.
The Italians set up the Mafia. The
Jews went into the professions, the
universities, or the culture busi-
ness. With success each group has
retreated to its own ethnic suburb
and subculture. The blacks today
have nothing' by the very limited
entertainment racket (athletics or
stage), to perform for his white
master-and then sweep the stage.

(It is also doubtful, given the
paranoid sexual myths of most
whites about blacks, whether racial
and cultural amalgamation is pos-
sible. Pessimistic\ as this may seem,
in the long-run perhaps only mass
miscegenation will end the cleav-
age and fears between black and
white America.)
I SPOKE BEFORE of the tie
between Vietnam and Martin
Luther King's death. King came
to recognize the tie between the
war and the black man's chance
to improve himself, in this society,
that the war precluded the latter.
(For this, of course, the black
bourgeoisie and the New York
Times-the organ of responsible
liberal America-attacked him.)
Yet King is a casualty of our
glorified violence, our attempt to
evade our own problems and -find
some simulated solution. in foreign
glory and military victory. Viewed
in this manner King's murder
must be seen as only one among
many. (How many ghetto youths
daily die violent deaths?)
Unless we exercise this continual
violence King's death will, in the
long-run, mean no more that all
the others that have gone before-
and will surely follow.



Letters: Scapegoat for White Apathy

lHA'S Spring Thing

IT'S SPRING again, and once again the
children at IHA are playing their an-
nual games.
The clumsy moves by both IHA and
its opposition to withdraw and to prevent
withdrawal are symptomatic of an im-
mature and impotent organization. They
were truly full of "sound and fury, signi-
flying nothing."
The move, led by Bursley Hall, was
based on the premise that IHA had done
nothing for Bursley, and that, in addit-
ton, Bursley is a unit unto itself.
Their first demand was that IHA be
3. voluntary organization. This is no more
;han a righting of wrongs. Each house
:urrently pays IHA 50 cents for each of
.ts residents. They say it is money wasted.
The arguments against them are con-
zincing. IHA is a lobbying organization,
.ts president, Steve Brown, notes, and it
ould lose its effectiveness were it not
'ied. Further, whether they like ,it or
aot, Bursley residents, and the others
nvolved, are members of the residence
call system, and so really might just as
well be represented.
THE COMPARISON to a labor union is
appropos. If workers are given their
economic "liberty" to work where they
choose, the bargaining position of
workers is destroyed. It is only in required
unity that they can protect themselves.
Against this the dissidents can throw
one overwhelming argument - IHA is
incompetent, ineffective, counterproduct-
ive, and superfluous. To require their
membership in and dues paid to - a
disfunctional organization is blatantly
unfair. To carry the labor union analogy

wields - the right to withhold credits of
every member of a house which fails to
pay its dues. This is a tremendous re-
liance upon the administration, which a
conscientious. organization would try to
avoid. The action' can only be taken by
the administration, but only at the re-
quest of IHA. The relationship seriously
compromises IHA.
FORCING IHA to stand on its 'merits,
rather than justify it as the appropri-
ate lobbying unit in and of itself, makes
the going very difficult for IHA. In argu-
ments at the meeting, supporters of IHA
failed to cite any significant contribu-
tions made by the organziation. In fact,
the area where IHA could have and
should have done the most - abolition of
so women's hours and liberalization of
visitation policy -was handled and won,
not by IHA, but by Student Government
The entire role of IHA - especially in
light of the hours fight and how it was
handled - comes into question. With
UAC and SGC both strong and viable,'
the necessity for IHA becomes quite du-
bious. A compromise proposed by IHA
Executive Vice President Jack Meyers, '71,
in fact shows the weakness of IHA. He
was willing voluntarily, to reduce IHA to
a service organization - "communica-
tion, information, and co-operation" -
a tacit admission thit it is little more
than now.
IHA SHOULD RESIGN itself to perform-
ing the trivial "service" functions that
the program devised by its vice president
In this capacity, IHA could easily fun-

To the Editor:
TODAY A SEARCH continues in
Tennessee for the assassin of
Dr. Martin Luther King-a search
directed by the American govern-
ment and closely followed by an
American public eager for "jus-
tice" to be done. But the appre-
hension, trial and conviction of
this murderer will by no means
represent full justice.
That Americans are only now
admitting openly to the elements
of racism and intolerance in our
society is lamentable, that this
admission could only come after
the murder of Dr. Martin Luther
King is deplorable, but that
America might allow itself to feel
that once Dr. King's murderer is
punished the injustice done to
Martin Luther King has been ab-
solved - this would be the great-
est tragedy of all.
We must not succumb to the
temptation of easy symbols. We
must not see in Dr. King's assas-
sin all of "sick white society",
racism and prejudice. This un-
known man has become the focus
of shame and guilt of all white
Isociety. But if we continue to view
him in1 this manner, it will be all
too easy to find comfort and ab-
solution in his conviction. When
this murderer has paid the price
for his act, the problems ofuin-
tolerance will still remasin just as
the problems remained after the
last gun was silenced in the De-
troit riots.
And what if Dr. King's assas-
sin had been a Negro? (Not too
far-fetched an hypothesis consid-
ering thefact that an attempt on
his life was made by a Negro tco-
man several years ago) Would
the race of the assassin have
made the act any less senseless,
would it have made the current
domestic situation any less criti-



:" '


centuating the fact that they are
apart from the white society. This
is exactly what we are supposedly
trying to overcome. If integration
is to be obtained it should start at
the beginning. Negroes can't ex-
pect to simply gain prestige and
dignity as a whole and then, once
accomplishing this, automatically
be accepted as completely inte-
grated members of the American
society. This is obviously a prob-
lem concerning both races, there-
fore let both races work together
in solving it.
Whites should have joined arms
with the Negroes at the Diag. The
scene at the auditorium shouldn't
have been one of martyred Ne-
groes in the forefront mourning,
while those remaining were seem-
ingly nothing more than inter-
ested onlookers. This is especially
true in view of the fact that -we
were mourning the death of a
man who stood so close to the
middle of the gap between the
races. Negroes shouldn't have to
unite into a single group, rather
it should be all concerned Ameri-
cans, both black and white, form-
ing together for a common cause.
Also, in his speech at the cere-
mony Sam Jones, q student in
the School of Business Adminis-
tration, said we need more black
faculty, more black students; more
black people employed by the
University. I believe what we
need is to be sure the doors are
open to any person who is will-
ing to accept the challenge. We
should keep in view the goals we
are striving for, and not dis-
criminate in the process of in-
We have a common problem
faced from two different view-
points. In solving it the whites
have to open the doors of op-
portunity; the ;Negroes have tox

"First of all, Hubert, take off that silly ...

King. But as it is not valid to seek
one man Ito nav for a naltionl's

OUR EFFORTS must be direct-
ed1 toward the goal of harmomy.


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