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March 04, 1970 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-03-04

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... Y

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Seventy-nine years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan

Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

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.
ESDAY MARCH 4, 1970 NIGHT EDITOR: ROB BIER

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Moynihan's 'benign neglect'

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AT A TIME when the black people of
the United States are becoming in-
creasingly alienated and frustrated by
the social conditions imposed on them,
Daniel P, Moynihan, special Presiden-
tial advisor, has recommended that the
issue of racism in America, be treated
with "benign neglect."
Taken as a whole, Moynihan's re-
port is more than unfortunate. It re-
presents the paternalism and n e a r -
sightedness with which our corporate
system and the Federal government
have responded to the needs of black
people.
Moynihan maintains that this policy
be adopted because of his fears that
the "gains" of the, black community
are vulnerable to the "rhetoric" of
black leaders.
THIS POSITION is irrational. If as
Moynihan says, the black commun-
ity had made "quite extraordinary"
gains in the past years, then t h o s e
gains would hardly be "vulnerable"
to' loss because of the ideas and pro-
grains of militant black leadership.
The president's advisor stated:
"What I am saying is that the more we
discuss the issue of race as an issue,
the more people get polarized . . .
Moynihan should realize that b 1 a c k
people are becoming polarized f r o m
American institutions because of the
glaring and crippling disparities be-

tween the social benefits and services
which they receive, and those which
affluent whites receive.
Moynihan's report supplements the
Nixon administration's great leaps
backward in dealing with institutional
racism in the United States.
ON THE OTHER hand, Moynihan
credits the administration w i t h
making "intense efforts" to improve
the "lot of Negroes". Carswell and
Haynsworth were recommended to the
Supreme Court; the Justice Depart-
ment initiated no voting rights suits
at all in 1969; the President demand-
ed cuts in a HEW appropriations bill
as a supposed check on inflation, after
approving a Defense Department bud-
get of nearly four ,times larger.
THE BLACK community is being
' pushed against a wall of an in-
creasingly unresponsive society, and
someday may need to tear that wall
down if they are to have justice,
equality, and freedom, In the face
of these j social realities, Moynihan's
report only feeds the fire of extremism
in America: the extreme injustice and
inequality in our social institutions, and
the extreme inhumanity of those who
would advise "benign neglect" of rac-
ism - benign neglect of institutional
brutality and oppressiyeness in Amer-
ica.
-BRIAN SPEARS

,., . *_s,.4...,

"Our Vietnomization program
progressing sais factorily .

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it

The deficiencies of the
trimester system;

(Editor's note: The following quotations by President Nixon are taken from
the President's report to Congress on foreign policy unless otherwise indicated.)
"When we assumed the burden of helping defend South Vietnam,
millions of South Vietnamese men, women and children placed their
trust in us. To abandon them now would risk a massacre that would
shock and dismay everyone in the world who values human life."
". ..There were some who urged I end the war at once'by order-
ing the immediate withdrawal of American forces. From a political
standpoint this would have been a popular and easy course to follow.
After all, we became involved in the war while my predecessor was in
office . . , But I had a greater obligation than to think only of the
years of my Administration and the next election." -Televised speech
on Vietnam, Nov. 3, 1969.
"It would be easy to buy some popularity by going along with the
new isolationists. But it would be disastrous for our nation and the
world. I hold a totally different view of the world, and I come to a dif-
ferent conclusion about the direction America must take." -Speech at
the Air Force Academy, June 4, 1969.
* * *
"Vietnamization is not a substitute for negotiations, but a spur to
negotiations. In strengthening the capability of the government and
people of South Vietnam to defend themselves, we provide Hanoi with
an authentic incentive to negotiate seriously now. Confronted by Viet-
namization, Hanoi's alternative to a reasonable settlement is to con-
tinue its costly sacrifices while its bargaining power diminishes."
"In Vietnam we seek a just settlement which all parties to the con-
flict and all Americans, can support. We are working closely with the
South Vietnamese to strengthen their ability to defend themselves. As
South Vietnam grows stronger, the other side, will, we hope, soon real-
ize that it becomes even more in their interest to negotiate a just
peace. t
** *
"At the conference table, we have made gener, ous and reasonable
proposals for a settlement. Yet the other side still refuses to nego-
tiate seriously."
"The policy of this Administration is to help strengthen the free-
dom of other nations to determine their own futures."
"I believe that the time has passed in which powerful nations can
or should dictate the future to less powerful nations.
"If Hanoi were to succeed in taking over South Vietnam by force -
even after the power of the United States had been engaged - it would
greatly strengthen those leaders who scorn negotiation, who advocate
aggression, who minimize the risks of confrontation with the United
'States."
"If we are to have a negotiating position at the Paris peace talks,
it must be a position in which we can negotiate from strength and dis-
cussion about unilateral withdrawal does not help that position. I will
not engage in it, although I realize it might be popular to do so." -
News conference April 18, 1969.

This
is<
the
Nixon,

"What an incredible

FEW STUDENTS at the University
have attended a college operating
under a quarter or semester system;
nevertheless, nearly all of them would
likely vote in a referendum to con-
tinue the familiar trimester - main-
ly because of a four month summer va-
cation and the final exam period pre-
ceding winter break. These are b o t h'
valid reasons, yet they are both ill-
considered and deal solely with non-
educational concerns.
The trimester system was institut-
ed soon after the state legislature be-
gan to press for full utilization of the
college. plant, thereby enabling more
people to benefit from college educa-
tion.
ARGUMENTS for a trimester
are mainly spurious. The conclus-
ions which the Calendar Committee
recently drew from its study can be
re-interpreted with far different re-

credibiity gap ,,!"

sults, as Psychology Prof. E. Lowell
Kelly has pointed out at meetings and
in studies. The arguments against the
trimester point out the serious faults
inherent in such a system.
First, there is a decrease in profes-
sor-student contact. The content of a
course must be pared because of fewer
class days; the professor feels cramp-
ed by his limited time and the pres-
sured student receives less for both
time and money. Moreover, the credit
hour becomes inflated even as the
amount of time in class decreases.
Thus, a student gets less of an inferior,
education.
MORE THAN the present casual con-
cern should be shown on this mat-
ter by faculty, students and especially
the administration - which is direct-
ly responsible for the assembly 1 i n e
education inevitably fostered by t h e
trimester system.
-JIM McFERSON

"The second element of a durable peace must be America's strength.
Peace, we have learned, cannot be gained by goodwill alone.
"In deternining the strength of our defenses, we must make pre-
cise and crucial judgments . . Fpr if we are-less strong than neces-,
sary, and if the worst happens, there will be no domestic society to look
after. The magnitude of such a catastrophe and the reality of the op-
posing military power that could threaten it present a risk which re-
quires of any President the most searching and careful attention to the
state of our defenses,"
"There can be no gain and certainly no victory for the power that
provokes a thermonuclear exchange. Thus, both sides have recognized
a vital interest in halting the dangerous momentum of the nuclear
arms race.
* *
"I should admit at this point that this decision has not been an
easy one. None of the great decisions made by a President are easy.
But it is one I have made after considering all the options . . ." -
Announcing the Safeguard ABM system, March 14. 1969.
"Our objective, in the first instance, is to support our interests
over the long run with, a sound foreign policy. The more that policy
is based on a realistic assessment of cur and others' interests, the more
effective our role in the world can be. We are not involved in the
world because we have commitments; we have commitments because
we are involved. Our interests tmust shape our commitments rather
than the other way around."
"Most important, what are the attitudes of the Vietnamese people
whose free choice we are fighting to preserve?"

I

that-

I

"When peace marchers come to Washington it would be very
easy to say that I agree with them and I will do what they want.
But a President has to do what he considers to be right."-News con-
ference, Dec. 8, 1969.
"There were those, good friends of mine, who came to. me a few
weeks ago suggesting I withdraw Judge Haynsworth's nomination
due to the fact that a doubt had been raised and that politically it
was going to b° very difficult to wield . . . I did not do so . . ."-
News conference, Oct. 20, 1969.

I'

XXX,

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