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March 20, 1970 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-03-20

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an e Mir$an ai
Seventy-nine years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan

Why wasn't Smith there?

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in ail reprints.
Rmand Repression
Offspring of the U'

THERE WAS one very conspic-
uous absence at yesterday's
Regent's meeting. The major topic
of discussion was minority admis-
sions and the only Regent t h a t
couldn't make the meeting was
the black regent, Otis M. Smith.
Everyone attending the meeting
- only 30 tickets were given out
-wondered where Regent Smith
could be.
When finally reached for com-
ment last night, Smith, a General
Motors legal counsel, explained his
situation by saying that he had to
help four or five other lawyers ap-
peal a case for GM. He said that
"He couldn't ask theeCalifornia
District court of Appeals to change
their court date." Therefore, the
four or five other lawyers benefit
from Smith's assistance, and the
black students at the University
wait until Smith has time for
Smith justified his decision by
saying that this case "means a
great deal of money for GM."
Somehow, I can't get too worked
up about GM making any more
Smith's absence at yesterday's
meeting is a direct and unforgive-

able insult to the black students
that spent a great deal of time
and effort researching and prepar-
ing the Black Action Movement de-
But unfortunately, this is not
the first time Smith has shown
such disrespect toward b 1 a c k
AT THE FIRST open meeting be-
tween the Regents and BAM in
early February, Smith first re-
vealed his poor attitude toward
black students. He was not at all
hesitant to tell students just to
"shut up." Andawhen several stu-
dents tried to ask him questions.
he responded by telling them
"Don't be so damn smart," and
further informed that "You don't
know what you're doing."
But even this was not enough for
Smith. he went on to tell them
what wonders are being done by
the GM executives who have given
a great deal of money to the Uni-
When asked if his encounter
with the black students at that
meeting had anything to do with
his not attending this month's
meeting, Smith says no. But some-

how I can't help feeling that he
felt his old style politics being chal-
lenged by a new breed of blacks.,
WHEN I TALKED to Smith on
the phone, a statement he made

intensified my beliefs. He said of
students and his own children
that, "I don't like anyone who has
just been born questioning my
Civil Rights activity." A statement
that could only come from a man
who feels threatened by t o d a y ' s
youth. He went on with a familiar
phrase he used at the November
Regents meeting, "I've been stoned
in Alabama and threatened in
Flint." But Smith left Flint al-
most ten years ago.
In that ten years, times and
black attitudes have changed.
People now realize that GM in its
present form and its present
structure is not compatible with
the goals of black, poor or even
middle class people. The c o u r t
case in California isundoubtedly
important to GM and to Smith as
an employee of GM but, it is not
important to the people concerned
about minority admissions, a n d
the general welfare of people.
IT IS NOT enough for Smith to
say that he has had a good record
in civil rights. Th rpast is not as
important as the present and the
future, and that is what the black
students are interested in.

The tactics that Smith and oth-
ers tried brought changes but not
enough changes because many of
the same problems are still here
today. New tactics and new solu-
tions must be found, and in order
for this to be done ,the old tactics
must be questioned. Smith said
that tactics that tried to pin each
Regent down on each item don't
help the situation, but it is only by
carefully analyzing what exists
that new solutions can be found.
REGENT SMITH'S absence at
yesterday's meeting can not be ex-
cused because he had important
work to do for GM. His absence
was an insult to the black stu-
dents. A re-orientation of his
priorities is in order. Yes, he
works for GM and has a respon-
sibility to them, but if that re- %
sponsibility is allowed to super-
cede his interests in equal oppor-
tunities for the minority and poor
students, then his past record of
meaningful civil right activity is
meaningless today.

passing paper platitudes which refuse
to deal seriously with the minority ad-
missions crisis, and calling squads of riot
police to secure the administration fort-
ress against a peaceful demonstration -
show that a serious battle to substantial-
ly increase minority admissions is just
The Regents' compromise proposal,
which endorses 10 per cent black enroll-
ment by 1973-74, but without adequate
mechanisms for funding it, isn't worth
the paper it's printed on in bringing
black and o t h e r minority students to
The $3 million which the proposal al-
locates to financial aid is less than one
third of the amount needed to fund such
a program.,
Either t h e University administration
commits itself to funding minority ad-
missions, or it doesn't. It didn't.
Promises are nice -- but will fund ed-
ucation for no one.
STUDENTS WHO marched around cam-
pus yesterday afternoon in protest un-
derstood this, and they wouldn't swallow
it. The University administration knew
the stuldents wouldn't swallow it. That's
why the Regents locked themselves in
the Administration Building, asked in ad-
vance for police "protection" from the
students in whose name the Regents pre-
tend to govern, and then. called r i o t
squads to break up a peaceful demonstra-
tion around the administration building.
The administration's repressive police.
tool arrived with clubs, arresting a n d
beating some of the demonstrators in the
MAY LEARN, three crucial lessons
from yesterday's events.
The administration does not intend to
open the University to admit the minor-
ity students who have the right to enroll
here. It will not commit resources, it will
not commit the funds-because minority
admissions do not rank among the ad-
ministration's highest priorities.
The University administration no long-
er maintains an aloof, liberal' distance
from the police it uses, but has allied
with them.
WHENEVER demonstrations gain suffi-
cient momentum to threaten the ad-
ministration's ease in implementingi its
policies - policies in which students have
no ,say - the Regents and the President
will summon the police to preserve their
power. When students struggle against
the police, they struggle against the in-
terests which control their own Univer-
sity - and when they struggle against

the University they struggle against the
same interests which control the police.
Since students are fighting a powerful
institution which h a s no intention of
listening to their demands, they must
start waging campaigns which are better.
planned and better organized than the
demonstration yesterday.
Never before yesterday had so many
students and faculty - 1500 to 2000 -
organized so quickly and been so ready
to do something, but what was there to
do? Protesters snaked their way around
campus, straggling through buildings,
straggling to and from the Diag, with no
clear purpose and no real leadership, and
so the protest lost enormous momentum
and petered out.
THE; FIRST STEP e v e-r y student and
faculty member should take now is to
strike and close the University:. halt the
functions of an institution which refuses
to serve minorities and which refuses to
listen to its own students. Strikers should
rove through dorms, fraternities and so-
rorities, knock on apartment doors, ex-
plain the issues - and make it clear that
the minority admissions crisis affects not
only black students and chicanos and
other minorities, but every white person
as well who lives under the University
and must ultimately bear responsibility
for its policies.
Such responsibility is material, not
only idealistic. Institutions-like nations
-are never spared internally the effects
of their policies and attitudes toward ex-
ternals. Nations which become chauvin-
istically aggressive against neighbors go
through parallel transformations within
their borders. National discipline is rigidi-
fied, criticism suppressed, police forces
SIMILARLY, institutions which act in
an elitist fashion toward the sur-
rounding society find the effects of that
elitism corrupting every facet of its in-
ternal life. In the case of the University,
one can easily detect the effects of elitism
in the curriculum, the power distribution
among the various constituencies, the
growing brutality of the administration
toward "upstart" students.
The campus must strike -+ and show
the Regents and administration that this
University w il11 not continue operating
until it begins turning its interests to-
ward . the disadvantaged groups who
have every right to an education.
Magazine Editor
Editorial Page Editor
Editorial Page Editor

Regent Smith

To fight pollution: Consumer boycott?

i To the Editor:
paign ,against pollution is to be'
commended. However, I doubt that
their recent actions will have one
iota of impact on the manufactur-
ers since a purchased auto or emp-
ty container signifies income,
which is necessary for profit, to
the companies involved.
In fact if I were in the auto or
soft drink business I would en-
courage more action of this na-
ture since it means more sales and
thus more potential profits. Ban-
ning vending machines legally re-
quires many hearings, possible
court actions, and. your time and
your money.
and want disposable containers eli-
minated, do it the expedient way
and make money at the same time.
Stop patronizing the vending ma-
chines and stop purchasing soft
drinks in disposable containers at
the stores.
The vending machines are there
only because they are making
money. Stop the source and either
the machines go or the disposables
go. Either way you've accomp-
lished your purpose. The same is
true for auto pollution. Simply
stop buying autos and stop driv-
ing what you have. Use the peda-
mobile. The automakers and oil
companies will understand t h i s
-Charles A. Klimko
March 15
To the Editor:
ITY should realize that once again
the Regents and the Administra-
tion have shown their complete in-
sensitivity to the needs of the Uni-
versity, itself. Demands made by
the Black Action Movement were
either accepted in a greatly water-
ed down version, or completely dis-

missed. Or so the Regents thought.
These demands cannot be dismiss-
ed. This time both large numbers
of the faculty and the student
body have united. We are firm in
our belief that if we all stick to-
gether and act together the Re-
gents will be forced to accede to
BAM's demands. -
Specifically, we must begin by
shutting this University down. No
one should attend classes until the
Regents agree (by vote) that all
of BAM's demands will be met.
Once again we urge all students,
staff and faculty members to
form a united front, and strike
against racism.
Marty McLaughlin, President, SGC
Marc Van Der Hout, Ex. Vice-Pres., SGC
Joan Martin, SGC Member-at-Large
David Brand, SGC Member-at-Large
Jerry DeGrocel, SGC Member-at-Large
Marty Scott, SGC Member-at-Large
Bob Hirshon; Adm. Vice-President
Mark Rosenbaum, Chr, Aca. Affairs, SGC
Roberta Hirshon, Personnel Dir. of SGC
March 19
To the Editor:
the effectiveness of SGC need
only refer to the minutes of the
last meeting, contained in Wednes-
day's Daily (March 18). On the
pretense of taking a stand against
the atrocities and injustices of the
American system, SGC indulges
freely in a series of inflammatory
and meaningless generalizations.
Not content with neatly encompas-
sing all the U.S.'s evils in a few
resolutions, the SGC follows with
a self-righteous, juvenile attack on
Fleming: "The SGC condemns
robben phleming for his unfair and
biased treatment of the issue
BAM demands) and his blatant
repression of the truth on cam-
pus" and also, "SGC demanded
that robben distribute the truth
(as SGC sees it) at his expense."
SGC resolutions are, of course,
vital and serious, and require im-
mediate attention, but the tactics

of hackneyed rhetoric and w e a k
sarcasm defeat SGC's efforts by
failing to inspire any sort of think-
ing. The responses elicited by
these tactics, the total alienation
of the antagonistic side or t h e
thoughtless "Right on!" of the
supportive side are hardly t h e
bases for awareness, concern a n d
-Sandra Douglas, '72
March 19
To the Editor:
I HAVE BEFORE me, as I write,
a copy of the "Drop-out Convoca-

tion" flyer, with the contents of
which I vehemently, disagree.
First, while it is true that the
grade system has no necessary re-
lationship to "real education," it
is untrue that it is antithetical to
"real learning." The assumption
that those students who are suc-
cessful in the context of the grade
system do not have such an edu-
cation is, moreover, at best er-
roneous; at worst it is a kind of
intellectual snobbery. My own ex-
perience, borne out by that of
others,p suggests that although ad-
justing and accommodating (my)
goals and interests" to the system,

I find myself still capable of think-
ing critically.
SECONDLY,.the -expenditure of
funds on the Honors Convocation
is not a "hypocritical ordering of
priorities," for while the Univer-
sity has the responsibility for aid-
ing disadvantaged minorities, it
has also the responsibility for re-
cognizing good students. (I might
add tha, unlike the flyer's im-
plication, the two groups are not
necessarily distinct.)
-Denis G., Paz
Teaching Fellow,
Dept of History
March 19

For free child carenow!

'AST TUESDAY afternoon,;
thirty women, all members of
the Child-Care Action Group, met
in front of the Administration
Bldg. with plans to present de-
mends to President Robben Flem-
The women then climbed the
stairs to Fleming's second-floor of-
fice and found the door locked.
Retracing its steps, the group
this time took the elevator up to
the second floor-only to find that
the double glass doors which par-
tition off Fleming's office were also
locked. A secretary finally explain-
ed that Fleming was in a previous-
ly-scheduled Executive Officers
meeting and could not be disturb-
ed. But perhaps, if they would
like to come 'back next week .. .
Their demands centered around
the establishment of free child-
care facilities for both University
and community use which would
benefit working mothers.
SIXTY-TWO per cent of all
women working in 1967 were
doing so out of economic neces-

sity. Women bring in needed
money to the family and cannot.
afford the expense of hiring a
baby-sitter. In addition, qualified
sitters are hard to come by. The
women have to work and the chil-
dren have to be cared for. The ob-
vious solution is a child-care cen-
The question of child-care has
periodically been raised by differ-
ent organizations over the past
few years, and each time they
have been told to come back some
other time. Student's wives on
North Campus have circulated pe-
titions supporting child-c a r e,
women have appealed to Director
of University Housing John Feld-
kamp and also to Vice President
and Chief Financial Officer Wil-
bur Pierpont.
T HE NEED for such a center is
demonstrated by the limited
number of child-care facilities al-
ready in use. Local churches and
different schools in the University
are running cooperative child-care
centers but these just aren't suf-
ficinet to meet the needs of the

Even the University has recog-
nized the need of child-care facil-
ities. Acting Vice President for
Student Affairs Barbara Newell
recently put in a bid for a center
at University School. lyirs.-Newell
also has met at different times
with various women's groups all
expressing interest in child-care.
Mrs. Newell has offered the
child-care group money for re-
searching the project, but the
money could better be used as a
start on getting facilities. Just
last month the child-care group
asked the University if a house on
North Campus, which was to be
torn down, could be converted in-
to a child-care, facility. Revamping
the house would have required
about $1000, but it was bull-dozed
down without the University re-
sponding to the group's suggestion.
Group is returning at 2 this af-
ternoon to pick up Fleming's re-
sponse to their demands.
President Fleming should ;ac-
knowledge the legitimiacy of their
demands and take immediate steps
to carry them out.


The Honors Convocation:
A waste of time and money

Creating lunar landscapes on earth,

AT TODAY'S Forty-Seventh Annual
Honors Convocation o v e r 3,000 stu-
dents will be honored for "superior aca-
demic achievement" with rewards a n d
scholarships and memberships in various
honor societies. The basis' for these hon-
ors is how well students have fared in the
University's grading system. It seems the
administration finds grades a trust-
worthy measure of learning.
But this is a simplistic assumption. Per-
formance does not necessarily reflect ac-
quisition of knowledge; it is largely a
function of socialization. Grades, 1 i k e
I.Q. tests, are culturally biased against
minority groups, the underprivileged, and
foreign students. Even when cultural bias
is disregarded, grades do not necessarily
correlate w i t h learning. Absorbing ob-
jective "facts" on which exams are often
based may inhibit true learning by re-
stricting a student's attention to those
specifics on which he thinks he will be
tested. (And who can blame him when
graduate schools or job appointments
rest largely on having high grades?)
The University has also used dubious
logic on two counts in canceling classes

First, only 3,000 of these students have
been formally 'invited to attend the event.
But more importantly University officials
have in the past refused to cancel class-
es for discussion of on-campus recruiting,
black student demands, and other mat-
ters more important not only to the Uni-
versity but to society at large.
Finally, the Honors Convocation costs
an exorbitant amount of money which
should be put to better use. Total costs
have not yet' been compiled, but at least
$1,200 of University funds is being spent
simply for publication of a Daily honor
supplement which lists award-winners.
Additional funds have been spent on var-
ious items, including printing and mail-
ing several thousand invitations to the
convocation and for a tea honoring those
At a time when the University is short
of funds due to recent decreases in gov-
ernment scholarships and aid, increased
demands of minority and disadvantaged
groups, and rising c o s t s of education,
Honors-Convocation-spending shows a
despicable misordering of priorities.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The author is
co-chairman of Ann Arbor New
Mobe and was moderator of the
ENACT panel on the war and the
"ONLY WE Can Prevent For-
ests!" is the slogan of Opera-
tion Ranch Hand, says Air Force
Major Ralph Dresser, head of the
group which sprays defoliants on
Vietnamese forests and croplands.
"We are the most hated outfit in
Air Force C-123's are equipped
to lay down wide swathes of spray
of 1,000 gallons of herbicides per

plane-load to deny food and cover
to the "enemy" in Vietnam. About
sixteen per cent of the total for-
ested area was treated with herb-
icides up to thelend of 1968. The
estimated area sprayed between
1962 and today is a minimum of
five million acres of defoliation
and half a million acres of crop
destruction. This is just one thing
we are doing to disrupt and de-
stroy the ecology of Vietnam.
There is so much shrapnel in
the trees now t h a t Vietnamese
lumber mills are expected to break
down for several hours each day,
their saw blades broken by pieces

of metal buried in the wood -
an indication of the extreme and
extensive bombing damage.
FECT of war can be an increase in
predators.. In Europe during WWII
wolves increased in certain areas.
In Vietnam, it is the tiger. After
25 years of war, the tiger has
learned that gunfire means the
presence of dead and dying. To-
day, Vietnamese tigers converge
when they hear gunfire. T h e i r
food supplies are assured, but ecol-
ogical balance is destroyed.
"You are making our countr*y;
look like the surface of the moon,"
said one Vietnamese describing
the millions of large bomb craters
pock-marking the land. Some of
these craters are as much as 30
feet deep and 45 feet in diameter.
Our bombers added two and one-
half million new craters in 1968
alone. Any areas with both bomb
craters and defoliation must in-
deed look like the surface of a
dead world.
It may be impossible to restore
these areas. No one knows the an-
swers to many of the questions
about herbicidal destruction of the
environment over the long run.
When the facts are all in, it may
be too late for the Vietnamese
countryside and the Vietnamese
Two zoologists (E. W. Pfeiffer

the only other vertebrate observ-
ed. The ecology of the area had
been fatally unbalanced by our
defoliants. How many years it
will take such ant area to recover,
if it ever does recover, is an open
ING DESTROYED the habitat of
many species of plant and animal,
the herbicide 2,4,5-T used in about
fifty percent of the spraying may
have teratogenic (fetus-deform-
ing) effects upon animals. Sena-
tor Hart spoke iabout this in the
Senate (Congressional Record -
Senate, Feb. 16, 1970), remarking
that the herbicide 2,4,5-T in addi-
tion to its probable serious disrup-
tive ecological effects on fish and
plant communities" . . . may con-
stitute a direct threat to human
According to the results of a
study conducted by Bionetics Re-
search Laboratories, Inc., "e v e n
small dosages of 2.45-T will pro-
duce fetal deformities in both
mice and rats." And despite the
absence of any such determina-
tion' [finding a basis for estab-
lishing safe residue tolerance lev-
els in food1 by the FDA. this pesti-
cide (2,4,5-T) continues to be
sprayed at home and abroad on
food crops which are ultimately
used for human consumption."
Other materials used in spray-
ing are 2,4-D, Cacodylic acid and

chemical have been sprayed on
rice and vegetables in Vietnam in
our efforts to deny food to the
or rendered unsafe, there is the
mass forced migration - part of
our plan to control the population
- of the peasants from the land
into the city or into concentration
encampments in the countryside.
In the past ten years Saigon has
grown from a city of 250,000 to
over 3 million. Such rapid migra-
tion, particularly under wartime
conditions, causes a serious disrup-
tion of the normal growth and
change patterns in the human
With the rapid concentration of
the population in areas not having'
adequate sanitation services, jobs,
and food services, along with the
other evils of crowding, rats and
disease, comes the very real pos-
sibility of epidemics.
about the relationship of war and
the environment is that war is an
aberration It is not part of the
ecology, but rather a destroyer of
ecosystems, an enemy of the en-
vironment. Modern war is Ecocide.
The war in Vietnam is a war of
ecocide. Truly, "war is not healthy
for children and other living



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