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April 12, 1970 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 1970-04-12
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Robert Williams on revolution .. .

Continued from Page 8
through the "democratic" process, the only hope
for us is self-determination.
I mean a separate country-perhaps five
southern states. This would have to be establish-
ed with assistance from whites and with assist-
ance even from the government. There have
been other nations all around the world who are
paying reparations to some people-black peo-
ple deserve reparations because they've b e e n
cheated, they've been enslaved, worked without
pay, and when they did get paid they've been un-
derpaid. So, they have to bill America. It would
be only natural to get reparations.
But where I differ from some of the nation-
alists who call themselves revolutionaries is, they
think this can be done by force. I don't think
self-determination could be accomplished by
force unless America collapsed.
Otherwise means that blacks will have
to use are to reach whites and convince whites
that this is the proper thing to do, that this is
the moral thing, and that it would be better for
whites and blacks because this nation could also
faserve as a vent; all this built-up tensionsand
emotion could be released into a new nation.
I think the government would concede five
states: when economic collapse and race rela-
tbons are bad to the point where they start dis-
rupting society, and start disrupting industry.
there would not be any other alternative to stop
a racial explosion that would destroy the country.
Notes on Cuba
In Cuba I had some disagreements with party
officials. I was a nationalist-I am a nationalist
now-and the Cuban government position was
that this is a class struggle in the United States,

They have the impression that the white worker
is the ally of the oppressed black people, that
white workers too are oppressed and exploited--
which to some extent they may be, but not to
the same extent as black people.
The fact is that some Cuban party workers
wanted to put the white worker and the black
American on the same level, and they wanted to
negate the fact of racial discrimination. They
saw thatas playing aless- important role than the
class struggle.
Some party officials told me that they
couldn't stress nationalismand selfdetermina-
tion for black people because the Cubans have
got a big black population-that if they supported
self-determination for black people in the Unit-
ed States it might alsohave some impact on their
black people. If they supported it here, some
black people would get the idea that they too
should have self-determination, which would
put the Cubans in an embarrassing position.
That was always a source of friction between us.
In one case, the Ministry of Culture had a
national culture group and a dance troop, and I
remember that it handed down a memorandum
to the group responsible for selecting dancers to
go to Europe saying that they should tone down
the color a little, because they were getting too
many blacks in national dance groups and some
people abroad were getting the impression t h a t
Cuba was a black country.
Black Cubans-who make up about 30 per
cent of the population-still have some African
religion and culture. But on television, the Cub-
ans still have old movies from the United States,
that star people like Stepinfetchit, and b 1 a c k
people in the roles that blacks played 10 or 15
years ago.
You wouldn't find any black people in the
government in high, policy-making positions.

It's like a pyramid: at the bottom you have a,
broad base of blacks, who can participate in all
phases of national life. But the higher up the
pyramid you go in the power structure, the blacks
get smaller and smaller. Until when you get to
the top, there are none.
But racism in Cuba was never as severe as in
the states, and it isn't now. Americans are so busy
looking for something derogatory and negative
about tCommunism that they go overboard. The
reason I criticize Cuban racial discrimination is
because I feel that in a Socialist society there
shouldn't be any. It doesn't mean that it's worse
in Cuba than in the United States. Because it
isn't, and even for anybody to have that Im-
pression would be a tragic mistake. They don't
have police brutality against the black Cubans.
They don't have a lynching tradition against the
black Cubans. And they don't have any clear cut
ghetto lines.
Notes on Chin
The students started the Cultural Rev'olu-
tion, they were the vanguard and triggered the
whole thing. But in later stages, the workers
came out. The Chinese people were criticizing
everybody, even Mao Tse-tung and Chou en Lai.
At one time everybody was up for questioning
and nobody knew who was really going to come
out on top. Mao didn't even know if he was going
to come out on top. He had a desperate struggle
and he almost went under. In fact, who could
stop the people? The soldiers couldn't stop them
because the soldiers are part of the people.
Sometimes people got angry and got worked up,
and they would go to the armory and take
weapons. The soldiers wouldn't do anything, be-
Continued on Page 23 .

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the daily maga
eEATURES

omenas Unverityg

By Kathleen Shortridge
A female student looking for sexual ei
how the University keeps women in th(
Return from exile and
Robert Williams on revolution

By Daniel Zwerdling

The remarkable career and exile of bla
Robert Williams; plus an exclusive i
Mr. Williams on American radicalisr
life in Cuba and China

New York: I love/hate you

By Daniel Okrent
An Ann Arbor boy moves to the Big Ci
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Carillonner of Burton Tower
KATHLEEN SHORTRIDGE is a Uni-
versity graduate student in journalism. d
She writes for the Michigan Journalist. p
DANIEL ZWERbLING, editor of The a
Daily Magazine, is a junior in LSA. a
He has written for The New RepublicM
The Washington Post Sunday maga- D
zine, and Today's Education. k
DANIEL OKRENT rose last summer U
from the Daily's feature editor post of P
1968-69: to an editorship at Alfred c
Knopf publishers in New York City. L
FRANK BROWNING, a senior in N
American Studies, has written for the E
Collegiate Press Service. 1
The Daily Magazine, VOL. I, No. 1, April 12, 1
420 Maynard, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

TOWARD KOH
irector of The
ast editor of th
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nd sports writer
MARY RADTKE
)ONALD HOLM
nown adolescen
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968. He writes f,

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970. Printed by T

DANIEL ZWERDLING, editor
HOWARD KOHN, editorial assistant
Cover photo by Jay Cassidy. Photos on p. 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 14 bI
Howard Kohn; on 17, 19 by Tom Copi.

i
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Page Twenty-two THE DAILY MAGAZINE

Sunday, April 12, 1970 Sunday, April 12, 1970

THE DAILY MAGAZINE

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