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September 10, 1968 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-09-10

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~t~e frI$an Dii
Seventy-seven years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan
under authority of Board in Control of Student Publications

"All right now, team-heads up-
we can win this old ball game"

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials prirnted in The Michigan Daily exp ress the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.



'. -

Trying the protesters:
A call for reason


h C

THE FAIRNESS of the court in adjudi-
cating the cases arising from last
week's demonstrations in support of wel-
fare rights is crucial if students are to
view the legal system as both legitimate
and just.
Political motivations must not enter
into the deliberations of the judge in
determining the guilt of the protesters.
An impartial verdict and a fair sentence
must be delivered.
Prosecutor Delhey now argues that to.
press for a maximum sentence for the
protesters is the only way to deter further
alleged illegal activity. The prosecutor's
logic, is at best specious and is designed
to improve his political popularity.
To show students that the legal system
does not dispense justice and discrimi-
nates against students only deprives the
law of its legitimacy and encourages
further infractions by those frustrated in
working for social change.
TO SENTENCE over 200 students to jail
terms, in addition to fines which could
range up to $100, is not justice.
The violations of the law were indeed
only nominal. The danger to county prop-
erty was limited. The protesters were in
fact on county property after the closing
of the building for less than fifteen min-
utes. It is to the credit of the demon-
strators that the arrests were orderly,
almost rouine.
It is ironic that the sheriff's depart-
ment, under the guise of law and order
is largely responsible for inciting the in-
cident. Their ridiculous overreaction to
the demonstrations only served to polar-
ize the situation. The presence of sher-
iff's deputies from three counties, loaded
rifles, a helicopter flying overhead and
German Shepherd police dogs added to
the explosive tmosphere.
Nothing could have persuaded the dem-
onstrators that the police state was upon
us more than Harvey's amateurish show

of force. His interest was not in the pro-
tection of the county building but in the
harassment of students engaged in mean-
ingful political protest.
IN REALITY, it was a political decision
on the part of the Supervisors to close
the building at its regular time which
put the students in violation of the law.
If not for the political pressure exerted by
frantic county conservatives and the un-
sympathetic attitudes of the Supervisors
toward the protesters' demands, the
building would have remained open and
the arrests would not have been made.
It can be argued that the trespass law
provides protection to the individual. But
this case involves a public building where
protesters were registering non-violent,
non-disruptive political protest. If the
protesters had become destructive, they
should have been immediately arrested
and charged with stronger charges than
SINCE THE protest remained peaceful,
the Supervisors could have tolerated
the situation. It is wiser to cordon off
protesters in the County Bldg. where
they are not disrupting the normal op-
erations of the building than to physical-
ly remove them from the building, put
them in jail, arraign them and try them
in what could turn into lengthy legal
Naturally, this tolerance of non-violent,
non-disruptive political protest must
apply equally to the right and left wings
of the political spectrum in order to
insure impartial application of the law.
The Supervisors should even now drop
the charges against the protesters. Fall-
ing short of that, the court must act im-
partially in adjudicating and sentencing
the protesters if it expects students to
view the legal system as legitimate.

{ .

Letters to the. Editor

An un-American tradition

'Piggish' polemics
To the Editor:
WHY DO PEOPLE bother to
call the police pigs? It may or
may not be true of the Ann Arbor
Police, but either way it's un
necessary-either they are pigs,
and won't change, or they aren't
pigs, but will be encouraged to be
by the hostility they encounter.
I went to Thursday's rally at
the jail and Friday's vigil at the
County Building, and although
both sides were pretty peaceful in
what they said and did, there was
a small amount of totally un-
necessary insulting of the police.
It seemed to me that either we
should be totally nonviolent, even
in our language, or we should
have a meaningful confrontation
on a political level, not on the
level of personal insults. I mean,
the students and ADC mothers
could conceivably come armed to
the teeth, several thousand strong,
with a million fanatical Red
Guards lurking in the allleys be-
hind us, and we could still smile
sweetly and call the police "Sir."
THE WAY I understand police
brutality, it is the. unnecessary use
of violence, includingnverbal vio-
lence. Calling someone "nigger"
is not quite hitting him, but it is
brutality because it brutalizes the
spirit, and because it is so uncall-
ed for. The same thing ought to
apply to cops being called "pigs"
or "basterds"-as they were once
or twice Thursday night, without
their doing anything in particular
at the time. This was either juve-
nile, like the obscenities we re-
ceived occasionally on Friday
night from passing cars (civilian
cars, incidentally), or it was deli-
berate, designed to provoke vio-
lence from the police. Either way,
I didn't like it, and several of the

other people at the vigil didn't
like it either.
Maybe we're politically un-
aware, insufficiently radical, etc.
But we don't intend to be radical-
ized in incidents caused by lack
of discipline, or by deliberate
staging, on the part of a few of
our own side.
Sept. 7
To the Editor:
THE RECENT coverage of the
welfare mother'sdemands by
the The Daily has aroused much
excitement and discussion on
campus. We are four students who
have been at this school for three
years and are in favor of student
demonstrations and participation
in civic affairs, so long as the
cause' is justified. However, it
seems that in this instance The
Daily is guilty of the one-sided
propagandized reporting for which
it criticizes its contemporaries,
Ann Arbor welfare mothers have
been demanding $120 per child for
school clothes. This amount is
supposedly based on a minimum
standard. They seem to be in-
sisting that it is unreasonable for
them to clothe one child for less
than this sum. We find this hard
to believe since the Detroit Free
Press of Sept. 6, 1968 states that
the Wayne County welfare, moth-
ers were "jubilant" when they
wereagranted $60 a piece after a
similar protest. According, to the
Free Press, the Wayne County
social services director reported
that, this sum would buy "one
jacket, one coat, two pairs of
pants, two undershirts, two pairs
of shorts, three pairs of socks, one
pair of street shoes, one pair of
gym shoes, and one pair of boots."
Could Ann Arbor mothers justify
spendingtwice as much on a sim-
ilar wardrobe?

issue, why didn't The Daily report
all the violence that occurred dur-
ing the protests? A secretary who
works in the welfare building wit-
nessed the disruption of the of-
fices by angry mothers. She was
thrown to the floor, kicked and
scratched by mothers. She reports
that personal belongings were alsoE
stolen. Social workers and other
employes bore the brunt: of the
mothers' fury, No mention was
made of this.
In exposing the "hidden facts"
of these incidents, you seem to
have neglectedesome obvious ones.
Sept. 7
Out of t he ashes
To the Editor:
A CONSTRUCTIVE proposal re-
garding the current ADC is-
sue: Rather than devote time to
demonstrations and county monies
to maintain "law and order," per-
haps the concerned students
could collectively organize an
agency which would provide the
ADC mothers with free services
for baby-sitting, nursery schools,
house-cleaning, and other moth-
erly functions. This, then, might
enable many more of the mothers
to obtain jobs to better support
their families.
Sept. 6
The Daily has begun accept-
ing articles from faculty, ad-
ministration, and students on
subjects of their choice.. They
are to' be 600-900 words in
length and should be submitted
to the Editorial Director.

----r{. . WALTER SHAP IR-
'Sho days
school days..
IT HIT ME yesterday as Tom Mayer was telling the crowd on the
diag about the alliance between "the students and the mothers."
Ann Arbor radicalism was returning to the womb.
There are deep similarities between the current welfare struggle
and the radical altruism which spawned the original sit-in movement
over civil rights during the early sixties.
The radical tactics and massive student involvement should not
obscure the predominant fact that the struggle is being fought within
the existing welfare system itself.
Admittedly the years since the lunch counter sit-ins and the
pickets of Woolworth's have affected the tactics of the militant stu-
dents. This time the students are being scrupulously careful not to
take the initiative and leadership away from the ADC mothers.
FOR THE PAST five days I have grappled with the perplexing
question of why this welfare protest has aroused a campus relatively
unmoved by the seemingly more personal issues of war research and
the quality of University education.
The potpourri of answers I've heard have hit on a few basic
themes-deep resentment over the police tactics in Chicago, frustra-
tion over the apparent failure of electoral politics, shock at the un-
provoked arrest of a Daily editor, the unstructured idleness of the first
few warm days of the semester, and a growing student concern with
the forgotten people of Ann Arbor.
But somehow I feel it's more than this.
In my suspicions, I am not relying on generally observable, em-
pirical evidence. Instead I am attempting to chart subtle and difficult
to perceive social currents from the egoistic, though necessary, vantage
point of my ownreactidns.
I saw the police remove each of the demonstrators from the
County Building on Friday and, while hours later I saw many of these
same students unscarred, the exNerience forbids me forever from
giving a dispassionate analysis of what happened.
LAST WEEK'S RETURN to militant altruism and Assues over
which students once won fondly cherished victories was the logical
consequence of the graphic events in Chicago. For Chicago didn't only
mean a graphic encounter with police sadism. Chicago was also the
culmination of four years of political frustration.
While some on the far left are dreaming the chiliastic dreams
of violent revolution or massive upheaval which were virtually incon-
ceivable five years ago, many others on the student left are beginning
to come to grips with the apparent futility of their visions.
They have come to the dread realization that sooner or later they
will have to make their own personal peace outside of the inflexible
political arena.
AT FIRST it seems contradictory that the most massive student
commitment to civil disobedience in University history coincides with
the gnawing recognition of the massive power of societal resistance
to political change.
But the commitment made by 200 students to civil disobedience,
and the partial commitment of the 400 more who toyed with the idea,
represents a kind of spiritual rite of passage.
For while just hours later they walked around the campus all
smiles and apparently little changed, they have made a pact. A pact
'with themselves.
They recognize that the future of political radicalism is bleak.
But they have branded themselves. By their actions at the .County
Building they haveplaced on their record just the sort of morally
based stigma that might impair their chances of getting security
clearances, ad agency vice presidencies and a smooth, easy road to
that palatial split level in the suburbs.
Many may scoff and argue that four years after the Berkeley
uprising which transformed university life in America there are thou-
sands of students with similar arrest records.
But they are still an' infinitesimal minority. And one would have
to' be sanguine to believe that most employers are so steeped in social
consciousness that they regard an "unlawful" moral commitment as a
prime job recommendation.
THIS IS the tragedy of 1968. This is the bitter taste of realizing
there is never going to be a regenerated America. The viselike strangle-
hold that materialism has on American values is all but invincible.
Wars will go on and ghettos will fester. And the cow colleges and
business administration schools will still turn out enough organization
men to keep the wheels of industry and government forever turning.
But what will become of the rest of us?
We can't all retreat intoa cloistered existence and become teach-
ers and professors. There is a limit to how many idealists, law, medicine,
and journalism can possibly tolerate.
All this raises the fundamental question of, how will those who,
in the parlance of the times, were radicalized during the middle and
'late sixties adjust to the failure of their political and social aspirations.
For this disenchanted generation has found the values of mate-
rialism empty. Its radicalism was not begotten by the failure of capital-
ism. Instead, its rebellion was born of recognition of the emptiness of

its success.
While I see friends trying to cope with these depressing realities
every single day, I am convinced that it is highly difficult for anyone
who has been aware during these turbulent few years to adjust easily
to the prosaic life of American affluence. /
But what alternatives lie open, to the disenchanted in a society
that cannot adapt its economic system to meet the spiritual needs of
a subculture of the highly educated?
I SUSPECT that frustration over the bleakness of the apparent
answers to this basic question played a key role in generating last
week's demonstrations.
For it seems likely that these demonstrations, despite the un-
questioned rectitude of their cause and their unprecedented emotional
potency, mark the end rather than the fruition of a period in political
Yet there is a peculiar virulence to the dreams of the student left
and their desperate and so far unavailing search for an alternative life
style that makes all predictions somewhat fraught with danger. ,
But I fear that last week's sit-ins "were merely a final footnote to
an age I fear will be doomed to treasure forever as "my generation."
But while deeply moving and morally concerned, last week's actions
are unfortunately little help in trying to come to grips with the dismal
spectre of the future.



THE TOTAL irrationality of the manner
in which the welfare system operates
is appallingly obvious. It does not require
great perceptive powers to discern that
there is something wrong with a system
which, ostensibly designed to help people
who cannot help themselves, inflicts fi-
nancial retalitation upon those few re-
cipients with enough defiant courage to
try to better their own condition.
The cataclysmic decade of the 1930's
brought a grudging recognition in this
country that people should not be left to
starve in the streets. But somehow this
did not bring any flexibility in t h e
staunch conviction that people should not
be given "hand-outs," no matter h o w
small the cost or how great the potential
THE RESULT has been the development
of a welfare system w h i c h appears
very much to its recipients as a conspir-
acy to counter any initiative on their part
with a strong negative sanction. Any at-
tempt on the part of a mother receiving
an ADC allowance to supplement h e r
family's income by taking a part-time Job
and thus start them down the long road
to independence from relying on what
amounts to a degrading and meagre form
of public charity results. in an equivalent
cutback in her allocation.
And the cherished American value of
family stability is certainly not fostered
by a system which has encouraged a large
number of low income husbands to leave
their wives because the women would re-
ceive more money from ADC than the
husbands were making.
RUT THE real obstacle to reforming this
system which so obviously needs it is
not that too many people are satisfied
with it, but that its very existence runs
contrary to the whole American way of
The welfare system survives on t h e
very fringe of legitimacy in this country.
Its existence is even considered subversive
by a fairly large segment of the American
public. The danger of "creeping social-
ism" has by no means disappeared from

part of most of the American public.
This country was built upon an ethic
which measures everything in terms of
material achievement. And the large af-
fluent middle class which has arisen, by
dint of good fortune as well as Ingenuity
and occasionally less honorable means,
simply cannot understand why a few poor
black mothers without education and
saddled with children can't do the same.
MOST OF TODAY'S middle class is sec-
ond 'generation middle class anyway
and has always lived in comfort. Self-
segregated into pleasant, attractive ghet-
toes, they have no comprehension of and
very little interest in the problems of wel-
fare recipients or indeed of any other so-
cial group.
But what is probably a more formidable
obstacle to the necessary overhauling of
the welfare system is the hostility of the'
lower middle class. For although the gen-
tile upper middle class has little symp-
athy for welfare recipients, it is generally
willing to concede that it is easiest and
cheapest 'to give them a small dole and
forget about them.
The situation of the lower middle class
in America is entirely different. They are
caught in a trap which they do not re-
motely comprehend. Although less suc-
cessful than the upper middle class, they
are nonetheless imbued with a middle
class ethic. And probably because they
can find no realistic justification for it
in their own lives, they strive all the more
ferociously to practice the middle class
work ethic and to force it on those below
them on the socio-economic scale.
FREQUENTLY, the only real difference
between the situation of the 1o w e r
middle class and that of welfare recipi-
ents is their ability to hold down a mean-
ingless routinized job a n d the burden
they are forced to bear by being compel-
led to pay a disproportionate share of
their meagre income in taxes - taxes
which they are acutely aware are used in
part to support welfare recipients.
Until the basically humane upper mid-
dle class in America is somehow forced
out of its ivory tower and the understand-



The Myth of Nouveau Nixon

T HE WORDS and the rhythm
unintentionally parodied the
formula of a television ad, but the
flavor of the remark was tho-
roughly Nixonesque. There at the
Pittsburgh news conference Sun-
day stood the scarred veteran of
such legendary battles as Check-
ers, missile gap, and Quemoy-
and-Matsu, completely and forth-
rightly parrying a reporter's sug-
gestion that the veteran's latest
Presidential campaign lacked spe-
cificity :
"I have now taken positions,
and completely forthright posi-
tions, on 167 major issues in this
campaign, more than any of the
other candidates in the primaries
and the final campaign."
Sobbing softly on the sidelines
as Passe Nixon unloaded this grave
line was the remnants of Nou-
veau Nixon. He had listened pati-
ently as Nixon blathered for an
hour on phantom jets to Israel
and the non-proliferation treaty,
but the enormity of this remark
finally overcame him. I met him
nlID nIITDQ fxinq V(h c -not thp

"You know, of the 167 major
issues. More bird baths on inter-
state highways. Changing the
masthead on the Congressional
Record. Providing increased bene-
fits for veterans of the Spanish-
American war. Painting the inside
of the White House red, white,
and blue. Why, the competition to
come up with 167 absurd issues
will be harder fought than the
Army-Navy game. How could he
have said that?"
"He is Passe Nixon," I said pro-
foundly. "How could he not?" And
even as I was speaking the words,
Nouveau Nixon assumed before
me a ghastly form, and withered
away into the ether.
* *
THAT THE return of Passe
Nixon should be heralded by such
a traditional Nixonism as "the
167 major issues" comment is en-
tirely fitting. For the mythology
of nouveau Nixonism had always
been more concerned with t h e
former Vice President's personal-
ity than his position on any par-

cadences reminiscent of John
Kennedy, was the child of Nixon's
essential gravity. It seemed some-
how forced, as if the man, seized
by a doldrum of doubt, suddenly
looked up and saw his reflection
in a mirror. Taken aback by the
pallid coloring, the gaunt features,
he took himself aside and said,
"Nixon, you're entirely too serious.
You're going to have to acquire
a sense of humor."
OUT. OF this confrontation
with a looking glass was born
Nouveau, a personage whose evan-
escent characteristics have al-
ready been indicated. For months.
Passe was miserable. He winced
each time Nouveau with what
seemed unconscionable merri-
ment, would trot out one of the
Nixonisms and offer it up for the
amusement of the public. Finally,
quietly, but firmly he decided that
Nouveau had gone entirely too
Spurred by his nomination, he
devised a more appropriately
mnyr. a. c'.h an, fr . a a p




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