Marvin Esch: A
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SATURDAY, OCTOBER26, 1968
NIGHT EDITOR: DAN SHARE
We have nothing to lose
but our change (machines)
THE PAPER MONEY which constitutes
almost the only campaign literature;
in Dick Gregory's eclectic write-in cam-
paign for President was seized Wednes-
day by Treasury agents because it al-
legedly too closely resembled legal tender.
In many ways this was the funniest
thing since Donald Hoeh of the New
Hampshire delegation discovered that an
American Express Card worked as well as
the carefully designed plastic identifica-
tion tags in the Democratic Convention's
much-vaunted.automatic security appa-
Supporters of Gregory's quixotic cam-
paign for the Presidency should be re-
lieved that only his campaign literature
was seized. After all Hoeh, like so many
great discoverers throughout the ages,
was arrested for his troubles.
Investigation reveals that the main'
problem caused by the Gregory dollars
was that many automatic change ma-.
chines were duped into believing that"
these campaign flyers were real money.
SEEN IN THIS light, the portents of
Wednesday's seizure are indeed omi-
nous in a society that is already too tech-
Remember, it is only a short step from
banning campaign literature which mis-
leads money machines to outlawing
thoughts and actions which offend these
mechanical monsters. How many of our
freedbms are we willing to surrender
merely for the convenience of the ma-'
chines which allegedly serve us?
Gregory responded to the seizure by
announcing that he would file suit in
MARK LEVIN, Editor
STEPHEN WILDSTROM URBAN LEHNER
Managing Editor Editorial Director
DAVID KNOKE, Executive Editor
WALLACE IMMEN............ . News Editor
CAROLYN MIEGEL......Associate Managing Editor
DANIEL OKRENT... .........Feature Editor
PAT O'DONOHUE ............News Editor
WALTER SHAPIRO......Associate Ehitorial Director
HOWARD KOHN ........ Associate Editorial Director
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Daily except Monday during regular academic school
Daily except Sunday and Monday during regular
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Federal court to block the Presidential
election on the grounds that his rights to
campaign have been infringed.
In many ways a finding in Gregory's
favor would indeed be fitting since the
most strenuous efforts have been made to
convince the electorate that 1968 is just
another election year.
THE APOSTLES of politics as usual in-
vite us to choose among the lesser of
three evils and blithely urge us to ignore
that the war in Vietnam still rages and
that a large segment of the American
people have justifiably lost all faith in
the responsiveness of our institutions.
It is for this reason that any attempt
to harass or silence Dick Gregory is deep-
ly distressing. For Gregory is campaigning
in his own Individualistic way to remind
the American people how little will be
changed by the November elections.
Consequently there seems only one fit-
ting response to the indignities that Dick
Gregory has suffered for his efforts to
bring the truth to the American people.
We must all work to organize a nation-
wide boycott of automatic change ma-
chines on election day.
TWO REPORTS j u s t released by the
American Council on Education ought
to set the "alienated society"'analysts all
The first, "A doctoral research s t u d y
done at the University of Chicago, main-
tains that student \activism comes not
from parental permissiveness, not from
generational disgust, but rather it corre-
lates most highly with parental political
The second, a study written by a uni-
versity adniinistrator and published by
the ACE maintains that faculty members
are realli the 'alienated sector, confused
about their role in academic governance
and generally unwilling to participate.
Could it be that the "generation gap"
has finally died? Where will Harper's and
Newsweek find their next catch-phrase?
By URBAN LEHNER
N AN ELEVENTH hour news conference at the
Republican National Convention in Mianii Beach,
Gov. Nelson Rockefeller with great fanfare an-
nounced endorsements by three freshman Repub-
lican Congressmen from Michigan: Marvin Esch
of the Second District, Garry Brown of the Third.
and Jack McDonald of the Nineteenth.
"I find it especially significant," said Rockefeller
gravely, "that these three liberal Republican Con-
gressmen from marginal Northern districts have
decided they will not be able to win their elections
unless I am nominated."
With regard to Esch, at least, Rockefeller over-
stated the case. The Second is hardly a marginal
Republican district, and Marvin Esch's position
within it is firmly established.
In fact, despite the nomination of Nixon, only
the unlikely eventuality of a substantial Humphrey
victory statewide could defeat Esch on Nov. 5.
MICHIGAN'S SECOND Congressional District
is a traditional Republican stronghold. Composed
largely of rural areas and small towns, steeped in
upright MidwesternRepublican virtues and tradi-
tions, the Second for the past five decades has had
a Republican Representative in all but two sessions
Even Washtenaw County, with its sizable con-
tingent. of predominantly liberal university profes-
cors, normally votes Republican.
To elect a Democratic Representative in this dis-
trict requires an unlikely combination of coinci-
dences. No ordinary national coattail can guarantee
a Democratic Congresssional victory. For Repub-
lican loyalties are strong enough that many who
vote Democratic for President will pull the rest
of the levers in the elephant column.
To elect a Democratic Representa-
tive in this Congressional district re-
quires an unlikely, combination of
Even in 1964, when the Johnson-Humphrey
ticket took the state by'a crushing majority of 2-1,
Weston vivian beat George Meader by only 2000
And in 1966, Johnson's honeymoon quite over,
the Republicans gained back the district
Still, the Democratic landslide in 1964 appre-
ciably changed the quality of Congressional rep-
resentation in the Second District. For the real
beneficiary of Johnson's electoral coattails was not
Weston Vivian but his 1966 opponent, Marvin Esch.
Johnson's sweep literally left the local Repub-
lican machine in shambles. Going into the 1966 off-
year elections, the Republicans held almost no local
or county offices. In the 1966 primary election,
Esch ousted George Meader, the archconservatve
Republican who served in the Eighty-Second
through Eighty-Eighth Congresses.
GIVEN A STAUNCHLY Republican district,
which Republican holds the local reigns becomes
a question of no little importance. And for liberal
residents of the districts, Marvin Esch is infinitely
preferable to George Meader.
"Marvin Esch simply is not one of the worst
Republicans," observed Weston Vivial this summer
in a debate with his opponent in the Democratic
primary, Jerome Dupont. "But his vote is another
organizational vote for the Jerry Fords."
Indeed, Marvin Esch is a very good Republican.
And Vivian's argument is unlikely to sway those
liberals unable to perceive the ideological differ-
ences between the Jerry Fords and the John McCor-
macks, William Colmers, Wilbur Mills, and George
Esch's political stances are difficult to cate-
gorize. Elected in 1966 as one of the 40 "new,
young" Republicans about whom so much has been
written, he is no Ogden Reid or Theodore Kupfer-
man (both are liberal A Republican Congressmen
from New York), His ADA rating for 15 House
votes in 1957 was a meager 27 per cent, compared
to 80 for Reid and 67 for Kupferman. And he voted
affirmatively on the Omnibus Crime Control Bill,
the most conservative piece. of legislation passed by
the Ninetieth Congress
ON THE OTHER SIDE of the political ledger,
Esch worked hard in the Education and Labor
Committee last year to save the Teachers' Corp,
has voted regularly to reject cuts in poverty pro-
grams, and has proposed a set of comprehensive
measures designed to reduce draft calls to an ab-
soluteminimum without abolishing the Selective
One of the most revealing ,i'ndices of a Con-
gressman's ideological position is his degree of sup-
port for the role of the Federal Government in the
country's economic and social affairs;, A Congres-
sional Quarterly compilation of 11 1967 votes testing
support for a larger Federal role has Esch voting
7-5 well above Jerry Ford (4-7) and below Reid and
Kupferman (each 10-1).
j Esch calls himself "an independent Repub-
lican." Although he supported Romney and later
Rockefeller for the Republican Presidential nom-
ination, the former Wayne State Associate Professor
of Speech (Ile received his doctorate at the Uni-
versity) is now actively behind Nixon. He is strong-
ly committed to solving urban problems, and as a
member of the Education and Labor Committee
worked closely with mayors of several large cities,
especially New York's John Lindsay.
HIS PET SHIBBOLETH is "objectivity," and
his arguments smack of the assumptions of phi-
losophical liberalism: Reasonable men, confronted
with the sameto facts, will reach the same conclu-
sions. Esch fears that the middle premise isn't al-
ways fulfilled; much legislation, he contends, is
written and debated on the basis of inadequate or
incomplete research. His own proposals and state-
ments are exhaustively researched.
In fact, Fsch defends his dismal ADA score with
the argument that many of the bills supported by
ADA were in actuality shoddily conceived, however
nOble their intent.
Translated into specific votes; this insistence on
expertise in government means that Esch, whatever
his unwillingness to go along with liberal legislation
that in his opinion has not been thoroughly
thought-out, will not be intimidated by traditional
- Take the gold cover issue, for example. It was
a complicated question with obvious ,emotional
overtones. Donald Riegle, a freshman Republican
Congressman from Michigan's Seventh District
(whom the liberal Nation magazine designated a
1967 Congressman of the Year for his constructive
proposals on Vietnam), is now exploiting it'in his
campaign for re-election. Esch voted for removal.
THE REPUBLICAN candidate is not without his
liberal critics of course. For' many,' voting for a
Congressman who supported the Omnibus Crime
Control Bill would be an act of unthinkable heresy,
and indeed Esch is unlikely to woo away from Vivian
many of thole wh voted for him in 1966.
t, On the other hand, Esch probably doesn't need
them. Like Vivian, he is directing his campaign
toward the moderate and conservative voters who
make up a majority of the district. His newspaper
ads, for example, deal not with the war (on which
he tends to be moderately dovish), or urban prob-
lems (which he is committted to solving), or even
to crime, but to the one issue which probably comes
closest to touching the heartstrings of this respect-
ably prosperous Republican district: Inflation.
Neverthless, if the liberals don't love him, they
can live with him. And that, in a district represented
for six Congresses by a Republican more con-
servative than Ford, is saying a lot.
N EA L B R USS
BECAUSE there is usually great dignity to being misunderstood in
Intellectual matters, for one to try to "explain' the position of a
misunderstood person can be extremely presumptuous. Furthermore,
one can make the mistakes of "explaining away" a man's position in
attempting to make sense out of it for others.
At the risk of being both presumptuous and stupid, I'll try to ex-
plain the position of Prof. Sheridan Baker of the English. Department,
whose remarks at a recent meeting of the literary college curriculum
committee are probagly being misunderstood.
Prof. Baker engaged in a discussion of course requirements, specif-
ically language requirements. According to the Daily's reporter, Prof.
Baker, "claimed that coercion 'is the best way to generally educate a
student.'" Continues The Daily, "In favoring the language requirement,
he cited the force used in E.uropean schools and claimed that students
there were better educated than they are here."
One pales at the thought of anyone advocating coercion in 1968,
the year of the fear of repression in the name of law and order. Prof.
Baker has, however, gone and done it.
PROF. BAKER and his opponents were arguing over the best way
to liberally educate students. The point of contention is the notion of
freedom. Prof. Baker's opponents would argue that coercion denies free-
dom, which is necessary for liberal education. Prof. Baker, at this
point, would be misunderstood as some sort of authoritarian.
Certainly freedom is crucial, but it isn't denied by Prof. Baker's
kind of coercion. Whether a student has-all his courses chosen for him
or can pick any offering from the time schedule' neither makes him
free or unfree.
"Coercion" or infinite choice in the course requirement says nothing
about a student's freedom because all the choices in the world won't
make the student free. Freedom is more involved with the innards of a
person, not choices with which he is confronted. Freedom is a' matter
.of how a person responds to his situati n, if you like, whether or not he
identifies with his situation.
One can imagine being busily and contentedly at work at some
studies plotted out by full professors. Or being. thoronghl disgusted
and unhappy in the same situation. One can similarly imagine, rejoic-
ing at the wealth of classes one can select. Or being confused, frightened
and unable to confront the infinite choices'posed by the time schedule.
THE POINT I# that to talk about how many choices' a student
should have says nothing very much about how students feel. And it
is insulting and mistaken to talk about people's freedom without talk-.
ing about the personal, subjective,, emotional realities of their lives.
There are legitimate arguments for coercion. Students are in school
to have their minds expanded. When they make their application end
turn in their dollars, they dedicate themselves to that.
Prof. Baker seems to feel some of that mind expansion doesn't
happen by accident, that students can't 'bring it about-themselves. They
simply aren't in a position to expand their own minds or even to know
what types of courses will expand their minds. Prof. iaker's coercion
says there are'som things which expand the mind, and coercion mere-
ly insures students face them.
One would coerce a student to force him to face a strikingly dif-
ferent picture of his own possibilities than he had ever known. Then
one would expect the student would begin to think and act in new ways.
TAE KWON DO (Korean karate) instruction is a paradigm of
coercion. A student says to himself that he'd-like to know some of the
ancient martial art of self-defense. So he signs up for certain'types of,
coercion. For two hours twice a week he goes about a rOutine of stren-
uous and not in themselves rewarding sebuences of kicking and punch-
ing motions. Additionally while making those motions he does not talk
or grunt or make other noises. When he sits, he does so cross-legged,
with his back against the wall. And he takes hundreds ;and hundreds
of orders. Out of this come black belts.
That seems to %be the type of coercion Prof. Baker means. But it is
not as much "coercion inposed" as "discipline undertaken." It is more
a matter of students doing certain things than having certain things
done to them, which in turn is a matter, again, of identification.
My problem with Prof. Baker's coercion is that few l;ersons in the
University take it very seriously. Students float in the University, ex-
pecting certain changes to occur in their lives. In most cases, the stu-
dents are pretty much left to their own devices. Some persons in the
University and perhaps the students themselves pass this off as 'free-
dom, when in fact it is neglect.
Not very many persons around the University are that serious
about coercion. If one is going to be serious about coercing students,
one will have to spend many hours working with them, and plenty of
faculty don't seem to want to do that. Instead they will shrink back
and change the subject to freedom.
By STEVE KOPPMAN
A BITTER CONFLICT has brought
the nation's largest school system
to its knees.
Six weeks after the beginning of the
term, the vast majority of New York's
1.1 million school children remain
' wighout classes, as a result of a highly
charged dispute over community con-
trol of schools.
The struggle, has heavy racial over-
tones, and has brought intergroup ten-
sion in the already beleaguered city to
a danger point.
The conflict pits the locally elected
community governing board of. Ocean
Hill-Brownsville, a black and Puerto
Rican slum area in Brooklyn, against
the largely Jewish United Federation
The significance of the strike goes
beyond New 'York for the city has long
served as the trail blazer in educa-
tional innovation. Whether decentrali-
zation works in New York will
undoubtedly affect other major cities
in their attempts to upgrade ghetto
The strike began when school open-
ed as the teachers walked out In pro-
test over tha refusal by the Ocean Hill-
Brownsville board to readmit 83 teach-
ers to take their posts in schools in the
The 83 "teachers comprised ten
teachers who had been dismissed by
the local board last May and 73 who
subsequently struck the district in
. protest over these dismissals.
THE BOARD had no legal right to
fire the teachers and submitted no
formal cause at the time for doing so,
but it acted in the belief that this"
power was essential to its effective op-
The union feels that teacher rights I
and twice the agreements have col-
lapsed due to the resistance of the
This week, the local board finally
acceded to the union's original 'de-
mand for the reassignment to classes
of the disputed teachers, but the em-
bittered union has now gone farther,
demanding a virtual end to the regime
of community control in the district.
BUT THE ISSUES go much deeper.
than this. The issues go back to the
desperate effort of ghetto parents to
get a decent education for their child-
ren amid the jungle of the New York
It is evident to all sides in this dis-
pute that the New York school sys-
tem has failed the black student. The
initial educational handicaps of the
children from ghetto backgrounds are
merely accentuated as he progresses
In 1967, only aboit 700 out of 30,-
000 academic high school diplomas
went to black and this is in a system
which is over a third black.
SCHOOLS IN BLACK and Puerto
Rican ghettos are generally p o o r 1y
equipped and exude an atmosphere of
despair. Teachers often give up before
the child does.
The New York school system has
long been highly centralized, bureau-
cratic, and resistant to change.. T h e
noted psychologist Dr. Kenneth Clark
explains, "The public schools are cap-
tive to the educational establishment,
which has built safeguard for its
The failures of p r e v i o u s efforts
spurred the search for some other solu-
tion. Talk in the black community
turned to "community control". If the
generally unfriendly to the idea of
decentralizing the system, but Mayor
Lindsay liked it, and when the Ford
Foundation stepped in in the spring
of 1967 and agreed to finance estab-
lishment of three demonstration pro-
jects to test the value of "community
involvement," the city board went
A Harlem spokesman said, "We like
to carry it further. We call it com-
munity control." This distinction was
a crucial one as the city Board never
made clear what the legitimate pow-
ers of the local board were.
ONE OF THE new districts was
Ocean Hill-Brownsville, in Brooklyn.
Friction came quickly as the city board
refused to aid in the local board elec-
tions, and as a result less than 10%
of eligible parents voted.
The board became increasingly res-
tive when expected additional F o r d
funds were withheld. Actual power over
curriculum, hiring and firing, and
budgeting, was still beyond its reach.
and board members soon decided they
couldn't be effective without it.
They came under pressure from the
community for action, and felt hin-
dered by some white teachers who they
considered hostile to the project. By
spring 1968, the local board was vigor-
ously demanding more power.
PUBLICLY, THE city board said,
correctly, that it had no legal right to
grant the community board these ex-
tensive powers - the state legislature
had not yet acted on the decentraliza-
tion issue. But, privately, the city board
said that any teachers objectionable to
the community could be transferred
out if it was done quietly.
The community board refused to
settle for quiet accommodation and de-
manded genuine nntrn1 of theechnnl
The city government ordered ' the
teachers returned to their posts, but
their return was blocked by crowds of,
parents at J.H.S. 271, a focal point of'
WHEN THE teachers entered, the
parents responded by boycotting the
schools. For the remainder of the
school year, Ocean Hill was a sham-
bles. Most of the district's 500 teachers
struck in support of their col-
leagues, with pupil attendance hovering
around 40 per cent. Attempts during
the summer to settle the matter were
futile, and when school began in Sep-
tember, the local board still refused
to readmit the teachers.
The teachers struck the school sys-
tem. Two days later, the UFT and the
city board agreed on the return of the
disputed teachers, but the agreement
failed when angry crowds, with the
tacit consent of the local boadd, block-
ed their entrance.
The union went out on strike again,
charging the city board with failure to
enforce the agreement. The second
strike lasted over two weeks, and ano-
ther agreement was reached, similar
to the first. The teachers were to go
back to the district under heavy police
THE OCEAN HILL board only said
it would not prevent the teachers from
coming to school.
Things came to a head at J.H.S. 271,
when trouble broke out between the
disputed 'teachers and some of the
teachers friendly to the local board.
Threats were made, and the violence
of the atmosphere made teaching next
to impossible. Donovan closed the
school, and met for two days with all
teachers involved. Finally, he ordered
f-h cr. l vo- - -- "A a in- - a
board announced it was assign the dis-
puted teachers to classes, but t h i s
would no longer satisfy, the union.
It is clear that the path from here
must be reconciliation, not further
confrontation. The, majority of teach-
ers still regard the actions of the
Ocean Hill board as a direct threat to
their autonomy and job security.
- The local board erred gravely in
making its "dismissals without d u e
process. But now it is time for the
union to compromise. It's call for the
virtual dissolution of the demonstra-
tipns project flies in the face of the as-
pirations of the Ocean Hill-Browns-,
RECOGNITION of the legitimate in-
terests of both sides is the only viable
solution. Teachers must have unequi-
vocal assurances against arbitrary dis-
missal and harassment by local boards.
The ultimate stake of parents in the
education of their children must be
given the weight it deserves by the
system. Out of the rubble of this dis-
aster must emerge an understanding
of the interdependence of these groups,
and the necessity to prevent ,conflict
between them. The central board has
a key role now in insuring harmony.
The new board must revise ob-
solete procedure regarding personnel,
define a clear policy for decentraliza-
tion and work to defuse the social dyn-
amite aroused by battles like this one.
THE RACIAL and religious tension
exercised by .the dispute has been an
unmitigated disaster for the city. Anti-
Semitism displayed by extremists in
Ocean Hill has become a UFT rally-
ing point. (This has obscured the fact
that half the new teachers hired by
the local board have been Jews). Sup-
AT THE SAME TIME that the student is left to his buddies in the
dorm, the, college rather anonymously says to him, "You must know
some of our language and science." So the student wanders into some
class which he thinks may meet that end.
Enough exceptionally bright students have 'hard enough times with
language and 'science that it's pretty clear something's wrong with the
present style' of coercion. Many flunk. Some pass and yet ,know no
language or science.
What's even more unfortunate is the situation of the student who
in the autumn of his years at the University suddenly finds he would
have liked to have known about Keats or Kafka. He finds there are
some important works of scholarship that no one told him existed, or
that there are some areas of learning that the guys in the dorm didn't
tell him about, let alone the University.
AT THIS TIME it would probably be better to remove all reauire-