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October 30, 1968 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-10-30

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

lhe Mrat an Batty
Seventy-eight years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan
under authority of Board in Control of Student Publications

A special case of man 's inhumanity

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

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

"YOU'RE EIGHTEEN years old;
first time away from home,
you're seeing snow for the first
time and feeling really cold for
the first time in your life. You're
three inches shorter than all the
other guys, and some men are
staring real angry at you.
Sometimes they shout at you -
and you can hardly understand a
god damn word anybody's saying
- except maybe 'f*** you, you
son of a bitch.'"'
This is Hector Diaz, a Puerto
Rican draftee, describing what it
was like for him and his buddies
from San Juan and Santurce when

they arrived at Fort Jackson,
South Carolina for Army Basic
Hector and his bunkmate, An-
tonio Fernandez, also from Puerto
Rico, were members of my eight
man squad in the second 'platoon
of Company B, 5th Battalion, 1st
Training Brigade at Jackson. We
ate and ached together and got
sick together in the drippy Caro-
lina winter.
Hector and Tony were not the
only Spanish speaking privates in
the platoon. Roberto Melindas,
Francisco Ramos, TonyOlindares,
Enrique Rodriguez, Bernardo Tor-
rez and Tony Torres g a v e the

platoon a hot chili flavor. They
are an infinitesimal fraction of
the more than 50,000 American
soldiers whose mother tongue is
After six or seven weeks of Bas-
ic, Hector, a college dropout from
San j u a n, achieved fluency in
English. He articulated to me the
bitterness that he and his com-
patriots felt towards the United
States and the U.S. Army.
"I'VE GOT my orders for In-
fantry which m e a n s I'll be in
'Nam in four months. I'll be risk-
ing my ass. For what?" Diaz asks
rhetorically. "And when I come

Wednesday, October 30, 1968,


Our Platform
of platitudes

"Do you think we peaked too soon ..?"


HIS ELECTION YEAR has been full
of euphoric hopes and dashed
The celebration that accompanied
President Johnson's political exit last
March 31 soon turned to mourning for
Senator Robert Kennedy and finally
to revulsion over the Chicago Conven-
Those college students and young
voters who are justifiably and pro-
foundly dismayed at the election
choices this November have been de-
rided as either :morally rigid or lack-
ing in constructive alternatives.
Therefore, we deeply believe our
most important contribution to this
depressing election would be a presen-
tation of the new approaches a new
President must undertake.
The only legitimate m o t i v e s for
American foreign policy are a desire
for peace, a dedication to preserving
human lives, and the amelioration of
human suffering.
The next President of the United
States must totally reject the jingoistic-
anti-Communism which has motivated
American foreign polic'y for the past
two decades. The only lasting hope for
international peace and world abund-
ance lies with such multi-national and
politically broad-based organizations
as the United Nations.
This nation's dangerous policy of
unilateral intervention abroad in mat-
ters political, military and economic
must be permanently ended. All such
unilateral acts, however well-inten-
tioned, merely serve as an; extension of
America's self-righteous brand of im--'
PRESERVING international peace and
administering economic and tech-
n' W . assistance to underdeveloped
naonis must be the province of world
organizations such a's the United Na-
The UN's depressing impotence over
the past several years stems from the
unwillingness of its members to en-
trust it with either substantial funds
or significant responsibility.
To revive the United Nations and to
make an important first step toward a
multinational foreign policy, the United
States should invite all other nations
to join in subordinating national in-
terests to the cause of world peace by
making a major economic commit-
ment to the UN. These funds would
finance a permanent neutral peace-
keeping force and rprovide underde-
Iveloped nations with no-strings-at-
tached technical assistance and much-
needed capital.
The neWv President must end the role
of the Central Intelligence Agency as
an arm of American subversion and
counter-insurgency in other nations.
Only in the field of intelligence-gath-
ering does the CIA have any proper
authority. Past transgressions of these
legal bounds indicate a need for strict
supervision of the CIA.
E NATION and world can ill-
afford any further delay in mean-
ingful disarmament. Yet mutual sus-
picions between the United States and
the Soviet Union accumulated over the
past 20 years have erected enormous
obstacles to genuine disarmament. The
willingness of the next President to
take the first steps in offering sub-
stantial concessions to allay Soviet
suspicions could eliminate the danger
of nuclear holocaust.
A self-imposed freeze on our nuclear
arsenal,4which already has more than

ample deterrent capacity, should be a
first step. We should end all research
into chemical and biological warfare
and press for an international treaty
banning such military research. We
should halt efforts to develop the costly
anti-ballistic missile system.
Finally, the next President must
dismantle the mushrooming military-
industrial complex. The a 1 a r m i n g
growth of this public-private inter-
locking bureaucracy which thrives on
developing ever - more sophisticated
means of waging war is one of the7

unlimited right of free expression pro-
vided such action does not manifestly
infringe on the rights of others.
The First Amendment to the Consti-
tution must be interpreted literally
and all law enforcement officials must
understand the distinction between
advocacy and action.
All political actions not endangering
the safety or private property of indi-
viduals must be considered legitimate
political dissent.
The 13th Amendment must be inter-
preted as an affirmation of the indi-
vidual's right to refuse to serve in the
armed forces.
THE RIGHTS of defendants reaf-
firmed in recent Supreme Court
decisions must in no way be limited,
despite Congressional legislation open-
ing the door to infringement.
Because wiretapping and other forms
of electronic bugging pose so serious
a threat to the individual's right of
privacy, these devices must never be
The Federal Bureau of Investigation
-which has demonstrated its intention
to use any means, however illegal or
immoral, to harrass political dissenters
-must be reorganized and closely re-
A new President must choose as his
first task fulfilling the long-overdue
promise of the 1946 Full Employment
Act which promised a decent living to
every American.
We do not believe all our urban prob-
lems will vanish when such a program
is implemented, but we do feel that the
replacement of the patronizing welfare
system with a guaranteed job or in-
come would do much to raise the self-
esteem of both the black ghetto resi-
dents and the poor whites.
The tax burden in this country
should be 'far more equitably distri-
buted. Such major loopholes as the in-
famous 27% per cent oil depreciation
allowance and the 25 per cent capital
gains tax must be closed. Corporations
earning excessive profits must also
carry a larger part of the tax burden.
MASSIVE federal expenditures are
necessary to make our urban areas
livable. These programs should range
from a massive rebuilding of dilapi-
dated housing, with provisions for bet-
ter facilities for those relocated, to a
massive overhaul of transportation
both within and between our urban
In such programs, the money would
would be appropriated to an indigenous
local group - not a local government
unit - which would undertake admin-
istration of the program with federal
assistance if requested.
The new President must recognize
that quality education at all levels is
rapidly becoming a burden beyond the
financial abilities of local and state
governments. The federal government
should appropriate undesignated funds
to public universities and colleges as
well as elementary and secondary
GOME MAY ARGUE that the ap-
proaches we present range from
Utopian at worst to impractical at best.
Others may find our calls for presi-
dential leadership absurd in face of
a seemingly recalicitrant Congress.
We can only say we would prefer a
President who dreams great dreams,
even if he cannot see them to realiza-
tion, to a President who seeks only to
pacify the public demands..

Even in failure, a President who
quests after idealistic visions at least
strives and sometimes succeeds in up-
lifting and educating. the American
IT IS EVIDENT that there is no ex-
ponent of our views this November.
No candidate even comes remotely
Faced with a deep cleavage between
the kind of Administration we believe
is. needed and the barren ideas ex-
pressed by the major candidates in this
PTir+inn ma +In (VCn(in nn'Ya ncnOnP1

back - if I come back. I'll return
to Puerto Rico where I can't even
vote for a president. I can't vote,
but they can send me to 'Nam.",
Despite the anger, most of the
'PRs,' as they are .called in the
Army argot, survived the exper-
ience well. They quickly formed
an alliance among themselves, ap-
pointing a bilingual spokesman to
translate orders and voicetheir
questions and objections. One of
the gringos in the platoon dubbed
the group' "the spic clique." Since
all training was carried on in En-
glish, the translators assumed a
whopping job.
The Army hardly bent o v e r
backwards to help the PRs. Non-
commissioned officers often mock-
ed the* Spanish speaking soldiers
before the other troops when they
stammered over general orders
which had to be memorized word
for word in English. Lectures were
delivered only in English. All pub-
lications and examinations were
printed only in English.
Hector tried to explain what it
was like.
"Lloyd, try to imagine yourself
in the Mexican Army."
The one gesture which the com-
mand made was a Catholic Mass
in Spanish every Sunday. It drew
a packed house.
THE MISTRUST of the Puerto
Ricans by those in charge sur-
faced often.
"What the hell do those PRs
chatter about between them-
selves?" was a frequent remark
when sergeants shot the breeze
with each other.
"I'd hate to have 'em in combat.
You yell fire to the right a n d
they'd shoot left," was another
comment overheard several times,
in various forms.
But the spunky Puerto Ricans
shone despite the extra harass-.
ment. They delighted in showing
up "the Americans," a name they
spat in gutteral contempt. The
two highest scores in my company
on the Basic Physical Training
test were recorded by PRs. Hector
Diaz ran the mile in five minutes
flat in combat boots on a muddy
track. Bernie Torrez alligator
crawled 40 yards in 12 seconds on
a sandy mat, the fastest time any
of our sergeants had ever seen.
After thirty pushups I'd collapse
on my tummy, buts Tony Fernan-

dez could race through fifty push-
.ups while whistling "Guantanam-
"You Americans are t o o fat."
lithe Hector told me with a tinge
of condescension.
The PRs were also champions
without peer at mail-call. I got
the distinct impression that the
reason Puerto Rico remains un-
derveloped industrially is that the
workers are too busy writing let-
ters to their relatives in the U.S.
Army to put in a full day on the
job. And every evening, no matter
how grueling the day's training,
Hector, Tony and the others
chronicled the events in airmail
letters for the island.
NOT ALL of the Puerto Ricans
fared as well as Hector and Tony.
Bernardo Rodriguez never got to
read a letter from home.
He came from San Juan with
just a short sleeve shirt, only to
find freezing temperatures in
South Carolina. At the Army Re-
ception Center he encountered the
most punishing segment of Army
training. As a raw recruit he stood
out inthet cold and rain for four
hour stretches. His warm Army
clothing had not yet been issued
to him. And during the 72 miser-
able, baffling hours he managed
only three hours sleep per day..He
slept in crowded, filthy, unheated
Bernardo Rodriguez contracted
spinal meningitis at the Reception
Center. He died in the base hos-
pital --- one of eight Puerto Rican
recruits who succumbed in t h e
winter epidemic. Two "Americans"
died. The telegram notifying the
next of kin was in English.
Hector. Tony. Roberto. Fran-
cisco and the others are a world
away now in Vietnam and Korea.
- I can't forget something Hector
Diaz told me when we were sweat-
ing out our last crummy week of
"The Americans don't trust us."
he said intensely, "and we hate
the Americans because they treat
us like shit. Hell, I ,know Castro
hasn't got the answer for us, but
at least he speaks Spanish."
one day a crew of disgruntled
Puerto Rican Vietnam veterans,
trained in guerrilla warfare, could
make the United Stats feel quite
queasy in the showcase territory
of the Caribbean.





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An explanation
To the Editor:
THE DAILY article of Saturday,
Oct. 26 on Mark Rudd at-
tributes to him the belief that the
Columbia rebellion last spring did
not .result from a growth of stu-
dent "desire to exercise control of
their own lives." The article went
on to indicate that the members
of Voice-SDS here on campus who
did not join the Radical Caucus
were in general agreement with
Rudd and his views, especially
those concerning what transpired
in Ann Arbor.
This, perhaps, best indicates the
reason for the split in SDS here.
The concept of people controlling
their own lives, as simple as it
sounds, is probably the most radi-
cal principle of the left. After all.
was this not the basic concept
of the Civil Rights movement?
And of its offspring, the Black
Power Movement? Is it not the
goal of the Vietnamese who are
willing to die rather than be con-
trolled by others? And, most re-
cently, was it not the stanidard of
the Czechs in their fight against,
Russian domination?
If our objection to the present
system in the United States is
against control from above, if we,
resist having ourselves channeled ,
neatly into waiting slots instead of
controlling our own lives, then
perhaps the best goals of radical
organization would be to help peo-
ple to 'develop the sense of mass
unity, the concept of acting with
Others who hold similar views
against those! who attempt tor
manipulate them. Only then will
we be able to substitute a demo-
cratic grass-roots system for the
present top-down one.
THE ISSUE that split Voice was
precisely the auestion of demo-
cratic control. Those who now be-
long to the Radical Caucus were,
while still in Voice, insisting on
the right of Voice members to con-
duct an orderly, democratic meet-
ing; to elect their officers rather
than let the noisiest among them j
assume those positions; to engage
in the kind of organizing on cam-.
pus specifically designed to high-7
light the demand for control from
below rather than from above.
The Jesse James Gang is a
group of individuals which made1
its formal debut by systematically
preventing Voice from holding
open meetings. By shouting speak-,
ers down and contemptuously re-{
fusing to abide by any democratic
rules of procedure (such rules, wer
learned constitute "bourgeois dem-
ocracy"), the Jesse James Gangt
f .,-1- A fil'niep into n

Who's where on the local left...

democratic control of institutions
and organizations.
there can be no "objective truth"
which supersedes the decision of
the people. There can be no
pseudo-moral reason for stopping
true democratic procedure and
decision-making. The Radical
Caucus views its job as convincing
people that we are right by bring-
ing our views to them, by arguing
through dialogue, by involving
them in action which will give
them insights into how we view
society and how it is run.
This points up another funda-
mental difference between the
Jesse James Gang andbthe Radical
Caucus. To us. issues which arise
on campus, be they war research.
distribution requirements anything
else, are two-fold. One, they are
important as issues. If people are
for or against them, .that alone
makes them 'Worthwhile goals.
Secondly, the issue is important
as an organizing tool, used to
bring people together, to use their
numbers as a weapon, and to de-
velop the concept of the mass! base
of people making the decisions
which affect them and by which
they must 'live.
The Jesse James Gang on the
other hand seems to have their
own views on the issues.
One, if the issue is important
and "radical," then the decision
must be made by those who have
"objective truth." The people
around them are not to be trusted
to nriake decisions because they
might make the wrong decision,
for example, voting for war re-
Two, the issue might not be im-
portant to them, not "radical,"
such as distribution requirements.
In this case, we are to showour
disdain for "bourgeois issues" by
ignoring them. This ignores the
larger issue of people organizing
to make the decisions that affect
their lives. ,
THE DAILY article also stated
that Rudd attributed the split in
Voice to the younger people being
fed up and driving out the older
people. This seems very militant
and exciting. Except that it is
The Radical Caucus walk-out in
the end was caused by the fact
that the young people in Voice,
freshman and sophomores who
were working in theirtdorms and
cuasses attempting to organize
people to take over the decision-
making in the University, were fed
up with old people who had no
connection with the University
breaking up their meetings by

my senior and much the senior of
most members of the Radical Cau-
cus. Thus, if the young people are
sick of the verbal polemics of the
older, out of date leaders in the
caucus, as they claim, why did
the young people, people who are
students and attempting to build
a radical, democratic organization,
feel the necessity to ,eave Voice
ahd form the Radical Caucus?
THUS, OUR GOAL perhaps
isn't to fight the cops as Rudd
suggests, but rather to build radi-
cal, democratic bases which can.

fight the system which used the
cops to suppress' us. This fight is
harder, much more dangerous, and
will take longer, but if our goal
is a democratic society rather than
an ego trip, the choice seems clear.
The position of the "new lead-
ers" of the Columbia SDS and of
our own Jesse James Gang is call-
ed opposition to an overly verbal
approach to radical organizing.
The Radical Caucus is for a verbal
aproach--in so far as we feel it
essential that people recruited into'
a confrontation or a group have
the opportunity to clarify among

and for themselves exactly why
and how they will act. The alter-
native is "consensus"-i.e., the
manipulation by the enlightened
few of the benighted many.. In
September, many of us felt the is-
sues clear enough in the welfare
fight to engage in confrontation.
As a result, many of us are going
to jail presently. So the objection
is not to action, but to action
without a base that is subtly
manipulated from the top.
-Gary Rothberger
Oct. 29


...and flak on

The Queen speaks
To the Editor:
"AND NOW..introducing this
year's Homecoming Queen.
Miss Nancy Seabold!"
"There are five areas involved",
they told us, "scholarship, poise
and beauty, campus activities, per-
sonality, and talent." . "What was
your opinion of last year's home-
coming queen?" the-tall handsome
Negro asked. This was simply his
job as a judge: to test my reac-
tions. In this case the issue was
discrimination. In essence, he
really asked, what did you think
of the Negro queen.,
In the short time given, it
would have been easiest to an-
swer in the way I had naturally
seen her, as a girl and not as a
Negro. I realize Opal Bailey was
often up to criticism of those
who didn't care to look any deeper
than the color of her skin. These
instances were serious mistakes.
However, I'm not fully convinced
that the total criticism was al-
ways because of her color.
A queen is in a position to be
criticized even by members of her
own race. She will be analyzed in
every facet becaust a variety of
qualifications seems to be import-
ant to most people, and I'm glad it.
is. That's what makes becoming
Homecoming Queen an honor.
HAVING WON the title of cer-
tam ideas that supposedly re-
present a homecoming queen. I
now must also face the criticism.
The first attack came before I was
even able to confirm to myself ...
"I am really Homecoming Queen
1968." I knew the queen was not
refusing to crown Nancy Seabold,
but was instead refusing to crown
a white person. "Discrimination,"
she proclaimed. Was she not dis-
criminating against me?
Miss Bailey's speech was cour-
ageous. I admire what she said
against discrimination, and yet,
o nno an fnn+ +++ha thk

her plea and then
Perhaps one o
Negro judge asks m3
Negro queen, I will1
swer the question ful
of the girl as a pers
haps, one day, the
will crown the whitE
-Nancy L. Se
Oct. 29

positive ap- only a few Jews have been nom-
inated in the short history of the
day,' when a event. But the majoritydcoalition's
y opinion of a standards of beauty and propriety
be able to an- have militated against the selec-
ly by speaking tion of a Jew as Homecoming
on. And per- Queen. In years past this cunning
Negro queen coalition has reaped the rewards
e girl. of its sinister plot. Both Negroes
eabold and Anglos have reigned over a
g Queen, 1968 campus whose Jewish members
remain unrepresented and ne-


Come again?
To the Editor:
THE SELECTION of this year's
Michigan Homecoming Queen
has added in an already long list of
injustices perpetrated upon this
nation's most downtrodden minor-
For generations this minority
has fallen victim to all levels of
social, economic, and political pre-
judice. Slanderous and vicious
stereotypic references, permeating
the very fiber of our society, have
kept this courageous people nailed
in their place.
Physically cordoned off from
certain sectors of our cities, and
tacitly relegated to other segre-
gated areas, this group has found
itself brutally oppressed. Society
allows this group no roots.. They
migrate from place to place, only,
to establish further beachheads,.
I ripe for a fresh onslaught of sub-
Unlike other groups, no formal
decree has freed this people. So-
ciety pays lip service to equality,
but collectively stares in disbelief
and sekpticism when one of these
people rises to prominence.
Who among pus can deny the
centuries of discrimination heaped,
upon the Jewish people? The An-
glo-Negroid Coalition has cleverly
dominated them. In mock combat
with real weapons, they fight over
plastic ideals. But they invariably
fight on a cement, glass, and steel

IS IT NOT TIME to put a stop
to all this nonsense?
-=E. G. Disner
Oct. 25
On reviewing
To the Editor:
T SEEMS ABOUT time that
someone commented' on Jim
Peters' so called reviews, pertain-
ing, -in particular, to the Univer-
sity Orchestras,
Fortunately, most of the stu-
dents in Music School take these
reviews for what they are worth-
very little., But the most unibe-
lievable one I have read appeared
Oct. 24, and was a review of the
University Symphony Orchestra's
concert of the preceding night.
Not being familiar with Mr.
Peters' past musical experiences
the is not a Music School student),
and havig nothing to go on but his
"reviews," I question his quali-
fications. He made a very blatant
error, for example, in regard to
the third section of Berlioz' "Sym-
phonie Fantasique." The review
read "A long bass clarinet solo
alternates with ominous timpani
rolls, interrupted, by full orches-
tra."nWell, there was no bass
aclarinet solo; in fact, there was
not even a bass clarinet in the Or-
chestra. The solo 'to which he was
referring was played on the eng-
lish horn, and alternated with


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