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February 22, 1959 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1959-02-22
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A' i.'. ~* !'

actal Powder Keg

(Continued from Page 2)
and popular political fad. The late
Pope Pius XII mentioned this last
fall in a statement condemning
racial intolerance as a cause of
world tension.
Calling this doctrine "unchris-
tian" he pointedly referred to
South Africa as one of the sore
points in: the world today. The
Pontiff's final criticism was lev-
eled at rationale for apartheid -
"Negro inferiority" which he la-
beled unjustified.
DESPITE the rapidly mounting
animosity of factions in the
rest of the world, the South Af-
rican government maintains that
segregation will increase, if any-
thing, in the next few years. This
is one of the three possible courses
open to that country now: con-
tinual'suppression of the Bantu.
Realistically, a native revolt in
the country is extremely unlikely.
Laws which prevent the congre-
gation of natives and limit their
education also hamper the devel-
opment of leaders.
The plan to starve the Bantu in
tribal groups has gained a great
deal of momentum. Verwoei'd
hopes that eventually the native
will feel that he is "a country boy
who belongs on protective re-
MANY slum areas in the cities
are being used to congregate
the two and one-half million na-
tives in South Africa's population
centers. The chief persuasion
method is to bar the Bantu from
the nation's economic heart - the
gold and coal industries.
New laws also aim at strength-
ening the minister of labor's pow-
er to restrict areas of employment
to whites or non-whites..
Under his new prerogative the
minister can oust any group he
wishes from either industry or'
commerce. Most likely, he will put
the finger on the Bantu.

The government has further set
its sights on keeping the white
minority employed at all costs
while regulating the advance of
the non-whites into the skilled
labor categories.
MOST RECENT attempt of the
Union's segregation oriented
parliament to tighten the apar-
theid policy came in higher educa-
tion. More separate colleges for
Africans, Indians and Colored stu-
dents are planned. Two are already
under construction.
The same bill will eliminate all
non-whites from Witwatersrand
University in Johannesburg and
a similar school in Capetown.
Three colleges will be provided for
natives and one each for Indians
and Colored students. A further
division will place natives of eth-
nic origin in different educational
Thus Verwoerd, spurred on by
his party's overwhelming majority
in Parliament, has turned a deaf
ear toward the rumbles of Afri-
can Nationalism by increasing his
apartheid legislation, the question
is how long will the Blackmen
watch South Africal peacefully.
ACONSOLIDATED front of the
African nations would be in a
position to harm Verwoerd's eco-
nomic stabilization. He and his
supporters cannot exist alone-
they need the ecohomic help of
nations both on the continent and
in the rest of the world.
Further, the colonial powers of
France and Great Britain have
watched their empires diminish
with amazing speed. Their pres-
tige now is tied pup intimately with
an evolutionary development pro-
cess going on among the back-
ward nations of the world.
South Africa, a member of the
British commonwealth of nations,
is holding up this development.
Great Britain's delicate position
among the "backward nations" of

the world could be seriously harm-
ed by the tight segregation poli-
cies of the Verwoerd government.
DURING Verwoerd's tenure as
ministerof native affairs, he
spent more money than any other
minister had to drive the natives
back into reserves.
But he also spent a great deal of
money to raise the medical, liv-
ing and educational standards of
the Bantu-not enough, however,
to make a dent in their unhealthy
The rest of Black Africa has
watched Verwoerd. They note that
in spite of the fact that the Prime
Minister often quotes the Bible
in saying that the whites have a
right to assume leadership, his
methods of enforcement are far
from angelic.
Verwoerd has continued to press
for tighter restrictions. In an-
swer to the charges from Afrikan-
ers that he might be a "kaffir-
bodie" (nigger lover) he has out-'
lined plans for a cutback in gov-
ernment aid to the Bantu.
MALAN, the prime minister who
gained early notoriety added
legality to deep-seated principles
of segregation.
His successor in 1954, Strijdom
combined righteousness with ruth-

lessness in launching the first re-
settlement program.
Britain has also watched this
resettlement plan - eyeing with
fear the new stricter laws which
will ultimately push the Bantu in-
to a different social, economic and
cultural life. The English foreign
office, however, notes that rebel-
lion by the Bantu could easily re-
sult from the Afrikaners' desire to
isolate the native elements.
Two separate and distinct states
is a second possible solution to
the problem.rGeographical apart-
heid, Verwoerd hopes, will end the
ticklish race problem. But in that
case, mutual group benefits .will
be lost.
Creating artificial trade bar-
riers would serve only to injure
both white and native groups. De-
veloping an independent economy
is a "nice" through but the cost
of such a venture is highly prohibi-
'HOWEVER, South Africa does
have one practical path open.
to it.
Integration is a feasible way out
if carried on in a realistically slow
manner. It was believed many
whites realized this fact.
But Strijdom scored an impres-
sive election victory in the spring
of 1958 and optimistic observers

throughout the world began to
wonder. Moderates in this election
took a severe beting and Strijdom
interpreted his victory as a man-
date for further segregation.
Moderates might have become
the group to avert "the impending
tragedy" or the danger of "future
bloodshed." Now they have been
silenced for a period of five years.
BUT THE pressure from the out-
side-the murmurs from the
amorphous force of African. Na-
tionalism-threatens to force an
abrupt change of policy in the
Verwoerd government.
At the Natal Indian Congress in
1956 observers witnessed the signs
of group defiance as the Africans
"We want freedom;
Listen Malan;
We want freedom:
Listen Verwoerd;
Open Malan, we are
What has the black person
Let Africa return !"
The potential for violence is
there. And the apartheid policy of
South Africa provides the likely in-
centive for an explosion which
could destroy the Union of South

Education in Africa
=-Rough Road Ahead

A FRICA is still a dark continent +
intellectually. In spite of
strides that have been made by
countries that are in varying de-
grees colonial powers, in spite of
much education provided by mis-
sionaries, in spite-increasingly-
of efforts by the nations and peo-
ples of Africa herself, Africa has
a long way to go on her educa-
tional path.
Education faces two big - al-
most overwhelming - problems in
Africa. There is a physical. and
economic problem: how to educate
so many Africans-many for the
first time.
Figures are available, for ex-
ample, for the British colonies in
East and Central Africa in the
early 1950's.
In Nyasaland, 10.4 per cent of
the children finished the first four
years of studies. Only 1.4 per cent
finished the eighth class and only
Lane Vanderslice is a mem.
ber of The Michigan Daily
editorial staff.

0.02 per cent finished the 12th
The best of the East and Central
African territories in this regard
was Northern Rhodesia, where 38.9
per cent finished the first four
years, 2.89 per cent the second and
0.05 per cent the third.
Equally big is the problem of
adapting modern education to the
peoples of Africa, and, conversely,
adapting the people of Africa to
modern education.
". .The attempt to equate tribal
training in Africa with" a modern
school system has lead to con-
siderable confusion among Euro-
peans, and to resentment among
African peoples on two counts:
one the ignoring of the training
given by them to their children
and the other the reiteration by
educational writers that the tribal
training should have a place in
the school system without taking
any steps to achieve it or to inte-
grate it."
This quotation is from a paper
by Margaret H. Read, social an-
thropologist at the University of

London and author of "Africans
and Their Schools."
N AFRICA today there are two
important types of educational
There is a widespread network of
mission schools at all levels. from
the "back" village school up to the
full secondary school and teacher
training college.
Presently the most important
educational factor, however-and
growing in importance-is the edu-
cational system provided by the
countries' of Africa.
Mission schools have come under
closer government control in the
various sectors of Africa. When
mission schools were originally
founded, they were supported by
contributions from their home
churches, by payments-often in
kind-from the African peoples
and by the almost universal pay-
ment of fees by the pupils in the
schools. Payments of grants in aid
were made by the governments of
the territories as they took over
responsibility for administrative
As the size of some of these
grants in aid have been dependent
on the standards reached by .the
missionary schools, based on the
reports of inspectors appointed
and paid by the government, the
governments have been able to
exert control over the standards of

Co on alism in the Belgian Congo

Learning. To

(Continued from Preceding Page)
Belgian businessmen are uncer-
tain of the future. Entrepreneurs
are reluctant to risk capital un-
less it can be recovered in a very
few years.
The political parties and labor
organizations from Belgium are
entering the Congo and the rights
and wrongs of such a trend are
debated. In short, one will still
o b s e r v e much disagreement
amongst Belgians themselves,
when they discuss these issues.
golese, one finds certain gen-
eral complaints.
There had long been a protest
that the Belgian "paternalistic"
system denied the African the
means of having lawyers, doctors,
and engineers of his own.
The Belgians had felt that
greater political stability could be
achieved if the masses were
brought forward a certain dis-
tance before an intellectual elite


State Street on Campus

be termed an officer rather than
a clerical level.
Thus the system should permit
the Congolese to begin working
their way up into positions of re-
sponsibility in the administration
of the Belgian Congo. But to have
experienced and educated Congo-
lese leadership is obviously going
to take much more time.
PARTICIPATION in political life
through voting had been de-
nied European and African alike
until November, 1956.
At that time I was able to ob-
serve the first voting by Africans
in Ruanda Urundi, where local
councils were elected.
There was universal male
suffrage with a secret ballot. The
only restriction on voting that
would have appeared at all un-
usual was the requirement that
the voter be monogamous -- and
few of us would argue that this
was a reprehensible restriction. In
the fall of 1957 the first voting at
municipal level was permitted in
ATTEMPTS have been made to
work out an equitable legal
and social position for the Congo-
lese wherein he would have exact-
ly the same standing as the Euro-
pean. This goal has been ap-
proached with the establishment
of an immatricule class several
years ago,
In essence this means the regis-
tration of a Congolese on the I
same basis as a European,. after
exhaustive investigation. There
are perhaps one hundred fifty
heads of families who have ob-
tained this status. Some eight
hundred others are holders-of the,
Civic Merit Card which permits
them to have certain privileges
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was created. Here experience in
other colonial areas would tend to
justify this viewpoint.
But now the Lovanium has es-
tablished courses which will make
it possible for African doctors,
lawyers, and technicians to grad-
uate in a few years. At Luluabourg
there is a cadet school preparing
{ young Congolese for service 'as
officers in the Force Publique.
Belgian policy has long been to
turn over to the African any job
which he showed himself qualified
to handle and to avoid having
Europeans compete in any such
field. Soon the Lovanium's Afri-
can university graduates will be
able to enter the government ad-
ministrative service at what may

but does not convey the legal
rights and obligations of the im-
matricule status._
Those Congolese who "approach
a European way of life" are
termed 6volues and may. number
anywhere from 30,000 to 100,000.
(There is no precise-definition of
the term evolue.)
Many of the most successful
Congolese, however, remain in re-
tail trade or operate restaurants
and beer establishments. These at-
tempts to offer the Congolese so-
cial and legal status on a par with
the European have had indifferent
Questions are raised as to the
advantages and disadvantages for
the individual African concerned.
Does immatricule status bring
higher pay? Greater social pres-
tige? Any benefits of a material
nature? Does it create new classes
in what may have been classless
society? In any event it represents
a serious effort and experiment.
W HAT has been said here should
make it clear that the Belgian
authorities may quite justifiably
resent the gratuitous advice of
"three-week visitors" to Africa on
how to administer a colony.
Unfortunately there are only
too many of these "experts" and
frequently their viewpoints are the
official expression of newly in-
dependent members of the UN.
Such opinions may often be voiced
for political reasons - as popu-
larity-seeking cliches and slogans
for consumption in other parts of
the world.
They tend however, to agitate
African emotions and to cause bit-
ter resentment among Europeans
who have spent a lifetime studying
these problems, It may be possible,
for example, to establish a time-
table for independence in some
parts of the world but it is risky to
apply such a formula to Belgian
It will only generate future
frustrations to tell the Congolese
(Concluded on Page 11)
330 Moynerd No 2-3600

(Continued from Preceding Page)
are in almost in reverse, the nor-
therly area needing wealth to
match its political advance and
the south, political and social ad-
vance to match its wealth, the poli-
cies in the two areas must, to some
degree, interact.
The more the purely African
states can advance in education,
capacity and responsibility, the
more likely are the dominant white,
minorities in the south-settlers in
the Rhodesias, officials and mana-
gers in the Congo--to be inclined
to encourage African advancement
in time.
Equally, the status and recogni-
tion accorded African leaders in
the northerly belt will affect the
outlook of African leaders in
mixed communities such as KenyaE
or Southern Rhodesia.
If, during the next crucial years,
the Western Powers were making
a real effort to increase the levelsI
of African education, the number
of Africans would steadily grow
whom the European settler could
have no-excuse not to treat as a
In fact, this evolved educational
development is almost certainly
what the multi-racial societies
need more than anything elseand
which, in some measure, they can
hardly afford.
It would therefore be worth-
while looking at the assistance
the Western governments could
suitably give to education both in
the Afrcan states and in the mixed
communities as a first priority for
a creative Western approach.
This genuine partnership can-
not occur where the gulf created
by culture and education is too
great to overcome and it must be
a first priority of Western assist-

THERE IS another sense in
which Western actions and
policies in the purely African
states can affect the destiny of the
plural societies.
Good confident relations be-
tween the newly independent
states such as Ghana and the
West 'can exercise a moderating
influence upon the enthusiasm
and sometimes the inexperience of
new leaders. These leaders in their
turn influence the rising African
leaders further south.
The white minorities in the
south-and although they are
they are minorities-will watch
the newly independent states and
the white man's readiness to move
towards majority rule-which is
African rule-will depend. vitally
Iupon the moderation and good
sense and respect for genuine civ-
il liberties shown in the African
This is an added argument in-
cidentlly for sustained economic
and technical assistance.
If we can, both in Black Afri-
ca and in the multi-racial com-
munities, keep open the possibili-
ties of expansion and of growth,
we help to create a climate in
which there is elbow room and in
which political and social changes
can happen not too catastrophical-
After all, it is not in the middle
of a depression that nations be-
have at their best. We may think
of what happened to Germany af-
ter the great Depression of 1929.
Nations can have collective ner-
vous breakdowns, brought on in
some measure by the collapse of
hope. In Africa, too, a good pace
of economic advance, hope for the
future, and the material evidence
of growth in all fields, are some of
the essential elements in any last-
ing atmosphere of political good-

Changes Need Control

EDUCATIONAL autonomy for
the native governments has
varied from independent states
like Liberia and Ghana to states
like French West Africa, which
has close ties to the school system
of metropolitan France.
In British territories, an ad-
vistory committee on education in
the colonies assists in recruiting


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