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March 25, 1959 - Image 8

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1959-03-25

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IT THE MICHIGAN DAILY WEDNEAY

DAY, MAR(

sN SPEAKS:
White Self-Superiority'
coot of African Policies

SGC MEMORANDUM:
Clarifies Council Stand
On Fishman Rejection

By ROBERT JUNKER
'Whiteness and Western civili-
ion are equated in South Afri-
Denis V. Cowen, dean of the
ilversity of Capetown law
iool, said yesterday.
Cowen declared that at the
art of the South African race
aration policy, apartheid, lies
e fallacious belief that the sep-
Ate identity of the white man
st be preserved, and he must
its sole trustee and guardian.
'he whites, who are the domin-
t force under the present poli-
al structure, believe that civi-
ation cannot be shared on
ial terms with all, regardless'
race, creed or color; he added.
Predicts Tragedy
'If this view persists, there is
ly one possible fate for South
rica, complete tragedy," Cowen
:lared.
Cowen, who delivered a lecture
nday on "The Impact of Ra-
1 Policy on Law in the Union
South Africa," has been chair-
mi of the University of Cape-
un's Academic Freedom Com-
ttee which has opposed apar-
eid in the universities.
le was closely concerned' with
legal opposition to the Union
vernment's legislation to re-
ve colored people from the
ctoral roll, and he recently ne-
tiated a non-discriminatory
istitution for Basutoland, a
all British territory in the
art of South Africa.
'Law and legal institutions
re being pressed into service to
phasize racial differences and
p the races apart," he said. "In
process, the framework of the
uth African constitution has
n shattered and the confidence
black men in the white man's
>d faith largely destroyed."
Trusted Legislature
Ee explained that the founders
the South African Union did
t believe it necessary to place
idamental liberties and free-
ns beyond the reach of a Par-
mnentary majority. They be-
ved it was sufficient to entrust
ese fundamentals to the self-
traint of the legislature.
liven an Independent judi-
ry, this system worked as long
the common law favored free-
in and the legislature left its
nds off the common law,
wen claimed.
The Union Parliament, in its

attempt to impose apartheid on
the country, has now so modified
the basic provisions of the com-
mon law that freedoms believed
essential to white have almost en-
tirely been denied to blacks, he
said.
Inroads Seen
"Grave inroads have been made
on the right to work, freedom of
religion and free speech," he as-
serted. A whole way of life in{
South Africa is being subverted in
pursuit of an impracticable ideal,
apartheid. In the process, whites
are suffering as well as blacks, he,
maintained, for basically the free-
doms are indivisible.
Although there are differences
between the American race prob-
lem and the South African, there
are more important points of
similarity; the two countries are
tackling the problem in different
ways.
"The United States is commit-
ted to a noble ideal that all who
live here are entitled to an equal
opportunity to share in the full-
ness of life without regard to
race, color or creed. There will
undoubtedly be much travail yet
before the gap between the actual
and the ideal is bridged."
No one can deny the fact that
the United States has made prog-
ress, he said. "If one could point
to Little Rock one could also
point, for example, to integration
in the armed forces."
Example Being Watched
This is the path of integration,
or as Cowen preferred to call it,
non-racial democracy, and how-
ever difficult it is to achieve, he
believes it is the right one.
The American example is
anxiously being watched by 200
million Africans. It is also being
watched by Russia "which is of-
fering its wares in Africa. The
way your experiment works out
is not by any means an exclusive-
ly domestic concern," he declared.
Cowen said many agencies -
religious, educational, and law
enforcing-must be used to bringf
about the deep-seated conviction
that the color of a man's skin
should not be a bar to "the full-
ness of life."
"There is still time in the
United States to achieve this
end," he said. "Time has almost
run out, in South Africa."

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The following
statement was written by retiring
sGC President Maynard Goldman to
explain the Council's position in the
Fishman case.)
The Student Government
Council voted on March 20, 1959,
16-0 (the two members not vot-
ing were Mr. Scott Chrysler and
Mr. Maynard Goldman, the
chairman, who generally does not
vote unless it is to make or break
a tie) not to seat Mike Fishman
who had been elected to the
Council in the fourth position in.
the balloting on March 18, 1959.
The facts as presented to the
Council are as follows: Mr. Fish-
man, and all the other candi-
dates; received a copy of the elec-
tion rules when they took out the
petitions for office. Candidates
were supposed to attend three
candidate training meetings, dur-
ing which time an official repre-
sentative of the Council carefully
explained the rules to those can-
didates present. Mr. Fishman was
present at those meetings, and,
presumably, quite clearly under-
stood the rules, including the
limit on expenses, $25.00.
Mr. Fishman purchased the
items for his campaign (calendars
and posters) on Feb. 26 and 27.
The three candidate training
meetings were on Feb. 25, 26 and
27. Mr. Fishman has claimed that
his expenses were underestimated
by the firm from which he pur-
chased his materials, yet he paid
his bill, $29.87 on March 3 and 4,
a full two weeks before the elec-
tion.
Yet, during that time, knowing
that he was over the set limit of
$25.00, he apparently made no
attempt to contact the appropri-
ate !Council personnel.
On the night of the count, Mr.
Fishman was informed that he
had to turn in an expense ac-
count,, as he had previously been.

informed, it was due that day. On
that night, the "heat" of the elec-
tion returns, he questioned an
SGC member who was himself in-
volved in the counting of ballots.
The exact nature of the con-
versation is unknown, except that
Mr. Fishman wrote down for his
expenditures the total of $25.00-
a figure he knew was shy some
$4.87 of the actual total expendi-
ture. When these figures were
checked they were found to be
false.
The Council's concern with the
expense problem is not unique to
Mr. Fishman. Question has arisen
before as to expenses of parti-
cular candidates, one case involv-
ing the sum of approximately 30
cents.
The question, however, is not
the amount of money involved,
but the fact that Mr. Fishman
knowingly falsified his expense
account - whether or not he did
it on one person's advice is en-
tirely irrelevant. He did this de-
spite the fact that he had two
weeks (date of payment for ma-
terials to date of election) in
which to seek help and clarifica-
tion from Council authorities.
This was the falsification of a
document by a candidate for pub-
lic office, an office with a public
trust that had been violated.
The Council has the right, as
does any legislative body, to seat
candidates for membership, and
even to try its own members. Mr.
Fishman was duly elected, but the
Council found his falsification of
a document to be a violation of
a trust that he had been given,
and that, therefore, he should
not be seated.
This statement is made in
hopes that it will clarify the
Council's action of March 20, 1959.
and March 21, 1959 re: the seat-
ing of Mr. Fishman.

Buses Drop
School Runs
John W. Rae, co-ordinator of
Ann Arbor Transit, Inc., yester-
day anonunced that the city bus
system will discontinue all school
service as of April 6.
The snecial runs for school
children are to be dropped as -a
cost-cutting measure, said Rae.
Last month the firm filed no-
tice of its intention to drop the
bus operation. It would continue
if some solution was found for its
money problems.

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