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February 21, 1969 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-02-21

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Seventy-eight years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan

U1ST A SlyNG IN TUE WIND
Cops hitting students isn't news
-by .Ji- fleck

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed n The Mchigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 1969

NIGHT EDITOR: MARTIN A. HIRSCHMAN

Laird and the AB
i "
* 1 P
"Excuse me-I didn't quite catch how this
puts me in a nice bargaining position."

SHOWING ADMIRABLE RESTRAINT,
Sheriff Douglas Harvey had not hit
anyone for almost six months. But yes-
terday he was back in form when he
brought a van of deputies and his twelve
costumed riot squad patrolmen to dis-
perse outside agitators at Eastern Michi-
gan University.
It was hard to see their faces through
the tear gas masks. It was also hard to
tell them apart: bullet-proof vests cov-
ered most of their bodies. They all were
holding riot sticks and the same German
shepherds who had guarded the City-
County Bldg. during last fall's welfare
demonstration stood immobile in front
of them..
Then of course there were Ypsilanti
police and state police and all together
it was one of Harvey's better shows.
Students were injured when struck by
police. One witness talking to the Chan-
nel 7 ABC Detroit television crew was told
by a black reporter. "Cops-hitting stu-
dents isn't news. Only students hitting
cops."
Apparently the Channel 7 crew didn't
think students hitting newsmen was
newsworthy either, for they left the build-
ing very quickly when the blacks started
talking about them.
THE STUDENTS at Eastern presented
demands to a conservative administra-
tion who has thus far refused them. It
is the classic b u t contemporary farce
where neither side gives in, and both
sides feel they are right.
But the students at Eastern raised sev-
eral good points. One is that the blacks
there compose only three and a half per
cent of the total student population. And

there are only seven black professors.
The blacks at Eastern requested in-
creases in both black student and fac-
ulty percentages last semester. But. black
enrollment decreased by a half per cent.
And for some unknown reason black
athletes at Eastern are reportedly thrown
off the teams when they get injured.
Whites aren't.
THE ADMINISTRATION is not help-
ing matters. President Harold Sponberg
feels it is in the best interests not to say
anything and lets his Information Direc-
tor, Curtis Stadtfeld, do all the talking.
Stadtfeld, apparently enjoying his re-
sponsibility, told a gathering of newsmen
in his office that it was the governor's
decision to bring in police.
The governor's office, of course, denied
the statement. Further, the student news-
paper at Ypsi, the Echo, has announced
to the press that Stadtfeld has a very
large imagination.
Thus we have coming f r o m Eastern
only the cartoon animation of what is
really going on.
THEN THERE IS THE JOY of com-
panionship between the whites and the
blacks.
"Tell them damn newsmen not to put
them white demands with them black
demands!" one black coed insisted. The
white demands, neatly typed by SDS,
simply support the black demands but
"You know how them white hussies mess
our things up."
"And when a reporter asks you your
name," a black leader instructed, "tell
him you're mankind."
True, but not very informative. And
somewhat confusing.

"You can't even trust your own broth-
er! Not until you know him well. That's
what Eldridge told us it was all about:
mistrust, you must mistrust everyone,"
another black speaker said.
"You gotta scare him, brothers! When
he asks your name tell him his own, when
he asks what you want, don't tell him
five states, tell him fifty!".
* * *
WHY EASTERN AND NOT the Uni-
versity? The relative calm of the bur-
geoning Ypsilanti campus h a s usually
been disturbed only -by students brawling
after a beer blast. Until Sponberg's rapid
and engineered plan for growth began to
take shape about four years ago, Eastern
was considered, a "suitcase college" pop-
ulated by students only during the week.
There w a s little student sentiment or
anything resembling a cohesive student
body.
However, as Eastern has grown, it has
acquired a resident faculty-student popu-
lation genuinely perturbed by Sponberg's
almost legendary and absolute control of
the University.
Last fall a group of faculty in the edu-
cation school began publishing a news-
letter, which in its first issue ripped into
the president's unchecked power. These
faculty have also attempted to set up a
union under the limits of Public Act 379.
NOW STUDENTS, drawn largely from
Ypsilanti a n d surrounding low-income
areas are apparently consolidating for an
attack on the administration. They feel
genuinely repressed by an administration
that has overlooked them and rebuffed
their requests.
The demonstrations there are news-
worthy. TV 2 thought it was the begin-

0

ning of revolution - again. The Detroit
News reporter left at 1 p.m. telling Stadt-
feld, "We travel to disasters. You don't
have one, here."
No one really knows, anymore, what
happens - or its importance - for the
dynamics of demonstrations are the news,
not the issues; and this kind of news has
already been written: "Cops hitting stu-
dents isn't news. Only students hitting
cops."

IT COMES AS no surprise that Melvin
Laird is not really serious about halt-
ing the controversial Sentinel ABM pro-
ject pending a full-scale review.
At his first press conference, Laird said
that stopping plans for the Sentinel sys-
tem would force any American negotia-
tors to enter a n y disarmament talks
with one arm tied behind their backs.
Even after President Nixon announced
that the project would be shelved until
a complete review was made, Laird made
it clear that only the immediate plans for
land procurement would be halted; re-
search and general planning for deploy-
ment of the missile system would contin-
ue.
Now, many in the Senate - including
Edward Kennedy - believe that the only
reconsideration that Laird is doing on the
Sentinel system is how to proselytze here-
tical Senators who oppose the Sentinel
project.
IT IS VERY DISTRESSING that Laird
refuses to heed the widespread dissat-
isfaction voiced over the Sentinel project.
The very least he could do is cooperate
with an intensive study ,before going any
farther with the $6 billion project.
Much of the criticism has come from
scientists who remain convinced that the
"thin" ABM project would not even work.

Some of these scientists believe that the
money could be better spent on pressing
social problems. A group from M.I.T. has
proposed a demonstration by scientists
opposed to the ABM construction.
Other objections to the n e w missile
system h a v e been raised by concerned
citizens in the metropolitan areas of Chi-
cago, Detroit, and Boston. These people
are genuinely alarmed about the possi-
bility of malfunctioning at missile instal-
lation sites located in suburbs near the
city.
And finally, about one half of the Sen-
ate is now questioning whether the pro-
ject should continue or not. If Laird is
oblivious to concern of scientists and the
public, surely he can be sensitive to-such
significant Senate opposition.
JF PRESIDENT NIXON was serious when
he said that the Sentinel project would
be reviewed, the tiie has come for him
to assert his control over Laird's fiefdom
in the Pentagon.
Melvin Laird should not be given a free
reign in making defense decisions. If he
is, there need be no worry about going tol
any disarmament talks "with one hand
tied behind our backs" because t h e r e
won't be any.
-STEVE ANZALONE,
Editorial Page Editor

...:JAMES WECHSLER-...
Army reg: No heroes smoke grass

'

Supporting the rent strike

IN THE PAST, it has been impossible to
have any,: sort of negotiations with
Ann Arbor landlords. Tine after time,
they have refused to respond to collec-
tive complaints, even though they are
charging rents rivaling those of M a n-
hattan and Hollywood.
with a backlog of complaints and an
inefficient organization, the city's Bur-
eau of Housing and Inspection has not
been able to either confirm code viola-
tions or insist on correction of those vio-
lations which they do discover. Landlords
are allowed to rent apartments in build-
ings the city knows to be defective.
And the University has likewise been
no help in enforcing the maintenance
of adequate student housing or in the
development of safe housing on its own.
Through the Office of Off-Campus
Housing, the University has acted as a
passive mediator in landlord-tenant dis-
putes. The office, although a good source
of advice, has not actively aided s t u-
dents in damage deposit cases, disputes
over advance payment of the first and
last month's rent, the development of an
eight month lease, or in pressing the is-
size of unreasonably high rents.
Furthermore, landlords need not re-
cognize the University as a mediation
agency.
ALTHOUGH THE University would like
to think of itself as a mediator, land-
Editorial Sta f

Searching for a high life in the trenches

lords have refused to use its mediation
services. And the University shows no
willingness to urge landlord compliance
with any housing standards.
Recently the Office of Student Affairs
proposed that all students under 21 live
in University registered housing. Both
the Student Advisory Committee on Hous-
ing and the student operating committee
of Barbara Newell, acting vice president
for Student Affairs, recommended that
this proposal be dropped since it only
restricted students and in no way re-
stricted the landlords.
The refusal to put any demands on
the landlords shows the University's hesi-
tation to support the students when they
most need it, against Ann Arbor's housing
cartel. The University could have aided
the students by requiring them to live
in registered housing and making regis-
tration meaningful.
THE UNIVERSITY and the city have
left the students defenseless.
For over three years, students have at-
tempted to organize a rent strike to hurt
the landlords in the only way they could.
By withholding rents, students now hope
to get landlords not only to negotiate, but
to make substantial changes in present
housing policies.
Rumors of landlord threats and ten-
ant misdemeanors now abound, but the
rent strike finally is getting underway,
under the organization of competent law
students who realize the legal conse-

A MAJOR MARIJUNA scandal may be developing in the U.S. armed
forces. It involves not the widely advertised use of the stuff iri Viet-
nam --- that is hardly news - but rather the prospect of large-scale
punitive measures against returning GIs who discovered marijuana dur-
ing service in that war and are now being subjected to inquisitthn and
threats of court-martial as they count the final days of their tours of
duty.
Perhaps belatedly shaken by disclosures that marijuana has been
the daily diet of many thousands - from ranking officers to lowly en-
listed men - in the Vietnam morass, the Pentagon has apparently
initiated an irrational retaliatory offensive. There is a spreading round-
up of men who failed to kick it when they came back to stateside in-
stallations.
In this area at this moment the hunt is haunting many men at Fort
Hamilton who were scheduled to return to civilian life in a matter of
weeks or months. There is no reason to believe that the crackdown is
restricted to this territory. It is a poor recognition for men who risked
their lives at the front in this desolate war.
SP/4 WILLIAM B. RICHARDSON is a slender, blond 21-year-old
native of Baltimore who might have appeared as a personification of
model American youth on the cover of an American Legion publication.
At this juncture he is living in painful suspense as an aftermath
of his encounter with agents of the Army's Criminal Investigation Di-
vision and of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. "
His name has been "flagged" at Fort Hamilton and he has received
intimations that' his scheduled honorable discharge in July may be
rudely disrupted by a special court-martial.
Shortly before his 18th birthday and after graduation from high
school, Richardson enlisted in the Army's Security Agency, a force
which requires a four-year term. He spent 15 months in Vietnam, in-
cluding a period under fire which enables him to wear a combat infan-
try badge. Like many others, he learned many things about war, and
he also learned about marijuana.
HE CAME BACK IN September, 1967, in a condition subsequently
described by an Army psychiatrist as "residual depression." Upon his
return and assignment to Fort Hamilton, Richardson and another
Vietnam veteran took an off-post apartment in Manhattan.
At about 7 a.m. on the morning of Dec. 18 there was a loud rapping
on their door. Sp/5 Joseph P. Attanasio, who had stayed overnight in
the apartment, opened it and found four men waiting. They initially
idientified themselves as representatives of the Highways Dept. and de-
- manded to know whether anyone in the apartment owned the car al-
legedly obstructing their work in the street below.
e When Attanasio said'it was Richardson's car, they burst into the
e apartment and shortly thereafter announced that the occupants were
d under arrest. The invaders were CID and Narcotics Bureau operatives.
'o I talked at length yesterday with Richardson and Attanasio - a
s 20-year-old Buffalo boy who spent 12 months in Vietnam and is slated
n.. to finish his Army commitment in what he describes as "112 days - I
it count them.
it
rs HIS WILLINGNESS TO VOLUNTEER his story seemed especially
valorous and meaningful because, after the ensuing ordeal of investi-
gation, he was assured that he was in the clear, being merely -an over-
n night visitor. (Since Richardson's roommate was unable to be present
's at the interview, he will remain nameless for the present.)
)t
e Attanasio vehemently corroborated Richardsons claim that what
- the raiders found in the apartment was a bag containing no more than
- 40 milligrams of marijuana. This can hardly be called a "cache."
In many long, dismal ensuing hours of interrogation too extensive
h to be described here, Richardson and his roommate finally made state-
s ments identifying -other marijuana users and describing how purchases
were made. They did so in the face of tempting reassurances that their
punishment might be mitigated by confessional.
But at no point was it admitted or even alleged that they were
anything resembling big dealers. They were two of countless thousands
n of Vietnam graduates caught in the marijuana trap.
OBVIOUSLY THE ARMY HAS A marijuana problem, its serious-
S ness dependent on which school of conflicting medical thought one ac-
cepts about the effects of the drug.
Is
8, That is not the issue here. The issue is whether the Army is trying
-e to get off the hook of its own inability to control the marijuana epi-

Letters~ to the Editor

Discrimination
To the Editor:
ONE NEEDS MUST apologize
for bothering to write a letter
on the subject of the Wheel Res-
taurant (Daily 2/2/69). The food
is so atrociously inedible; t h e
management so gratuitously in-
sulting to part of its customers--
at least in one known case; and
,the conversation recorded in the
article so fatuously banal, that
nothingsaboututhe establishment
intrinsically inspires one to wish
to write about it or to patronize
it. No wonder it is invariably em-
pty, much to my delight.
Yet the issue I wish to write
abouthas burned in me for some
time and has a much wider signi-
ficance as an episode in the trau-
matic experience of any black man
in the racist context of contem-
porary American society, that I
welcome the opportunity offered
by Miss Abramson to talk openly
about it.
ABOUT a month ago I walked
into the Wheel for a quick lunch
-one must indeed be pressed for
time to contemplate the ordeal
of the emetic fare offered by
them. As I entered, I thought I
recognized a friend and walked up
to her to exchange greetings and

I been told not to return, and that
he must have the wrong person.
I was and remain certain of this.
But did he really pick on the
wrong person? Is not part of the
natural pattern of racism the in-
ability- to make distinctions be-
tween people of a subordinate
group?
Historically - racial concep-
tions imposed by a hostile and
biased world, and into the mould
is every black person or member
of a non-dominant group fitter.
Frantz Fanon has brilliantly de-
lineated some of these conceptions
in "Peau Noire Masques Blancs"
(Paris, 1952), and the effects they
have had on the black; who is,
as a result, forced to recognize
himself in three persons ,held re-
sponsible at one and the s a m e
time for his body,for hissrace.
and for his ancestors. He is not
demanded of him to bear him-
self like a man; but like a black
man, like a Negro - and this en-
counter with the irrational fre-
quently drives him neurotic.
IN ANY CASE, I was insistent
on being served and he was equal-
ly adamant in refusing to serve
me., Finding it awkward to have to
evict me forcibly, he threatened to
summon the police, and went to
the~ telephone.

to rally people to demonstrate be
fore the Wheel against this out
rageous behaviour. What, abov
all, I found very distressing w e rt
those people in the queue behin
me, who dutifully continued t
place their orders even as I wa
refused service in front of them
They did not care to find ou
what was the matter nor though
it wise to withhold their order
until I was served.
CAN IT BE, as James Baldwi
firmly stated in this morning
New York Times (Section 2), tha
"the bulk of the country's w h i t(
population is beyond and c o n
ceivable hope of moral rehabilita
tion" so long as the social struc
ture which so dehumanizes bot
its victims and their oppressorsi
left inviolate?
-Azinna Nwafor
Feb. 2
Correctior
To the Editor:
I WOULD LIKE -to comment o
the article (and the relate
photograph) entitled UAC World'
Fair etc. of The Daily, Feb. 8
1969. First, let me compliment th

*!!

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