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April 09, 1969 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1969-04-09

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iime £ridygan Dai1
Seventy-eight years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich. News Phone: 764-0552
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in ol| reprints.

just a song in the wind

The revolutionary politicos

t

b igJ heck

THURSDAY, APRIL 10, 1969

NIGHT EDITOR: JUDY SARASOHN

The language decision:'
The faculty fails again

THE SLOUGH of academic changes
adopted by the literary college Mon-

day represent frantic
forts to deal with the
ment.
Faculty efforts to
quirement seem more
cool the urgency of
rather than deal with

and fruitless ef-
language require-
"modify" the re-
like attempts to
academic reform
the problem head

on.
The problek remains simple enough:
is the study of a foreign language re-
quisite to a "liberal education?"
The faculty's response to the question
is unduly complex and disturbingly eva-
sive.
Making language study pass-fail
would undoubtedly relieve the pressure
students- now feel when obliged to attain
fourth semester proficiency of a. strange
tongue in order to receive a B.A. Un-
doubtedly the faculty consider this move'
magnanimous and academically sound;
it preserves the requirement, but it
waters it down..
Unfortunately, making language study
pass-fail does not make language s t u d y
relevant or prove its worth in a viable'
academic program. Nor does it improve
the quality of language instruction,
which is presently so low as to make'
many students and even some faculty
wish to abolish language study altogether.
Language taught on a pass-fail basis is
just as poor as the present, graded lang-
uage study.
THE SECOND modification of the re-
quirement passed by the faculty al-
lows students with four years of high
school language study to place out of
the requirement. Faculty must feel this
is quite indulgent since it will probably
cut the enrollment of upper level lang-
uage requirement courses considerably.
If enrollment in language courses drops,
the requirement probably can be improv-
ed.
But this admits that language study-
done at the University is on the same
level with that of high school programs.
Language study becomes a matter of how
many hours or years of study completed,
rather than a matter of how much is
learned.
This is exactly what students are pro-
testing.
THlE THIRD faculty modification will'
establish a track systems for language
instruction. It isi the only change which
would really be an academic reform of
the requirement, allowing students to
take either reading or speaking tracks
for completion of the requirement.
Bufiness Staff
GEORGE BRISTOL, Business Manager
STEVE ELMAN .,Administrative Advertising Manager
SUE LERNER ...... ....Senior Sales Manager
LUCY PAPP ......... ......Senior Sales Manager
NANCY ASSN Senior Circuiatt'rr manager,
BRUCE HAYDON..........Finance Manager
DARIA KROGULSKI.......Associate Finance Manager
BARBARA SCHULZ........ ...Personnel Manager

But it is an almost negligible step.
The requirement is maintained, even
though the options are greater. While
establishing track systems, acknowledges
that present language instructional
methods are in need of reform this does
not explain why language must remain
an academic requirement.
FOR MORE than a year now, faculty
have been archly defending the re-
quirement without really seeming to know
why. Apparently, faculty are striving to
salvage the prestige of the beseiged lang-
uage departments and many faculty
members have rallied to 'the cause.
For the faculty, the language debate
has become a matter of the literary col-
lege's institutional pride. Faculty argue-
eloquently that students have challenged
their Institution-given right' to decide
educational matters and that such stu-
dent presumption should be resisted at all
6'osts.
This is not to argue that many profes-
sors are insincere in the faith that lang-
uage study is essential to literary college
students. But many faculty seem to be
justifying their view from a limited vant-
age point.
Outside of personal experience, t h e
faculty have an astounding lack of in-
formation on what two years of. lang-
uages study in college means. This be-
comes extremely significant since the
little data which does exist, suggests that
language is irrelevant and is learned to
be forgotten.
It i8 all too apparent that faculty have
made their decision to preserve the
language requirement on the basis of
their personal experience as professional
academicians, rather than as educators
of men's minds. They are setting stand-
ards for students, most qf whom will live
and work in a different environment than
the faculty does. Worse, they are setting
educational standards ih an informa-
tional vacuum, revealing their lack of
vital educational concern.
HOWEVER, THIS does not mean the.
question has been settled. Although
the faculty have effectively sidestepped
the issue, they have hardly settled it by
creating a new degree or modifying the
present language requirement. And they
have not made overtures to settle it by
seeking outside information which might
prove or disprove their preconceived no-
tions. Sooner or later, the faculty must
make a commitment either for or against
the requirement.
Meanwhile, SGC President Marty Mc-
Laughlin argues the faculty must make a
stand now. He has recently discussed ac-
tion on the issue and certainly action is
warranted.
-HENRY GRIX
Editor
-'-RON LANDSMAN
Managing Editor

HARRIS WON THE ELECTION and
even I felt happy. I'm not quite sure
why. Having divorced myself from the
political scene with such marvelously up-
lifting thoughts as peace, brotherhood and
anarchy - a package deal no one can re-
sist - the election of anybody shouldn't
really be thrilling. But it was, and more
than likely it was due to the madman
Kazarinoff's extreme joy so well preserved
in the page one photograph by Sacks.
VICTORY IS A TIME for speculation.
Through the whispers and grunts of vic-
tory-party intimacy came the names of
those persons who' will be the up-and-
coming politicians in the years to come.
These aspiring politicians are the stan-
dard bearers for those who would like to
be revolutionary, but who choose to be too
pragmatic to commit themselves to any-
thing but the System.
People like this are sometimes encour-
aging. They produce occasional radical
programs from a system which is basically
conservative. The question, of course; is
whether the System can forestall revolu-
tion for the 15 years necessary to mature
our revolutionary politicos into full-fledge,
political specimens. The second question is
whether their radicalism can withstand the
niellowing of compromise.
THERE ARE AS YET many kinds of

unthought-of revolutions. Who can de-
scribe the revolution that will ensue when
the schism between the black man's ide-
ology and the one with which he finds
himself involved finally becomes obvious?
Or even the gentle turbulence of Kaza-
rinoff walking through city hall carrying
a broom?
Rennie Davis or Tom Hayden or Dave
Dellinger will not bring us revolution,
primarily because they are expected to.
Rebellion that can be anticipated can be
stopped.
Neither will revolution come by the
blacks. They, too, have demonstrated far
too much militancy to take society by sur-
prise. They must wait until someone else
begins the revolt.
THERE IS, RATHER, a mystical revolu-
tion in the offing. Something exceedingly
strange, perverse, ironic. Perhaps it will be
a revolution initiated by the conservatives
who in their ignorance and unrelenting
worry believe rebellion has already been
initiated by their foes. Or perhaps it will
come suddenly with a single political act
that causes immediate polarization of the
people. Or perhaps it will come so peace-
fully it is not recognized until it is ended.
Many of our more noble government of-
ficials now see it as their duty to try to
anticipate all kinds of revolution - to
develop a mechanism in society to restrain

any rebellion whatever: Law and Order.
For them the hippy is no more a threat to
civilization than the radical congressman.
David Walker author of the Walker
"Police Riot" Report recently told a
church gathering north of Chicago that he
must now be especially careful when
driving his car. He told the group he
wouldn't dare to drink anything before
driving and that he must always appear
" presentable then behind his steering
wheel. He fears reaction from Chicago's
police. He is afraid because once a chauf-
feur for the company he is employed was
stopped on Kennedy expressway in Chi-
cago and asked if he ever drove Mr. Walker.
"It was my first lie," the chauffeur later
told Walker.
What will happen, then, if Law and
Order is successful?
"The streets of our country are in
turmoil. The universities are filled with
students rebelling and rioting. Com-
munists are seeking to destroy our
country. Russia is threatening us with
her might. And the republic is in
danger. Yes, danger from within and
without. We need law and order! With-
out it, our nation cannot survive ...."
Taking quotes from the past indicates
too much faith in re-occurring history.
The past is so old it's not really worth
saving, anyway. But that quote by Hitler
in Hamburg in 1932 is too similar to what

is happening today. The revolution, then,
may be the world against us as we become
the new Germany.
This dissertation on the ominous future
is not meant to be a plea for sudden sanity.
Sanity is not something we choose. It
comes as the result of curing insanity.
This is merely an observation tinged with
the frustration that revolutionary politicos
have the same goals in mind as I do and
might be able to achieve them. They wish
to cure insanity with a bit of itself; I
seem to think it must be shocked into ra-
tionality.
Fur just as there are many unthought-of
revolutions, so there must be many un-
thought-of resolutions to revolt. But cer-
tainly what exists at present is not a solu-
tion, and if aspiring politicians adapt
themselves too readily to a system that has
so far failed to pacify those ruled under
it. there can be little hope they will coun-
ter the trend towards a dismantlement of
the institutions in:our society.
OUR REVOLUTIONARY politicos exude
a certain pioneer courage that bespeaks the
tackling of a system that has thus far
proved repressive. It is difficult to know
whether to wish them good luck and vote
for them at the poles-or to pity them and
spend time thinking up their eulogies.

4

9

0i

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Students should supportChryslerStrike
To the Editor:

THE WORKERS at the Chrysler
Steeling plant are out on a
wildcat strike. Close to 100 men,
including all the local leadership.
were fired because they refused
to work under unsafe conditions.
The UAW international has re-
fused to support them and ordered
the men back to work. They are
still out, partly owing to the wel-
comed support they have gotten
from students in picketing.
It is quite appropriate that stu-
dentsshouldsupport theworkers
in their struggle because their
situations are parallel in many
respects. Both institutions-the
factory and the university-are
run from the top down, to serve
the interests of those in power in
our society, with the people in
these institutions having little or
no say in decisions which intima-
tely affect their physical, .emotion-
al and mental, well-being.
To anyone engaged in these
struggles it immediately becomes
clear that they cannot be won in
isolation. The powerful in all these
institutions have interests in ^ n-
mon and work together to :verve
them.
-Nancy Holmstrom
Ann Arbor Independent
Socialist Club
April 8
Reply to Avrunin
To the Editor:
GEORGE AVRUNIN, in his Ap-
ril 3 article, argues that ROTC
should be attacked "only" on the
basis of an assault on the role of
the U.S. military in the world. I
have no reason to believe that he
would eschew the elimination of
ROTC on any other than his own
maximalist (and, in my view, cor-
rect) grounds: But readers might
draw the implication that the re-
moval of the military monster
f i o m the campus for academic
considerations would constitute a
step backwards, a n d that those
who use that approach - whether

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as a conviction or as a tactic -
4re enemies.
That would be a sad conclusion.
In point of fact, if the U.S. mili-
tary and the U.S. government, by
somy remarkable transformation,
were to start playing a progressive
role, would not ROTC still be non-
academic?
ANALOGOUSLY, the essentially
liberal demands of various organi-
zations of black students h a v e
been met in some measure in some
places. Administrators generally
cloak their partial acquiescence
with disingenuous statements to
the effect that they had planned

to institute the particular changes
in- any event.
Should black students reject
such settlements in the absence of
formal administrative confessions
of long-standing racist insensitivi-
ty? Where is the substance and
where is the form? To agitate on
principled grounds is one thing.
To accept small victories on only
those grounds would be patholog-
ical.
What should be the radical posi-
tion on the fascist attack u p o n
Judge George Crockett? (As an
aside, this is a correct use of "fas-
cist" in the American context. The
-cute attempts of some professors
of history and others to pin the

label "fascist" on New Left mili-
tancy are motivated either by in-
sipid hysteria or academic pros-
titution.) Crockett is being villi-
fied for upholding the law and
protecting the constitutional
rights of citizens.
BUT ISN'T the laWv a sham,
written by and for the propertied
and powerful? It is. Thus should
not Crockett be abandoned be-
cause he is a party to an unjust
judicial system, even though he
activated some of the few safe-
guards that do happen to exist
in a manner rare in contempor-
ary America? After all, Crockett
did not attack the fabric of U.S.

The multi-dimensional. analyses of black culture

By MARY RADTKE
W HITE SCHOLARS have lately shown
an intense, almost penitential inter-
est in black culture. They have endeav-
ored to isolate and examine it with the
same singleness of purpose that a fran-
tic biologist might apply to a suddenly
important microbe which science, has
ignored for two hundred years.
Commendable as such post factum
zeal may be, its perspective is too nar-
row. Most white scholars and black in-
tellectuals see black culture in only one
or, two dimensions and seem unable to
visualize it as a 'three-dimensional
structure.
The one-dimensional view studies
black culture strictly within the con-
text of b la c k society. Black history
courses that emphasize the African past
and black writers who tell of their re-
actions to the b 1 a c k experience are
looking "one-dimensionally."
This black-on-black perspective does
have its merits. It helps to make black
people aware that they have a unique
history and art and a non-white way
of life. It gives them a reason for saying
"Black is beautiful."
The narrnw fnu sof a nn-rimen-

whites - except that blacks are always
on the outside looking in.
his theory that black adaptations to the
Next to the black-on-black and the
white-on-black dimensions of black cul-
ture is the often ignored black-on-white
third dimension. This view studies the
fragments of black culture that have
either been assimilated into white cul-
ture or used to influence the direction
of its development.
Harold Cruse, author of The Crisis of
the Negro Intellectual, writes that the
black man is "the creator of all popular
American dance forms from the fox-
trot to the twist" and calls jazz "the
basis of the American classical music
tradition."
"Practically every Negro innovation
in music, dance, and theatre," he con-
tinues, "has been glorified by absorp-
tion into the American popular idiom
and thoroughly 'whitened.' The Negro
carriers of these popular idioms have
passed through the decades into cul-
tural oblivion."
BLACK CULTURE CANNOT be fully
appreciated until the parts of it that
have been absorbed in white culture are

The papers
black attitudes
ry, movies and

which were r e a d, the
discussed, and the poet-
music presented as part

of the conference dealt with 'black cul-
ture almost exclusively in terms of iso-
lated cultural products and black re-
actions to white culture,
The papers on literature focused on
James Baldwin, whose main themes in-
volve finding a self-identity that does
not debase himself or his race and fac-
ing a reality of hate and fear without
being destroyed by it.
Baldwin writes about himself, and his
responses to his particular experiences
are fundamentally human rather than
racial. While the importance of univer-
sality in literature cannot be underrat-
ed, with a subject such as "Black/White
Literature in America" one might ex-
pect discussion of the dynamics of their
interaction.
MILLIONS OF WHITE Americans
have read James Baldwin, Ralph Elli-
son, and Le Roi Jones, but apparently
neither white scholars nor black au-
thors believe that this input of black
literature has had any effect on white
culture.

sent the black p a s t as a catalyst of
white cultural reactions.
And if black intellectuals refuse to
investigate this third dimension of black
culture, white scholars are not likely to
do so either. Yet it is precisely black in-
sistence on a unique history t h a t is
causing slow but meaningful change in
white attitudes toward the black ex-
perience,
In contrast to this separatist position,
the samples of lblack art presented at
the American studies conference con-
centrated on bridging the racial gap
with universalities.
"AN EVENING OF BLACK/WHITE
Poetry" featured four black poets~ who
were, on the whole, speaking more in
terms of human experience than black
experience. Although this is an accep-
table artistic position, s o m e attempt
might have been made to discuss the
interplay of black and white poetry as
well.
The movie Nothing But a Man (1965),
while it presented t h e Baldwinesque
story of a black man's individual search
for identity in a racial world, also re-
frained from tackling the larger ques-
tion of cultnra interaction.

law and is this not the "only"
legitimate position? No, it is not,
and ther should be vigorous ac-
tion on -Crockett's behalf wlich
is tantamount to action on behalf
of Detroit's black community in
the foremost instance. (Again, I
do not impute this line of rea- )
soning to Avrunin.)
Victories are hard enough ,to
come by these days and the going
will get even rougher. A certain
level of repression can, indeed,
breed resistance. But another lev-
el of repression breeds concentra-
tion camps. Only if the left were
strong enough to accede to power
could it afford to disdain victories
short of maximal principles.' As
things stand, would one put odds
on our occupying state power or
on our occupying prison cells?
--Larry Hochman
April 6
CSJ .'test'
To the Editor:
S A FACULTY MEMBER of the
Ad Hoc Committee on the By-
laws, I would like to make it very
clear that I, at least, regard the
recent SDS incident as a clear test
of whether a Central Student Ju-
diciary can work.
It is irrelevant who brings the
charges (i. e. President Fleming
or the Engineering students). And
I am not really concerned with the
outcome. I shall be concerned with
the ability and willingness of the
students to handle their affairs.
Secondly, as a member of the
Commission on the Role of the
Student in Decision-Making, I
would 1ik e to support President
Fleming's position regarding the
structure of student government.
THE COMMISSION members
all agreed that SGC was not rep-
resentative (there is not one men-
tion in the report of SGC as the
legitimate student government),
and we specifically called for re-
gental delegation of authority to
a representative, responsible stu-
dent government, when it exists.
Set your own house in order, stu-

*1

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