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July 29, 1964 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1964-07-29

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ff &Mmmmw;'- Seventy-Third Year
Truth Will Prevail"
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

Need and Reality in Uniting Classes

Predicting a Rochester':
Self -Fulfilling Prophecy?

IF ANN ARBOR turns into another
Rochester, Harlem or Brooklyn, it will
be at least partly the fault of the Negro
leaders in the community.
Grave racial problems exist in this city.
The Negro community lacks confidence
in the police and the city government. It
is discriminated against in schooling, jobs
and housing.
Its leaders have a responsibility to ex-
press its demands to City Council. They
have a responsibility to criticize council
when it acts too slowly or does not act at
They also have a responsibility, how-
ever, to refrain from statements that
can do little but inflame their followers.
THE STATEMENTS Monday night by
Profs. Albert Wheeler and Arnold
Kaufman, both members of the executive
board of the local chapter of the Na-
tional Association for the Advancement
of Colored People, are liable to'speed the
very racial rioting which the two men
publicly deplore.
"Unless council acts, responsibly and
immediately on the police situation, the
tremendous housing shortage for minor-
ity groups and discrimination in employ-
ment, the NAACP proposes to establish
protests and to call upon state and na-
tional agencies' to assist it in securing
equality in these areas," Wheeler said.
"Council has been so intransigent re-
garding every pkoposal brought to it in
the hope of bolstering public confidence
in the city that a Rochester could very
well happen here," Kaufman said.
the same night that Councilwoman
Eunice L. Burns talked of "disturbing
phone calls" indicating "potentially ex-
plosive situations" among Ann Arbor Ne-
These pronouncements were made the
same night that thousands of Negroes
were looting in Rochester in an under-
standable but senseless venting of their
rage against the "System" that has op-
pressed them.
Wheeler and Kaufman are undoubtedly
sincere in what they think. They cer-
tainly have a right to think it. But they
are irresponsible to think it in such in-
flammatory terms for print.
FIRST OF ALL, the Republicans on
council-a six to five "intransigent"
majority--will almost certainly perceive
the statements as an attempt at intimi-
dation. That they will hardly react in a
way the Negroes would like is fairly pre-
dictable. That they will cry out glee-
fully in public about how "the Negro is
Published daily Tuesday through Saturday morning.
Summer subscription rates $2 by carrier, $2.50 by mail.
second class postage paid at Ann Arbor, M'cb.

resorting to threats of violence to force
compliance with his demands" is also
fairly predictable. That they would al-
most be happy to see rioting-for it would
seem to justify their feelings about Ne-
groes-is likely.
The more important effect, however,
is upon the Negro community. Ann Ar-
bor is not Harlem. Ann Arbor Negroes are
not on the verge of rioting as are the
Harlem Negroes. What community lead-
ers say in Ann Arbor is of vital signifi-
cance to what their followers do.
To "establish protests" at a time like
this is to come dangerously close to es-
tablishing riots. To say that another
Rochester could erupt in Ann Arbor is to
come dangerously close to legitimizing
and rationalizing a Rochester, to say that
a Rochester ought to erupt.
To predict riots may well be to gen-
erate the fulfillment of the prophecy by
planting passions where only hurt exist-
ed. To a potential mob there is little dis-
tinction between prediction and command
-at least when the prediction is couched
in the language Wheeler and Kaufman
5HOULD NEGROES not then be angry
in public? Should they protest only to
The question is far more complex than
first reactions would indicate. The an-
swer requires a close look at the context
in which anger and protest might be
On July 29, with the destructive re-
lease of passions ravaging New York, the
context is wrong. On any day when riots
already threaten-and riots can only cre-
ate alienation of the very people in power
who must believe in the Negro if he is to
advance--the context is wrong. The con-
text is wrong because it can only lead to
defeat and frustration.
THE NEGRO in Ann Arbor and every
other city in America is rightly Im-
patient. He has waited far too long for
what he deserves absolutely. Now, fin-
ally, he is beginning to make progress
toward his goal.
Is he to prove so impatient that he
must destroy himself in an orgy of hatred
as he approaches the threshold, and de-
stroy the threshold in the process?
Wheeler's and Kaufman's demands are
unquestionably right. For all their in-
dignation-and because of their indigna-
tion-they are a beautiful expression of
human dignity.
But what will be left of that dignity
if it is not tempered with reason, if it
carries them so far that only the de-
struction of a race riot faces them the
next morning?
It is only they who will be hurt.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the sec-
ond of a series of articles on the
Economic Research and Action
Project (ERAP) organized under
the auspices of the Students for a
Democratic Society, which seeks an
"interracial movement of the, poor."
THE CALL for an interracial
movement of the American
poor to initiate radical social
change leaves some complex ques-
tions unanswered.
Who are the poor? What white
groups can be allied with the bur-
geoning Negro civil rights move-
ment from which such a movement
hopes to get its imptus? Around
which issues can the poor be or-
The Economic Research and Ac-
tion Project taking shape this
summer is seeking both to answer
these questions and to put the
answers into practice.
* * *
ORGANIZED by the Students
for a Democratic Society, ERAP
is the guiding vision of nearly 150
students living and working on a
subsistence level in the most de-
pressed poor white and poor Ne-
gro areas of 10 American cities.
Their work this summer includes
both direct social action-estab-
lishing a basis of community lead-
ership and sentiment for a radical
social movement by the economic-
ally dispossessed-and research
into the social structure in each
area, from the poor all the way
up to the elite.
With action based on knowledge,
ERAP hopesto kindle a fire that
will bring the "serious rearrange-
ment of American economic prior-
ities (that is needed) if the prob-
lems of poverty are to be solved."
The various ERA? projects are
located insBoston, Baltimore,
Chester, Pa., Chicago, Cleveland,
Hazard, Ky., Louisville, Newark,
Philadelphia and Trenton, N. J.
They were selected for high un-
employment, prior existence of
community groups which could be
organized around economic mis-
fortunes, prior knowledge by SDS
of the general power structure and
current issues of the community
and a predominance of low income
* * *
YET BECAUSE the whole ERA?
concept is relatively unprecedent-
ed, the task of setting down even
speculative and temporary prin-
ciples to guide the summer proj-
ects was immense. A major at-
tempt to answer some of the press-
ing questions involved in organ-
izing the poor of varying colors,
regions, ethnic origins and ages
is a paper written by Thomas
Hayden and Carl Wittman for the
five ERAP training conferences
held in the spring.
Hayden is a former Daily edi-
tor and past SDS president. Witt-
man is a national SDS officer.
Their essay, "An Interracial Move-
ment of the Poor?" was read by
the more than 1000 students who
attended the preliminary sessions.
Their analysis is that "without
the support of poor whites, the
Negro civil rights movement is
doomed to failure. This is because
the economic problems of the Ne-
gro-employment, housing, schools
-are class problems, not racial
ones alone."
* * *
TWO CRUCIAL problems face
the attempt to create a class
movement. First, the white work-
ing classes are less militant now
than at any time in recent years.
Second, the Negro movement is
currently pressing many demands
which alienate whites in various
The optimal situation would
thus find the Negro movement
expressing demands that embrace
the needs of poor whites while
ERAP is seeking to organize those
whites. ERAP's fundamental op-
timism is in the possibilities of
creating such a situation.

HAYDEN and Wittman begin
backing up that optimism by clas-
sifying four types of demands
made by Negroes. They analyze
these types in terms of "the ex-
tent to which they might solve
problems if they were enacted and
the effect they have on existing
or potential alliances with white
1) Demands to eliminate dis-
crimination or de facto segrega-
tion, prominent among them the
issues of open housing, fair hiring
practices and the end of gerry-
mandered school and voting dis-
Behind these demands the au-
thors find primarily middle-class
Negro aspirations, with the lower
classes participating "more out of
identity with the movement than
out of a belief that a basic change
would occur if the demands were
met." Yet it is mainly because
there is "hardly any infringement
of basic interests" in these de-
mands that the possibility of
alienating whites is small, the
authors write.
2) Demands which assert Negro
dignity symbolically but neither
achieve change nor alienate whites
very much - demands such as
school integration where shifting
children to new or different

argue, if "'forced' integration is
coupled with the'improvement of
education conditions for both black
and white children," Thus they
see little danger of lasting an-
3) Demands that are more spe-
cifically racial and more alienat-
ing, such as those to replace white
workers with black ones in situa-
tions of chronic unemployment
or to force white children
to lower their educational chances
by being bussed to a Negro school.
These demands are often motivat-
ed by the theory that a violent
clash over scarce opportunities
positively "liberates Negro frus-
In such demands, however, the
authors see a misdirection of in-
terests common to both white and
Negro. "At a certain point, the
question whether unemployment
should be a 'fair' situation for
everyone could become less im-
portant than the question of how
everyone can fight together for
full employment."
They therefore predict growing
debate within the Negro movement
on whether specifically racial de-
mands should continue in place
of more general class demands.
4) Demands for political and
economic changes of substantial
benefit to the Negro and white
poor, such as improved housing,
lower rents, better schools, full
employment and extension of wel-
fare and services.
These demands,,despite the fact
that they are naturally inter-
racial, might be the most diffi-
cult ones around which to or-
ganize, Hayden and Wittman say.
Not only do they lack a racial con-
tent where existing movements
emphasize race heavily, but being
national in scope, they are also
more difficult to realize on the
community level.
Nevertheless, the authors write,
there is no reason that these is-
sues should not be raised locally.
S* *
BUT NO MATTER what kinds
of demands Negroes keep making,
no matter which Negro programs
the ERAP organizers seize upon,
the fundamental problem of lead-
ership will plague the movement.
Negroes, on the one hand, may
very well be reluctant to ally with
whites for fear of losing control
of their own protest organizations.
On the other hand is the task of
sparking enough white participa-
tion so that it makes sense for
Negroes to forge an alliance with
"Why should the Negroes, crush-
ed as they are with a very specific
form of exploitation, be calledon
to create a general social program
and then wait for the whites to
organize?" Hayden and Wittman
But if the chances for an in-
terracial movement of the poor de-
pend in some degree on the extent
to which Negro demands repre-
sent a threat to whites, those
chances are also a function of the
specific white groups to which an
appeal might be made. At this
point, then, the two SDSers take
a look at various classifications of
IN TERMS of ethnic groupings,
they find that:
-Puertyo Ricans can be brought
into, the novement only by a gen-
eral, deepening economic slump
which would overcome their dis-
taste for a racially-based move-
ment in which they might be mere
appendages to the Negro protest.
Yet conditions for Puerto Ricans
are "abominable," and there are
some precedents for cooperation
by them.
-Mexicans might be organized
on the West coast, where "the
crisis of Negro and Mexican pover-
ty can converge along with in-
creasing lay-offs and job insecur-
ity in the aerospace industries."
-Eastern and southern Euro-
pean immigrants are socially an
anxious lower class, yet middle

class in income. They will be very
difficult to organize unless most
racial overtones can be removed
from alliance efforts. These people
feel directly threatened by the
Negro, primarily in competing
with him for edLcation, their key
to social advancement.
They will probably play a re-
actionary role unless they are ex-
tremely hard hit by automation,
the authors feel.
IN TERMS of age groups, Hay-
den and Wittman have a some-
what qualified hope of. organizing
youth and rather little hope of
reaching the aged.
-Youth in America, they say,
"arrived in the labor force too late
to fit in." Their range of job
choices is characteristically quite
Despite the fact that the rate
of unemployment for all high
school dropouts and those who
did not go beyond high school is
more than double the national
figure, these young people _
"hard to find. Left alone, they
will rarely give spontaneous ve.-
balization to their real problems.
It seems likely that without a
pressing sense of obligation and
a group consciousness, they will

not respond immediately to a call
for direct action on economic is-
sues," Hayden and Wittman write.
On the other hand, there has
been notable success in organizing
high school students in Negro
communities around the .civil
rights issue, and this success of-
fers at least some promise.
-The elderly, on the other
hand, despite the fact that they
often face a worse economic fu-
ture than youth, "probably are
physically, if not psychologically,
less able to carry on social pro.
test." They may live in larwe
concentrations, be quite depressed
and have little hope of acquiring
new skills even if they are still
young enough to work, but they
can still be worked with, even if
they constitute more of ' "in-
terest group" than a revolutionary
class, the authors maintain
* * *
somewhat more promise for or-
ganization is that of occupation
and employment status. Here Hay-
den and Wittman look to "persons
whose economic role in the society
is marginal or insecure."
Breaking down the general cate-
gory of the unemployed, th': au-
thors find an existing organiza-
tional structure based on the na-
tion's high Negro anemplovment.
It was upon such a basis that the
Jobs or Income Now (JOIN) proj-
ect was organized in .31it-ago,
drawing also on a growing ap-
prehension among whites about
their employment star us.
The authors are cautious, how-
ever, about the prospects for du-
plicating the JOIN effort. "There
is good reason to question whether
objective conditions (the social-
psychology of the unemployed and
the pace of unemployment itself)
permit effective organization. Some
unemployed whites may be more
embarrassed than Negroes by
their unemployed status and see
their problems as personal or ob-
scure rather than social and clear.
"Many are not working because
the only jobs they can get are not
lucrative enough to compete with
welfare. Some are too disillusioned
by past disappointments. Others
are just monentarily unemployed,"
Hayden and Wittman write.
YET, the expanding rate of un-
employment, "which could become
a chronic problem for whites un-
less drastically new ameliorative
policies are enacted," and the

growing visibility of the unem-
ployment problem may greatly
heighten their motivation to join
a movement.
An even larger group is the em-
ployed but economically insecure.
Many of these people who are in
craft unions are liable to be racist
and conservative, since they are
concerned with defending a single
skill in a tightening market situ-
Those in industrial unions are
often tied too closely to the Es-
tablishment and fight merely to
maintain jobs for those already
employed. Thus they tend not to
be concerned with a broad move-
ment centered on the unemployed
and on their future. And even if
the rank and file of industrial
unions is militant or radical, their
leadership too often is not, Hayden
and Wittman conclude.
"Despite the reluctance of these
unions, however, it is imperative
that they be reached, for they con-
stitute the largest existing or-
ganization of those we are trying
to motivate," they say.
* * * ,
AND THEY STRESS that other
groups less directly involved in
the problems of the poor must also
be reached. These include primar-
ily church and other middle-class
groups, people already institution-
alized yet vital to a successful
Out of this whole analysis
emerges a plethora of problems
facing "interracial movement" ef-
forts :
-The few instances of whites
demonstrating a commitment to
a Negro cause and the fewer in-
stances of poor whites demon-
strating commitment to any cause.
This phenomenon is due partly
to the almost total lack of "com-
munity" among whites, a lack
which is distinguished very sharp-
ly from the communal sense exist-
ing among Negroes.
-The fact that whites, if they
did organize behind or with Ne-
groes, "would not represent an un-
ambiguous sign of hope to the
Negro movement. Negroes believe,,
with excellent historical justifica-.
tion that the whites would dom-
inate the movement and eventual-
ly receive the social rewards."
-The fact that "the issues are
not always conscious matters of
debate but arise in the form of
emotional tensions between people,
and organizations within the

-The overriding feeling on th
part of many unemployed white
that their status is a persona
shortcoming. Negroes, on the othe
hand, are much more likely t
perceive unemployment as stem
ming from the structure of th
economy and from class discrim
To counter these problems, Hay
den and Wittman offer both fac
tual arguments and "priorities
-which are more an expressio
of necessity than of reality:
-If there is not a movemeni
"poor Negroes and poor white
will continue to struggle agains
each other instead of against th
power structure that properly de
serves their malice."
-It is doubtful that the Ne
groes, now the most experience
force for change, "would put u
with less than a central role i
directing the movement. Quite th
contrary; would they not hay
leading roles i an interracia
movement iftheirown action fos
tered it?" Hayden and Wittma
-The economic problems of th
Negro are class problem. "The:
cannot be solved by the elnina
tion of discrimination. The crea
tion of decent housing, educatio
and employment require massiv
change. No such massive chang
could improve the poor white
without improving the life of th
poor Negro."
* * *
reading through this essay con
vinces one of the vast gulf be
tween the hopes of ERAP and th
conditions with which it is deal
It convinces one of the dedica.
tion-and perhaps the somewha
naive optimism-of the ERA
workers, for the essay at onc
points out seemingly insurmount-
able difficulties in organizing th
poor on an interracial basis and
holds out broad hopes for achiev-
ing that organization.
Indeed, the single strongest ar-
gument for success that the essa3
can offer is not that success °
possible but that SDS thinks it i,
And even with this dedicatior
to the cause, ERA is still largely
feeling its way along. For noliz
only is it new to a hostile field
of endeavor, but it has yet tc
spell out specifically the kind o
society it is working toward.
to shape its program fairly soon
For the barriers it faces in reat
are impressive end specific, and
they demand specific answers.
They include everything fron1
justifiable Negro jealousy of th
leadership they wield in the Only
existing social movement to the
powerful tensions of whites in gen-
eral over Negro encroachments
everything from the lack of co-
hesion among youth to the eom-'
mitment of many labor groups t
work for small victories within the
They include the difficultiee
of finding people who are dis-
turbed gabouttheir condition
and getting theme to come t
meetings, give their time, or com-
mit themselves to efforts that
may seem of dubious nature.
Often the problems center on
not becoming bogged down in
the small issues around which
sentiment is first built up, in get-
ting on eventually to the more
basic concerns.
It is amazing, in such a con-
text, that ERAP hopes to succeed,
It is hard to believe that much of
their hope is not wishful thinking,
But then there are no prece-
TOMORROW: The proof
comes only in seeing what is
actually being done in ERAP's
10 communities: a discussion of
particulars from the summer
project's files.


"Stop ! I Want

To Get Off Here"

3 4 : s fi r . " k
+F~i' ' R 3 " ^ "x7

L -
iR !'


Role of Research in Education


To the Editor:
torial "New Appointment
Spells Research De-Emphasis" is
tendentious, misleading and pack-
ed with misconceptions. It is al-
most beyond belief that a student
of this University should adhere
to the antiquated notion that re-
search and instruction are in fun-
damental conflict, and to imply
that these views might be shared
by the administration..
How is it that we have one of
the most impressive groups of
graduate students in the country?
What distinguishes this Univer-
sity from the bulk of the 1500 or
so other degree-granting institu-
tions? Not only "devoted teach-
ers": you find these everywhere,
just as you find teachers who
short change the students. Might
it not be that students are at-
tracted by the large numbers of

be that the closer liaison between
the vice-presidents for research
and for academic affairs which
Kirshbaum plausibly anticipates is
more likely to reflect the growing
recognition on the part of the
administration of the vital role
research has come to play in the
instructional process.
-Robert M. Haythornthwaite
Department of Engineering
Blue Book 'Context'
To the Editor:
WITH SUCH careful scholars as
R. Rosenbaum, who eagerly seek
truth and correct error, the writer
of necessarily brief letters to the
editor always faces a problem.,
Rosenbaum, who so generously
an la rl mr csn nraa f r

fense of the book's lack of docu-
mentation. Welch, at least, is will-
ing to recognize this lack and he
doesn't ask his reader to read the
book orally. It strikes me that the
Blue Book is, after all, a book,
and quotes from it are, after all,
Secondly, Mr. Rosenbaum im-
pugns the honestly of my quota-
tion from page 159 of the Blue
Book. He deplores the usual mis-
representation that such out of
'context reporting always implies,
and finds that, quite rightly, "it
is a statement pulled completely
out of context to add weight to
McEvoy's opinions." Unfortunate-
ly, this quote is apt. It summarizes
Welch's opinions of democracy,
and there is no better single
phrase to illustrate the attitude
of the John Birch Society toward
When a quotation is appropriate,

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