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August 07, 1964 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1964-08-07

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Seventy-Tbird Year
Truth Witt Prevail"' '
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

Response to Query on COFO

Beyond Frustration:
Justified Violence

various forms of defiance of organized
society, and responsible citizens condemn
these forms as destructive and useless.
They read of young Negro men rioting
in New York cities and rising crime
rates among adolescents and adults alike.
The stories are replete with violence,
with men striking at what to them sym-
bolizes all of society.
Unnecessary! Irresponsible! Intoler-
able! the citizen charges. Perhaps he asks
why these men cannot protest through
less radical channels-such as the vari-
ous political groups which apply pres-
sures from within the system. In any
case, he is unable to condone civil dis-
obedience and civil protest.
Even those who do sympathize with cv-
i disobedience are often unlikely to go
beyond non-violent forms, such as the
sit-ins. They find the rebellious, often
violent release of passions insupportable
because they do not see what it accom-
RADICAL perhaps will attempt to
justify his violence by saying that it
accomplishes social good. This might have
been the case in Harlem-where Mayor
Robert Wagner responded to rioting with
a nine-point program for dealing with
poverty. But much more often the re-.
sult of violence is retrenchment of the
system, if not retribution.
1M oreover, violence is almost never ac-
companied by specific demands. Rather,
It is random, simply a striking back at
the whole social structure.
Yet it is in this randomness, this re-
lease of passions, that the real justifica-
tion for violence lies. That justification
is the fact that a man can take only so
much before he .must either shrivel up
or explode.
This has been the theme of much of
the writing of Paul Goodman and Nor-
man Mailer: the assertion that condi-
tions may well build frustrations to the
point where a man must draw the line
and reclaim his dignity-even if only tem,
porarily. It is also the assertion that
there is nothing to be ashamed of in the
n atural human need for self-expression.
SO CERTAIN MEN, certain whole
classes of men, find one day that there
is a very clear-cut choice before them.
They can abandon their legitimate de-
sires, abandon all hope of realizing the
fulfillment they know ought to exist. They
Editorial Staff
KENNETH WINTER ....................Co-Editnr
EDWARD HERSTEIN..................Co -Editor
MARY LOU BUTCHER.......... Associate Editor
oHARLES TOWLE ................... Sports Editor
JEPPREY GOODMAN .................... Night Editor
ROBERT HIPPLER.................. Night Editor
LAURENCE KIRSHBAUM......... Night Editor
Business Staff
SYDNEY PAUKER...............Business Manager
PETER DODGE.........Assistant Business Manager
CY WELLMAN ...............Supplement Manager
mRUTH SCHEMNITZ .............. circulation Manager
The Associated Press is exclusively entitled to the
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Published daily Tuesday through Saturday morning.
Summer subscription rates $2 by carrier, $2.50 by mall.
Second class postage paid at Ann Arbor, M'cb.

iW~'~W~S 7~A& eRRY?J>

can let conditions around them strangle
their humanity.
If they cannot surrender, however, if
they cannot commit emotional suicide,
they must unleash their despair. Most
likely, their rebellion will not change the
conditions which made it necessary. But
the rebellion has value in itself, for it is
the only thing they could have done, and
it has been done.
The protestors are perhaps left with
guilt; certainly the return to normalcy
is more depressing than ever. But beneath
these feelings is a very subtle exhilara-
tion, a restored sense of dignity. The spirit-
is freer, and if it can still not find mod-
erate alternatives to violence at least it
need not tie itself in futile knots around
desires which cannot be satisfied.
The Harlem Negro, the criminal -
these men will ultimately bring social
wrath down upon themselves. They will
return to a hypocritical world which
claims human expression as a sacred
value, but whose only opportunity for
expression often is violence.,What can a
man do?
THOMAS JEFFERSON wrote that Amer-
ica would need a revolution every 20
years. This statement has been unfulfilled
in the large sense-the sense of the Rus-
sian, French or American revolutions-
and instead it has had to find fulfillment
in smaller ways, by individuals and small
It is these smaller revolutions that
have preserved our sanity and our dig-
nity, despite the fact that they have ap-
peared to destroy sanity and dignity.
They have made conditions tolerable for
those who could not tolerate, and they
have occasionally' brought functional
changes in their wake. And because they
have come from all quarters-the right
as well as the left-they have ensured
that neither the system nor any sin-
gle dissident group would rule the minds
of Americans.
It is difficult to justify all of these
minor revolutions, for every revolution
goes against someone's personal senti-
ments. Yet justification is essentially a
matter of hindsight, of finding a valid
rationale for a past event. It should not
be construed as advocacy, for while viol-
ence may often be justified as the only
course open to an individual, it is seldom
ultimately the pest. The point is that
whether or not it is the best course, it
may well be valid in the particular situa-
Furthermore, only the individual who
perceives that there is nothing left to
do in his situation can excusably choose
violence. The outsider must be content
to judge, on the basis of that situation,
violence which has occurred-but not to
advocate future violence.
JUSTIFICATION must therefore be af-
forded to the rioter, to the criminal-
to men who sensed they could stand con-
ditions no longer and could do nothing
but fight. The release of frustration does
not recognize responsibility or irrespon-
sibility. It recognizes only the crying need
for doing something-where the human
spirit cannot conceive, and does not have,
alternatives that would leave it whole.
It is not a question of whether society
can afford such a release. It is a question
of how society can remain human with-
out it.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following
letter responds to one written by
Martha MacNeal which appeared In
yesterday's Daily. Miss MacNeal cit-
ed a "rumor" she said she had
heard from civil rights workers that
the Council of Federated Organi-
zations wanted Its workers to be
killed In order to draw sympathet-
ic publicity to its Mississippi voter-
registration project. Miss MacNeal
challenged Miriam Dann, who has
been soliciting funds locally for
COFO, to "straighten this out."
To the Editor:
I FIND IT disgustingly hard to
answer Miss Martha MacNeal's
question for two reasons: it is
inane, and the answer is obvi-
Miss MacNeal states (or ques-
tions-it is hard to tell which)
that COFO wants its workers kill-
ed, and that this is its official
policy, and that this is why people
do not support it.
To clear up this fallacy imme-
diately, I will state as fact that
as soon as the three civil rights
workers disappeared in Mississip-
pi in the latter part of June, a
worker called me from Mississippi
and said that all further activi-
ties in the most dangerous areas
there would be drastically cur-
It should be obvious that the
type of individual who is willing
to fight for the dignity of his fel-
low man, who cares more about
freedom and equality than movies,
cars and clothes, the type ofnper-
son who stops to care and do
something about the sadism and
torture (physical or psychologi-
ca) which has become a way of
life for most white Americans-
it is obvious that this type of
person is extremely rare. These
persons are so rare that the
death of one of them means a
fantastic loss to the cause of
human freedom in this hypocrit-
ically "freedom-loving" and demo-
cratic nation.
* * *
IN MY APPEALS for aid-
money, books, clothes, a letter
to one's congressman, anything-I
have been met with so many ex-
cuses and rationalizations that I
have compiled a three-page, type-
written list of Negro and white,
persons' excuses for taking abso-
lutely no part in fighting against
the degradation of Negroes here
or in other parts of the world.
Miss MacNeal's is simply another
excuse for not acting: "I won't
help that suffering man because
there is an organization which
desires the death of those who
try to help others." This is ob-
viously ridiculous.
I am disgusted by the atti-
tudes, questions, and rationaliza-
tions of all the "evaders of re-
sponsibility" in this struggle or
any other struggle for freedom
and dignity of any oppressed peo-
ple. Yet, in America it has histor-
eal endorsement: any course in
American history will readily con-
vince one that we have failed to
cope with every important prob-
Lem facing this nation. We have
not yet solved the problem of slav-
ry, or the problem of the con-t
trol of a corrupt power structure
>ver a mass of people depriving
them of decent education, due
process of law, the dignity of
equality in law and in fact. We
have not yet solved the problem
of big-business control over the
minds and attitudes of the Amer-
ican people so that we are com-
mitted to the notions that "a
man can be anything with just a
little effort," and that money is
the key to privilege, dignity and
THE LIST could go on, but I
merely want to show that the
reasons people give for not acting
are often pure on the surface-
yet never so untainted below.
For instance, Miss MacNeal
states that people do not sup-
port COFO because it wants to
kill its workers (who does she
think would implement their proj-
ects in such a case?). The real

answer, however, is that most
people simply do not care. They
are used to sitting back and let-
ting others fight for (or against)
We are facing the most .serious
crisis in our history: the whole
mass labor force of millions of
men and women is being threat-'
ened with loss of their jobs
through automation. Our 17th cen-

tury educational system has fail-
ed to educate them. What will
happen to their lives? Does any-
one realize what this does to a
man's dignity, to his ability to face
the future with hope and with
practical planning? Can anyone
understand a man's frustration
when he finally realizes that he
is unprepared for a job and that
he is already in the vicious cir-
cle of ever-increasing indebted-
ness to the managerial class of
exploiters? Can you possibly con-
ceive of the attitudes of the few
who want to help those who suf-
fer from the wrong skin color or
OF COURSE, Miss MacNeal,
there will be martyrs in this srug-
gle. But no one except prejudic-
ed segregationists (and those who
do nothing to stop them) want
the death of men and women who
are fighting to implement the
ideals and principles which were
supposedly granted to all citizens
in 1776. You had better find a
better excuse for your silence.
-Miriam Dann, '64
To the Editor:
DAILY READERS might well be
puzzled by the review of Janet
O'Brien, who roundly panned the
Irish Hill Players, and the rave
of George White, who proposes
to dedicate seven articles to the
merits of this project. (More cov-
erage than The Daily gives all
season to the combined U Play-
ers and PTP.)
One notes with interest the
large ads being placed with The
Daily by the Irish Hill Players. It
is also a matter of record that
the wealthy patron who backs this
project has lost nearly $90,000 to
date. Is it really cricket to try
to assist this latter-day Maecenas
by lending the columns of The
Daily to such inordinate length
and giving Mr. White such an
unprecedented forum? What s-
pecial interest does the Irish Hills
project hold for The Daily and
Mr. White that it far over-shad-
ows the space given to the Uni-
versity's theatre activities?
A lot of us are asking and a
lot of us find the whole matter
rather odd. So odd that you may
well wish not to publish this let-
ter, but you certainly ought to re-
examine your policy in this case!
-Jay Smith, '66
As to the conflicting opinions, I
refer Mr. Smith, to the masthead
of any day's Daily, which points
out that all opinions on The Daily's
editorial page are individual. Indi-
viduals disagree.-
As to the relative play given the
Irish Hills vs. University events,
Mr. Smith has a point. However,
,when a provocative well-written ar-
ticle is made available, its subject
matter is not the major criterion
of publication. Would Mr. Smith
prei'er that The Daily tear up
SWhite'sseries in the name of an
arbitrary consisteny?
As to the insinuation that the
t Irish Hills' ad money also bought
editorial space, Mr." Smith might
well note that the PTP and the
University Players purchase much
larger ads. The Daily's editorial and
news columns are not for sale.
-. W.
Social Desert?
To the Editor:
school in a number of places
both large and small from coast
to coast. Some of these had a
fair amount of social life, and
others had little or none of this.
One, namely, the University of
Wisconsin, had a great deal of it
including a dorm formal and a
summer prom. The social centers
in some of these places were quite
large and rather elaborately fur-
nished; others had very small and
simple ones; a few had no regular
social centers at all.
There is one unique thing about

the University of Michigan, how-
ever. It is the one and only insti-
tution I know of with two unions
or social centers. The amusing
thing to me is that there is hard-
ly enough campus social life for
one center-to say nothing of two!
The Michigan Union closes its
eating places at 8 on weekend
nights but stays open until 10
other nights. It seems too bad

that these facilities are denied
to students just on the very nights
they have the most time to en-
joy them and might if they could.
The Michigan League has a self-
service snack bar on the lower
floor, and it is open every night
until midnight. However, this is
unlike eating at a drug store or
cafe. The snack bar is complicat-
ed to operate and is often empty
of certain things or out of or-
der or both. The food is more
expensive and of poorer quality
than that of most drug stores and
** *
IT IS TRUE that many students
leave town on weekends, but if
the University had more social
affairs going on then, more peo-
pie might stay around on weekends
to enjoy them. I understand that
the various fraternities and sorori-
ties plan the bulk of the social
activities during the school year,
but they do not function much in
the summer time. Thus other
groups must do the social plan-
ning then if it is to be done. "All
work and no play makes Jack a
dull boy," is just as true in sum-
mer as in winter if not'more so!
-Elbert R. Ross, Spec.

R r,7

/ 9
f " ,.Ifr-. - -( 1

Name-Calling--Left and Righ

ways considered it presump-
tuous for a member of the profes-
sion to speak in th efirst person,
since it amounts to setting one-
self up as a sort of self-appointed
oracle on matters at hand and
removes the aura of critical com-
ment. The writer, not the material,
becomes the focus.
As a result I have always at-
tempted to avoid voicing any edi-
torial opinion in the first person,
hoping to stick to impersonal com-
However, there comes a time
when it is difficult to remain silent'
and when it is hard to speak in
abstractions against a barrage of
unfounded criticism.
.* * *

RECENTLY, I have been the
target of a volley of replies to
several of my editorials. I shall not
belabor the issue by naming
names, for in most cases the(
names are- of no importance. I
shall only make this point: my
liberal opponents (and it is they
who have labeled me a conserva-
tive; I don't claim the title) seem
to have one trait in common: they
resort to the use of name calling,
unsupported personal attacks and
obfuscation in order to refute
what I have said. - Just once I
would welcome a well-conceived,
Impersonal rejection of what I
have said,
I am not the only victim. Typi-
cal of the malady, I think was
the recent exchange in our letters-
to - the - editor column between'
Prof. Ross J. Wilhelm of the busi-
ness school and John Talayco of
the Romance Languages depart-
PROF. WILHELM wrote to The
Daily as follows:
Now that editorial writers of
The Daily such as Jeffrey Good-
man, letter writers such as
James McEvoy and other local,
groups have proven by such
logical forms of reasoning from,
stereotypes, guilt by association
and the principle of post hoc
ergo propter hoc that the cam-
paign urging the 'support of the
local police is some kind of
dirty, if not clearly understood
plot, I am looking forward to
their next episode.
I am on tenterhooks to learn
whether the John Birch Society
ever has recommended we seek
to prevent forest fires. If the
Birch .Society has come out
against forest fires, I am sure
'Goodman, et al will be able to
prove Smokey the Bear is a dirty
fascist symbol. Smokey, with
his military hat, his gruff
authoritative manner, his asso-
ciation with the power elite and
his emphasis of property values
over human values obviously is
defending the vested interests
and probably Barry Goldwater.
By the reasoning processes used
on the police stickers this should
be positive proff of Smokey's
disaffection and that we should
not attempt to prevent forest
Prof. Wilhelm is referring to a
recent series of articles and edi-
torials in The Daily, in which it
was disclosed that The John Birch
Society is the initial distribution
agency for window stickers bear-
ing the inscription: "Support Your
Local Police."
* * *.
TALAYCO, in the next issue of
the paper, apparently disagreed
with Prof. Wilhelm on the issue,
though it is not clear from his
I was very happy to read Ross
Wilhelm's satire on the kind of
reasoning that groups like the
1Tn.1. Rh.nh .nniatv will usein

enter the fray and defend us
from extremists.
Now Wilhelm made this point,
however satirically: Just because
the John Birch Society supports
a campaign to support local police,
this does not make the campaign'
a bad one.,
.* * *
TALAYCO seeks to refute Wil-
helm's position, but instead he
only belittles Wilhelm in a snide
attempt to be clever himself. He
makes three points in his reply:
1) Wilhelm is a type of person
(or thinker) who is of the same
character as a member of the
John Birch Society, 2) Wilhelm's
argument is only a "smoke screen"
to "becloud and confuse" the real
issue, and 3) Wilhelm is not the
sort of scholar worthy to 'be a
part of a university community.,
None of these three arguments
does he substantiate. Wilhelm has
disagreed with the idea that the
Birch Society'ssupport of the
Support Your Local Police effort,
necessarily makes the campaign
itself undesireable. In attestation
to this argument he has advanced
the reasoning that if the Birch
society supported a forest fire
prevention campaign, this would
not necessarily make that bad,
THE FOREST FIRE simile is a
good one, for it is a well-known
campaign to which most Ameri-
canssubscribe. Does this mean,
Wilhelm i~ples, that these ,who
seek to prevent forest fires would
be all Birch types if the Birchers
did so?
Talayco, however, does not ad-
dress" himself to this argument.
Instead, he dismisses it briefly as
a "smoke screen," a label which
he does not substantiate, and then
Of Facts'
I T MAY BE ...that we are in
the midst, or perhaps only at
the beginning, of a profound re-
organization of the departmental
structure of knowledge and of
academic life
The old departmental bounda-
ries are crumbling in all directions
in the physical as well as the so-
cial sciences. There is something
abroad which might be called an
interdisciplinary movement. It is
reflected at one level in the in-
terest in general education. It is
reflected at another level in the
development of cross-disciplinary
institutes, for instance, institutes
of industrial relations, institutes
of international relations, area
studies, and so on.
It may be, however, that what
we are witnessing is not so much
the unification of knowledge as
its restructuring. This restructur-
ing is being forced upon us by
the very growth of knowledge it-
self. Now that the transcript of
science has become so large that
a single individual cannot hope to
encompass a hundredth part of it
in the course of a lifetime, the
problem of order and economy in
learning . . . becomes of over-
whelming importance.
The academic world generally
goes on the assumption that the
more we know of everything the
better. This at least seems to be
the assumption that underlies the
requirements for a PhD. The stu-
dent has always known better
+ ,-,-r- u .. .h ... n.. - -. n +-A

proceeds to belittle Wilhelm's
academic status and imply that
he is some sort of political anach.-
ronism, neither of which he sub-
I think this is typical of the
sort of ideological bickering that
is arising in the name of political
philosophy, and in my opinion it
threatens our political system.
It flies in the face of all tra-
dition. Men like George Washing-
ton, a Federalist, and Thomas
Jefferson, a Republican, certainly
had very opposite political views.
But I am certain Washington
would never have 1insinuated that
Jefferson was some sort of intel-
lectual freak or an undersireable
element as Talayco has done.
* * *
ALL THROUGH our history, our
nation's politics have been char-
acterized by widely diverse views,
not only from state to state, but
between cities and between urban
and rural areas, and always we
have maintained the balance be-
tween all factions by achieving a
workable compromise-a solution
acceptable to all.
Today, we witness the all-the-'
way philosophies at both ends of
the political spectrum In 1952, we
had the spectacle of Sen. Joseph
McCarthy (R-Wis) labeling every
liberal in sight a Communist. In
fact there were Communists to be
uncovered, but too many garden-
variety liberals we wroged. Now
we have politicians and ewspaper
columnists denouncing conserva-
tives as "fascists" and "extremists"
and "fanatics." New Republic
columnist Murray Kempton has
evengone:so far as to call the
entire Republican party "racist"
without offering a shred of sub-
stantiation. To these liberals, every
conservative ais the same "as a
liberal was to McCarthy. There is,..
no attempt to find which con-
servatives are quite responsible
and which are not.
* * *
I THINK this narrow-minded
"since you don't agree with meyou
are dangerous" philosophy has got
to be stopped. It confounds the
very principles of our nation.
Lamentably, it is being furthered
by these institutions which were
created to defend those principles.
The irresponsible name-callers are
using their right to freedom of,
speech as a platforur to spout the
very mouthings which make that
freedom undesireable.
I call upon the opinion-formers
-the media of mass communic-
ation-to bring this to a screaming
halt. This can be done very easily
by clearly pointing to vicious, un-
substantiated attacks whenever
they occur, so that 'all are clearly
informed as to their character.
This and only this will call a halt
to the irresponsibility which does
us a real disservice. No serious
nominee for the presidency should
be looked on as a "fanatic" or a
"racist" without substantial, un-
contestable evidence. This may be
Kempton's opinion, and he is cer-
tainly entitled to it, but I fail to
see what good is achieved by this
vicious name calling.
* *S *
IN FACT, I would venture so
far as to say that it does the
nation material harm. Michigan's
Gov. George Romney, at the Re-
publican National Convention,
spoke out against "purveyors of
fear and peddlers of hate." While
he was referring to extreme right-
wing elements, I think his criti-
cism can be well applied to such
editorialists as Kempton.
Anyone who has the audacity to
call one of the nation's two major
parties a "racist" group, a state-
ment that is clearly only an opin-
ion, without any substantiation,
cannot be called a responsible
i nmmentatnr AndI T fail tn



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