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July 06, 1967 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1967-07-06

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jf irhjgan aij
Seventy-Sixth Year

The Reun iication of Vietnam: A Poem


where Opinions Are Free, 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MICH.
Truth Will Prv 4 A T A

NEws PHONE: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
at the editors. This must be noted in all rebrint


Black A Bri tish Vie

ed States now begin with the pre-
dictability of the baseball season. Hot
days and nights, making bad housing in-
tolerable and driving young Negroes on
to the streets, where they clash with an
often hostile police force; these are the
occasions of the trouble. The causes are
as diverse as American society. Legisla-
tors and lawyers, conservatives and lib-
erals, white and Negroes have flounder-
ed from one supposed solution to an-
other. These fall into three main cate-
gories: decisions from the courts, viol-
ence on the streets and politico-economic
The role of the courts ought not to be
disparaged. The historic Supreme Court
decisions of the fifties brought hope and
genuine advancement to Negroes such as
their people had not known for a cen-
tury. The recent rulings on Washington
schools and California housing maintain
the liberal tradition of judges on racial
discrimination. But the courts can only
create the framework in which men eith-
er tackle or fail to tackle their problems.
From the adulation of 10 years ago, many
civil rights leaders have come to regard
the law as, if not an ass, at best an un-
certain support.
The violence which has disfigured the
already ugly community life of the ghet-
toes is a reaction to the ultimate im-
potence of the law to confer equality.
In the hearts of many younger Negroes,
faith in the law has given way to belief
in the galvanizing effect of violence to
produce action from what they call "the
white power structure." Even more sad-
ly, faith in integration has been replaced
by an "Afro-American nationalism" as
destructive as nationalism usually is.
Much semantic debate has centered on
the meaning of "black power." One thing

is certain: the inevitable consequence of
black power is white backlash, as the
mid-term elections showed in many
places. In the struggle betfeen these two
there will be no cvitors, but the Negroes
will suffer more.
THERE REMAINS political and social
action. An -incidental tragedy of the
war in Vietnam is the slowing down of
America's own Poverty Program. It is
arguable that the United States economy
could sustain both. There may'well be a
faltering of purpose and of will, rather
than of finance alone, for the American
suspicion of big government runs deep.
The summer job projects, aimed at the
one in five of young Negroes who are
unemployed; the "Head Start" classes de-
signed to give underprivileged children of
pre-school age some hope of successful
education; the community action pro-
gram: all these are needed to erode the
economic and social disabilities which
the Negroes, almost alone of American
minority groups, have found no hope of
The Poverty Program continues, of
course, but at a pace which invites the
despair that rioters in Cincinnati, Cleve-
land, Tampa and Watts are now show-
ing. To have a hope of solving its race
problems, America needs a vast invest-
ment in houses, schools, recreational fa-
cilities and, perhaps above all, in indus-
trial training. Only with a proper home,
job and school for his family can the
Negro hope to gain acceptance and equal-
ity in a country where the stigma of
failure is the sharpest form of discrimina-
tion; It will not be quick, but this is the
right way to start.
June 29, 1967

The Good 01' Days

Thirteen years ago this month,
the war between the Vietnamese
people and the French colonial
power ended by an agreement
signed at Geneva. The agreement
provided for a temporary military
(not political, not permanent) de-.
aellel, pending elections for re-
marcation line at the 17th par-
unification. When the war ended,i,
about 700,000 Vietnamese from
North of the 17th parallel moved
to the South, the majority of the
regugees being Catholics as was
President Ngo Dinh Diem), the
Vietnamese who served in the
French armed forces, the fun-
ctionaries who served in the
French administration and the K
Bao Dai government. It is import-
ant to remember that during the
war against the French, a num-
ber of Catholics in the districts ofl
Bui Chu-Phat Diem (North Viet-
nam were armed by the French
to fight against the Vietnamese
revolutionaries. The exodus to the
South nevertheless created a na-
tional tragedy at the time whenM
North Vietnam was in a period)
of economic difficulty caused by
the war.
by a Vietnamese poet and writer,
The following poem was written
now in North Vietnam, Mr. Tran
Dan, who followed the Vietminh
army at Dien Bien Phu and auth-
ored a book about this famed bat-,
tle, entitled Nguoi Nguoi Lop Lop
(The Human Tide) which became Who knifes me in the back?
an overnight best seller. Ah! an unsharp knife
BAI THO THONG NHAT Which does not cut clean-
By TRAN DAN and how painful it is!
THE POEM OF REUNIFICATION to split me into two.
(Translated by Tran Van Din) They had wanted
We live in Sinh Tu Street (I) Oh my dear compatriots,
The two of us if my back ever turns cold
In a small house. Please look and tell me
We love each other dearly, if it really is a knife's cut,
But why is our life so joyless? The unclean and painful cut.
The Fatherland to-day The back of our Fatherland
Is supposed to be at peace is bleeding today.
But we are only in our first year I have been through stenuous
And we still have to face a maze and depressing hours,
of a thousand problems. During that whole period
For all of us, when the exodus to the South
Working hard during the day, was in full swing (5)
a good sleep at night is our Under the rain-darkened sky
sole concern Irq small bands, clinging to one
And when the wife and children another, they went.
are sick, our main worry is to Seeing this I became angry
find medicine. And tried to use my body
We are happy and forget every- to barricade their road.
thing; but suddenly we rem- "Halt," I cried!
ember as suddenly we forget "Where do you go?
All the hundred minor pre- "What for?"
occupations of daily life. "No money, no rice,"
We work hard and eat,'. they complained.
and thriftily we live. "No Father, no Christ;
How would I know that in the nothing of this,
faraway misty America nothing of tht,"
They are plotting to destroy
our lives? Some men and women
We are told that in the South said life is dull
lives a ganster named Ngo (2) At this place,
Whose only talent is to act as And they were thirsty for wind
Khuyen and Ung (3) and hungry for cloud
for the Americans BUT LISTEN
Whose dreadful weapon is an Our skies happen to be gloomy
unsharp knife with clouds now
With which to split the But they are our skies. Why
country asunder. leave them behind and go
I AM walking in the rains of the Beyond these clouds lies our
norther land entesouds
A land sodden by the drizzle (3) entire South.
Suddenly I feel a sharp pain How can you believe it to be
in my back the fairy land of America?
And blood is dripping I feel like crying and I want to
on the mud. stop every child from going,
Solidly Conseutrvative
Following the recent convention of the Young Republicans, I was
sadly reminded of how some senior members of the GOP have tried
to turn such organizations into party-splitting, ideological battle-
The attack invariably takes this form: the Young Republicans
or the Republican Women's Federation or what have you are called
too conservative. They are asked to become "progressive."
What that means, of course, is that they should drop their
Republican positions and adopt instead the positions of that minority

of the GOP which wants to go further left than the Democrats in an
effort to win votes, particularly among big city pressure groups.
And what that means, in turn, is that this Republican minority
simply does not believe in political alternatives or even the two-
party system. They see socialism as the tide of the future and would
be quite happy to ride it without ever fighting for a constructive,
capitalist alternative.
THE FACT THAT this group constitutes a minority may be
documented, not just speculated upon. In the House of Representatives,
for instance, 26 Republicans out of 187 constitute the solid "pro-
gressive" bloc.
This group provides, whenever a vote is close, the margin of
victory that the Great Planned Society needs to turn its red-tape
nightmare into legal realities. They are, to that extent, the mainstay
of the left-wing of the Democrat Party.
On the Senate side the members are even smaller, but the voices
are usually louder. Loudest of all, lately, has been Sen. Hugh Scott
of Pennsylvania, a man whom I supported wholeheartedly for re-
election in 1966 and who has repaid the action ever since by de-
nouncing everything about the campaign, including the party's plat-
From Scott's office has come a steady stream of threats against
and advice to the Young Republicans. They may be summed up simply
as warning that unless the YRs turn sharply to the left, the senior
party will have to "take them over."
THIIS IS NONSENSE. To "take them over" would be simply to
destroy them. And to suggest that they should veer to the left is to
fly straight in the fact of the fact that such a shift would alienate
the vast majority of the total membership.
The truth is that in both the Young Republicans and the

"Are you really leaving me?"
And I want to cling to every
tunic and to every heel y
I feel like shouting, using rude
"No, please stay
Even if our piece of land is dark
It is still better
Than the fairy land of
A million times better.".
How can they forget this land
so easily,
My friends who are heading
"What do you need:
"A heart and a brain."
My words grew harsher.
But suddenly I could only cry
I could only weep and sob under
the stormy, rainy sky.
And they were departing.
But why were their feet
And why did they cry?
What were the reasons for
their despair?
The earth held back their feet
The winds retained their
For, leaving the North is like
parting with existence,
Like living the last minute of
Uttering the last words to every
bush, every cliff
Every garden, fig tree and
Speechless but sobbing
They kept staring blank-eyed
at the earth and the sky
At the dying sunlight, at the
drops of rain
At the old streets and the
blurred stars.
Oh this beloved land, how
could it be forgotten?
The land where they had known
warmth, cold, sweet and
savory things.
and the winds kept blowing
But today the rain kept pouring
The rain kept pouring on those
who were going to leave the
Who was leading them away?
And where to? And why did
they weep continuously?
Meanwhile the winds from all
directions kept tormenting ,the

(O North, O South, you were
leaving and your entrails were
cut apart.)
I bowed my head and I prayed
to the rain and the storm
Not to pour on their heads any
They had suffered enough.
They were unhappy and they
should be spared the punish-
ment of Nature.
Their gardens and their rice
fields were abandoned, their
houses deserted.
And the South still lay ten
thousand miles away and their
mountains and their rivers so
They had left, but their heart
and their soul lingered.
(O Northern land, please look
after them.)
WE LIVE in Sinh Tu Street
And my heart broke in those
I walked
And saw no Street
And no house
Only the rain drops
On the red of the red flag.
I met my sweetheart in the
She was hunting for a job
She came back every evening
"My darling," she said,
"They still asked me to wait."
And I did not inquire further.
What could I say?
It rained and rained.
For three months now
She has been waiting.
We live for the future
Day and night, like little
Walking sadly, clinging to one
On she walked
In the rain
Her head low
Her shoulders bent.
And she was barely in her
nineteenth year!
My sweetheart!
How could she know
Where all our misfortunes
Came from?
HOW COULD SHE have known
What was America and what
was Ngo?

I pitied her: under the rain and
under the sun she walked
Unaware that their shadows (6)
Were cast
Upon the destinies
Of all of us.
Head low, she kept walking,
and the rain kept pouring
And my heart broke in those
I kept walking
And saw no street
And no house
Only the rain drops
On the red of the red flag.
WHY SHOULD our country's
present misfortune
Not permeate my poetry?
The items displayed in the
shops against whose windows
my nose was pressed
These unwanted products wear-
ily waiting for customers;
As for books, it seemed they
were in demand
The ones over there were written
by such and such friend of
And those by myself, they
were pondering, thoughtful-
They were dreaming: 'Had we
had the South with us
The number of readers would
have increased by five or
seven millions."
I became a man with fixed
And I wish that all of us
Who ask for the unification oT
the country should start with
such trivialities
As food
As sleep
As private affairs.
As thoughts
As cajoling with babies
As flirting with wives.
THE RAIN kept lingering in the
And about the North and South
I did not write anything yet?
I am determined now to see
that my poems generate hurri-
canes and tempests.
But today I bend my head low
Where is my poetic inspiration?
Why did my verses
Fail to move and turn heaven
and earth?
Why did they not unit borders
and countries?
The mountains and rivers are
weeping under the rain
I want to give up poetry
And do some other thing
But today I am dreaming and
walking under the rain
And with my small talent
I write political poems;
And my heart broke in those
I kept walking
And saw no street
And no house.
Only the rain drops
On the red of the red flag.
(1) A street in Hanoi, capital of
North Vietnam.
(2) The late Ngo Dinh Diem, presi-
dent of South Vietnam.
(3) Khuyen and Ung are the names
of two gangsters in the nationally
known vietnamese classical poem Kim
Van Kieu. Literally in Vietnamese,
khuyen means "dog." The Vietnamese
term ung also has an unpleasant
(4) The poet refers here to the soft
rain that falls over the Red River
Delta for several months out of the
year and that the French called Ie
(5) The terms of the 1954 Geneva
Agreements permitted movement of
civilians for a limited period after the
partition. Approximately 700,000 people
who lived in the North, many of them
Catholics, left their homes and settled
in the South.
(6) i e., the shadows of Ngo Dinh
Diem ar'1 America.

FIFTY YEARS of progress, courtesy of
the Ann Arbor Police:
City Clerk I. G. Reynolds calls the at-
tention of freshmen and the student body
generally to the following ordinances:
Do not drive your machine faster than
15 miles per hour within the city limits.
Do not open muffler on your machine.
Move at the request of an officer.
The Daily is a member of the Associated Press and
Collegiate Press Service.
Summer subscription rate: $2.00 per term by carrier
($2.50 by mail); $4.00 for entire summer ($4.50 by
Daily except Monday during regular academic school
Daily except Sunday and Monday during regular
summer session.
Second class postage paid at Ann Arbor, Michigan.
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48104.
Summer Editorial Staff
LAURENCE MEDOW....................Co-Editor
STEPHEN FIRSHEIN...................Co-Editor
MARK LEVIN,...,...... Summer Supplement Editor
NIGHT EDITORS: John Gray, Wallace Immen, David
Knoke, Elizabeth Turner, Lucy Kennedy.
Crabtree, Jenny Stiller.
ANDREW LUGG........... . .. . .....Review Editor

Do not play ball in the streets.
Do not ride bicycles on the sidewalks.
Do not tack signs on telegraph poles.
Do not try to keep a dog around without
a license. Bull dogs must be muzzled even
if on a chain.
Do not try to run a taxi or dray with-
out a license.
Do not break the city ordinances and
expect to get off without paying the pen-
October 4, 1916
No Comment
"CHICAGO LAWN station (Police) Com-
mander Martin O'Connell, whose dis-
trict takes in all three communities
(which witnessed violent racial disturb-
ances last summer), denied the area was
plagued by racial problems.
"'The district is 95 per cent white, but
it's integrated-each day more than 100,-
000 Negroes pass through the area on
their way to work',."
June 25, 19671


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