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September 18, 1969 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-09-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

--steve anizalone --in quiet desperation

T4L Sitr4gan Dail
Seventy-eight years of editoral freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan

Tripping with Senator Huber

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 all reprints.



Polities and platitudes.
Fleming speaks tonight

TONIGHT BEGINS the latest in a long
series of anti-war teach-ins at the
University; we're against the war, so we
urge students to attend.
Now, having disposed of that obliga-
tion, let's take a closer look at the poli-
ties of this teach-in. The title is mislead-
ingly militant: "Time's Up!" We can get
a better idea of the affair's intended tone
from its speakers list: leading the band
will be Robben Fleming.
It shouldn't be difficult to guess at
the content of his speech. He will tell us
that it has been a bloody war, a sad
war, a costly war, and a long war - and
that it ought to have the good manners
to end in the reasonably near future. He
will also remind us that he (for one) has
resolutely (if quietly) opposed this war
from its very beginning (almost).
And, allowing for a rhetorical flour-
ish here and there, that's about as deep
as he'll go. Because to examine this war
any further - its roots, its cultivators,
its fruit - requires a candid discussion
of the crisis of urbane liberalism in the
twentieth century. To get past the cro-
codile tears and deal with the politics of
the war means examining those sectors
whose interests such wars serve.
THIS, IN TURN, entails a critical analy-
sis of the frankly predatory nature
of the American society - of American
capitalism - and of its structure, needs,
and dynamics. It would focus on the
stratified, hierarchical nature of that so-
ciety and the way in which the oppres-
sion of blacks, students, workers (blue
and white collar) and others here at
home. The next step is the scrutinizing of
those, institutions which facilitate, per-
petuate, and justify all this - including
the media, the crurches, the universities.
Since the teach-in is taking place at
a university, it shouldn't be too much to
expect Fleming to talk about its role in
the U.S. Establishment. But he won't do
it. Because that would involve a forth-
right discussion of war research and
But, even further than that, Fleming
would have to deal with the fact that it
is here where "socialscience" and capi-
talism's patron theology are married,
where the raw materials (the students)
are channeled into the vacant slots in a
pre-existing structure. Here obedience
patterns are reinforced. Here imperial
geopolitics are taught. Here the inevit-

ability of oligarchy (on the one hand)
and mass passivity (on the other) is in-
toned. And here the Robben Flemings de-
vote themselves to defusing any attempt
to upset this rotten applecart.
To do this, the Flemings marshall the
most demagogic and manipulative rhe-
toric and tactics at hand. Thus Robben:
"If ROTC is the target today because of
opposition to the war, why cannot a
chemistry class be the target tomorrow
because someone may learn something
about chemical warfare. . . . Or a- class in
Greek because someone does not like the
Greek government."
To keep things calm, Fleming will say
and do anything (no matter how o u t-
rageous or two-faced). The criterion is
not honesty or candor; it is effectiveness.
He is no scholar, he is a hack. He is the
bureaucrat whose job is to keep the sys-
tem safe and happy, to disorient and un-
dercut any movement' which threatens
that safety or happiness.
BECAUSE the demands of the American
Establishment are everywhere sover-
eign, we should not be surprised to find
the Establishment's watchdogs - the Ad-
ministration - sovereign in the Univer-
sity. Neither students nor faculty are per-
mitted the last word on any matter fun-
damentally affecting t h a t Administra-
tion or that Establishment.
Within those bounds, the faculty has
power over the students - both becfiuse
the former is the "safer" from a political
point of view and because the hierarchical
principle itself is sacred in a hierachical
society and in the institutions which sup-
ply its personnel.
Keeping students subservient to fac-
ulty, keeping both subordinate to the bu-
reaucracy and the system It serves -
this is what Fleming likes to call "finding
an accommodation among these various
interests." That is his job; that's what
he's paid for.
TONIGHT Fleming will be on the job.
He will engage in moralisms, he will
evade analysis. He will come out four-
square for peace and justice; he'll stand
firm against death and destruction. He
will likely suggest we write letters to Con-
gress, march peacefully for peace, guard
jealously our admirable social conscience.
He is paid to say all of this; we are fools
if we accept it,

EVEN IN THE depths of my soul's most
depraved moments, I was incapable of
realizing the complete significance of the
notorious demon of the state senate, Robert
Sure, one can watch Huber on television
denouncing obscenity on college campuses,
or one can read in the newspapers the
frightening details about Huber's commit-
tee on campus "disorders," but at best this
only gives the limited picture of another
reactionary legislator.
It is realy necessary to sit in the same
room with Huber-to hear the man rant
and scream, to be struck by the electro-
motive waves of his fanaticism-if one is to
experience the awful totality of Robert
Huber. To blow one's mind with a Huber
Experience is like embarking on a psy-
chedelic trip where coming down is better
than going up.
I TOOK A trip on Huberism last week.
I'm still coming down. And while the com-
ing down is market with a sense of depres-
sion-almost to the point of nausea, I still
think that the terror of the demonic hal-
lucinations should not have prevented me
from having a frightening Huber Ex-
Daily editor Henry Grix and I went to
Lansing last week to take part in a panel
discussion on MSU's educational television,
WMSB. The panel included three college
editors and three representatives of the
Legislature. Joining Huber were Rep. Jim

Brown, the man who tried last year to re-
place the editors of the State News with
more "responsible" ones, and Terry Black
from the House Speaker's office. An editor
of the State News completed the panel.
The discussion was to revolve around the
function of the students newspaper. The
format was quite intelligent and would deal
specifically with the role of the student
paper in campus politics.
Unfortunately, the program soon got
bogged down in Huber's demagogury.
EVEN BEFORE the show started, Huber
was complaining about the expenditure of
his time for something he did not think
was important. The moderator reminded
Huber that what he had to say is just as
important on educational television as it
is on one of the large networks. But Huber
squirmed impatiently, aware of the meager
political mileage in educational television.
When the teleprompter failed to func-
tion correctly, Huber blasted out at the
stupidity of the technicians in the studio.
His lack of civil behavior was only begin-
ning to show itself.
After an initial attempt at rational dis-
cussion, Huber's constipated fury broke
loose. In strident tones that he was to use
all night, he quickly took control.
He lashed out against the college press
and said that no college editor should be
allowed to print any word that comes into
his "little mind." He reminded us that the
Michigan constitution stipulates that all

power is invested in The People. Right on,
Senator. Claiming that The People were
upset with the obscenity in school papers,
he said they would no longer stand for it.
The squat "champion of the people" then
asserted that the problem was only with
the college press; no "adult" publication
needed to use them. I pointed out that I
had seen those nasty, unprintable words in
such publications as The Atlantic and
Harper's. Huber told me that I had not
seen these words in those magazines, be-
cause he reads them and has never seen
such words. It's hard to argue with logic
like that.
THE HUMILIATING aspect of the whole
evening was that I had believed that the
force of logic would enable us to put Huber
against the wall. But we could not break
through Huber's continuous stream of bom-
bast. He literally took control and dragged
the "discussion" down to his level. It is
impossible to beat Huber on his own per-
verted level.
While we sat shaking our heads in dis-
belief, Huber switched the program over to
an editorial that Grix and I had written
denouncing his "investigation" committee.
He screamed that the editorial was a com-
plete package of lies. Huber specifically
made note of the falsehood that he was
"anti-intellectual." Huber said that this
was not true, since in fact he attended
Yale University.
The moderator then asked Huber to

enumerate a few more lies in the editorial.
Huber said that he could go through word
for word and point out falsehood but that
it would take up too much time.
However, the senator did point out that
we were wrong in asserting that he was
using the investigation to make political
hay. He maintained that he was elected
chairman of the committee over his ob-
jections and had no other choice than to
serve. Grix pointed out that we did not
want to see him serve as chairman either.
It was the only point of agreement all
WHEN TIME RAN OUT, we found that
only Huber had been able to express him-
self. I knew that anything I could have
said would have made no effect on his
,thinking, but I did hope that at least I
would have had the chance to insult him.
The only worthwhile comment that I made
was after the program. Like every legis-
lator, Huber invited us to visit him in his
office sometime. I responded that if he sent
me a subpoena, I probably would.
Huber then launched into some nonsense
about how he didn't need the power of
subpoena, and soon he was on his way
on his way to Detroit. He has probably al-
ready forgotten about his little perform-
ance, but I haven't.
As educational as the trip was, I don't
think narcotics like Huber should be legal-


Mayor Harris speaks in his own- defense

The police and the people

To the Editor:
MR. NISSEN'S September 18
article contains a number of fac-
tual inaccuracies and is so per-
sonal an attack on me that I feel
obliged to make a reply.
His first criticism is of the state-
ment I i s s u e d at 3:00 a.m. on
Wednesday. J u n e 18. after the
first night of rioting on 5 o u t h
University. I had been at a meet-
ing of the National League of Cit-
ies and had flown in at ten p.m.
The statement was based on such
information as I then had avail-
I confined my praise to the Ann
Arbor Police Department. My
omission of any reference to other
departments was deliberate and
was noted, with resentment, by
the Sheriff. While I have subse-
quently received two complaints
about the conduct of the Ann Ar-
bor Police Department that night,
and while I have heard rumors,
but received no complaints, con-
cerning an Ann Arbor Police
"charge" through the Engineering
Arch, it remains my position that
my comments on the Ann Arbor
Police were substantially correct.
They certainly were in good faith.
IN MY OPEN letter to students.
my reference to non-students was
directed to the reports I had then,
and reports I have received since,
to the effect that the vast bulk of
rock-throwing was by people too
young to be college students and
that persons old enough to be col-
lege students were bystanders, not
participants. I was not attempt-
ing to incite hostility towards
street people. I was attempting to
make the point that the mass of
students had not been drawn into
the fray. I did and do consider It
vital to k e e pa state of affairs
from developing in which the
enormous college student popula-
tion is alienated from the police
to the extent that they will act
violently towards the police.
To the best of my knowledge,
and I have searched memory care-
fully, I have never said or written
anything about an "unwashed,
non-student minority." I consider
s u c h a phrase quite obnoxious.
This is a canard that has appear-
ed in letters to The Daily before.
I do not know its source.
I DENY THE charge of duplic-
ity as regards the Tenant's Union.
In the meeting to which Mr. Nis-
sen refers a n d at larger public
meetings I have taken the posi-
tion, as candidate and Mayor, that
as Mayor and hence as candi-
date) I should be and am "neu-
tral" as regards the struggle be-
tween the Tenant's Union and the
landlords, I have made no bones
of the fact that before I was a
candidate I worked on behalf of
other rent strikes and probably
would have supported t h i s one
were I a private citizen. I think
a Mayor has an obligation of neu-
trality in such struggles and a pri-
vate citizen h a s no comparable
obligation since the private citi-
zen is not called upon to protect
the interests of third persons
caught in the struggle nor is the
private citizen in the position of
potential mediator of t: struggle.
(I have tried to mediate this con-
troversy on two occasions, with-
out success.'
I have tried to pursue many of
the goals of the rent strikers -

I said and still say that to sub-
ject the police, but no other city
employes, to new review proce-
dures is unfair. The new proced-
ures, which the Ad Hoc Police-
Community Relations Committee
has been asked to define and rec-
ommend to City Council very
shortly, should embrace all city
employes and not just police.
As regards police harassment of
the black community, note should
be taken of the Ad Hoc Police
Community Relations Committee
which I appointed and which has
just brought in its first report,
much of which is directed to pre-
cisely this problem.
IT HAS BEEN, and remains, my
opinion that broad community
support for such reforms is need-
ed if they are to become a perm-
anent part of Ann Arbor govern-
ment. I thought, and think. that
the chances of mustering s u c h
broad support is enhanced if the
proposals are shaped by and rec- .

City Administrator, City Attorney,
and Human Relations Director.
AS TO THOSE aspects of the
incident which represent b a d
judgment, not illegality, I have
asked 'the Ad Hoc Police Com-
munity Relations Committee to
review the incident and m a k e
recommendations for the future.
The group that was created to
investigate complaints arising out
of the June riots has been active
if "out of sight." That group con-
sists of the City Attorney and two
investigators. one from the Police
Department and one from the Hu-
man Relations Committee. There
will be a report from the City At-
torney to Council soon concerning
their work.
MR. NISSEN is concerned about
"rumors . . . on discrimination in
city hiring practices." Going well
beyond response to complaints of
discrimination. Council is moving
on an Affirmative Action Program

THE USE OF political repression is
theoretically considered alien to a.
society which claims to be democratic.
But when this repression is committed
in the name of law and order, it takes
on a holier form, allowing the populace
to righteously condone it and dismiss
In such an atmosphere, the evolution
of police autonomy has naturally evolved.
And with this automony, they have as-
sumed virtually unlimited freedom in
the exercise of their authority as the
arm of The Law.
Here in Ann Arbor, as in other col-
lege towns, this situation is especially
blatant, and has created a high degree of
hostility between the police and the mi-
nority segments of the community.
A QUICK GLANCE at the past summer
brings this out poignantly:
--Ray Chauncey, a staff member of
the Human Relations Commission, was
arrested last May while investigating al-
leged racial discrimination at a local
bar. Chauncey said that while he was
at the police station he was struck twice
in the face by the arresting officer,
Patrolman Wade Wagner.
When these charges were confirmed
by the city attorney and the city admin-
istrator, Wagner resigned, only to be im-
mediately hired by Sheriff Harvey.
-Last July, police converged on the
Whistle Stop restaurant and ordered the
owner to remove a table and chairs from
the sidewalk outside the restaurant. The

attitude and the actions of the police
toward blacks and students.
That this has been allowed to con-
tinue for so long is a severe indictment of
the administrations which have govern-
ed Ann Arbor.
For the responsibility to institute con-
trols on the growing power of the police
lies squarely on the shoulders of the
civilian administration. The people
by themselves --are powerless.
IN APPARENT recognition of this fact,
Mayor, Harris persuaded the City
Council to authorize a committee study
of police-community relations, with a
view toward alleviating the tensions
which now exist.
The committee presented their initial
recommendations to City Council Mon-
day. They will be considered at a public
hearing next Wednesday.
It is commendable that the commit-
tee's general conclusions - as outlined
in their interim report - recommend that
the initiative for easing the hostility
come from the police - who are largely
responsible for that hostility.
However, the specific recommenda-
tions - while fine in principle - are too
piecemeal to have a significant effect on
the present situation.
It is vital that the city take several
larger steps to normalize the relationship
between the police and the community.
T HE HRC and Whistle Stop incidents
this summer pointed out the need for

the position that the concerts
could continue, despite the White
Panther propaganda that accom-
panies them, subject only to reas-
onable regulations to prevent ille-
gal activities or unreasonably
loud noise. This, too, was done in
the face of a recall drive seeking
to make these concerts, and the
participation of Panthers in them,
a major issue. This vote, like the
pornography ordinance vote, rep-
resented principle, not expediency.
non-crisis accomplishments of the
Democratic majority, but will
mention that we have fulfilled our
pledges to establish half-hour bus
service, to push for passage of a
tax reform package of income tax
anc. property tax cut. to get the
public housing program moving,
and to retain control of the Model
Cities program in the hands of
those local residents to whom it
originally was entrusted. O4r ap-
pointments. including the ap-


{ r }
t r
1 !+j,. j( t
:"j t

volved. For this reason an analy-
sis which identifies weaknesses
and develops a meaningful pro-
gram is clearly needed.
A student movement cannot
seriously threaten the power of the
corporate elite-only a mass move-
ment that includes workers and
other alienated groups can do this.
If such a movement is to come
about, the issue in question must
relate to American capitalism.
USING THIS criterion, the per-
spective of ROTC presented by
SDS-Resistance and accepted by
the coalition has been inadequate.
In the first place, it is mislead-
ing and downright absurd to assert
that even the ending of ROTC na-
tionally, let alone at the University
would make Melvin Laird quake in
his sleep and substantially affect
the war effort.
But more importantly, it is pure
folly to claim that an end to the
war would fundamentally change
the capitalist structure of the
United States. After all, the great
bulk of, the American people, most
of the Senate, and even a major-
ity of the corporate elite (ac-
cording to a recent survey in For-
tune magazine) are now against
the war!
WHAT, THEN. would a radical
analysis of ROTC look like? It
would avoid the cliched demo-
gogery of burning babies and' the
screams of "murder." It would
focus instead on the relationship
of the military as a whole to
American capitalism and imperial-
The military has been the main
stabilizing influence on the econ-
omy since 1940, and any "peace
dividends" from an end to the wa
in Vietnam would probably be re
directed toward other military pro-
jects such as missile-building,,This
indirect use of the military is
probably more important for capi-
talism and imperialism than its
more direct uses.
For while the exploitation of the
resources of underdeveloped coun-
tries sometimes relies on massive
military force, it is more often
buttressed by trickery the threat
of receiving no foreign aid, and
monetary support for reactionary
ROTC issue has important im-
plications for the choice of tactics.
Any tactic which does not mobilize
mass support for future action
against the military and other
arms of the capitalist structure is
Disruption of ROTC classes has
been proposed as a means for
mobilizing such support. Asan
"exemplary action"' it would sup-
posedly (1) highlight the issue,
(2) bring down heavy repression,
and (3) produce guilt and anger
among non-participants which
would spur them to action. Let us
take up each of these points in
WILL THE University admin-
istration bring down heavy repres-
sion? It may, but such repression
would not be immediate, and when
this fact is coupled with the small
numbers of persons involved in the
disruptions, the effects would not
be very dramatic.
If undertaken, would repression
galvanize support (assuming there

"If you don't mind Senator Kennedy, I'd rather walk."

ommended by a fairly broad-based
citizens' committee, including Re-
publicans as well as Democrats,
women as well as men, middle-
aged people as w e 11 as younger
people. I fail to see the vice in
seeking to muster such broad sup-
On the Black Beret incident it-
self, I have asked for a full police
investigation and have furnished
the results of such investigation
to the people who complained in-
formally to me, with a written in-
struction to them to indicate if

for hiring more black city employ-
es. The text of the proposal was
referred by Council to the C i t y
Administrator and Human Rela-
tions Commission two weeks ago
and should be before Council for
action at the next regular Coun-
cil meeting.
That "pressure mounts for ac-
tion against so-called obscenity"
cannot be denied. Mr. Nissen
omits mention of the fact t h at
when the pressure culminated a
week and a half ago for Council
to adopt a Republican-sponsored

pointment of the current City At-
torney, I think have been excel-
Mr. Nissen might want to ex-
amine the issues that have been
decided on party line votes since
April 14 to get some idea whether
it makes a difference in Ann Ar-
bor whether Democrats or Repub-
licans are in control of City Hall.
-Mayor Robert J. Harris
Sept. 18
(EDITOR'S NOTE: There is no
record of Mayor Harris having ever

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