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September 06, 1969 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1969-09-06

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Those who will miss the


SeUenty-eight years of e(Iitorial freedion
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 all reprints.



A defense of The Argus:
On oIbscenity and the press

(EDIT01i's NOT : The following
article is an analysis of some of the
issues that were discussed at the
convention of the Independent
Socialist Club held In Ann Arbor
over the Labor Day weekend.)
SOCIALIST organizations like
the Socialist Workers' Party
(SWP), the Progressive L a b o r
Party (PLP) and the Y o un g
Socialists' Alliance (YSA) will
either miss the revolution or be
on its tail end because they are
hypnotically bound to a starry-
eyed ideological romance w it h
the working class, which renders
them impotent in their attempts
to transform theory into success-
ful revolutionary programs.
The greatest failure of tradi-
tional socialists has been their in-
sistence on classifying the black
movement as simply a class strug-
gle. Their failure to recognize the
black movement as a philosophi-
cal, psychological, and, in some
instances of extreme desperation,
physical liberation from all re-

pressive forces - political, social
and economic - has led them
to expound a superficial analysis
of racism.
This analysis comes perilously
close to a Lester Maddox type, a
color blind attitude flavored with
a leftist twist. It has made tradi-
tional socialists appear totally in-
sensitive or unforgiveably unaware
of the entire ramifications of rac-
ism and its far-reaching, cyclic
effects on every succeeding gen-
eration of Afro-Americans.
Clearly, blacks offer the great-
est source for socialization and
radicalization, simply because
they know that as a colored people
they cannot and will not be al-
lowed to participate in all facets
of American society as equals.
This statement cannot be made
for all whites.
Just as the potential for soc-
ializing whites increases as their
earning or consuming power de-
creases, this in doubly so for
black workers. But there will not
be a united working class insur-

rection so long as black workers
are justified in their view of white
workers as their number o n e
FOR INDEED the white worker
is the prime and most obvious
enemy of the black worker. Blacks
are systematically excluded from
the construction, building trades,
plumbing, masonry, carpentry and
bricklaying unions. Confronta-
tions have occurred in New York,
Pittsburgh and Chicago. They
may arise in other places like De-
troit, Philadelphia and major cit-
ies on the West Coast. One need
only recall when construction
workers in Pittsburgh shouting
"Wallace in '72," despite the
former Alabama governor's fla-
grant anti-union record.
Other examples of glaring short-
sightedness in traditional social-
ist organizations are their failures
to differentiate between w h i t e
and blue collar workers; male and
female workers; non-industrial
workers; migrant workers an d

THE ISSUE of a free press has always
been crucial to a free society. No pub-
lic figure should be above public criti-
cism; no political secret should be with-
held unless it is in the public interest to
do so. A free flow of information is es-
sential to the open society.
It is nearly impossible to determine,
however, when freedom of the press be-
comes license. That decision is best left to
the editors of a given publication and not
to legislators or county prosecutors to
determine what is relevant and signifi-
cant. Nor is it acceptable under any cir-
cumstances to allow any laws-particu-
larly obscenity laws -to interfere with
what a given publication views as an
issue of freedom of the press.
THE PROSECUTION of Ann Arbor edi-
tor Ken Kelley is just such an invoca-
tion of obscenity laws. It is an example of
County Prosecutor William Delhey's will-
ingness to make use of questionable ob-
scenity laws to make political hay for
himself and his fellow Republicans at .the
expense of the principle of freedom of
the press while ignoring many more
prominent injustices in this county.
Kelley has been charged by Delhey
with the distribution of an "obscene, lewd,
lascivious, filthy, indecent or disgusting
newspaper" for printing a retouched
photograph of a city councilman, Re-
publican James Stephenson. Stephensen
is shown relaxed at a council meeting
holding in his folded hands an oversize
outline drawing of a penis.
In the terms of the "above ground"
press, it is difficult to defend Kelley for
ever having printed the photograph with
the drawing. It is in undeniably bad
But on strict legalistic grounds and in
the realm of the underground press Kel-
ley's position is more tenable. Such a
representation could be construed as a
political cartoon, grossly lampooning the
councilman for his well-known conser-
vative views on obscenity. For this rea-
son-that the photograph could well be
interpreted as a political comment-city
attorney Jerold Lax dismissed considera-
tion of prosecution.
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE to understand how
anyone could view such a picture as

obscenity. It could not be said to appeal
to the prurient interests of the most ex-
citable adolescent.
But Delhey has seen fit to make an
obscenity case of The Argus, when the
only legal action which seems warranted
against Kelley might be a libel suit by
Stephenson. However, such civil action
would probably prove costly to Mr. Step-
henson since The Argus has no large
assets. Besides, if the photo could be
labelled political comment, Stephenson
as a public figure might not have a
strong case.
In any event, the case at hand is a
criminal prosecution which endangers
the future of The Argus as a free paper.
To attack The Argus on grounds of
obscenity is to tread murky waters. In
view of recent Supreme Court rulings,
legal opinion on the meaning and even
the continued, effective existence of ob-
scenity laws is sharply divided. Kelley's
lawyers contend that Delhey's prosecu-
tion will fail, if not on the first jury
trial, at least on the first appeal.
Although the prosecutor may be con-
scientiously defending what he sees to
be the community's moral standards, it
seems more than slightly possible that he
and his fellow Republicans - and prom-
inent, silent Democrats with similar sym-
pathies and interests-are using the Ar-
gus case as their own political tent show
at the expense of a free press.
Further, Delhey could be charged with
acting on an issue of less than general
significance to the conmunity. Delhey
might better turn his attention to those
injustices which really threaten the wel-
fare of the county like th'e reluctance of
the city clerk to comply with voter regis-
tration guidelines and the alleged bru-
tality of the County sheriff.
ONE MUST KEEP in mind above all the
principle that in a free society t h e
press should be censored only by the
judgment of editors. The Argus should
be free to print what it sees as political
pictures; and Stephenson must be free
to protest any grievance incurred by the
press. This concept must be defended
and valued.

small farm owners: their lack of
interest in the unemployed and
students and their failure to ex-
tend more than minimal efforts
to socialize and radicalize these
The possibility of deviance from
the monotony and ineffectuality of
the traditional socialist approach
towards programing to a more
flexible and realistic application
of theory was offered by the In-
dependent Socialist Club ISC).
But this hope was quickly snuf-
fed out as a strong traditionalist
current became apparent w i t h
each succeeding session of ISC's
first national convention. There
were however some insightful and
refreshing conclusions w h i c h
offers the promise of more imag-
inative programs.
FOR INSTANCE that part of its
internal perspectives for ISC
which dealth with blacls and
other minorities did recognize
blacks as a race and not merely
as a class. But unfortunately there
was an added note - which would
be typical of a John Birch So-
ciety publication:
"At this juncture, it (the Black
Panther Party) has thrown it-
self into an alliance with t h e
Communist Party and seems to
be embarked upon a conservative
line somewhere between creating
a C.P. (communist party) type
front and a popular front, . .The
Black Panthers by their current
policies are forfeiting both their
past leadership and their present
ability to reach the black masses."
The Panthers were further ac-
cused of being autocratic in struc-
ture and Stalinist in their tactics.
Aside from this clause which dis-
plays a complete lack of under-
standing concerning the history of
black liberation, and a total un-
comprehension of the mood of a
desperate people pimped by white
politicians and duped by the
"brothers" in office, and an un-

excusable inpatience with a people
whose only fault is an unwilling-
ness to wait, the document is pro-
gressive in respect to other social-
ist proclamations on black-white
relationships. But in view of what
it should be, it comes off as a
syrupy bunch of meaningless
platitudes that could be mouth-
ed by any "law and order" poli-
tician who damns the militant
and praises the "good Negro citi-
zen." The tone of the convention
reached further depths of inade-
quacies when it placed traditional
blind faith in the slogan "jobs
for all."
OTHER FAILURES of the con-
vention were the fault of per-
sonnel. There was too much
theorizing as opposed to defining
programs; too much licking of
wounds, excessive berating of
SDS - who at their last national
convention expelled I S C -
amounted to a socialist, intellec-
tual rhetorical overkill. It a 1 s o
showed a paranoic mistrust of stu-
dents, paralleling the attitude of
the Concerned Citizens organiza-
tion in Ann Arbor, and a con-
descending overbearingly patern-
alistic tolerance of the new mem-
bers by the "old masters."
It will be interesting to observe
how the regional ISC at the Uni-
versity functions within the na-
tional ISC, especially since it is
student populated and will there-
fore have to base their recruit-
ment on the role they play in
campus-centered issues, and since
they must also deal with t h e
question of joining an umbrella
radical union which would involve
working with SDS.
The direction of the local ISC
and its influence on the national
organ will be particularly inter-
esting because it was so clearly
in the minority on most questions
- not so much those pertaining
to theory, but more so on its ap-
plication - expressed at the con-


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Letters to the Editor

Struggling against the bits burecrICy

There she 1s--Miss America?

IT'S MISS AMERICA time again, and
the corn-fed beauties of America are
lining up to be judged by their 1 e g s ,
breasts, and the all-American-ness of
their vapid answers to the vapid ques-
tions of Bert Parks.
And, for only the second time, the
Women's Liberation will be picketing at
tonight's gala. The news media h a v e
taken advantage of the situation to play
a new angle on the old pageant: what
do the all-American girls think of this
ridiculous nonsense?
The answers of the all-American girls
are extremely predictable-that is, the
answers of those who are being allowed
by their chaperones to discuss the libera-
tion. Some of the chaperones have re-
fused to allow their "girls" to discuss in
any way the protest, saying it is "too
controversial" for Miss America girls,
who presumably are destined to cook,
screw, and speak only about the PTA
when they reach their goal in life as
Mrs. Americas in suburbia.
Miss Kansas sums up the feelings of
the Miss America girls:
"The protesters who do that don't
know the Miss America program. It is a
good cleancut ideal."
MISSARIZONA said she would like to
talk to the protesters, but she didn't
have time. Presumably, Miss Arizona is
too busy filing her nails and reading
"I think they're only craving atten-
tion," said Miss Vermont, implying that
the poor ugly protesters would really like
to be beauties in the pageant.
Perhaps there were some contestants
who told the Associated Press bravely
that Women's Liberation was right at

least in some of its arguments that
women are treated as second-class citi-
zens, and that the pageant itself is not
only degrading but also racist because
predominantly white judges cannot help
but judge black contestants -- now that
there are black contestants - on white
ideals of beauty. Could a girl with long
Afro hair become Miss America? Highly
unlikely - so unlikely that a separate
Miss Black America contest is now held.
But then, what girl with a chance to
be Miss America would jeopardize it by
telling something like that to the press?
After all, she may be able to win by just
finding a better answer to the question,
"What do you do if the waiter spills gravy
on your dress at dinner with a date?"
T'HE MISS AMERICA farce each year
brings to 50 million television sets one of
the most ludicrous aspects of this decay-
ing society. It is too bad that Women's
Liberation has not yet had a substantive
effect on the repressive inner core which
channels women into subservience just
as it channels blacks into an inferior
Perhaps with time the influence of
the liberation will grow. It is too late
for the corn-fed Miss Indianas to be
changed; they are a lost generation, and
picketing at the Miss America pageant
will not really work any substantive
change in them - or in the millions of
Those of us who realize what M i s s
America is do not watch the presenta-
tion of the farce, and the sight of picket-
ers is not going the change the masses.
The place for the liberation is, to a large
extent, back home with Miss Indiana's
13-year old sister, who is not yet chan-
neled and is probably being impressed
MITT ' tA 1T t 'T N~ ^ R~t tt e~. .1+a raAna z.r

To the Editor:
THIS MORNING I was waiting
for a campus bus at what I
thought was the bus stop, the one
with the shelter, at Glen and
Catherine. After a rather long
wait, one bus turned the corner
and zoomed right past the bus
stop; however, it was not a North-
wood bus, and so I thought that
the Northwood buses- -which I
use----had not changed their route
because I had not seen them going
a different way. I continued sit-
ting in the shelter, and then a
girl approached me and told me
that they had moved the bus stop
to the Kresge building.
There had been no sign on the
shelter saying that they had moved
the stop: they evidently expected
bus riders to know about it by
The walk to the Kresge building
necessitated going up a steep hill
in the direction from which I had
originally come This would be bad
enough as it is, but it was worse
for me because I am expecting a
baby in just three weeks,
ON THE WAY to ithe Kres ge
building, two Northwood buses
passed me by even though I hailed
them to try to get them to stop.
You would think that they would
have the consideration to stop for
a pregnant woman, especially on
the first day of a new route, but
they did not. I have seen bus
drivers stop for people between
stops befor'e, so they certainly
could have done so in this case.
When I got home, I called the
bus system and was told to get in
touch with a John Ellsworth. Upon
calling him, I was spoken to very
rudely and with all sorts of bureau-
cratic dodges.
He said, that he thought there
had been adequate publicity given
to the route changes, and that a
sign was on the shelter in ques-
tion, but a little checking of facts
would have shown him the truth
if he had bothered to find it out.
HE ALSO said that mine had
been the only complaint in eight
or ten thousand, This is galling.
I don't cai'e how many people
there are here; when someone has
a legitimate complaint, it should
not matter if he is one in a mil-

.pathy or would be apologetic, but.
instead he acted like a robot.
THE NEXT time that it is nec-
essary to change the bus routes,
I hope a few sensible things will
be done to make the change easier.
On the New York City subways,
when it is necessary to make
changes in routes or schedules,
signs are conspicuously posted in
each subway car with the appro-
priate changes spelled out.
Is it too much to ask that in-
stead of relying on 'the patchy
publicity of little articles stuck on
the inside pages of local news-
papers. signs could be posted in
the buses where they will more
likely be seen?
Also, signs could be posted at bus
stops which have been changed,
and someone from the bus system
could check to nake sure that they
remain there.
Perhaps mimeographed notices
could even be handed to bus riders
for the new days before the route
change, or distributed to the vari-
Staying atay from
To the Editor:
THERE SEEMS to be some
doubt in the minds of many
Americans as to the patriotism of
our young people. This is a ser-
ious indictment and unfounded.
The f a u 1 t s in our society are
many. Some came about due to a
blind patriotism of a generation
that were taught as all are, the
difference between right a n d
Hence, my country right or
wrong I w i I I follow blindly, is
somewhat hollow. Your country
and mine is involved in a mili-
tary confrontation in Vietnam be-
cause of a commitment (Politi-
cal), Many thousands have died,
many more maimed for life in ful-
filling this commitment.
I say its fulfilled, and the time
has come to manifest patriotism

our residence halls and married
student apartments.
Finally, drivers could1 be told to
stop between the regular stops in
exceptional cases-such as for a
pregnant woman in advanced
stages, who could not be expected
to run nimbly tQ the nearest reg-
ular stop but who doesn't want to
wait endlessly long for aniother
bus to come.
I was told by Mr. Ellsworth that
the drivers cannot judge when a
situation is exceptional, but any
competent professional driver has
to judge many situations on the
road every day and so I would
think he certainly could judge one
like this.
sense will prevail over bureaccratic
formulas and impersonal rudeness.
But I wonder if there is any hope
for this. From this experience, I
am inclined to think there is not.
-Mrs. T. A. Heppenheimer
Sept. 4
1t football games
as you the young men and women
see and feel it.
THIS IS what you can do as
students, individually or in non-
violent groups. Boycott all ath-
letic events, above the high school
level excluding intramural events
confined to the personnel of your
Suggest to your parents a n d
relatives to refrain the attendance
of professional athletic events in
their area. Do this with the aid
of such allies as the Women for
Peace, etc. Help your country now
and continue the pressure until
the effort bears fruit. Soon this
nation will be your estate, free or
enslaved. Again I say our com-
mitment in Vietnam has been ful-
-Edwin D. Wolf

On comingome
NOW, AFTER A EUROPEAN excursion and a week of meditation
on the playing fields of Connecticut, where does one begin again?
For most of the month I tried to get out of this world, but the effort
was never wholly successful. In London, for example, it was impossible
to turn off the BBC's reports on the heartbreaking repression in Prague
and the storm over Ireland.
And soon after homecoming 'a tranquil seven-hour flight climaxed
by 50 minutes of incarceration in the plane on the ground at Kennedy
Airport because no debarkation staircase was available) came such
harsh reminders of dismal reality as Mario Procaccino's wild cry that
John Lindsay provoked anti-Semitism in his handling of the school
conflict and Nelson Rockefeller's discovery that John Marchi, officially
heralded by right-wing Republicans as the man who will finally destroy
GOP liberalism, is really a "progressive" in the Rockefeller tradition.
If there is any evidence that modern man has achieved any notable
headway on earth during these last four weeks, it remains hidden. Per-
haps in some obscure laboratory somewhere a young scientist has quietly
glimpsed the beginnings of a medical miracle, but on the surface of
things it appears that statesmen and diplomats might just as well have
spent August on the beaches. The remembrance that World War II
started 30 years ago underlines the dead-end quality of the human
ONE COMES BACK to read a Daily News editorial yammering for
a Sino-Soviet war as man's best hope, as if the rest of us could be im-
mune to the fallout from such a conflict-or derive serenity from the
sight of mass extermination even if we were temporarily spared.
In Pittsburgh the construction workers were observing the pre-
Labor Day interlude by reaffirming their own brand of white supre-
macy. And in Manchester, N.H., the citizens were mournfully burying
five young GIs cut down in Vietnam in their final days of service.
Well, all this is hardly secret stuff and most of it merely accen-
tuates the question: Is there really anything new? Have I missed some-
thing big, with the possible exception of the Mets' historic home stand
against the Giants and the Dodgers? -
The polls say President Nixon's popularity rating remains high
and the news magazines continued to report that August was a month
of welcome quiet and lassitude on the American front, symbolized by
the transfer of the White House to the congenial shores of California.
Mr. Nixon seems to have escaped both heat and humidity and even
received generally high marks for his new welfare program which, un-
happily, has been overshadowed by Pat Moynihan's bleak and surpris-
ingly acquiescent announcement that the "peace dividend" - if peace
ever comes - will be much smaller than we have imagined.
I have caught up by now with news accounts of the background
conferences at which Administration spokesmen predicted tranquility
in the cities and quiet on the campuses.
The first temptation was to wonder whether they knew something
that we didn't know, but it increasingly seems clear that they are en-
gaged in a form of Coueism -- the wistful notion that all will be well
if enough men keep repeating that it will be. Conceivably that will work
for a while longer, but even the most euphoric Nixonite must occasion-
ally recall the opinion surveys that produced so continuous a glow
around the White House during Lyndon Johnson's early months.
For amid all the drowsiness there are other portents of a grimmer
nature that defy pigmy Pollyanaism. With characteristic reflexes, mili-
tary spokesmen have sought to minimize the semi-mutiny of Company
A as an isolated episode traceable to the lack of gung-ho spirit of the
young commander. But in sudden, explosive fashion it actually pointed
up the agonizing question being asked by millions of Americans in and
out of service: How many more must die in a war for which nearly all
popular passion is spent and in which the leaders of the most powerful
nation in the world are demanding further sacrifice in their stumbling
pursuit of a "face-saving" solution?
How long will the numbers game of troop withdrawals appease and
befuddle troubled citizens as the casualty lists steadily demonstrate
that Nixon's campaign "peace plan" was campaign oratory?
NOW THE BEACHES AND RESORTS are emptying and those who
enjoyed the luxury of escape while others sweltered in slums face an-
other year of real life; for the Administration the breathing-spell may
be just about ended. Soon it will be eight months since the inaugural
and soon it will no longer be enough to be told that, despite ominous
prophecy, Mr. Nixon has done nothing catastrophically wrong. The
question will be what has he done?
Possibly a certain renewal of energy occasioned by a vacation in-
spires a belief that things will get livelier in the coming months. I may

Support for 'Nite Owl' Service

'To the Editor:
As of Tuesday night, Sept. 2,
a University financed bus ser-Jce,
"Nite Owl," began operation. Its
purpose is to provide greater sec-

"Nite Owl" is great enough, then
additional buses, and/or bus routes
could be added.
-Mike Farrell, '70
SGC member-at-large
SeDt. 2

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