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June 11, 1968 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1968-06-11

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g4c Mfriegan Dai
Seventy-seven years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan
under authority of Boprd in Control of Student Publications

Letters: Violence... corporate liberalism

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-05521

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily exp ress the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. this must be noted in all reprints.

TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 1968



The MACE report:

Green light
THE UNIVERSITY'S pharmacology de-
partment has done a disservice to it-
self, the University, and those across the
country concerned with responsible law
enforcement and racial justice. Its re-
port on the effects of MACE, the riot
chemical control - a report that was
to be the definitive statement on the
safety or harm in ;using the chemical
agent for police departments across the
country - was couched in terms so am-
biguous as to make the real message of
the report meaningless.
Although the report blithely states that
MACE is safe for police use, its authors
obviously neglected the fact that the
stringent laboratory safeguards the re-
port recommends are barely likely to be
employed by tense, frightened sometimes
racist police in controlling an Unruly
crowd. Try to imagine the ideal -situation
for MACE use.
The helmeted riot cop taps a protester
on the shoulder, asking him if he will
kindly step back a few feet - MACE can
cause "severe, long term, and possibly
permanent ocular damage" if sprayed
directly into the eye at close range, ac-
cording to the report. After making cer-
tain that the distance is correct, the cop
asks, the demonstraor if his reflexes are
functioning properly - if not, the report
states, the spray could result in blind-
ness or death. If the demonstrator as-
sures the cop that his protective reflexes
are in good order, he is sprayed, after
which the protester must move aside, be-
cause if he collapses on the spot and is
hit by the spray again after having been
incapacitated-by the chemical, or by any-
thing else, it could be permanently dam-
aging to the eyes, or fatal.
(Perhaps the police could hand out
tags to their victims. As soon as another
MACE-wielding officer sees the "No
thanks, I've already been sprayed," he
could save the valuable chemical for use
on another protester.
The problem with the report is pre-
cisely that it makes it easy for police
departments to read only what they want
to read - that MACE is ,safe - and ig-
nore what they want to ignore: that
MACE is safe only under extremely rigid
conditions which are not likely to be
duplicated in on-the-street confronta-

to tragedy
PUT THE real issue of the MACE con-
troversy goes beyond the police tac-,
tics that would be used employing the
chemical. It strikes at the nature" of the
climate in which harsh police tactics are
currently flourishing.
MACE is unsafe for reasons beyond the
fact that it is clearly a hazard to those
on whom it is used. MACE may blind not
only those on the receiving end of the
potentially lethal spray, it will have a
similar effect on the people pushing the
cannister button.
It has been evident over the past sev-
eral summers that authorities would
rather disperse a crowd of' people than
find out why they have gathered. In the
past, however, it was hard for the police
to close their eyes to the cause, because
no alternatives existed other than talk-
ing or busting heads. And the police knew
that some of their heads might get bat-
tered in the process.
Thanks to modern technology, once
the police across the nation have read
the pharmacology department's biased
report, they can close their eyes and
push the button. When they open their
eyes, those who had to resort to taking
their social pleas to the street will be
strewn on the pavement, helpless, their
questions unanswered.
Those in the leadership positions in our
country have decried violence long and
loudly over the past few months. We have
heard pleas to disarm, to step back from
bestial violence, to talk and to listen
when legitimate grievances are raised.
What will happen, however, when the
future leaders of our nation --- the col-
lege students, the young blacks - are not
listened to, but administered a spray that
will silence them, in some cases forever.
Reinforcement of frustrations and mis-
trust at the grass roots level will even-
tually force the nation's youth, both black
and white, to seek other avenues of ex-
pression, avenues that are full of violence
and bitterness. Before the mace of ir-
rational authority is wielded in this coun-
try, those who are currently wallowing
in a morass of grief and solemn procla-
mations to end the violence should shut
their mouths and open their eyes to the
shame the pharmacology department did
so much to legitimize on Friday.

To the Editor:
TN THE HEAVY newspaper and
television coverage of the world
reaction of men and nations to
the assassination of Robert Ken-
nedy, one significantly recurring
and growing theme has been wide-
spread apprehension that our so-
ciety, and perhaps even world so-
ciety, s diseased to the point of
virtual insanity-that we may be,
in some dreadful sense, a nation
gone mad. Political assassination,
riot, anarchy, lawlessness and
wars of aggression seem more and
more to characterize American
life, it is said; and, as the idea
has, one must admit, a certain
wretched plausibility, especially
among the young, I think it neces-
sary to point out that the idea is,
first, in a backward sense, an odd
tribute to the actual success of
American democratic practice and,
second, testimony to our national
historical and political naivete.
Analysis of the first point, will
lead directly into the second.
To begin with the obvious, po-
litical assassination, riot, anarchy,
lawlessness and wars of aggression
have characterized human exist-
ence on the planet from its outset
to the present. There have existed,
from time to time and from place
to place, tiny pockets of peace,
among isolated and minuscule so-
cieties and for brief moments in
larger ones; but on the whole hu-
man existence has been fr ught
with savagery in the practice of
men and nations alike. Public
hangings, crucifixions, beheadings,
drawing-and-quarterings, mutila-
tions and the like have been stan-
dard for all crimes more severe
than petty thievery; less than a
century ago, in the United States,
men wre hanged for horse theft
as a matter of common practice.
Even the most severe of attempt-
ed control methods, military dic-
tatorships in one form or another
(which have, after all, been the
overwhelming practice of govern-
ment everywhere to the present),
have not been able to prevent the
life of the citizen, as well as that
of men in public life, from being
one long, ineluctable game of Rus-
sian roulette.
IT IS ONLY in America, in the
very recent past, that a system
has evolved which, without coer-
cion of bodies, has succeeded to a
very great degree, a degree unpre-
cedented among Pikenations else-
where, In reducing the causes of
tension and violence by systema-
tically upgrading the living stan-
dards and satisfactions of most of
its citizens. Cime was by no means
ended, nor lowlessness nor pover-
ty, nor injustice; but on a statis-
tical basis men were beginning to
take their personal safety far more
for granted than ever before, as
well as their likelihood of achiev-
ing personal happiness and a feas-
ible future for their children.
This was, nonetheless, achieved
at a' price; in America, given its
history and the nature of techno-
logical inexorability, the price was
the advancement of the standards
of one race, the predominant race,
to the sometime detriment of the
advancement of others; and it was
the gradual inculcation of the idea
that no alternatives outside the
system itself were thinkable. This
meant, in both cases, a certain in-
stitutionalization of injustice and
thought-control; and, in both cas-
es, reaction was inevitable. We are
experiencing the results of tht re-
action now.
Nonetheless, it should be clear
that we are not going berserk;
rather, we are temporarily slipping
back into a certain degree of what
we had been doing and what is
still going 'on everywhere else.
Hundreds, nay thousands of
deaths have resulted in India from
riots over a proposed change in
the official language, while we
are at the same time horrified ov-

er riots in Detroit in which forty
AND THIS is the measure of
our national naivete. The older
among us have grown so accus-
tomed to our time of safety that
they like to think it has always
been so and that this recrudes-
cence is in fact unprecedented;
the younger of us, born into our
time of safety, have never known
it to be otherwise and so do not
see the extent to which, in pro-
testing the institutionalized injus-
tices, they themselves have helped
to bring this recrudescence about.
I do not mean by the foregoing
to mitigate in any degree the hor-
ror of Robert Kennedy's murder;
X do mean to place it in a perspec-
tive consonant with the experience
of the race. Our current obsession
with the fact of violence can only
have come about through having
been for some time overprotected,
isolated, for our own and the na-
tion's presumed good, from the
genuine experience of life. What
we are now experiencing is a rite
of passage. If we pass it, we may
even grow up.
Norman Hartweg, Grad.
To the Editor:
WRITE to thank you for your
memorial statement for Robert

Q'. ;,,'r " k R , dry.
x41 ?
146R, The Register " - ' " 44
ancf. "Crlhune Syndicate
' tN:-wsa.+RGat,.att"t't*a6' .ILB

The little boy. who cried...

NOT THAT it matters much anymore,
but Gen. William Westmoreland may
not be a trustworthy source of informa-
tion for Americans interested in how
our military forces in Vietnam are far-'
ing against the North Vietnamese and
the National Liberation Front .
In a parting shot delivered before sol-
diers in the fields Sunday, Westmoreland
said "the enemy has been defeated, at
every turn," and added he was leaving
Vietnam convinced that "our side is get-
ting stronger whereas the enemy is get-
ting weaker."
In the first place, Westmoreland -
along with most American military men
- persist in viewing the conflict in Asia,
from an irrelevant perspective. As David
Halberstam observed in an excellent New.
Republic analysis several weeks ago, wars
which - like Vietnam - are chiefly of
a political and psychological character
cannot be considered in traditional mil-
itary terms. Yet throughout the war, the
Pentagon has continued to point to fa-,
vorable body count differentials as proof

of progress, disregarding the enormous
psychological and political advantages
the NLF has accrued by demonstrating
its ability to strike anywhere.
IN THE second place, even from a com-
mon-sense perspective, Westmoreland's
pronouncements have a hollow ring.
From his appointment in 1964, the gen-
eral, who was touted at the time of his
commissioning as an "expert in guerrilla
warfare", has repeatedly and publicly
prophecied quick military victory and the
crumbling of enemy resistance.
Perhaps the general spoke as he did as
part of the necessary round of back-
ground political ploys in which, during
peace negotiations, both sides must in-
sist that they have already won on the
field what they are demanding at the
conference table. Even so, given the re-
liability of Gen. Westmoreland's past
public statements on the war, the ploy
is not likely to fool the NLF or the North
Vietnamese. Nor anybody else.

To the Editor:
I WAS disappointed to read Mr.
Michael Davis's letter to The
Editor (Daily, June 8) in which
he discussed President Fleming's
letter to the faculty. The Presi-
dent's letter stated that "force
and violence are antithetical to
the very purpose of a university,"
avowed that "universities wish
to continue to govern themselves,"
promised that "every proposal for
change ,.1. will receive thorough
and sympathetic consideration,"
and voiced the hope that through
"student, faculty, and administra-
tive participation" we will be suc-
cessful this summer in "'revising
many of our rules and regula-
tions." I am disappointed and
surprised that Mr. Davis sees this
temperate and concerned docu-
ment as an "invitation to an-
archy." Perhaps it is true that
some people see only what they
look for.
I invite Mr. Davis to reflect
upon the following analogy. Like
last year's SGC warning that it
will not tolerate any rules govern-
ing students except those made
by students, are the warnings of
some States that they will not
tolerate any rules except those
legislated by themselves. Former
Governor Wallace has insisted
that only the people of Alabama
can decide what kind of school
system there should be in Ala-
bama. Even apart from its service
as excuse for maintaining what
to us are repugnant systems of
segregation and repression, I
think the general principle is
wrong. A State is part of a larger
community whose laws must'pre-
vail. Similarly the student body
(like the faculty and the admin-
istration) is part of a larger com-
munity. And that larger commu-
nity-if the press is to be be-
lieved-is determined that its edu-
cational institutions must be free
to carry out their educational ac-
tivities without disruption. I do
not believe that the long discredit-
ed doctrine of interposition can
be revived.
Mr. Davis confesses that his
first impulse on reading the
President's letter was to lead a
mob against President Fleming
and ". . disruptively lock 'him
up for the night.. ." I am pleased
that Mr. Davis has so far man-
aged to restrain himself. I hope
for all our sakes that he can con-
tinue to do so. There is really
something admirable about be-
ing able to control one's impulses
toward violent criminal activity.
On the other hand, perhaps it is
not altogether admirable to have
to struggle continually against
such dark impulses.
-Irving M. Copi,
Prof. of Philosophy
Fascist igs
To the Editor:
When I learned with chagrin
but not surprise that the co-
editors of The Daily had resolved
to put in writing their support of
Eugene McCarthy's candidacy for
the Presidency, I had hoped I
would not have time to write a
reply. But alas, I do.
About the destruction of Robert
Kennedy to build Mr 'McCarthy
there is not much to be said. The
Minnesota Senator found his way
up the ladder by joining another
Minnesotan, Hubert Humphrey, in
a grandstand purge of Communist
farmer-democrats all the way back
in 1948. Like Bobby, Gene sup-
ported Joe unflinchingly, just as
he now supports surtaxes, a boon-
doggle that pales even the teapot

-one can argue what he stood to
lose and gain in New Hampshire
and what he stands personally to
lose or gain now (why no coali-
tion with Bobby if his principles
are so important?). What is im-
portant is that he has lousy prin-
ciples, and that if indeed he is
not "the best we have got," every-
thing you say about him is mean-
ingless until you first tell us who
'or what IS the best we've got.
Part of your hangup, I think,
is in hoping for a man who will
infuse "any hope for the Demo-
cratic party." The Democratic
party, the party that has produced
four wars in half a century and
that has turned the rhetoric of a
welfare state into the, reality of
the world's most murderous gravy
train is a cruel joke on those
humanists that remain with it. It
contains Lester Maddox, Lyndon
Johnson, Harry Truman, Richard
aley, Hubert Humphrey, Bobby
Kennedy, and Gene McCarthy-
"there's room enough for all of
us," Hubert once told Lester.
If there is room for all. these
men, then what is the party's
purpose? Is it to provide peace and
democracy for America, or is it to
offer the platform by which a
minority-group, big labor-south-
ern-middle-class coalition can be
formed to slide the machine
through each fourth-year adver-
tising campaign? You may be
right that Gene McCarthy is the.
"last hope of salvaging the two-,
party system"-I doubt that, but
if I thought you were right that
would be precisely the ground on
which I would oppose him.
THIS COUNTRY has had So-
cialist parties before. The labor
agrarian movement at the turn of
the century broke up with govern-
ment help; the Socialist party
which inherited its radialism was
a major power from the turn of
the century through 1920-a per-
iod where in many parts of the
country Democrats and Repub-
licans ran fusion tickets to block
socialist candidates, and in which
the socialists were so ) strong
throughout the First World War
that that great liberal, Woodrow
Wilson, was forced to initiate a
nation-wide red scare and police
purge to help break it up.
There were anti-capitalist par-
ties through the twenties and into
the Depression, but the rhetoric of
Roosevelt and (surprise) a war
saved corporate capital once more.
The fear outlived the war, how-
ever, and another Democrat was
needed to put us into the Cold-
War and keep us there until an-
other Democrat could adopt itto
the Third World and still another,
Democrat could carry it beyond
its asthetic, but entirely within
its logical, conclusion.
So why save the Democratic
party? Is it corporate liberalism
you wish to save? Is it the style
of the university you wish to see
retained in government? Is it the
familiar feel of a man with a
daughter at Radcliff?
There is one and only one logical
reason to think of supporting the
left-Democrats-they seem more
predisposed toward ending the
Vietnam war than anyone else,
there might be a chance that they
will ease up the police, they may
feed and maybe free a few of our
poor. But this is miles away from
supporting them to save the Dem-
ocratic party-indeed, it is the
very opposite. The two-party sys-
tem lives in this country by dead
financial weight, by suasian when
needed and, when those fail, by
police force. It is a false demo-
cracy that allows the people to

system where a few men of wealth
and power control the country,
and manipulate it to preserve
their attractive position; Eugene
McCarthy is the corporate rep-
resentative sent/ out to pacify us
and some of the forces that
threaten the status quo. There
may be reasons to support him,
but without forming an organ-
ization to promote a new system
of democratic socialism, or at very
least to provide a sustained and
meaningful critique of corporate
capitalism and liberalism, then
Gene McCarthy is the best you
will ever get, and it is quite late
in the game to be unclear as to
oust how bad that is,
-Harvey Wasserman,
Editorial Director, '66-'6'7
To the Editor:
Thank you for the in depth
presentation of my views on ed-
ucation on my candidacy for
School Board Trustee.
There is one major discrepancy
to which I wish to draw your at-
tention, however. My decision to
run for the School Board was
based on a deep conviction that
an aspect of education and a seg-
ment of the community were being
ignored. I was not then, nor am
I now, the candidate of any polit-
ical party or civic organization in
An Arbor.
Although I welcome the en-
dorsement of both political parties
and civic organizations I wish to
make it clearly understood my
campaign is being organized and
financed by friends.
Thank you for this clarification.
-Joan C. Adams
They marched
To the Editor:
IN THE PAST two weeks there
has been a great deal of con-
fusion arising from the incidents
that have occurred at Ann Arbo'r
High School. Much of the con-
troversy and misunderstanding
has been directed ate the daily
pickets who have marched in sup-
port of the students and in op.'
position to the "partial martial
law," implemented by Principal
Schreiber. This letter is an at-
tempt to clear up, that issue for
the residents of Ann Arbor.
We marched in support of the
students' demands which we see
as reasonable and a necessary ex-
tension of substantive power to,
the students-the people who are
receiving the education.
We marched in opposition to
Principal Schreiber's curbs on the
American freedoms of speech and
the press which include young
We marched because no pro-,
gram has, to our knowledge, been
devised in response to the inequi-
ties in the school uncovered by
the Vinter-Sarri report over a
year ago.

We mistrust a board of educa-
tion composed on inflexible con-
servatives and ineffective middle-
of-the-roaders. These people con-
cern themselves primarily with
fiscal problems, and a national
image as expresed in prize-win-
ning physical plants, rather than
giving the first priority to human
needs. School ?officials have re-
sponded to just demands by oc-
cupying the school with police
after some of the emotional feel-
ings engenderd by a fundament-
ally racist structure and environ-
ment came to the surface.
Governments have been respon-
ding to the challenges to their
policies with the same cries for
"law and order" and the military
occupation of our cities and mar-
tial law. There is no reson why
theschools, supposedly one of our
democratic institutions, must
clamprdown in the same oppres-
sive manner when the students are
finding that their schools are not
meeting their needs. Some serious
re-evaluation of school' policies'
and immediate drastic changes
are necessary and are a much
more rational response.
-Peter ,Meyers, for the
members of:
The Bill Ayers for School
Board Committee
People Against Reeism
Ann Arbor Resistance -
The killer
To the Editor:
WHEN WILL the killer of Robert
4 Kennedy- be apprehended. He
is still at large in the land. Robert
Kennedy has been murdered but
hisassassin is still at freedom. Los
Angeles police are holding in cus-
tody their suspect while the party
responsible for Senator Kennedy's
death roams the nation unpur-
sued, unsuspected, generally re-
morseless and unecognized.
The American way of lie no
longer represents a practicalhope
for idealistic goals as it once did,.
when injustices like these are per-
mitted. That this has been the
case in the view of young and
black American is all too clear.
They see the initial stages of an
illness which is infecting mind
and body of the health of this
The United States of the 1960s
has been oharactei'ized a sick so-
ciety by those who see its foreign
policy, its violence, its unwilling-
ness to assure its own citizens the
rights for which it sacrifices its
sons in Southeast Asia, an un-
deniable pattern of broad sig-
nificance. In December, 1960
Walter Lippmann in a Newsweek
editorial explained enthusiasm for
the candidacy of Eugene McCar-
thy's presidential candidacy in
terms of a hope and faith for
recovery of an American commit-
ment to idealistic purposes. In the
intervening months the lives of
Martin Lther King and Robert
Kennedy have been ended by the
decree of deranged or at least is-
torted minds. After Dallas, 1963
and Memphis-Los Angeles, 1968,
one sees the shock of such events
diminishing by their frequency in
their effect ipmon the imagination
and daily routines of most Amer-
icanis rather than becoming more
acute. Pres. Johnson and tele-
'vision news commentators seek to.
relieve the pangs of guilt which
nag the consciences of Americans
that it can happen here, by reject-
ing the thesis of moral spiritual
decay with the logic that the bul-
let of a lone man's pistol does not
amount to a nation-wide posse or
lynch mob.
JUST. AS ."white backlash"
shrinks from black social and
political-economic power, and as
the Establishment refuses to be
the first American generation "to
lose a war," so such people close
their eyes to the malaise of a so-
ciety ignorant of the hubris to
which its arrogance and self- -

righteousness must lead.
The assassination of President
Kennedy and the ensuing five
years of violence, division, and
decay followed by the recent acts
of self expression by disordered
minds visited upon leaders who
had questioned, doubted the con-
tent and direction of American
ideals, should convince all but
those too far gone to save, that
200 million Americans need not
squeeze a collective trigger to con-
clude that the deaths of Dr. Mar-
*tin Luther King and Senator
Robert F. Kennedy were a product
of this time and place in his-
tory .,
-Sam Bernstein, Grad,

Wh then this restlessness.


THERE ARE no words to express the na-
tion's sorrow when one of its leaders
is assassinated. All America grieves over
the senseless, cowardly, cruel slaying of
Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.
Many deranged persons, including
homicidal maniacs, are permitted to roam
the streets of our cities, and no one can
be sure that he is safe fron attack.
When the Rev. Martin Luther" King
was murdered a day of mourning was
widely observed. At that time a Tribune

Rome. Moral values are scoffed at and
ignored. Drug addiction among the youth
is so widespread that we are treated to
the spectacle at great universites of fac-
ulty-student commttees solemnly decree-
ing that this is no longer a matter for
correction under law.
"Dress is immodest. Pornography floods
the news stands and book stores. 'Free
speech' movements on campuses address
themselves to four-letter words.
"Yes, this nation and its people need a
d '-v f rnnArninr - -- a ua in which thev


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