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June 15, 1968 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1968-06-15

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"Now they'll have to go back to killing each other with rocks."

Me P ictan Dait
Seventy-seven years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan
under authority of Board in Control of Student Publications

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

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



& '
Tito and de Gaulle:
Two sets of tactics
IT HAS long been a popular notion The French students and workers, in
that every European nation could attempting to live ,up to their revolu-
be characterized by quoting its nation- tionary heritage and their fabled repu-
al character - militaristic' Germans, tation for impassioned independence,
passionate, independent French, di- lost any chance for reforms when their
vided and jealous Balkan ethnic groups. movement became snared and hope-
Any political action in Europe could lessly entangled in class lines.
be accounted for by national charac-
ter. The student demonstrations and YUGOSLAVIA has also recently expe-
riots in Europe this spring have shown, rienced student uprisings that
however, that in fact, the leader of a touched off a nation-wide political pro-
nation has the ability to define its test. The outcome, however, has been
character more than the people do. surprisingly different than in France.
The reactionary response of the mid- Yugoslavia has much greater poten-
dle class to the riots in France will tial for division among its people. It
most likely result in a tighter rein (or was reasonable to expect that in con-
reign) for de Gaulle in suppressing his flict, the nation would divide along its
country instead of a mandate for re- many religious and ethnic lines, with
forms. A bourgeois backlash in the up- use of the solid dictatorship the only
coming elections will probably ensure available means to hold the country
the prostitution of what started as a together-using force, if necessary.
potentially positive force for reform. In actuality, the situation has been
The division and disunity shown by altogether different. Rather than dis-
the French population gave de Gaulle entegrating, the nation has united. The
the assurance he needed to call for ultimate issues have become educa-
new elections. As long as the country tional and social reforms, rather than
remains divided, there is little chance medieval ancestry or religious belief.
for de Gaulle and his anachronistic The motivating factor in the successful
policies to be replaced. results of the demonstrations has been
S.; , ..,rPresident Tito.
i.. IN FACING the crisis in Yugoslavia,
Tito showed none of the political
:> seniity of de Gaulle. Where de Gaulle
''threatened to take his marbles and quit
if he was not supported by the French
middle classes, whom de Gaulle knew
were fearful of the rebels, Tito listened
to the demands of the protesters. He
has instituted changes and programs
of reform that have put the country
4 xjwell on the road to democratic social-
ism and a more popular rule. All that
remains in the path of sweeping change
is the fading away of the old World
War II-vintage government officials,
Tito himself is of that vintage, and
yet somehow he has remained flexible
enough to lead Yugoslavia through a
post-war dictatorship into a more vi-
able and responsive government.
De Gaulle the patriot, on the other
hand, has institutionalized himself
and his grandiose policies at the ex-
'pense of the entire French social order.
For the past five years, his nation has
vr been stagnating, and the end is not
yet in sight.
The French could well take a lesson
S}r. from the Yugoslavs, for until they
awaken to the fact that only by a
$r % 4 concerted effort of all groups and fac-
j- tions in the nation will France be able
to free itself of the oppressive mantle
/ r%''~of de Gaullism and move into the free
" f exchange of the developing European
political system.
r, r , --DAVID MANN

The grotesquertes
Of commissions
AT THE BEHEST of President Johnson, another commission has
embarked on what he calls "a penetrating search for the causes
and prevention of violence-a search into our national life, our past
as well as our present, our traditions as well as our institution, our
customs, our culture and our laws." The answers are due in one year
and preferably sooner.
Conceivably this investigating body, including A Senator-'
Hruska of Nebraska-long prominently' identified 'with the gun
lobby, will produce some remarkable new insight into the human
animal and offer a fresh prescription for serenity or at least sedation.
But I trust that other pursuits of enlightenment and salvation will
not be suspended because of undue reliance on any prospective revela-
tions of the commission.
Having offered this polite preface, one is obliged to add that
the newest commission ceremonial seems a crude, ill-conceived and
grotesque exercise in evasion. I cannot believe that either Dr. Martin
Luther King or Sen. Robert Kennedy would have viewed it as any
vindication of their sacrifice.
To both of them the Vietnam War had steadily become the most
oppressive, incendiary aspect of American life-both because it meant
a rising toll of human suffering in a dead-end struggle, and because
it squandered ;national resources and energies that could have been
dedicated to those who dwell in the squalid basements of society.
NOW IN THE agony of their deaths, a new commission has been
born. But whatever its findings, it is unlikely to unfold them for many
months. Meanwhile the war goes on, and each momentc of each hour
of each day innocent victims as well as combatants are destroyed or
In its owit'way each of these lives was as precious to some parents
or child or loved one as were the victims of our ghastly assassinations;
one scarcely demeans Dr. King or Sen. Kennedy by saying so; that
was, in fact, part of their message.
That is why-among other reasons-there is a macabre quality,
abut the President's designation of a commission to probe our souls,
character and history for the -origins of 'violence.
THERE IS A parallel absurdity in the notion that the American
landscape would be more tranquil if television ceased reporting battle
scenes. Whatever its sins of emphasis on crime progams (including
the FBI-authorized Sunday night show), TV did not invent the war
and its realistic coverage may actually help to explain the growth of
peace sentiment=-often deplored by high officials-in the U.S.
It will be said that our participation in the current peace talks
is proof of our national goodwill. But how many chances for such a
minimal turn toward peace were fumbled until the domestic pressures
mounted? As the meetings laboriously proceed, why is there no call for
a ceasefire? If an individual life matters as much as our leaders now
assert, surely the time to press for a suspension of the Vietnam slaugh-
ter was many yesterdays ago.
r No one can seriously contend that Vietnam is the only source of
e strife, or that the silencing of those guns would bring peace on earth.
s Many nations with no direct involvement in that conflict remain
shadowed by irrational explosions. But perhaps more than any other
f single front Vietnam has increasingly symbolized the furious folly of
s modern man in the age of unreason that began at Sarajevo and reached
t its hideous elimax at Hiroshima.
't If all the resources of American statesmanship, supported by other
s diplomatic wise men, have no long been unable to end the bloody dead-
e lock in Vietnam, it is hard to visualize what wisdom Mr. Johnson's
- study of violence will adduce to resolve the riddle of man-made
e I AM NOT suggesting that all the answers are simple requiring
only the uses of human intelligence. I am contending that the cries
of helplessness and bafflement, the debates over "collective guilt" and
the elaborate quest for elusive psychic motivations may obscure certain
uncomplicated propositions.
One is that a war conceived partially in ignorance and compounded
by inadvertence might have been ended months ago by overcoming
traditional postures of pride and prestige.
Another is that the United States-despite the drain of Vietnam-
possesses sufficient wealth to narrow with significant speed the gap
between the haves and have-nots, if it reallly cares. But when the
y Kerner Commission spelled out such facts of life, it was generally viewed
in high places, including the White House, as a nest of Utopian egg-
h -So we will flounder anew in official examination of the inscrutable
nature of man, fumbling the obvious challenges,. and thereby ration-
s . alizing injustice-and violence. In a calmer time there would be calls
e for a commission to ponder the more tangible issue of how a great
nation stumbled into the interminable agony of Vietnam, blindly
e slogging on in quagmire amid restless decay at home. There remain
e the true issues of the politics of 1968; will either party choose a nominee


d~fGS":i{ J-t.A ,, nrS1C'nn.,SS J

Spokesman for the losers

AM SORRIER that Robert
Kennedy is dead than I am
about the harsh things I said
about him before he died, but that
smaller sorrow is a very large one
Reconciliation with his death is
in a minor way easier but in a
major way much harder than with
his brother: It is easier because
President Kennedy must have been
so happy when he died and Sen.
Kennedy must have been so un-
happy, not so much as he was five
years ago, but in a way obviously
acute enough.
An old friend, long defected to
Sen. Eugene McCarthy, visited
him in San Francisco the week-
end before he was murdered. The
conversation went so badly that
the visitor departed feeling each
had lost a friend.
"Going away," he remembered,
"I said that I wished I could think
of a joke to cheer him up, and he
answered that it wouldn't do much
ly able to be happy and greatly
able to be unhappy. It was im-
possible not to feel that the last
10 months, first of withdrawal and
then of sudden eruption had been
generally unhappy for him. He
was so vulnerable in so many ways
and most of all to the hurt of
being disliked by persons to whom
he had never done or contem-
plated harm. When he died he had
just won the California primary by
not quite enough votes to relieve
him of that hurt.
And then, great as his charm
was, he was the Kennedy least
suited to life on his campaign. He
was designed to be the trainer
rather than the horse, the man-
ager rather than the candidate. He
did not have that courteous, de-
tached contempt for his rivals that
his older brother had; and the
nature which cheerfully endured
making enemies in his brother's
cause suffered when he made
,them in his own.
Even his ambition did not have
that pure and selfish quality
which can make the life enjoyable
for successful politicians; it was
an ambition less for himself than
for the restoration of a time that
could not be restored. It is an
awful and exhausting thing to
have been forced by circumstance
to identify history with yourself.
There is, then, the small comfort
of knowing that he can rest at
But there remains the larger
pain that the life was so incom-
plete. President Kennedy died,
after all, at his summit; Sen. Ken-
nedy died on a long climb toward
a height which was, by every sign,
beyond him this year. He had
probably come to know this; the
stridency of his beginnings had
passed after Oregon. His enemies
said that his new bearing was a
calculation to soften his image as
a hard man. But those gentle man-

endured five years of the politics
of resentment. If Vice President
Humphrey had beaten Sen. Ken-
nedy at the end, his wound would,
I think, have been closed and our
painful history since his brother's
death would have been healed, in-
stead of lying raw and open as
it is now.
And then Sen. Kennedy's nat-
ural sympathies could have flow-
ed as they were meant to; he could
have become what he may have
been better suited to be than any

has most often seemed to me. Our
politicians are just too vulnerable
to be thought of in the old callous
way; we must'continually see them
in life as we would in the shock of
death, when we would be consciou
only of the good men. We shall
have always to remember tha
Vice President Humphrey's hear
is as kindly as it sometimes seems
feeble, that Mr. Nixon's persistence
is as heroic as it is so often de-
The language of dismissal be
comes horrible once you recognize

"Kennedy .... could have become what he
may have been better suited to be than any
politician alive, the tribune of the losers in
our society, the representative of the 'urepre-
.......................................r ............................... ................" .... ....... ..... vgg sg g r .. .

politician alive, the tribune of the
losers in our society, the repre-
sentative of the unrepresented.
Now he is deprived of that high
vocation and we of that great
service. It is impossible, without
the promise of that presence, to
imagine what will become of us.
And now one more private
thought. I cannot conceive a time
when I can again write about our
politics as the casual comedy it

the shadow of death over every
public man. For I have forgotten,
from being bitter about a tem
porary course of his, how muc
I liked Sen. Kennedy, and how
much he needed to know he was
liked. Now that there is in life
no road at whose turning we coul
meet again, the memory of havin
forgotten will always make me
sad and indefinitely make me


who can honorably face them?

Letters: Misinterpreting Nixon

The loss of innocence

that the country would now accept
"unilateral withdrawal" of United States
forces, from Vietnam is probably wrong
and has the unfortunate side-effect of
making his style more like that of the
average Presidential candidate.
The generally good showing in the ,
polls of Presidential contenders Richard
Nixon and Hubert Humphrey indicate
most voters would be quite shocked, to
learn they support United States with-
drawal from Vietnam. Neither Nixon nor
Humphrey has supported recognition of
the National Liberation Front in the Par-,
is peace negotiations, let alone withdraw-
al of United States forces--a move that
would surely lead to a more powerful
NLF in Vietnam.
In facing two contenders for the Presi-
dency with such a hard line attitude on
staying in Vietnam, advocacy of United
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States withdrawal becomes one of the
few issues McCarthy can use to present
voters with a clear-cut dramatic choice.
jT IS UNFORTUNATE that in searching
for a campaign issue the leader of the
"Magical Mystery Tour" becomes less ap-
pealing. Whether it is true or not, Mc-
Carthy looks like a candidate seeking
publicity rather than a man taking a
moral stand. The picture McCarthy cre-
ated when he first entered the race as a
man with a cause and little personal
ambition was appealing but atypical for
a man out to get votes.
McCarthy's victory in New Hampshire
made it look for awhile as if the nation
was ready for this type of "no win" can-
didate. Humphrey's better than expected
showing in the polls and among Demo-
cratic delegates may have forced Mc-
Carthy to take a different tack.
WHEN HE ENTERED the Presidential
race in November, McCarthy claimed
he represented the youths and intellec-
tuals who supported peace in Vietnam.
Claiming these groups as a constituency
was undoubtedly fairly legitimate at the
time, but not oriented toward a victory.
However, McCarthy himself has only

To the Editor:
A RECENT editorial, reprinted
from The Nation, (Daily, June
15) suggested that Nixon's propo-
sal to encourage Negro ownership
and control ofbusinesses was an
unworkable scheme designed only
to gather votes. By implication,
any similar scheme, no matter
who is its proponent, is simply
another attempt to sell the Am-
erican Negro a second rate used
car. The article misinterprets both
Nixon's stated aims and the prob-
able result of increased Negro
ownership. Contrary to The Na-
tion's claims, such small business-
es would have an excellent chance
even in a "high-technology soci-
ety", since their goal is not to
out-produce U.S. Steel or outsell
I.B.M. on the stock market, but
to foster pride, independence, and
material well-being among their
owners. Private businesses obvi-
ously do exist throughout Ameri-
can cities. The proposed scheme
would give Negroes a better chance
to purchase, build, and improve
t' e stores, the most likely result
being an end to the patron-client
relationship which is a blot on
white-black relations, and which
is justi as characteristic of gov-
ernment welfare as it is of the
cotton plantation or the company
It is not correct to say that the
"average American Negro has too
much sense to buy such a bill of
goods", because many of them
will (if given the opportunity) use
private capital or government

asking from many large corpora-
tions, if only the request be made
in temperate language, free from
the polemics about capitalistic ex.
ploitation and the decadent mid-
dle class which decorate the pages
of many an earnest newspaper,
including the Michigan Daily.
The Federal and state govern-
ments could provide loans for both
businesses and homes, and by
charging no interest ; and allow-
ing a generous period for repay-
ment, could make the loans prac-
ticable. Certainly the expense, in-
cluding inflation and some inevi-
table failures, would be no greater
than the present aid program or
the frequently proposed extensions
of that program. By using the ef-
fort and ability which many indi-
viduals would freely contribute
(as they have done for years for
such programs as the Community
Chest) and by making the reci-
pient responsible for managing the
money, administrative procedures
and thecostthereof would bet
greatly reduced. The result, I be-
lieve, would have considerable ap-
peal to the sense of justice of
those who feel that efforts to re-
medy poverty should benefit the
poor, rather than an inordinate
number of administrators and ,fil-
ing clerks. Perhaps some indivi-
duals with academic backgrounds
will be 'surprised that a personr
would choose such an austere
prospect rather than continuing
to accept his government check,
meanwhile celebrating his aliena-
tion and loss of identity with song
wail affa.^A ITF.Vt L1A" .CC C+t j^ Yb

and that of his neighbors, it has
yet to be discovered. While there
\are many considerations in any
attack on the poverty, rioting, and
everyday crime in the slums, there
will ultimately be no more peace
and prosperity than the local peo-
ple can establish and maintain.
Their success depends not upon
how many people vote for Nixon,'
but upon how many realize that
his proposed "new coalition" rep-
resents the best qualities of many
Americans of diverse political
.-James Springer
To MACE or ...
To the Editor:
IT IS IN the nature of absurdity
that truth is what one makes
it or what one wills it to be. Like
Yang and Yin, black and white,
good and evil, man and ape-
there always seems to be two sides'
to a controversy. No one, ever
claims that one or the other is
"right," but only that there are
two sides.
The June 11 editorial by David
Mann invites such a reversal of,
roles. Let me paraphrase,' sub-
stituting a few key words.
-"Although the report blithely
states that nightsticks are safe
for police use, its authors obvious-
ly neglected the. fact that the
stringent laboratory safeguards
the report mentions and recom-
mends are barelylikely to be em-
ployed by tense, frightened, some-
times racist police in controlling
an unruly crowd. Try to imagine
+I% ;,4-n ci2ia- - fn ...saa+1s,P

making certain that' the distance
is correct, the cop asks the dem-
onstrator if his reflexes are func-
tioning properly-if not, the re-
port states, the blow couldresult
in blindness or death. If the dem-
onstrator assures the cop that
his protective reflexes are in good
order, he is slugged, after which
the protester may collapse on the
Well, I could go on, but I hope
you get the idea. It's not the
medium but the message thatyou
condemn. You simply, do not wish
that anyone who protestps any-
thing for any reason shall be re-
stricted in any way for any rea-
son. Good God! That's the same
message trumpeted by a squalling
What is really the issue is ma-
turity-a seldom understood and
much misunderstood term which
really defines the boundary be-
tween childishness and adulthood.
So'let's not mess around with
MACE or nightsticks. Rather con-
centrate on the basic issue of
whether the duly authorized rep-
Tesentatives of a governmental
body have authority to physically
control members of the society of
which they are a part. In short-
can the cops do ANYTHING AT
Jerome S. Miller
B.S. '47
M.S. '49
Ph.D. '55
To the Editor:-
rmec s nin n .-vthankr vmu

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