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June 19, 1968 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1968-06-19

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

Land of the Free... Home of the Brave


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The Children's Community School:
Defending educational innovation

'HE POPULAR delusion that local rep-
resentatives of the poor are the best
spokesmen for the real interests of low
income and black people is being rap-
Idly eroded.
The refusal Sunday of the Washtenaw
County Citizens Committee for EconomiG
Opportunity to serve as the legal inter-
mediary for the transfer of federal funds
to the experimental Children's Commun-
ity School in Ann Arbor is a clearcut in-
dication that representatives of Negroes
and poor people are not without their
own prejudices and their own drive for
control over others.
The CEO's unwillingness to be even
remotely associated with the Community
School - which they deem "too contro-
versial" on the basis of exceedingly scant
information - may cause the school to
lose a federal grant of $11,250.
THE FEDERAL grant would have pro-
r vided medical and dental examina-
tions and care, hot lunches, social serv-
fees to the children and their families,
enrichment programs, and could have
allowed cutting class size. It would also
have brought in federal education con-
sultants to advise and evaluate.
But the CEO, which was not con-
vinced that the Children's Community
substantially benefits poor people, chose
to blindly believe ill-founded rumors

about the school, and not inquire into
the impact which this grant could have
on the poor, whom the CEO supposedly
The CEO was not asked to sponsor the
project, but merely to receive the fed-
eral funds and transfer them to the
school, because there is no legal channel
through which the federal agency can
give the money directly to a private
The Children's Community was chosen
by the federal agency because parents
and other low income members of the
community are integrally involved in the
operation of the school.
But the CEO, many of whose members
suffered from the abuses of the prevail-
ing educational system, has chosen to
uphold the goals of that system, ignor-
Ing efforts like the Community School to
create a better one - a new system
which could foster educational oppor-
tunities for low income and black people.
THE CEO seems to primarily value its
own puny prerogatives. And its at-
tempt to prevent the federal government
from giving funds to the Community
School can in no way benefit the poor.
It will only tend to perpetuate some of
the burdens which they already bear.

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letter, to Washington

Editor's note: During the past
week, Washington has been flooded
with letters urging the passage of
strict gun control legislation, such
as the bill proposed by President
Johnson which would ban the sale
of rifles and shotguns by mail.
The following is one such letter

sent by a University student to
Sen. Philip A. Hart (D-Mich,)
I AM WRITING you now to en-
courage you to vote in favor
of the gun control legislation re-,
cently proposed by President

Courtly behavior

PERHAPS THE MOST engaging quality
of the United States Supreme Court
is their unparalleled ability as the mas-
ters of the surprise.
With no warning at all the Court
found Monday that a long forgotten piece
of Reconstruction legislation outlaws all
discrimination in the sale and rental of
all housing.
The decision is especially therapeutic
when one remembers the long and tor-
turous discussions in Congress over the
limited provisions on open housing con-
tained in the 1968 Civil Rights Bill, not
scheduled to take effect until Jan. 1, 1969.
By indicating that discrimination in
housing had always been illegal, the
Court has effectively ridiculed the huge
loopholes in the 1968 law.
BUT ONE should not regard the diffi-
culty of obtaining open housing legis-
the faith
A SURVEY of dormitory residents re-
leased yesterday shows an overwhelm-
ingly favorable response to the relaxa-
tion of curfew and visitation restrictions
initiated on a one semester trial basis last
The general success of the new regu-
lations is clear. To maintain good faith
with the student body, the Regents should
move immediately to make those regu-
lations permanent.
-M. H.

lation as an indicator of the importance
of such statutory guarantees. The time
has long past when America's racial
problems can be significantly amelior-
ated through either legislative action
or court decision.
The singular lack of success of strin-
gent open housing statutes in several
Northern states indicates that it is fool-
hardy to believe that Monday's Court
decision will effectively modify the hyper-
segregated housing patterns in this
NVO COURT DECISION or legislative
vote can destroy the American's pen-
chant for living in relatively homogen-
ous communities with members of his
same economic class. Unless this nation's
living patterns undergo a marked up-
heaval or this country somehow achieves
a massive redistribution of wealth, high
property values will continue to exclude
the poor from living in many areas of
this country. And as few can forget
these days, the "poor" are little more
than an objective euphemism for the
black community.
Hopefully the major accomplishment
of Monday's decision will be to remove
the whole question of open-housing from
the arena of public debate. By freeing
the advocates of open-housing to focus
on the far more substantial economic
underpinnings of housing segregation,
the Court has rendered the profound
service of disposing of an outmoded po-
litical football.

Preparing for the march: Will it matter?
'Today the march;
tomorrow . ...
TODAY'S Poor People's March on Washington is historic, its plan-
ners tell us, but even the staunchest friends of Black Power are
entering it with something less than forced enthusiasm.
Since the late Rev. Martin Luther King first proposed the march
as a massive last peaceful assault on Washington's conservative legis-
lature (power structure), it has been a campaign devoid of any emo-
tional appeal, whose only excuse for existing has been a shaky archaic
intellectual conviction that a march is a good thing to have, and a
nagging guilt that to abandon it would somehow have disappointed
dreamer King.
The Poor People's March cannot succeed. The campaign - which
the march is ending much as disappointing fireworks on a boring
Fourth of July - began bogged in organizational, ideological and
political difficulties and never emerged to conquer them. Internal
power plays pitting the Rev. Ralph Abernathy against sporadic leader
Jesse Jackson and Jose Williams confused the goals of the march so
no one was ever quite sure just what they officially wanted to ac-
And the Poor People's Campaign failed because while a sultry
summer's rain melted Resurrection City into mud, dispirited partici-
pants surrendered to impatience, aggravation and frustration.
EFFECTIVE RADICALS must constantly weigh the need for mili-
tancy against the need to moderate protest tactics in order to prevent
alienating liberals and other potential supports.
But, anxious to prove their potency to fellow blacks, campaign
leaders staged a series of needless, ineffectually aggravating demon-
strations - such as refusing to pay luncheon bills at government
cafeterias. The action were too weak to arouse supporters, too un-
sophisticated to impress legislators. Abernathy finally paid the bill.
But the Poor People's March has failed not simply because of
organizational ineffectiveness. No, the campaign has failed because
any non-violent campaign had to fail. Congress is in no mood to
grant liberal favors to the poor - to the black poor - and any legis-
lation now would take a miraculous burst of energy just when Con-
gressmen are itching to adjourn and begin their election campaigns.
VIOLENT OUTBURSTS anything short of uprisings (such as the
April riots) can only intensify reactionary sentiments throughout the
country as a whole, and increase the likelihood Congress will take a
tougher and anti-black stand. It is no accident the repressive anti-
crime bill which authorizes sweeping wiretap and police privileges, has
come in the wake of the riots.
So any show of non-violent protest has to fail. And the Poor
People's Campaign and today's march are nothing more than show.
Mrs. Coretta King has defined them as "last chances to cure the
country's ills without violence" - but in blunt political terms they
are tactical levers anticipating the possible riots this summer when
the blacks can tell the white community "We warned you. We asked
peacefully and you refused us. Now you suffer the consequences."

Johnson. As your constituent, I
'find your previous record on the
question highly unsatisfactory. I
hope very much that you will re-
consider your position, especially
in light of the two tragedies we
have faced in the last two months,
the assassinations of two of the
most important liberal leaders of
the country.-
I cannot profess to represent a
large organization, as opponenets
of gun legislation, the lobby of the
National Rifle Association can do.
However, I can assure you that
there is a very large proportion of
our community-definitely a maj-
ority-that agrees with my views
on this subject.
You have, no doubt, heard the
following arguments before, and
clearly they are not original, but
they have considerable merit and
should be seriously reconsidered
before your final decision is made:
" State laws in the area of gun
control are clearly inadequate, not
only in the case of interstate mail-
ing of firearms, but as far as
registration itself is concerned.
The present gun laws in Michi-
gan, for example, are almost com-
pletely negated by the lack of
registration in Ohio.
* Even if the Second Amend-
ment right to bear arms is inter-
preted to apply to individual citi-
zens, it is not in conflict with a
strict gun registration require-
ment. Other constitutionally guar-
anteed rights-such as assembly
and voting-today require licen-
sing, not by way of restriction, but
by way of maintaining order and
safety. There is no reason the
right to bear arms should be void-
ed from such registration.
* Requiring registration would
in no way restrict any responsible
member of the community from
keeping arms. T h e s e people
would have little more trouble, in
fact, probably less, buying and
registering a gun than they would
an automobile. Registration would
merely keep such weapons out of
the hands of the insane, the
youthful and the criminal.
0 To be effective, such regis-
tration requirements need to be
'accompanied by legislation that
prevents circumvention of the law.
Prohibitons on the mail order sale
of guns is one example of such
necessary legislation.
*Possession o f firearms by
persons under a certain age limit,
preferably 18, should also be res-
tricted. Clearly, if a young per-
son cannot drive an automobile,
vote or drink alcoholic beverages,
he is not responsible enough to
handle a dangerous weapon. Par-
ental permission may be a relevant
factor, however.
The United States is no longer a
frontier society in which each man
has legitimate need for a gun.
The country is now a highly de-
veloped, complex, technological so-
ciety that depends for its smooth
functioning on the maintenance
of a constantly peaceful communi-
Though gun control legislation
will probably not significantly re-
duce the number of crimes in the
nation, it will surely lower the
tragically high number of crimes
involving murder. If a person's
insanse search for a weapon were
held up a month, a day or even a
few hours, his urge to kill might
pass, and a life would be saved. It
is possible that assassanations of
both John and Robert Kennedy
would never have occurred if gun
reasonable control legislation were

Howard U:
'A new beginning
HAS ANY GOOD at all come out of the student disorders erupting
on an international scale this year? Surveying some of the wreck-
age at Columbia University and elsewhere, many observers might an-
swer with a categorical no. But then there's the case of Howard Uni-
Critics have long been saying that the predominately Negro uni-
versity has been in a state of stagnation. Now some are saying that
this spring's tumult on the Howard campus-while far belov the level
that brought Columbia to a halt-may have provided the impetus
needed to get the university moving again.
"The students have prodded our faculty and trustees into action
and communication," says an official of the Howard chapter of the
American Association of University Professors, "Now we have some
hope for a change."
For the first time in Howard's history students and faculty have
met with the board of trustees. And out of student demands and fac-
ulty proposals have come a series of recommendations that could
mark new beginnings. Among other things, the trustees gave students
some voice on curriculum matters and allowed the faculty consul-
tation on the appointment of deans and department heads. At the very
least, the trustees loosened what are described as the strong bonds of
paternalism at Howard by recognizing the faculty and students as
active partners.
University president James N. Nabrit Jr. has requested that the
faculty remain after the end of the school year to implement these
and other reforms by this September's term. Although the faculty is
paid until the end of June, it traditionally leaves after commence-
ment exercises in early June.
There are some close to Howard who say that these stirrngs of
reform are not enough, that the university must undergo radical
structural changes and not revision by bits and pieces. "Howard needs
a blueprint for change right iow," says a trustee, "but I just don't
see the machinery needed to produce one. I'm afraid the only hope
Howard has of becoming educationally relevant would be for it to
be put in academic receivership."
EDUCATIONAL REVELANCE is a phrase much heard at Howard
these days. To some it means raising the school's academic standards
by creating a separate division for underqualified students rather than
the present method of throwing unqualified undergraduates and
even graduates into programs that include remedial education. To
Preston Valien, an official of the Office of Education, who conducted
a study of Howard's graduate schools last summer, the university
would be most relevant as a national graduate-study oriented insti-
tution. Militant students see Howard's only relevance as a black
university concentrating on the Negro and the nonwhite world.
No one can deny the vital role Howard has played in Negro edu-
cation. Among its 27,000 graduates are half of the nation's Negro
physicians, surgeons and dentists and one-fourth of its Negro law-
yers, some of them instrumental in major civil rights gains. The Na-
tional Association for the Advancement of Colored People used t
rehearse some of its Supreme Court cases before the faculty and
student body of the Howard Law School.
BUT WITH THE END of World War II, Howard's "golden age"
began to fade. The doors to integrated higher education elsewhere
began to open to outstanding Negro teachers and students whom
Howard was used to getting automatically. "Howard was no longer the
pinnacle," says a professor.
Howard continued to turn out professional men and women, but
without the stimulating presence of a constant flow of top students
and teachers. "Howard's biggest failure," maintains an observer, "was
in not planning for the time when it would not automatically get
the best students. It could have used the Federal desegregation rulings
as a basis for restructuring Howard to really attract bright young
people of both races. But the dead hand of the past precluded daring,
imagination and needed innovation. Howard stagnated."
Probably the strongest influence on Howard was Modecai W.
Johnson, a strong-minded Baptist minister who became its first Negro
president in 1926. Mr. Johnson built the university, securing accredi-
tation for its 10 schools and colleges and persuading Congress to give
statutory authority to Howard's annual Federal appropriation. He
saw this appropriation grow from $200,000 to $8 million before he
retired in 1960 at the age of 70. For the 1968-69 school year the ap-
propriation is $18.3 million, 54% of the total budget of $33.7 million.
But along with the credit, some observers give Mr. Johnson much
of the blame for Howard'spresent dilemma. Says one critic: "Johnson
built the university physically at the expense of educational growth
and solidity." A stout and imperious man, Mr. Johnson has been ac-
cused of using the trustees as a rubber stamp and holding the faculty
and student body in check with the knowledge that they have no place
else to go. A professor with 30 years at Howard declares, "Mordecal
saw himself as the head of the family, and Howard was the family."
Even today, Howard's faculty senate, not founded until 1956, is
virtually powerless. Department heads serve at the pleasure of the
deans, and until this year teachers could be peremptorily fired without
stated cause. In general, faculty members have been encouraged to
teach their classes and keep their noses out-of university affairs.
AS A RESULT, the Howard faculty falls into two basic camps:
Rather elderly, tenured professors with little inclination to seek
change; and many young, dissatisfied instructors who mill about for a
couple of years and then leave. Says an Office of Education official:

"Young faculty members don't stay to form a solid middle-range
faculty group because they just can't see a ladder to the top."
In the last five years Howard has had a 75% turnover in as-
sistant professors. In addition, only 250 tenured faculty members be-
long to the university senate. This, critics note, leaves 75% of the
faculty without even that voice in academic affairs and deprives that
body of youthful ideas and vigor.
Prior to the recent rebellion, more militant students were simply
considered troublemakers and were disciplined or expelled without
recourse. The vast majority of students kept their eye on the accept-
table middle-class American dream and kept out of trouble. In the
early 1960s, Stokely Carmichael wasn't able to develop much of a
But then in the mid-1960s, came the dual rise of student power
and black nationalism. Last March, some 1,200 students moved into
the administration building and refused to come out until they had
won promises of reform from the trustees. They got the promises
after a split among the trustees and so far have gotten reforms, in-
cluding a major voice in student discipline, considerably more free-
dom on campus, autonomy of student affairs and machinery for the
creation of experimental courses and programs.
One goal the students didn't get was the resignation of President
Nabrit, a 68-year-old former law dean. During the student rebellion,
a minority of the trustees wanted to oust Mr. Nabrit; but he got
word of the attempted coup and squelched it. Says one of the dissi-
dent trustees: "You see who has the power at Howard University.
The trustees folded up without a fight.'
TO HIS CRITICS, Mr. Nabrit is a major obstacle to change at
Howard. Some of them contend that although he inherited almost
complete power from Mr. Johnson, he has neither the will to effect
change nor a willingness to surrender power to others.
For his part, Mr. Nabrit maintains that the trustees have all the
power at Howard and that he would like to see more of this power
transferred to the faculty. The reason it has not been, he says, is be-
cause "the faculty is conditioned to weakness. It's difficult to move
when you've stood still so long. My job is to get the faculty to be-/
lieve it can exercise power and to act."
Even if President Nabrit gets the changes endorsed by the
trustees into effect by the beginning of the next school year, some in-
it ,wn'+ maka nea ld ifferencet tn he fuitur of Howard. "If





Blaming it on U'

WHEN STUDENT Government Council
abolished driving regulations in De-
cember, the Regents began investigating
the problem by soliciting opinions, hold-
Ing an open hearing and debating among
They have been told by several groups,
including Faculty Assembly's Student
Relations Committee, that the Univer-
sity has no moral right to restrict the
driving privileges of only a segment of
the community - freshmen and sopho-
mores - to benefit the rest.
Nonetheless, the Regents have ignored
the moral issue and insisted that as a
requirement of acceptance to the Univer-
sity, a student may be legally barred
from driving in Ann Arbor until he is
a junior. This is a questionable legal jus-
tification at best.
Rejecting the moral issues, the Re-
,yanfc am onwprI the eitytorp,.ps

elimination of restrictions, except for
freshmen and predicts that only 600 cars
would be added to the streets of Ann
Arbor by such a move. There is, there-
fore, not even any justifiable fear of over-
crowding the streets from this small
number of additional vehicles.
Most importantly, however, the Re-
gents should recognize that the traffic
problems of Ann Arbor are only to a
small extent attributable to the students
-the city must accept most responsibil-
ity in this area.
'THE BEST example of the city's negli-
gence is in the area of mass public
transportation. The city has continually
failed to create an efficient, useful, pub-
lically supported bus system.
With such a bus system, the city would
not be concerned about University driv-
ing regulations because the problem


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