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August 02, 1968 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1968-08-02

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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.

Black history matures

-- with difficulty



D r. Dzu s tragedy

FROM SAIGON comes the news that
the U.S. Embassy has finally entered
a quiet protest against the arrest and
trial of Troung Dinh Dzu.
Of what heinous crime was Dzu -
runnerup in South Vietnam's presiden-
tial elections last year - convicted and
sentenced to five years at hard labor?
Dzu was charged with "actions that
weakened the will of the people and the
army of South Vietnam to fight against-
the Communists." His sacrilege was to
propose the formation of a coalition gov-
ernment with the. National Liberation
THE U.S. PROTEST is too little, and it
is too late. It comes after the hasty,
trial and sentencing in what can only be
considered a severest kind of repressive
political action by the Saigon govern-
This suppression of dissent by a gov-
ernment which the Johnson Administra-
tion has been trying to sell to the Amer-
ican public as "democratic" is frighten-
ing. The Dzu affair exposes the fraud of
the elections last year. In what demo-
cratic country is the loser of an election
thrown in jail?
But there are reports that the Dzu
case is not an isolated incident and that
Saigon is planning a series of similar
actions against other dissidents.
Under any normal set of circumstances
this political suppression would hardly be
the concern of the United States. But our
complicated and extensive involvement
in Vietnam -has distorted both our free-
dom of action in this area and our obli-
gations to the South Vietnamese.
Our actions in Vietnam over the past
12 years have been characterized by un-
informed action, based on a disregard for
the will of the Vietnamese and of the his-
torical background of the conflict.
In 1956 the United States helped block
the Vietnam-wide elections agreed to in
the Geneva Accords of 1954 because Ho
Chi Minh was expected to win.
Since then the Eisenhower, Kennedy
and Johnson Administrations have con-
tinued to support the Saigon regime, first
under Diem and later controlled by gov-

ernments resulting from various coups
which the United States has endorsed.
THE RESULT has been a series of proto-
Fascist regimes ruling over the people
of South Vietnam. The celebrated 1967
elections were a farce because polls were
set up only in areas under strict govern-
ment control, and because the govern-
ment elected was only barely different
from the one it replaced.
Optimally, the United States would
break off from its fabricated "commit-
ment" to South Vietnam and withdraw
the 500,000 American troops which main-
tain the power of two generals in Saigon.
And what is the difference between the
very real repression of the people under
the present government and the thus far
imagined type under the National Liber-
ation Front which would very likely suc-
ceed it?
But for those who insist on continued
U.S. involvement in Vietnam, there is still
no reason to believe that we must con-
tinue our support of the Thieu-Ky gov-
The course of promoting overthrow of
the Saigon government has been followed
by the United States in the past. Why ig-
nore the possibility now?
THE PRESENT Saigon government has
refused to consider the possibility of
a coalition with the NtF. And since coali-
tion is most likely the easiest way of un-
tangling the situation, the installation of
a Saigon government willing to make
such a compromise would be a politically
expedient move for U.S. politicians.
Who could head this new government?
Perhaps Dzu himself - evacuated from
prison by a few well-placed U.S. 'Marines
- would be willing to accept the chal-
Surely we can do better by the be-
leaguered South Vietnamese people than
to support Thieu with his political purge
and masochistic desire to continue
fighting the Viet Cong until the entire
country has been wiped cleanly off the

HERE are about three full card
catalogue drawers devoted to
the Negro in the General Library.
This space is more than Henry
Ford gets, less than is devoted to
English literature, and about the
same as, that allocated to New
York City. F. H. Wagman, direc-
tor of the University library sys-
tem, terms the collection of books
by and about Negroes "very re-
But the number of volumes is
destined to swell, as the demand
for courses in black history, liter-
ature and culture persists.
THIS NEWLY recognized need
to incorporate a glimpse of Black
America into the WASPish, one-
sided view of the history general-
ly taught- is, indeed, very real.
The teaching of American history
has been a fraud, propagating the
theory that this country was and
is a melting pot, an absorbent land
that assimilated all minorities
into a plastic and prosperous ma-
Last year, the errors of omission
produced an indignant outcry at
several college campuses, includ-
ing here at the University. Ad-
ministrators and students gener-
ally agreed, however, that the re-
vamping of history programs was
a definite priority.
As a result, this fall courses in
black history will be inaugurated
at schools from Columbia to Kan-
sas to California.
IN SEPTEMBER, the University
will offer a special honors sem-
inar taught by Harold Cruse, black
author of The Crisis of the Negro
Intellectual. Next winter, Cruse's
course will be coupled with a reg-
ular history course, to be taught

by the department's Prof. William
Freehling. Prof. Russell Fraser,
the new chairman of the English
department, announced yesterday
a course in Negro literature will.'
be taught "because a great body
of important material has been
insufficiently treated."
At Yale, a joint student-faculty
committee has recommended the
establishment of an Afro-Ameri-
can Studies major, and Harvard,
Brown, Los Angeles State and the'
University of Indiana may soon
follow suit.
However, the pride in race that
the teaching of black history is
aimed at enkindling has draw-
backs. At Cornell, for instance,
students and the university are
squaring off concerning the de-
cision to institute a black history
course there. Black students insist
the course should only be open to
THIS KIND OF stifling self-
segregation is only one of the
problems involved in teaching
black history. Teachers are few,
texts are inadequate, and the
truth is plainly not always avail-
But if the problems of locating
teachers .and writing books are
the most immediate, they are, in
the long run, the easier to solve.
The, supply of professors and
books ,'will probably increase in
response to the demand.
The major difficulty is discern-
ing the truth.'
The temptation is strong to cre-
ate an artificial Negro American
by disguising all blacks as sensi-
tive Sidney Poitiers or stalwart
Jackie Robinsons -- re-creation
in the image of white Americans.
be an effective way of letting Ne-

groes realize the power of being,
black, it is important for history
texts to explain how slavery cre-
ated the image of the Negro as a
Slavery may be portrayed a$:
cruel repression, which blacks val-
iantly threw off, or more accur-
ately, as an insidious dehuman-
izing institution which sheltered
the body but stripped the soul.
Despite the fact that several
slave rebellions werehrecorded, the
truth probably is that most Nqe-
groes were content in their re-
pression. This theory is put for-
ward by Prof. Stanley M. Elkins
of Smith College in his study,
Slavery: A Problem in American
Institutional and Intellectual Life.
Elkins attributes this to slavery's
status as a "closed system." s
tory texts overstate and oversim-
plify this theory. A 1940 history
text, The Growth of the Amieri-
can Republic by Samuel Eliot
Morison and Henry Steele Com-
mager, is a source still used in
high schools. Morison and Com-
mager say the following:
"As for Sambo, whose wrongs
moved the abolitionists to wrath
and tears, there is somerreason
to believe that he suffered less
than any other class in the South
from its 'peculiar institution.' The
majority of the slaves were ade-
quately fed, well cared for and,
apparently happy--
"Although brought to America
by force, the incurably optimis-
tic Negro soon became attached,
to the country and devoted to his
'white folks'."
HOWEVER, most commercial,
publishing houses say they are'
earnestly trying to secure texts

which set straight Morison an'd
Commager's simplistic analysis.
Books are being produced for
college, and iore importantly,
for elementary and high school
readers, which history editors of
top firms claim "tell it like it is "
At the same time, the number
of new books is, limited by the
demands of a fickle market. Ran-
dom House college text history
editor William Frohlick says the
industry is cautiously assessing
the demand for black hiswory
sources, after having seen the
market for African history books
wane following a boom.
"There is a growing interest in
the field," Frohlick says, "but we
can't afford to go into it at the
moment." He adds that a book
on the currently topical question
of black power staids a 'better
chance of reaching the presses
than a new scholarly work in
black history.!
will put seven or eight books on
black history on the market
throughout the' year, several will
be paperback revivals of classics
like John Hope Franklin's His-
tory of the American Negro.'
At the same time, publishers
are wary of books that are "cooked
up in four or five months.".
Charles E. Smith, an assistant
history editor for The MacMillan
Company says he has a "social
commitment" to keep up 'the in-
tellectual quality of books on the
"highly emotional" field of black
history. The stress on quality
keeps the quantity down.
Smith disdains the trumped-up
advertising recently flooding the
New York Times Book Review.
There are full page ads for vol-
umes 1on the ghetto, crime and
Vietnam, sold in an expensive

series and "important" mainly be-
cause they are new.
Richard Pepin, history editor
for Harper and Row, likewise "re-
fuses to cash in on low-brow, low
power, unintellectual books."
AND ALL' THIS commercial
idealism may be producing good
books, as well as paying off. In
a New York Times interview, June
Shagaloff, education specialist of
the NAACP, said, "The textbook
picture is getting better - par-
ticularly in general elementary
school books and in specialized
books on aspects of Negro history."
But "it is still far from good,"
she added.
Mrs. Paula Franklin, an assist-
ant social studies editor for the
junior-senior high division of Har-
court, Brace, and World says
texts deal less "in the pieties of
American life" than they used to,
because race relations "permeate
everything, we are doing now."
However, it is still hard for
textbooks to always get things
straight. One elementary Echool
reader improbably incorporated
brown faces into a story, about
suburban youngsters, and thus
failed to transcend the ghetto
child's insensitivity to reading by
relating to his urban experience.
ALL THE SAME, the publishing
business is booming.
"They have more business than
they know what to do with," li-
brary 'director Wagman says. And
the library here continues to buy
"practically everything in the
But "telling it like it is" is the
hardest thing there is for profes-
sors, publishers and black his-
torians. Hopefully, from the maze
of activity in the area, some
truths will become self-evident.



Yummy, yummy, Yummy
I've got bleueek in my tummy

IMy friend Murphy
and The Theory
MURPHY WAS wearing a blue and white polka-dotted bow-tie when
I walked into his fifth story office yesterday. His shirt was white
with a collar that was neatly starched, but long and pointed and sev-
eral years out of style. The desk was messy but not hopeless, there was
only one telephone in the room, and the ashtrays were clean. It is
a stinging Commentary on our time that progress has swept even the
bookies in its wake.
I had decided to visit Murph around three o'clock in the morning,
Just after it first struck me that political polls represented a grave
threat to the dignity of man. I had just spent four hours in the dark-
room trying to concoct sharp, perfectly exposed prints from fuzzy,
underexposed negatives and my eyes were swimming. I was tired and
thirsty. For two days I had been reading the polls of Mr. Gallup,
informing me that Richard Nixon could fend off either possible Demo-
cratic candidate while Nelson Rockefeller could only hold them to a
tie. As I walked past the AP machine, I happened to notice a story
datelined Miami Beach. The Harris poll had come up with results
the exact reverse of those quoted by Mr. Gallup.
THERE WAS NOTHING rational about my reaction. I sat down
with a pencil and performed some hasty arithmetic. In every pairing,
the fluctuation from Gallup to Harris was at least six points; in the
McCarthy-Nixon pairing, it was 13. Thirteen points. Somehow Mr.
Gallup's explanation (the polls were taken a week apart and indicated
"wildly fluctuating public opinion") seemed rather thin in the face
of 13 points, over a week in which neither McCarthy nor Nixon had
done anything which should have especially convinced an additional
13 per cent of the American people that of the two, McCarthy was
the better man.
This initial reaction was irrational because, as I considered the
matter at greater length, I should have been overjoyed by the dis-
crepancy. My essential objection to the polls has always been that they
rather boldly and vulgarly presume to rationalize a mystery. What
should be subject for the crystal ball has become programming for
the computer; what should be speculation over beer in a neighbor-
hood pub has been reduced to statistical banter material for bland,
martinied cocktail parties.
Thus, the embarassment - if any - suffered by Gallup and
Harris over this latest inconsistency between their results should have
sent me into uncontrollable delight. Instead, I came out of it only
the more sadly aware that this was but a tiny glimmer of light against
a trend of darkness. The efficiency engineers are still taking over at
every level, despite temporary setbacks.
MURPH WAS completely sympathetic. "You take your run of
the mill bookie, now," he says. "He's deep down a good guy. Oh, he
may drink a little too much now and then and come in late - but
be goes to church and takes care of his kids and all."
Anyway, Murphy has The Theory about what's going to happen
at the Democratic convention. He's even putting money on it. In fact,
so are most of his bookie friends. After it got around that Murphy
and the guys were all betting on The Theory, Lou Harris, one of the
pollster villains, checked it out and concluded that it was at least
possible. But Harris only came up with a little dope on one angle of it.
No one can tell it like Murph.
"IT'S THE FIFTH day of the convention, see, and after several
ballots everything is deadlocked," begins the raconteur with a broad
smile. "Humphrey won't get enough votes for a majority, but no one
will be able to beat him. The delegates will all be pretty hungover,
see, and some of them will have run out of clean suits and the stench
of the booze and all will be pretty rank. The networks will be at the
point where they're ready to start sneaking cartoons in, because the
fights will be a real drag. All those punks demonstrating around Chi-
cago will have given up and gone home. There will be a lot of talk
about third candidates - some saying Ted Kennedy and some saying
small guys like McGovern or Muskie or Hart. Suddenly everything
will change,
"See, Governor Connally will get up before the assembled dele-

"Dad, con I borrow the keys to the
campaign headquarters?"



Letters to the Editor


WHEN DUNCAN HINES drew his culin-
ary map of America, he must have
marked Ann Arbor in big letters as a
depressed area. For if this city is one
of the brainiest in the country, it also'
contains, with few exceptions, the most
pitiful ,assortment of eating establish-
ments one could ever hope to encounter
in his fondest nightmares.
During the regular school year, this
fact is not so disturbing, but in the hu-
mid, hot summer days when home-cook-
ing becomes torture, residents take to
restaurant-hopping in larger numbers
and suffer proportionally.
Not only is there the ever-present pit-
fall of exorbitant prices. For the real rub,
comes in the quality of the food which
is available - within walking distance,
much less within monetary range - to
tha thAuands nf students here.

* Hamburger Havens - These are in-
trinsically the most dangerous, because
an unwary patron may find himself
spending most of his weekly allowance on
lunch. Unbelievably expensive to begin
with, these places offer little beyond free
mints and toothpicks at the cashier's
desk. The usual enticement is good soup,
which lures the innocent into the estab-
lishment for the final kill - on barbecue
and hamburgers. If one is lucky, he gets
away with a $1.25 tab and gnawing hun-
ger pains.
Family-Style Restaurants - Those
weary of the usual lunch fare may decide
to splurge a little and move up the status
stratum to restaurants where the waitress
brings the entree after, not concurrently
with, the appetizer. The minimum bill is
about $3 and that usually takes care of,
say, chicken Chow mein, or a roast beef
sandwich, or a fried chicken dinner.
* Drugstores - In perhaps the most

To the Editor:
Daily referred to the major
candidates, McCarthy included, as
wishy-washy, and suggested the
problems of this country could
probably not be solved by work-
ing within the present political
system. However, because the sys-
tem is fairly well established,.it is
not difficult to gain power in it
by carefully using the system's
own resources. Witness McCar-
thy's progress in less than a year
and that of other candidates run-
ning with him (e.g., Paul'
Of course candidates have al-
ways been wishy-washy and de-
ceptive: see for example Nixon's
newest stand on issues and Rocke-
feller's massive psychological
campaign which camouflages his
previous record by depicting him
as now being anti-war and in
favor of other uncharacteristic
policies. Hunphrey and to a lesser
degree McaCrthy are also open to
eriti, ism on similar counts. Fur-
theriore, some McCarthy sup-
porters dropped out of the move-
ment, when they found the whole
thing too disorganized or became
alienated when the candidate

thousands of individuals who pro-
test against the system while at
the same time avoid really trying.
to change it when changes are
certainly possible. They seem to
be afraid of the long and frus-
trating road to change-of the
years of continuous work, studded
with many many failures, that are
needed before a new and different
sort of candidate can be elected
by the usual vast majority of
apathetic voters.
This is why, despite his faults,
McCarthy now has my support.
He alone among the other can-
didates, is expressing the need for
a reallocation of res6urces and a
reevaluation of domestic and for-
eign policies- toward a less ag-
gressive society. By makingshim-'
self a rallying point for millions,
he hinted that changes could ac-
tually take place this year rather
than four, eight, or twelve years
from now.
But even should McCarthy loe,.
like-minded candidates for Con-
gress, state and local offices can
yet influence the government. To
get these men elected is the;first
step for those who would like to
change the country rather than
merely talk about how bad it is
and mull over theories of change.
-Eduardo Siguel

campaign. Shapiro wrote a bitter
anti-Kennedy editorial shortly be-
fore the Senator's assassination,
and now laments the Senator's
absence from the presidential
race. He also laments the prospect
of 4 "dismal Nixon-Humphrey
race." After the Democratic Con-
Vention will he also lament the
failure of McCarthy to win the
nomination, so that there will
have indeed been an alternative
to Hubert?
But the fact is that the Conven-
tion is not yet over, and that a
great deal of energy on the part
of those committed to Senator
McCarthy and/or the principles
he stands for may save the day.
Those very radicals who say they
do not like McCarthy usually add,
"Anyway,. the Convention is sew-
ed up." It is not, and will not be,
unless too many people accept pre-
mature defeat and the cozyin-
action of absurd statements like
"To the Barricades," or "Let the
system fall apart."
THE TRUTH about McCarthy
is that he cannot be all things
to all people. But he is the best
we have. And this logic does not
necessarily extend to support of
Humphrey in a Nixon-Humphrey
race Mclarthv is on the right


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