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May 15, 1969 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1969-05-15

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s4r Sirgqyan ail
Seventy-eight years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan

Marshall at gunpoint: Seeking 'settlement'


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 ae reprints.

THURSDAY, MAY 15, 1969


The President and the poor:
Toward a balance of power

ASSOCIATE Justice Thurgood
Marshall is the epitome of
the self made Negro who came
up the NAACP way. Patience and
merit won him his position of
Yet it is fair to say that it was
probably due more to his patience
(and a twist of fate) than his owns
merit that he is a member of the
Supreme Court. I often wonder
where Marshall would be if De-
troit and- other similar residential
areas had not blown up, thereby
prompting former President Lyn -
don Johnson to offer some sym-
bolic form of appeasement.
Not that I doubt the justice's
merit. But when the nomination
was made public, the media snif-
fed at. the president's excellent
timing and even the Right Guard
of the Old South maintained judi-
cious cool. Without fanfare, the
public was informed of Marshall's
list of credentials-U.S. Soliciter
General, prominent lawyer for the
NAACP and the prosecuting at-
torney in the "heralded" Brown
vs. The Board of Education, in
which the Supreme Court ruled
that schools will have to eventual-
ly integrate.
before ja meeting of the NAACP

(M) of yesterday's New York Times
was the sad and frustrating encounter,
between the President and the leader of
the poor, the Rev. Ralph David 'Aber-
nathy, chairman of the Southern Chris-
tian Leadership Conference.
Abernathy came to see Mr. Nixon, leav-
ing Charleston, South Carolina where he
has backed a strike by the city's hospital
workers. A stalemate has been reached-
not surprisingly-in notoriously racist
Charleston, a n d Abernathy expected a
warmer reception and a more sympathet-
ic ear from Mr. Nixon.
Daniel Patrick' Moynihan, assistant to
the president for urban affairs, said Ab-
ernathy received just that. He thought
the black leader agreed with him that
"the meeting~went quite well."
MEANWHILE, AFTER emerging from
nearly three hours of discussion, Ab-,
nernathy called the meeting "The most
disappointing and the most fruitless of
all the meetings we have had up to this
The Administration was bewildered;
one Nixon a i d e called Abernathy's ap-
praisal a "slap in the face." Although both
sides said the meeting was congenial (Ab-
ernathy added Nixon was "very charm-
Parochiad rises
THE CONTROVERSIAL parochiaid rider
on the school appropriations bill was
slain in the Michigan House Tuesday. It
was revived Wednesday only to be killed
again. Backers say it will rise again.
Hopefully they are wrong. Parochiaid
has been a bipartisan issue, especially.
splitting the leadership of the Democratic
Party. However, it may end up leaving the
entire school appropriations bill in shreds.
While parochiaid seems doomed, its
backers constitute significant enough of
a minority to halt debate and quick pass-
age of a fair school appropriation. They
could, and some observers are predicting
that they will, hinder passage of any de-
cent bill which does not include some
form or endorsement of parochiaid.
IT CAN ONLY be hoped that instead they
will let parochiaid rest in peace and get
down to the business of funding the
state's ill-supported schools.
Editorial Sta f
MARCIA ABRAMSON ..................,... Co-Editor
JIM HECK... ..... ........ ........Co-Editor
MARTIN HIRSCHMAN .. summer Supplement Editor
JIM FORRESTER.......... .. Summer Sports Editor
PHIL HERTZ Associate Summer Sports Editor
NIGHT EDITORS: Joel Block, Nadine Cohodas, Harold
Rosenthal, Judy Sarasohn.
Hoff, Scott Mixer, Sharon Weiner.

ing and gracious and an astute, intelli-
gent politician") it was clear that no real
dialogue had taken place
IT IS NOTHING NEW to say t h a t the
government has ceased to be respon-
sive to the needs of minorities, but the
face-to-face meeting of Abernathy and
Nixon dramatizes the truth of the cliche.
The sad thing is that government offi-
cials undoubtedly really did feel that they
were responsive to the SCLC delegation.
They undoubtedly felt the meeting did go
well and that a meeting which ends with-
out promises of presidential support for
the poor's needs - and conspicuously
presidential backing of t h e - hospital
strikers demands - could be satisfactory
to Abernathy.
Indeed, Abernathy read a prepared
statement complaining about government
inaction particularly assailing the hun-
ger programs of the agriculture depart-
ment and calling for a "massive" employ-
ment effort.
OBVIOUSLY, Abernathy w a s less pre-
pared to deal with specifics than even
the President and his advisers. But when
Nixon promised Abernathy that "y o u r
voice will be heard," it sounded like a
stock formality recited at the President's
audiences with the poor.
Neither Nixon nor Abernathy apparent-
ly expected anything to come of the meet-
ing. Nixon does not seem sensitive to' the
needs of the poor; Abernathy does not
realize how to deal with a government
bureacracy grown apart from the needs
of these poor.
But apparently Abernathy will contin-
ue to attend such "disappointing and
fruitless" sessions. "If they lock the doors
in our faces then we will speak to empty
chairs," Abernathy said.
Such an empty tactic is the other side
of militants' designs to blow up bridges
and kill cops (also reported in yesterday's
Times). While Abernathy's interminable
sessions with government officials seem
slavish and evasive, militant efforts
amount to so much thrashing about.
THE PROBLEM for both Abernathy and
militants remains their total isolation
from power - an isolation from sources
of power which only men like Mr. Nixon
are in a position to remedy. Nixon must
make a copmitment to Abernathy and to
all of the poor. He m u t t support their
strikes, include them among his advisers
and listen when they speak.
Although power rests with him to do
with as he sees fit, it will be power with-
out glory, and power apt to topple before
minority attack, if he fails to heed the
needs of the poor.


is not a producer, in recent his-
It took 58 years through the
process of law before the tenet
"separate but equal" was struck
down in the 1954 Supreme Court
decsision which reversed the 1896
decision. Fifteen years later only
some 20 per cent of southern
schools are integrated--even by
token amounts. Yet it took Cornell
blacks one week to get university
President James Perkins to make
definite plans toward the estab-
lishment of a Afro-American Stu-
dies Center, among other conces-
* * *
does bring -up an interesting point.
What does it mean to "setlle any-
thing?" Issues are rarely ever
"settled"; people are just tem-
porarily satisfied through a process
of appeasement. Issues cannot be
"settled" until someone is willing
to concede a point and implement
measures that will fully rectify the
Are blacks appeased and is Cor-
nell "settled" because an Afro-

American center is in the works? and they are willing to gamble on
Has the South been tamed because its long range effect, while the
token integration has been forced? rest of the world argues the
Are things "settled" at SUNO be- philosophical implications of such
cause the National Guard is there? a project. They have not -asked
for anyone's approval.

which was made evident by an
overt act of intimidation.
American Center would have come.
but not by rifle point first. The
burning cross was the inciting
In fact. Marshall's chastisement
is a disservice to black students
who refuse to be whitewashed by
the glitter of higher education and
its culmination guaranteed $20,000
a year. If Marshall firmly believes
"that nothing is settled at' the
point of a gun," then he cannot
possibly condone the calling up of
Louisiana's National Guard, yet
he has made no comment on Gov.
John J. McKietlan's over-reaction.
leaders and social commentators
should adopt. So ,let me cite an-
other example.
For two years, migrant farm
workers have been asking chain
supermarkets to participate in a
boycott against California grapes.
There methods have been hunger
strikes, picket lines, and rallys in
Washington D.C.
This has merited tthe migrant
workers, who are of Mexican and
Afro-Arfierican descent nothing
more than insignificant trivial
statements about how complex the
problem is from the agriculture
department, and a few television
successfully choose to ignore the
migrant worker because he is a
seasonal problem, The East, West
and North benefit from his sum-
mer labors, * ile the South ex-
ploits him in the winter.
The migrant worker's struggle
is 99 years old, dating back to the
end of Reconstruction. I hope he
doesn't wait another 201 years be-
fore he becomes aware of the fact
that the nation will not act but
only react-though puntively at
first-unless he foments "trouble."


issue-black self determination
and self dignity-is not "settled"
by establishing study centers or
forcing integration. They are but
steps in that direction.
The position of blacks today
has evolved through steps. First
slavery was abolished, then citi-
zenship conferred. Next integrated
schools were approved. Then col-
leges recruited blacks, and now
blacks are demanding a say in
their education. It has been a slow
process under the' law. Violence
has served to accelerate this social
At least blacks students - and
not others deciding for them -
have decided what they want, even
if some feel that black study pro-
grams serve only an immediate
function and have a limited value.
More important, blacks feel con-
cerned about their own future,

* * *
use the Cornell incident as an ex-
ample to refute Justice Marshall's
contention. To do so would ac-
knowledge the distorted news
coverage provided by the Asso-
ciated Press and other establish-
ment mass media which reported
the events at Cornell. Concessions
were not made at gun point.
News coverage made it appear
that the black students took over
Cornell's administration building
armed with empty guns) in order
to insist on a black study program.
Little was mentioned that a cross
was found burning on the lawn in
front of Wari, an all black women's
co-op. The empty guns were a
symbol of the black male students
determination to defend them-
selves and their women against
the racist attitude at Cornell,


and admonished black student re-
bels saying "that nothing is settled
at the point of a gun." His address
occurred the day after blacks bar-
ricaded themselves at Southern
University in New Orleans, and
brandished guns in the windows.
Yet there is little to substantiate
Marshall's premise that violence


Loyal competition deserves parochiaid


To the Editor:
"On Defeating Parochiaid and
Facing a Crisis" was a real dis-
appointment. I had hoped that
when The Daily had finally come
around to a discussion of the is-
sues involved, it would do so with
the intelligent sophistication and
informed perspicacity that should
characterize the editorials of a
paper which counts among its
audience many members of an
academic community.
First of all, I found it rather
disconcerting that your two edi-
torial writers should perpetuate
some of the hackneyed and un-
challenged assumptions which op-
ponents of private education (es-
pecially church-affiliated educa-
tion) invoke during debates on
public aid to non-public schools.
If both editorial writers had read
some of the more respectable re-
search on Catholic education like
the Rossi-Greeley study, to cite
just one example, they might have
realized that to call Catholic edu-
cation "slanted" without qualifica-
tion or distinction is frighteningly
naive and inaccurate.
I H VE BEEN in this country
long enough to be convinced that
a lot of slanted educating takes
place in some of your public
schools. Or are your editorial
writers so completely isolated in
their cocoons (to use the term

ivory tower would be the most un-
kindest cut of all) that they don't
realize much of the disaffection
felt by black Americans toward
your public schools springs from
the slanted type of education that
your WASP oriented public schools
have been dishing out to public
school students for generations?
SECONDLY, I WAS deeply dis-
appointed that Weiner-Grix should
talk about "parochial schools of
questionable quality," again with-
out any qualification. It is com-
mon kno1wledge that many of the
American private schools are of
questionable quality. On the -other
hand, there are parochial and
privateschools which can more
than hold their own when com-
pared with the better public
schools. Stereotypesbshould have
no honored place in Daily editor-
Moreover it is quite possible that
if these private schools had only
received a small fraction of the
public funds poured into public
schools they might well have done
a better job than the public in-
But this letter is not really an
apologia for private education. It
doesn't need any. My greatest dis-
appointment with the Weiner-Grix
editorial was the assumption that
the only viable alternative for the
improvement of Michigan's public
schools is more public money.

chronic shortage of funds for
Michigan public schools. But as I
see it, one of the things the Amer-
ican system of education needs
very badly is competition. Com-
petition between different systems
of education. Your affluence makes.
this feasible. Your pluralistic so-
ciety demands it.
If your legislators and public
school educators are open minded
enough to try, for example, the
suggestion of Dean Theodore Sizer
of the Harvard Graduate School of
Education that a specified sum.
follow, verychild wherever, he goes
to school, then perhaps construc-
tively competing educational sys-
tems can bring new life to your
education. Then perhaps your pub-
lic schools wil be forced to get on
the ball, become more creative and
explore new ways of educating
young Americans to meet new
And if public education is really
as indispensable to this nation's
existence as it is assumed to be
it need not fear legitimate com-
petition. They fittest will survive.
But you will Never find out which
educational system is fit to survive
until you have given all the com-
peting systems an equal chance.
After all, fair play is a cardinal
principle of American life.
tions that Americans must ask

themselves in the context of the
parochiaid debate is this: Is the
virtual monopoly of public educa-
tion a desirable thing? Or are
there other ways of educating our
children? If monopoly tends to
lead to dullness, complacency, and
conservatism, will competing ed-
ucational systems create a climate
conducive to educational innova-
tion and responsible experimenta-
tion? Will competition force the
different educational systems to
produce or else be eliminated? If
your editorial writers had the vis-
ion to see in the parochiaid debate
something more than just a petty
squabble over money, they may
see that here is a splendid oppor-
tunity to revitalize American ed-
To take advantage of this op-
portunity, however, there must be

a willingness and courage and
pumility to try unfamiliar and un-
explored alternatives.
I AM NOT an American and you
can consider my observations as
coming from sonmone who doesn't
really dig, the American scene.
That may be the case. But I can-
not help noting that being a for-
eigner does not necessarily dis-
qualify one from making valid ob-
servations about what is going on
in America today.
After all, some of the most pene-
trating and perceptive insights In-
to the American situation have
been made by foreigners like Alexis
de Tocqueville and Gunnar Myr-
dal. I do not presume to place my-
self in their category-not yet
-Ernesto O: Javier, Grad.
May 13


Reflections upon graduation:
I'm here because of mother'

mat ini Izrschman
7 The lottery
O WAS ECSTATIC with President Nixon's proposed draft lottery
"Isn't it wonderful Leonard. Now it will all be fair and equitable
and all those protesters won't have anything to complain about. It
takes all the inequities out of the system, don't you think so?"
Leonard definitely did not think so. But neither was he paying
much attention. Riding along the New Jersey Turnpike in moderate
mid-morning traffic, Leonard was paying special attention only to the
grayness which hung over the factories and the marsh like a great dusty
window curtain.
"Don't you think so, Leonard?"
Leonard glanced down at the inscription "Educational Services,
Inc." on his black plastic sales case. He and Flo and Sam and Ann and
Mary were 'on their way to Newark where they would sell educational
materials door-to-door in the lower-middle class black section of town.
LEONARD LOOKED UP abruptly. Stupid, stupid old lady, his eyes
shouted. "I don't see that it makes much difference," he said. "It just
means I'm more likely to get drafted as soon as I graduate. It's the
whole idea of having a draft in the first place that's wrong.
Flo did not like Leonard very much. But she liked sparring with
him - and ultimately she always won. Flo is a proud, blue-haired 55-
year-old former French teacher who quit her job in Darien, Conn. be-
cause "all the parents expected me to give their children A's." Flo was
the supervisor for Educational Services, Inc. and she could always give
Leonard bad "territory" to sell his books in.
"But President Nixon said the lottery was only temporary," she
said. "Under more stable world conditions, the draft can be eliminated
They-had reached Newark and Flo began to let the sellers out one-
by-one. "You- work up and down Cherry St., Mary. This is very,=good
territory. It hasn't been worked before. Good luck."
"Good luck, Ann .
"Good luck, Leonard."

BEFORE THE graduation cere-
mony I stood in one of those
long black lines in the parking lot.
I knew only one other student
there-perhaps, because he too had
a beard. He was a constructive
radical on campus. He had helped
organize anumber of teach-ins,
demonstrations, and reform ef-
forts at the University. The fellow
wore a wide, colorful tie beneath
his sober academic gown. I asked
him if he would wear the tie out-
side the garment for the service.
He responded, "I'm here because
of my mother. She would be upset.
After all, it's only two hours to
please her."'
The incident said a couple of
things to me. I was immediately
cairied back to registration four
years ago. The lines were just as
long, the same endless waiting and
impersonal rites-all the result of
that mass condition we call the
But registration has changed. It
only takes 15 minutes now and
will soon be quicker by mail. The
graduation has remained the
same. I wonder why. Maybe those
long lines were supposed to teach
us the "beauty of our ordered

service to be equally important
to us.
Does the graduation represent
some magical turning point in our
lives, some substantial individual
achievement, or a fulfilling syn-
thesis of learning? If so, how
many of our parents understand
the-nature of these very personal
changes. The last years have
taught me about the best in life-
what it means to have a good
professor or a close friend or lover.
Some of these experiences came
outside of, in spite of, or in op-
position to the University. I would
like my parents to know about all
of these things. I am not sure this
can be done in an auditorium
with 14,000 people.
THIS SEEMS ironical. In the
past four years students have ac-
quired large control over their per-
sonal and academic lives. There
are no longer dormitory rules, or
driving regulations. Students are
deciding about curricula and de-
partmental matters. We are even
gaining some bargaining influence
in apartment market.
Yet the graduation has stayed
the same. I think I know some of
the reasons why. The graduation
will remain the same until we

because the University as lucky, as
President Fleming implied. It was
because so many students were
alienated from this event. Most of
the active and radical students
left after exams and wanted noth-
ing to do with this mass spectacle.
This exodus seems a profound
shame. There was so much poten-
tial with that many interesting
and interested people gathered in
the Events Building.
they knew what they would hear.
The main speaker with good in-
tentions managed to reiterate the
demeaning, conventional rhetoric.
He started that after four years
we are "now designated competent
to compete in the negotiable
realm." I thought at first he was
telling me to be a banker. We all
knnow our education is worth
much more than a pay check.
President Fleming in his address
said he hoped we would under-
stand the symbolism of playing
taps and revelie at the closing of
the ceremony. I did not under-
stand the symbolism, but I did
grasp some of the simple meaning.
The first tune was played over my
friend's body near Saigon. I was
reminded once again that in two



"WOULD YOU LIKE to get some lunch befote we go out, Sam?"
It was only Sam's second day selling educational materials and he
would have to stay with Flo the whole day anyway. Sam drove to a
nearby Howard Johnson's.
Flo liked Sam. Sam was an English major at a "good" college and
he did not have the corrosive mannerisms of speech which Flo detested
in Leonard. Sam was a young man, Leonard a brash, spoiled child.
Flo ordered a bowl of Boston-style clam chowder. Sam ordered
fish filet. "What do you think of the draft lottery idea, Sam?"
Sam did not think much of it, but his mouth was full of fish. "
suppose it's an improvement over the present system of deferments,"
he said. "But it probably would -increase my chances of getting drafted
w-hen T w'uaiteTheo nnlv mauetion is whether I should forfeit my


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