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September 17, 1963 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1963-09-17

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Seventy-Third Year
Truth Will Prea"
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of stafff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

Miller Quits Post
On 'Let's Pretend' SGC



Direct Action:
Not- Black' or White


S ANN ARBOR Direct Action Committee
chairman Charles Thomas explains it, DAC
a militant civil rights group dedicated to
ying "tit for tat." What just happened in
mingham is tit.."When we reply to it in kind
Ann Arbor, that's tat," he said.
'or most the situation can never be that
ple. It is hard to believe that Thomas can so
orce his view from reality that he genuinely
Leves that people are either "for or against"
i rights. There are a thousand variables lead-
to differing shades of intensity of commit-
nt. Ironically, things are not black or white.
'homas' group consists of between 30 and 35
nbers. According to Thomas the committee
st be designed and led by Negroes but whites
y readily join if they indicate a willingness
comply with the group's stated purposes.,The
losophy behind the DAC hierarchy is simply
t the black man can be led effectively only
the black man.
)AC members laughed when they were asked
ether or not a white man could ever be con-
ered capable of leadership. The reply was
t clearly a white man would always remain
nently unqualified to be a leader of colored
n. Without carrying this to an extreme, it is
e that black leadership will be more effec-
'ECIFICALLY, DAC' seeks to destroy the
aste system and topple the white "super


H PHILOSOPHY that speaking at a state-
supported institution is a privilege. coupled
ith the practice of state's rights results in a
orth Carolina law which denies the principles
f.the United States Constitution.
A recent incident in which British biologist
ohn B.. Haldane was barred from the campuses
f the Consolidated University of North Caro-
.na put the spotlight on a state law which bars
ommunists or persons who have pleaded the
ifth Amendment in loyalty cases from speak-
g at state-supported institutions.
VIOUSLY, anybody who merely protects
himself in a loyalty case anywhere in the
'nited States by appealing to the Constitution
nds himself immediately tainted in the eyes
f the North Carolina legislature, showing the
ck of respect it holds for the amendment.
Finding it impossible to remove from the
onstitution some of the rights guaranteed by
he Fifth Amendment, the North Carolina leg-
da.ture clearly sought to deny those rights
ithin the legal domain of the state, using
ates' rights to justify the boundaries of that
And finding it within that domain to bar
peakers from its campuses, the legislature does
lt let any state-supported institution extend
ie privilege of speaking to people of whom it
des not approve.
T IS POSSIBLE that the North Carolina law
Is constitutional, but constitutionality alone
not sufficient' justification. Hopefully, the
.tizens of North Carolina will recognize the
Glue of the Fifth Amendment as it stands and
Ipeal or at least modify the law.
Philip Sutin, National Conce
'HERE HAS BEEN a small, but significant
change in the way the American press views
ommunist China and this change bodes well
ir future United States relations with the
Ommunist regime.
Red China no longer is the outsider of the
orld. It is no longer the barbarian "they"
ho shoot up American GI's in Korea or who
b shells into Quemoy and Matsu, setting of f
Aernational crises. Since the noisy flare up of
Le Communist ideological dispute, the press
as devoted more attention to Chinese prob-
ms and ambitions. Concurrently, Nationalist
hina has been reduced to comparative insig-
N RECENT MONTHS, the Associated Press,
this country's chief source of foreign news,
as carried many long ibterpretive articles on
ommunist China, often more than one lengthy
ticle for the same weekend editions. Not only
ve these dealt with China's external rela-
ons, they have also included personality
etches of Mao Tse-tung and potential suc-
,ssors and analyses of Chinese internal condi-
The AP tacitly recognized Communist China
st winter when it began calling its capital
king, as the Communists name it, instead
Peiping, the former Nationalist designation
r the city.
1EANWHILE, Nationalist China rarely gets
a mention, except an occasional feature
out forlorn reaction to Red China's latest
Mon. Even the trip of Chiang Kai-shek's son

structure." Just how it will go about this is not
easy to determine. Thomas and his followers
seem unable to.articulate very precisely on this
matter. Yet they are convinced they will find
a way. Whether the way involves bloodshed
or not is no longer a question of importance to
Not conceived by its members as antagonistic
toward other civil rights groups, DAC tries to
support those things which it considers worth
its while. Its members have a horror of the
"liberal" white and the Uncle Toms of this
world., Thomas referred to the Washington
March as a "nice little picnic." "Boss Kennedy
is just as much of a myth as the American," he
said bitterly.
THE GROUP was organized to protest police
brutality in the city. DAC is campaigning
for the dismissal of deputy sheriff Roy Couch,
the assignment of Negro police to beats in the
"Negro ghetto" and an "investigation of the
mental health, social attitudes and personal
experience in racial matters'of Ann Arbor po-
licemen." Last Saturday, following an Ann
Arbor Fair Housing Association-CORE picket
in support of the fair housing ordinance, DAC
picketed in protest of police brutality.
The number of picketers ranged from 20-30.
The participants were partly from Ann Arbor
and partly imported from another militant
civil rights group in Detroit called Uhuru. Car-
rying signs proclaiming "the . white man's
heaven is the black man's hell," and chanting
phrases from "Cuba si; Yankee no" to "support
of the Mau Mau," the group marched slowly in
front of City Hall.
IT IS VAGUELY incongruous that a "white
liberal" is to make a pronouncement on a.
militant civil rights organization yet people do-
have to judge each other. It is permissable
and it is necessary. The word judgment is pom-
pous. It reeks of self-righteousness. But judging
is not as much of, a decision on the individual's
behavior in question as it is a commentary on
the judger's ability to think clearly and with
some degree of sensitivity about a given situa-
PAC's picket did not do any good for the
Negro in the Ann Arbor community. It may
have increased the solidarity of the members of
DAC and sharpened their sense of belonging
to a world outside of the normal one. If this
was their purpose, and it may partially have
been staged to do just that, then DAC suc-
But if it was a genuine attempt to reach the
members of the community and communicate
to them a vital need for changes, then it failed.
People were upset by the militancy and the
apparent irresponsibility of the group. Those
dim-witted bigots who may have been on the
verge of seeing the Negro as possibly bearable
may no longer do so.
The problem is, of course, that it is wonder-
ful that they were and that people were made
aware that a few carefully planned pickets do
not nearly represent the wealth of latent pas-
sion lying under the surface of the Negro com-
munity. They have to be made to realize that
orderly picket lines are slow and take too long
for many people.

Assessing the Assessors

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the
first in a series of articles investi-
gating Gov. George Romney's pro-
posed fiscal reform program.)
THE FIRST specific legislation
included in Gov. George Rom-
ney's 12-part plan is concerned
with the procedures utilized in
collecting property taxes.
Although this entails neither the
levy nor the repeal of a particular
tax, it has already become a mat-
ter of some controversy. This is
especially true in township areas.
Many experts doubt that this
part of the fiscal program has any
chance of passage this year.
Before trying to realize why this
is so, it would be wise to review
briefly the legislation Romney has
in mind. The proposal is a broad
one, covering six goals in the area
of "improving the procedures for
assessment and collection of real
and personal property taxes."
* * *
training and certification of all
elected and appointed assessing
officers and asks that all coun-
ties where the state equalized pro-
perty evaluation surpasses $25
million establish departments of
In addition, the governor pro-
poses that a set of standards be
prescribed for. an additional as-
sessing system to be set up by any
county that so desires.
The plan also calls for a pre-
scribed set of standards and prac-
tices to determine a cash value
for assessment purposes and re-
quires that these standards be ad-
hered to by all local assessing of-
Under the plan proposed by
Romney, an express statement of
the state equalized valuation would
be required on every property tax
bill, and improved appeal pro-
cedures are also part of the plan.
Says Romney, "We must do
everything we can to assure in-
dividual and business taxpayers
of fair and equal treatment re-
gardless of where in the state they
may be located. Improved assess-
ing practices and procedures will

. . . help to install basic justice
and equity in our property tax
system. This is tax justice."
* * *
THE TROUBLE IS that a large
number of people prefer things
the way they are and are opposed
to the idea of renovating the sys-
tem as it now stands. Or perhaps
one should say, "the systems," for
a local realtor points out that
about 1800 different systems of
assessing property are now in use
in the state of Michigan. In some
areas, valuations are based upon
the full market value of a given
piece of property; in other re-
gions, some fraction or another of
this value is the criterion.
Since the assessment is a means
of determining how much an in-
dividual, or business must pay in
property taxes, the situation can
obviously get rather sticky. What
is considered a fair tax assessment
in one township may be far above
the average elsewhere. When a
high assessment value is allotted
to a piece of property, it is often
coupled with a low tax rate; while
for a house with a low assessment.
value, a correspondingly higher rate
is applied. The need for tax rev-
enue being what it is, it is under-
standable that the latter plan, or
a variant thereof, is more often
* * *
ACCORDING to state officials,
the "percentage of true cash val-
ue" at which township property
is assessed can vary over a wide
range-from less than 10 per cent
to more than 100 per cent in some
counties. The major reason for
such a large continuum of assessed
value is the fact that comparative-
ly few supervisors of property tax
assessing have any business being
in that position to begin with.
They are far better suited for
farming than for the skilled trade
of property evaluation.
These days it can be a very
skilled trade indeed, a far cry
from the days when the task could
simply be added on to the burden
of the already-overworked justice
of the peace. Those who followed
the attempt to abolish the office
of sheriff in Wayne County will

have some idea of how difficult
it could be to make assessing prac-
tices in many rural townships cori-
form to a set of "roles and rules."
* * *
IT GOES without saying that,
there will be strong opposition
from these rural areas, just as
there always is when it seems as
though young blood might be in-
jected into the veins of a tired' old
system. This opposition will surely
make itself heard in Lansing, just
as it always does when legislators
from such areas attempt to avoid
being ejected from their offices.
The fact that. approximately 20
counties now have equalization
bureaus is of little or no interest
to those which do not and which
do not want to have to set up
bureaus of their own by Lansing
If an equitable property tax for
each and every Michigan citizen
and business is to become pos-
sible, Romney's proposals should
be put into effect. There is no rea-
son why any person should be
made to assume an unfair per-
centage of the total tax burden
simply because he happens to live
in a particular area of the state.
In short, Romney is right in call-
ing for such a system of standards
for property assessment in Michi-
gan, and he is right in calling it
"tax justice."
CHARGE that the politicians
who have inherited the tradi-
tion of :liberalism in this country
today are not liberals at all, but
merely ambitious men who have
become the captives of the big-city
machines. These ambitious men
know that the tradition of liberal-
ism in this country demands that
they carry on an appearance of
righteous crusades but as captives
of the big-city machines of the
North they can nov carry on only
those few token crusades that
actually tend to strengthen the
big-city machines.
--Sen. Barry Goldwater
in Human Events

To the Editor:
THERE WILL BE one more one-
half semester seat available on
Student Government Council in
addition to those vacancies pre-
viously announced. At tomorrow
night's SGC meeting I will submit
my resignation to be effective up-
on the seating of the candidates
chosen in the forthcoming elec-
tions. My reasons for resigning,
like those of so many others who
have left Student Government
Council, are primarily academic in
But the strain of the bipartite
role of student and politician has
been great from the beginning and
had I retained my original en-
thusiasm for student politics no-
thing would prevent me from
either taking easier courses or rec-
onciling myself to learning less
in the courses which I am taking.
I am no longer willing to do either
one or the other.
that the ideas which I have been
working for as a member of SGC
and of Voice Political Party are
extremely worthwhile, I have lost
my elan somewhere along the line.
My resignation will allow my seat
to be filled by a person equally
committed but perhaps less torn
by the sacrifice that he is called
upon to make. I will continue to
speak to administrators n the
hope that they may agree that
students must be treated as adults
before they act as adults.
I will also continue to speak
with SGC members in hopes of
convincing them that the best
favor they can do the affiliate
system to to help it rid itself of
discriminatory membership prac-
tices and outside influence on
membership selection.
* * *
WHEN I RAN for SGC for the
first time, one and a half years
ago, The Daily warned that I
would become disillusioned, and
they were correct. It is quite true
that SGC has its absurd sides.
Parliamentary procedure, the pass-
ing of notes at meetings and the
committee system (did you know
SGC has a "Committee on Com-
mittees?") are symptoms of a
Kafka-esque structure that I still
believe SGC can rise above.
The almost 30,000 students on
campus have failed miserably to
use their economic power and
suffer consequently in rental serv-
ice, bus service, entertainment
service and book service.
* * ' *
THOUGH IT might be represen-
tative of the University students,
SGC has consistently failed to
rally any manifestations of stu-
dent opinion and shudders at the
very idea of asking students to
demonstrate. I still believe that
SGC. can be more than a "let's
pretend" student government, but
I no longer can pretend to myself
that I am simultaneously being a
good student and a good SGC
-Ken Miller, '64
Bon Voyage? . . .
To the Editor:
on his trip to Cuba, as report-
ed in The Daily of Sept. 10, are
puzzling. He seems ready to ac-
cept on face value whatever ap-
pears favorable to the Castro re-
gime, and to rationalize or deny
that which is not. Principles (?)
which he holds when he is on the
campus at Ann Arbor fly to the
wind once he gets to Havana.
"'I saw no Russian troops, and
everyone I talked to said there
were none.'" There are several
thousand U.S. Marines at Guan-
tanamo Base; yet since they were
not walking the streetsin Cuba,
I could by the same reasoning
tentatively conclude that there
were none.
* * *
WHO DID he talk to while ask-
ing about Russian troops? With
Fidel's efficient propaganda sys-

tem, of which Mr. Brown is just
a part, I am sure that the average
muzhik hears only of the im-
perialists to the North, and prob-
ably does not even know of the"
Soviet forces in his homeland.
Cuba is all behind its govern-

ment, and therefore, Mr. Brown
says, organized channels of dissent
are not needed.
*« « «
SHUTTING opposition voices in
a country by its government is an
old ploy, and it is almost in-
evitably rationalized by the same
reasons Mr. Brown gives. Nazi
Germany was all behind Hitler,
who expressed the "national will,"
so who needed a free press and
elections and such trappings of a
bourgeois democratic society? Stal-
in "personified" the revolution,
and in a proletarian society, there
were by definition no conflicting
interests, so what good were poli-
tical parties?
MR. BROWN grants the right of
the Castro regime to deny the
right to publish to certain dis-
senting groups. Would he grant
the same right to the U.S. govern-
ment, which feels just as endan-
gered by certain forms of internal
dissent as does Castro? Liberties
of speech and press can be denied
by the Castro government to any-
one; would Mr. Brown condone
giving this same right to the U.S.
--Steven Hendel
In 'Heaven'
WE'VE HAD HIM as a labor
leader, a grand duchess, a
Welsh librarian, an American
author, a clothing designer, a
criminal king and now a priest.
Who? "Heavens Above," It's Peter
Sellers now showing at the Cam-
pus Theatre.
Peter Sellers is a crusading
preacher transferred by error
from his prison parish to a very
middle class community. After ap-
pointing a Negro (Brock Peters)
as his warden, he proceeds to
practice Christianity. Of course,
the townspeople are outraged,
shocked and so forth.
* * *
THE ACTING is excellent, as
seems to be the rule in English
comedies, with the emphasis on
small eccentric characters scat-
tered throughout. Eric Sykes as
Smith, the professional pensioner,
and his wife (played by Irene
Handl) are especially- brilliant.
Brock Peters is too stereotyped as
the "good-hearted Negro" to be
given a chance to show his talent.
Sellers is as marvelous as ever:
he smiles a line and it gains new
impetus; he snaps and the line is
a bolt of lightning.
* * *
"HEAVENS ABOVE" provides
many moments of typical English
humor bound to tickle and delight
but as a comedy it fails. It also
has some extremely biting mo-
ments but as a satire it fails. Fin-
ally, as an entertainment it never
really approaches the heights it
set out for.
The satire fails because it at-
tacks too much too obviously. Un-
able to contain itself with reveal-
ing the insiduous deterioration of
the church into a social conven-
tion, "Heavens Above" also man-
ages to take on socialized govern-
ment, racial and religious preju-
dice, big business and almost
everything else.
* * *
THE MOVIE fails to be really
funny because it is too obviously
presenting a message and this
constantly gets in the way.
However, Peter Sellers is a fan-
tastically talented comedian. But
he is primarily a wit and a pun-
ster, tooled in the fine arts of
characterization and imitation,
not a stylistic social commentar-
ian. When given rein to romp and
cavort he can provide wild gustos
of humor or he can be as subtly
deadly as he was in "Only Two

Can Play." Yet when he is strap-
ped into a vehicle which is as
burdened and controlled as "Hea-
vens Above," he can only succeed
Sin occasional moments. But with
Sellers, even those are worth it.
a--Hugh Holland




rus Editor



1 I ,4k -jr

tempting to break out of the shell imposed upon
The expanded and more understanding cov-
erage is a small step toward the day the United
States can maintain open and rational rela-
tions with Communist China. Ignorance is a
major promoter of fear and hatred. Anti-Com-
munist fanatics can play upon public ignorance
of Communist China to prevent necessary dip-
lomatic relations with that country.
The United States needs first hand informa-
tion about China to deal effectively with it as
well as a formal relations to help make Com-
munists more accountable to world opinion.
Wider public understanding could lead to rela-
tions with Red China and more effective West-
ern attempts to contain the ambitious Chinese.
T HE NEXT STEP is to allow Anerican re-
porters inside Communist China. Currently,
the State Department forbids their entry par-
tially as part of a mistaken policy of isolating
China and partially because it has no way of
guaranteeing reporters' safety.
While the Chinese severely limit reporters'
activities, being in Peking is better than writing
about it from Hong Kong or Tokyo. Less news
will depend on rumor and speculation.
With greater public understanding, the Unit-
ed States could move to bring Communist China
into world politics where it can be better dis-
ciplined. The next step is ending opposition to
China's admission to the United Nations. The
Communists would then be forced to pay great-
er attention to world opinion as it tries to make




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