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September 15, 1978 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1978-09-15

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Page 4-Friday, September 15,, 1978-The Michigan Daily

iht £ida ito raiIQ
Eighty-Nine Years of Editorial Freeo

South African draft dodger

seek shelter from

the storm

Vol. LIX, No. 8

Friday, September 15, 1978

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and manoged by students at the University of Michigan

On the Ford indictment:

A better idea

J USTICE HAS BEEN only partially
served in the case of the American
people versus Hehry Ford II.
An Indiana grand jury has indicted
the Ford Motor Company on charges of
reckless homicide and criminal
recklessness. The court said the auto
company's poor design of the 1973
Pinto' automobile _ and corporate
negligence contributed to the deaths of
three teenage girls. The victims were
driving a Pinto when they were struck
from behind by a van. The gasoline
tank of the econony size auto exploded
and its passengers were consumed by
a fiery death.
The grand jury found that the fuel
tank in Pintos were "recklessly
designed and manufactured in such a
manner as would likely cause (the car)
to flame and burn upon rear-end
impact." They also said that the auto
company had a responsibility to warn
the public, which Ford failed to do and
therefore showed "reckless
disregard" for people -who drive in a
1973 Pinto.
But the Ford Motor Co. claims
innocence on these charges. It didn't
matter that the federal government
found the Pinto fuel tank defective and
ordered the Ford Co. to recall 1.5
Million of them to correct the problem
- Ford was innocent. It didn't matter
that at least 59 people have died in fires
and explosions after Pinto accidents, -
Ford was innocent.
It didn't matter that two weeks ago a
Detroit Free Press story revealed an

inner office memo within the company,
that identified the "gas tank problem"
and offered several possible solutions
in 1972 - Ford was innocent.
.There are at least 50 lawsuits in the
courts now, according to the
Association of Trial. Lawyers of
America, contesting Ford's innocence.
But it appears that the Ford Co. is
trying to maintain its innocence
through its vast financial resources -
the company has settled out of court on
more than a half-dozen of these cases
with payments around the million
dollar mark.
Indeed, can we blame the Ford
Motor Co., a corporate entity, for the
Pinto fiasco? Can we blame the 59
Pinto-related deaths on the engineers?
Yes. But we must also blame those
people who knew of 'the fuel tank
defect, who had the authority to stop
production or correct the error in the
factory or at the earliest possible
moment, but who, with reckless
disregard for the consumer, said
nothing and did .nothing. These men
are Henry Ford II and Lee Iacocca.
We agree with Ralph Nader, the
consumer advocate, who said that
Henry Ford should be indicted on
charges of manslaughter. We go one
step further and say that Iacocca, then
Ford Motor Co. president, should also
be indicted on the same charge. Both
these men, for the sake of corporate
profits, sold the American consumer
what they knew to be a virtual death

By Diane Lindquist
SAN FRANCISCO - A growing number of
white South African youths who oppose the
government's apartheid policies of strict
racial segregation apparently are leaving the
country to evade the draft or desert from the
military, but they are having difficulty in
finding asylum in other countries.
Paulvan Wyk, 22, is one of an estimated 30
seeking political refuge in the United States.
His three-month visitor's visa expired in
March and now he is here illegally working at
a gas station and living in San Francisco's
Tenderloin district.
Therarea, with its resident winos,
prostitutes and pandering youth, was not the
vision of America he had when he left
'perhaps forever" - his family and his
homeland. But, he said, once he made his
decisionthere was no turning back. "I did not
support the governing force in South Africa. I
felt it was supporting (Prime Minister John)
Vorster, and I disagree with his apartheid
If he had been called to serve, Van Wyk
said,'he was concerned he might have been
forced to fire at blacks in a civil
confrontation. "And I regard their motives
for shooting at me as more legitimate than
mine for shooting at them."
The exact number of draft dodgers and
deserters is uncertain. In 1976, the last year
official statistics relating to the subject were
released, 4,000 men failed to report for
military duty. The South African
government, however, charges that Vesisters
and deserters are nit numerous and that such
reports are.rumors spread by a few who have
Frank Land, a spokesman for South Africa
in the United States, said there were only two
deserters who went to Botswana last year.
"I'm not aware of a major draft dodging
occurrence, quite frankly,"he said.
According to journalists in Botswana,
however, draft resisters there estimate the
number leaving the country in the hundreds.
And the South African Liberation Support
Committee (SALSCOM), an organization
working to create escape routes and support
for deserters and draft evaders, claims there
are a few hundred in Britain, about 30 in the
United States and a few in other European
countries, and officials predict the
phenomenon will grow.
South African law requires all white males
and all white male non-citizens who have been
in the country five years to register for
compulsory military service at age 16; they
are liable for call-up at 17 and can be notified
to serve for two years until age 65. Even
conscientious objectors must serve, although
at the discretion of the commanding officer
they may be assigned to a non-combatant
The government monitors those who
receive academic deferments, and if a three-
year course is not completed in five years, the
deferment ends.
The whites who are fleeing - most on the
pretext of further study - are finding it
difficult to convince countries to take them,
despite a 1976 resolution by the United
Nations World Conference for Action Against
Apartheid urging member states to "grant
immediate political asylum to bonafide war
resisters and deserters from the apartheid
armed forces."
Botswana is willing to serve as a temporary
refuge. But in Angola and Mozambique, the
whites are suspected of being South African





agents. Britain allows them to stay for 12-
month renewable periods. And the
Netherlands is considering legislation
depriving Dutch nationals of their citizenship
if they serve in the South African military, a
jiove that it is felt could increase the number
of draft dodgers and encourage other
governments to take similar action.
The American government will in theory
grant asylum if it believes repatriation will
endanger the life of a dissenter.
Van Wyk is in the process of filing a formal
request, which his lawyer expects will take
years to resolve because of this country's
position of opposing apartheid but reluctance
to antagonize the South African government.
Leaving South Africa was not easy for Van
Wyk. He had to learn to be deceptive, fight
paranoia and leave his parents and four
brothers and sisters. His father, an Afrikaner,
strongly objected. "He said I was irrational
and criticized my attitude."
Nevertheless, the father cosigned for a
loan, and Van Wyk got a visitor's visa from
the U.S. embassy on the pretext of visiting
Americans he had met at an international
surfing convention at his home in Durban.
Once in the United States, Van Wyk said, "I
was too numb with shock to realize how
terrified I was."
Traveling from New York across the
country, he settled into San Francisco's
Terderloin and eventually got a job.
Later, his brother, Robert Van Wyk, 19 -
who has angelicized his name - also left
South Africa to avoid the draft and joned Van
Wyk in San Francisco. "Robbie" brought

Paul's surfboard and contact with SALSCOM
The brothers hope to be among the draft
evaders the group and its political arm, th
South African Military Refugee Aid FuR
(SAMRAF), support in seeking asylumrr'.ik
this country.
SALSCOM, which surfaced in London i
late 1977, also plans to help foment rebellion
in the South African army. It published
newspaper, Omkeer - Afrikaan fo.
"turnabout" - that it distributes amoe
college students and the military in Sout
Africa. '
"We would like to see," an organizafiof
pamphlet declares, "a South Africa 'in whicll
the land has been restored to the blael
majority, the will of all the people will govei
the land, there will be a redistribution of -th
resources and power such that we cai build
new society with equal opportunity'"4
everyone where no class, no sex and no raee
can exploit another."
Until then, Paul and Robbie at'
maintaining lives of deception in the
Tenderloin, pumping gas and going surfing.
"Surfing is very much a security blanket -It
we can do something that we did in South
Africa, we can keep going."
(Diane Lindquist, an editor at Pacific
News Service, traveled in South Africa
and other areas of the continent while an
editor for The Courier-Journal in
Louisville, Ky.)

'r/'"' f

Can any kind of love be wrong?

Carter is looking better
but has a long, way to go

T HER E'S MAYBE a new politician
on the rise in Washington these
days. His name is Jimmy Carter.
Our president is either smarter than
he has seemed, or more patient than
others in the political establishment, or
maybe just tired of being raked over
the hot coals. Whatever the reason,
Carter is suddenly riding a promising
little wave of successes; and they are,
above all, ploitical successes. Moral,
too? Maybe, maybe not. But this short
series of victories were won by a
president who has at last appears to
have gotten his bearings in the job.
Most recent and perhaps most
important is the House's approval of
Carter's civil service reform bill. He
promised it, he worked hard for it, and
now he has a decent bill to sign, (or

Carter's ability to fulfill at least one
Carter's veto last week of a
worthless nuclear aircraft carrier also
comes to mind. And whatever the
outcome of the Camp David summit,
remember that there is already a
political victory in that for Carter.
Forget that it is 1978 for a moment and
think; Menachem Begin and Anwad
Sedat meeting in privacy for a full
week? There is at least some credit to
be claimed by the American who could
bring about that event. If the summit
yields peace, which seems improbable,
Carter will be hailed as a genius of
diplomacy. If it fails, at least he tried.
While all these events do not indicate
the adminstration has begun a swing
tntsyarA arantacb 'xu v nrPCicu nf

By John Ellis
Small scenes tell the story.
At a concert, two lovers sitting
together might be tempted to
brush arms gainst each other, but
only very discreetly.
An older man might sit in his
room at night and remember
when he still hoped to 4ind
someone like himself.
A woman might quietly
whisper the word "love" to
herself, in a noisy restaurant, at a
loud concert, or alone in the
countryside, just to hear it said.
What we consider the highest
human activity was then
considered sick. To do it was
against the law. If you were even
suspected of it you could lose
your job. Your children would
disown you. It was love.
Love was absolutely forbidden.
No affection, no intimacy, and
the less contact between people
the better. Love was condemned
by the courts, churches, and
To love was such a disgrace
that some people killed
themselves rather than accept a
desire for' it. Lovers were called
"fects," because they were

got drunk, they found a little love
in $hemselves, but in the
morning, they couldn't
remember a thing.
There were attempts to cure
love. People studied love,
searched for its causes, the
pattern of its development, and
ways to prevent it. There was a
debate about whether lovers
were criminals or mentally ill,
but the unfortunate ones-were
punished in either cafe, with
prison terms or electro-shock
At the University, signs of
affection could keep a faculty
member from getting tenure.
Fect students could not get
-nominations for scholarships or
foreign study - who would
want a feet to represent your
Students did not ant to live in
the same area of a dorm as a feet
- love might be contagious. Or a
feet might smile at you. Most
people did not think women fects
even existed.
Love was studied in abnormal
psychology classes. The works of
fects were often left out if other

"less sensitive position." people to recons
Once it was proposed that irrational prejudices
university by-laws also ban said "Kill All Fects,'
discrimination on 'the basis of "the right to love."
love. Some people laughed. Even where 1
Others were outraged. What forbidden, love
about the alumni and the state flourished; it alwaysc
legislature's money? Why
protect love when society was so John Ellis, an ai
againstit?works for the C
Nonetheless, the fects began to
seek each other out. They asked Loft.


ider thei
. Where
they wrot
love wal
owed fec
+ 1

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