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September 23, 1978 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1978-09-23

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Ken Parsigian
Anti-divestiture arguments misguided

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For the past two years, a growing group
of concerned students has endeavored to
convince the Regents to withdraw all
University holdings in South Africa-the
Regents have refused. In support of their
recalcitrance, the Regents cite several
arguments: We can do more good for the
blacks by staying in South Africa and
working from within; what about other
countries where human rights are violated;
the University should not make moral
Recently, the anti-divestiture faction has
added a new justification to its arsenal-a
pullout of U.S. corporations from South
Africa would not have any significant effect
on that country's economy. As do all other
anti-divestiture arguments, this one simply
misses the point.
The primary goal of divestiture is an
educational one. We need to make the
American public aware of the systematic
racism South Africa enforce, and
divestiture is one means of reaching the
public. The reason for educating the public
is complex, but important. First, we must
acknowledge that revolution is inevitable in
South Africa. The oppression has gone on
longer than the people will withstand.
Whether or not the U.S. and other countries
can effect change from within is
problematical, but that has no bearing on
the inevitability of armed conflict. Such
internal change could only occur over a
great number of years, and the revolution
simply can't wait that long.
So now, we must encourage our efforts on

making such a battle a short, vicotrious one
for the black majority, and more
specifically, on preventing U.S.
intervention. Once the struggle begins, U.S.
corporations will demand that the U.S.
government protect American interests in
South Africa. In similar cases in Santa
Domingo, Chile, and Angola, the U.S.
government has complied, usually through
the misguided jingoist efforts of the CIA.
Although the American public has, to a
large extent, Later condemned these
imperialist acts, it was unable to prevent
them. The reason is simple: we had no idea
what was going on. The truth was revealed
years later, when the only action we could
take was to pound our collective chest in
righteous indignation.
This is what we must prevent in South
Africa, and the only way to do so is to make
the public aware of such a possibility now.
By advocating divestiture, we are
protesting the presence of U.S. corporations
not only for the economic viability they lend
to the South African government, but also
their potential for blocking a popular
liberation movement. In addition to seeking
federal intervention, U.S. corporations will
not refrain from protecting their own
interests by supporting the white minority.
General Motors, for example, already has a
contingency plan in case of revolution.It
plans to train white personnel to act as a
private militia to protect GM's plant and
operations. This might not be so bad, were it
not for the fact that South africa has a law
permitting the government to convert any

privately owned factory to weapons
production in cases of national emergency.
There is no reason to believe, however, that
should the government force GM into such a
position that the corporation would have any
less interest in protecting its factories. This
means that GM's security force will
probably be protecting a weapons plant
when war begins.
And GM is not the only corporation likely
to find itself in this position. When the
revolution comes, the white government
will certainly use the law to convert all
factories to military production, and the
American corporations that own these
factories will undoubedly seek to protect
them, thus producing a direct confrontation
between the U.S. and the black rebels.
While it would be ideal for U.S.
corporation to withdraw now, to prevent
such a possibility of direct U.S. military
support for white regime, it is unlikely. We
can, however, hope to educate the public
about such a possibility now. This may
produce such a public outcry that the U.S.
government will be afraid to intervene, and
that the corporations will refuse to aid the
racist government by protecting a weapons
Divestiture by the University would lend
clout to such a position, and would also
establish this institution as a firm supporter
of human rights, and a foe of U.S.
imperialism, and foreign intervention.
Ken Parsigian is a Daily
Managing Editor.

American Maoist and 'Gang of Four

The House has denied
women a basic right

THE STATE HOUSE of Represent-
atives voted Tuesday to approve
the new $520 million Medicaid budget.
But a restriction in the bill denies
women a fundamental right - the
right to every woman to decide
whether to have a child.
The restrictionon abortions, in the
Medicaid appropriations bill,
discriminates against women on
welfare and women who receive Social
Security Supplemental Income. In a
nation where abortions are legal it
seems neither fair nor logical not to
make funds available for women who
otherwise could not afford to pay for an
The sanje legislation including anti-
abortion restrictions was passed by the
House and Senate earlier this year.
Governor Milliken wisely and
courageously vetoed the bill. We hope
that although the veto of this
legislation will occur close to the
November election the Governor's
courage and wisdom will not wane.
It is often the families on welfare and
other forms of financial relief who for
whom the right to have an abortion is
most crucial.
Last year 12,000 women, most of

whom could not have ;afforded an
abortion, took advantage of state
funding to have abortions performed.
Unwanted children begin the battle
of life with two strikes on them. When
they are the children of poor families
their plight is more pitiful.
But if the Senate passes the house
version of the Medicaid appropriation
bill and the Governor does not veto it,
poor unwanted children will be a direct
This, coupled with the abridgement
of the right of women to control their
destiny makes us doubt the plausibility
of the gubernatorial candidacy of
William Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald is
adamantly opposed to state funding for
It is difficult to believe that anyone
who supports a woman's right to have
an abortion could vote for the young
Democrat, despite the fact his running
mate Olivia Maynard is an ardent
supporter of abortion rights.
In fact, because of Fitzgerald's
stand on this abortion issue his choice
of running mates can be looked upon
more as a political expedience than a,
choice based upon a respect for
Maynard's political viewpoint.

By Thomas Brom
"Revisionists are revisionists
and must not be supported!
Revolutionaries are
revolutionaries and must be
The broadcast songs of
revolutionary China swept across
the sunny plaza outside
Berkeley's Community Theater,
attracting the curious and the
faithful to the West' Coast Mao
Tse-tung Memorial.
The Revolutionary Communist
Party U.S.A. (RCP) was out in
force recently to celebrate the
second anniversary of Mao's
death, and to denounce the
current Chinese leadership as
"revisionist and capitalist-
China's rapid changes in
domestic and foreign policies
have left many former
supporters in the United States
gasping. The RCP, the Maoist
organization in this country,
waited two years before formally ,
breaking with the Chinese
leadership this September.
But a sense of incongruity
pervaded the Mao Tse-tung
Memorial from its elaborate
start to finish. Maybe it was the
wholesale adoption of Chinese-
style rhetoric assumed by the
predominantly white, middle-
class organization. Maybe it was
the studied. militance and
posturing under the warm
California sun or the ponderous
solemnity of the occasion.
Whatever the cause,
Berkeley's Mao Tse-tung
Memorial moved dangerously,
close to the Twilight Zone.
The steps to the Community
Theater were cordoned off, like
the waiting lines in a bank, into
winding trails leading to the front
doors. Black-bereted security
guards, each wearing red T-
shirts-with Mao's picture printed
on the back, were everywhere.
People filed through the

narrow rope corridors in small
groups, carefully separated by
the security forces.
"No more than four tickets will
be sold together," a security
guard announced. "You will be
searched before entering the
building. This will be for your
own protection."
Women in two separated ticket
windows sold the carefully
numbered and coded tickets, one
window for the English-speaking
people, the other with ticket
information in Chinese, Persian
and Spanish.
At the front doors, more
security guards patted down each
person entering the hall. They
looked in the cuffs of pants and
under shirt collars as well as the
usual places. Next, another set of
guards scanned people head to
toe with a metal detector,
even checking the soles of
One young man had to check
his small pocket knife with the
security office. Before long the
security window had a small pile
of assorted pen knives and metal
objects, as well as camera
equipment forbidden in the hall.
Ushers wearing yellow Mao
Tse-tung T-shirts and red arm-
.bands escorted people into the
auditorium in groups of twos and
threes. Ticket numbers and sales
were staggered so that groups of
people were scattered throughout
the hall, preventing any
possibility of caucusing or
demonstrating against what was
to follow.
Each person received a -
program and a sheaf of literature.
Inside the folder was a notice that
the program would last
approximately 4 hours and that
there would be no intermission or
other interruptions. Any
questions of the speakers had to
be written on small white cards
and passed to the ushers.
The interior decorations were

awesome. Red banners, each
written with revolutionary
slogans printed in English,
Persian, Spanish and Chinese,,
hung from the walls and
"Hail the heroic efforts of the
four who fought to uphold Mao's
revolutionary lines and the
proletarian rule in China."
Simultaneous translation into
Chinese, Persian and Spanish
was offered in special sections of
the auditorium.
The stage was festooned with
red bunting and flanked by rows
of elaborate floral displays on
each side. The curtains high
above held huge pictures of
Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin.
Smaller pictures of the "Gang of
Four" were pinned to the
curtains beside the stage. It
looked like a church service, a
memorial mass for a dead pope.
The crowd of nearly 1,000
hushed as eight tiny spotlights
pinpointed the faces of the heros
tacked to the stage curtains.
Something spectacular obviously
was about to happen.
The curtains opened slowly,
then swapt back with deliberate
ceremony. Huge versions of three
slogans were spread across the
red paper backdrop
Immediately above the speaker's
podium was a gigantic portrait of
Mao - expressionless, patient
and watchful. The crowd paused,
then responded with prolonged,
enthusiastic applause.
Bill Klingel, a member of the
RCP Central Committee, began
the program with yet another
recitation of slogans denouncing
the current Chinese leadership
and praising the life and work of
Two members of a group called
Prairie Fire sang of their trip to
the People's Republic several
years ago, comparing their
impressions of Hong Kong with
the achievements of China just

across the border.
A film, "The Greatest
Revolutionary of Our Time,"
followed, and then a slide show,
"Mao Tse-tung's Last Great
Battle." Prairie Fire
Then it was time for the main
event, an address by Robert
Avakian, chairman of the Central
Committee. He walked across the
stage carrying a briefcase.
Avakian, -'a small man whose
head barely rose above the
speaker's podium, cleared his
throat and shouted in a giant
voice, reiterating the slogans and
Chinese-style imprecations
previously hurled at China's
leaders. He attacked Hua Kuo-
fong, Chou En-lai, Lia Piao and
Liu Shao-chi and described with
special vehemence "the stink
emanating from 'Teng Hsiao-
The chairman again recounted
the sell-out of the Chinese people,
going into every deeper detail,
finding ever more deviations
from the current communist line.
He denounced "goulash
communism" and advocated
"meat-and-potatoes commun-
ism." He spoke more than three
hours, while many people shifted
in their chairs and others filed out
of the auditorium.
In those three hours, Avakian
scarcely mentioned American
working people. He never
mentioned the changing social
and economic conditions of the
United States. He never related
China's current turmoil to the
American reality just outside. He
wanted justice for Albania.
So it had come to this. Albania,
supposedly carrying the
unsullied veil of Marxism-
Leninism like a sacred relic in a
corrupt world. Albania and Mao

Thomas Brom is
News Service editor.

a Pacific

I i I


Letters to


The Daily

To the Daily:
As a somewhat more than
passive observer of politics in the
College of LSA; the September 12
Daily article, "LSA Faculty Off
5% Since 1973" deserves
examination. At this month's
meeting of the Governing
Faculty, Dean Frye described
faculty affirmative action
policies with the terms: "totally
inadequate," "inexcusable," and
"I am very disappointed at this
rate of change." While I am in
total agreement with Dean Frye
in regards to the results of faculty
affirmative action within LSA,
his identification of the problem
has left several important points
Perhaps the most
disappointing aspect of Dean
Frye's comments was the lack of
a firm statement committing the

minorities, an astounding 15
departments emply a grand total
of zero. That this should be the
case six years after the
University filed an affirmative
action report to the Federal
Government is truely
Why should this be the case?
Dean Frye attributes the failure
of faculty affirmative action to
declining state revenues and a
lack of qualified applicants. 'In
the Report however, the "historic
tendency - to leave women and
minorities off tenure track
postions" is cited on page 82;
hiring has a tendency to employ
these groups into non-tenure
positions or not at all. Looking
back to the projected figures
based upon the availability of
these groups to be hired, the 1972
Report is indeed revealing. From
nrnantrl i ioul,,,'na frnm'

be used as an excuse for almost
anything at the University, and
faculty affirmative action is only
one such example. And as long
as the tenure decision-making
process remains solely within the
hands of LSA departments, I am
afraid Dean Frye will be
"disappointed" when the results
of the next Report come out.
I would contend that until the
time that students are able to
participate in the tenure process
as voting members, the decisions
will continue to exclude the
promotion of women, minorities,
and outspoken individuals, such
as Joel Samoff. And why should
students be excluded? Article
XIII of the most recent Report
(written by President Fleming
himself) states:
The University will continue to co-
operate and to work with other
tinvSarmmont nonripand rnmun i s

group"-able to. vote in tenure
decisons for the "mutual
commitment" to affirmative
action, for this is policy which has
a great impact in the LSA
classrooms. Without a firm
commitment to faculty
affirmative action; LSA students
will receive an education which is
less innovative, diverse and
motivating; an education which
will be limited in terms of
experiences and approaches
offered. For students with an
interest in the education they
should receive and take the time
to visit Dean Frye's open office
hours (Wednesdays, 1:30-3, 2522
LSA Bldg.) to discuss these and
other policies. To get an idea of
the political nature of the College,
stop by a Governing Faculty
meeting (the first Monday of
each month, 4:10 p.m. in Angell
Avie] Al r ,n4% by .. T QA

G D Una
CE , ,


i ; = !

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