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September 26, 1978 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1978-09-26

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ge 4-Tuesday, September 26, 1978-The Michigan Daily

. ' . .
v ,

Eighty-Nine Years of Editorial Freedom

Vol. LIX NO. 17

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

President Carter, who
should 'just go away'?

ESPITE HIS short string of recent
successes, climaxed by the Camp
avid agreement, President Carter
emonstrated last weekend that he
ill has 'serious problems giving the
tion effective leadership.
On Saturday President Carter
:tended a town meeting in Aliquippa,
ennsylvania - another in a series of
tempts to improve his image as a
ammon person's president. The
resident made a speech and then
pened the floor for questions.
The president was asked why the
alestine Liberation Organization
?LO) was allowed to have an offie in
'ashington, D.C. when it is known that
ie organization openly murders
inocent people. President Carter
splied that many organizations are.
obnoxious to us" but still have the
ght to free speech in the United
ates. The president also said "there
re many groups like this that cause,
rncern - the Ku Klux Klan, the
Mnmunist Party, the Nazis," adding:
[t would be pice for us if they would
st go away."
Assuming that President Carter is
ferring to the American Communist
arty and the American Nazis -we
pe the president would not refer
ipriciously to the Chinese Communist
arty or the Soviet Union's Communist
arty as obnoxious - it is more than
st disappointing that he would lump
ose groups together.
Although the Ku Klux Klan and the-
azis are considering a merger, it
ems idiotic to even mention themin
e same breath with the Communist
. rty-Rest assured, the KuKluxKlan

and the Communist Party would not
care to be grouped together, especially
as an entity the country could do
without. It also raises questions about
how President Carter views any
political group other than Republicans
or Democrats.
Second, to coalese the PLO with
these groups and then say it would be
nice if they "just go away," is a
mistake comparable to Presideni
Gerald Ford's blunder on the freedor
of Iron Curtain countries. Any Mideast
settlement must include the PLO
which most Arab leaders recognize as
the representative of the Palestiniar
people.
The president has promised Israel
that he would not talk to the PLO until
that organization recognizes Israel
PLO leader Yasser Arafat has
indicated he could be persuaded to
recognize Israel. But after
referring to the PLO as ob.
noxious, could President Carter
seriously expect Arafat to' trust him,
and negotiate fairly?
It is disturbing that the president
made such a pernicious statement in
the midst of such delicate Mideast
peace talks. What is most
troublesome, however, is not so much
that President Carter would make the
statement, but that he actually thinks
in such demeaning and derogatory
terms. The attitude toward the PLCO
exemplified by the presidents answer
to a simple question concerning
freedom of speech in America leads us
to ask -another simple question: In
1980, should Jimmy Carter just go
-away? '

t.
t
t
5
1

The ERA

walk athon: A

sad tribute from Ann Arbor

ere is the transcript of President Carter's
arks in Aliquippa, Pa., on Saturday when he
s questioned about the Palestine' Liberation'
ganization office in Washington during a town'
eting here.
uestion: I want to know how the United States
uld let the PLO (Palestine Liberation
ganization), an organization which has openly
led hundreds of people, open an office and
tribute propaganda in Washington, D.C.
nswer ' We have in our country a
nstitutional right to freedom of speech, one of
deepest commitments to the American.
ople.
here are a lot of organizations in our country
ich are obnoxious to some of us, what they
nd for, what they believe in. It is a difficult
'ng for a public official not to use this kind of
ue to demagogue and to stamp out an
popular group, no matter how small it might,
here is obviously no threat to out nation's
curity. There is obviously no threat to the
6ll-being of people who live in-Israel, if the PLO
Is this small information office. My. own guess

is that they will learn more about our country by.
being here and what we stand for than we will
learn from them. (Applause)..
There are miany groups like this that cause us
concern. The Ku Klux Klan, for instance, the
Communist Party, the Nazis, you know. It would
be nice for us if they would just go away. But it is
part of our system of government to let them
have the right to speak.
I believe that as long as the American people
are educated and knowledgeable about the
threat of these organizations that this is the best
way to stamp them out. (Applause.)
I might add one other thing. I have a
commitment to the people of Israel not to
negotiate with, nor to have any private
meetings with .,the PLO until after that.
organization recognizes Israel's right to exist
and espouses United NationsResoultion 242,
with which I know you are thoroughly familiar.
So I think we are making good progress in the
Mideast.
You need not fear the little office in
Washington. I believe we can handle the PLO
not by stamping them out, but by the American
people. from the Associated Press

By the time the sun rose above Ann Arbor's
rooftops and the low ground fog disappeared
. on the morning of August 26, 150 people had
r gathered at the base of Crisler Arena to
celebrate National Womens Day.
The day commemorated, American
women's first political milestone: The
t enactment of the 19th amendment granting
women the right to vote after a long fervent
t struggle against apathy, ignorance and
topposition.
The 150 Ann Arborites came to-Crisler that
day to raise money for the campaign to ratify
the Equal Rights Amendment (E.R.A.) in
. three unratified states. This battle has
lingered since 1919 when immediately after
"getting the vote" suffragettes directed their
efforts toward getting tanguage that protects
women in the United States Constitution.
Now, nearly 50 years later, 150 strugglers
tried to carry on this enormous work. 150
people from a city with a population of over
100,000.
WE DO NOT intend to downgrade the
* efforts of those who walked seven miles and
earned nearly $5,000 in three hours. Everyone
of them, from the burgeoning political
neophyte to the long term activist deserves
to be commended. We thank you.
Nor, do we wish to condemn the intentions
of the women organizing the march. We
appreciate both the effort and the intent. But
in a town this size; a town with a legendary
history of liberal activism and radical action,
such a sparse turnout for a march so
important is both disappointing and a failure.
The paucity of feeling throughout the
march did not stem from the issue itself. The
termination of the ratifying period for the
E.RdA. draws dreadfully near - March, 1979.
But people who support the amendment still
stroll the apathetic route regardless of the
work that must be done.
Proponents in unratified states have
escalated their campaigns for state
legislative spproval. In ratified states, such
as Michigan the issue is equally pertinent.
Our Congress members can vote to extend the
ratification period. E.R.A. advocated from
ratified states have organized a boycott of
convention sites in the unratified states.
oil MICHIGAN FEMINISTS have been leaders
in the struggle for womens equality. Women
from this state including many Ann Arborites
have accomplished notable deeds:
establishing a strong network of spouse abuse
centers and implementing legislation on this
issue; writing a rape law - which serves as a
national prototype - that gives the victim
protection and support, raising the issue of
affirmative action again and again, passing
the E.R.A.
In the past, we have worked hard and long
for women's rights. These deeds are not part
of a (moldering) history to be cited and
forgotten. They are part of our heritage,
handed down from women who worked long
and hard for womens rights, in the recent
past.
Many people in Ann Arbor support this
heritage. There are numerous men and
women struggling ,:to exemplify the very
height of indifference when the meager
turnout is considered, the numbers do not
reveal the entire tale.
Neither new or unusual, this sterling
example of activism in the seventies involves
every Ann Arborite who agrees on the
necessity and the fundamental justice of the
E.R.A. It is the tale of political schisms and
poor planning. Many of the characters are
disillusioned because after a few years of
Wnrggle, we have not accomplished all that
we intended.
BECAUSE WE have not destroyed sexism
nr sfnf -, a7L he 0 A A nn.1....J ...

By Judy Rakowsky
and Pauline Toole
eloquence but frequently mouthed cliche's,
that were neither inspiring nor invigorating.
Multi-colored balloons floated through the air
advertising the E.R.A. The crowd of
strangers chatted quietly, occasionally
pausing to hear the speakers talk.
A SWEET VOICE accompanied by a folk
guitar lead the crowd in protest songs after
the speeches. Although the high pitched songs
beautifully expressed the best hopes of the
crowd, few lent themselves to a chorus of soft
alto voices. Tentative voices drifted through
the morning quiet, singing the words of Holly
Near.
I have dreamed on this mountain
Since first I was my mother's daughter
Andyou can't just take my dreams away
Not with me watchin'
You may drive a big machine
But I was born a great big woman '
Andyou can't just take my dreams away
Without mefightin'......
from the "Mountain Song"
The off-season Ann Arbor activists trailed
out of the parking lot and began the
walkathon with some low-key cheers led by
a megaphonic voice. The line quickly shifted
into clumps of chatting marchers who
occasionally joined the sporadic chants like,
"Hey, hey, what do you say, ratify the
E.R.A."
THE HUSHED SONGS in the parking lot
served as a fitting prelude to the walkathon.
For it was a quiet march, a march of soft-
spoken people and a few zany characters.
Some marchers responded with cheers while
the other's merely walked with determination
ekeing out dollars and cents with every step.
Jesse, a small dog of mixed breed wearing the
remnants of a bedsheet on which "freedom
dog" was scrawled, ran through the crowd of
marchers. His barks accompanied the cheers
and he was actually more vocal than many of
his human counterparts.
The apparently ageless silver-haired
Fredda Clisham, a veteran of demonstrations
from the 1968 picketing of Ann Arbor City Hall
for open housing to the 1965 anti-war march in
New York, stepped along with a sprightly air.
When asked how she discussed the cause with
.anti--E.R.A. people, Clisham said, "I give
the facts, and do it in a way that does not
make them defensive."'
Misinformation and ignorance are the
major factors thwarting acceptance and
ratification of the amendment, according to
Clisham.
Nic Tamborriello, who attendedthe
national march said he was encouraged by
the number of men who participated. "People
who came here understand how the concept of
equality affects everyday life and they realize
its importance," Tamborriello said.
THE WALK was congenial, but when all
the, factors are considered, it cannot be
dubbed a successful demonstration.
In the middle of August, half of the Ann
Arbor population was out of town. No matter
how articulate political strugglers sound,
masses raising their voices to proclaim a
cause are always impressive.
It was National Women's Day, but it could
have been commemorated differently and
the walkIthon scheduled for one of these
weeks early in the school term. The idea was
to raise money, not simple to pat ourselves on
the back for having a day set aside for women
and supporting the E.R.A.

attendance rate.
MANY PROMINENT Ann Arbor feminists
were conspicuously absent from the fund-
raising effort. Total participation was not ex-
pected. Of course, the women who would have
shown up if the march had been held in a
raging snowstorm were in attendance% But It
Would have been nice if a larger portion of
those other committed women had appeared.
Action speaks louder than apathy.
It is time to act.,
We need to combat the attitude that the
E.R.A. will not make a difference. It will not
erase sexism or equalize any of the rampant
discrimination practices that women endure
daily. The E.R.A. will not move women from
the kitchen to the corporate boardroom. But it
can supply needed legal leverage.
The amendment will do nothing more than
include the words, "Equality of rights under
the law shall not be denied or abridged by the
United States or by any state on acountof
sex," in- the U .S. Constitution -,,legal
language, sheer semantics.
Those who say the E.R.A. will not
guarantee any changes are correct. There is a
distinction between that thought and the idea
that the E.R.A. will not make a difference.
The E.R.A. will make a much needed
difference for 52 per cent of this country's
population. We need the safeguard that the
E.R.A. will give us. Sex discrimination must
be declared illegal up fromt before we can
start fighting for the myriad of other issues
facing women.
Perhaps if the leftist and moderate factions
were not so glib about this most crucial issue
they might receive more credibility with
legislators. As it is, the more radical
feminists seem to think the E.R.A. is a pat
issue that even housewives advocate, while
the moderates are bogged down in factional
differences.
AND THE LAWMAKERS, the ones that
count on this issue, are listening to the right
wing opposition right now. Illinois proved
that.
Is it asking too much to ask people to bury
their minute political differences for three
hours to help mass the E.R.A. in three more
states.
Accomplishing this goal has never loomed
so near on the political horizon since it was
originally proposed in 1920. We cannot afford
to waste this opportunity for success on
bickering and devisive energy. We may not
have another chance to gain equality again.
Let's not waste our time with petty
arguments and factionalism. Women's
groups should have learned from the
mistakes of men. We should have learned
about the adverse effects of sectarianism.
Instead, we are repeating the same errors.
- If women cannot work together on this
issue, how can we expect to work together on
more controversial issues?
IT IS BAD enough that a substantial
segment of the female gender in this country,
still advocate a static, servile role for women.
Indeed, after the tireless efforts of numerous
women and the substantial advances we've
made, it is a shame that some women still do
not want to achieve their highest potential,
The knowledge, that those ideas still exist
and may actually destroy the
accomplishments which took so many years
of labor is unsettling. But, to think that local
women's groups cannot even work together
on this campaign is even sadder.
If even a small percentage of the people
who think the amendment is good but not
necessarily cr cial to their present existence
would write a letter or. two, engage in
demonstration, or try to explain and reason
with E.R.A. opponents, we could speak
realistically of success.
THE MARCH could have been a rallying
nnint fnr ..Ann..A .. .............

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