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November 16, 1978 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1978-11-16

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Page 4-Thursday, November 16, 1978-The Michigan Daily
420 Maynard St, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Eighty-Nine Years of Editorial Freedom
Vol. LXXXIX, No. 61
News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
Free the Wilmington Ten,


Split in the Nation of Islam

N THE SECOND week of February
s 197.1,10 persons were arrested and
charged in connection with a riot that
occured in Wilmington, North
Carolina. The riot was not unlike many
that had occured across the country in
the preceding five years. But the trial
that followed contained grotesque
4brogations of the rights of the
accused, and was unlike most trials
that have occured in this country since
the 18th century.
The federal government has finally
decided that justice may not have been
served when the Wilmington 10 wer
convicted of arson and conspiring to
shoot at police and firemen during the
incident. The Justice Department has
filed an 89-page brief in the Federal
courtroom of Judge Franklin Dupree
who is to hear an appeal on an earier
court ruling denying the ten a new
trial. The brief calls for the dismissal
of the charges against the ten. The
action by the federal government is
justified, welcomed, symbolic, and
long overdue.
The Wilmington 10 were clearly
denied a fair' trial. It is their
contention, further, that the entire
judicial fiasco, which has given Jimmy
Carter's human rights campaign a
hollow ring, was a frame up. In the
original trial the prosecuting attorney
failed to make information available to
the defense team that cast an ominous
shadow of doubt as to the truthfulness
of testimony of the chief prosecution
witness, Allen Hall. Mr. Hall has since
admitted to lying in his original
testimony against the accused, as hae
two other prosecution witnesses.
However, the recantations, submitted
at a postconviction hearing, were
discounted by a North Caroline judge
who ruled that a new trial was not
warranted. Questions have also been.
raised in the course'of the proceedings
as to certain gifts and favors granted
the prosecution -witnesses by the state
of North Carolina after the trial and

Department is long overdue. The case
has brought international attention to
the Wilmington Ten. The Soviet
government, Amnesty International,
the United Church of Christ, and the
Communist Party U.S.A. have all
spoken out on the probable innocence
of the convicted ten. The federal
government has made two other,
inquiries into the case. Last year, after'
a very comprehensive investigation by
the Federal Bureau of Investigation,
Attorney General Griffin Bell, despite
the enormous questions raised by the
state of North Carolina's conduct
during and after the trial, decided that
no federal action was necessary to
make certain that justice was being
served in the case.
The brief is also largely symbolic.
Federal Judge Dupree is not bound to
lend any value to the Justice
Department's brief. In fact, he is not
even required to accept the document
as a friend of the court brief although it
is likely that he will do so. In addition,
the state of North Carolina is not bound
to reply to the brief. It is clear that the
actions of that state's prosecution
team during the trial ridiculed several
legal statutes that were meant to
insure a fair trial anywhere in the
country. The Justice Department
should move to insure the state is held
accountable for these actions. Filing
an 89-page friend of the court brief is
the very least the Justice Department
could do.
The Wilmington 10 should be
released immediately. Their guilt was
never proven beyond a reasonable
doubt, they never received a fair trial,
and no citizen of this country should be
incarcerated for political statements
made at any time in history - let alone
during a time so heated by the flames
of racial prejudice. The state of North
Carolina and the prosecution team
should be put through a very tough
investigation by the Justice
Department or a grand jury.
In this country, it is those who deny a
fair trial that should be punished , not
those who speak out for their rights.

In 1963 the Honorable Elijah
Muhammad's Nation of Islam
was split by the departure of the
movement's most widely known
spokesman-celebrity, Malcolm
X. In 1978 Muhammad's son and
successor, Chief Imam Wallace
Muhammad, faces the open
departure of his movement's
most eloquent representative -
Malcolm X's protege, Minister
Louis Farrakhan.
Then, as now, the movement
was divided over its political
militance (or lack of it) and its
racial policies. But the position of
the rebels now is reversed.
Malcom X finally opposed the
damning of whites as a "race of
blue-eyed devils" and embraced
the brotherhood of all races and
orthodox Islamic customs.
Farrakhan, who heads a Chicago
Mosque, supports a return to
Elijah Muhammad's black
separaist philosophy after
nearly four year of reforms in the
Nation of Islam.
These differences threaten to
split the Black Muslim
movement into warring camps,
muchnas Malcolm's departure
fractured the estimated 2 million-
member church more than a
decade ago.
"Color is a reality of this
world," Farrakhan says. "There
will be a time when men will not
judge men by color, but since that
is not the reality of the present,
since we live in a society that has
put us in this position because of
our color, then we ought to
maximize what God has given us
and lift ourselves up from under
the foot of this oppressor and
this oppression."
Farrakhan made his official
break with the movement last
winter, but his chance to catalyze
opposition to Muslim leadership
arrived last month when Wallace
Muhammad resigned in favor of
a 17-member council of
Farrakhan's denunciation of
the movement includes charges
that the FBI has been involved in
the transformation of the Nation
of Islam since Wallace
Muhammad assumed control in
February 1975.
"Youucan't look at the Nation of
Islam and say that it got turned
around by accident," he charged
in a speech at Howard University
in Washington, D.C., attended by
supporters from St. Louis, New
York, Los Angeles and Nashville.
"You just can't look at the black
movement and say that it was
destroyed by accident."
The Nation of Islam was the
largest ,and most feared black
organization throughout the
1960s, and came under repeated
attack by federal and state
Farrakhan cites FBI
COINTELPRO documents as
early as 1969 that gave Wallace
Muhammad the agency's
"approval" as a possible
successor to Elijah Muhammad.

"Plan A was to neutralize the
movement by cbanging its
direction entirely," he said.
"Plan B was to wipe it out."
Certainly Wallace Muhammad
has changed the direction of the
Nation of Islam since 1975. To
disassociate the church from the
concept of black nationalism,
Muhammad changed the name of
the movement to the World
Community of al-Islam in the
West (WCIW) and the name of
the official newspaper from
Muhammad Speakspto the
Bilalian News.
He disbanded the military arm
of the movement, the Fruit of
Islam; liberalized dress and

new Chicago mosque.
These changes have not been
accepted easily. Grumbling
criticism of the WCIW's new
direction is open and widespread.
though mostly from blacks
outside the movement'
"I could see it (the changes) if
the white man had improved just
a little," a former official who
served under Elijah Muhammad
and wallace Muhammad said.
"But the devil hasn't changed. If
anything, he's gotten worse."
"You have seen a crucifixion in
your midst," Farrakhantold the
Howard University audience.
"The Muslims were a pride in
your community. Look at them

By Askia Muhammad

Elijah Muhammad
... his nation divided

"I'm challenging him,"
Muhammad told a national:
radio audience, "to produce more '
business, more jobs, more human
dignity with his philosophy than I>
)sed the produce with al-Islam."
Even without Farrakhan's




X oppc
whites as
devils" . .

a raceo
. Farra


han . .

supports a re


separatist philosophy after near
four years of reforms in t
Nation of Islam.

of active leadership, a WCIW
take up that challenge.
k- In Los Angeles, a former,
to minister under Elijah
Muhammad has organized a
C Ir group called "The Nation of:
K Islam." The minister publishes a
rly quarterly magazine titled
Y "Muhammad Speaks."
he In Detroit, the brother and
grandson of Elijah Muhammad
announce they would "speak for
the messenger of Allah's:
forgotten program of self-help as
it existed during his life-time."
And in St. Louis, a Nation of
NOMW Islam Mosque displays a mural-
sized photograph of Elijah
Muhammad on the outside of the
Farrakhan's haunting
us, He resemblance to Malcolm X --and
ing a the uncanny similarity in their
lation. careers - has brought up the
same inevitable fear of violence.
arms, Farrakhan rebuilt the Boston
I uild mosque where Malcolm
preached and later was sent to
the Malcolm's Harlem mosque after
dark- the leader was assassinated im
world 1965.
alized Farrakhan himself notes the'
similarity and appears to be as;
nunist careful as he is determined. The:
ntries, challenge is now met, with'
and Farrakhan defending the mantle
id. "I of Elijah Muhammad's prestige
ountry against the modernization:
here is program of Muhammad's own;
black son:

moral codes and permitted -
even encouraged - members to
serve in the armed forces.
But- the most controversial
changes involved ideology and
economics. Wallace Muhammad
abandoned the "blue-eyed devil"
theory and opened the church to
white membership. He even
established a warm detente with
American Jewish leaders,
inviting senior Rabbi Joshua
Haberman of Washington, D.C.,
to speak at-the Chicago mosque:d
Wallace also sold or closed
most of the movement's small
businesses, ranging from
bakeries to restaurants. Instead
of self-help, Muhammad sought
federal economic support for the
remaining Muslim farms and
business ventures.
Last June, the WCIW and the
U.S. Commerce Department
reached an agreement for
technical assistance and federal
aid. In addition, Wallace
accepted financial help from
Saudi Arabia and the United
Arab Emirates to help build a

now. Nailed to a cross ! "
"The mannever lied to u
never tricked us into bei
Muslim. Now look at the N
Hands nailed - those
hands that once bought f
built a trucking system and
42 independent schools."
Farrakhan places
liberation of oppressed
skinned people around the
as a high priority for a revit
Nation of Islam.
"I have been in Comr
countries, in Socialist coup
in Christian countries
Islamic countries," he sa
can tell you that in every c
I have been blesed to visit th
a plurality of races, the.
man, everywhere on this ea
on the bottom."
Until this spring, Farrak
public statements were off
ignored by the WCIW. B
March, Wallace Muhar
issued an emotional appe
Farrakhan, asking him to]
the success of the M
movement with his own

The brief filed


the Justice

Guidelines for car dealers

rth, is
3ut in
n mad
eal to

Askia Muhammad, 4'
contributing editorof Pacific
News Service, is a former
editor of Muhammed Speaks.
He writes regularly for the
Chicago Defender and Natior

A proposed this week to force used
car dealers to inspect their vehicles
and inform prospective buyers about
defects in the automobile. If adopted,
the plan would be a boon to the
The report, compiled by the Federal
Trade Commission, said that a car,
even if used, is frequently "the most
expensive item a consumer will ever
buy," but that one out of ten used car
deals winds up being "troublesome,"
accprding to Bernard Phillips, an FTC
Specifically, the recommendations
require used ar dealers to disclose
defects in their cars, to provide a clear
explanation of warrenty protection,
and to state the mileage and prior used
for a car, such as whether it was part
of a rental fleet.
The recommendations do not
prevent dealers from selling a lemon,
but forces them to disclose defects.
The report is designed to aid
consumers. Used car salespersons
have already voiced criticisms based
on self-interest.
The 8,000 member National
Independent Automobile Dealers
Association issued a statement
Monday that said "the vast majority of;
Americans have not called for and
vould not support it if they were aware
of it." The auto dealers contend that
the new guidelines would push up the

price of used cars as much as $200.
Their arguments; however, are as
transparent as their sales pitches. The
one million used car buyers who,
according to the FTC, wind up with
lemons would undoubtedly welcome
the tougher guidelines. and certainly
potential buyers, wary of tricky used
car dealers, would support legislation
to provide them with information
about defects.
As for higher prices, the commission
estimates increases will be only three
or four per cent. In Wisconsin, where
similar rules are in effect, the cost of
inspections by dealers is about $15. The
slight price hike is justified by the
benefit to the consumer.
The five FTC commissioners have 60
days to hear comments on the five-
year study. They must approve it
before it becomes law' and are
expected to do so as early as February
or March. After that, legal challenges
by the car dealers are likely to further
delay implementation.
The staff said "dishonesty is
rewarded" by the present system.
"Dealers who perform costly repairs
or who pay premium prices for good
cars must compete against dealers
who misrepresent their.cars worth. A
dealer who gives meaningful
warranties is obviously disadvantaged
vis-a-vis a dealer who makes oral
promises without intending to bear the
expense of fulfilling them." We
couldn't agree more.



Letters to the Daily

Ferency endorsement
To the Daily:
It is a shame that, after the
excellent coverage your writers
have given to the 1978 election,
you and the other members of the
editorial staff have resorted to
knee-jerk political endorsements.
Specifically, in my mind, and I
am sure in the minds of many
others, you have lost all editorial
credibility with your
endorsement of Zolton Ferency
for Governor.
The Daily has in the past, with
some justification, been far to the
left on almost every major
issue. However, it now seems
that you persist in these views.
despite a definite shift to the right
on the part of the American
people and, yes, even students. I
think, therefore, that the only
"message" that will come out of
your advocating the writing-in of
Mr. Ferency's name will be that
the Daily is politically
adolescent, even infantile, and
most certainly not in tune with
the feelings of most college
The American two-party
system is a good one, and, while I
agree that we sometimes see no
clear differences between
candidates, I do believe that 1)
this is mostly due to the
ideological composition of the
American electorate and 2) that

tardy" in acting on the PBB
crisis. Within one week after the
contamination was discovered,
farms were being quarantined to
prevent further entrance of the
chemical into the food chain.
Further, the Governor decided
that the FDA guideline of a one-
part per million tolerance level
was too high and then asked the
legislature to take action to lower
the level. The Legislature took 13
long months to act, which
certainly was no fault of the
Governor's. In fact,.during part
of this time Senator Fitzgerald
was the Senate Majority Leader.
Another point you made was
that Governor Milliken has not
adequately dealt with the loss of
jobs in the state. The fact is, that
for every job lost in the last few
years eight have been gained,
and there are now 475,000 more
jobs than there were four years
ago. There are also 77 foreign
firms now in business in
Michigan. This certainly does not
show any "unfitness" or failure
to "stand up for the public's
interest" on the part of the
With all the complaints about
growing governmental
bureaucracy heard from the
voters these days, it amazes me
that you seem to base your
support of Zolton Ferency on his
desire for state ownership of

students of concerts, movies, and
other events. However, this
display of political neophyteness
and hardheadedness will now
cause me to completely skip by
your editorial page and look for
intellectual enrichment in other
-Julie Weeks
civil defense
To The Daily:
In its editorial of November 14,
the Daily commends the Carter
administration for its plan to
update civil defense facilities.
The editors say that this is
superior to building the B-1
bomber, and so it may be. But, to
accept this plan of civil defense is
to accept perceiving ourselves as
a nuclear target, and therewith
the possibility of nuclear attack
as a way of life.
Bertrand Russell, the English
philosopher and pacifist said in
the 50's that if the cold war was
not settled soon, the best -olicy
for Western nations would be
simply to concede defeat. He
argued that technology would
soon produce weapons which
would make the costs of war
unthinkable. When the
government talks of cutting
losses from 150 million to 100
million, we can see that this day
of prohibitive costs is already
here. In effect Russell was

of the casualties seized control or
several Eastern European.
countries and installed puppet
regimes. The reason for this wast
to create a buffer zone against=
future invasions, and to prevent,
the emergence of a fourth Reich.
in Germany; a bit paranoid'
perhaps but not without reason.
Propagandists told, us, instead,*
that the Russians were interested-
in world conquest and.;
domination. Thus the cold war.2
Later our government refused to,
recognize the popular national
leader Ho Chi Minh and the
Geneva accords. Thus the,
Vietnam war, and the Tonkin
Gulf incident trumped up as an:
excuse to escalate that war. It
was we, the Americans, who fed'
the fires of these conflicts, and it-
was we who dropped the bombs!"
Now we are building the neutrol
Are we then planning to shore:
up the disorder of our economy,
by iinvolving ourselves in yet-
another war? I would expect that
journalists should at least make
some inquiries to find out what
lies behind this call for updating
our civil defense capabilities.
If, as the Daily editorial
suggests, the civil defense funds
were to be spent primarily to
provide protection against"'
environmental disasters, this'
would be more commendable.
But no, this is not what they

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