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January 15, 1972 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1972-01-15

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Saturday, January 15, 1972


Poae Five

Saturday, January 1 5, 1972 THE MICHIGAN DAiLY

- _ .. _


Donald Bouma, KIDS AND
COPS, Eerdmans, $2.95.
The first cops I met in a
semi-personal encounter w e r e
those men in blue who came to
buy their blues from my father.
Selling uniform shirts cheaply to
most of the suburban police, my
father, and by extension; his
good friends, had few worries
about s p e e d i n g and parking
tickets for many years. The sec-
ond group of cops I came to
know on a first name basis were
the men who dragged into the
emergency room of the city hos-
pital in which I worked the vic-
tims of auto accidents, muggings,
and cheap wine. Though a num-
ber of greasy-haired, over-ebul-
lient youths ("racks" we called
them in those days) emerged
from the police vans with split
skulls that obviously did not
come from falling on the sandy
beaches where the police pa-
trolled, the Florence Nightingale
cops were as gentle and solici-
tious as the local rare stamp
dealer. One assumed at that
time that these men accepted
under-the-table gratuities in no
different fashion than d.j.'s took
payola, secretaries swiped pens,
and my father fixed parking
, Today, ten- years later, these
cops are no longer merely typi-
cal petty thieves like the rest
of us, but suddenly made to bear
the burden of a schizophrenic
society searching for a cohesive
anarchy, cops are considered
"fascist pigs," and brutal tools
of the Satanic power structure.
There have been many excellent
studies recently of the American
police officer, and almost all
have revealed the insufficient
training, the racial animosity,
and the bourgeoise deification of
security of the average cop. Don-
ald Bouma's book Kids and Cops
does not extend the findings or
suggestions for improvement of
other more major reference
tomes, but it does lucidly -and
succinctly reveal the not too sur-
prising fact that secondary school
children no longer think of the
flat-foot as a friend and further-
more, the paranoid police feel
they are more hated than they
really are.

cops ai
Bcuma. a sociolcgist at West-
ern Michigan University, ques-
tirned some 10 000 students in
ten Michigan cities and over 300
police officers in three cities: his
present study represents the re-
sults If such surveys in three
Michigan cities: Grand Rapids,
Kalamazo", and M u s k e g o n
Heights. Happily enough, at least
for the purposes of Bouma's
study. Grand Rapids had a five
day "race riot" in 1967 that
helped p o 1 a r i z e citizen-police
Before presenting his findings,
however, Bouma first presents
some results of other research-


conflicting views

ers' surveys following the terrible
Detroit riots. The main point
;earned from interviewing De-
aroit police was that white cops
and black cops disagreed on the
causes and effects of the riot,
especially the latter. Only 15 per
cent of the white officers. but
47 per cent of the black officers,
thought long-range effects would
be positive; this fact perhaps
does not surprise. One figure.
however, w h i c h does reveal
shockingly the depth of the "po-
lice problem" emerged from po-
lice perceptions of how Negroes
are treated. Eighty per cent of
the black officers polled felt

black kids were treated unfairly
in -their schooling: - the 'percent-
age of sympathetic white officers
was zero.
For all of the sociological riga-
marole in which Bouma involves
himself as a good academic, the
results of his surveys are easily
summarized. As students grow
older, they become less sympa-
Photos ...
Today's photos were selected
from Shots: Photographs From
The Underground, introduction
by Ericka Huggins and Bobby
Seale, edited by David Fenton
and the Liberation News Serv-
ice. (Douglas, $2.95).
David Fenton of the Rain-
bow Peoples Party has done
an extraordinary job in putting
together t h is composite of
photos and news captiong which
together form a living chronicle
of our most recent and violent
American past. As Bobby Seale
points out "Shots is a histori-
cal marker by which people
can reflect back upon what
had gone down in the past few
y e a r s, and possibly realize
what's in store in the future..."
thetic to police, the most notice-
able shift in feeling taking place
between 7th and 9th grade. Stu-
dents from families of higher
income brackets place greater
faith and trust in police than do
students from poorer families.
Positive attitudes toward police
quickly changed when students
had first-hand contact with police
in a disciplinary situation. Black
students feel markedly less posi-
tive toward police, with only 3

per cent willing to consider the
potentiality of the job, against
8 per cent of the white popula-
tion. Parochial school students
have consistently more positive
attitudes toward police and are
more willing to cooperate with
police than are public school
students. Finally, a dismal tes-
timony to the American high
school, a greater percentage of
students opted for the fairness
of police over the fairness of
school personnel.
Bouma furthermore found that
despite the above profile. of stu-
dent attitudes, police considered
themselves more maligned by
inner-city youth than statistics
actually indicated. In accordance
with this paranoia, police testi-
fied that city disturbances were
more the fault of communists
and "agitators" than of inherent
urban conditions.
Although Bouma rightfully com-
miserates with the terribly awk-
ward position police must occupy
as professionals and as human
beings, he perhaps is simplis-
tically over-optimistic about the
future political state: "The prob-
lem of police brutality remains
a difficult one. Bogged down by
problems of definition and judg-
ment, the actual situation .lefies
accurate assessment. . . With
experience and especially with
improved training programs to
increase the professionalism of
the police, it is not unrealistic
to expect a diminution of the
Many would answer that pro-
fessionalism will only produce
more efficient repression unless
there is a revolution in global

San Francisco, 1960


Oscar Wilde's critical

Washington, D.C., July 4, 1970

Johnny Sample's confessions

Johnny Sample. CONFES-
PLAYER. Foreword by Joe Na-
math. Dell Paperback, $1.25.
In the past several years a
whole new genre of sports books
has sprung up to fill the vacu-
um in American 'belleslettres.'
First Jerry Kramer gave us a
blow-by-blow 'instant replay,'
then the 'splendid splinter' Ted
Williams with almost childish
naivete whined about his con-
flicts with the toads of the ath-
letic world - Boston sports
writers. Two years ago Joe Na-
math (I Can't Wait Until To-
morrow - Because I Get Better
Looking Every Day) treated his
public to whole chapters ex-
plaining why he can get into
blondes and brunettes but not
red-heads, and why calves are
more important than breasts.
Now Johnny Sample, one of the
greatest corner-backs of all time,
has published. This book will
never be on a professorial read-
ing list.
Johnny Sample fought for his
rights as a man and as a black-
man years before anyone else in
the professional sporting world
had the courage to stand up and
demand that he not be treated
as a 'hunk of meat.' This book
is fun and revealing and im-
Born in a self-respecting,
hard-working, lower middle
class black family in Cape
Charles, Virginia in 1937, Sam-
ple somehow managed to keep
a distance from the ever-domi-
nating white supremacist so-
ciety. He loved to fight and he
loved to compete. With a hot
temperament and a huge frame
to accompany it, Sample gravi-
tated naturally to sports. In
1954, he won a scholarship to
the dirt-poor Negro college,
Maryland State.
It was surprising, really,
that the student body had the
kind of enthusiasm it did. The
school was so poor it scarcely
had enough money to equip
the teams. Things were so
tough that in football, for
example, we didn't have an
equipment manager. Every
player had to take care of his
own gear. We washed our own
jerseys, socks, T-shirts, jocks,
and pants. But nobody com-
plained about it because we
understood that the school

himself into a first-string post-
tion as a corner-back and ac-
tually played a key role in the
1959 Championship Game be-
tween the Baltimore Colts and
the New York Giants. He earned
his position. Evening after eve-
ning he would remain on the
field with Johnny Unitas and
Raymond Berry learning his
Very early in his career Sam-
ple gained his reputation as the
meanest, dirtiest ballplayer in
the game. Sample never let up
for a minute. Like Mike Curtis
of the present-day Baltimore
Colts (who graduated from a
competitor high school of mine
and made a shambles out of our
team), he knocked the hell out
of his own team-mates in prac-
tice. "All's fair." Sample also
quickly developed the reputa-
tion as an 'uppity nigger.' Sam-
ple simply had never learned
why he should not be treated
with dignity by Coaches and
Owners. As a result he was
traded from Baltimore to Pitts-
burgh to Washington and final-
ly black-balled from the Na-
tional Football League. Needless
to say, that cowardly swine
Pete Rozelle (the League Com-
missioner) did not even give
Sample the courtesy of return-
ing his phone call.
In 1965 Sample signed on
with the struggling New York
Jets of the struggling American
Football League. Sample, as he
tells it, signed on with one pri-
mary goal-to knock hell out of
the National Football League.
The second third of the book
tells the heroic tale of how
Broadway Joe and his gang
built toward 1968, when the
American Football League es-
tablished itself with the New
York Jets decisively defeating
the NFL representatives (the
Colts) in the Super Bowl. Sam-
ple, a co-captain, relates with
relish how he snubbed Pete Ro-
zelle on national television after
the victory and the very next
summer turned the trick against
another old enemy, Otto Gra-
ham, in the Jets-College All-
Star Game by punching Gra-
ham in the nose. Sample sus-
tained a back injury in that
game and subsequently retired
from football.
Sample devotes the last third
of the book to a serious discus-
sion of how the black man is
discriminated against and abus-
ed in professional athletics and
why this situation continues to

a guy's goat. I test him by
hitting him a'fter the ball's
been thrown over his head, or
after he catches it and runs
out of bounds, or falls down
after catching it. Then when
he gets up I say something
to him like: 'Wait till you
come out here next time-I'll
kill you. I'll break you in half.'
I want him to think that
every time he comes my way
he's going to get it. This has
been one of the things that
has made me as successful as
I have been.
Sample is disarmingly honest
and uncannily observant. He
ranks Lance Alworth of the San
Diego Chargers as the best pass
receiver and Johnny Unitas as
the greatest quarterback. He has
more than a few choice words
about some over - rated ball-
players. My favorite observa-
tion, however, was of an en-
counter with Jimmy Brown.
"One play I came up to make
a tackle when Jim got through.
I hit him good, but my helmet
went one way, the chin strap
the other, and I got a bloody
nose. That was one time I real-
ly saw. stars."
Today's Writers . ..
George Santos is a frtee-lance
writer whose articles have ap-
peared in a variety of periodi-
Howard Rontal w r o t e his
senior honors thesis on Wilde
and the Victorians entitled:
"The Green Camelia in the
Yellow Ninettes."
Robert Bernard is a gradu-
ate student in American Intel-
lectual History.

OSCAR WILDE. Edited by
Richard E I I m a n. Vantage,
Reading Oscar Wilde is won-
derfully enjoyable, yet no one
ever reads him anymore. Oscar
Wilde is infinitely quotable, yet
no one quotes him anymore.
True, most of us have read The
Picture of Dorian Gray and
seen at least one revival of
The Importance of Being Earn-
est by a second rate dramatic
company, but beyond this, few
people know that he wrote ser-
ious and even scholarly essays.
Even fewer people can name
This dearth of interest in
Wilde, and in particular, his es-
says, can no longer be blamed
on his homosexuality. H o m o-
sexuality may still be practiced
on the quiet, but it is always
discussed in front of an aud-
ience. No, Wilde's more serious
work remains largely ignored
because he is remembered as
one of the great immortalizers
of the trivia. (The Importance
of Being Earnest is his supreme
success along this line.) Wilde
once wrote in a letter, "as ser-
ious of manner is the disguise
of the fool, so triviality . . . Is
the robe of the wise man
In so vulgar an age as this we
all need masks." It is a tribute
to Wilde's skill as an artist that
seventy-one years after his
death most people who should
know better still consider him
England's greatest master of the
Fortunately Richard Ellmann
has not been fooled. He has col-
lected, under the title of The
Artist As Critic, Wilde's best
book reviews and more import-
ant, his serious essays and dia-
Before I go on in praise of
Oscar Wilde I want to make it
clear that although he w a s
brilliant, he was neither a Hegal
or a Darwin. He did not, as the
truly great thinkers must, argue
the world from the creation. As
many of Wilde's thoughtful
contemporaries accepted G o d
without much critical hesita-
tion, Wilde denied His without
much discussion, accepting in-
stead the subjectivity of aI11

human existance and the com-
plete individuality of human life.
Yet Wilde was not a potpourri
of half-baked philosophies and
undigested arguments. It is in
following the consequences of
these premises out in art and
life that Wilde was brilliant.
The effect of Wilde's subjec-
tivity on his artistic philosophy
is fascinating. Art no longer
follows Nature, it preceeds it.
Wilde wrote in "The Decay of
Nature is no great mother
who has borne us. She is our
own creation. It is in our
brains that she quickens to
life. Things are because we
see them and what we see de-
pends on the arts that have
influenced us.
Creation is in the mind of the
creator and the best art, the
truest art, is that which is most
completely an expression of the
artist's personality, whether or
not it corresponds to objective
reality or the current morality.
The more uninhibitedly the ar-
tist develops his personality the
better will be his art.
Because life is the ultimate
medium through which the in-
dividual expresses himself,
Wilde's art criticism was also
social criticism. For a man who
claimed to be above morality,
Wilde's utopia was surprising-
ly humane. He begins his es-
say, "The Soul of Man Under
Socialism," with the line,
The c h i e f advantage that
would result from the estab-

lishment of Socialismi is, un-
doubtedly, the fact that So-
cialism would relieve us from
the sordid necessity of living
for others.
Capitalism has shackled half
the population to poverty and
worse, tethered the other half
to the insidious carrot and stick
of material wealth and social
The. recognition of private
property has really harmed
individualism and obscured it
by confusing man with what
he possesses . .. The true per-
fection of man liesrnot in
what man has, but what he is[
Socialism would free men from
the curses of the rat race and
poverty. Like Marx, Wilde felt
that the State, which should be
strictly voluntary, should make
only wvhat is useful, while man
nakes what is beautiful. Wilde
was at heart an anarchist.
All modes of government are
failures . . . Democracy means
simply the blugeoning of the
people, by the people, for the
people . . . All authority is
quite degrading. It degrades.
those who exercise it and
those over whom it is exercis-
If Wilde should be remember-
ed for what he said, he should
b? beatified for the way he said
it. In an age where our social
critics are unbearably solemn
and our vice-president's speech
wri ers range from illiterate to
not quite camp, Wilde's re-

en tings
marks are a blessing. Just a
short sampling should suffice
to show the great merits of a
great wit.
Yet the best we can say of
(Joseph Knight's book on
Dante Gabriel Rossette) is
that it is just the sort of
biography Guildensterntmight
have written of Hamlet.
It takes a thoroughly selfish
age like our own, to diefy self-
Every great man has his dici-
ples and it is always Judas
who writesithe biography.
It is not only by paying one's
bills that one can hope to live
in the memory of the com-
mercial classes.
It is ironic that a man whose
contemporaries thought h i s
books should be banned from
the library shelves and his soul
from heaven, should suffer our
benign indifference. Wilde was
anything but ignored in his own
time. Whatever he wrote was
reviewed profusely in every-
thing from the half-penny dail-
ies to the more prestigious Lon-
don Times. If Wilde s o u n d s
surprisingly contemporary, so
do his many critics. In Wilde's
denial of God, traditional mor-
ality, capitalism, in his homo-
sexuality, he was the embodi-
ment of everything the Victor-
ians feared and hated. To study
the exchanges between W i 1 d e
and his critics is to take a long
look at ourselves. This collection
of essays is a fine place to be-
gin that study.


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