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Eighty-one years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
Omens from Peking:
Serious business afoot
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Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 1972
NIGHT EDITOR: GENE ROBINSON
Black housing unit: In: favor
WITH THE BEST of liberal intentions,
University. officials are heading
straight toward flat rejection of a stu-
dent proposal for a black housing unit in
This rejection would once again
sadly reflect the University's simplistic,
outmoded views on race relations.
The housing proposal, which is up for
regental review at next month's meet-
ing, calls for the establishment of Afro-
American and African Cultural Residence
Halls within South Quad.'
The proposal states that the housing
unit would be open to any "student who
has an interest in Afro-American and
African culture, without regard to race,
color and religion."
Regardless of its open-door clause, the
Regents are sure to shoot down this pro-
posal as they did a plan for a black stu-
dent center. That plan was submitted to
them last summer by Journalism Prof.
Gilbert Maddox, then head of the Op-
portunity Program, which oversees black
enrollment and support.
M Maddox's report, rejected for its "sepa-
ratist goals," stated that the black stu-
dent is viewed from an institutional
standpoint, admittedly a wiite stand-
point and is often faced with (experi-
ences) which create or enhances feelings
of inferiority, atypicality and depend-
Yet, even the University's highest of-
ficials are not aware or willing to deal
with these problems.
HAS tONG been the administra-
tion's hope that with the University's
minority enrollment commitment to a
ten per cent black enrollment by 1973,
the increased numbers of black students
would become integrated into the Univer-
'We think of our students as students,
Ve don't think of their color," says Presi-
dent Robben Fleming. "We think of
black students' problems, but not as
wholly different problems from other en-
tering freshmen," he adds. ,
But the problems are different. Any-
one who lives in South Quad, for exam-
ple, knows that color barriers pervade
the hall. Black students room together,
eat together and relax together-a micro-
cosmic society within a dorm with a 90
per cent white population.
These students are now asking the
University to recognize that racial inte-
gration is not a reality in the dormitory
system-and that the establishment of
a separate black unit is the first positive
step towards relieving racial tensions.
YET THE ADMINISTRATION'S yearn-
ing for a peaceful, integrated com-
munity, underlined with a subtle fear of
blacks congregating in large groups,
blinds the administration to the des-
perate need which black underclassmen
have to live together.
It is not difficult to trace the origins
of this need. Interestingly, the University
takes elaborate pains to identify a stu-
dents' color before he enters the school.
Fabricated euphemisms like "socio-aca-
demically disadvantaged," "culturally
distinct," nd "economic instability" all
total up to a student who is poor, black
and will need more academic and finan-
cial support than his average white peer.
Yet, once enrolled, a student's "cul-
tural distinction" is no longer recognized
by the University - with the exception
of periodic checks and skeletal programs
for academic aid.
Coming from a community totally dis-
tinct from this one and from some of
the poorest school districts in the state,
these students are given every opporunity
by the color-blind administration--every
opportunity for frustration and uneasi-
INDEED, FUNDING patterns reflect this
blindness. While University funding
for the black financial aid program was
increased this year by a whopping 130 per
cent, counselling and academic servicesf
were granted only a 25 per cent increase
This disparity has angered a large
number of black students, who find the
lack of supportive services crippling to
their academic standing.
Certainly the establishment of a black
housing unit within South Quad is an
imposing threat to the concept of fra-
ternal dorm living. It also appears as a
harmful precedent which could perhaps
result in the dormitory system someday
consisting of a network of splintered,
segregated housing cells for every ideo-
UGLY NAMES like "separatism" and
"segregation" can be attached to this
proposal-and that makes its rejection
Yet the tense situation in South Quad
these days is by far the ugliest part of
the affair, and it's time for the adminis-
tration to realize it.
By EDWARD LIU
BASED ON MEDIA reports from the corps
of 87 newsmen accompanying the presiden-
tial party, two signs have emerged which in-
dicate the seriousness with which Chinese offic-
ialdom view§ the visit of the American presi-
Less than four hours after the arrival, there
was a meeting between Chairman Mao and
President Nixon - a virtually unprecedented
move of immediate confrontation with issues.
In addition, the omission of pomp and pageantry
at the Peking airport is a sign. that the Chinese
consider it a working visit rather than a cere-,
Educated hunches are that 'aside from the
simple amenities, Nixon and Mao did in fact
have an exchange of fundamental philosophi-
cal principles which set the tone and direction
of the detailed discussions between Nixon and
Chou EnlIM this week.
The press releases 'by both the Chinese and
American press officers describing'the talks as
"frank and serious" indicate there were serious
differences ,of principle, but also that both part-
ies-the leader of the world's most powerful
country and the leader of the world's most
populous country-met and laid down their first
cards on the table.
MAO'S FORTE, though, has never been in
the area of negotiation and diplomacy. It has
been in formulating principles and policies which
Premier Chou could utilize as head of the State
Council and policies which Premier Chou could
utilize as head of the State Council in the day
to day affairs of the state.
Mao may come off as a country bumpkin com-
pared to Chou - suave, cosmopolitan, and cool
-but like the Yin and the Yang, their personali-
ties and work styles compliment each other.
SOME OBSERVERS were struck by the ab-
sence of both the Chairman and Madame Mao
(Chiang Ching) at the airport receiving line.
Chairman's Mao's age excuses him from ex-
posure to the chiliing February cold at the air-
port. Furthermore, Mao has never been a stick-
ler for protocol - and in this instance, as chair-
man of the Communist Party rather than titular
head of state, the question of protocol should
not have involved Mao.
Madame Mao's absence from the airport stir-
red speculation for a while, but she has since
attended a Peking ballet opera performance
sitting between Pat and Richard Nixon, leav-
ing to the gdssip columns what Madame Mao
and Pat could possibly have to talk about.
A SECOND SIGN that apparently indicates
the Chinese consider the Nixon visit an import-
ant one is the breadth, of coverage by the
Chinese daily organ, the Jenmin Ripao (Peo-
ple's Daily). On the second day of Nixon's visit,
the paper had both full front and inside page
coverage of the Nixon visit including the texts of
Nixon's and Chou's banquet messages and photo-
graphs of the meeting between Mao and Nixon.
Earlier, American sommentators had noted the
absence of visit coverage on Chinese television.
The Chinese press does not operate the same
way the American press does. It is an organ for
the dissemination of important state policies
from the top to the bottom levels of society
with subsequent feedbacks and discussions by
small groups that include virtually all adult
THE EXTENT of coverage devoted to the Nix-
on visit by the Jenmin Ripao is therefore a firm
indication from the Chinese authorities that the
masses of China will have direct involvement in
China's move to reformulate policies toward
the United States in accordance with whatever
concessions Nixon has to offer.
Edward Liu is a graduate student in Chinese
Studies at the University.
Meanwhile .. at, the
Great Wall of China
By SARA FITZGERALD
IT WAS ALMOST like the first
moon landing - except Wal-
ter Cronkite didn't say "golly gee."
But the nation's top television
newscasters said just about every-
It was an historic moment.
President Nixon came swooping in
on the "Spirit of '76". A Peking
band swung into a spritely march
version of our national anthem.
And the President lingeringly
shook the hand of Chou En-lai,
Letters: On the Afro-American units
To The Daily:
WHY 'SHOULD Blacks always
bear the load of integration?
Whenever some one speaks of in-
tegrating it is almost always inte-
grating Black people into the
Whenever the problem of "bus-
ing" is discussed it is in the con-
text of Black-to-white culture.
Even at this institution (which is
supposed to be ultra-liberal) one
is still confronted with the same
basic pattern of integration -
black to white.
One often hears, "Blacks and
whites should live together so they
can get to know one another bet-
How can a person know what a
forest looks like when he has only
seen one tall pine tree in the mid-
dle of a desert.
The same principle applies to
housing. How can the whites learn
about blacks if they only encount-
er them one at a time out of their
natural environment. How can one
Black person really exemplify his
true self among 50-60 whites?
Therefore, I feel it is necessary
for the cause of integration and
for a better understanding of the
black community and its people
for a black cultural living unit
to be established on this campus.
This unit will make it possible
for a more accurate picture f.
Black culture to be portrayed.
-James Blanks, Educ. '74
To The Daily:
WHEN I first read of those stu-
dents fearful of walking down a
corridor of the Afro-American Cul-
tural Living Unit and their expec-
tations why, my response was one
of surprise. Surprise, not from the
someone's fear of the corridor
walk but that the true feelings of
the open-minded, non-minority stu-
dents have reached the surface.
It is my belief that t h e r e are
those among us who as college
students who are either afraid to
voice their true attitudes or bring
forth attitudes which are b o t h
naive and insulting.
There is nothing wrong w it h
fear. Fear is a common and neces-
sary emotion. The problem arises
when the mask of open-minded lib-
eralism is used in attempt to
hide fear. At early childhood, each
of us are taught certain cultural
norms. These norms are our guide-
lines. It does not matter how we
try to deviate or break away from
these norms, in a dire emergency
these are what we follow.
The situation confronting living
conditions at this time, on this
particular campus dictates emer-
gency. The slender tree-trunk
structure of minority students has
been bent to the breaking point.
It is' not possible for the gale
winds of the majority characters
of this campus to be eased in
favor of relieving stress?
This problem is always an after-
effect of the flooding of minority
students to relieve the grossly un-
just student composition of a fig-
Therefore, let us all face our
true feelings, express them, and be
ready to respond not by saying
"why don't you?" but rather
"maybe we can."
To The Daily:
HAVE YOU ever approached a
door and opened it to a dark room
whose contents were unknown to
I'm sure many of us have en-
countered such situations and I'm
sure many of us have reacted to
such, situations in panic and fear,
but realizing behind these sensa-
tions is a control which assures
us that there is a light,, the prob-
lem is only finding the .:witch
which would enable your fear and
panic to subside.
My reason for writing this let-
ter is not to make everyone aware
that light can make a dark room
more visible. My objective is to
respond to the many people who
have reacted strongly against the
idea of the Black Cultural Living
Unit at the University of Michi-
I am asking that the residents of
Ann Arbor in opposition to the
idea turn on the light to the situa-
tion that exists at the University,
and realize that you are standing
in the dark and you cannot pos-
sibly see anything. Come to the
realization that behind those Black
faces that you fear are lights
that shine bright enough to en-
lighten the whole world.
Why can't those of you who op-
pose this idea understand and see
the harm that you are doing to
some 400 Black students who see
a need for such a unit to be es-
tablished? Ann Arbor,
I am very tired of reading about
the "moves toward segregation"
and the idea being "unconstitu-
tional". Do you realize that whites
have been segregated here consist-
antly and no mention ,)f such se-
gregation has never been up for
Why is it that complaints have
been lodged when Blacks eat to-
gether but no complaints ;are lod-
ged when the table right next to
them is all white? Why the emo-
tion over, a Black Cultui al Corri-
dor when there are many all white
corridors and houses?
Ann Arborites (in opposition)
why don't you go out and ihvesti-
gate before you make accusations?
Don't you realize that people stum-
ble and hurt themselves and oth-
ers in the dark!!!
-Debbie Anthony, Grad.
leader of the world's largest coun-
But when the preliminary hoop-
la was over, there was time to
fill. Like during the long periods
of time when the astronauts are
sleeping, the newscasters had to
find something to stick into the
periods when Air Force One was
going through its llanding pat-
terns - and the President was
winding his way down the "Road
that leads to the Airport."
WE HEARD ABOUT the Chi-
nese limousines- "almost, like
little Checker cabs," according
to one well-known correspondent.
It was nice to know that Harry
Reasoner managed to arouse the
curiosity of the Chinese people.
(After all, they'd never seen a
television cameraman, had they?)
They told us about "the story
going around" that the "Chinese
Communists are asking their
wealthy Hong Kong friends for
Cadillacs like the Americans."
Like children, we were treated
gingerly, and were told that
"when the light comes up in
America," we would have more
coverage of the President's trip,
The Chinese were treated
worse. "They are a people of bi-
cycles . . ." said one commenta-
tor. "Open trucks cart them to
BUT FROM THE land of the
"quasi - savages" also came a
note of reassurance.
While Barbara Walters showfd
us around the house where the
Nixons stayea, she commented,
"Mrs. Nixon will have all the
comforts of home-including cos-
metics and face creams."
And with relief, Reasoner told
his colleagues in New York, "The
Americans who've been here a'
week seem to be happy and com-
History was in the'making and
we were told that the ChIxese
had "wine that tasted like Mani-
SO I WISH there had been
For then the condescending
stripe of America's liberal Eastetn
press wouldn't have come as such
And an alternative view
ALL PARTIES involved in the current
controversy over establishing a "black
cultural living unit" seem to assume that
only two options 'are available -- either
establish a virtually 100 per cent black
dormitory, or leave things the way they
are now where any given house is at least
90 per cent white.
This is an extremely narrow view of
the subject, since any number of other
black-white ratios are possible. For ex-
ample, a "black cultural living unit"
which had a quota of 30 per cent white
students would provide for both . racial
integration and a base for development
of black awareness.
The principle arguments in favor of
the black housing unit involve the alien-
ation blacks often feel when placed in an
overwhelmingly white environment.
BILL ABBOTT...........Associate Business Manager
HARRY HIRSCH..............Advertising Manager
FRANCINE HYMEN..............Personnel Manager
DIANE CARNE9VALE................. Sales Manager
PAUL W VNLOF'F...........Promotions Maager
STEVEN EVSEEFF.......... ..Circulation Manager
DEPARTMENT MANAGERS AND ASSOCIATES: Classi-
fie4: Judy Cassel, Jim Dykema, Dave Lawson; Cir-
culation: William Blackford; Display: Sherry Kastle,
Alan Klein, Karen Laakko; National: Patti Wilkin-
son; Layout: Bob Davidoff; Billing: L'Tanya Haith.
ASSISTANT MANAGERS: Debbie Alcott, Maryellen
Battaglia, Ray Catalino. Linda Coleman, Pankaj Ku-
mer Das, Sandy Fienberg, Jan Lang, Nelson Leavitt,
One black student summed it up as
follows: "One often hears how 'blacks
and whites should live together so they
can get to know one another better.' But
how can a person know what a forest
looks like when he has only seen one tall
pine tree in the middle of a desert?"
IS STUDENT and others like him
m a i n t a i n they cannot "be them-
selves" when isolated among 40 or 50
However, those in favor of the black
housing have never maintained that it
must be 100 per cent black, and it is
reasonable to assume that a housing unit
70 per cent black would satisfactorily
accomplish the desired end of black
The argument against a black living
unit stems from a commitment to the
principle of racial integration. The in-
creased understanding, enlightenment,
tolerance and so forth that result from
racial mixing have all been amply ex-
pounded before, and cannot be denied.
These opponents fear that a housing
unit designed for blacks, with only a
half-hearted invitation to whites, will be-
come all black. This probably is true,
and racially-motivated animosities and
suspicions resulting from such a situation
However, racial integration can be
achieved, by establishing a 30 per cent
white quota for the black living unit.
Although this is not the usual 90 per
cent white and 10 ner cent black tvne
Regents' research ac tion: Nothing new
By MARTY SCOTT
NO ONE should be shocked by
what the Regents did last Fri-
day. Their action in rejecting all
of the proposed new policieson
research was totally consistent
with a long series of past actions.
None the less, the action was
dramatic; does bring at least two
vital issues to the center of cam-
pus attention; and will, hopefully,
provide the impetus necessary to
get the, University community
working toward solutions.
Rarely has the whole range of
deficiencies which characterize the
system of regental rule over the
University been more starkly ob-
vious than in this incident.
Through a lengthy, careful and
deliberate process, the last stage
of which took over a year and
a half, the University community
made its decision.-
Eight people, whose only claim
to authority is that they were able
to convince the leaders of their
political party to nominate them
in a year when that party carried
the state, came to town for their
usual two days out of the entire
month, spent only a few hours of
that time discussing the matter,
and rejected the community's de-
culty policy board to run, it, the
Regents blocked it for well over a
year and finally approved a great-
ly weakened version.
THE PRESENT ACTION is
clearly not a first; but rather a
relatively small part of an exten-
sive pattern. The Regents v i e w
students and faculty merely as
special interest groups which can
formulate and advocate policies
before them, but it is only they.
the Regents, who have actual de-
The action of the Regents must
also be seen in the special con-
text of the moment. This, the lat-
est example of the Regents' insist-
ence upon sole decision-making
power, comes at a time of rapidly
growing sentiment for self-deter-
mination on the part of all seg-
ments of the University commun-
With the recent advent of policy
boards, students hold more decis-
ion-making positions yet feel more
alienated from the decision mak-
ing process, than at any other
time in recent memory.
IT MUST HAVE been a r u d e
awakening for many faculty mem-
bers to find that the Regents had
problem goes far beyond that.
x It is not true that we happen to
have a particularly bad set of
Regents at present.
We will continue to have prob-
-Ims similar to the one we now
face until the structure of t h e
Board of Regents is changed.
The Regents are not members of
the University community,, thus
they can have neither the sensi-
tivity to the issues which face the
campus to intelligently consider
thema, nor the right to make de-
cisions about those issues,. parti-
cularly when their decisions would
be in .contradiction to that of the
Students, faculty, and other in-
terested people and groups both
inside and outside the Univarsity
should immediately begin working
on the development of a proposal
for major reforms in the structure
of the Board of Regents.
Electing the entire Board at
large from the campus, or having
a six-member board with two stu-
dents elected by the student body,
two faculty elected By the faculty,
and two public members appoint-
ed by the. Governor are only two
of many possible proposals which
could be discussed.
are the majority of the faculty.
We have succeeded in persuading
our representative bodies, Stu-
dent Government Council and
Senate Assembly, to stand with us.
The University community has
made its decision, and we m u s t
now work together in all ways
that are necesary and consistent
with our personal beliefs to insure
the implementation of that decis-
grievious than other actions of re-
They continue refusing to allow
students and faculty to jointly pass
rules regulating their own con-
duct without regental approval.
Not only did the Regents forbid
students and faculty to create a
judicial system for themselves
without substantial regentally Im-
posed amendments, but they cur-
rently insist upon approving all of