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September 09, 1971 - Image 48

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-09-9

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Thursday, September 9, 1971

Page Two THE MICHIGAN DAILY Thursday, September 9, 1971

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Race relations create city problems

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By ALAN LENHOFF
Plagued by factionalism and
the problems of racism inherent
in working and living in a pre-
dominantely white, upper-mid-
dle class city, Ann Arbor's
black community has struggled
to solve its problems within the
existing framework of city in-
stitutions.
Perhaps the problems between
the black and white communi-
ties in Ann Arbor in recent
yearshasbeen exemplified by
recent interreaction surrounding
the issues of public schools.
Last February, after months
of detailed study, an Ann Ar-
bor School Board commission
presented a report suggesting
ways in which the schools could
help combat racism.
The report was a far-ranging
one, suggesting changes at every
level and asking for educational
programs that would have been
beneficial to white students as
well as to black ones.
Black leaders acclaimed the
report, but some said that the
school board's past failures in
race relations made the swift
implementation of this plan es-
sential.
Other more militant factions
said to the board that it was
their "last chance" to avoid a
major racial confrontation in
the schools.
The reaction of the school
board was to overwhelmingly

approve most of the report but
decided not to appropriate any
money for it.
Instead they asked the black
community to wait and see if
the new expenses could be fit
into this year's budget.
Since that time, a school mill-
age increase was defeated by
Ann Arbor voters, and many
feel the anti-racism plan will be
emasculated to make it fit with
an overall austerity budget.
Several years ago, Ann Arbor
was a staunchly conservative
Republican stronghold. At that
time, the only locally elected
Democrat of power was ultra-
conservative Washtenaw County
Sheriff Douglas Harvey. And in
addition, human rights legisla-
tion was yet unknown.
But about two years ago, a
new trend of liberalism began
in the city-a reflection of the
nationwide trend in that direc-
tion. Led by Democratic Mayor
Robert Harris, the cityebegan to
become more responsive and re-
ceptive to the ideas and needs
of its black citizens.
In April 1970, the Ann Arbor
Model Cities program was be-
gun with the intent of improv-
ing deteriorating neighborhoods
in the city's predominantly
black first and fifth wards. But
factional fighting within the
black community has left that
program still probing for an-
swers.

F-

Last y e a r, controversy over
the Model Cities program reach-
ed a head as disputes emerged
concerning al e g e d "political
games playing," of those in con-
trol of the program.
The most frequently heard
criticism was that the program
was moving too slowly. The pro-
gram's detractors cite that in
the program's first year (1970),
while $1 million was allotted to
the program by the federal gov-
ernment, considerably less than
that amount was actually spent.
Personal attacks have also
been leveled at the chairman of
the Model Cities policy board,
Ezra Rowry. Specifically Rowry
has been charged with running
the program amongst a personal
group of friends and ignoring
the needs of the greater com-
munity.
But all the charges have deep-
er roots in the history of inter-
nal fighting among the black
community. For over ten years,
the same men and women have
been offering each other the
same arguments over tactics and
solutions to black problems.
Obviously, some have consis-
tently been more militant than
others. At one extreme is former
city Councilman I. C. Murry
who is well remembered for his
'traditionalist sermons at council
m e e t i n g s, occasionally even
stopping to quote the Bible.
At the other end of the spec-
trum is Charles Thomas of the
B la c k Economic Development
League who has' been alarming
the community for several years

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James Slaughter'
by reading the Black Manifesto
in churches. The manifesto de-
mands reparations from whites
for hundreds of years of crimes
against blacks.
Somewhere right in the mid-
dle is James Slaughter, head of
the city's Human Rights Depart-
ment-whose job it is to see
that local employers don't dis-
criminate a g a i n s t minority
group members.
Slaughter, however, has ap-
peared less than active in his
post, not even being concerned
enough to get the city's largest
employer - the University - to
comply with his directives.
In addition, Slaughter has

Robert Hunter

come under fire from black
leaders for firing HRD's assist-
ant director Robert Hunter.
Apparently Hunter and
Slaughter had a personality
clash w h I c h Slaughter neatly
resolved by releasing Hunter.
The action brought heated re-
sponse from the black commu-
nity. It was said that Hunter
was the only HRD staffer who-
had any rapport with the black
community and that Slaughter
was too cautious in his dealings
with employers.
Hunter also filed a suit at the
time charging that he was un-
fairly dismissed. The suit is still
unresolved,

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(Continued from Page 1)
Many local merchants, on the
other hand, feel threatened by
students, as stores along South
University St. have often be-
come targets for political van-
dalism during student demon-
strations.
These acts, along with the
geographic proximity of town
and campus, have dictated that
the Ann Arbor police play a
major role in the lives of many
students.
Due to the nature of the
University'scampus, whichis
highly integrated into the com-
munity at large, a separate
campus police force, familiar
to many schools, has never de-
veloped.
Ihstead, Ann Arbor police
have always patroled the cam-
pus as part of their regular
duties, with the University
reimbursing them and the fire
department about one million
dollars per year.
The future of this system has
recently been questioned as
Governor Milliken proposed in
his higher education budget
that a separate force be estab-
lished.
The plan has received strong
opposition from both University
and city officials, however, and
it appears the present arrange-
ment will be continued w i t h
some cuts in funding.
At present, while police have
jurisdiction over all p u b 1 ci
streets, they cannot take ac-
tion against campus disturb-
ances without a specific re-
quest for such action from the
University administration.
Once this request has been
made, however, they have total
control over how to deal with
the disturbance.
The manner in which police
use these occasional mandates
is a question over which s t u-
T.V. RENTALS
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dents and townspeople have
bitterly disagreed.
Drug raids which m a n y
students consider harrassment,
and allegedly brutal handling
of campus disorders have rous-
ed considerable emnity in t h e
student community towards
volice.
Many Ann Arbor citizens, on
the other hand, view past po-
lIce actions as insufficient and
and agree with Garris in h I s
charges that police hnave been
"handcuffed" by the city gov-
ernment.
This division was reflected
in the recent city elections in
which the Republican party
nominated Garris for mayor,
and radimal students establish-
ed a left-oriented third party.
Many Ann Arbor citizens, on
the other hand, view past po-
lice actions as insufficient and
agree with Garris in his charg-
es that police have been "hand-
cuffed" by the city govern-
ment.
This division was reflected
in the recent city elections in
which the Republican par ty,
nominated Garris for m ay or,
and radical students estab-
lished a left-oriented t h i r d
party.
In an often bitter campaign,
student-city antagonisms were
brought to the surface w i t h
Garris wooing supporters by
evoking fears of radical vio-
lence, and radical Doug Cornell
calling fori closer control over
police actions.
Although incumbent Mayor
Robert Harris and the m o r e
moderate Democrats won a sig-
nificant victory, the existence
of both Garris and the radi-
cals testifies to deep divisions
within the city.
As seen with the police and
consumer issues, much of the
conflict between city and Uni-
versity stems from a desire on
the part of th academic com-
munity to divorce itself from
control of city institutions.
In regards to the two ad-
ministrations - city and Uni-
versity - much the same bat-
tle is being waged.
The responsibility of the Uni-
versity as Ann Arbor's largest
employer has been the focal
point of much debate between
city and University officials.
While both accept the basic

premise that the University does
have responsibilities, they have
divergent views of how far
these responsibilities extend.
According to Mayor Harris'
view of corporate responsibil-
ity, the University should take
a more active role in solving the
city's housing and transporta-
tion problems.
"Not much progress," he
says has been made in con-
vincing the University to ex-
pahd its contribution in those
areas.
Fleming, on the other hand,
feels the University has ade-
quately cooperated with t h e
city in many areas including
recreation and summer employ-
ment programs.
He denies, however, that the
University should become in-
volved in the city's housing
problem, viewing its respon
sibilities as being "to the Uni-
versity community and not the
city at large."
Aside from seeking the Uni-
versit's aid in solving c i t y
problems, the city administra-
tion has from time to time at-
tempted to impose its legal au-
thority on University activities.
For example the city p a s se d
a human nights ordinance in
1969 which created a depart-
ment within the city to investi-
gate claims of discrimination.
In the ordinance the c i t y
claims jurisdiction of the de-
partment extends to employes
of the University.
City and University officials
have been meeting irregularly
over the last few months to
discuss cooperation between the
University and the H u m a n
Rights Department.
Fleming, however, denies that
"the city can assert jurisdic-
tion over the University."
Even city officials admit
that if the case over jurisdic-
tion were brought to court, the
University would probably win.
Most of the problems exist-
ing between the University and
the city however, do not have
such a clear-cut legal solu-
tion.
Whether these tensions are
subdued, or intensified depends
more than anything else upon
the changing political climate
in Ann Arbor and the nation
as a whole.

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