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November 06, 1971 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-11-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Mt e frtPDzm Dai1
Eighty-one years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Rehearsing the end of the world
by lynn weiner

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.



Reforming state pot laws

N RESPONSE TO public outcries pro-
testing the harshness of penalties for
possession and sale of marijuana, many
local governments have adopted reform
laws. Last year Ann Arbor passed such an
ordinance - making possession of mari-
juana a misdemeanor, but leaving open
the option of prosecuting offenders under
the harsher state law.
Yet, as soon as it seemed some pro-
gress was being made toward the event-
ual goal of complete legalization of mari-
juana, it appears that Michigan is head-
ing towards a new drug law even more re-
strictive than the antiquated one now
in effect.
Supporters of liberalized drug laws were
dealt a severe defeat Thursday when the
State Senate passed - in a 29-2 vote -
a bill setting marijuana possession as a
felony punishable by two years imprison-
ment and-or a $2,000 fine.
Last summer the House passed its ver-
sion of this bill which would make mari-
juana possession a misdemeanor, setting
a 90-day and-or $500 penalty for posses-
sion, but would allow free use of it.
Now the bill must go before a confer-
ence committee, where it is expected some
kind of compromise will be reached.
BUT, IN THE meantime, the prospect
of a state law keeping marijuana in the
same clasification as heroin, rendering

possession of it a felony does not bode
well - especially for the University com-
While any law prohibiting marijuana
is objectionable - limiting individual
freedom, striving towards a public moral-
ity, and denying evidence that marijuana
is not a very dangerous drug - in a
community such as ours, where marijuana
use is widespread, any law prohibiting its
use will especially be met with outrage.
Yet some laws do exist, not particularly
for enforcement, but rather to satisfy the
conservative furor that would arise in
their absence. Perhaps this is all we
can hope for in regards to marijuana
laws. But even in such a case, there are
laws which are highly objectionable and
there are others which can be tolerated.
UNTIL THE state legislators reach their
decision, then, it is hoped that the
city will choose to enforce its own law
rather than the archaic state law.
But, in the long run, there is no excuse
for the type of legislation envisioned by
the State Senate. Those who care about
reforming drug statutes should press
their state legislators for reform. It must
be made clear that placing marijuana
violations in the same category as heroin
abuse will not be tolerated.

THE EARTH MAY shudder today under a force
equal to five million tons of TNT - as we re-
hearse the destruction of the world.
The detonation by the Atomic Energy Commis-
sion of five megatons of potential death is a logical
action for a nation which bleeds under the notion
that violence is an appropriate means of conflict
The nuclear; test, scheduled for today on the
Aleutian island of Amchitka, not only displays U.S.
ability to participate in nuclear holocaust - the
ultimate performance - but may trigger tidal waves,
earth tremors, pollution hazards, and radiation dam-
The act is the purest form of violence. But violence
to the earth and its inhabitants, when controlled
by the state, is acceptable to the majority of human
beings - if they live in the right state.
Murder is masked as war or capital punishment,
and defoliants, napalm, bullets, clubs, and fists are
seen as necessary 'elements of social control.
ILLEGITIMATE VIOLENCE, however, is viewed
by the same human beings as intolerable. And not
only illegal murder, but draft card burning, property
damage, looting, and trespassing are viewed as crimes
which may merit an order to kill.
A recent study by the University's Institute for
Social Research indicates that respondants in a
survey of American men defined as "violent" the
following acts: looting (85 per cent), draft c a r d
burning (58 per cent), police beating students (56
per cent), and police shooting looters (35 per cent).
These statistics sharply illustrate a society where
property is more valuable than life - where the
act of looting is considered 50 per cent more violent
and the incineration of a piece of paper 23 per cent
more violent than the shooting of a looter.
Even if we were to be consistent with this value
system, we should protest the Amchitka desecration
on the basis that the earth is our "property" and
we refuse to allow its violation.
BUT ONE REASON the outrage is muted may be
because we anticipate the holocaust each time we

detonate the bomb, and so meet a deep-rooted psy-
chological need of aggression, as well as the neec
to symbolically flex our muscles in a show o:
It may be, too, that we serve a drive toward self
destruction - for the testing of an atomic boml
conjures up images of not the rehearsal but the
actual performance. Then, the testing will not bE
underground but instead mushroom clouds will bil.
low up as fire and heat devastate the earth and it.
living beings.
The Bomb - the star of the early 60's stage
screen and t e l e v i s i o n - is making t
comeback. In the flush of its notoriety, whict
grew after Hiroshima, it generated its own protest
movement along with profits for fallout' shelter
But the intensity of outrage and fear died down;
we cannot live with the continual knowledge that
we have created and used and may use again
the monster weapon of destruction.
THE AMCHITKA bomb forces us to remember
something we ignore every day when we detonate
its little brother bombs in Indochina - that bombs
symbolize our value system - where life, whether of
the earth itself of its people, is subordinate to power
And power - in the sense of winning conflict -
is achieved by violence, where "winning" and "los-
ing" are spelled out not in the alphabet of resolu-
tion but in the language of body-counts and mass
Incidents like the Amchitka test should underline
the urgency to the American people - and the
people of the world - that we must intensify the
search for new methods of resolving conflict.
FOR IF WE continue to rely on our current system
of nuclear deterrant strategy and cold-war game-
manship, and thereby continue to subordinate life
as the ultimate value, then at best we may only
destroy a portion of our earth and at worst the
curtain may fall and we may not be around to have
the option of resolving any conflicts at all.


And the battle o f the sexes. continues ...

Bail for Angela Davis

THOUGH IT HAS received little public
notice, the Angela Davis trial has
once again begun, and been delayed. So
Angela, once again, must return to soli-
tary confinement in the Marin County
jail - just one of the prisons in which
she has been held for over a year.
She must return not because she has
been convicted of any crime - she has no
criminal record. In fact, she is not even
being charged with actively perpetrating
the crimes in connection with which she
is being tried. Instead, she is detained
simply because California authorities
have placed her- in jail and deliberately
denied her requests for bail.
This is a blatant miscarriage of judi-
cial process, and its importance should
not be overlooked by anyone."
No reason has ever been given for deny-
ing her bail. The last time it was refused,
nothing at all was said beyond the sim-
ple statement that the judgment h a d
been made "on legal grounds." However,
the whole history of Angela's case in-
dicates that regardless of the law, neither
state nor federal authorities have ever
had an intention of letting her out of
Angela was charged with murder and
kidnapping following an August, 1970,
courtroom incident in -which Jonathan
Jackson, two of the defendants, and a
judge who had been taken hostage were
killed. Though there is no question that
Angela was never at the scene, she was
charged with the full crime when it was
discovered she owned the two guns used
by Jackson.
She was charged with murder and kid-
napping under a California law which
permits the prosecution of accomplices
to a crime to the same extent as those
who actually commit the crime.
NOT BELIEVING she could get a fair
trial in California, Angela fled. Two
months later federal authorities arrested
her and set bail at $250,000. Clearly, this
record bail was not designed just to in-
sure Angela's, appearance in court - the
only function bail legitimately serves. In-
stead, it was calculated to inform t h e
American public that the government has
no intention of letting Angela free.
Despite this strategy, the public out-
cry at the arrest provoked such a furor
in this country, that it soon became
clear even a quarter of a million dollars
might be raised.
So the care was quickly turned over to
New York State authorities, who not only
placed Angela in solitary confinement,
but also denied any bail at all - high,
low, or otherwise. A federal fudge later
ordered Angela removed from solitary
confinement. But following an extradi-

law, as guaranteed in the 14th amend-
Calley was let out of prison because
President Nixon thought this action poli-
tically popular. But Angela is black, a
woman, and a Communist, and California
authorities decided it is far more exped-
ient just to keep her locked up.
THIS IS HARDLY surprising, since the
State of California has been persecu-
ting Angela Davis for years. It first tried
to fireher from her job at UCLA for be-
ing a Communist. Court orders reversed
this decision.
But at the end of the school year she
was fired anyway, despite her acknow-
ledged excellence as a teacher. This time
the state was clever enough to use a dif-
ferent excuse, but basically it just didn't
want anyone with Angela's political in-
volvement around its university.
So the injustice of her present treat-
ment must be seen as nothing new. In-
stead, it is merely a continuation of her
earlier oppression - the same kind of
oppression that resulted in George Jack-
son's indeterminate incarceration for a
$70 hold-up in which no one was hurt.
Black people need not be told this. They
are confronted with it every day of their
lives. But it is sadly true that the vast
majority of white Americans are either
unaware that these events have taken
place, or else have been convinced by poli-
ticians that oppression is acceptable and
in their interest.
This is simply not the case. For exam-
ple, there are few white people in this
country interested in having black liber-
ation struggles result in violence a n d
death. They would surely prefer to see
the society reform itself, making
violence unnecessary as .a catalyst for
YET, IF THEY allow the courts to be
used as a means of removing from
the society any blacks who threaten it
(Davis, George Jackson, Bobby Seale,
Huey Newton, etc.) then how can black
people have any respect for their insti-
tutions? How can blacks be expected to
maintain any interest in change through
these "peaceful" means? Surely they can-
Secondly, if whites allow people like
Angela Davis to be incarcerated without
being convicted of crimes, they allow
judges to undermine the most funda-
mental principle of our system of juris-
prudence -- that persons are to be pre-
sumed innocent until proven guilty.
This is especially true when the case
involves political unpopularity. For if
politically unpopular ideas can justify
indeterminate jail sentences w i t h o u t
trial, what vestiges of either justice or

EVERAL WOMEN have reacted
rather strongly to Rick Per-
loff's column on Women's Libera-
tion, a few of them implying that
Perloff wrote it out of insecurity
because his ego was threatened.
This may be true.
But it would' be a mistake to
suppose that Perloff could speak
for all insecure males, any more
than any one woman could speak
for all Women's Liberation, and
as an average insecure male I
would protest the idea that he
can speak for me.
I figure my ego is at least as
threatened as Rick Perloff's, but
I didn't agree with his column.
I sympathized, but I didn't agree.
what Perloff meant by the "ar-
rogance" of some Women's Liber-
ationists. It isn't really arro-
gance. as Perloff claims, but nei-
ther is it the healthy pride the
women talk about. It's the atti-
tude that crops up somewhere in
every revolution that is b e s t
summarized as "Now I've Got You.
You Bastard: and You're Going
to Pay for This."
It's not clear how extensive this
feeling it, but it does exist. It
accounts, for example, for the re-
cent publication by a French wom-
an of Les Guerillerres, a n o v e 1
about a group of Amazons w h o
kill men "for fun and for sur-
vival" that received such enthus-
iastic praise by a woman reviewer
in the New York Times Book Re-
view a few weeks ago. It's this
kind of attitude that quite natur,
ally makes men a little irritated,
and I can't blame Perloff for dis-
liking it.
Unfortunately, however, it does
not do a damn bit of good for Per-
loff or for any other male to crit-
icize this, because women aren't
very likely to listen to male criti-
cism right now. Women aren't go-
ing to listen because they, like
blacks, chicanos, Indians, g a y
people, and other minority groups,
do have valid grievances against
us white heterosexual males. And
until the valid grievances are set-
tled, we can expect a lot more
"arrogance" - a lot more hat-
red, anger, and guilt-inducing
from women.
IN A WAY, it's our own fault.

Too frequently the reaction of
white, liberal, heterosexual males
to feminist and other demands
has been almost as bizarre as any-
thing we're going to find in Les
Guerillerres. A lot of liberals and
'radical-liberals" seem to feel that
they or rather, that we - have
. personal moral duty to govern
the world - allegedly for t h e
benefit of other people - b u t
without letting the other people do
it themselves.
When women, blacks, and g a y
)eople demand more power f o r
.hemselves. we tend to refuse.
Then, in atonement, we feel guil-
ty and participate in grotesque
little games so those who feel op-
pressed. unable to get what they
really want, can play with our bad
consciences while we accept humil-
iation at their hands.
We live in a racist society, so we
go to listen to Le Roi Jones and
applaud him while he's telling us
we're going to be exterminated
when the revolution comes. Or,
like a friend of mine, we get mug-
ged in Detroit and feel nothing
but "understanding" for the black
kids who have robbed us. We can
shrug off criticism that we re-
ceive from the reactionary right,
but because we live in a sexist so-
ciety we feel personally attacked
if Women's Liberation criticizes us.
IT IS TIME for us to stop play-
ing these games and do what our
consciences must demand of us.
We should turn over power a n d
jobs to all sexual, racial, and eth-
nic groups in society so that each
has employment and political re-
presentation proportionaltto i t s
percentage of the population.
While we cannot and should not
lead movements to abolish dis-
crimination against, and harrass-
ment of, women, blacks, and
homosexuals, we should support
such movements if our support is
requested, as long as it does not
involve the self-flagellation we
have indulged in in the past. And,
as we disassociate ourselves from
the role of oppressor, we should
demand and obtain what every
minority group in this society ex-
Right now, as society is in trans-
ition, women and other groups
make essentially contradictory de-
mands on us, insisting that we


-Daily-Sara Krulwich
Women march for abortion reform in Lansing

treat them as equals while they
exclude us from any of their meet-
ings and organizations. I think
many males resent this, but if we
abandon our present untenable
position and redefine ourselves as
another (rather large) minority
group, we can demand~ consist-
ency from those who now oppose
We will be as morally bound to
listen to their complaints about
us as they are to listen to our
criticism of them - no more. We
will have as much right as they
do to closed meetings and closed
organizations - no more, and no
that women have a right to de-
fine their own lives, if they wish,
without reference to husbands,
just as blacks have a right to de-

fine their lives without reference
to whites. Likewise, we can, and
should, demand that our child-
hoods not be dominated by fe-
males - as mothers, all-female
staffs of day care centers, or by
female elementary school teach-
ers - which precludes the possi-
bility of having some male to
identify with.
As we cease to oppress other
groups, we will find that we have
valid complaints of our own
against them,; and we should de-
mand that our grievances be met
by corrective action.

can ignore an occasional instance
of revolutionary "arrogance."
In fact, we might find that we
have reason to be grateful to the
revolution. Right now, those of
us who are now reactionaries run
around confusedly supporting
every cause but our own, trying
to cultivate the "right" attitude
about black people, Vietnamese,
Biafrans, Pakistanis, etc. To a cer-
tain extent this is commendable,
but frequently it is a substitute
for thinking about our own lives,
which we find morally unworthy.

The liberation of blacks, wom- ONCE WE FREE ourselves from
en, and gay people is inevitable, the delusion that we have a re-
and we shouldn't oppose it. The sponsibility to govern, and with
way to deal with its excesses is it the duty to be crucified by
simply to insist on our own dig- everyone who is dissatisfied with
nity. while meeting thejust de- our governings, we -can turn to the
mands of women and other groups serious business of furthering our
- for it we know thatwe uave own interests and determining our
nothing to feel guilty about, we own lives.


Letters to The Daily


Today's offensive
To The Daily:
Coalition has called for antiwar
demonstrations in 17 major U.S.
cities on November 6. The Nixon
administration and the news
media are saying that these de-
monstrations will be the last be-
cause, as they see it, the war in
Vietnam is ending, and the anti-
war movement is dead. They say
that young people are tired and
demoralized, and that they have

antiwar movement, which - n o w
represents the overwhelming ma-
jority of the American people.
The organized antiwar move-
ment, by bringing, millions of peo-
ple into the streets in opposition
to the war, was the force that sent
LBJ back to Texas, the force that
shut down hundreds of campuses
in May, 1970, compelling Nixon to
terminate the invasion of Cam-
bodia, and it was the antiwar
movement that forced Nixon to
begin withdrawing troops at the
snail's pace that is now in effect.

of the fliers shot down? Nixon is
still testing the will and resolu-
tion of the antiwar movement, as
his tenacious resistance to t h e
Mansfield end-the-war amend-
ment has shown.
Nixon wants you to stay home
on November 6 so that when he
makes his speech on Vietnam in
mid-November he can claim the
support of the American people
for his policies in Southeast Asia.
We cannot fall into Nixon's care-
fully laid trap.
Actually the Administration is


* 1

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