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October 27, 1970 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-10-27

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311r Mitiign f
~4e 3f~i~wnDatlj
Eighty years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

An impostor asks-Are they blind?

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

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



Reply to the Kent jury

THE ABRIDGED version of the Portage
County Grand Jury report on the Kent
State tragedy begins: "The members of
this special grand jury find that all the
conditions that led to the May tragedy
still exist." The grand jury could not have
been more right. For the jury report itself
is a frightening example of the injustice
and insensitivity which spawned the vio-
lence at Kent in the first place.
Right from the beginning the jurors
contend: "We find that no provocation
existed for the acts committed there."
Can the jury really be no naive as to be-
lieve that there was no provocation what-
soever? Even if the jury does not agree
that political protest should take the
form it took at Kent State, surely it must.
see that the disturbances there did have
a cause. Or did they? The rest of the re-
port is telling.
"There can never exist any justifica-
tion or valid excuse for such an act. The
burning of this (ROTC) building and de-
struction'of its contents was a deliberate
criminal act." It is true that the burning
of the ROTC building did constitute a
breach of the law. But what is so hope-
lessly distressing about the jury's state-
ment is that it fails completely to see that
this was a political protest.
It would not be particularly unusual
or quite so frightening if the grand jury
had said that the students had broken
the law because of deep moral convictions
(much as the Scranton Commission). But.
the grand jury failed even to make the
distinction between those students and a
child who burns down an abandoned barn
for no more reason than to watch the..
glow. Is it any wonder, then, that the
students might be moved to question the
sensitivity of their government toward
their beliefs?
The failure of the jury to comprehend
the Kent tragedy pervades other sections
of the report.-
'Those who acted as participants and
agitators are guilty of deliberate, criminal
conduct," continues the report. "Those
who were onlookers, while not liable for
criminal acts, must morally assume a part
of the responsibility for what occurred."
It now seems clear from the 4000 stu-
dents who rallied there last week and
from the profound reaction all over the
country both immediately after the kill-
ings and last week, that there is a deep
division in America on the issues that
caused the gathering at Kent that day.
Did it ever occur to the grand jury that
many of those students might wish to
assume a part of the moral responsibility
for the gathering of students on that day?
For in the grand jury's view, "We found
that all the persons assembled were or-
dered to disperse on numerous occasions,
but failed to do so. Those orders, given by
a Kent State University policeman, caused
a violent reaction and the gathering
quickly degenerated into a riotous mob.
It its obvious that if the order to disperse
had been heeded, there would not have
been the consequences of that fateful
THE JURY is right. If the students had
gone home, then there would have
been no deaths. Similarly, if everyone in
the country always followed every order
given him by the leaders of the country,
and the .police or army in particular,
there would be no protest whatsoever to
contend with.
But does the jury really want a coun-
try in which students simply obey all {
orders given them by the authorities?
Does the grand jury seriously believe that
this would preserve a free country? But

the jury seems unconcerned about the
continuation of any freedom of choice, as
the nature of the jury's attacks on Kent
State itself indicated.
~L~k Aairi~jzn iail
Ed torial Staff
Editorial Director Managing Editor
NADINE COHODAS ... .. Feature Editor
JIM NEUBACHER .. Editorial Page Editor
ROB BIER . ...... Associate Managing Editor
LAURIE HARRIS . . . Arts Editor
JUDY KAHN . ... Personnel Director
DANIEL ZWERDLNG ... Magazine Editor

"We believe that (the tragedy) resulted
from policies formulated and carried out
by the university over a period of several
years.... An example of where the uni-
versity contributed to the crisis is the
over-emphasis which it has placed and
allowed to be placed on the right to dis-
sent. . . . We cannot agree that the role
of the university should be to continually
foster a climate in which dissent becomes
the order of the day to the exclusion of all
normal behavior and expression."
First of all, does the jury actually be-
lieve that the campus is in such a con-
stant state of uproar that normal human
behavior and expression are excluded? It
should be noted that only after the guard
moved in did the gathering on the Kent
commons become violent. This is even
specified in the grand jury report itself.
Does, the grand jury not consider the
gathering of citizens to petition for re-J
dress normal human behavior and ex-
pression. If it does not, then it is no
wonder the students were turned to vio-
In the second place, even during the
so-called riot, normal human behavior
and expression did in fact continue at the
campus. It seems probable that the par-
ents of Allison Krause, who was shot by
the guard as she made her way to teach
at a school for mentally retarded chil-
dren, would be slightly insulted by the
charge that she was not engaging in
normal human behavior. Indeed, who
would not? Kent is not intrinsically vio-
lent. But other sections of the report
indicate that campus violence was not
really the concern of the jury.
As if the attacks on students and the
university for even allowing active protest
on the campus was not enough, the report
'went on to suggest that the freedom to
dissent in the classroom be curtailed.
". .what we consider to be an over-
emphasis on dissent can be found in the
classrooms of some members of the uni-
veristy faculty . . . who 'teach nothing
but the negative side of our institutions
of government and refuse to acknowledge
that any positive good has resulted during
the growth of our nation."
Indeed, what more conservative con-
ception of the university is there in this
day than that of a free marketplace of
ideas? Yet the grand jury even seeks to
undermine this?
The report continues, "We receive the
impression that there are some persons
connected with the university who believe
and openly advocate that one has a duty
rather than a right to dissent from tra-
ditionally accepted behavior and institu-
tions of government. This is evident by
the administrative staff in providing a
forum and available speakers for every
'radical group' that comes along and the
'speakers' that they bring to the campus."
The implication here is apparently that
the school should suppress speakers for
radical causes and protect the students
from their dangerous ideas. But a worse
implication-that the school should not
be bound by a duty to avoid discrimina-
tion against speakers-clearly seems to
undermine the entire idea of not only the
university as a free marketplace of ideas
but of freedom of speech in general. Is it
any wonder, then, that the students feel
threatened? And if they are threatened,
is it not their actual duty to dissent?
According to this country's Declara-
tion of Independence, "Prudence indeed,
will dictate that governments long estab-
lished should not be changed for light
and transient causes; and accordingly all
experience hath shown, that mankind
are more disposed to suffer, while evils
are sufferable, than to right themselves
by abolishing the forms to which they are

accustomer. But when a long train of
abuses and usurpations, pursuing invar-
iably the same object, evinces a design
to reduce them under absolute despotism,
it is their right, it is their duty, to throw
off such government and to provide new
guards for their future security."
Does the grand jury report indicate that
such protest is necessary? Surely its sug-
gestions are incredibly insensitive to the
fact that anything should be changed in
the country at all, and to the fact that
student protest has not just happened,
but was motivated.
THE CONDITIONS which produced the

LESS THAN two weeks ago, a
special grand jury exonerated
the Ohio National Guard of legal
responsibility for the death of four
students at Kent State University
last May.
That is hard enough to believe
in itself, especially with investiga-
tions by the FBI and by the Presi-
dent's Commission on Campus
Unrest directly contradicting the
jury's conclusions.
The jury's report is backlash,
with a very heavy whip. But some-
times insult is just as infuriating
as injury. After freeing the Guard
from responsibility for the killings,
the jury went on to say:
"It should be added, that al-
though we fully understand and
agree with the principle of law
that words alone are never suf-
ficient to justify the use of
lethal force, the verbal abuse
directed at the guardsmen by
the students during the period
in question represented a level
of obscenity and vulgarity which
we have never before witnessed!
The epithets directed at the
guardsmen and members of
their families by male and fe-
male rioters alike would have
been unbelievable had they not
been confirmed by the testi-
mony from every quarter and by
audio tapes made available to
the grand jury.
It is hard to accept the fact
that the language of the gutter
has become the common ver-
nacular of many persons posing
as students in search of a high-
er education."

As one of those impostors, I feel
a need to answer. My pose as a
student is near-perfect. I drop it
only once in a while to think, to
question and maybe to act.
BUT MOST of the time, my
guise is flawless. I study a lot of
worthless material and don't even
complain when I don't get any-
thing out of it. I go to my classes
and take notes. I cram for exams,
I pull all-nighters writing papers.
But inside that stoically study-
ing robot is a person. With pierc-
ing insight I have been discover-
ed by the Portage County grand
jury, I and thousands of others
who pose as students but are real-
ly thinking people, deep down in-
And deep down inside, what are
those jurors? I'd like to know. I
want to get inside those people in
Ravenna, Ohio. I want to be in-
side their heads to see what they're
really thinking.
Do they reallyubelieve education
is only to be found in books and
classes? Don't they realize that it
is an ongoing process of increasing
awareness, that it includes an
active participation in our society?
Can't they see that the people
they accuse of being impostors are
seriously questioning the blatant
injustices of life in America? Do
they really deny the hypocrisy of
our democratic nation attempting
to impose its beliefs on the world
and stifling dissent within its own
Is their morality so warped that
they can be shocked by "obscene"
language and not by the massacre


of Vietnamese civilians, by the
conditions in American cities, by
the rape of our environment? Do
they really not understand the
"the language of the gutter" is the
language of anger and frustration,
of hurt and disbelief, of the help-
lessness of wanting to change
things and not knowing how.
ARE THEY really so blin
Then I want to re-emerge from

their Middle American consciences
to indict the indicters. I want to
first relieve my anger by saying,
"Oh, get fucked, you who are so
shocked by a four-letter word yet
so insensitive to injustice."
Then I want to speak to them
in their own language and say:
"The verbal abuse directed at
thinking Americans by the
grand jury in the report in ques-
tion represented a level of in-,

sensitivity and blindness which
we have never before witnessed!
The epithets directed at stu-
dents by the jurors would have
been unbelievable had they not
been confirmed by reports in r. -
liable newspapers.
It is hard to accept the fact
that the language of repression
has become the common ver-
nacular of many persons posing
as citizens in search of justice."



GM-sponsored research

To the Daily:
YOUR ARTICLE on research
funds received from General Mot-
ors by the Survey Research Cen-
ter, (Daily, Oct. 21), contains a
lot of factual information, most of
it correct, but nevertheless some-
whatrmisleadingebecause of its se-
lectivity. May we add a few other
relevant facts:
The Survey Research Center
does research only when it has
some potential for adding to the
general body of scientific know-
ledge, and only when it can be
made publicly available to every-
one. Data paid for by one source
are available ,at little or no cost,
to all others. We have had re-
search supported by Ford and
Chrysler as well, but most of our
research is supported by founda-
tions and the Federal government.
We have done things of value
and interest to the United Auto
Workers by joining with them to
secure funds from the Department
of Health, Education and Welfare.
Our studies of the impact of the
supplemental early retirement
benefit program the union nego-
tiated with the auto companies
showed that having adequate re-
tirement income was important,
that the early retirees were de-
lighted, and that the Union's elu-
lighted, and that the Union's edu-
cational and information cam-
paign had worked effectively. In-
deed, it is likely that the UAW's
"30 and out" proposal in the
current negotiations was encour-
aged in part by the findings of our
studies. (See Barfield and Morgan,
Early Retirement, and Barfield,
The Automobile Worker and Re-
tirement: A Second Look.)

OTHER STUDIES conducted at
the Center have relevance for auto
safety and accident compensation.
Current efforts toward auto in-
surance reform, introducing no-
fault insurance, are based in part
on information we gathered in a
study done with Professor Conard
of the Law School (Automobile
Accident Costs and Compensa-
tion), as well as a more recent
study for the Department of
Transportation (Public Attitude
toward Auto Insurance). New
laws, suc has those already passed
in Puerto Rico and Massachusetts,
may well do more to promote auto
safety and curb the rise of insur-
ance rates than government regu-
lation ever could. Under a no-fault
insurance scheme, insurance rates
will come to depend directly on the
safe design of the car being in-
sured and on the careful behavior
of the driver.
In short, we are not doing pro-
duct market research, nor secret
research, nor are we dependent
on any one source for funds, to
whom we might be suspected of
being subservient.
Finally, the editorial on GM,
(Daily, Oct. 22), is a classic exam-
ple of guilt by assumption, and of
prejudice without evidence.
In particular you assert, with-
out evidence, that "GM has exer-
cised control over both the objec-
tives of the project and the way
it is carried out" (not specifying
which project). And you add the
startling statement that insisting
that any research be publicly
available, not secret, is an insigni-
ficant distinction. We insist the
secret research, for the benefit of
one firm or group in society, whe-

ther it' be GM or the State De-
partment, or the Boy Scouts, is not
in the public interest, and far
more likely to be dominated by
the sponsor as well.
on what research is to be done,
like most issues of "power" has no
simple answer. The initiation of
ideas, and their influence on the
final design of research, is a com-
plex process, and the threat of
domination from outside the Uni-
versity is not greater in our ex-
perience with grants from private
sponsors than it is with grants
from Ford Foundation or govern-
ment agencies. The complex pro-
cess of research cannot be dom-
inated without extensive invest-
ment of high-level skills through-
out the whole period of the in-
-James Morgan
Program Director, Insti-
tute for Social Research
-Lewis Mandell
Assistant Study Director,
Institute for Social
-Richard Barfield
Assistant Study Director,
Survey Research Center
Institute for Social
Oct. 23
Sharp criticism
To the Daily:
ior members of the Highway Saf-
ety Research Institute staff wish
to express our strong negative re-
action to the allegation published
in the Daily (Oct. 21) ". . . that

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One out of every three doctors paid under
medical plans found cheating on income
tax. News Item

Random notes on McGovern

ON OCTOBER 26, 1969, George
McGovern spoke at Hill Audi-
torium, and some 3,000 people
came to hear him.
Sunday, a year later-one week
before national elections-about a
fifth as many showed up.
"This is the lowest campus turn-
out we've had," he admitted later.
"Maybe I'm fading," he continued,
"maybe student interest in elec-
toral politics is at a lull."
McGovern talked in his speech
about Spiro Agnew dividing old
and young, rich and poor. He talk-
ed about freeing the nation from
the blight of poverty. And he
talked about the gap between
rhetoric and reality.
Aren't the rich aiid poor already
pretty divided, I asked, following
him along the street after his

speech, isn't that the whole prob-
lem, rich and poor?
"I agree with you," he said.
But those are questions you
don't really face. Are you saying
there can be economic equality
under capitalism? Don't you just
want to make poverty less ugly?
There should be decent mini-
mum incomes for all, he replied.
Everyone should have decent hous-
ing, decent diet, decent opportuni-
ties, and that can come under
capitalism, he continued, if the
right programs a r e enacted.
"Everyone won't be the same," he
said, "there won't be all one glob
in the middle." But everyone can
have a decent income. There wal
be a class at the bottom, but the
bottom won't be very low.
for draft resisters?

We can't consider this, he said,
not until after the war's over.
Then, "I would urge we be as
lenient and humane as possible."
Well, what do you think some-
one facing the draft now .,hould
"I can't recommend," he said.
"It's a matter of conscience." He
has an 18-year-old son, and he
doesn't feel he can tell him what
to do. If he tells him to resist, it
won't be, he who serves the jail
term. If he tells him to accept it,
and then the son is killed in Viet-
nam, he wouldn't want that re-
And McGovern has a daughter
who was arrested for possession of
marijuana. He "would be in favor
of repeal or revision" of mari-
juana laws. "We don't know
ments come to power in Latin
America - n o t necessarily like
Chile, but rather through civil war
-what should our policy be to-
ward them? "We should stay out
of internal politics," he said. And
if it nationalizes our businesses.
should we alter our policy-cut off
aid, stop trade? No, he didn't think
we should.
But what do the elections
mean? At his press conference,
McGovern talked about how hon-
ored he was to be using the same
Washington office that John Ken-
nedy used.

published research conclusions
from the Michigan Highway Saf-
ety Research Institute m u s t be
adjusted in keeping with industry
design concepts and that papers
from this institute are censored."
None of us has experienced eith-
er censorship or pressure to "ad-
just conclusions," or in any way
been discouraged from freely dis-
seminating t h e findings of re-
search performed here. The In-
stitute in fact adheres to the tra-
ditional academic policy that staff
members may submit any mater-
ial for publication in the scien-
tific (or, for that matter, non-
scientific) literature without in-
ternal approval.
We are deeply resentful that the
Daily, has been prompted, on the
strength of a single unsupported
allegation, to impugn the scien-
tific integrity of this institute and,
by implication, the individual
members of its staff. This is a
cruel and unwarranted charge to
level against a body of research-
ers who are dedicated to the cre-
ation and application of new
knowledge directed towards t h e
alleviation of a major societal
problem, and who have found at
this institute a rare opportunity to
do so in a stimulating, open en-
-Howard Dugoff
-Ray W. Murphy
-Paul Fancher
-Leonard Segel
-William T. Pollock
-Lyle D. Filkins
-Duane F. Dunlap
-James O'Day
Oct. 22
Being realistic
To the Daily:
I AGREE with Pat Mahoney's,
basic premise, (Daily, Oct. 22) that
GM sponsored research is going
to have a prejudiced and limited
scope, which will unfortunately
contain the continued existence
of GM, its profits, and the whole
rotten transportation system our

supposition that chaos would fol-
low, increasing the revolutionary
potential of the society. Such an
argument, which totally subju-
gates principle to the acquisition
of a desirable end state, becomes
morally ugly when it is applied to
so immediate a good as the pre-
vention of the suffering and death
of real people right now.
I can only suppose Mahoney
would strongly support the im-
mediate abolition of all s o c i a 1
welfare agencies and charitable
institutions so that more starving'
people would be available to dra-
matize the inadequacies of the
capitalist system.
-Art Poskocil
Oct. 22
Dow action
To the Daily:
THE STUDENTS participating
in Tuesday's Dow recruiter action
confronted Robben Fleming in his
office with a list of demands for
future evaluation regarding re-
cruiting on campus.
We demanded that the Univer-
sity set up a board with a major-
ity of students, to investigate all
recruiters on the following cri-
teria, before they be allowed to
-Is the group being investigat-
ed practicing discrimination 'in
violation of the University's anti-
discrimination rules?
-Is the group providing any
educatonal value to the students?
-Is the percentage of minority
groups and women in all levels
of the organizations equal to the
percentage of the preceding groups
in the population of the country?
-Is the organization involved in
any war research or foreign Im-
perialistic tactics?
The board would publish its
findings before the recruiter came.
If the organization were found to
violate any one of the above cri-
Robben Fleming gave us the
same runaround about not having




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