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September 05, 1970 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-09-05

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

the unreforned source
Two victims of two wars

im neubacher

by ji

4

I spent my summer at home, laid off
from work much of the time, making
friends with the crickets which abound
in West. Bloomfield Township, Mich.
Eventually, high school friends came
around to visit. Some you expect tto
see, some surprise you. When I saw
John Pollack, I was really surprised.
You see, John is dead.
At least, that's what they said' in
March, when I was home. That's what
the local newspaper said.
John, a year behind me in school,
enlisted in the army when he grad-
uated in 1968, and eventually made it
to South Vietnam, where he drove a
tank.
On a relatively quiet day in a rel-
atively peaceful area, John sat up on
the lip of the hatch of his tank;letting
his partner drive. In ;the middle of a
war. He lifted his face to the after-
noon sun and tried to relax. But the
enemy wouldn't let him do that.
From the jungle which lined t h e
road, the enemy watched. A rifle was
raised silently, a shot was fired. The
bullet sped through the air, entering
John's back below the left shoulder
blade, narrowly missing his spine, rip-
ping through a lung, and destroying a
portion of his heart.
Despite the damage, despite the ru-
mors,. d'espite the newspapers, John.
made it. He now weighs 130 pounds,
instead of 185. He has a patch on his
back the size of a book. He faces a
future of restricted activity and dan-
gerous operations to rebuild some of

the destroyed areas in his body. He
exists - a living symbol, a constant
reminder of the horrors of a senseless
war.
Worse, John is a constant reminder
of the pressures of society which
channel young men into that war.
John was brought up in the tra-
ditional American style. He was well
taken care of by financially secure
parents, sent to public schools, en-
couraged to grow up to be a "man."
He cared more for football and drink-
ing' than school and thinking, and up-
on graduation, he found his counsel-
ors telling him that his options in life
were severely restricted by his grades.
He enrolled in war, something he had
been brought up to believe was man-
ly, something expected. He was nearly
destroyed.
1 WAS EQUALLY surprised to see
Bob this summer.
You see, Bob is crazy, flipped out.
At least, that's what we all thought
when they carted him away to the
psychiatric ward of the hospital, sub-
dued him with tranquilizers, and spent
a long time trying to talk sense into
him.
I knew Bob because he ran around
with my group of kids in school, a
group in which ,he Was strangely out
of place. While we, for the most part,
were "good" kids - the grade-getters
who behaved, and were thus assured
entrance to the college of our choice-

Bob was basically a dumb jock. Or so
we assumed.
Bob played the- part of the "dumb
jock" well. We nicknamed him "Crazy"
with prophetic accuracy.
Bob had a lot of pressure put on him
at home, in one form or another. But
it was the pressures of his newly found
peer groups and the expectations of
society which severely strained his
ability to cope with the real world.
Near the end of his senior y e a r,
Bob's inner hysteria began to mount.
His girl friend left to go to school in
the South, 1000 miles away. The rest
of the group left for Ann Arbor, East
Lansing, Kalamazoo and became en-
meshed in busy lives which allowed
little time for old high school buddies
who didn't even make it into college.
That, was three years ago. Soon af-
ter everyone went away, Bob began
to go under. He ended up in the hos-
pital, but after some treatment, he
got out. He tried community college, a
series of jobs, a number of new hob-
bies. Nothing worked. He found his
inner hysteria building again as he
realized that his options in life were
being narrowed, that he was being fit
into a slot. Seeing his friends in the
summer, excited with plans and ideas
and futures, didn't help.
By this summer, he was worse than
ever. He began to build a dream world
for himself, and retreated into it. That
world was full of success and riches,
and he talked about it endlessly.
Bob is back in the hospital, h i s

hysteria worse. He physically battles
his way out of the ward now and then,
only to be restrained by the orderlies.
He keeps fighting to get out of this
world into a world where he can be
happy as a person, accepted as a per-
son respected as the person he is, not
the one he is supposed to be.
John and Bob - victims of war.
War with society is always a losing
battle for those who are too weak to
stand against the tide of conformity,
the pressures which drive one toward
goals defined by the society.
The stable, the privileged, the in-
telligent, and the lucky emerge from
the Darwinian competition in our so-
ciety as whole persons who find their
own happiness, or adapt themselves to
the view of happiness held by our so-
ciety with little discomfort. The rest
- the weak, the unfortunate, the in-
secure, are doomed to lives of frustra-
tion and boredom. It is a Capitalism
of the Soul in which the culturally
rich can get richer and the poor ride
city buses all their lives looking out
the window at the skyscrapers.
A Cultural Revolution is promised
us. I, for one, have doubts about
whether it will' eventually be more
humane and open than what exists
now. Is it possible, on a large scale, to
treat people as ° individuals, avoid
channeling, p u s h i n g categorizing,
judging? Maybe not - not on that
scale.
On a personal scale, it is imperative.
Smile on your brother today.

1

-Associated Press

etic t Ott at
Eighty years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

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

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 1970

NIGHT EDITOR: LYNN WEINER

Church sit-ins just cause

A GROUP of militant blacks, welfare
mothers and their supporters have
undertaken a major campaign to secure
reparations payments from the white
churches of Washtenaw County, a move
warranting active cooperation and sup-
port from members of the University
community.
With a series of peaceful occupations
of church offices, representatives of the
County Black Economic Development
League and the County Welfare Rights
Organization have brought the national
drive in support of the Black Manifesto
to the area, providing a compelling focus
for the struggle against poverty and in-
stitutional racism in America.
The manifesto was first proposed by
James Forman and adopted by the Na-
tional Black Economic Development Con-
ference in April 1969. It calls for the pay-
ment of $500 million reparations by the
nation's churches for the hundreds of
years of exploitation suffered by the black
people of this country. The money would
be used for a variety of economic and edu-
cational programs run by and for the
poor in the community.
LOCALLY, THE militants are demanding
immediate payments ranging from
$10,000 to $100,000 from each religious
establishment, depending on the size of
its assets. This would be followed up by
annual reparations payments which
would eventually total $60 million in this
county.
The initial payments would go toward
winter clothing for children on welfare.
Ultimately, funds secured from the

churches and synagogues would be used
in Washtenaw County for housing, day
care centers, cooperative food stores,
medical care, training centers and other
services for the community. These serv-
ices would benefit both blacks and the
substantial number of white children on
the county welfare rolls.
CHURCHES AND synagogues are reason-
able targets for reparations demands
because religious institutions, on t h e
whole, have historically acted in support
of slavery, and racist laws and social
conditions. In, addition, like most white
institutions, these religious establish-
ments have benefitted financially because
of the racist economic situation that has
provided their members with higher in-
comes.
It is not enough that minimal efforts
have been made by the government in re-
cent years to provide such legal guar-
antees as equal employment opportuni-
ties. The scars of 300 years of savage de-
humanization remain deeply imbedded in
the black community,; the economic,
educational and psychological advantages
necessary for success in America are still
largely absent in the black community.
Perhaps more important, those acting
in support of the manifesto are not
simply trying to attain even real equal
opportunity for 'blacks. Rather, they are
attempting to begin building institutions
heralding a society in which no person,'
black or white, is the victim of poverty,
exploitation or discrimination.
-MARTIN HIRSCHMAN
Editor

Catch 23

m. JAMES WECHSLERII
The re markable fight~
of amiable. Joe Duffy
RICHARD NIXON'S Administration can claim one incontestable
success. It has placed opponents on the defensive and created what
portends a failure of nerve. During an August holiday, one heard
too often some variation of the same theme: "He hasn't ended the
war and the economy is in bad shape and there's violence in the
air, but he and Agnew have a lot of people convinced that everything
would be all right if those long-haired kids just stopped causing
trouble."
We have lived through such periods of jitters before. Too many
political men who publicly proclaim their "faith in the people" are
privately prone to panic when struck by an opinion-pool; once upon a
time Joe McCarthy was confused with superman.
Certainly there is ample reason for cheerlessness in a week when
the McGovern-Hatfield amendment has been finally beaten. But
the image of Mr, Nixon's invincibility, adroitly promoted by his press
agents, is an absurdity. (Has everyone already forgotten what happened
to Clement Haynesworth and G. Harrold. Carswell?) So, too, is the
view that the country is now irretrievably captivated - and captured
- by Agnewism. To paraphrase a Democrat who did notably well on
election days, the thing liberals have to fear is fear itself.
This brings us back to Connecticut, and the remarkable fight
being waged by Joe Duffy, tle 38-year-old chairman of Americans
for Democratic Action and contender for the Senate seat still occupied,
despite the censure of his colleagues for assorted financial escapades,
by Tom Dodd.
* * * *
WHEN DUFFEY,'a soft-voiced, boyish-looking figure entered the
Democratic primary, the experts quickly pronounced him an amiable
loser; although Dodd avoided the primary (later deciding to run as an
independent), Alphonsus Donahue, the choice of John Bailey's machine,
was listed as a clear favorite, with State Senate Majority Leader Ed-
ward Marcus as his major challenger. Duffy was pictured an inevit-
able casualty of 1970 - doomed by his liberal associations, his forth-
right antiwar stand and the "anti-student" backlash.
But he and Anne Wexler, his gifted campaign manager and partner
in the revolt of the Eugene McCarthy "amateurs" that exploded in
Connecticut in 1968 and brought Duffey into national prominence,
refused to be intimidated by the obituary notices. On Aug. 19 the
returns showed Duffey 79,355, Donahue 67,259 and Marcus '36,055.
What was most impressive, it was agreed, was not merely the fact
of the upset but the coalition that made it possible. Duffey, of course,
ran strongly in Fairfield County, theheartland of the 1968 upsurge.
But it was his success in key industrial areas as well as black communi-
ties that confounded the defeatists.
He did not retreat on the Vietnam issue. But neither did he conduct
a one-note crusade.
MOST OF ALL, Duffey's victory was a triumph for the proposi-
tion advanced by Sam Brown, an early organizer of the Vietnam peace
movement, in the Washington Monthly:
"The outline of a successful antiwar strategy is clear: the appeal
must be made in such a way that middle-America will not ignore the
substance of the argument because of an offensive style."
It is Duffey's quiet genius that he can voice deep convictions in
tones of reasonableness, neither "trimming" to appease a critical
audience nor permitting shrillness and self-righteousness to alienate
the undecided. This demeanor may violate the canons of, demagogy,
but he has already rewritten a lot of the rule books.
THE CRUCIAL TEST comes in November and - as before -
Duffey hears prophecies of doom. Now he faces both Dodd and GOP
Congressman Lowell P. Weicker (who defeated rightist John Lipton in
the Republican primary). Some of the wise men who buried him when
he began are now explaining why he can't win the main bout. Dodd,
they contend, will draw away too many conservative Democrats and
thereby insure Weicker's triumph.
Even in conventional political terms, there is a flaw in the argu-
ment; Dodd will attract right-wing Republicans, too, and some of the
Democrats he will take away from Duffey might otherwise have
gone to Weicker.
In short anything can happen, and the contest acquires increasing
national importance. For if Duffy wins the big one, running with
painfully limited financial resources, he will have even more drama-
tically challenged many of the stereotypes now dominating the political

wi

Letters to the Editor

Inaccuracy
To the Editor:
THERE IS AN inaccuracy in
your September 2 story on the ap-
pointment of Professor Knauss to
the post of vice president of stu-
dent services. T h e Daily stated
that each of the five people nom-
inated for the office by the stu-
dent-faculty committee withdrew
from consideration. In fact, Mr.
Peter Steinberger did not with-
draw himself from consideration
though the other four did.
Mr.Steinberger's personal phil-
osophy was simply that he was

willing to be considered by and
willing to speak to President
Fleming if, and only if, such ne-
gotiations w e r e not cloaked in
secrecy. He felt that anything in
which he took part, including Re-
gents meetings were\ he to be ap-
pointed to the post of vice presi-
dent, should be a matter of public
record. If this situation were oth-
erwise, he felt he would not have,
and would not deserve to have,
any credibility with the students.
This attitude was quite unaccept-
able to President Fleming, and
evidently Mr. Steinberger was not

OKCA NAM).
'I

considered any further. Mr. Stein-
berger did not, however, withdraw
himself from consideration.
AFTER WELL OVER a year as
one of the brightest and hardest
working lawyers in the history of
t h e local Legal Aid Clinic, Mr.
Steinberger left Ann Arbor two
weeks ago f o r a trip to-Europe
with his wife before settling down
into a small town practice in New
England.
-Joseph Sinclair
Law "71
Sept. 2
Taken aback
To the Editor:
I COME FROM CHICAGO -
to be more precise, from a white,
middle-class community. I haven't
associated with blacks because
there are none living in my com-
munity, and'I have only spoken to
two blacks in my life.
On Tuesday, I attended the sem-
inar 'Black Unity: A Reality or
Myth" to find out about the black
community and how it relates to
the rest of America. A few min-
utes after I entered the Union
Ballroom and sat down in one
of the numerous empty chairs.
About a half hour later, a black,
presumably one of the seminar
leaders, approached me and said,
"Would you please move to the
corridor because this meeting is
mainly for blacks. Also, a large

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