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February 03, 1973 - Image 4

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1973-02-03

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14e £frnhan Iailt
Eighty-two 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 in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 1973

City public housing mess

RPP: I
By DAVID SINCLAIR
Editor's note: The following is the
second of a two-part series analyzing
the Rainbow Peoples Party's position
within the Human Rights Party.
The fall elections resulted in a
complete failureonsthe part of the
Human Rights Party to win any
seats, even though it had every
reason to anticipate victories in the
14th and 15th County Commission-
er districts and in the State Re-
presentative race, or to expand
from the numerical base of voter
support it had established in the
spring victories. People i n d e e d
seemed more interested in day-
to-day problems with food, health
care, housing, transportation, city
and University administrators,
courts, sheriffs, and the like, than
in the philosophical underpinnings
of the third party movement.
THE RAINBOW People's Party
began after the Fall elections to
take steps to follow up on the pub-
lic committments it made earlier
in the Sun. RPP developed an
analysis of how the fall election re-
lfated to HRP (Sun, No. 45, Decem-
ber 15), a statement which con-
cluded with an urgent public call
for mass participation in HRP in
order to bring the party down to

working with HRP since Nov.

7

earth and reunite it with its con-
stituency. At the same time, RPP
members who had participated
actively in HRP since last Jan-
uary and who were committed to
taking on more and more respon-
sibility in the daily activities of the
party, began to check with party
activists to find out who was and
was not willing to be nominated for
positions of responsibility in HRP
at that point.
The purpose of this informal

r::r* 1r~4}:* *. '15''"r '4"iC'ti ti< 'lt ;2 ' ,. .. ""..i":":"M
"It became obvious that (RPP's) slate wasn't
right for HRP' . because it threatened to send
HRP down a trail of meaningless factional back-
biting."
A :: :..M . .:..S- !W i.r.fl.".$.... r.' ...mfF. . }."r. 1

had learned from the party's mis-
takes and remained committed to
working with HRP and with the
community to build a base of peo-
ple's power in this area. None,
however, expressed willingness to
work as HRP co-ordinator, nor did
any of those who had argued most.
vigorously for the truncated HRP
fall election slate; and only a few
party activists would express will-
ingness to serve on HRP's steer-
ing committee. Few, likewise, were

TE CITY HOUSING Commission faces
insolvency at the end of this fiscal
year, on June 30. The commission will
have a projected debt of over $100,000.
Who exactly is to blame for the pro-
gram's sorry financial state has never
been conclusively determined, but those
who will suffer most are the people liv-
ing in housing the commission super-
vises.
The commission oversees about 320
public housing units serving both low in-
come families and senior citizens. The
commission consists of five members ap-
pointed by City Council. Currently none
of the commissioners are public housing
tenants.
Perhaps many of the commission's
problems can be traced to its failure to
comprehend tenant needs. Instead of
spending money on housing maintenance
which the tenants have urgently re-
quested, money was thrown away by
overstaffing the commission's adminis-
trative office.
THESE ERRORS would not have been
made if the tenants had been given

an active voice in determining Housing
Commission policy decisions.
The commission is now asking the fed-
eral Department of Housing and Urban
Development for financial aid to defray
some of their massive deficit. The com-
mission probably will be able to continue
operations if they receive the grant.
THE COMMISSION however should re-
organize its basic structure to be-
come responsive to tenant needs. The
best solution would be to replace the
bureaucratic commissioners with public
housing tenants. A commission with four
tenants and one representative each
from the Human Rights, Democratic and
Republican parties could be a feasible
plan.
The Housing Commission would then
be controlled by the people it supposed-
ly serves while allowing the politicians
their two cents worth. Hopefully such a
commission's efforts would be directed
toward establishing decent public hous-
ing in the city while acting more re-
sponsibly than the present commission
has.
-GORDON ATCHESON

the party's meetings and in its de-
velopment.
Several party "regulars" were
also asked to run for public of-
fice and for party positions with
RPP's endorsement. But most of
them joined one of two caucuses
formed in reaction to RPP's public
committment to working within
HRP to try to change its direction
and to open it up to more and
more people. The RPP endorsed
many of those persons anyway,
proposing to the January 11 HRP
meeting a slate of candidates for
the steering committee consisting
of: four members of the "Militant
Middle"; one HRP activist who had
grown with the party since its in-
ception as the Radical Independent
Party and who had a strong work-
ing relationship with both cau-
cuses; a representative of Project
Community; a Tribal Council
worker; a d.j. from WNRZ-FM;
and four RPP members, three of
whom had participated actively in
HRP for over a year. No "Root-
less Chocolate Almonds," as they
call themselves, were endorsed
by RPP. In a meeting sharply di-
vided on many questions, nine of
the twelve endorsed by RPP were
elected to the steering committee.
For these efforts, and for all of
the efforts outlined in this letter,
the Rainbow People's Party was
accused at the January 11 meet-
ing of "opportunistically" attempt-
ing a "power play," and not one
member of either caucusnspoke
favorably of RPP for helping to
generate the wide interest in HRP
reflected by an attendance of some
350 people at its mass meetings,
over three times as many people
as had ever before participated.
As Stevie Wonder said about
John Sinclair's sentence of ten

years for two joints, "Now, what
kind of shit is that?"
TWO RPP members running for
mayor and a council seat with-
drew their candidacies in the Hu-
man Rights Party primary after
the January 11 meeting to prevent
the primary from degenerating in-
to paranoia, factionalism and pet-
ty squabbling.
The RPP-endorsed candidates
had planned to offer the Human
Rights Party in the primary a slate
of 6 persons who represent a total
of 25 years in Ann Arbor, who do
concrete work every day to help
organize for community control
and self-determination, and whose
ideas and words can be measured
against their actual practice by
the voters. The slate was to be
offered as an alternative to the
"rootlessness" of past HRP lead-
ers. When the general Rainbow
People's Party plan for HR.P's re-
juvenation was met with such fear
and hostility at the January 11
meeting, it became obvious that
this slate wasn't right for HRP at
this point, because it threatened
to start HRP down a trail of mean-
ingless factional backbiting b-e-
tween now and the primary.
The Rainbow People's Party
members who withdrew as HRP
mayor and council candidates, as
well as the member who lost the
election for co-ordinator, are all ac-
tive participants and hard-working
members of the Human Rights
Party, and plan, to continue as
such.
David Sinclair is a member of
the Rainbow Peo.ples Party and the
Human Rights Party.

;r

f

survey was to ensure that there
were enough committed, commun-
ity-oriented persons in HRP w h o
had learned the lessons of the fall
elections, and who did not blame
HRP's failure solely on the fact
that the local elections were tied
up with the national.
Many people in the party, in-
cluding some "regulars," said they

Who did the bombing help?

IN LIGHT OF comments made by As-
sistant Prof. John Whitmore after
his recent trip to the Democratic Repub-
lic of Vietnam, the U. S. December
bombings seem nore pointless than
ever before.
If the intent was to Intimidate and
terrorize the North Vietnamese, as they
apparently feel it wa6; the administra-
tion seemingly failed. Whitmore reports
that there was no panic, and that the
discipline and pride of the North Viet-
namese was maintained.
If the intent was to divide and crush
the country, the administration again,
apparently failed. Whitmore claims that
the bombings served instead as a unify-
ing factor for the North Vietnamese.
It was possible, tnrough a select
route, to drive through Hanoi without
seeing evidence of bombing, and the re-
markable recuperative puwers of those
people in rebuilding their cities and
highways is renowned.
If the intent was. as the administra-
tion claims, to bring the North Vietna-
mese back to the peace table, that is
perhaps our most ironic defeat.
For the North Vietnamese have taken
pride in the fact that they feel that they,
instead, brought the U. S. to the peace
table, to win an agreement outstanding
in its similarity to the Geneva accords
of 20 years ago.
THEIR ATTITUDE throughout was
one of pride in their achievements
Today's staff:
News Gordon Atcheson, Gerald Non-
ningo, Judy Ruskin, Sue Sommer,
Ted Stein, Teri Terrell
Editorial Page: Eric Schoch, David Yalo-
witz
Arts Page: Diane Levick
Photo Technician: Thomas Gottlieb

and ability to hold their own against a
sprawling Goliath of a nation; and de-
termination to fight as long as necessary,
despite the bombings.
It is unclear exactly what U. S. motives
were, and President Nixon has offered
little to dispel our doubts that the bomb-
ings were ill conceived.
And despite the money, time and lives
sunk into the war, one cannot help but
respect the puny, fourth-rate power that
fought the most powerful nation in the
world and, by their own standards at
least, won.
-CINDY HILL
.Obscene?
BLEEP IT!
Ann Arbor's fearless forum-the city
council-apparently faces censure of its
Monday night broadcasts over radio sta-
tion WPAG.
According to council member C. Wil-
)iam Colburn, the usage of occasional ob-
scenities by "some council members," re-
layed to the radio audience via the live
broadcasts, may cause the Federal Com-
munica{ ,ons Commission to pressure the
city council sessions off the air.
This strikes us as strange, for we were
under the impression that one of the cri-
teria established by the Supreme Court
in judging whether something was ob-
scene was whether or not it had socially
redeeming value.
This raises the question of whether or
not the Ann Arbor City Council is totally
without socially redeeming value. At
least is doesn't appeal to prurient in-
terests.
-MARTIN STERN

Understanding the
new federal budget
By DICK WEST
WASHINGTON - Some more things you always wanted to know
about the new federal budget but were afraid to ask:
Q. The new budget President Nixon sent to Congress this week
calls for the government to spend $268.7 billion. in the next fiscal year.
What is a billion anyway?
A. Every country has some sort of basic monetary unit. In Britain
it is the pound, in France the franc, in Germany the mark and in
the United States it is the billion.
Q. Okay, what's a fiscal year?
A. A fiscal year is the amount of time it takes the government
to spend $268.7 billion.
Q. The budget has been variously described as "austere" and "bare
bones." What could posible be austere about $268.7 billion?
A. The austere part is the $.7 billion. Everything on the other
side of the decimal point goes for bare bones.
Q. Isn't $268 billion an awful lot to spend on bare bones?
A. Not with meat prices the way they are today.
Q. One of the visual aids prepared by the Office of Management
and Budget shows "budget dollar" sliced up like a pie. Is there
some sort of hidden symbolism in this illustration?
A. Yes. The pie-like drawing symbolizes that the budget makes
mincemeat out of the taxpayers.
Q. MILITARY SPENDING is being increased $4.7 billion next
year even though the Vietnam war supposedly is ending. Why is
this?
A. Military expenses traditionally increase in peacetime. When
the armed forces beat their swords into plowshares, they become
eligible for agricultural subsidies, which adds to the overall cost of
national defense.
Q. The budget projects $12.7 billion in deficit spending. Why do de-
ficits cost so much?
A. Deficits are expensive because most of them are created overseas
and have to be imported. Once domestic deficits become more plentiful,
they should be cheaper.
Q. WHAT GOOD are deficits anyhow? Couldn't the country get
along just as well without them?
A. Heavens no! We must have deficits to keep the national debt
growing at a healthy rate.
Q. Is the national debt really necessary?
A. Very definitely. According to some economists, the national debt
is all that is standing between us and bankruptcy.
Q. Last year, Nixon impounded some of the funds voted by Con-
gress. Does the new budget contain any funds for impounding?
A. No. This year Nixon is expected to leave the funds alone and
impound Congress instead.
Dick West is special feature writer for the United Press Interna-
tional news service.

..:::.....::: .... . n..,v i"

ready to take on the responsibili-
ity of representing HRP as a can-
didate for public office.
IN RESPONSE to this depress-
ing situation, RPP at the beginning
of January began to try to en-
courage committed, community-
oriented party activists to run for
positions on the new steering com-
mittee and for public office, and
began to seek out committed com-
munity activists who supported
HRP's programs, platforms and
elected officials but had been turn-
ed off by the direction the party
had taken since last spring, to
now participate in HRP. At the
same time, RPP concentrated its
energies on publicizing the possi-
bilities of HRP by every available
means and encouraging the com-
munity to take an active part in

r

1.

?RE XILWAUKBD JOURNAL

WThere must be a better way for us to get where we're going!)'
.: i X'+!}vn:'SVJy,-,v, SY": i:.!KyY.ri}:^.C:.?^Y.:.}:. vK;:... ..........h,:i( jji{}Q.4i,. 2
..... ,i :i~2S : } + i

I'

Letters:

Violence not restricted

to

U.S.

N

A

To The Daily:
KRISHAN BRATIA'S article on
violence in America leaves one
with the feeling that Americans
are the only one who enjoy t h i s
sport and people from other coun-
tries have to look west for vicar-
ious thrills. This is obviously f a r
from the truth and we in India,
however poor we may be, do have
our fair share of all kinds of vio-
lent deeds.,
We have our murders, police
brutality, and mass slayings in the
form of war or otherwise. Instead
of guns we use axes, sickles, kniv-
es and sometimes bricks. Or, if
worst comes to worst - plain old
teeth. These methods are slower
but eventually do the work as
well, and if we had national TV,
would make it even more colour-
ful. In any case guns are too ex-
pensive for a poor society and a
waste of national resources unless.
obtained through foreign aid. The
government is not too helpful ei-
ther and makes buying and own-
ing of guns rather difficult.
We do manage to live with fear
and have all our windows equipped
with steel bars so that cat thiev-
es and burglars are kept out most
of the time. Pickpockets have ter-
ritories to equalize income. Beg-
ging syndicates at times maime
and injure little kids (when pain
is minimum) so that they can
grow up to be qualified for t h e

per cent of the country is illiter-
ate.
The point I am trying to make is
that the U.S. is not unique in high
rates of crime and violence. What
is unique is the fact that this
exists and is tolerated in the rich-
est and most highly educated coun-
try that history has ever known. If
this is 'civilization,' does that mean
there is no hope?
-Dinesh Mohan, Grad.
Feb. 1
SGC sexism
To The Daily:
SEVERAL YEARS ago civil
rights acts were passed which
make it illegal to discriminate be-
cause of race, creed, color, sex or
age. These laws were very much
needed and proved a turning point
in American history.
Last month a vacancy appeared
on SGC. A committee was set up
to fill that seat. Interested in SGC
and where all our money was go-
ing, I applied for that seat. On
the day of my interview I received
a call from Margaret Miller, one
of the committee members, con-
cerning my -interview. She said
that because there were no blacks
and only two women on SGC, the
seat would be filled by a black fe-
male but I would still be inter-
vieweei hcane there wre nniv

statements were just as racist and
sexist as any white conservative
Ku Klux Klanner's. It is equally
discriminatory to say a white can't
do something because of their col-
or, as it is for a black not to do
it because of their color. It is just
as sexist to say a female only can
have this seat as it is to say
only males can have this seat.
In her attempt to be open to a
changing society Ms. Miller was
just as closed as George Wallace.
A person's color or sex should
not be a basis of selection for any-
thing. And to use color and sex as
the qualifications for an SGC seat
is a throwback to the days before
the civil rights acts. This should
not be tolerated.
Another interesting question:
Why was the color restricted to
blacks? I don't see any Chicanos,
Native Aniericans, Chinese, J.p-
anese, or any foreign students on
council. Why were these groups
discriminated against? I heard a
person jokingly make the state-
ment, "White males are the most
discriminated group in Ames ica
today." Sometimes I wonder if re
wasn't right.
-Laurie Artz '75
Jan. 26
r.

Concert blues
To The Daily:
I HOPE THIS brief comment on
the February 1, 1973 dance per-
formance at the Power Center fea-
turing the Alvin Ailey Dancers can
save people in Ann Arbor from an
unforgivable concert. The admis-
sion price itself was an outrage at
$8.00 a seat! No student discount
was provided. The sound system
was a mere tape recorder. The
star dancer, Judith Jamison, ap-
peared only at the end of the con-
cert for a brief dance scene that
was not even worthy of her repu-
tation. The Thursday night aud-
ience seemed disappointed with
the whole affair. What does it
mean in today's advanced society
where cultural events are at a
premium and productions such as
this one are allowed to rip off the
audience?
-David Shulman '73
Feb. 2
New World blues
To The Daily:
I AM NOT in the habit of ex-
pressing my distaste publicly for
the various institutions with whomn
I am daily forced to deal, but 1
feel obligated this time.
I recently took a hard-earned

To add insult to injury, due to
"technical difficulties" the film, an
extremely intense, and otherwise
hard-to-follow film, was interrupt-
ed three times. Lastly, this all cost
me more than any other film co-
op on campus.
I feel that this film co-op is
unorganized and has poor man-
agement and understanding of their
duty to their public. Perhaps if
film co-ops such as this did not
exist, the other, more organized,
dependable film series on campus
would be able to force the distri-
butors to recognize them and deal
with them instead of disapproving
of them and giving them a bad
name. For people who were heard
to call the distributors "capitalist
pigs" look who the capitalist pigs
really are.
-Abbie Shuman, '73
Jan. 31
Get involved-
write your reps!
Sen. Philip Hart (Dem), Rm.
253, Old Senate Bldg., Capitol
Hill, Washington, D.C. 20515.
Sen. Robert Griffin (Rep),
Rm. 353 Old Senate Bldg., Cap-
itol Hill, Washington, D.C.
?0515.

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