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February 09, 1973 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1973-02-09

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The plight of the American Indian

14e SimraicanD aIL
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 Doily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

SGC budget deficits

THE SGC budget expenditures are be-
ginning to cause some questions
around the University. People are won-
dering just how the mandatory, $1 per
term SGC fee has done them any good.
University students contributed $69,000
to SGC's $78,000 total 1972-73 income.
Of this, $9070 was allocated to conduct
an elaborate computer election last fall,
in which only ten per cent of the student
population voted.
This indicates a lack of interest and
Co-Editors in Chief
ROBERT BARKIN...................Feature Editor
DIANE LEVICK .................Associate Arts Editor
DAVID MARGOLICK ............Chief Photographer
MARTIN PORTER........... .....Magazine Editor
KATHY RICKE.....................Editorial Director
ERIC SCHOCH ...................Editorial Director
GLORIA SMITH........................Arts Editor
CHARLES STEIN................... .... City Editor
TED STEIN.......................Executive Editor
MARTIN STERN...................Editorial Director
ROLFE TESSEM ......................Picture Editor
Photography Staff
DAVID MARGOLICK...........Chief Photographer
ROLFE TESSEM..................... Picture Editor
DENNY GAINER.................Staff Photographer
THOMAS GOTTLIEB............Staff Photographer
KAREN KASMAUSKI............ Staff Photographer
Sports Staff
Sports Editor
Executive Sports Editor
BILL ALTERMAN ............ Associate Sports Editor
BOB ANDREWS.............Assistant Sports Editor
SANDI GENIS................Assistant Sports Editor
RANDY PHILLIPS ........ Contributing Sports Editor

support for the SGC and it's programs.
Another gigantic money absorber was
the SGC's $1,000 Legal Counsel Program.
The "mysterious" Legal Advocate Tom
Bentley with a salary of $13,500 a year,
receives even more money than the whole
PIRGIM program does. Currently, Legal
Council is involved in several ca'ses with-
out any concrete results.
Worth mentioning is the Student News
fiasco. SGC blew $4000 on only three is-
sues. According to SGC Executive Vice.
President Lou Glazer that program is "in
a state of collapse".
Other SGC financial debacles include
the $17,000 stalled grocery co-op, and the
lagging $82,000 "SGC Insurance Plan".
SGC president Bill Jacobs and Glazer
have agreed that it is not unusual for
SGC to go into the red financially, but
many students see this as an attempt to
justify the budget - squandering that's
gone on since September.
Today's staff:
News: Penny Blank, Michael Duweck,
Debbie Pastoria, Marilyn Riley, Ted
Editorial Page: Robert Burkoff, Denise
Gray, Kathleen Ricke, David Yalo-
wi tz
Arts Page: Barbara Bialick, Richard Glat-
zer, Sara Rimer
Photo Technician: Randy Edmonds

THOSE PEOPLE who thought that the
so-called Indian Wars ended for the
most part with the massacre (of Indians)
at Wounded Knee had better think again.
American Indians are no longer willing to
sit passively by while they are systematic-
ally oppressed, humiliated and degraded
by this country.
The most recent outbreak of Indian frus-
tration and anger came only two days ago
in Custer, South Dakota. There, a group of
Indians marched to that city's courthouse
to protest the fact that a white man ac-
cused of shooting an Indian was charged
with manslaughter instead of a more ser-
ious charge of murder. When police would
not let the protesters inside the courthouse,
a pitched battle ensued, during which the
courthouse and other buildings were set
That incident is symbolic of the plight of
Indians in America since Europeans began
settling this continent. Whether or not the
manslaughter charge is proper based on
the particular details of the Custer case,
the issue goes far beyond that place and
For over 350 years of American history
it has been very easy for a white man to
kill an Indian without fear of legal retribu-
tion. During the 19th century murder of
Indians was carried on with such vigor, and
with no fear of possible punishment that
the Indian race was in danger of extinc-
tion. Murders have not occurred on such
a mass scale in this century, but they not
Perhaps the charge is correct by normal
police procedures based on the particulars
of the case. But it is not surprising that the
Indians feel that the accused is getting
away with a lighter charge. They have 350
years of murder in their history of dealing
with the white man.
LAST NOVEMBER, Indians held a sit-in
and protest at the offices of Bureau of In-
dian Affairs in Washington. Anyone who
has ever seen 'an Indian reservation can
have some understanding of why Indians

have little respect for the Bureau of In-
dians Affairs.
The conditions on the average Indian
reservation are shocking. Unemployment
is rampant, and so is the resulting malnu-
trition and disease. Alcoholism rates among
American Indians is one of the highest in
the country. Indian reservations have the
highest suicide rates in the country. Hous-
ing conditions are often intolerable. It is
no wonder Indians are not impressed with
the efforts of the Bureau of Indian Affairs

Christianity, and the other white men's
ways necessary to be "good citizens."
SUCH WAS the basic philosophy that laid
the groundwork for the plight of Indians in
America today. The white settlers, pushing
West and following the credo of Manifest
Destiny, found Indians in their way. The
pioneers claimed the land as their own, and
considered it to be personal property in the
Anglo-European tradition.
But the Indians had a different culture.

Northwest Territory or the plains of Ne-
Dee Brown's book Bury My Heart at
Wounded Knee relates battle after mass-
acre after policy statement which illustrate
the ideology of countless white soldiers,
generals, public officials and settlers whose
solution to "the Indian problem" was geno-
Fortunately they did not get their way
completely, and not every Indian became
a "good" Indian. But after getting what it
wanted from Indian lands, often by con-
sciously ignoring and breaking treaties
which gave land to Indians "as long as the
rivers flow," white America shuffled In-
dian America off to reservations, often on
what amounted to wasteland.
WHITE AMERICA promised to take care
of the Indians on reservations, to provide
them with a decent standard of life. But
white America forgot easily, and reserva-
tions today are still in wretched condition.
What white America did not forget to
teach Indians was that their language, cul-
ture, and religion were "not as good" as
whites' language, religion, and culture.
Missionary groups set up shop on various
reservations and taught their brand of re-
ligion. Reservation schools were opened
with white teachers, and white culture and
language was taught. Indian language, cul-
ture, and religion was prohibited.
White America has forced itself onto the
dians are fighting for their rights and not
Indians, and they are now protesting. In-
depending on whites to do sot They are de-
manding that the governnient live up to
various treaty obligations. They are de-
manding the right to their own heritage.
They are demanding, in all, the right to a
decent life on their own terms.
White American tried to make Indians
into red-skinned parodies of whites. It is
high title it let Indians be Indians.
Eric Schoch is an Editorial Director on
The Michigan Daily.





to improve Indian life.
By an amendment to the U. S. Constitu-
tion, Indians were made citizens of the
United States. Of course, it is absurd that
a group of people who were living on the
American continent before white men knew
that the continent existed have to be given
permission to be citizens by law after hav-
ing been conquered and subjugated.
But it is also odd that in allowing In-
dians to be citizens, the government decided
that Indians were not capable of being citi-
zens, and so herded them onto reservations.
There, the Bureau "taught" them English,

The land, the forests, the plains and the
animals were abundant and there was-plen-
ty for all people if it wasn't wasted. The
idea of ownership of these natural resources
was alien to Indian thought. As they put it:
"A man can no more own the land than
he can own the sky. "
The conflicts between white Americans
and American Indians were basically cul-
tural and racist in nature. The credo "the
only good Indian is a dead. Indian" had
nothing to do with the n'eed for land to
contribute to America's economic well-
being, whether the land in question was the



Fuler's remedy for the specialized




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It was a fresh-as-all-outdoors
night. The line I was in hair-
snaked its way up to the entrance
of Hill Auditorium, where I was
soon relieved of a tightfisted dollar
bill and given a bright yellow per-
mission slip to hear Buckminster
Fuller. The speeth, however, was
hardly worth all the trouble.
First of all much of what Fuller
had to say was a reiteration, some-
times seemingly almost word for
word, of what I had, already read
in a couple of his books.
Also, the lecture seemed cram-
med and without real flow. I began
to be bothered by the probability
that a good portion of the aud-
ience knew him by name (After
all, he was famous and had 22
U.S. patents.), but not particularly
by philosophy. So much was being
said so quickly that the scientific
poetry of some of the principles
he was talking about was entirely
For instance, Fuller mentioned
that the geodesic dome was the
most efficient building design -
then quickly, that it was a tri-
angular sphere. I wondered if the
audience appreciated why this
principle of triangular structure
was superior to others. There was
no time to construct an explana-
tion ...
Next. Because of sound difficul-
ties at frequent intervals it be-
came impossible to recognize in-
dividual words or groups of words,
thereby breaking down the context
as a comprehensive whole. With
the lecture running along so effic-
iently, it became equally impos-
sible for words to be comprehend-
ed by catching up to my garbled
sense of sound.
Complicated by the presence of
restless heads twisting this way
and that in cosultation before mak-
ing the big decision to leave, I had
to content myself with watching

Fuller for his mime artistry and
dropping in to the content when-
ever something he was saying was
One of the things I noted with
interest was his pointing out that
he had come to a general stand-
still at the age of thirty-two and,
in the midst of this meaninglessness
with thoughts of doing away with
himself, had decided that he had
better first take a look at what he
was thinking of destroying before
he actually did it.
He found that the real Fuller had
to be traced all the way back to
childhood when he was full of na-
tural perceptions. He decided to
sweep away those things he had
been told to learn because "we
know better than you," and began
to listen intently to himself. This
was the beginning of a design in
favor of natural philosophy and
Fuller's thesis was that we have
to stop dividing ourselves up into
segments, with the end result be-
ing the snecialized man he else-
where calls "the brain slave." If
we care about bettering the lot of
man we must reorientate ourselves
to the unadulterated perceotions of
the child that enable him to "an-
prehend, comprehend, coordinate
and emplov - in all directions."
As a corollary to this, Fuller
stressed the necessity of recaptur-
ing the innate trust of the child,
as opposed to the restricting fear of
the adult, if we are to become
truly comprehensive and to be able
to discover those principles that
are written in every man and
which form the basis of the uni-
We specialists, to the extent that
we are specialized, are adults with
our defenses up. We think in terms
of fear. We think in terms of de-
finite boundary lines. Everything
inside the boundary is "safe" and
everything outside the boundary is

So we have the non-comprehen-
sive man thinking in terms of his
own "locale" whether it concerns
country, race, religion, family or
just himself as a person. It is not
difficult to see then that w i t h
such thinking environment be-
comes "everything that isn't me,"
everything that is outside of that
The soecialist denies his environ-
ment. He might look at another
country being torn apart and say
to himself, "That doesn't concern
me. It isn't1 my country." Or he
might look'/ at a slum and 1 feel
thankful that he doesn't have to re-
turn to it each night because it
isn't his home.
The extreme specialist would
have to conclude that everything
is meaningless. There is the con-
stant war between "me" and
"them" with both sides facing en-
trophy and the inevitable destruc-
Creativity is a denial of this.
Buckminster Fuller was talking
about the creative man. The crea-
tive man, the man who syntropizes
systems, recognizes that. whatever
happens in the environment occurs
concommitantly within himself.
There is no boundary line.
The great discoveries that man
has made have come about by his
trusting his perceptions, with no
prenotions, like a child, whether
you are talking about James in his
work on the will, Freud on the hu-
man mind or Newton on motion.

Fuller was basically echoing the
naturalistic philosophy of "The
American Scholar" in w h i c h
Emerson says: "Thus to him, to
this schoolboy under the bending
dome of day is suggested that he
and it proceed from one root; one
is leaf and one is flower; relation,
sympathy, stirring in every vein.
"And what is that Root? Is not
that the soul of his soul? A thought
too bold, a dream too wild. Yet
when this spiritual light shall have
revealed the law of more earthly
natures - when he has learned to
worship the soul, and to see that
the natural philosophy that now is,
is only the first gropings of its
gigantic hand, he shall loom for-
ward to an ever expanding know-
ledge as to a becoming creator.
"He shall see, that nature is the
opposite of the soul, answering to
it part for part. One is seal and
one is print. Its beauty is the
beauty of his own mind. Its laws
are the laws of his own mind.
"Nature then becomes to him the
measure of his attainments. So
much of nature as he is ignorant
of, so much of his own mind does
he not yet possess. And in line the
ancient precept "Know thyself' and
the modern precept 'Study nature'
become at last one maxim."
Fuller's words should not be
misunderstood. Perhaps many in
the audience were not familiar
enough with Buckminster Fuller
to be able to follow what he was





Buckminster Fuller
saying. But there is definite poe-
try in his words. His lecture, "Edu-
cation for Comprehensivity" is re-
conmended as an introduction to
the man. It' can be found in
the book Approaching the Benign
Environment, edited by Taylor
There is also an excellent film
that Fuller enthusiasts m i g h t
consider reshowing in Ann Arbor,
"The World of Buckminster Ful-
ler," by Robert Snyder. This film
is so thoroughly comprehensive as
to start the child murmuring and
to shake up the adult in us.





f e R x,

Psychologist remembered

_.. Y.,:


17.The Register
andi Tribune pdiat

Speaking of 'Shield Laws.. .

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... _

To The Daily:
AN IIRP PRIMARY ought to be
educating people to the injustices
in our system and, more import-
antly, to the kinds of solutions
needed to change that system.
Instead, David Sinclair and Lisa
North have blown 3000 words of
free publicity in Daily right-side
editorials by touting their various
factions. Now really, haven't we
had enough? "If articles are too
long, who will read them?" asks
Instead of ponderous factional
articles and macho posters, I hope
my campaign for the HRP Se-
cond Ward nomination can center
on real issues. Those revolve
around the inability of a system to
meet the needs of the people.
It's that system that needs ana-
lysis, not whether this or that fac-
tion is the most virtuous. Neither
The Daily, nor David and Lisa,
have ever pointed out that 90 per
cent of HRP's members and con-

HRP factions not an


to talk about in my campaign, and
I hope that the next time David
and Lisa grind out 3000 words of
copy, they do the same.
Changing the system is what
we're about. That means, to start
with, tenant-controlled rent control
and code enforcement. It means
neighborhood-controlled health and
child care as a matter of right. It
means convincing people that the
system can't meet their needs.
-Frank Shoichet
Feb. 8
Eat it
To The Daily:
HERE IS my reply to the letter
from the People's Produce Co-op.
Now look, people. Are you going
to question my dedication to the
food co-op movement to protect
David Sinclair's image? In your
letter, you say, "We question the
motivation behind Cliff Sloane's
letter. It appears he is trying to at-

many of its house members to vote
on controversial issues. P le a s e
don't take this as an attack on
the co-op; I just feel that good
energies are, being rmanipulated,
As to my dedication to food co-
ops, I can pat myself on the back
for pages, but that proves nothing.
I can run down my experiences to
anyone who calls me at 761-1409.
Call between 4 and 7, since one
of my roommates works nights).
Now about the tons of co-opera-
tion between Itemized and Peo-
ple's Produce. The truck splitting
is true, and I apologize for leav-
ing that detail out. But the market-
ing meeting is exactly what I had
mentioned in my letter as the per-
fect example of RPP power-lust.
Want to talk to others who were
present? Just call me and I'll tell
you who else was there.
Tve been mwrkinc n'i mon fndu

TU elitist
To The Daily:
ON JANUARY 31 I stopped by
the Tenants Union Office to in-
quire about the new damage de-
posit law. I was promptly told that
since I wasn't a member of the
Union (meaning that I hadn't paid
a $10 membership fee) I couldn't
be informed about the law.
Now, even though I can see the
need for "drawing the line" be-
tween services given to non-mem-
bers vs. members, I can't believe
any member would be petty enough
to begrudge me a quick summary
of this law. A student-oriented or-
ganization in a University office
building has a certain responsib.l-
ity to the students of the commun-
ity, a little common "humanness"
not the least of it. After this epi-
sode, I doubt if I will ever pay the
$10 fee for the privilege of belong-
ing to this elitist organization.
__ena. sn,.imxvkGrn

On January 27 a man died who
was important to and loved by a
large part of the University com-
munity. Professor Peter R. Mat-
tis' thirty-first birthday would have
been today. I' want to remember
by friend especially today and
more, to share with others the
memory that is all we can still
hold of him. My own thoughts are
amplified by remembrances of Pet-
er voiced by his family, his teach-
ers, his students and his friends
a tthe Memorial Service held at
the University last week.
Peter Mattis was a unique man.
Most of those who knew him were
fortunate to recognize this unique-
ness while he was still with us.
We all know that we encountered a
man of stature, a man who...
ma ftouched and moved more
neople in his three short decades
than most people do in a life-
time . . . a man who could han-
dle his tenderness and his power
with integrity."
Born in Queens, N.Y. . . . a
fanatic rooter of the Brooklyn Dod-
gers in their heyday and the New
York Mets in theirs . . . a Ph.D.
from the Ohio State University and
a skilled psychotherapist . . . a
developing Community Psycholog-
ist who encouraged professionalism
in police, striving to maximize by
consultation those parts of t h e
police role to which citizens turned
in times of personal turmoil . . . the
Chairman of the Community Psy-
chology Area at the University of
Michigan who strugaled to create a

he's like a Kansas tornado when
suddenly amid the calm of a lazy
sumer's afternoon - POW!
WHAMO! - out of nowhere he
articulates an original idea. For-
tunately not all twisters touch
ground now, but so what?"
I think he loved sports and teach-
ing most, although I'm not sure
in what order of priority. He used
to tell me of a Dodger pitcher who
would practice every variation of
every pitch for hours on end until
every munscle fibre ached with the
strain. Yet the newspapers called
this man "a natural talent." It
was the same way with Peter. The
only time his office door was clos-
ed to others was the hour immed-
iatelv preceding a lecture. During
this hour of concentration, he pains-
takingly reviewed histnotes, or-
chestrating his thoughts into an
onening and a closing which re-
flected his ironic twist of humor
and with his profound thoughtful-
ness and clarity in between. Yet
he too was seen as a "natural"
by those who believed that his
wit and brilliance of insight stem-
med from a talent for spontane-
ity alone. I knew better.
"There was an analogy to sports
in Peter - the ruggedness, the
sense of both freedom and oar-
ticipation, the camaraderie. Now
he too is- one offthe' 'Boys of
Slimmer' - cujt off in his prime
but remembered only in his glory
and his youth."
He was alive and vital. engag-
ing. Often combative. Always car-

those things which most people
wait for."
To Peter, the life process was
everything. Accomplishment and
goals less so. He engaged us all
in the life process - not as an
egotist in his struggle alone - but
in the struggle we all face to grow
and strive towards that which we
wish for ourselves and those we
love. And in that engagement to
mutgal struggle, we all grew. He
was changing rapidly and deter-
minedly in both body and spirit in
recent months. That makes his loss
all the more confusing and enrag-
"He said to me that he's always
know the pain and hardness of
the struggle, but for the f i r s t
time in his life he could really
feel the exuberance and c a l m
which were also part of the strug-
gle. And I'm so glad that he
came to tknow that joy. It is
both the struggle and the exu-
berance which we must carry
with us always."
Peter's stuggle with life and
death is over now. Ours lies ahead.
The energy that drains us in ex-
pressing anger, guilt, sadness must
be turned to the total involve-
ment in all life struggles, because
our community is drawn m o r e
tightly together now around the
vacuum that he's left. He helped
many of us better understand what
has to be done. We are beginning
to begin.. But let us pause today to
remember those parts of him
which sparked the best, (and the




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