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March 14, 1973 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1973-03-14

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Eighty-two years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

A call

for welfare reform

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14, 1973

American tragedy

MANY AMERICANS probably reacted
with amazement and disgust upon
hearing of the Indian takeover of
Wounded Knee.
"Why the nerve of those people: You'd
think they owned the place!"
Indians just didn't do things like that.
They were the quiet noble red men who
said "how" a lot in the movies, and al-
ways accepted the "great white father's"
beads and treaties with a few puffs of
the everready peace pipe.
Indians were the people who entertain-
ed trainloads of tourists with their exotic
dances to snakes and rain gods and who
wove feather covered baskets to decorate
our basement walls.
Indians were our quiet minority-they
didn't sit in, or cry for "red power."
But most Americans didn't see the ter-
rible poverty of the reservations-barren
stretches of prairie and mountains that
kept a proud people in a state of perpet-
ual reliance on a niggardly government.

ple unable to get work because their
guardian, the United States, had left
them untrained and ill-educated on
reservations where few jobs exist.
MOST AMERICANS really couldn't com-
prehend the act of defiance that was
symbolized in the occupation of a town
where 200,Indian men, women, and chil-
dren were butchered under the blazing
artillery of the U.S. Cavalry 80 years ago.
Yes, most Americans could not really
understand why these people had moved
to reclaim a piece of this land, land that
was once theirs.
"The nerve of those Indians! You'd
think they owned the place!"
TIoday's stiff:

By PETER RUSH
AN EMERGENCY meeting of
thirty welfare activists, trade
union militants, and socialist or-
ganizers recently launched a na-
iional organizing campaign for a
:elegated National Welfare Rights
Organization conference in Phill-
adelphia on March 31 - before
Nixon and Faith Evans, his NWRO
:ratchet person, can complete their
Mans to destroy welfare organiza-
tion in the U.S.
Constituting itself the Committee
to Rebuild NWRO, the meeting
mapped out plans to reach during
the next eight weeks every active
welfare organizer still committed
to struggling against the slave
labor plans and welfare cuts now
sweeping across the country. It
further resolved topropose to the
Philadelphia conference that the
NWRO expand its focus to become
the first national organizationof
the unemployed in over thirty
years, incorporating within its
ranks the growing numbers of the
unemployed, veterans, students
and underemployed, unorganized
workers.
The meeting was the latest step
in a bitter factional struggle be-
gun by NWRO founder Jeannette
Washington against NWRO's sell-
out leadership, presently under the
control of OEO-employed F a i t h
Evans. It brought together repre-
sentatives of the majority of re-
maining active East Coast welfare
rights chapters from Boston, Cn-
necticut, upstate New York, New
York City, Philadelphia and Wash-
ington, D.C.
AS A BODY, these fifteen in-
dividuals represent the few cour-
ageous organizers remaining af-
ter ten years of the black struggle,
beginning with the civil-! rights
movement. Unlike the hundreds of
black activists who have dropped

"Thanks to the wrecking action performed by
Nixon's HEW and the FBI, National Welfare
Rights Organization is heading toward a pre-
mature death."
YV.-":':?":: ?'??'{;: r"':"':d:::<:":"J}:"?4t}" : . ! " . { sa"1 :?}.<< ?.J.; :t:

out of organizing or have been lur-
ed into government jobs, these wo-
men have continued org4,nizing,
even in the face of NWRO's slow,
two-year collapse. Together th e y
resolved to keep welfare organiz-
ing alive, to work "arm in arm
with every welfare organizer to
save what is left of NWRO and
to rebuild it, whether or not we
agree on every issue."
Thanks to the wrecking opera-
tion performed by Faith Evans
along with Nixon's HEW and the

pell them from NWRO if they
failed to hold "special elections" he.
demanded in the letters.
Meanwhile, on September 1 he
let the cat out of the bag with
his announcement of an upcoming
Eastern Regional meeting set for
Sept. 23.
Point number two of the slated
agenda was "two Regional Pro-
posals for funding," one of which
was soon revealed to be a flat
grant for "cooperative" WRO
members from the notoriously anti-

FBI, NWRO is rapidly heading
towards a premature death. For
the past five months Evans h a s
confused and disorganized NWRO's
Eastern Region under orders from
Nixon. Despite the twists and turns
taken by this campaign, Evan s
and HEW's disruptive activities
serve only one purpose: to demor-
alize NWRO activists with endless
meetings, to convince them they
have no choice but to drop out of
organizing or cooperate with t h e
government, to leave them w i t h
only the shell of a national organi-
zation, incapable of either leading
a national fight against workfare
or even publishing the Wdlfare
Fighter. With NWRO and all the
organizers it used to represent out
of the way, nothing can stop Nix-
on's plans to recycle the working
class.
Late in August Evans began his
wrecking work in earnest, sending
letters on August 30 and 31 to
Washington D.C., New Jersey and
Boston WRO's threatening to ex-

union Johnson and Johnson Com-'
pany - a major source of funds
for Evans' disorganizing these
days. The third projected agenda
topic was discussion concerning
"our continued relationship with
NWRO," which directly referred
to his and HEW's plans to split
up the national organization by
first splitting off and dismantling
the Eastern Region.
Just as Evans had planned, the
Sept. 23 regional itself on the sur-
face achieved very little, but in
reality - because of the wide-
spread confusion and chaos it
created - went further towards
unravelling Eastern Regional
NWRO. During the three months
that followed it, Evans pushed
ahead with his disorganizing by
excluding Inner City WRO from
a phony WRO organizing campaign
in Boston, and by leaving N.J.
WRO without any national assist-
ance at a time of fierce repres-
sion of welfare activists and re-
cipients in general in New Jersey.
During that same period .'ean-
ette Washington began a campaign
to expose Evan's dirty work and
put NWRO on a new positive foot-
ing. This campaign was answered

by Evans and his clique on No-
vember 11 in Baltimore at ni!her
Eastern Regional meeting - one
of the many pointless meetings-
Evans has called to both confuse
and wear people out. At his meet-
ing, Washington was singled out
for attack and was threatened with
expulsion by supporters of : n e
Evans clique. Finally on December
12 Evans announced the illegal
suspension of Washington as Tist-
ern Regional Representative and
called yet another phony special
Eastern Regional meeting for Jan.
13 to rubberstamp his decision.
THIS RUMP MEETING of less
than 40 handicapped Evans sup-
porters in Washington D.C. was
picketed by Philadelphia, Washing-
ton and New York WRO organiz-
ers, who held a press conference
denouncing Evan's plans to sus-
pend Jeannette Washington.tAlong
with supporters in other cities, the
picketers had issued a call to boy-
bott the meeting and to build a
real delegated NWRO convention
by late March. This most recent
meeting, held a couple of weeks
ago, worked out the policy and
some of the details of the upcom-
ing conference.
At this meeting Jeannette Wash-
ington outlined her perspectives
for reconstructing NWRO. Review-
ing the past history of NWRO, she
criticized its former leaders f o r
failing to put into practice what it
had preached: a policy of perm-
anent, well-planned coalitions with
unemployed and underemployed
workers, housing activists, s t u-
dents, and trade unionists fighting
for adequate income, dignity and
economic justice for all. She cited
the phony, paper-thin alliances
with the SCLC, NAACP and the
NTO as responsible for leaving
welfare organizers isolated from
potential class allies. '"All these
groups - the SCLC, the CP, the
YWLL, the Muslims, the Panthers
- have fallen asleep in the U.S.
today," she asserted. "We've got
to make them sweat, we've g't to

make them work with us."
Washington placed special em-
phasis on organizing into an ex-
panded NWRO the rapidly swell-
ing ranks of unemployed veterans
now coming home: "Nobody's talk-
ing about the job creation neces-
sary so they can lead productive
lives."
Recently, Bobby Seale endors-
ed the class-wide organizing t h a t
the March 31st conference in Phil-
adelphia represents.
L. Marcus, National Chairman of
the Labor Committees, spoke after
Washington and explained t h e
broader purpose of the capitalists'
slave labor plans; "recycling" first
welfare recipients and then the
unemployed in and out of the jobs
presently employed workers at low-
er and lower wages for all. Im-
pending depression, he pointed out,
leaves thedcapitalist no choice but
to drive down. the wage levels of
the entire world working class in
this manner. Such a widely un-
popular policy, however, would be
impossible for a tiny group of cap-
italists to directly impose on the
population. For this reason, he con-
tinued, "they must use judo -- pit
the employed against the unem-
ployed."
THE AVERAGE WORKER, Mar-
cus emphasized, will not yet want
to face up to this reality because
he still has some attachment to
the capitalist system. He will con-
sole himself by saying, "I have
an angle, some small husle that
will allow me to make it - if need
be at the expense of anyone else."
But as trade unions crumble,
speedup intensifies, and real wages
plunge those handfuls of trade
unionists with the guts to face the
truth will begin looking beyond
trade unionism for class ' allies
among the student, welfare and un-
employed population.
Peter Rush is a member of the
Socialist, Nationalist Caucus of
Labor Committees.

r

Y

News: Mike Duweck,
Judy Ruskin, David
sem

Gene Robinson,
Stoll, Rolfe Tes-

Most Americans
countless number of
drew young Indians

never visited
skid-row bars
like magnets,

the
that
peo-

Editorial Page: Kathleen Ricke
Arts Page: Diane Levick
Photo technician: John Upton

Tryin'

to make it real

.t

X

1 ', '

By ALTA STARR
'Tis true
my pearls were beads of sweat
wrung for weary bodies' pain,
instead of rings upon my hands
I wore swollen bursting veins.
My ornaments were the whip-lash's
scar
my diamond, perhaps, a tear.
'Instead of paint and powder on my
face
I wore a solid mask of fear to see my
blood so spilled.
And you, women seeing
spoke no protest
but cuddled down in your pink slavery
as though somehow my wasted blood
confirmed your superiority.'
Beulah Richardson
NASCENT YET, the singular move-
ment of black women, as women, I
believe can be realized. Because the
necesary sense of urgency is obscured
behind the facade of other forms of ex-
pressed empathy and solidarity, the few
omens appear as ignored and undeci-
phered glyphs. But listen to the voices
sometimes, though I am not inducing
you to magnify what in any case is only
rudimentary and fragmentary. If there
is a "feminine consciousness" (and the
words embody a trailing off behind the
ineffably seductive); its roots are here.
"Ain't is hard to stumble
got no place to fall?
If the wolfman's knocking at your door,
may not have place at all."
Bernice Reagon
'Matriarch Blues'
There are continuing arguments as' to
the value of cultural nationalism. In the
final analysis, some say, it is only a dis-
traction from the ultimate human con-
cerns and the fulfillment of those con-
cerns. To the extent that racialism eas-
ily allows for a certain immobilization
and stasis, by its tendency to mystifica-
tion and stereotyping, it indisputably
becomes self-defeating. James Baldwin
says, in a discussion of the dynamics
operating in a certain group of expatriat-
es: "For one thing, it becomes impos-
sible, the moment one thinks of it, to
predicate the existence of a common
experience. The moment one thinks
about it, it becomes apparent that there
is no such thing. That experience is a
private, and a very largely speechless af-
fair is the principal truth.. ." Agreed.
And still we find the world of individuals
constantly involved in the charting of
analogous hypotheses and experiments,
discoveries and frustration; the hope
evidently being that somehow corre-
spondence will be found, and from cor-
respondence will grow support, and from
support-change.
"We been had/we been took/ we
been misled"
You should hear the 'Harambee Sing-
ers.' Bernice Reagon is the guiding force
behind the group which consists of four
black women. During the peak of the
civil rights movement in the South, she
was .a member of the Freedom Singers.
She and her songs have changed in con-
gruence with the shifts in the political
emphases of the black liberation strug-
gle. To hear them is to live momentarily

dom in the air' came forth with an ur-
gency and pain that brought out'a sense
of intense renewal and commitment to
liberation.
James Forman
This is not to suggest a return to only
songs and praying. Remember and re-
discover that the impetus resulting in
such creation is not one of purely in-
dividual exprience.
"I wish that it had not been necessary
to become socially and politically
oriented.
I don't want to be Jesus Christ. I don't
know beans about politics-I mean
technically. But I had to choose this
way. My people were in trouble."
Nina Simone
And Nina sings.
"They say you live to fuss and fight
and bring a good man down.

build a movement out of this in some
ways elusive, perhaps errant, and in any
case emotional sensibility?.
'We been had/ we been took/ we
been misled"
Radcliffe College is sponsoring in May,
through the offices of assistant dean
Doris Mitchell, a symposium entitled
"Black Women: Myths and Realities."
The guiding rationale appears to be that
sisters caq begin to approach the task
of self-definition and self-direction with
definite focus. It is an excellent idea, and
the title in particular encompasses the
dilemma in which we find ourselves. For
example, we watched our seduction by
the Moynihan myth of the black matriar-
chy. And continually, still, we miss the
union and explication of our perceptions
of the reality through which we are
living, and through which we wish to

to: How does one begin to subvert the
alienation forced upon one by apartment
living in New York City?
The answers struggled out with as
much difficulty as the questicn, and only
when individuals began to relate their
personal experiences of a group suppor-
tiveness and closeness, did any pattern
emerge. Mothers and children and all
living without men, worked and shared
the fruits of that work. Those non-preg-
nant, or for whatever reason unemploy-
ed, kept their children and those of the
working mothers. And sisters talked of
food co-ops.
"In the end/ unity will be thrust
upon us"
Gil Scott-Heron
On a hot Southern summer day, the
first gljnmers of an idea that only ef-

Letters to The Daily

Election
To The Daily:
IT IS MY concern as Elections
Director to disperse any doubts
about the validity of the SGC
elections. It is for these reasons
that I have appointed Paul, How-
ard as Assistant Elections Direc-
tor for computer programming.
Furthermore, as provided in the
election code, section 14.62 the
computer program is now current-
ly available to all curious consti-
tuents.
Elections are going to be com-
ing up next month, and it is my
job to make sure as many people
will vote as possible. There are
many controversial issues, and
powerful positions to be elected
and decided. It is my sincere hope
that turnout will be large, and
will not be marred by petty C&R
and CSJ suits as in the past. If a
large turnout occurs, the student
governments of this campus will
have some clout and be able to
place a wedge into the facultytand
administration for many "of their
anti-student stands. With this let-
ter, I also wish to kick off the slo-
gan of the election. Represent
yourself and, in the immortal
words of Charles Schultz's Lucy in
the "Peanuts" comic strip "Vote
for the Blockhead of your Choice."
Ken Newbury
SGC Member and
Elections Director.
Gu iards
To The Daily:
WITHIN THE past few weeks
the University Safety Department
has instructed the Burns Guard
Agency that current University of
Michigan students are no longer to
be used as guards on the Ann Ar-
bor campus. Although the exact
reasons for this decisions are un-
known, it has been rumored that
the Safety Department is concern-
ed that guards might use their ac-
cess to University buildings to
change grade transcripts or to ac-
quire sensitive academic informa-
tion.
Apparently the University con-
tinues to believe that it can limit
employment opportunities f o r
whole classes of persons (minori-

ties, women, and now students) at
will. Apparently the University is
correct, for students are no longer
being hired as campus guards.
I find it intolerable that a deci-
sion such as this should be made
without public discussion and with-
out compelling justification. Does
every guard on campus have ac-
cess to academic materials and
records? Are internal procedures
of the University so sloppy that
one can change his academic re-
cord merely by altering one or two
documents?
If a present student can change
his academic record, how about
the U of M graduate who is em-
ployed as a guard because he has
been unable to find work in his
field of preference? The Burns Ag-
ency has been providing guard
service on campus for over a
year; what circumstances sudden-
ly impell the exclusion of student
guards?
What exactly is the problem,
and why was this solution select-
ed?
R.J.
March 11
, Peace
To The Daily:
TWO RECENT letters in The
Daily my Mohammed Saleh and
Riad Al-Awar have drawn my ire.
Both students used the context of
the tragic downing of the Libyan
passenger airliner with the appar-
ent intent of condemning Israel
for totally unrelated acts.
Firstly, I want to express my
deeply felt grief at the tragedy.
There is no excuse, whatsoever,
for destroying a commercial plane
that is filled with innocent civil-
ians. For that barbarous act, Is-
rael deserves severe condemna-
tion.
However, Mr. Al-Awar satirical-
ly writes of "the 'courage' of the
two 'heroic' Israeli airmen . ."
No Israeli would even think in
those terms. No Israeli would con-
sider the gunning down of inno-
cent civilians as "courageous" or
"heroic." Nor would any Israeli
consider the machine-gunning of
airline passengers inside the air
terminal, or the slaughter of

Olympic athleties as being "cour-
ageous"tor "heroic." I am no'
trying to allude to any revenge
factor because the Libyan tragedy
is unrelated to the Lod Airport
tragedy.
Mr. Al-Awar's statement, "
once again the revolting spectacle
of Israeli ruthlessness toward its
Arab neighbors." There is no jus-
tification, I repeat, for the mur-
der of civilians, but Al-Awar's pos-
ture of Arab innocence in the
Arab-Israeli conflict .is totally fa-
lacious. He also states that "it
was Israel thatsrejected Jarring's
peace initiatives . . ." The fact is
that Sadat said he would accept
them conditionally is Israel with-
drew from all occupied Arab ter-
ritory BEFORE the start of the ne-
gotiations. Israel answered that it
would negotiate first before with-
drawing.
Mr. Saleh's argument, on the
other hand, centers on the more
historical problems of the Arab-
Israeli conflict. He hypothesizes
that peace will only come if Israel
would allow the return of the Pal-
estinian refugees into a nebulously
projected bi-national state. Mr. Sa-
leh forgets, however, that when
the Jews were advocating such a
plan ,the Arabs responded by un-
mitigated attacks at Hebron
(1921), Tel-Hai (1922), and scores
of other towns and settlements in
1929 and 1936-39. The existing Arab
states opposed the Partition Reso-
lution of 1947 in the United Na-
tions and attacked Israel one day
after the Declaration of Indepen-
dence (14 May 1948). Since then,
Nasser and the Syrians clamored
to "sweep the Jews into the sea."
Such actions and rhetoric seem to
disprove Mr. Saleh's conditions
for peace.
In conclusion, it is only mature
responsibility on the part of both
the Arabs and the Israelis that can
make peace possible. And mature
responsibility includes the guaran-
tees of safety for airline passen-
gers on all flights and in all air-
ports. The abolition of the killing
of civilians would be. a great step
for all of mankind.
Ira E. Hoffman '73
1 March

I

Y

And don't know how to treat him
when he takes you on the town.
They say you ain't behind him
and just don't understand,
and I think that you're a woman,
but acting like a man.
Hey gal, what you gonna do?
* * *
When you love a man enough,
you're bound to disagree,
Ain't nobody perfect
Cause ain't nobody free."
from 'Blues for Mama"
MILLIONS OF WORDS have by this
time been devoted to the study of
black music: that unique area of musi-
cal expression created by Afro-Ameri-
cans from the geperous heart of their
experience. For example, we might
agree with Samuel Charters, authorof
The Poetry of the Blues: "It is in some
ways discomforting to think of the blues
as an expression of "differentness,"
since it is the difference between Negro
and white in America which has been
used as the justification for preventing
the Negro from taking his place in
American society, but there is a differ-
ence in tradition and in the social me-
mory which gives to both blacks and
whites their distinctiveness." The great
beauty of the blues is partly that it is
not a constant caterwauling of social pro-
test but the lucid and poetic presenta-
tion of a shared lifestyle and sensibility.
"I sing the blues of a woman that
has to tell it like it is

live; simply because it is so easy to
accept the idealization, those titular and
usually meaningless idealizations of our
being.
FEMINISM. Not just the 'same rights'
as men; as in political and economic
'status'; which was made obvious in
1949 with the publication of The Second
Sex by Simone de Beauvoir. No, more
than anything else the righteous and in-
trinsic concern of feminism appears to
me to be the liberation of one's psychol-
ogy, and one's self-definition, from the
essentially incorrect and oppressive de-
finition of some other.
"I
am a black woman
tall as a cypress
strong
beyond all definition still
defying place
and time
and circumstance
assailed
impervious
indestructible
Look on me and be
renewed.
Mari Evans
But this is mythology.
"We been had/ we been took/ we
been misled"
Mythology has its place, but the pos-
sibility of seduction into a rigid and
atrophying consciousness is imminent.
This is not tryin' to make it real.

fronts at solidarity - and perhaps, soli-
darity as black women, could ease the
battle for survival.
There is now strong and vocal inter-
est in questions raised by the constant
exposure of the injustices in courts and
prisons. People identify with prisoners
unjustly held and gagged defendants in
the courts, for here are the most visible
manifestations of the bars around all our
lives and the cruel gags that hold back
articulation.
"Let us units out of love! not hate"
Gil Scott-Heron
Too much to ask. Many steps must oc-
cur before unity, all those painful steps
at constant self-definition, and definition
of the political realities.
Psyche. Not jivin', but that may be
hard to realize til wechase Freud out
of the door, and Grier and Cobbs too
unless they succeed in their efforts to
free they phychological orientation from
models of psychopathology, and c o m e
full-circle to re-definitions in conjunct/
with black culture. Nations consist of
individuals, and for the time being, most
individuals are shaped by the cauldron,
or cesspool, or nest of their families,
or the absence of family. No more vis-
ible chains on the body, the ultimate
>attleground is for the chains of defini-
tions and fantasy that hang on the mind.
Feminism. Not simply the right to con-
trol one's body but one's mind. The right
to a new psychology. The right .to re-
assess the possible ways in which in-

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14, 1973
Pisces prefer to live alone.,
Pisces. (Feb. 19-March 20). You will find your-
self placed in the middle as friends bicker. Don't
get too involved. A romantic remark received may
be misleading. Don't be too hopeful.
Aries. (March 21-April 19). Day will run smooth-
ly. Towards evening begin finding new diversions
with friends. Frolic to the bars. What else can
one do in A2?
Taurus. (April 20-May 20). Activities around the
house or apt. will stimulate creativity today. Con-
centrate on little things and you will find the
day more rewarding. Shower favors.

r sign s
humour will enhance your appeal tonight. Locate
new adventures.
Virgo. (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). You can take many
chances today if you don't jump in too deep. Avoid
worrying. Entertainment and happiness will be
found with another in a lucrative retreat.
Libra. (Sept. 23-Oct.22). A rather off-beat day.
Relax and enjoy the social and party life. Possi-
bly even a psychic discovery in store. Retain good
judgment for tomorrow's work.
Scorpio. (Oct. 23-Nov. 21). Organize your day
and complete one term paper today.
Sagittarius. (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). A day of action.
Complete business and school work in the early
hours. The evening should bring relaxation and

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