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September 21, 1972 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1972-09-21

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Private clubs:

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

The right to discriminate

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individugl opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.
Mc overn antd parochiaid

OUGHT THE LAW permit private clubs
and associations to discriminate on the
basis of race, sex, religion, etc.? Yes, in
some cases; no, in others. But deciding
which cases are which and why, can be
Two different kinds of questions need to
be asked about any given instance. First:
What is the real nature of the association
in question. Is it truly private? Or is it,
under that guise, performing a public serv-'
ice or an official function in which dis-
criminatory practice will work inevitable in-
justice? This aspect of the problem I discus-
sed briefly last week. (Daily, Sept. 15).
Second: Does the private association in
question receive support from the entire
community - direct or indirect special
benefits which entitle the government to
forbid that private group to discriminate in
ways inconsistent with public policy? What
rights of inspection and supervision of
membership policy do the varieties of gov-
ernmental assistance justify? This cluster of
questions I open in this column and one to
In the tangle of real community life virt-
ually all private associations receive some
variety of support from the government -
most of it not in the form of direct subsidy.
For present purposes I distinguish seven
categories of government assistance to pri-
vate organizations; no doubt this scheme

could be much refined: (1) Outright sub-
sidy; (2) Essential services - fire and po-
lice protection, etc.; (3) Incorporation; (4)
Liquor licenses; (5) The, use of public facil-
ities - parks, streets, meeting halls, etc.;
(6) Tax exemption of income; and T a x
deductibility of gifts,
I PROPOSE- to put forward a set of print
ciples, very briefly defended, using these
categories, that will answer partially the
cluster of questions with which I began.
Some of my conclusions require a more de-
tailed justification than present space al-
lows; and some borderline cases will re-
main puzling whatever the set of principles
defended; but a little progress is better
than none. I attend in what follows to the
geuninely private social club - one which
offers no unique service to the community
at large, dominates no public facilities, and
serves no official functions.
1. Outright subsidy, the extreme case, is
easy. If the community offers grants from
the public treasury to a private organization
- a school or an orchestra, etc. - it may
surely do so upon the condition that public
policy not be flouted in the use of those
2. Essential services - fire protection,
health inspection, etc. - are not provided
to private organizations as special bene-
fits, but in the interests of all. 'It is the
well-being of the entire community that is

protected by such services. The member-
ship policies of private groups, therefore,
cannot justify the withdrawal of such serv-
3. A corporate charter, althougn not es-
sential in the way that fire and police pro-
tection are, is vital to many associations.
But some argue that such charters give a
kind of state authorization, and (more-
over) bring the financial advantage of lim-
ited liability, and that therefore the grant
of a charter is a benefit properly withheld
from organizations that discriminate. This
argument is mistaken; it misconstrues the
basic function of the charter. The "authori-
zation" that a corporate charter provides is
the concrete realization of the right to as-
sociation and assembly; it is the practical
condition of the exercise of that right. Nor
does any special advantage accrue, for
there is no limit to the number of corporate
charters a state can grant, and such chart-
ers are available to all, individuals as well
as groups, on an equal basis. No approval
or inspection of membership policy by gov-
ernment ought to be involved in the mat-
ter of incorporation.
4. Liquor licenses are more problematical.
There is, first of all, obscurity and uncer-
tainty regarding the justification of state
licensing in, general, and of liquor licens-
ing in particular. These matters cannot be
entered here; but I underscore the as-
sumption, rarely questioned, that the health

McGovern, in an obvious gesture to
the traditionally Democratic Roman
Catholic voters and the powerful head.
of the Ways and Means Committee, Wil-
bur Mills, came out Tuesday urging tax
credits for children in parochial schools.
McGovern said he favored something
along the lines of a bill pushed by Mills
and other Denocratic congressmen call-
ing for a $200 annual tax credit for each
child attendiig, a qualified non-public
Showing good political sense, McGov-
ern chose the largest Catholic high school
within the largest Catholic archdiocese
in the country to make his speech.
But in his scrambling for the Catholic
vote McGovern overlooked a few things.
Because'of the harsh religious repres-
sion in England and other countries our
founding fathers made a clear separation
between Church and state. What they
wished to avoid at all costs was the estab-
lishment of an "official church". The
Supreme Court wisely ruled this covered
and outlawed public tax support for pri-
vate and religious schools.
MORE IMPORTANT is the fact that the
American taxpayer has enough trou-

and safety of the community requires the
restriction of the time, place and quantity
of liquor sales.
THE NUMBER of liquor licenses being
now sharply limited, the award of such a
license to sell to the public is clearly a
financial benefit not available to all. A
private club that really functions like a
public tavern, and benefits financially there-
by, may rightly have its liquor license con-
ditioned upon non-discriminatory service.
That, in effect, has been the recent hold-
ing of the Supreme Court. But where a club
license serves merely to insure that alcohol
consumption by members, in their own club-
house, goes on within regulations laid down
by the state for all such consumption, its
award is not basically a financial issue.
Community health and safety may be in-
volved, but special benefits are not given.
I conclude that, in applications for such a
license, the conduct and opinions of the
applicants in matters not relating to the
health issues which justify the licensing,
ought not even enter consideration.
The most difficult cases of all - those
concerning tax benefits, and the use of
public facilities - I shall discuss tomor-
This is the second in a three part series
by Carl Cohen, professor of Philosophy in
the Residential College, examining the right
of private groups to discriminate.

ble supporting a public school system;
which at is best is mediocre and at its
worst leaves its students illiterate.
When many public school systems are
on the verge of bankruptcy, when some
are cutting back heavily on the nuihber
of classes and teachers, it is absurd to
start spending money supporting non-
public schools. If parents, for whatever
reasons, feel they do not wish to send
their children to public schools, that is
their right. But they should not expect
nor receive financial benefits from the,
American taxpayer.
Ninety per cent of the nation's school-
aged children are in the public school
system. McGovern, Nixon, and all the
other politicians should stop pandering
to the special interest of the Roman
Catholic voters and concentrate on im-
proving our dismal public school sys-
MAYBE when we can ensure that the
majority of America's school children
are receiving an adequate education the
discussion can turn to whether or not
the American taxpayer should finance
private schools.'
Associate Managing Editor


. . .....vbn" . .. { . x .. . ; {....v ": . . y : i i :r'' i ; .i i " 'i i i i : .t~ ~ . . . .



Suppressing day care,

rivals Marie Antoinette with his own
"Let them eat cake" attitude toward
University mothers and their need for
day care centers.
Fleming has repeatedly said that the
University has no money in its budget to
fund day care and that he feels it is not
a priority issue in education. When Nancy
Burghardt, county coordinator of the
Human Rights Party, asked him at yes-
terday's day care rally, "Isn't it an edu-
cational issue when women with chil-
dren can't go to school?", Fleming re-
plied, "They made a free choice to have
In other words, women who choose to,
have children-and those who have no
choice because of strict state abortion
Editorial Staff
PAT BAUER ... Associate Managing Editor
ROSE SUE BERS'TEIN ....Associate Managing Editor
LINDSAY CHANEY...............Editorial Director
MARK DILLEN.................. Magazine Editor
LINDA DREEBEN.......Associate Managing Editor
TAMMY JACOBS ................... Managing Editor
LORIN LABARDEE...............Personnel Director
ARTHUR LERNER ..................Editorial Director
JONATHAN MILLER ............ ...Feature Editor
ROBERT SCHREINER..........Editorial Director
GLORIA SMITH......................Arts Editor.
ED SUROVELL .....................Books Editor
PAUL TRAVIS ...........Associate Managing Editor
NIGHT EDITORS: Robert Barkin, jan Benedetti,
Chris Parks, Gene Robinson, Zachary Schiller, Ted
COPY EDITORS: Diane Levick, Jim O'Brien, Charles
Stein, Marcia Zoslaw.I
DAY EDITORS: Dave Burhenn, Daniel Jacobs, Jim
Kentch, Marilyn Riley, Nandy Rosenbaum, Judy
Ruskin, Paul Ruskin, Sue Stephenson, Karen Tink-
lenberg, Becky Warner.
Frisinger, Matt Gerson, Nancy Hackmeier, Cindy
Hill, John Marston, Linda Rosenthal, Eric Schoch,
Marty Stern, David Stoll, Doris Waltz,
Business Staff
Business Manager

laws or religion--must expect to remain
house-bound with no hope of working or
attending school.
DAY CARE CENTERS are clearly need-
ed to free married and divorced or
separated parents--male and female-as
well as University staff, and to provide
their children with an enriching educa-
tional experience. The University has an
obligation to provide day care for two
reasons. First of all, it is the largest em-
ployer in Ann Arbor and attracts work-
ers with young children.. The employes
cannot afford baby-sitters.
Second, if the University is seriously
interested in an affirmative action pro-
gram for women's equality, day care cen-
ters should be an integral part of the
plan to allow for women with children
to even get to that point where affirma-
tive action programs become relevant.
But Fleming refuses to use University
discretionary funds to support day care
because the funds are part state-appro-
priated and part student tuition. He can-
not see using students' money for day
care which only a "minority" (married
students) would use. One might wonder
why married students, especially women,
are a minority in the first place. Might
it be that women with children can't go
to school because there is no day care?
Fleming's logic seems to go in circles. It
is the logic-which will keep women "in
their place."
SOMEWHERE IN THE University, whe-
ther in the discretionary funds or
not, there is money for day care. Finding
it is a matter of re-shuffling priorities,
which the Administration won't do. As a
result, the one day care center on campus
that does exist may soon be forced to
close. The Child Care Action Center,
which serves about 40 University staff
and student families, is facing a finan-
cial crisis, not able to run adequately on
parents' fees alone. With its two teachers
overworked and underpaid, the center is
asking the University for about $15,000
a year.
The University has never given it a
cent but has provided a grossly inade-
quate space for it on the third floor of
the School of Education.
That's more than the University has
done for the North Campus day care
committee, which is trying to establish a
second center. In a random sample poll
of 270 North Campus households, the
committee found that 80.5 per cent said
they would use a day care center if it
were set up. Yet Fleming told the rally
yesterday, "We have discussed with ten-
ants whether they want a child care cen-
ter out there. They do not."
Although day care supporters are de-
manding a "comprehensive on-going
child care program" from the Univer-
sity, the very least that the Administra-

on SCs plight
LAST WEEK saw Student Government Council going through its first
embarrassing and time wasting conflict of the yearl It undoubtedly
will not be its last.
During last Tuesday's meeting, run under emergency rules due to
the lack of a quorum, a motion passed 6-2 which requested the Regents
to make funding for SGC voluntary. Presently all students must pay
$1 per term to SGC as part of their tuition assessment.
The SGC administration challenged the legality of the motion on
the grounds that it could not overturn the results of last spring's cam-
pus-wide referendum which authorized the one dollar per term assess-
ment. The challenging suit was immediately filed with the Central
Student Judiciary and it voted 3-1 to stop the voluntary funding motion
from going to the Regents.
This matter and others like it raise the question of what is the most
productive and worthwhile role which student governments can play.
The single greatest failure of student government functionaries at
nearly every university has been their inability or refusal to clearly
outline just what role the student government apparatus is to play in
the university community.
DOES SGC INTEND to try to, replace University decision makers
With its own to gain direct power, or will it work to gain influence by
taking an advisory role and feeding recommendations into the adminis-
trative decision-making process?
Will it be a service organization supplying a few programs which
some but not all students find useful? If so, how do SGC leaders justify
their claim of being an agent for the entire student body and all viable
student interests?
This is not to suggest that these questions are unanswerable, only
that the student leadership has failed to answer them.
IT MAY BE FUN and even necessary to have a phone and a desk
and to juggle office 'space and pass doomed motions.
However, in relation to the university as a whole, all that such ac-
tivity accomplishes is to give a select few the chance to polish their
bureaucratic expertise.
The SGC leadership should at the outset outline what they can do,
what they can't do and what they will try to do.
The infighting will no doubt continue but there will at least exist
some way of measuring the contribution or lack of contribution that the
student governmental institution is making.


"What do you mean I can't discriminate against his joining my organization?"


Fred Shell is a staff writer for the Daily.

Letters: Responses to

'Cele bra tiot

BILL ABBOTT ..........Associate Business
HARRY HIRSCH ................Advertising
FRANCINE HYMEN ..............Personnel
DIANE CARNEVALE .................. Sales
PAUL WENZLOFF..............Promotions
STEVEN EVSEEFF ............Circulation


Flagrantly sexist
To The Daily:
I WAS outraged and infuriated
to read Lorin Labardee's article
(9/19) on Sunday's Celebration for
the Nov. 7 Abortion Referendum.
Not only was it misleading and in-
accurate but flagrantly sexist.
"They sang and cheered, danced
and screamed and all for the right
to have free and legal abortions in
Michigan", states Mr. Labardee,
implying that the audience w a s
rowdy. In fact there was no danc-
ing except on stage; and the only
screams were screams of laugh-
ter. His statement also implied that
the only issue at hand was abor-
tion. However the issue of femin-
ism was in integral part of the
program, and, contrary to w h a t
Mr. Labardee would have us be-
lieve, very little, if anything, was
said about having "free" abortions.
The basic theme of the issue,
brought out many times in the pro-
gram, and ignored by Mr. Lab-
ardee, is freedom of choice.
I seriously doubt that he has any
evidence that the promoters of the
c;elebration were "expecting a
staid audience", as he states. How'
many anti-abortionists would pay
$2.50 to attend a pro-abortion ral-
ly? Contrary to Mr. Labardee' s im-
plications, a large percent of those
present were men.
THERE WAS no reason to be-
lieve that "maybe even Jane 'Bar-
barella' Fonda might show up."
Anyone aware of contemporary is-
sues knows that Ms. Fonda has
been concentrating her energies
in the anti-war movement, and has
had very little actual involvement
in the feminist ; movement. It is

speakers, and is a newcomer to the
abortion issue, she did make some
very important comments which
were apparently "beneath" Mr.
Labardee's comprehension. Presi-
dent Nixon's sexist nature as shown
by his public stand not only against
legalized aboirtion, but against all
dissemination of birth control in-
formation was commented on by
Ms. Bergen; and the irony of Nix-
on's concern for "unborn children"
when he has been responsible for
millions of deaths . in connection
with the Viet Nam "war". Her ac-
count and ironic implications of
California's recent legislation to
legalize oral sex was beautifully
to the point of the sick priorities
of this nation's various govern-
ments. She also brought out and
emphasized the valid question of
men legislating what a woman can
or cannot do with her body.
THE ARTICLE implied also that
Cookie Cirello, a performer, gave
the impression of being a raving
weatherwoman aimed at material
destruction, which wasatotally un-
founded. She gave no screaming
manifestos to that end; she merely
impressed the audience with her
singing and the lyrics of her songs
which were expressions of exper-
iences common to the majority of
women in this country now. The
audience applauded not at any re-
ference to "smash windows" but
at the truths and protests that came
across so beautifully.
Gloria Steinam was presented as
"Looking more like Hollywood's
latest Jane Mansfield than the ed-
itor of Ms. magazine". It seems
she is to be criticized for not liv-
ing up to the image of a raving

author's refusal to acknowledge
most feminists as rational human
beings. I can't say I'm sorry if he
was disappointed.
It is purely inaccurate that Ms.
Steinam related the "night of the
red stockings" as her "first in-
troduction to women's lib". It was,
she said, not her first encounter
but the encounter which made her
identify with and understand the
movement. Further, she did not
speculate that "this too would be
a page in the annuls of the Amer-
ican Women's Liberation M o v e-
ment": she simply said t h at she
personally would remember it.
Mr. Labardee's description of
Margaret Sloan as "armed w it h
more women's libby jokes than in-
formation" is not only again false
but shows that his stereotype of
"the feminist" was further shat-
tered by a woman with a sense of
humor; a warm, candid person,
who made her points with personal
anecdotes; who beautifully related
the issues of abortion reform and
feminism to all women, no matter
what color; who had the courage
to condemn the Roman Catholic
church as "one of the foremost op-
pressors of women in this country."
She stressed the vital point, ignored
by Mr. Labardee, that feminism
is a road td "humanism" a n d
therefore has value for all humans:
male and female.
REGARDLESS' OF' the politics
that faced Barbara Halpern of
HRP, his phrase "the age old wea-
pon of women, a flurry of girlish
tears" was absolutely indefensible.
It is no shame to show one's sin-
cere emotions; and tears of frus-
tration, no matter who sheds them,

tions. This .is much of the con-
cept of humanism; that the sexism
in our society is detrimental not
only to women's, butalso to men's
development as peaceful, fulfilled,
self-respecting human beings.
It is obvious to me that Lorin
Labardee went to the celebration
with a totally closed mind and pre-
conceived negative and sexist no-
tions about feminists, feminism,
and women in general; expecting
-to dislike the entire affair and to
point out to the public as many
negative things as possible.
Though, perhaps his stereotypes
were shattered, he evidently could
not find enough truth to support his
preconceptions, so that he had to
resort to misrepresentation, mole-
station of the facts, and misleading
insinuations to write his article.
Unwittingly or not, he made quite
clear his closed-mindedness, sex-
ism, lack of scruples, and blatant
low esteem of not only the entire
women's movement, but of all wo-
--Lucy Eldersveld-Wilson
Residential College '75
Sept. 20
Insulting hodge-podge
To The Daily:
IT IS DISGUSTING and incred-
ible that Lorin Labardee's hodge-
podge of insulting and inane re-
marks concerning the "Celebration
for Proposition B" should be print-
ed as an editorial. To what nadir
has concern for informed and reas-
oned editorial opinion at The Daily
reached, if an event organized to
publicize a state referendum on
this November's ballot is treated
as a poor joke? If an Ann Arbor
community event attended by some

ers at }future events dealing with
issues on the ballot?
I question the validity of a, news-
paper, that prefers in its editorial
column a collection of glib and
superficial reactions to the "Cele-
bration" event rather than a re-
searched presentation of an opin-
ion on the issues raised at the
gathering. It is embarrassing to
The Daily and a discredit journal-
istically when the "Celebration"
event is judged by your editorial
writer as an amusing bunch of
"screaming feminists"-rather than
a forum where issues were present-
ed that affect all of us - women
and men. I fail to understand why
The Daily did not thoughtfully edi-
torialize, on the central issue of an
individual's right of choice in the
matters of reproductive 'freedom
without government interference.
Throughout the "Celebration" eve-
ning, Steinem, Sloan, Bergen, Iur-
goyne, the theatre groups and the
singers each dealt with t h e per-
sonal meanings of the issue and its
larger consequences. Furthermore,
S"Celebration" means not just the
passage of Referendum B but a be-
ginning to the questions of w h o
controls our bodies, who shall give
and receive contraceptive and re-
productive information, and who
shall be subject to the involuntary
sterilization now legal in our ori-
sons and mental hospitals. This is
not to insist that The Daily take
the pro rather than con positon,
simply that The Daily present
an accurate and informative editor-
ial picture so that the public can
better decidei for itself the ques-
tions raised by "Celebration.' The
Daily should use its editorial col-
umn to present issues and not glib

liam ]3lackford, Bob Davidoff, Jim Dykema, L'Tanya
Haith, Sherry Kastle, Karen Laakko, Dave Lawson,
Patti Wilkinson.
ASSISTANT MANAGERS: Ray Catalino, Linda Cole-
man, Sandy Fienberg, Nelson Leavitt, Sheila Martin,
Susan Morrison, Sharon Pocock, Ashish Sarkar, Pat
Saykilly,,Alan Weinberger, Carol Wieck.,
Sports Staff
Sports Editor
Executive Sports Editor
BILL ALTERMAN . . Associate Sports Editor
BOB ANDREwS ..............Assistant Sports Editor
SANDI GENIS ... ...Assistant Sports Editor
MICHAEL OLIN ......Contributing -Sports Editor
RANDY PHILLIPS,....Contributing Sports Editor
NIGHT EDITORS: Chuck Bloom, Dan Borus, Chuck

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