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April 07, 1977 - Image 4

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1977-04-07

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Eighty-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Black Salvation --
Slavery Era Time of Collective 'Crucifixion'

Thursday, April 7, 1977

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
Don't let Rudolph Hess out

Blacks ih a 1v e euid red

hairshIraalt in i
bc, iliniig in s 1

A merica
a 1! e r T

TE DAILY feels that Rudolf Hess
should not be released from pri-
son. We believe that the magnitude
of the atrocities that Hess was in-
strumental in designing and commit-
ting, far outweigh any considerations
of his being duly punished.
The British government is renew-
ing its efforts to gain Hess' release,
in concurrence with the United States
and France. In 1975, an effort to ob-
tain his release failed when' the Soviet
Union vetoed it. Great Britain, France,
the United States, and the Soviet Un-
ion jointly administer Spandau Mili-
tary Prison in WestBerlin, where Hess
is presently the only prisoner. Any
decision to release Hess must be made
by a unanimous vote of all four
countries.
The main argument for Hess' re-
lease is that the man has paid his
debt to society. He is 82 years old
and has been in prison since 1942.
The position is that at his advanced
age he couldn't cause much harm.
But Hess has not paid his dues.
And his release would mean a great
deal more than just allowing a harm-
less old man freedom in his final
years.
Rudolf Hess was not an ordinary,
rank and file Nazi. His affiliation
with Adolf Hitler goes back to when
he was personal secretary and body

guard to the future Fuhrer in 1925.
He became a member of Hitler's cab-{
inet in 1934, and in 1939 was appoint-
ed 3rd Deputy Fuhrer - which made
him third in command to Hitler and
Goerring, and /second in line of suc-
cession to Goerring. He was thusj
one of the three most powerful men
in a regime that perpetrated one of
the worst genocides in human his-
tory. And as such, he must bear re-
sponsibility for Auschwitz, Dachau
and Riga - the tools of over 10
million slaughters.
A ND THAT IS WHY Rudolf Hess
must remain incarcerated. He is
a living symbol of the Holocaust.
There are too many people alive who
either were in concentration camps
or had relatives in concentration
camps to allow freedom to a man
who wielded and abused the power
of life and death. There are too many
Nazi war criminals still at large in
Germany, South America and this
country who would gain a moral vic-
tory if Hess was released.
We see no harm in having Hess
transferred to another prison, where
he would have human contact and
increased access to his family. But
to allow him to go free - no, there
are just too many people around who
remember.

/unes, 1)u teic/ce is that
at fulleIr f u/nre is o /wnri g
for the'm and throg i,
for all people.
1f is a stor, sy mbolic of
/he d/a/h an resurrec/ion
of Jess, and it's /he sub-
j e c f of this fli e - part
"Bla k. Salwion," begi -
iing today.
If tras writ/en hy Asso-
cAat/ed Press relgion ui-r/er
Geore XV'. Cornell, alhor
of e era books on rei-
;ionslla/0ic 's 145/d/# " ~e
hold /he A fan" and' "The
Unamd God".
By GEORGE W CORNELL
AP Religion Writer
They've walked a special
road, barefoot, half clad, mock-.
ed, in chains. They've moved
through a brutal terrain,
enough to break body and spir-
it. They've suffered, struggled,
died. But black Americans
have endured. They've tra-
versed the night and see faint
streaks of dawn.
"A new world's a com'%"
goes their old slave hymn of
yearning.
But the ordeal has been long,
the burden heavy and the pain
deep. For 246 years, from the
time the first 20 black slaves
were landed at the colony of
Jamestown, Va., in 1619 until
the end of the Civil War in 1865,
they lived in bondage - owned,
bartered, driven, worked as
chattels. For another 100 years
they were segregated, de-
meaned, lynched, rejected and
shut out.
It has scarred the gener-
ations, three and a half cen-
turies of variously legalized
and uncodified ostracism, both
overt and camouflaged. Every
day, everywhere across the na-
tion, north and south, blacks
and their children confronted
handicaps and searing psy-
chological wounds. Shunned,
put down, denied.
"Nobody knows the trouble I
see," an old spiritual puts it.
"Nobody knows but Jesus."
They've not only known the
outpouring force of his crucifi-
xion, but in a graphic way,
they've shared it. "Yes, some
of us have died on that tree,
too," says Thelma Barnes, ex-
ecutive director of Black Meth-
odists for Church Renewal.
"We've been through the cruci-
fixion." They've suffered vicar-
iously on their cross for healing
of a national affliction.
Religion always has been a
pervasive, distinctly intimate
reality among blacks. They've
experienced in their own lives

the ancient Biblical paradigms
of abusive oppression and sus-
tenance through it. They've
clung to the heralded divine
promises of ultimate deliv-
erance and equity.
"Blessed are those who
mourn," Jesus says in Matthew
5:4, "for they shall be comfort-
ed."
They've also found historical
identity with the Israelites un-
der the lash of Egyptian slave-
ry and longed for their own lib-
eration. They've heard concern
for their own plight thundering
through the Old Testament
prophets in denunciation of vic-
timizing the weak and the poor.

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1

Declining voter turnout may
spell democracy's demise'

"Let justice roll down like
the waters..." demands Amos
5:24.
Applied to their own times,
blacks have withstood the fiery
furnace with Shadrack, Mesh-
ack and Abednego, strode with
Daniel in the lions' den and
gleaned hope in their own dire
circumstances from the mira-
culous deliverances. They've
lived the torments, drunk the
bitter cups and rejoiced in the
Biblical vision of a "new heav-
en and a new earth." Like
Jews in their Passover reen-
actments, blacks tasted the
drugs of thralldom and they
sing:
"Go down Moses. Tell old
Pharaoh, 'Let my people go!' "
Estimates are that 10 million
Africans were shipped in irons
to America in the nearly three
centuries of slave traffic, al-
though the average mortality
totaled about 50 per cent from
congestion, heartbreak and dis-
ease: 12.5 per cent at sea, 4.5;
per cent waiting in harbors and
33 per cent in "seasoning" to
heavy labor.
Both whites and black Afri-
can chieftains took part in that
ruthless commerce, often seiz-
ing whole villages in raids and
marching the captives in miles-
long "coffles" to coastal ship-
ping pens, shackled two-by-two,
the right wrist and ankle of one
to the left wrist and ankle of
the other.
Occasionally, on the cross-
ings, slaves mnutinied but sel-
dom had a chance. Some cap-
tives hanged themselves or
jumped overboard rather than
submit, joining the dead tossed
out from the packed holds,
drawing a trail of sharks be-
hind. In one five-year span,
1750 to 1755, the number of bod-
ies dumped in New York har-
bor alone totalled 2,000.
"Father, forgive them,"
Jesus said on the cross, "for
they know not what they do."
The victims were of many
tribes, variouslydark and light
brown of skin. They were sold
at auctions or in "scrambles"
at which buyers agreed on a
price per head in each category
- men, women, girls, boys -
and then scrambled among the
lot to pick individuals of the
type purchased.
These forced immigrants,
torn from their native land, of-
ten divided from mates and
children, dispersed among oth-
er Africans of unfamiliar heri-
tages in a way that gradually
blotted out tribal cultures, were
defined and handled as proper-
ty, work stock. They bore the
brunt of the physical toil in the
raising of a nation.
Under white "overseers" and

their squads of black "driv-
ers," the slaves cleared forests,
turned the sod, planted fields,
built roads, ground cane,
opened mines. They hoisted
rails, tugged. barges, toted the
bales. Laboring in gangs, often
under 'the harsh discipline of a'
bullwhip, they powered much of
the swelling production of
mines, mills and plantations of
tobacco, rice, cane and cotton
that built the wealth of early
America.
But they themselves re-
mained emptyhanded, consid-
ered mere utilitarian creatures
to use or misuse at the whim of
masters. Floggedaraped, shot,
they had no legal rights, no
standing in court, as confirmed
by the U.S. Supreme Court as
late as 1857 in the Dred Scott
decision. They were totally sub-
ject to owners - some kind,
some cruel.
"As you did it to one of the
least of these my brethren,"
Jesus said in Matthew 25:40,
"you did it to me."
Slave families often were
split, their children, sisters,
brothers, wives, sold to trav-
eling dealers. Some owners pro-
hibited marriage among slaves,
preferring to work them stead-
ily until worn out. "It's cheaper
to buy than breed," the saying
went.
"Did the Lord deliver Dan-
iel?" went their bracing old.
spiritual. "Then why not every
mar.?"
Particulars of African reli-
gion soon faded into vague,frag-
mentary remnants among
American blacks,thrown into a
strange environment,scattered,
disoriented, their ties of lan-
guage, tribe and custom bro-
ken. However, in their travail,
they eagerly grasped an al-
ternative in Christianity, which
they learned from roving white
Baptist and Methodist evange-
lists and from the humming
"grapevine" that circulated in
the slave quarters.
To sustain their sense of per-
sonal worth, dignity and faith
in life itself, they found that re-
source in the Biblical accounts
of a God of love and justice,
who cared for all his children,
even downtrodden slaves, who
hated evil and oppression and
who in time would destroy
them.

"His eye is on the sparrow,"
goes the reassuring spiritual, so
he's "watching over me."
Evangelistic drives through
the country, the "great
awakenings" that both
preceded and followed the
Revolution, con verted
thousands, both black and
whites in mixed crowds.
Although only a small propor-
tion of slaves were directly
touched in these public gather-
ings, the others acquired smat-
terings of it second-hand -
from their fellow slaves.
It was the "sustaining pow-
er" and basis of the "spirit of
endurance which the slaves de-
veloped and which was sociolo-
gically so remarkable," writes
black historian Harry V. Rich-
ardson, in his book, "Dark Sal-
vation." It enabled them to
"endure slavery without ever
accepting it."
Early white evangelists, Bap-,
tists, Presbyterians and Meth-
odists, directly attacked slave
ry in the name of Biblical faith.
But after 1800, with the slave
population of a million buttress-
ing the entire economy and
with tensions over it mounting,
white churches lowered their
voice of protest, the preachers
sometimes citing isolated Bible
texts to defend submission to
mnasters.
Initially, slaves were in-
tegrated with whites in
churches, north and south, but
as 1800 approached, blacks
were segregated to balconies
and side benches, causing them
to leave to form - their own
churches.
While some white masters en-
couraged religion among their
slaves, others permitted it only
reluctantly and rigidly restrict-
ed slave religious meetings, of-
ten forbade them altogether or
made sure a vigilant white was
on hand to listen and watch
against any hint of freedom,
even in prayers. Such talk was
subject to flogging.
But the slave preachers be-
came experts at innuendo.
They invented terminology and
sesquipedalian words, a kind of
covert lingo that reached the
black sorrows and aspirations
and conveyed God's demand
for justice without explicit ap-
plications of it.
Most slaves were deliberately
deprived of education. Learning

I

to read and write was punish-
able by whipping or imprison-
ment. Some learned piecemeal
anyhow, either from indulgent
masters or roundabout means.
"They learned to read the Bible
without knowing the alphabet,"
a saying went. They rendered it
"by heart," sometimes in flow-
ery, garbled fashion but with
vividness and fervor.
"The Spirit of the Lord...has
sent me to proclaim release to
the captives.. .to set at liberty
those who are oppressed,"
Jesus says in the good book,
Luke 4:18.
At the secret meetings of the
"Invisible" church in the
bayous, in the "brush arbor"
gatherings, "praise cabins"
and "bush" churches, the black
preachers proclaimed God's
summons to freedom, his wrath
at slavery and intent to wipe it
out.
"Thus says the Lord: Exe-
cute justice in the morning,"
proclaims Jeremiah 21:12, "and
deliver from the hand of the op-
pressor."
Most slave preachers stopped
short of exhorting insurrection,
often projecting deliverance
into a future life, but this was
an interim strategy, and the
implications also bore on ir?
mediate circumstances.
Indicating the inflammatory
potentialities of the Biblical
teachings, several , colonies
passed laws forbidding inde-
pendent religious gatherings of
blacks under penalties of whip-
ping and fines. Nevertheless,
recurrent black uprisings came
anyhow, usually led by black
preachers. About 200 of them
are recorded in the slavery pe-
riod, small and large, always
crushed, generally with mass
hangings.
"Joshua fit de battle of Je-
richo and the walls came
tumbling down," goes the old
spiritual.
Virginia's governor in 1831 at-
tributed the revolts to con-
spiratorial reading of the Bible
and "black preachers" teach-
ing that "God is no respecter of
persons." Grand juries and
newspapers of that-era also
blamed ''incendiary
preachers" and "religious
rebels." There was a succession
of black preacher-rebels,
Denmark Vesey, Gabriel
Prosser, Nat Turner and others
who led slave uprisings.
Before Turner was hanged,
he was asked if he realized his
mistake. He replied, "Was not
Christ crucified?"
The scattered revolts brought
a wave of ney legislation for-
bidding slaves to read, write,
preach or attend religious
meetings after nigntfall. Known
black preachers were put under
close surveillance. But the fires
smouldered on. The "under-
ground railroad" slipped runa-
way slaves from hideout to
hideout along tie back trails.
And the old slave spiritual ech-
oed through the swamps and
groves:
4 "Oh freedom, oh freedom:
Oh freedom, I love thee! And
before I'll be a slave, I'll be
buried in my grave, and go
home to my lord and be free."
TOMORROW: Time of
Trauma.

FOR YEARS, conscientious voters
have attempted to guilt-trip less
ambitious people into voting with the
battle cry, "This is a democracy. Your
vote does count. If you don't vote and
the wrong candidate wins, then you'll
be sorry." And the conscientious peo-
ple trotted off to vote, while the
apathetic ones smirked.
Well, this time the roles are re-
versed. A lot of people who didn't
vote are kicking themselves, while
the conscientious voters are saying,
"I told you so!"
Al Wheeler defeated his Republi-
can opponent Lou Belcher by a sin-
gle vote in Monday's city elections.
But as interesting as that race was,
the real story of election is the ap-
palling 30 per cent voter turnout. If
all the non-voters had gotten togeth-
er they could have thrown the elec-
tion to Donald Duck, if hey had want-
ed to. Only 22,000 of the more than
75,000 registered Ann Arbor voters
went to the polls, and the problem
is only going to get worse.
There seems to be nothing to halt
the trend of deceased voter turnout
- turnout has been declining- at a
frightening rate both for local and
national elections - and this is a

problem that we allmust face.
We must all recognize that this
country isn't even run by a majori-
ty anymore. With nearly half the
persons not voting, a president could-
n't possibly win even the tiniest ma-
jority of public approval. In our city
election, 50,000 persons didn't go to
the polls, and Wheeler won by one
vote. This was one of those rare oc-
casions were every ballot made a dif-
ference, yet only 30 per cent of the
people voted. We all charge that gov-
ernment is unresponsive to the peo-
ple, but how can anyone holding of-
fice know what the people want when
so many of us don't care enough to
tell them?
It looks as if Wheeler's one vote
margin is going to hold up, and he
will lead us through the next two
years confident that he has the man-
date of the people - but he won't
have. He will have one-seventh of
the people who favor him, one-sev-
enth (minus one) who oppose him,
and five-sevenths who just don't give
a damn, even though any one of their
votes could have made the differ-
ence. Remember that next time you
can't decide whether its worth the
bother to vote.

Health

Service

Handbook

4 -f
W R---- K -/

By SYLVIA HACKER
and NANCY PALCHICK
QUESTION: I would like to
know'why the arbitration stamp
appears on the inside front of
student's records. I was told
that disagreeing or not signing
the arbitration contract would
not alter the care offered at
the Health Service. But, the first
thing a doctor looks at when
opening the record of a student
is the arbitration stamp. I feel
this stamp is an invasion of pri-
vacy and should be removed
from the students' records. How
do you feel?
ANSWER: As a State require-
ment of our malpractice insur-
ance program, Health Service
must offer the arbitration option
to each patient who seeks medi-
cal treatment at our facility. We
needed an efficient method of de-
termining whether or not a pa-
tient had been offered the arbi-
tration agreement and so, since
you need your medical record
on each visit, it was decided to
indicate your decision on the
"face sheet" of your record. If
the information were filed else-
where, each secretary you en-
countered would have to offer

surance Commission.
It is only natural that you
think this is the first thing the
physician looks at since the in-
formation is recorded on the
"face sheet" which is the first
sheet in your record. However,
the "face sheet" is used to re-
cord certain medical informa-
tion (diagnosis of various illnes-
ses, allergic reactions to drugs,
date of operation permissions,
etc.) which the physician rou-
tinely checks before treating
you. The physicians we've talk-
edt to say they don't even no-
tice the decision that's indicated
in the arbitration section.
So, we understand and appre-
ciate your concern but let us
reassure you that your decision
concerning the arbitration
agreement in no way affects the
medical care you receive. It is
placed in your medical record
to facilitate getting you through
the clinics and it makes our
record keeping process more ef-
ficient.
QUESTTON: If I am drinking
alcohol, is there anything that
I can do to prevent myself from
getting drunk (for instance, eat-
ing or coating my stomach be-
fore drinking)?

slow down tre effect of the al-
cohol somewhat.
Eating while drisking may al-
so serve to slow down the rate
at whicn people drink. It takes
approximately one hour for the
average drink (e.g. a 12-ounce
bottle of beer, a four- to five-
ounce glass of wine, and one-
and-a-half ounces of whiskey
or the average cocktail) to be
metabolized once it is in your
bloodstream. Thus anything that
slows down your rate of drink-
ing will decrease the probability
that you will get drunk. Diluting
alcohol with non-alcoholic mix-
ers can also be helpful here (and

alcohol diluted with non-carbon-
nated mixers is absorbed less
rapidly than alcohol diluted with
carbonated mixers).
The NIAAA notes that there
are no "coatings" (such as milk,
butter etc.) that can keep al-
cohol from getting into your
bloodstream. These products
must be seen as any other food
substance, and would therefore
have similar effects.
QUESTION: Is it normal to
feel weak while dieting?
ANSWER: We have referred
your question to our resident ex-
pert in nutrition, Ms. Irene Hieb-
er. Her reply is as follows:

The feeling of weakness is al-
ways a sign of trouble. If it
comes as a result of dieting then
it is safe to assume that the diet
being followed is unbalanced and
the person is ill-advised to con-
tinue on it. A diet must con-
tribute to your health and in-
crease your feelings of general
well-being.
Send all health related ques-
tions to:
HEALTH EDUCATORS
UM Health Service
Division of Office of
Student Services
207 Fletcher
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

i

Letters. to The Daily

Ford member Agnew, Butz, et al.
The "Political Civil Liberties"
To The Daily: title is the most ironic. Will
.d a.. Ford speak of Civil Liberties in
Your editorial page of April n Chile, Brazil, Thailand, Iran,
turned my stomach. How can South Africa, Rhodesia, India,
you be crass enough to print Argentina? I really doubt it.
such stuff in a morning paper? Or perhaps he is demented
The editorial entitled, "Welcome enough to speak out against
Home, Jerry" was to be put these things now that he is no
mildly, ironicly absurd. First, longer in a position to help right
you noted that Ford would be
lecturing on "Political Civil Lib- tesewrongs.

ror made in Stephen Pickover's
review of the "Music Man." Al-
though I appreciate being called
the director of such an excel-
lent production, that honor was
actually shared by Marcia Mil-
grom and Anthony Dodge. I was
the producer, an important but
quite different function.
I must admit that I am sur-
prised that someone who feels
competent enough to have his
cri,;im nbiheh ; i ,c.-

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