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April 09, 1977 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-04-09

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

Saturday, April 9, 1977

News Phone: 764-0552

'Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
Ci tien input needed in
area mass transit planning

SOMETIME IN JUNE, the Southeast-
ern Michigan Transportation Au-
thority (SEMTA) will decide on one
metro-area mass transit plan to sub-
mit to Washington for federal fund-
Sixteen plans are presently under
consideration, ranging from the sim-
ple increase in bus lines to a more
comprehensive heavy rail (subway)
system, with price tags running from
$1.3 billion for a basic package to
$2.5 billion for the heavy rail.
Of the fur final proposals, one
stands out as the best in terms of
rider service, cost, and economic de-
velopment of the seven-county metro
area - a combination of light rail
(modern streetcars) and buses.
The light rail will offer many rid-
ers the service of fixed rail without
the huge cost of heavy rail. Although
expected to finally fall in the $2 bil-
lion range, the savings from the hea-
vy rail system are considerable. Also,
recent information out of the Capi-,
tol shows that the Carter Admini-
stration is finding many mass transit
.systems "overdeveloped" and extrava-
gant. The light rail system will be
much easier to justify to the cost-
conscious Administration, and. also to
the public, which will end up paying
much of the tab, especially in con-
tinuing operating costs once the sys-
tem is built.

Economic development is also a
consideration. Although a system en-
tirely dependent on buses offers flexi-
bility and relatively low cost, it does
not provide private investors with the
guarantee of service for both workers
and customers alike, that a fixed rail
system would.
THIS PRIVATE development is a key
to the entire metro area. With-
out it, any mass transit system would
be subject to the same inevitable de-
cay accompanying an abandoned city.-
Mass transit is on its way - as one
local official .said, it's "politically in-
evitable." For a region with a pro-
jected 1990 population of 5.7 million,
an economic, efficient and feasible
system must be implemented to han-
dle these increases. The light rail/
bus combination is just such a sys-
Before SEMTA makes its decision,
it will reevaluate and revise each of
the four sketchy proposals presented
here. Citizen input is invaluable. If
you plan on continuing to live in the
metro area, their final decision will
have a 'tremendous affect on your
-mobility and lifestyle in the future.
Don't just sit back and watch, let
SEMTA know what you want from a
mass transit system. If you want to
have a say in your sAuture, the time
to act is now.

installment of a five-part
ter series on the faith of b
deals with their ascent to a
and improving level of life
AP Religion Writer
Doors were opening and
ther passages beckoned.
obstacles and constric
against blacks slowly rec
in America. It was not ye
them that longed-for "da
jubilee." Stumbling-block
mained. But the external t
ings had fallen away. An
old yoke had been lifted.
It had happened in ac
paratively swift span of his
within 20 years. Not the e
century since the Civil War
matched that modern peri
reforming the horizons<
*The Lord has brought
mighty long way," says
Rev Dr James C. Sam
Jacksonville, Fla., preside
the National Baptist Conve
of America, a predominm
black denomination. Bishol
seph A. Francis of Nev
N.J., one of four black Rc
Catholic bishops named in
country since 1965, says,
something like coming out
"At least the stone has
rolled away," says the Rev
C. Eric Lincoln, a fore
black sociologist and onec
blacks on the Duke Unive
faculty, which had none in
"The rising is on the way.
This explicitly was n
equate the infinite signific
seen in Christ's resurre
from death with the ti
forming status of blacks, y
a temporal sense, they,
have surmounted the pit o
versity and emerged fro
into new, more promising p
They'd found broader di
sions, a fuller present an
expanding future.
breathed a freer air.
The change hadn't beer
ished, not by a wide mark.
idly entrenched prejudices
festered in many whites
resultant rebuffs to bL
They, in turn, cradled cc
wing resentments and dis
and faced widespread s
and economic drawback:
was partly an inner hindr
the sediment of the past
ging a different day.
It had been that way,
when Christ triumphed ove
grave, a murky, clouded
I of uncertainty, fears, susp
and skepticism, even amnor
closest followers, before
new reality broke through.
But it had happened.
signs and substance a,
that in an agitated, relat
brief episode in U.S. histo
basic metamorphosis ha
curred for its black citizen
"It's no utopianism, b
chastened expectation,"
noted black historian Lawi
Jones of Howard Unive
"It's like peeling an.onio
various manifestations o
pression are recognized,
are dealt with. Blacks
have a feeling of being p
America, yet still of not
part of it. Yes, things
changed, but we have no

Black Salvation --


Long Closed to Blacks Start Opening
Eas- Iss
acksI:'"-_ ,=r
new 4 U
LL AO J' f\" r
>r -
The ! ,.tt' s ~f~
age 4 '
cor- ^

Contact your reps
Sen. Donald Riegle (Dem.), 1205 Dirksen Bldg., Washing-
ton, D.C. 20510
Sen. Robert Griffin (Rep.), 353 Russell Bldg., Capitol Hill,
Washington, D.C. 20515.
Rep. Carl Pursell (Rep.), 1709 Longworth House Office Bldg.,
Washington, D.C. 20515.-
Sen. Gilbert Bursley (Rep.), Senate, State Capitol Bldg.,
Lansing, MI 48933.
Rep. Perry Bullard (Dem.), House of Representatives, State
Capitol Bldg., Lansing, MI 48933.
suma m* 7............. ann n~s -'-

It was an oddly mixed, am-
biguous interval of now and not
yet, a paradoxical, uneven time
of transition, yet the evidence
of it multiplied nearly all
around, North and South, in
governments, in business of-
fices, on college faculties, on
police forces, in the military,
on, school boards, in broad-
casting and on television
screens, among executive per-
sonnel of church denominations
and councils, nationally and lo-
cally, on sales staffs, in class-
rooms, at bank windows and on
high court benches.
Blacks werethere, where
large~ly they had not been be-
fore. In cases where they still
were kept out, social forces, in-
cluding the law, discerned a
lapse, a wrong - subject to ap-
peal, litigation and correction.
Figuratively blacks have en-
tered "on a threshold of resur-
rection," says- the Rev. Dr.
Grant Shockley, president of
the Interdenominational Theo-
logical Center in Atlanta, part
of an educational complex of
predominantly black colleges.
It's also one of the mnost critical
periods, both with more rea-
sons for hope and more reasons
for concern."
Across the nation, 3,979
blacks held public office in
1976, up from only a handful at
the start of the civil rights
struggle in 1960, and more than
three times the 1,185 total as
recently as 1969.
Black-held posts included 152
mayors, 276 state senators and
representatives, 1,442 munici-
pal council members, 201 state
judges and 168 on local court
benches, 25 police chiefs, 939 on
local school boards-figures all
up from virtually nothing 20
years before.
Still, the black proportion of
public offices was less than 1
per cent of the total, not even a
tenth of their 11.5 per cent
share of the population. But the
small foothold carne with a
rush, and*grew rapidly.
Sixteen blacks held seats in
the U.S. Congress, where only
three sat in 1965. A black, Jus-
tice Thurgood Marshall, was on
the U.S. Supreme Court and a
black, Edward Brooke of Mas-
sachusetts, was in the U.S. Sen-
ate, both where none had been
before 1967. Three blacks have
served in the president's cabi-
net since 1972, currently Secre-
tary of the Department of
Housing and Urban Develop-
ment, Patricia Roberts Harras,

where none had served before.
A black United Church of
Christ minister, Andrew Young,
who had been a close aide of
the te civil rights leader Mar-
tin Luther King and who had
repeatedly gone to jail with
him, became in 1977 the U.S.
Ambassador to the United Na-
It was only the heavy black
vote cast overwhelmingly for
Jimmy Carter in 1976 that pro-
vided the decisive margin in
several states that made him
the 39th U.S. president. Black
leaders, in discussing the
changing circumstances for
their race, almost invariably
mentioned the high confidence
they put in Carter to further
justice for blacks because of
his Southern affinitywiththem.
"He is the highest symbol of
the previously unrecognized un-
derstanding and love between
blacks and whites in the South
that bloomed almost overnight,
once segregation was re-
moved," says Bishop E.P. Mur-
chison of the Christian Method-
ist Episcopal Church, a pre-
dominantly black body. "The
good will that many knew was
there has now come out in the
open so that relations now are
better in the South than in the
One of the most positive in-
dications for the future of
blacks was in their surging en-
rollment in higher education.
About 1,675,000 blacks were in
college in 1976, more than six
times the 234,000 in 1964.
Near., half of black high
school graduates were going on
to college, equaling the propor-
tion of whites, while only 17.7
per cent of blacks had done so
in 1960, far less than the 41 per
cent .f whites then.
Educationally, the proportion
of all blacks, young and old,
who have completed a year or
more of college nearly doubled
from 10.8 per cent in 1966 to
18.8 per cent in 1976, while the
proportion getting graduate or
postgraduate degrees also near-
ly doubled from 4.8 per cent to
8 per cent. Among whites, the
increase was much less, the
proportion with one or mores
years of college rising from
20.8 per cent in 1966 to 31.1 per
cent in 1976, while the propor-
tion with graduate or post-
graduate degrees rose from 9,7
to 16.3 per cent.
Overall, the median years of
education for blacks rose near-
ly two points in the 1966-1976
period, up from a median 10
years' education to 11.8 years,

while it inched up less than a
fraction of a point for whites,
from 12.2 years to 12.4 years.
Comparatively, blacks were
moving ahead much faster edu-
cationally, narrowing the small
margin held by whites.
"The future is pregnant with
promise," says the Rev. Dr.
Charles E. Cobb, chairman of
the United Church of Christ
Commission on Racial Justice.
The numbers of blacks on
college and university faculties
more than tripled in the short
span between 1969 and 1976, ris-
ing from 9,680 to 32,220. This
still was only 7.8 per cent of the
440,000 on college faculties, but
the rise was ,steep, the gap
swiftly narrowing.
Desegregation of elementary'
and secondary schools came at
a strikingly faster rate in the
South than in the North. Be-
tween 1968 and 1972, .the per-
centage of black pupils in all-
black schools plunged in the
South from 68 per cent to only
9.2 per cent. In the North, the
proportion declined only from
12.3 to 10 per cent.
In the area of work, the pro-
portion of blacks in professional
vocations - lawyers, doctors,
s u r v e y o r s , drafters, tech-
nicians, nurses, dieticians,
teachers and counselors-
nearly doubled in 10 years, ris-
ing from 7 per cent of the na-
tion's blacks in 1966 to 12 per
cent in 1976. The proportion of
whites in those professions had
inched up only 2.5 per cent in
that period to 16 per cent of the
white population.
In all white-collar jobs -
managerial, sales, technical,
clerical and professional - the
proportion of .blacks in them
rose by two-thirds between 1966
and 1976, from 21 to 35 per
cent, while the proportion of
whites in those white-collar
jobs edged up only slightly,
from 48 to 52 per cent. A-gap
still existed, but it was closing.
In that same period, the pro-
portion of whites in unskilled
labor rose from 4 per cent to
4.5 per cent, while for blacks it
decreased from 12 to 8 per
cent, but they still made up a
disproportionately large share
of unskilled labor. "They're
slowly but steadily catching
up,' says Harvey Hamel, a.
U.S. Labor Department econo-
Despite the faster black prog-
ress, they had been far behind,
thrust aside, and they still had
much overtaking to do. The
change had come late, and the

cumulative erosion of centuries
did not fade- readily, nor was
the repair near completion.
Unemployment among blacks
averaged 13.1 per cent in 1976,
nearly double the 7 per cent
among whites, a relative differ-
ence that generally has pre-
vailed at least since 1950, al-
though jobless levels, of course,
have varied. Among low-paid,
unskilled laborers, blacks still
made up 18 per cent of the to-
tal, nearly twice their 10.8 per
cent of the labor force.
The median annual income
among blacks in 1975 was $9,-
321, compared to, $14,268 for
whites. The gap was not as
great comparatively as in 1965,
when the black median annual
income was $3,993, barely more
than half the $7,251 of whites,
but the contemporary lag still
left' blacks a third behind
whites generally in income.
Melvin Humphrey, research
director of the Department of
Labor's Equal Employment Op-
portunities Commission, says
that at ;the present rate of eco-
nomic improvement for blacks,
it will take them 43 years to
close the cap with whites.
"There's been progress, but it's
too little and too slow," he
By the Civil Rights Act of
1964, bolstered by the Voting
,Rights Act of 1965 and sub-
sequent legislation, equal con-
sideration and access became
the supreme law of the land in
every sphere serving the pub-
lic, on jobs, in kmbor unions,
merchandising, banks and ho-
tels, in broadcasting, education,
housing and other fields, with
broad powers of tenforcement,
and federal and state commis-
sions operating to prevent vio-
It was on the statute books, a
democratically established
principle and authority to carry
it out. It often was ignored by
habit or design, and it was hob-
bled by the prolonged social
deprivation of many blacks.
But it was the affirmed con-
science and will of the nation,
and it produced wideningly
radiating impact.
The "broken covenant," as
s o c i o 1 o g i s t Robert Bellah
termed It, which for 200 years
had denied blacks the parity
assured all members of society
in the U.S. Constitution, had
now been mended and the new
coherence brought healing, but
it still was to become whole.

Dear. Anita Bryant:
Gays have rights too

A FEW WEEKS AGE, after a Dade
County (Miami area), Florida ordin-
ance banning discrimination against ho-
mosexuals in the areas of housing and
employment was passed, Anita Bryant,
former Miss America and current citrus
queen, came out of her orange groves
and started yowling.
She was admantly opposed to gay
rights even before the bill passed, mouth-
ing such misconceptions as: "If this bill
is allowed to become law, you will, in
fact, be infringing upon my rights ...
as a citizen and mother, to teach my
children and set examples, or point to
others as examples of God's moral code
as stated in the Holy Scripture."
In case she doesn't know it, the laws
in this country were formed to support
individual human rights, not the moral
codes of major religions. Her so-called
rights should not include imposing a
fanatical bigotry on other people.
After the passage of the bill, she
founded a group called "Save Our Chil-
dren." Its stand was that homosexuals
were out to molest or convert the youth
of America in order to "freshen their
ranks." An unfortunate number of peo-
ple are believing her. The facts are that
most homosexuals don't molest children,
and most child molesters are not homo-
sexual. There are molesters of all types:
homosexual, heterosexual, and bisexual,
and the largest percentage of child mo-
lestation is heterosexual in nature.
Anita's campaign continues: each day
brought more twists in reports to avid
newsreaders. A few days after Save
Our Children was announced, it was re-
ported that Anita's long-time friend and
her agent's wife, Ruth Shack, was one
of the sponsors of the law. Later, Anita
was fired from hosting her long-hoped-for
talk-show series by her producer, Barry
Drucker, who wrote in a telegram that

If Anita argues that the law condones
immoral conduct, what's to keep her and
people with similar beliefs from, banning
such other "immoralities" as drinking alco-
holic beverages, smoking tobacco and play-
ing cards?'
Homosexual acts may be abnormal to
this society, but that doesn't necessarily
imply that they are immoral. In many cul-
tures past and present, they are considered
not only normal, but among some tribes
such as the Keraki, necessary to make the-
young grow strong. In this country, accord-
ing to statistics published by the Kinsey
studies, between two and 10 per cent of
the population is predominantly homosexu-
ally oriented, and 35 per cent of the males
have had at least one homosexual experi-
ence. So if oppressive laws are to be con-
tinued, what proportion of the society should
be branded as criminal? How much better
it would be to condemn dope pushing, race
baiting and poverty - or such mind trips
as greed, hunger for power, or cruelty?
After a recent meeting between presi-
dential aide Margaret Constanza and vari-
ous gay activists, Bryant audaciously wrote
up a protest against the White House staff
for "dignifying these activists for special
privileges with a serious discussion of ther
alleged 'human rights.' " She added in
a speech that gays are, "Really asking to
be blessed in their abnormal life-style by
the office of the President of the United
States," and: "What these people really
want is to propose to our children that
there is an acceptable alternate way of
life - that being a homosexual or lesbian
is not really wrong or illegal."
For once she's made a decent observa-
tion. Full equality under the law and the
freedom to live "alternate" life-styles are
major features of the gay struggle. As for
recruiting children, if a person isn't gay
already there won't be ' an attraction to
the gay lifestyle. If she/he is gay, then
more liberal laws and more understanding

VJ I\. M t11 T AS, PP F 550
5O\JRANt .' o N M'{Mv
Ta ' R~C T.

3Y 50U C Ap'AUGt. ;'


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