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June 17, 1971 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1971-06-17

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grassroots.
TI

he iirthc

WIDE OPEN, his eyes jerked quickly in my direc-
tion, responding to the sound of my voice. There
was no comfort in knowing this man was blind; no
feeling that my movements would go unnoticed. His
eyes were yet alive, still vibrant,. as though the
thought of sightlessness had been impressed upon
all save the victim. I could not be comfortable nor
take my place in conversation.
The round, black face contorted, and burst into
a smile that was mechanical yet pleasing. He strain-
ed to hear my self-introduction and failed twice.
Finally he just asked "how things were going in
my area." I imagined what it would be like for the
old black man to see me, young and not a member
of his group. I mumbled "fine," and walked away
into the crowded room of faces.
Each was a single point of a sparkling mosaic.
One hundred faces, each of distinct coloration and
texture. At ten cloth-covered tables they sat, each
a different image to my eyes. Most tables held old
people talking among themselves. Others, mid-
dle-aged people, respectable, yet in plain clothes.
AT THE YOUNG table I sat down, among ener-
getic bearded males and simply-dressed women.
The old were of a lost generation, faces of martyr-
dom and fear still waiting for telephone calls and
knocks in the night. These remembrances would be
heard no more, those at the young table said. Their
parents had suffered, but now youth would make
the cause grow.
And before this mosaic of generations and colors,

..JAMES WECHSLER....
lay party -M w n
Mattwith no narty
--by mark dillen- pr
the black face shone, blind, seeing it all in his mind's "THE TROUBLE with John Lindsay," some anonymous Albany
eye. And, outside the door, two signs: Jewish Music sage is reported to have remarked querulously, "is that he's a
Conservatory and Baptist Missionary Temple. man without a party."
The girl sitting across from me had just finished
her dinner and we sat listening as speakers rose Certain recent evidence suggests that this may in fact be the
from the table where the blind man sat; receiving secret of his political survival on the national scene amid the rebuffs
wishes for his longevity. he- has suffered in his legislative battles and the discords he faces
in the city.

4

"PEOPLE are still scared away by the name -
they're taught to think it's something evil," she. told
me. "It takes them a long time to rid themselves of
the brainwashing." And so I thought about her
cause and how she fit into the mosaic. And the relig-
ion which she called a science and the science which
had become a religion. And how my childhood was
a stream of denunciations of her faith.
So the lady with her hair pulled back in a bun
stood up and asked for money. And she implored the
one hundred for more after a long, motionless wait
had followed the giving. And a slouched old man
with suspenders found'a dollar and made the offer-
ing. And she announced over $1,500 had been given.
Applause.
I took leave, and looked at the receipt for the
ticket, I, a reporter, had requested:
"$4.00 for ticket to 60th birthday party for
Henry Winston, National Chairman, Communist
Party, United States of America."
Turning, I saw the blind comrade press his weight
upon a cane and, unassisted, leave the room into
his 61st year.

Letters to The Daily

Decline and fal
To The Daily:
THE DECLINE in the Daily's
Editorial Page, which has be-
come evident in the past few
weeks, reached its peak - or
rather its nadir - in a recent is-
sue (Daily, June 2). The Editorial
Page was not an Editorial Page at
all, but a review sheet. Appar-
ently, you people find nothing
worth editorializing about in the
world today. If it cannot be a
true Editorial Page, why e v e n
have one?
At the same time, the quality
of the Daily's sports page h as
been greatly increasing. Head-
lines have been fresh and witty,
and articles well-written and, at
times, excellent. I would suggest

you give some of the space now
devoted to the Daily's Editorial
Page to the Sports section.
--Mark Lieberman
June 2
Not just an orgy
To The Daily:
LYDIA KLEINER'S letter to the
editorwas neither amusing nor
ridiculous, and in fact, brings to
light the whole domain of public
advertising, social ressponsibility,
and individual self-awareness about
the psychology of consumer-sell,
i.e., people as product-objects.
Hendry's and Gugula's retort(?)
consisted of emotionalism, sar-
casm, and a dirth of logic. They
seem to miss the point entirely;
instead of dealing with the issues

which Kleiner raised, they merely
attack her, and others like her, per-
sonally, e.g., Kleiner's "sexual
maladjustment" or "shallow-mind-
ed sympathizers". They fail to rea-
lize that a difference exists be-
tween criticizing a poster's import,
and criticizing its artists.
Kleiner contends that an adver-
tisement such as the Bach Club
poster is never "just an orgy" or
'just some girls enjoying convivial
bliss' any more than a TV ad which
denigrates Blacks or other minority
groups is 'just another commer-
cial.' The poster is not "harmless"
at all; if they cannot see it as sex-
ist, then at least Hendry and Gu-
gula should acknowledge the fact
that many people in the community
find the poster offensive. Hope-
fully, if they are not insensitive to
public sentiment, they will refrain
from this kind of advertising in
their next artistic 'tour de farce."
-Belita H. Cowan '71
Dietetics Department
University Hospital
June 16
The Editorial Page of The
Michigan Daily is open to any-
one who wishes to submit
articles. Generally speaking, all
articles should be less than
1,000 words.

For what appears unmistakably clear is the rising mood of
independence among voters-a tendency likely to become even
more conspicuous as the 18-21 generation makes its presence felt
on the political landscape.
A recent Lou Harris poll reveals that the percentage of prospec-
tive 1972 voters now identifying themselves as independents has
jumped from 17 to 23 per cent of the electorate since 1968. Those who
portray themselves as Democrats have declined from 52 to 47 per
cent while only 30 per cent record their allegiance to the Repub-
lican Party. Perhaps most significant, 38 per cent of voters under
30 now prefer to be known as independents.
WHAT IS plainly happening, as Harris suggests, is the steady
disintegration of rigid party lines and a parallel improvement in the
status of men who seem to be on their own. Two of the chief, if
adversary, beneficiaries of this trend are Lindsay and George C.
Wallace.
Overall the results show that almost one voter in four would be
prepared to defect from both the two major parties if Lindsay and
Wallace were in the field.
It is true, of course, that personal equations cannot be dis-
counted; both Lindsay and Wallace have very different but distinct
special appeals that other third or fourth party candidates might
be unable to present. Yet the mounting percentage of self-described
maverick voters cannot be discounted as transitory or personalized.
It is consistent with the resurgence of independent actions in
such varied manifestations'as John Gardner's Common Cause, the
bipartisan "Dump-Nixon" registration drive, the emergence of Al
Lowenstein as ADA chairman and the warm response evoked by
such dedicated projects as Ned Coll's Revitalization Corps.
IN LINDSAY'S CASE the figures are peculiarly striking be-
cause, unlike Wallace, he has never waged a national campaign
or organized a formal national constituency; he was disowned by
his party in the 1969 mayoralty primary and he is currently being
alternately treated as interloper and stranger by the GOP high
command in Albany. But the inflicting of these indignities may
broaden his base of national support among voters who see him
primarily as an attractive symbol and spokesman of a non-estab-
lishment, independent new politics in the crisis-ridden cities.
None of this offers any easy formula for Lindsay's assumption
of a major national role next year. It does invite the question of
whether his influence on great issues would be enhanced if he were
to formalize his independence.
Inevitably, of course, any such pronouncement would be scru-
tinized for hints of fourth-party meaning, and Lindsay has fre-
quently indicated his distaste for what might be viewed as the
"spoiler" game. But there must also be a point at which he refuses
to be pushed around by a party hierarchy that has so plainly
branded him Mr. Outside. The Harris arithmetic strongly intimates
that he might have far more serious impact on the practitioners of
politics-as-usual in both parties if he were to proclaim himself
"free at last."
Where he would go from there would depend on many im-
ponderables; this is hardly a blueprint for any man's political suc-
cess story. What seems clear from the Harris report and other
signs is the extent of the restless ferment in American politics; the
pros preaching the doctrines of cautious centrism and respectability
are dreaming of return to a "normalcy" that is beyond recapture.
Conceivably it is the mission of Lindsay-among others-to herald
the news that the country is alive but not well, and that old align-
ment are dying.
@ New York Post

I
4

420 Maynard Street, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Edited and managed by students at the
Unive'rsity of Michigan
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual
opinions of the author. This must be noted in all reprints.
Thursday, June 17, 1971 News Phone: 764-0552
NIGHT EDITOR: ROBERT SCHREINER

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