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August 19, 1971 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1971-08-19

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A complicated alliance for RIP

STABLISHED several months
ago, Ann Arbor's Radical
Independent Party (RIP) has the
potential to become a realistic
alternative to the streets as a
theater for radical or revolution-
arY politics.
As opposed to past third party
efforts, which have been largely
coalitions of left-wing and liberal
elements, RIP presents a radical
critique of the present power
structure and proposes revolu-
tionary alternatives.
Although the results of its first
experience in electoral politics
were less than inspiring, mitiga-
ting circumstances, such as
right-wing scare tactics by the
Democratic Party, and the lack
of ballot recognition in last
spring's city election, must be
taken into account. RIP's candi-
date in the school board elec-
tion made a better showing, and
the important point is that hope-
fully RIP is here to stay and
will build its base as a political
force in the city. The eighteen-
year-old vote, coupled with RIP's
growing experience, adds to
hopes for RIP's future.
IN VIEW OF THIS, the recent
announcement of an alliance be-
tween RIP and the state-wide
Human Rights Party (HRP)
raises serious questions.
In a position paper written for
The Daily prior to the last city
election, RIP mayoral candidate
Doug Cornell defined a radical
as one who attacks the roots of
a problem rather than its sur-
face manifestations. This qual-
ity of seeing the underlying
cause, as he pointed out, is wnat
distinguishes a radical from a
When this criterion is used in
judging the platform of a politi-
cal party, an accurate evaluation
of the group can be made.
FOR INSTANCE, in campaign
literature HRP calls tor a with-
drawal of U.S. troops Irom Indo-
china. But, rather than empha-
sizing the war in terms of world
imperialist policy, tRI employs
the tired liberal analogy of a
"world policeman." The critical
question missed by such an aual-

ysis is not that the U.S. takes on
such a role, but why. That is
what RIP claims to want i bring
home to the voters.
Similarly, such phraes as
"economic justice" and "equal
opportunity which are bandied
about in HRP's literature are
superficial comments which fail
to identify underlying causes.
Obviously then, HRP fails to
live up to standards officially
embraced as the policy of RIP;
it can be as guilty of platitudiniz-
ing as conventional parties. What
then is the logic behind this join-
tog of forces?
BASICALLY, what HRP has to
offer RIP is legitimacy and at
least some power. HRP probably
will have gained state-wide bal-
lot recognition by the next elec-
tion, thus making is unnecessary
for RIP to depend on the uncer-
tain fortunes - and possibly
legality - of a city charter
ttEPE y,
a ?4
amendment vote on a proposal
to make it easier for local third
parties to win a spot on the
city ballot.
Further, as one RIP member
put it, HRP has extensive "con-
nections" in state politics through
prominent former Democrats
who found that party too conser-
vative in its outlook.
In analysing the relative desir-
ability of such an alliance, there-
fore, complex questions of ad-
vantages versus disadvantages
should be considered.
True political pragmatism,
however, demands a careful bal-
ancing of advantages versus dis-
For this reason, it is unfortun-
ate that RIP ciose to reach
such a difficult and far-reaching
decision during the summer while

most of its constituents, the stu-
dents, are out of town.
made to function with no loss to
the party's integrity, however,
the decision will most likely be
viewed by RIP supporters as
wise and politically astute.
RIP has announced it will not
support any Democrats for pub-
lic office even if HRP shoulc4
choose to do so. While this is a
step in the right direction, even
stronger measures should be
taken to assure the independence
of the party.
RIP members should deal very
cautiously with HRP, constant-
ly analysing their involvement,
lest they find themselves com-
mitted to candidates or policies
which have little or even nega-
tive appeal to their Ann Arbor
RIP should stress it indepen-
dence and determination to main-
tain its radical approach; it
should not be dragged into sup-
porting only slightly left-of and
better-than Democratic candi-
WE SHOULD NOT in any case
deceive ourselves into believ-
ing that HRP politics are simi-
lar to RIP's or that they are
likely to become so in the fore-
seeable future. RIP is a small
group and not very likely to in-
fluence the better seasoned and
supported HRP.
The situation, while potentially
beneficial since there are a
number of areas where HRP and
RIP are at least close to each
other, demands close scrutiny so
that RIP's distinctive local pro-
gram will be carefully guarded.
HRP is better than the other
parties, but it it not the radical
hope that RIP projects.
Letters to The Daily should
be mailed to the Editorial Di-
rector or delivered to Ma ry
Rafferty in the Student Pub-
lications business office in the
Michigan Daily building. Let-
ters should be typed, double-
spaced and normally should
not exceed 250 words. The
Editorial Directors reserve the
right to edit all letters sub-

WI wil stnd in the schoolhouse door!
-George Wallace, June, 1963
420 Moynard Street, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Edited ond managed by students at the
University of Michigan
Editoriahs printed in The Michigan Daily express the indusiduat
opinions of the author. This must he noted in all reprints.
Thursday, August 19, 1971 News Phone: 764-0552
- -
Smeii'r Edi/oriaf Staff
Ca-Editre C-Ediat
POBERT CONRow....---.......... ...................BOuuks Eduitor
JIM JUDKIS...,...............................raphy Editor
NIoioT IITO ft: A uit Cre, Timns tJobos, Ai Leinhl, Jothan
Parts, Zavmarv schiiSer.




JIM STOREY .......

Sunmier Spor/ Staff
Summ uer Business Staff

Spar ts Editr
Associate Stotl Editr
... Business Maonager
Display Advertising
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GenelOffie Ar . laost

The new way to play 'Treaty Time'

ed in, trumpeting, "IT'S TREATY
TIME!", many promises were made to
the Indians by the conquering hordes.
Treaties were an easy way out, a de-
vice to trick Indians and convince any
moralists that all would be fair and
square. Afterwards, by forcing the Ind-
ians into a state of economic and poli-
tical deprivation, the white man could
forget about treaties and feel secure that
the Indians would not have the legal or
financial ability to challenge him.
But now, finally, that duplicity may be
catching up with the descendants of the
treaty-makers. There are currently 389
treaties in force between Indians and
the United States or various states, and
the Indians are moving for enforce-
ment of their provisions.
No amount of reparations could make
up for what has happened to the Native
Americans, but reparations can improve
the lives of the one million Indians left
in this country.
RIGHT NOW, according to a 1969 re-
port of the Senate's Subcommittee on
Indian Education, the average Indian
income is $1500, 75 per cent below the
national average, and their unemploy-
ment rate is a staggering 40 per cent.
Average Indian life span is 44 years,
compared to the U.S. average of 65;
average amount of education for Ind-
ians under federal supervision is five
years. Fifty thousand Indian families
live in unsanitary, dilapidated build-
ings, many in huts, shanties, or aband-
oned cars.
But the Indians are organizing, to
press for better conditions, more con-
trol of their own lives - and those old
treaty rights. For some. of those rights

may be the key to helping the Indian
movement win its goals.
In one case, for example, the Indian
Claims Commission has ruled that the
United States must finish paying t h e
Chippewas for more than 13 million
acres in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The
value of the land was determined at
$9,875,000 in 1837, the date of the treaty;
the Indians were promised only $870,-
000, and not all that was paid.
The commission is now going to rule
how much more the Indians must be
paid. That should be fairly substantial,
although the government may claim as
part of the payment all funds used for
those Indians since 1837.
Indian Claims Commission, although
most major claims have been settled.
The government set an official final fil-
ing date of August, ~1951, and has been
unraveling hundreds of claims ever
Commission decisions can be appealed
to the Court of Claims, where ac-
cording to a commission spokes-
man, the Indians usually win "be-
cause the law is designed to assist the
$ut that may not be enough. The
commission acts under a 1951 1 a w ;
however, that law does not affect the
administration of Indian affairs. In
one case, the Ute Indians have charged
the First Security Bank of Sa I t Lake
City with defrauding them of their
shares in the tribal mineral estate.
The case will be heard by the Su-
preme Court. It is a horrifying s t o r y
of how the Utes were paid as little as
$130 a share for rights estimated to be
worth $28,919.29 a share by geologists
at the University of Utah

BANK OFFICIALS and friends made a
fortune. Ironically, the bank was chos-
en to help the Indians sell their stock
by the Bureau of Indian Affairs - no-
torious for its maladministration,
In Michiga,, Indians have won from
the State Su creme Court reaffirmation
of their right to hunt and fish as they
please, as granted in an 1854 treaty.
Some critics claim the result has
been disastrous because it allows the
Indians to fish commercially in specially
stocked waters recovering from a lamp-
rey eel attack that depleted the fish
population. The argument is that sport
fishing will suffer.
But there really are not very m a n y
Indian'fishermen, and their catch has
been small compared to what sport
fishermen usually take home. Only
about 24 men in a dozen or so boats
have been active, so the problem seems
exaggerated, more fear than truth.
about possible abuse of the rights, and
Gov. William Milliken has offered to
negotiate a plan to protect both the
fish population and Indian rights. In
return for agreeing to some restrictions,
the Indians would receive state jobs to
replace those lost - perhaps as many
as 50 badly needed jobs.
The Jndians, understandably w a r y,
may not agree, so further clarification
has been asked from the State Supreme
Court. But the court was very firm in
its support of the Indian rights and can
be expected not to rescind them sub-
Still, the fishing rights are an im-
portant step for the Indians in economy
and self-respect. Other tribes, chiefly on
the West coast, have pressed similar
cases, so far with less luck, although

their claims may reach the Supreme
The Senate subcommittee report spec-
ified education as one of the most press-
ing Indian needs, and" that is where
Michigan is again an excellent example.
The Indians have taken this University
to court to demand scholarships grant-
ed to them in an 1817 treaty in return
for the land that was used for funds to
build the first University in Detroit.
THAT CASE might someday go to the
State Supreme Court, and it is a good
bet the Indians will win. The treaty is
clear: Hopefully, the University will be-
gin to fulfill a 1939 agreement to pro-
vide $20,000 a year for Indian educa-
In addition, the University should pay
back nearly $20,000 a year not spent on
Indians since the 1939 agreement. That
money was returned to the general as-
sistance fund and no attempt was made
to recruit Indians until this year. That
effort is not even full-time.
Indians have asked for changes, now.
In this case, as in the fishing case, what
is happening in Michigan is a good
indication of how the Indians have been
repressed and how they are finally re-
trieving at least some of their rights.
There are 389 treaties to be examined
carefully now, and then enforced; hope-
fully, the results will be great for the
In 1971, it has become more diffi-
cult to continue repressing minorities
overtly because of opinion at home and
abroad. As The Detroit News put it,
Milliker; can't afford to look like an
oppresser. of Indians; neither can the
United States. So perhaps there will be
some improvement.



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