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August 07, 1970 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1970-08-07

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~0 1

Page Four-S


Friday, August 7, 1970

Friday, August 7, 1970

l l u/ s ..

Lawrence. It's clearly a cultural difference
that's not being accepted by the cultures.
The freaks are here now. They're here to
stay and if they have to, they'll fight,"
Bauerle says.
And fight they may have to if the
stories about vigilantes are true. Al-
though almost everyone talks about the
vigilantes, no one claims to actually know
anything about them, except for the
street people. Cpt. McClure says he does
not have any knowledge of such a group.
"They never came in here and talked
to me about it. Now, if they've been hold-
ing their meetings and whatnot, I don't
know. Rumors is all I've got and you get
all kinds of rumors in this job."
Chalmers says second-hand informa-
tion isall he has, but adds, "There's no
doubt in my mind that there are people
who are prepared to take the law into
their own hands, if they feel sufficient
provocation to do so."
"My first year has been, to state it most
mildly, an unusual one and perhaps it
deserves the characterization of a frantic
one. But I would add very quickly, really
a very satisfying first year because the
amount of rapport and trust that I sense
with the students and the faculty and
the staff of the university," Chalmers
THE 1969-70 ACADEMIC year was un-
doubtedly the most politically active
KU has seen. It saw dramatic increases
in *he level of consciousness of black stu-
aonts as the BSU began printing its own
newspaper and presented a list of de-
mands to Chalmers. The paper, Harabee,
was hit with an obscenity charge, which
was later dismissed. Chalmers dismissed
the demands for more black students,
faculty and staff as not reasonable, legal
or attainable.
A peaceful protest over the conviction
of the Chicago 7 and the remarks of a
KU law professor attacking Judge Julius
Hoffman enhanced KU's "radical" image.
That was preceeded by two sizeable
Moratorium days, a minor ROTC con-
troversy and passage of a policy placing
some restrictions on classified research.
The political situation became more
tense in late March when two professors

were passed over by the Regents for reg-
ular promotions. One-was law Prof. Law-
rence Vevel, who spoke at the Conspiracy
rally, which was followed by vandalism
at the Douglas county courthouse. The
other, drama Prof. Fredric Litto had
been associated with a conrotversial
theatre program.
The controversy grew, with the Senate
Executive Committee (students and fac-
ulty) joining the Council of ,Deans in
almost unanimous opposition to the re-
gental action. A strike was planned for
April 8, the same day Abbie Hoffman was
to speak at KU.
T HE STRIKE WAS a failure, but
attempts were made that day and the
next to burn two more university build-
ings. Events accelerated on several fronts
after that. Racial tensions began to flare
up at Lawrence high school, and several
KU blacks were involved in confronta-
tions with police there. Meanwhile, the
state attorney general's office ordered a
halt to the third edition of Harabee, while
the student senate asked the regents to
consider the Vevel and Litto decisions.
ON APRIL 20, the student union burned,
apparently set on fire by an arsonist.
Damage was set at $1.3 -million. Although
the union fire was not clearly connected
with any other issue, it followed a week
of increasing violence at Lawrence high
school. The day after the union fire, 150
blacks battled 50 police at the school dis-
trict offices and that night Gov. Robert
Docking ordered a 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew
imposed on the city.
In the days which followed, there were
reports of sniping and arson in the black
community, which the city had more or
less expected. But more surprising was
the violence which broke out in the
Oread community as well.
"We didn't expect any trouble there
and it caught us by surprise," Dennis
Kallsen says.
"We got several police cars shot all up,"
says police Cpt. McClure. "We were get-
ting rocks up on top of the hill. We had
to replace several windshields because
of the rocks we received up there."

Those events at KU were paralleled by
a change of attitude in the community.
"Lawrence is proud of KU, but there has
certainly been disenchantment on the
part of most with the activities on the
part of some," Kallsen says.
That "disenchantment" has resulted in
polarization for most of Lawrence, both
to the extreme right and the- extreme
left. "The most imngediate danger," says
Chalmers, "is that either group can be
responsible for the destruction of prop-
erty, one in the name- of law and order
and the other in the name of revolution.
"Of course, there is the problem of
recruitment. Unless the 99 per cent in

cause the facade of political rhetoric is
virtually absent. The basic sub-commu-
nities - black, student, street -person,
white "establishment"-are more visible
and more clearly defined than in the
highly urbanized communities one is more
accustomed to hearing about.
is a liability for Lawrence, because, of
its size. In a larger, more complex society,
events such as the Dowdell shooting or
the union fire would not affect all seg-
ments of the community as profoundly
as they did in Lawrence. While a com-
munity of 47,000 is too large for every-



"The racial situation in Northeastern Kansas has gotten
progressively worse. I don't think the school case had any
effect one way or the other."

the middle is assured that there are rea-
sonable and responsible mechanisms for
settling differences or seeking out the
causes of conflict and finding long, just,
lasting solutions, that recruitment is
made easier."
Lawrence, they do not appear to be
currently in use. There is some talk of
forming a "coalition," of all the various
groups from the street people to the vigi-
lantes. But right now, it is just that-
In many ways, Lawrence is a microco-
som of the larger society in America to-
day. Racism has fostered hate, fear and
frustration among both blacks and
whites. Student protest, rather than
dramatizing the contradictions in our
society, has served to polarize much of
the population, leaving a helpless few in
the middle. Each attempt by communities
of street people to "do their own thing"
has only resulted in increasingly desperate
attempts by the rest of society to force
upon them a way of life which they
utterly reject.
If Lawrence is in some way unique
from the rest of the country, it is be-

one to know everyone else, it is too still
small for anyone to really feel that such
events do not affect him or threaten his
chosen way of life.
When Dowdell and Rice were shot,
many people around the country were
asking, "Why Lawrence?" Perhaps the
question to ask is, "Why not Lawrence?"
The problems there are not new, only
the flare-ups are, and given the sharper
definition of those problems, the only
surprise is that they did not flare up
sooner. That they will flare up again
seems inevitable. Nothing really basic has
changed since the shootings. If anything,
matters have become worse,
The problems of racism, polarization
and fear of what is different are the
problems of a country, not just a city in
northeastern Kansas. Even if Lawrence
could, in some unexpected way, make
progress toward overcoming those ob-
stacles, it could not escape the fact that
it is part of that larger society. And it
will be only when the nation as a whole
manages to resolve its conflicts that
Lawrence, Kansas will really become the
peaceful city of America's heartland
everyone once thought it was.
© Michigan Daily 1970

DURING THE 1800's pro-slavery and
anti-slavery factions fought bitterly
to determine whether the Kansas Terri-
tory would enter the union as a slave or
free state, earning that territory the
name "bleeding Kansas."
In the post-Civil War era the vast
flatlands unobstrusively blended into
"middle America," but after 100 years
of relative calm, three weeks ago Kansas
bled again,
On July 16, in Lawrence, a black youth
was shot to death by a white policeman,
touching off five nights of violence which
ended with the shooting death of a white
youth. Surrounding those events were
numerous incidents of- sniping,, rock-
throwing at police, firebombing and van-
Since then, Lawrence has been rela-
tively quite, but tense, with its residents
alternately searching for an answer and
ascribing blame for what happened. Nei-
ther task is an easy one, because Law-
rence, although it is a small city, includes
most of the elements common to larger
cities where similar events have occured.
Lawrence is the home of the University
of Kansas (KU), whose 17,000 students
comprise over a third of the city's 47,000
residents. On the fringe of the univer-
sity, as elsewhere, is. a growing com-
munity of "street people," while most of
Lawrence's 4,000 blacks live in dilapi-
dated homes on the city's east side.
outbreak of racial violence at the
high school in April, Lawrence's various
sub-communities were aware of each
other, but saw themselves largely as part
of one community.
Today, the effects of polarization are
evident. The blacks and street people see
themselves in the same corner, joined
by some of the university students and
the rest of the students, along with Law-
rence's white majority, strung out in the
opposite direction.
The blacks and street people complain
of police harassment and attacks by
white vigilantes. The white townspeople
express fear for their property and even
their lives. Strangely enough, political
considerations are almost totally absent,
as each group strives to preserve its way
of life in the face of what it sees as a
very real threat from the other side.
Lawrence Police Captain Murle Mc-
Clure says the history of trouble in the
black community is comparatively re-
cent. "We had an incident or two last

Eu uwInj




"I grew up on a farm,1

and I've been exposed to guns since I was a liti

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Just all-out fun
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summer that we had with them, but we
didn't have anything in great propor-
tion," he says.
Politically, Lawrence's black commun-
ity is remarkably cohesive-largely due to
the efforts of Leonard Harrison. Harri-
son came to Lawrence two years ago and
began an intensive program of organiz-
ing within the black community.
H1E CURRENTLY directs the Ballard
Center, which has become a focal
point for the black community. The cen-
ter provides tutorial services for black
high school and university students, a-
legal aid service, and operates a credit
union. It is presently embarking on a
public housing project.
Gary Jackson, former special assistant
to the KU Dean of Men for black stu-
dents, provides a further explanation for
the unity of purpose among Lawrence's
blacks. "This is a small town," he says,

"everybody knows everybody, and it's a
little easier to organize people."
Jackson was reportedly dismissed two
weeks ago following allegations that he
purchased 27 boxes of ammunition with
Black Student Union funds.
As of August 1, however, Jackson said
he had received no official notice of his
dismissal. "But then you have to ask
what is official," he adds, "I've read in
the papers that I've been fired."
Jackson, who has been working with
Harrison in the black community, says
Lawrence could be described as "a micro-
ism of the entire predicament of oppres-
sed people throughout the United States.
"Here in Lawrence we're concerned

killed by a E
the head.
The police ;
Dowdell first
ner's inquest
"felonious int(
The only t
quest came fi
member of t
vestigation (t
from their t#
sistant, but C
on the stand t
raised doubts
to the validity
Garrett cla
at him with a

We had an incident or two last summer
them, but we didn't have anything in A
:........: ,.......,gi : .::. gis~ e glg g ati mt m gg y g



Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, Fay Baintor,
Asoa rebellious girl in the ante-bellum South, Bette Davis had
one of her strongest dramatic roles.
662-8871 75C AUDITORIUM


with black people in general," he contin-
ues, "not a specific Black Panther move-
bent or Republic of New Africa move-
ment. We're talking about the betterment
of the black community, and that's what
we deal with." ,
SINCE THE DEATH of Rick, solidarity
in the black community has been in-
creasing, Jackson says. The split between
militant and nonmilitant blacks has nar-
"Both. peoples understand the utilizing
of black people in general and know
what's coming down. The only split (in
the black community) would possibly be
ideological, but if you come down to them
marching down to the police station-
which they did-they would be right
there with us. They would support any-
thing the militants would do."
When asked about the black com-
munity's view of the role white radicals
have played, Jackson says, "Up to now I
think what they've done has been beauti-
ful, they understand oppression as we
understand oppression,"
July 16 Rick Dowdell was shot and
killed by William Garrett, a Lawrence
policeman. Dowdell, who was black, was

and the gun f
next to his le
is known to l
was reportedl:
ster when he t
parafin tes
told the all-
that Dowdell
agent could n
Dowdell last fi
The only ki
who was not
black woman,
in Miss Cole'
the shooting.
The followi
view by a Da
in which she i
ing the Dow
they happenet
Daily: Wha
the Incident.(
Miss Cole:
a lie."
Daily: Wha
Miss Cole:
arrived at A
one of them

603 E. Liberty St.
SHOWS AT: *s*,
1:15-3:45-6:10-8:45 P.M. SWN
Box office opens 12:45 F.M.mlao MPModern_ _SHOWING


"In my personal view, their (the police's) whole
thing was to shoot a Dowdell anyway.",

JPWA ~ ~ ~ . IMUPM*I -

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IAL 5-6290

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