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May 14, 1970 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1970-05-14

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Kent State

I

s4e £irighau Daiuij
Seventy-nine years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

brought the war home

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

THURSDAY, MAY 14, 1970

NIGHT EDITOR: ROBERT KRAFTOWITZ

Regents should not penalize
faculty who supported BAM

LAST MONTH the students got it from
the Regents in the form of the inter-
im disciplinary rules. Now it is the fac-
ulty's turn to feel Regents' wrath as they
act on a measure to withhold pay from
professors and teaching fellows for the
time they cancelled classes in sympathy
with the Black Action Movement (BAM)
strike.
The rationale behind this proposed ac-
tion is the same one the Legislature uses
to determine how much "education"
teachers are producing. They believe that
education is a process which is confined
to the classroom and that when that pro-
cess stops, however briefly, no o n e is
learning much of importance.
It almost makes one wonder whether
any of the Regents ever went to college.
If they would look back across the years,
they might recall that many of their most
educational experiences occured far from
any classroom. There are the skull ses-
sions with friends to tackle a difficult
concept encountered in some course. Rap
sessions with friends and strangers alike
expose a student to concepts and exper-
iences he would never find in a class-
room. And protests, like the Black Action
Movement (BAM) strike, provide one of
the most graphic educational experiences
of all, 'forcing students to m a k e their
classroom learning relevant to real life
by choosing their response or, if they do
not know enough about the issue, to learn
the facts and then decide.
5O WHERE DO teachers fit into this
extra-academic experience? If t h e y
are, as the Regents apparently believe,
mere pedants, dispensing knowledge from
a lecturn, there is no justification for any
faculty member to go on strike with his
students. But the fact that many faculty
members did walk out indicates a differ-
ent concept of their role than that held
by the Regents. They believe that their
teachings on equality and the dignity of
man will be empty hypocrisy if they con-
tinue to give it lip service while their
students are out making sacrifices for
those ideals. A teacher who walks out

with'his students over something like the
BAM strike is not a teacher who is dere-
lict in his duty. He is, in fact, one who has
done his job so well that his students are
able to carry their classroom learnings
out into the community at large.
jT IS DOUBTFUL if the Regents disagree
with that reasoning, despite their ca-
pacity to do so. What they really question
is the necessity and worth of the BAM
strike. They fail to see the racism on this
campus and in society at large because
they are part of it. As a result, they can-
not understand what everyone was so ex-
cited about.
The problems addressed, by the BAM
strike were long-standing ones. The pres-
ent Regents, and others before t h e m,
bear the responsibility for creating a lily-
white university which admitted v e r y
few blacks and discouraged those it did.
And, it took a forceful confrontation to
even put a dent in that wall of racism.
Now, even after all that has happened,
the Regents still refuse to see the role
they played in that racism and continue
to make nice speeches about equality.
But, the move to dock faculty pay for
participation in the strike belies their
rhetoric. Furthermore, it is a refusal to
admit a mistake in much the same way
that Nixon and the Pentagon refuse to
admit their mistake - by making new
ones.
THERE IS LITTLE HOPE that the Re-
gents will reject the faculty pay cut
proposal when they mpnet tomorrow. How-
ever, their action should serve as a' clear
signal to all that despite any apparent
gains made by the BAM strike, the Re-
gents are the same old bunch. To them,
the strike was another.student diversion
with no relation to the Regents, other
than to make a large number of outstate
citizens and alumni angry with them.
As Ed Fabre said at the BAM rally the
night the strike ended, "The battle is not
over. It's just begun."
-ROB BIER

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The author is a research as-
sociate in the Institute for Social Research.)
By ROBERT ROSS
N THE LAST 10 days, in living color.
something very clear has been com-
municated to White America. The War has
been brought home. The killings at Kent
State University have landed hammer
blows at the hearts of all those who thought
that somehow, someway, civility and de-
cency could survive imperialism. There are
two general topics which the world has
thrust on our agenda this evening - un-
welcome, unbidded, without honor, b u t
necessary for us to understand, a n d to
which we must respond.
The first concerns the inner message of
the Kent State murders; the second con-
cerns the meaning of the South East As-
ian events.
When the news came of the murders at
Kent, all -over the country ordinary peo-
ple and some of their leaders responded
with horror, sometimes anger, sometimes
despair. Innocents were being slaughtered.
As students and concerned citizens launch-
ed their demonstrations, some groups in-
sisted that the escalation of America's war
in Southeast Asia and the murders, were
the primary issues - as indeed they were.
But way off somewhere, a tall, lean black
revolutionary, Malcolm X, is sardonically
whispering in our ears: The chickens have
come home to roost.
IN 1968, STUDENTS demonstrated at
their college in Orangeburg, South Caro-
lina. As their marches got larger and their
voices angrier, the state police were called
in. When the smoke had cleared, three stu-
dents were shot dead; thirty were wound-
ed; most of the wounds were in the back
as students fled the rush of troops. These
students were black; no universities shut
down for them. So now, through the clear-
ing fog of more gunsmoke we should be
able to understand: Black America has
been under siege for years.
In Augusta, Georgia, Monday night, six
people were killed.
The war has been brought home for
whites; but it has been amongst us for
decades.
But what is it that creates such vicious-
ness against people of color and youth who
f i g h t against the war? The President
claimed that his invasion of Cambodia was
a peace march. If he means the peace of
the grave, maybe. But if one examines the

logic of U.S. action. in Southeast Asia one
sees a clear enough pattern which allows
us to know better: his recent action is en-
tirely consistent with his own and John-
son's policy there. They want a clear mili-
tary victory and subsequent subjugation
of the whole of Indochina. Mad with irra-
tional fear of China, filled with the racist
imagery of a vague yellow peril, the men
who have ruled this country since 1954
have piled one policy upon another and by
now their intentions are utterly transpar-
ent. They want Indochina as a first line
of defense, a military fortress, a n d of
course, whenever they can, an area of eco-
nomic exploitation. Recently James Reston
suggested that the President would use
"any weapons" to avoid defeat.
NOW THE ADMINISTRATION argues
that its withdrawal plan is continuing, and
that shortly there will be only 250,000
troops in Vietnam. Vietnamization is the
slogan. Let us examine this brilliant doc-
trine.
But it is fatuous because various Ad-
ministration and military statements have
made abundantly clear that there is no in-
tention of completely moving out of Viet-
nam. And there is not even a mention of
withdrawal of support troops, once battle-
field divisions are withdrawn. What does
this mean? First, they will attempt to
withdraw as many as 250,000 troops leaving
the airbases and sea bases and the me-
chanics and logistical troops, and "ad-
visors."
WHY IS IT THAT the world's greatest
military power cannot win, nor even with-
draw gracefully. Why is it that every
American President since Truman has in-
tervened but failed to grasp victory over
the Communist revolution in Southeast
Asia. The reason is simple, and indeed, it is
known to them. Robert McNamara, made
the point when he said that before the
American invasion and heavy bombing of
1965 the number of North Vietnamese
troops in South Vietnam was negligible;
only after our invasion did it raise to any
important level. McNamara was right. Be-
fore 1965 there was no foreign invasion of
South Vietnam; nor Laos for that matter.
The interesting thing about all this is
that it was all predicted. In 1965 during
the orignal teach-ins, the schemes of the
Americans to defeat Sihanouk's neutralism
were exposed, and it was predicted, among

others, by the former head of MSU's cam-
pus wing of the Vietnam training program,
that they would attempt a CIA takeover in
order to firm up their counter-revolution-
ary battle lines. The impotence of the
electoral process was foretold by the stu-
dents, who voted with their feet in the
streets.
NOW WE ARE MET in the wake of a
great crisis; a president who talks peace
has created a newwar; an administration
committed to order has demonstrated it is
the order of tyrants; young people have
responded all around the country with a
spontaneous strike movement which chal-
lenges every American to equal them in
their willingness to see the truth and act
on it.
In the coming months we have little
choice but to reconsider the assumptions
upon which we are acting. The use of our
freedoms seem about to become illegal. We
have two tasks, one defensive, the other
offensive. The defensive task is to make
common cause with young people: to refuse

to allow them to becompe the isolated tar-
gets of reaction. An important component
of this, and one which will magnify our
ability to exert force is to respond to the
oppression of black militants such as the
Black Panther Party in the same way.
Our offensive task is equally, if not more
difficult. We must make the continuation
of the war intolerable to those who think
they can conduct the war and govern the
nation. There are proposals circulating in
Washington and amongst some academics
to initiate economic boycotts of the largest
corporations; others are discussing nation-
wide work-stoppages in protest of war and
oppression. Still others will respond to
various Congressional initiatives against
the war.
It is hard and too early to tell which of
these ideas will become most widely ac-
cepted. But some things are clear. First.
we must gather together in the various
groups to respond to extraordinary crisis.
And second, we must unite and magnify
our forces.

4

.4

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

I

Colleges have commercial intellectualism,

A

BReal struggle i s
not in the Supreme Court

ATeSud
Another Surrounded Command Pose

To the Editor:
AS WE IN TIE University re-
dedicate ourselves to the purifica-
tion of American life and action
in light of the shocking events of/
the last week, let us not forget
that there is an area of corruption
surrounding us which goes virtual-
ly without analysis and criticism
by educated men and women. We
have begun to attack the pollution
of the environment, the pollution
which militarism spreads across
the face of the ideals of humane
democracy, the pollution of racism
in the social order, and of in-
humanity to the poor and disad-
vantaged in a luxury society. But
we are a long way from mounting
an effective attack on the pollu-
tion of our minds brought about
by the intense commercialization
of values in this society.
In the end we may re-beautify
this land, remove ourselves from
Asia and restrain the military, we
may effectively integrate our
races and help our poor. Will we
be as successful in helping to
eradicate the blight of "the big
sell?" Our public communications
systems-the media, as they are
euphemistically called-are con-

taminated with the deceits which
professional advertising and mark-
eting have foisted upon us; we
cannot escape them. Even when
we would oppose them, we seem
naturally to adopt the tactic of
the opponent.
MOST SADDENING it is that
the style of intellectual life at this
and the large majority of other
American colleges and universities
is equally tainted. We have by and
large in this country a commercial
intellectualism. How often do we
judge the quality of an idea by its
enthusiastic endorsement rather
than its inherent logic or mean-
ing? We find ourselves constantly
committed to projects and enter-
prises for convenience sake, or be-
cause they promise future success
and reward (for some) without al-
ways asking whether there is any
worth to them consistent with the
ideals of the university commu-
nity. On the latter point, we have
generally ceased to take up the
question of such ideals as a cor-
rective to the scheme or cliche of
the moment.
To an important extent we are
in national and international
crisis because we have been willing

purchasers of often stupid thinking
that has been attractively pack-
aged and distributed to us. We
have been conditioned for years
to purchase such thinking at the
expense of real thought, which is
generally painful to achieve and
most likely unpopular. I think the
best re-dedication we can make
now, when at last we have seen
through the many current hypo-
cricies, is to vow that we shall not
be governed in our own lives by
cliche, and that we shall not ac-
cept cliches from others.
--Prof. Louis L. Orlin
near eastern language
and literature department
May 12
Letters to the Editor shouldI
be mailed to the Editorial Di-
rector or delivered to Mary
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 submitted.

THE SENATE unanimously confirmed
the nomination of J u d g e Harry A.
Blackmun to the Supreme Court with al-
most no debate and almost no fanfare.
It was certainly an undramatic denoue-
ment to a story about politics and ethics
and disguised motives that began a year
ago with the resignation of Abe Fortas
and culminated in an usual display of
muscle by Senate liberals in defeating
the nominations of Clement Haynsworth
and G. Harrold Carswell.
So Nixon finally succeeded in getting
another strict constructionist on the high
court. He did not get the political mile-
N co mment
IN HIS statement on school desegrega-
tion President N i x o en said, "I have
consistently expressed my opposition to
any -compulsory busing of pupils beyond
normal geographical school zones for the
purpose of achieving racial balance."
Interestingly, a U.S. Civil Rights Com-
mission publication says, ". . . Opposition
to all b u s i n g as undesirable is clearly
racist in nature. This is indicated by the
high proportion of w h i t e students in
rural areas, suburbs, and Catholic big-city
school systems who have used buses for
years to get to school-and still use them
-without arousing any such complaints.
Yet white opposition to publicly support-
ed busing schemes aimed at integrating
schools has effectively stymied this route
to improved educational q u a 1 i t y for
Negro children."

age out of appointing someone from the
South, but he got a conservative just the
same. And there was hardly a whimper
from anyone in the Senate, for the lib-
erals were anxious to provethat the only
relevant considerations in rejecting a
Court nomination are only meager cre-
dentials and financial impropriety.
It seems pretty hard to get upset over
the appointment of a n o t h e r Warren
Burger to the Supreme Court. The condi-
tion of our national health as evidenced
by the events surrounding Nixon's new
offensive in Cambodia m a k e s the Su-
preme Court look somehow irrelevant.nt
We find in the murder of four Kent
State students by National Guardsmen a
tragic reminder of the lessons learned
from the trial of the Chicago 7 and the
continuing extermination tactics being
used against the Black Panthers. And
that is this: any discussion of the word
"justice" has become meaningless. "Jus-
tice" no longer describes anything that is
synonomous with reason or fairness or
compassion but r a t h e r is merely the
designation of a repressive political of-
fensive associated with the ministry of
John Mitchell.
WHAT CAN anyone possibly do on the
Supreme Court when public officials
send in the National Guard to s q u a s h
demonstrations? When resistance to this
police occupation is punished by death?
When we may find the government will-
ing to s a c r i f i c e a few trigger-happy
Guardsmen and let the real criminals go
unindicted? Or, when the Army washes
its hands of the My Lai massacre with the
conviction of a few soldiers and the real
war criminals in the White House, in the
Pentagon, and in Texas are never charged
with the real murder of innocent people?
The nerversion of meaning of the word

Lunching with Melvin

Laird

I

By DEBRA THAL
HAD LUNCH with Secretary of
Defense Melvin Laird Monday.
To be more specific, I attended a
luncheon meeting of the Econ-
omics Club of Detroit at which he
spoke. It was an incredible after-
noon.
As I approached Cobo Hall, the
site of the luncheon, I noticed that
I was surrounded by a large num-
ber of conservatively dressed men
in expensively tailored, dark busi-
ness suits and military men in
dress uniforms-most had either
stars or stripes on their shoulders.
I was wondering where this un-
usual contingent could be headed
until I heard the first strains of
the drumeand bugle corps in the
main banquet hall. We entered the

luncheon together - the high
ranking military and civilians of
the city of Detroit and me.
Glancing around the room as
we passed the security guards, I
noted that there were hundreds of
the "elite" being seated at the
white clothed tables. Each table
had little American flags. The few
women present-some from the
miltary but mostly wives of the
businessmen-were attired in uni-
que creations from "a small
shoppe I know in New York." It
was very intimidating.
SUDDENLY, A HUSH fell over
the hall as Detroit's highest rank-
ing corporate executives and a few
sundry government, religious, eco-
nomic, and military leaders -
otherwise known as the Board of
'Directors - made their entrance
and were seated at the mammoth
head table. One arose and an-
nounced the color guard-repre-
sentatives of all the services-and
the entrance of The "Honorable
Secretary of Defense of the United
States of America, Melvin R.
Laird."

able to carefully examine what ap-
peared to be the Secret Service
contingent. Before the luncheon
started, they were searching under
tables and behind doors in the re-
ception room-presumably looking
for bombs or an evildoer.
WHILE WAITING for Laird to,
begin, I glanced through the in-
evitable leaflet on the table. It in-
formed me that the luncheon was
being given in cooperation with
the Detroit Armed Forces Week
Committee. Maybe that explains
all of the military men.
And then I saw the list of the
Board of Directors. It reads like
a list of the city's wealthiest men.
It also reads like list of the city's
biggest polluters, and just gener-
ally high ranking members of the
military industrial complex. Al-
most all of the hundred odd direc-
tors are chairmen of the board of
something.
The list includes the heads of
Ford, GM, Chrysler, and Amer-
ican Motors, ex-Detroit Mayor
Cavanagh, the notorious Ted Doan
from Dow Chemical, our own Rob-
ben Fleming, William Grace from

Forces Week. T h e n a standing
ovation for the Congressional
Medal of Honor winners who were
present. And then Laird.
He didn't say much but he said
it so badly that even the business-
men were turned off. Laird got a
standing ovation when he was in-
troduced but not after he finished
speaking. He gave this big rap on
how all of the servicemen being
released should get "preferential"
job treatment.
Laird then went on to t a 1k
about how, even though spending
has to be cut and the Defense De-
partment cannot have everything
it wants for the nation's defense,
war research is of the greatest
importance and has to continue
full speed ahead.
War research should be com-
pletely discontinued, not expand-
ed.
I was really glad when Laird
completed his monolog. Not only
was he boring, but he just can-
not speak. He stumbles over words
and could not even read the pre-
pared text which w a s released
earlier.

to these young people, we must
always indicate the importance of
United States leadership in the
world." ,
"The d e b a t e and dialog
shouldn't be over why Vietnam
but why Vietnamization," Laird
continued. "The debate should go
forward whether Vietnamization
is indeed adequate."
THEN, AS I WAS leaving the
hall, I was accosted by none other
than Michigan senatorial hopeful
Lenore Romney - also known as
the wife of our illustrious ex-gov-
ernor and current secretary of the
department of Housing and Urban
Development. She came up and
extended her hand and introduced
herself, asking "How are you to-
day?"
When I gave her a rather nega-
tive answer, she brushed me off
and went on to shake the hands
of everyone else in sight. Most of
them were delighted to meet her
and grinned.
As I finally made it out the
door, I noticed something t h a t
had been sorely lacking - some

4

-A.C.

Sum uzer Editorial Staff

I

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