Saturday, September 26, 1981
The Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
A 19th-century streetperson
Vol. XCII, No. 15
420 Maynord St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Toward Salvadoran reform
Among Ann' Arbor's unique cultural
landmarks are a group of familiar
inhabitants referred to as "streetpeople".
A list of Ann Arbor Streetpeople would
include Shaky Jake, Crazy Mary, Dr.
Will McLean Greeley
Diag, and the Pencil Man. The Pencil
Man? Surely none of us recall the Pencil
Man, but he was Ann Arbor's resident
Streetperson of the nineteenth century.
The University community had a soft spot
in their hearts for this man, as the
following article from the September 25,
1900 Daily points out:
THE FAMILIAR OLD PENCIL MAN
DIES AT UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL
Every upperclassman in school remembers
the familiar figure of a grizzly bearded old
man who for a number of years has attracted
the attention of passers-by with his plaintive
cry of "Pencils-two for five!" Wrapped up in
his great long overcoat and partly concealing
his features with an old "slouch" hat, the
"Pencil Man" at once became a familiar
figure to the students. Many of the boys
bought his wares as they said "to help him
along." But few of them probably ever
realized and still fewer knew of the thrilling
experiences that old Capt. Edward L. Dormer
(for this was his name) had lived through. A
few weeks before his death ... the old man
became reminiscent and reeled off stories of
adventure that would make a dime store
novel fiend forget his dinner.
HIS STORY sounded like a romance. Cast
up on an island in the Iadian Ocean in thg
early 1840's, his companions murdered, him-
self spared by a chief's daughter, his escape
on a pirate ship, and, finally, after over three
years of thrilling adventure his return to
civilization, formed a most interesting story'-
when told by the old pencil man. A smile crept
over his face as he narrated his marvelous
escape from the savages, showing that though
60 years have come and gone, this incident is
still quite clear in his memory.
The old Pencil Man is gone-another one of
the student landmarks is removed.
NEXT WEEK: Arthur Miller's letter to
the Daily, 1936.
Greeley's column appears every Satur-
T HE SENATE took a small but
meaningful step Thursday to
bring about a real resolution to the
political and social strife in El
Salvador that have kept the tiny Cen-
tral American nation in violent civil
war for years. Over objections from
the Reagan administration and El
Salvador's president, Jose Napolean
Duarte, the Senate tied r future U.S.
military aid to the junta there to
political and economic reforms and an
improvement in the nation's human
The Senate's 51-47 vote to link con-
tinued aid to Salvadoran reform
recognizes that El Salvador's
problems are not primarily military,
and therefore cannot be solved simply
through military might. El Salvador's
bloody civil war is only the most
visible, if horrifying, result of that
country's long-standing, gross social,
economic, and political iniquities.
And, thus the violence of, El
Salvador's rebels, who seek to right
th'ose injustices through revolution,
will never by quelled merely with the
import of more American helicopters,
guns, and advisers.Not until the Duar-
C IA re
HE CENTRAL Intelligence Agency
; was on Capitol Hill this week,
lobbying intensively for changes in
:feddral laws that would, if approved,
severely restrict the access of the
dress and the public to information on
the agency's activities.
In the past, Congress has been able
to withstand most of the pressure from
the agency. But this Congress is dif-
Jerent. The CIA seems to be winning its
;fight, and the civil liberties of
Americans stand an excellent chance
of being the losers.
The CIA managed to pursuade the
House this week to pass-by a margin
of 354 to 56-a bill that would make it a
crime to disclose the identity of any of
the agency's spies. The bill, which will
now go on to the Senate where it faces
fairly good chances of approval,
would, among other things, make it a
criminal offense for journalists to
report the names of CIA operatives.
Over in the Senate, CIA Director
William Casey in remarks before the
Subcommittee on the Constitution,
urged Congress to grant the agency
"total exclusionn" from the provisions
of the Freedom of Information Act. He
te government institutes sweeping
reforms, at least of the magnitude of
its aborted land redistribution plan,
will El Salvador's. people begin the
work of rebuilding their country in-
stead of tearing it down.
The Reagan administration, with its
simplistic emphasis on military might
as the solution to the problems of El
Salvador, made little effort to en-
courage this needed reform and
progress. Instead it has only aided in
the escalation of violence and war.
The Senate's vote seems to be at
least a step in the right direction.
Duarte, the future of his regime
hopelessly tied to continued American
military and economic support, will
have no choice but to make a greater
effort to institute meaningful reforms.
The reforms spawned by the
Senate's vote should not only improve
the quality of life for the majority of
Salvadorans who are not counted in El
,Salvador's economic and political
elite, but should also bring the coun-
try's civil war to a swifter end by
moving to right some of the wrongs
that have pushed Salvadorans to rebel
in the first place.
claimed that complying with the act
cost too much money and risked leaks
of information that endangered
The real motivation behind the
agency seems clear enough, however.
Casey wants the agency to be able to
operate with impunity-he doesn't
want to have to bother with all of those
messy details like protecting the civil
liberties and constitutional rights of
It is precisely those messy details,
however, which have provided needed
restraints on the CIA. The measure of
accountability that has proceeded
from the ability of the press to
generate public concern over the CIA's
actions has kept the CIA's abuses from
being even more monsterops than they
While it is disturbing that the CIA is
pushing such repressive legislation, it
is even more disturbing that the agen-
cy has found a receptive audience on
Capitol Hill. If Congress is looking fore
ways to change the laws regulating the
CIA, it should-if anything-consider
making it easier for the public to have
access to information about the in-
telligence agency's activities.
By Robert Lence
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Young 'white supremacists'
RICHMOND, CALIF. - Brandy is the
name she likes to call herself and she giggled
when she spoke about the old days of "nigger-
bashing" and "popping crank."
She said she never was a full "sister" in any
of the West Contra Costa County gangs that
police believe were responsible for a series of
attacks on black families here last fall and'
SHE WAS JUST an "associate" who used to
hang out with them. And, she said, she never
actually participated in any Ku Klux Klan ac-
tivities even if she did buy coke and grass and
crank (methamphetamine) from men who
were Klan members..
Until a year or so ago Brandy was one of the
countless teen-age kids, dropped out of school
and stuck in dead-end jobs, for whom drugs and'
gangs gave life meaning. Today she is slightly
embarrassed by "all that crazy shit" that was
a central part of her life when she was "just a
"Yeah, like once when we were all together
and there were five bloods' (blacks) in the
park and we decided to jump 'em. It was just
something to do. We were bored."
BRANDY IS NOT really a white
supremacist, she said, although she believes
a lot of her friends are. But her own attitudes
toward black people are hardly positive. "I
got my resents from school. Even in pre-
school days they beat on us all the time."
Brandy does not feel much Tondness for her
parents-a supermarket manager and a legal
secretary-nor does she recall that they ex-
pressed much concern when at age 11 she
started staying away from home for days at a
The gang Brandy was closest to called itself
the "Biceps Brothers." Its main antagonists,
the "Blues Brothers" and the "West Santa
Ritas," are suspected of responsibility for at-
tacks on three black families in the Tara Hills
district overlooking Richmond. According to
one investigator, Sgt. Mike Barkhurst of the
Contra Costa Sheriff's Department, the whole
episode may have begun over a combination
of gang rivalry and an altercation imvolving
a drug exchange.
YET IN THE view of investigators who
prepared a report on Contra Costa County for
the California Fair Housing and Employment
Commission, which will hold hearings on
racial violence next month, drug dealing,
gang life, and race hatred all are part of a
By Frank Browning
complex fabric that has made this once-
pastoral set of communities an increasingly
Sgt. Rod Carpenter, who specializes in
monitoring gang activity for the county
sheriff's department, said about 30 gangs
have been identified so far. They tend to be
divided along racial and ethnic lines among
blacks, Mexicans, Filipinos, and whites. Their
central leadership may number no more than
The very existence of a gang subculture has
startled many residents here, where
traditional urban decay is slight and the
physical setting is mostly an idyllic vista of
rolling hills sweeping down to the confluence
of the Sacramento River and upper San
Gang activists vary, but police as well as
private investigators for the state's fair
Housing and Employment Commission see
them as both social and criminal
DEPENDING ON THE -organization at
hand, they deal drugs, commit burglaries
and strong-arm robberieshextort money and
fight with other gangs who try to challenge
them on their own turf-especially if the
challengers are black or seem to come from a
different social background.
In Richmond the two toughest gangs are
black, as is much of the city. They call them-
selves the "Together Brothers" and the
"Hard Times." They have their own hats and
custom-stitched jackets-called "flying
colors"-and, said Richmond Police Lt. John
Neely, "They're more sophisticated than
earlier gangs and they have more money."
The greatest growth in youth gangs here,
however, may be 'among white
kids-esecially those who live above Rich-
mond in the hill towns of El Sobrante, Pinole
and parts of San Pablo. The largest and most
powerful, the West' Santa Ritas,,was started
eight years ago and is believed to be less con-
cerned with robbery than with drug dealing,
particularly amphetamines. Its members
range in age from around 17 to 22, but an af-
filiate gang, the "Next Phase," reaches into
junior high school and its members may be as
young as 12.,
LAST NOV. 22 a group of Bicep Brothers,
including President Donald "Shake" Lin-
dgren, walked into a party dominated by the
West Santa Ritas, Almost immediately,
knives were pulled, a scuffle erupted and a
shotgun blast caught Santa Ritas' President
Kevin "Shake" Minnix in the stomach. 'One
item of contentions between them 'was that
both leaders used the nickname "Shake." A
Biceps Brother now is serving time in San
Quentin over the incident and Lindgren goe*
on trial later this-fall.
Lindgren, a lanky, soft-spoken, red-haired
21-year-old with a prior conviction for
burglary, described the Biceps Brothers as
mostly a "social club.'
'The Biceps was the white ghetto of
gangs," he said. "The Santa Ritas, the Blues
Brothers, those guys up there (in the hills),
they got money and stuff and they figure
they're too good to be around you."
THE BICEPS BROTHERS have fallen
apart since the shooting; many of'them, Lin-
dgren said, were beaten up and run out o*~
town. Lindgren, now out on bail, said a $1,000
contract has been offered on his own life, and
he pointed to bullet holes in the walls of his
parents' house, allegedly made when a
carload of Santa Ritas drove by and opened
Like his friend Brandy, Lindgren does not
consider himself either a racist or a white
supremacist, but both say it is not unusual to
go to parties here where Klan members ar
present handing out flyers.
Brandy, who said she no longer sees many
of her old comrades from the Biceps
Brothers, did acknowledge that most of her
friends "put down black people" and
probably approve the attacks made on
blacks. Of her own past she said, "I was a kid.
It was a time to fight."
Lindgren said he has had enough and that
whether or not he is acquited of charges
stemming from 'Last year's. shooting, he's
finished with gangs.
"Thirty years ago," he said, "everybod.
dreamed of being a movie star. Now they're
dreaming of being hoods. I guess the reality
gets to them and they say, 'That ain't gonna
happen to me. I ain't gonna be a movie
7" - '- -'
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Browning wrote this article for Pacific
LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Extension Service alive and kicking
To the Daily:
I would like to correct an
erroneous statement that ap-
peared in the text of your
editorial "Paltry pay hikes"
To nquote: "The TUniversity ,.ut-
the citizens of Michigan. '
If you would oheck your own
"morgue" (if for no other reason
than for the sake of accuracy)
you will find that the Extension
Service was page 1 headline
have us gone and buried.
I would like to suggest that a
"correction" on your part, on
behalf of the University Exten-
sion Service, is in order.
Rornnvidprafp rnun'op a