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September 27, 1981 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-09-27

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PINION
Page 4 Sunday, September 27, 1981 The Michigan Daily

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Edited and mfanaged by students at The University of Michigan

Weasel

Vol. XCII, No. 16

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

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Expand the services
of the internship program

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By Robert Lence
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T HE OFFICE OF Career Planning.
and Placement will start selecting
student finalists for it s Public Service
Internship Program next month.
Before this year's PSIP gets too far
along, however, Career Planning and
Placement should look at ways of-
broadening student participation in the
program.
PSIP was designed to assist students
in their efforts to find summer inter-
nships in Washington and Lansing, but
the. program has turned into an ex-
clusive club of those students fortunate
enough to be labeled as "mature and
motivated" by the program's
executive committee.
For the unfortunate 80 percent of the
applicants to the program who are not
selected, PSIP provides no assistance
to their efforts to find jobs. Some for-
mer interns said the program, by
giving applicants the perception that
they must work through PSIP,,
discourages maximum participation of
University students in Washington in-
ternships. But office managers in
Washington who. make the final
A new cente:
- S THE OUTER layers of the new
Michigan Alumni Center are
added to its massive skeleton, passer-
sby glimpse a tangible reminder of the
presence of that otherwise ethereal
boly of people, the alumni of the
University of Michigan. Renowned for
their generous contributions to their
alma mater, the alumni are now
creating a functional monument to the
tradition of continuity for which the
University has gained fame.
While it commonly is expected that
private institutions would command a
devoted alumni 'following, Michigan
has been recognized for its relatively
unique reputation as a public school
with strong alumni support. Graduates
of the University tend to regard it as
something more noteworthy than the
average public institution, and their
supportive attitude has contributed to
the school's fame for continuous ex-
cellence.
But the University has entered 'an
era of financial constraints which, ac-
cording to a number of top officials,
threatens this notoriety. Reductions in

decisions on interns say they don't care
if a student applies through the
program or independently.
In order to serve all the students with
an interest in public service inter-
nships more effectively, the program
coordinators should investigate the
possibility of re-directing the program
to provide more students with inter-
nship counseling and advice.
If the program concentrated on in-
forming all the applicants about the
various possibilities in Washington and
Lansing, as well as giving students ad-
vice on proper ways in which to apply
for these internships, it would not have
to limit itself to aiding only 75 of those
desiring positions in one year.
Career Planning and Placement has
a responsibility to all University of
Michigan students. While it
provides excellent -opportunities to
the 75 students it enrolls in the Public
Service Internship Program this year,
its services to the 300 it rejects have
been lacking. It appears possible for
the office to provide assistance to
University students on a more
egalitarian basis; and it should do so.
r for alumni
state and federal aid, combined with.
the effects of inflation have eroded the
the University's financial position. The
University, forced to react to the shor-
tage of funds, is zealously pursuing the
concept of "smaller but better.''
A number of programs and "finan-
cial priorities," such as faculty
salaries, have fallen prey to reduction
efforts. Officials fear the University
cannot withstand such pressure for
any substantial length of time. The
catch phrase that "it takes 50 years to
build a fine University but only five to
destroy it" is becoming more widely
heard.
But building the alumni center can
do something more than all the
telephone soliciations and other gim-
micks that the University comes up
with to beef-up its endowment funds. It
gives the alumni a place to return to at
the University.
Call it blackmail, but the center will
serve as a reminder to the alumni of
the University, and, hopefully, en-
courage them to make needed
donations to the University'.

. r

i 1

Is the KKK behind

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By Frank Browning
RICHMOND, CALIF.-The worst
attacks began a little more than a
year ago. As Harold Phipps sat
on his, front porch in a housing
project near this San Francisco
East Bay community, a Chevy
pickup camper cruised slowly
down the street for the second
time. Suspicious, Phipps told
everyone to get inside.
In the next few, intense
moments, five shots rang out
from a black rifle barrel poked
out the back door of the camper.
The truck's engine gave a roar
and disappeared.
Phippspis a Mexican, but the
apparent target of the shooting
was a black neighbor, Junoel
Guess, who previously had been.
subjected to white harassment.
THE ATTACK was no surprise
to the many blacks who live in the
project and in the nearby towns
here in Contra Costa County.
They say they have suffered a
steady escalation of racial
violence in recent years-so
much so that legal investigators
now believe that the Ku Klux
Klan has come to use the area as
one of its principal West Coast
recruiting grounds.
As a result of this and other at-
tacks, black people here have
learned to be afraid-afraid of
teen-age toughs plowing through
their lawns, afraid of rocks
thrown through their windows, of
crosses-burnt into their lawns,
afraid of white sheets draped
across their cars.
On October 5-7, the California
Fair Employment and Housing
Commission will open four days
of hearings into racial violence
and harassment within Contra
Costa County, focusing on a
series of attacks that lasted
through the final six months of
last year.
IN THE MEANTIME, the at-
tacks are continuing. In August a
black family's house in
Rollingwood was firebombed.
Another black family who had
moved into the neighborhood in
mid-August had their house spat-
tered with eggs and returned
home one day to find their garage
painted with a swastika, a light-
ning bolt and the letters KKK.
"This used to be a white neigh-
borhood until a few months ago,"
one neighbor said. "They mess
them over if blacks move in.
They're destroyig this neigh-
borhood with their stupid
beliefs."
Lawyers and legal in-
vestigators who have worked
with black residents and with the
Commission fear that the new
school year could bring ever
more attacks, especially by the
proliferating campus and neigh-
borhood gangs that police believe
have been responsible for most of
the violence to date.
DISCUSSING THE pattern of
racial attacks, a preliminary
Commission report highlighted
both the youthfulness of the at-
tackers and their personal
association with adult KKK
members. The most common
characteristic of the attackers
seem to be rootlessness. lack of

of the Investigative Task Force of
the Legal Alliance for Racial
Justice, an ad hoc group of
lawyers, investigators and coun-
ty prosecutors, the incidents
were "Klan-inspired, if not Klan-
perpetrated."
Alliance investigators,
however, view the attacks not so''
much at a conspiratorial assault-
coordinated by the Ku Klux Klan,
but as the work of a rising
population of young white kids,
many of them organized into
gangs, who are engaged in
various) criminal activities and
who follow Klan members as
authority figures.
SUSPECTS IN the attacks -
which noticesably subsided as
soon as public attention began to
be directed at the Klan-are said
to maintain close friendships or,
family ties to adult Klan mem-
bers, according to both Alliance
investigators and the county
sheriff's department.
Although Michael Mendonsa's
Ku Klux Klan of California is not
officially allied with the national
Invisible Empire of the KKK (it
was expelled a year ago for
alleged criminal drug activity),
its concentration on recruiting
school-age youth is part of a
national movement. Both the In-
visible Empire and Knights of the'
KKK, another breakaway fac-
tion, boast of running their own
"Youth Corps," and the older
United Klans of America has a
"Junior/Klan."
In Texas, Alabama, Mississippi
and even New England, Klan
organizers have been reported
proselytizing on college and
especially high school campuses.'
Said Tom Metzger, the "Grand
Dragon" of the California Klan
who won 50,000 votes last year in-
hi San Dig County campaign
for Congress: "We're interested
in a strongly determined, in-
telligent young Klansman for
leadership later on. They're fresh
enough that you can give them a,
logical, rational argument and
they'll see that you're right."
One Klan Youth" Corps pam-
phlet distributed in the schools
declares that racial intergration
has "brought crime, drugs, for-
ced sex, disease and general
havoc."
In fact, Alliance investigators
argue, it is the Klan itself, along'
with other white supremacist
groups like the Aryan
Brotherhood, that has stimulated -
drug dealing and violence among
the disaffected and floating youth
population of Contra Costa Coun-
ty.
Browning wrote this article
for Pacific News Service with
the help of a grant from the-.
Fund for Investigative Jour-.
nalism.

I

year comprise the heart of the in-
vestigations.
LAST NOVEMBER, 8, six
black youths were sitting in a car,
allegedly smoking marijuana, in
front of the Tara Hills home of
Mary Handy, a black woman,
when a white male approached
them asking to exchange a six-
pack of beer for some dope. When
he was refused, the white male
left and returned with a friend,
carrying baseball bats. A fight
broke out in which one of the two
whites was severely beaten.
On November 11, Lovett Moore,
the son of Mary Handy, was
chased by two white youths bran-
dishing a tire iron. He found
refuge in the home of Otis and
Geraldine Ireland-whose win-
dows had been broken by rocks
the previous day. Sean Wilkes,
black and 15, was chased by
whites driving in a pickup and
badly beaten near the Handy
home, also on November 11.
On November 13, a mob of
angry white males carrying large
sticks gathered before the
Ireland home. When a deputy
sheriff arrived, members of the
mob said that they "didn't like"
what, had happened to their
white buddy who had been beaten
up five days earlier.
ON NOVEMBER 19, the
Ireland's 17-year-old son
received several death threats in
school. The same day a cross was
burnt into the lawn of John
Marion, a black man living in
varin .nlap Ta nv.+ a ,. oanor

a KKK meeting and wearing
white hoods over their heads.
Concomitantrwithhthese in-
cidents, there has been
heightened activity in an in-
dependent branch of the Ku Klux
Klan headed by Michael Leonard
Mendonsa, a tattoo shop operator
who works in the vicinity of the
incidents.
Mendonsa owns a Chevy pickup
truck with a camper on it
described as similar to the one
seen at the first housing project
shootout. He has boasted of
taking part in the shooting, legal
investigators say, but he denied
any participation - when
questioned by police.
MENDQNSA, whose shop is
close to the Richmond High
School, has distributed KKK
flyers to students. Apparent Klan
members dressed in robes have
been reported at high school foot-
ball games and other -school
events in the area. Klan
literature was discovered during
a racial fight at Richmond High
in November of 1980.
According to a 43-page report

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75

LETTERS TQ THE DAILY:
I
Witsol r hns

a
.a

To the Daily:
In response to Howard Witt's
column of Sept. 22, I should like to
suggest Chinese 101 as a possible

your hand. But if Mr. Witt
prefers, I think he might enjoy
the texciting compromise of
reading Chinese in the verticn

Ab

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