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January 13, 1981 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-01-13

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OPINION

,age 4

c Mt tgan tls
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Tuesday, January 13, 1981 Theh
Atrip to Fun ity

Michigan Daily

Vol. XCI, No. 88.

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

I

a,
; :

The Ku Klux Klan revival

Out came my student ID, my driver's licen-
se, my meal card, my dozens of notes to
myself reminding me of dentist appointments
long past. I emptied my wallet of everything
of value, leaving only $4, a traveller's check,
and a medic-alert card indicating I wear con-
tact lenses.
I was ready-ready for my first trip into
Fun City, the Big Apple, New York.
Or so I thought.
COMING AS I do from Chicago, I thought
for sure New York couldn't be all that dif-
ferent from the, Number Two city in the
nation. It couldn't be as big, or as dangerous,
or as outrageous as everyone says.
It wasn't. It is bigger, more dangerousand
more outrageous.
We (two friends and I) drove into the city on
New Year's Eve day via the Lincoln Tunnel.
For something like $2, you get the exclusive
privilege of zooming through this endless
cavern hundreds of fathoms beneath the Hud-

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T'S FRIGHTENINGLY reminiscent of
L the racial situation 60 or even 100 years
ago. But it is increasingly charac-
teristic of today. It is the almost
unrestrained terror of the Ku Klux
Klan.
Hooded Klansmen illuminated by the
fire of a burning cross may seem to
many merely an ugly chapter in
American history. Some may breathe a
sigh of relief that the unharnessed
Klan terror of threats and violence
;against minorities and those that sym-
pathize with their cause is behind us.
But it is not true. Klan activity is alive
and well-and growing. Its members
now operate both in the open, at public
'rallies and meetings, and in a, clan-
destine nationwide network.
Earlier this week, a minister and his
:wife were forced to flee from their
rural West Virginia parish after what
the minister described as "a six-month
campaign of terror." Local Klansmen
threatened on numerous occasions to
:kill the minister, the Rev. Michael
-Curry, arid to rape his wife, Ella. The
Klansmen apparently wanted to drive
Curry out of the area because he would
:not cooperate with their activities.
Curry said he denied their request to

recruit members during his Sunday
sermons. He also twice refused to
donate money to the Klan.
Curry said that although the state
police were helpful and provided
protection during his sermons, he
began to suspect Klan connections in
the local police and even on the board
of his own church. The terror and
physical harassment ended only when
the Currys fled the state.
Members of the Klan also appeared
recently at a Louisiana courthouse in
full regalia to protest a controversial
plan to desegregate a nearly all-black
school. In the past year, there have
been a number of public rallies in
major cities all around the country.
the Klan is making a frighteningly
well-organized and well executed
comeback. It needs only an environ-
ment of passivity to cotinue to grow,
playing on the public's fears and
prejudices. If the Klan's growth is to be
stopped, it will require an active effort
on the part of both governmental and
private sources to crack down.
Response to Klan terror is one issue
that need breed no division between
decent responsible members of the left
or the right. It must be stopped, and
soon.

a

Witticisms
By Howard Witt

L

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,;
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Begin's final days at last
OR ISRAELI Prime Minister prochement between Egypt and Israel
F Menachent Begin's governmet, did not even begin to adequately ad-
~it appears that long last the party is dress the Palestinian problem. Instead.
ovei'. With the resignation Sunday of of moving toward the only realistic
Finance Minister Yigael Hurvitz, hope for peace - recognition of the
Begin has lost his slim Parliament Palestinians' national aspirations -
~majority. The only question now seems Begin has raced backward. He has
to be exactly when new elections will supported the Israeli rightists in set-
be held - their outcome is considered tling the West Bank, land which may
to be a certain victory for the op- have to be ceded to the Arabs if a
position Labor Party. secure peace is ever to prevail. He has
Ths tumon li y.refused to allow Palestinian refugees,
The turmoil in Jerusalem this week to return to their homes, and has
would seem to offer a sign of hope that allowed the military to clamp
the Jewish state could be on its way out repressive measures on Arab residents
of the quagmire of complex and of the West Bank.
manifold problems that now beset it. The Labor Party, with Shimon Peres
Begin's singular triumph - the 1977 at its helm, will almost certainly
accord with Egyptian President An- return to power later this year. Peres
war Sadat - pales somewhat against has made no promises of reform with
the realities of Israeli-Arab relations regard to foreign policy. Yet the mere
that have since revealed themselves. fact that he is new to the top post may
Sadat is not well-liked by most of the make a difference. He will arrive
other national leaders in the Arab without the reputation of intractability
world; as such, the Camp David that aptly trailed Begin into office. If
agreements have only isolated him he can push forward with a flexible
even more from Israel's other neigh- Palestinian policy, the troubled
bors. Furthermore, the rap- Mideast may yet see peace.

son River, wondering what would happen if
one of the walls collapsed.
And then=-we emerged into the bitter cold
daylight of a New York City afternoon.
God, the place is big. It sure isn't any
Chicago. It's more like two Chicagos.
Dorothy, I said to myself, we're not in Kan-
sas anymore.
WE STOPPED AT a red traffic light, im-
mediately tipping off the locals that we were
tourists-red lights to New Yorkers mean
"Drive right through." (Green lights mean
"Drive right through really fast.")
Just ahead of us was another carload of
tourists, and their windows were really dirty,
what with the slush and salt of winter streets.
But three New Yorkers, always eager to help,
swarmed around the car and-believe it or
not-washed the windows!
Then they went over to the driver's window,
probably to say "Glad to help" or something
like that-I couldn't quite tell what was going
on.
ALL OF A SUDDEN, and for no apparent
reason, the three started smashing the same
windows, they had just washed. My. frien-
ds--experienced New York visitors that they
were-explained that we had just witnessed
an attack of the infamous "window washers,"
derelict hoodlums who wash the windows of
stopped cars-whether the occupants want
the service or not-and then demand payment
of several dollars. If you don't pay, the win-
dow washers provide free air-conditioning
for your car on the spot.
There aren't any window washers in
Chicago. If you want your windows washed in
the Windy City, you pull up to a self-serve
Sunoco and grab a squeegee.
A little shaken by our near miss at the traf-
fic light (we rolled down our windows as the
trio approached us), we parked our car about
15 blocks from our destination-Times
Square.
WE DESCENDED the steps of the nearest
subway station into the netherworld of New
York rapid transit. My friends briefed me on
a few survival rules as we purchased our
tokens:
srDon't stare at anyone, no matter how
strange they look;
- Don't step in any puddles (you never know
if they're nature's water or somebody's
water);
" Don't stare at anyone;
" Don't stand so near the tracks that
someone is tempted to shove you in front of a
speeding train; and,

51 W-19 ST

BITC8ES

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675

801

* Don't stare at anyone.
Our subway experience was rather uneven-
tful by New York standards-we only saw one
policeman beating on a crumpled body.
At last we were in Times Square, so named,
I learned after suffering much humiliation for
asking such a stupid question, for The New
York Times, which is located in the area.
THIS IS THE only place in the country
where huge billboards cover entire sides of
buildings, windows and all. It's the only place
in the country where slick-looking dudes will
walk up alongside you and mumble what
sounds like a foreign language-until you
realize they are reeling off the prescriptive
merchandise they have for sale. It's the only
place in the country where you can buy hot
salted pretzels every 15 feet.
And, it's the only place in the country where
you can play that most challenging of New
York games, 3-card Monte.
Ah, how, tordescribe this spectacle.
Typically, a proprietor of the game will
establish himself on any street corner with
several cardboard boxes stacked upon one
another and three playing cards, two black
and one red. The object of the game is to pick
out the red card after the dealer has moved
the three cards (face down) around on his
makeshift tables-it's much like a shell
game. The stakes vary, but usually a $20 bill
will buy you one guess; if you win, you get $40.
IT SURE LOOKS easy, to the naive passer-
by. Two or three players will be jumping up
and down, winning all sorts of money as they
consistently guess correctly. So naturally,
you saunter up and try your luck.
And you lose. And you lose. And you lose.
The game, you see, is marvelously rigged.
The three players you see winning all the
money are "shills"-they work with the

dealer to lure passersby into the game. The
dealer will let them win, but he won't be so
generous with you. And, to make your ex-
perience especially memorable, while you
are losing twenties left and right, another ac-
complice is picking your pocket.
Where are the police during all this, you
ask? God only knows._ In two hours of wat-
ching suckers get taken at h 3-card Monte,
saw only one policeman-and he looked like
he might want to play.
AS THE SUN was setting on this New
Year's Eve festival; the neon lights of the
42nd street area started jumping with life.
This* is the lechery district, with more
topless/bottomless XXX-rated porn theatres
and shops and bars than there are possible zip
code combinations. There's something here to
please every aberrant taste-except for one. I_
couldn't find any emporium in which to in-
dulge my personal sexual fantasy-having
Gloria Vanderbilt read Yeats to me as I watch
"The Waltons."
We were going to stay in Times Square to
watch the stupid little ball drop from the top
of the Allied Chemical Building, but decided
that might not be such a good idea as we read
the afternoon papers-the police were war-
ning that they could not prevent at least some
of the fatal injuries that were predicted to oc-
cur during the festivities.
So we left the city for the evening. As the
New Year came in, we were busy planning
our next excursion-into Spanish Harlem, the
South Bronx, and the Bowery.

V0

$25GESYUA mini session~

Ho ward Witt is the co-editor of
Daily's Opinion page. His column
pears every Tuesday.

the
ap-

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LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
R ose Bowlfree rides appalling

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To the Daily:
The following is a copy of a let-
ter I sent to Regent Sarah Power
prior to the Rose Bowl.
I am appalled by the revelation
in recent news articles that the
University will be spending
some $600,000-or "at least $1,045
a piece"-on its contingent of
non-paying guests to the Rose
Bowl, "most staying in $90-a-
night rooms at the swank Cen-
tury Plaza Hotel." The expen-
ditures include unrevealed out-
pourings for an unidentified num-
ber of spouses and children of the
football team, of athletic depar-
tment staffers, and of goodness
knows who else. It looks as
though the budget for the "wives'
party," in fact, is bigger than
that for the splendid but ill-
favored Marching Band. But all
this is all right, reasons Regent

University, I venture to say,
based on past amounts, that the
$600,000 figure is at least three
times as great, and $1,045 is un-
doubtedly higher than the expen-
ses for the individual female
athlete. Indeed, is there any ac-
tivity whatever on which the
University would spend $600,000
for the glory of female students?
I remember Mr. Canham's
much-publicized lamenting just a
short while back that putting out
$80,000 for women's sports was
going to "break the back" of the
men's program, since men's in-
tercollegiate gate receipts,
arising basically from football
and basketball, had to fund the
rest of the athletic program for
both sexes. I remember his great
distress that Title IX might
require him to spend the same
$7,000 (the cost in 1975) to fly the

Rose Bowl munificence do not
have to be made known because
the moneys are derived from
-gate receipts, then why shouldn't
the whole athletic program's
financing be none of anybody's
business (as many of us have
concluded it is when we have
tried to determine actual
athletic and scholarship outlays
over the years)?
The point is that athletic ac-
tivities are carried out in the
name of the state University for
the sons and daughters of the
taxpaying public, and revenues
and expenditures must be ac-
cessible for accurate review to
ensure that they are handled
reasonably and equitably, no
matter what the precise source of
income. The ease with which
$600,000 ie being located and
spent for Rose Bowl purposes (in

funding), without public
itemization or pre-planned
allocation from the University's
central planning office begs for a
different process of oversight in
the management of athletic
finances, in which moneys from
any source would go into a
general fund and be budgeted
justly, openly, and with foresight,
according to an educationally
sound and consistent means of
determining the needs of each
program.
For whatever reason you and
Robert Nederlander are not
taking advantage of this costly
trip, I applaud you, at this time of
extraordinary financial hardship
for the citizens of Michigan and of
pending financial crisis for the
University.
S - -Marcia Federbush
January 12

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