Friday, March 4, 1983
The Michigan Daily
Toure: Organization key to uniting blacks
.Kwame Toure (formerly Stokely Car-
michael) was one of the seminal figures in
the '60s black activist and civil rights
movements. He now continues his activism
'with the All-African Peoples Congress, an
organization working for the unification of
'Recently, Toure was at the University for
it conference on the civil rights movement.
Staff reporter Phillip K. Lawes spoke with
him about black political struggles.
Daily: You have mentioned that it's impor-
tant for blacks interested in fighting for
equality to join an organization. What about
blacks who join organizations in the main
stream of American politics, such as the
Toure: Even if they join a backward
organization, a reactionary organization, they
have joined an organization. From here they
will pick up organizational discipline, which
our people need.
Daily: From your experiences in organizing
blacks during the '60s, what is the best strategy
for the present situation where blacks are
again very unorganized?
,. Toure: To organize the people is a question of
,Mnstant political education and that takes time
work. For example, with Christianity, it
sn't until 400 years after the death of Jesus
hrist that Christianity was stabilized.
Daily: You had success in getting everyday
eople, what some have termed non-political
eople, to get involved in the black political
;sruggle in Alabama. Do you see your methods
ieing applicable now?
Toure: It's the same essential struggle of
constant political education - just constantly
educating the people. The form and the
methods may change, but the essential concept
of political education is there. The most
prominent means (in some areas during the
'60s) were vocal means and some flyers. But
since the vast majority of people at that time
were illiterate, it meant we had to depend upon
the word of mouth. In our party, for the last ten
years or so, the dominant form of propaganda,
political education, has been the spoken word.
It is only now today that we can surpass it with
massive amounts of written propaganda
Daily: The University and the nation is
having a hard time trying to find out exactly
how to deal with South Africa most effectively.
This university's policy in effect states it will
invest in companies which have a practice of
promoting progressive black employment
practices. What do you recommend the
Toure: You cannot have a policy of go-slow
justice with an unjust system. Everyone knows
South Africa is totally unjust. Any dealings
with this unjust system leads to further in-
justice. What they must do is have the Africans
control their own land and then they can talk
about investing. Anything short of this is just
trying to deceive the people from the truth.
Daily: The standard argument is that if you
weaken the companies operating in South
Africa, the first ones to go are the black
workers on the lowest rungs of the economic
Toure: If yop weaken the economy of South
Africa, the first one to fall is the racist gover-
Daily: From a practical standpoint, if it
takes 50, 75, or a hundred years, that's many
years of intense suffering.
Toure: That's alright. Mozambique was
colonized for 500 years, by the Portuguese. The
Irish were colonized by the English for 800
years and they have been fighting every step of
Daily: On this campus, we had the Black Ac-
Toure: In our
because the Nigerian masses are lead to
believe that by the expulsion of these other
Africans that life will somehow get better. It
will net, and consequently will lead to further
revolutionary struggle leading to true
revolutinary forces coming to power.
Daily: You have said the unification of Africa
is essential for black political and economic
progress. What impact 'does this episode have
on the ideal of Pan-Africanism?
Toure: It has a negative impact on everyone,
but its a dialectical world: From bad things,
good things can always happen.
Daily: In terms of Pan-Africanism, what
are the realistic chances of it coming to fruition,
with the problems various states have on the
Toure: There's no question that it will come
to fruition whether through peaceful means or
through bloodshed. For example, the United
States of America came together through
bloodshed in the civil war. Africa must unite,
it's the only way in which we can make advan-
Daily: Naturally, Pan-Africanism is against
the perceived best interests of the capitalist4
West. How do you see dealing with the Western
Toure: By any means necessary. Just as we
had to throw out colonialism and now struggle
against neo-colonialism, we have to continue
the struggle for Pan-Africanism.
Daily: What role do you see for black popular
culture, by that I mean black recording artists,
black musicians, and entertainers?
Toure: Culture comes from the people and it
must go back to ,the people to inspire the
people. Any time it doesn't do that, then culture
is being used by the individual to make money.
Consequently, whether the individual is aware
of it or not, he is betraying entirely the masses
of his people, let alone betraying his own per-
sonality and compromising his own dignity. As
we become more organized, our artists .will
have to reflect this reality, because as we
become organized, we will control our culture.
Right now we do not.
Daily Photo by BRIAN MASCK
party, for the last 10 years or so, the dominant form of propaganda, political
education, has been the spoken word. It is only
amounts of written propaganda.
tion Movement strike in the sixties, which was
very successful. Much has been made of the
fact that one of the factors in its success was
that white students were in solidarity with
blacks at that time. For future years, do you
see white input as being important in the
Toure: You must understand what you mean
by white input. Of course, our struggle must be
decided by us. We of course, now must find all
those people who understand justice to come
and support our struggle. But whether they
support it or not, should have no effect upon our
struggle and our enthusiasm for it.
For example, our brothers and sisters in
South Africa struggle against overwhelming
odds. The United States of America, even the
University continues to support their enemies.
now today that we can surpass it with massive
Of course, it's clear the United States should
support the side of justice. But even if they
don't, we should not assume they can dampen
the enthusiasm of those who are struggling for
justice. As a matter of fact, while whites are
struggling for it, they come to help bring about
a quick resolution to the problems. But if they
do not, it may take extreme action. But as
Malcolm X said, "Extreme conditions demand
Daily: The expulsion of foreigners from
Nigeria over the last several weeks has been
given lots of press coverage. What are your
comments on the expulsion?
Toure: It's most unAfrican, that's clear. All
it will do in the long run is to speed up the
revolutionary process in Nigeria, simply
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Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Keep EPA inquiries clean
U :HE PEOPLE OF Seymour, Ind., ce. If such documentation exists, let's
Times Beach, Mo., and hundreds of see it.
ether communities are living in deadly If there is illegal or unethical
g4anger because of toxic wastes dum- behavior going on under Anne Bur-
"Oed in and around their communities. dord's (formerly Anne Gorsuch) direc-
To be sure, the Environmental Protec- tion of the agency, it cannot be ignored
Ton bsuecythsEnvironentlProtec- and those suspected of wrongdoing
ion Agency has not done its job of should be prosecuted to the fullest ex-
6leaning up the sites, but ,the tent of the law. But at the same time,
-Congressional investigations into
agency wrongdoing are threatening to Congress must be wary of further
;$ecome more of a witch hunt than-a crippling the work of the career em-
;telp for cleanup efforts. ployees of the agency - the individuals
e Michigan Democrat John Dingell trying to clean up environmental
gas been at the forefront of the ac- messes in the face of the obstacles Bur-
pusations against the EPA. But are ford and the Reagan administration
$ingell and his cohorts interested in have put in their way.
;jetting the messes cleaned up or are That is not to say that, if left alone,
tjhey more interested in splashing Burford and her cohorts would sud-
rthemselves all over the front pages of denly change their path and begin to
newspapers? earnestly pursue the cleanups of toxic
t Dingell has said he has hard eviden- waste sites. Burford clearly has shown
Pe of criminal wrongdoing at the agen- she is unwilling to do that.
y. In particular, he claims that for- But if the current investigations
1,ner administrator Rita Lavelle don't aim at some positive change, the
Shave perjured herself in big losers will continue to be the people
who have to live with toxic waste in
;cngressionalis Dinge.Bs hard evien- their neighborhoods and backyards.
LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Vice provost position a vice for 'U'
To the Daily:
President Shapiro and his
obliging.r egents have given Vice
President Billy Frye a new title:
provost. And they have agreed to
create a new administrative
position, vice provost, so that
Frye's new title will make sense.
The vice provost will coordinate
affairs at University Hospital and
the medical school; his salary
will be in excess of $100,000.
We are all crazy if we allow this
little affair to proceed.
There are already two
associate vice presidents for
academic affairs to help Frye do
hic inh 4and six mnvP a!i ~ t'!ntc to
year in salary for the vice provost
and raises for Shapiro and Frye.
It will cost at least another
$50,000 a year in staff and
secretarial assistance, office
space, and executive plant
watering services. Several
assistants to the vice provost and
an associate vice provost or two
will cost at least another $100,000.
So the vice provost's office is
going to cost the University a
total of at least $200,000, maybe
$300,000 or more a year. Shapiro
says that the vice provost's
salary will be paid out of savings
to be generated by the coor-
directors, nine assistants to the
six directors, the associate to the
executive director, the two
assistant directors, and the five
associate and assistant ad-
ministrators; and the medical
school is being mismanaged by
its interim dean, Peter Ward, and
his three associate deans, seven
assistant deans, and multiple
What will $100,000 a year buy
around here? We could have full
tuition scholarships for twenty
out-of-state undergraduates for
that amount. Or we could restore
ten places in the freshman
the office of vice provost will cost
the University every year.
Of course we can't have all of
these things just by saying no to
the idea of a vice provost. We can
have one of them, however. And
maybe if we show Shapiro and his
regents that we have principles,
and that we will defend the
University - against them -
then they may start to act like a
university president and a set of
regents should act. Maybe they
will start thinking better about
how to run this place, as a univer-
sity. And then maybe the rest of
those things we want can happen,