Friday, September 16, 1983
The Michigan Daily
br £Itdtgan 151 al
Young, less-idealistic blacks
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCIV -No. 8
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
becoming new political leaders
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board1
Good news for ' U' and you?.
T'S BEEN A while since the Uni-
versity received any good news
from Lansing. But a few recent events
concerning Michigan's finances may
signal better times ahead for both the
state and the University.
If indeed the state does continue to
recover from the recession, the
University could benefit in a big way.
And if the University benefits, the first
target for those rewards should be
holding the line on tuition.
Partly as a result of the temporary
tax increase pushed by Gov. James
Blanchard and partly because of an
economic rebound in private industry,
Lansing has been able to pay back
much of the money it "borrowed" over
the last year from various state-funded
institutions, including the University.
On the strength of those payments
Blanchard went to New York City to
try to persuade the Wall Street money
men to give the state a fresh line of
credit. Low and behold, he succeeded
in regaining state's top credit rating,
probably ending the state's need to
borrow from Japanese banks - the
only banks that would- give Michigan
any credit over the past year.
All this, of course, must be en-
couraging for University ad-
ministrators. They've seen the state
renege on its allocations time after
time. Blanchard stopped all of the
money due the University from
January through March. About a year
before that the state also postponed
paying almost $20 million. Blanchard
and his predecessor William Milliken
also ordered several large outright
cuts to the University.
Fortunately, though, the state has
been paying back the University. The
$20 million was paid back as of last Oc-
tober. And as of September 30, the end
of the state's fiscal year, the state will
have finished paying off the money
held back from January through Mar-
This puts the University in a
stronger bargaining position in Lan-
sing. The stronger the state's economic
health, the more comfortable
lawmakers are with the idea of in-
creasing aid to the University.
Somewhere down the line - with any
luck not very far - students could
benefit from the state's health in the
form of a sorely-needed tuition break.
University officials have been
squawking about the soaring price of
attending classes here, as have the
students and parents who have to pay
that price. This could be the chance for
state and University administrators to
do something about it.
But Blanchard and company are not
home free yet. Beginning in January,
the temporary tax hike will be lifted bit
by bit. If the state survives that roll
back, then there will be much more'
cause for optimism. At the very least,
though, the state is in good shape to
make a run for its money.
And if the state wins that race,
University students should share in the
By Pamela Douglas
Carried along by the surging tide of
renewed black activism, a new generation of
black political leaders is rising in America.
Too young to have participated in the
"black power" '60s - but determined to
break with the apathy of the '70s - fresh ac-
tors are entering the political arena today in
growing numbers nationwide.
Spurred on by the election victory of
Chicago Mayor Harold Washington and the
presidential aspirations of the Rev. Jesse
Jackson, they are working for candidates,
organizing campaigns, and running to of-
fice themselves. In Gary, Ind., this year, five
first-time black candidates, all in their 20s,
were on the municipal ballot. One of them
now is city clerk.
THIS YOUTHFUL enthusiasm, says Tom
Cavenaugh of the Washington, D.C.-based
Joint Center for Political Studies, is
"energizing the black community. The in-
volvement in politics almost has a religious
tone. It feels like a crusade."
One of the better-known crusaders in
Southern California is Danny Tabor, 28, who
was elected to the city council of Inglewood, a
suburb of Los Angeles, at 26. "For a long time
my generation had only a sporadic interest in
politics," he says. "We'd seemed much more-
political when I was in school. Then we were
closer to the tail end of the black power
As much as anything else, the return to
politics has been prompted by widespread
joblessness, he believes. "It's easy for people
I grew up with to say they can't get a job
because of Reaganomics, even if that's not
the whole reason," he points out. "So I find it
easier now to show young people what they
can get out of politics. It's not something hid-
den from their daily lives anymore."
Observes Cavenaugh: "Unemployment
among blacks under 25 is over 40 percent in
many cities. Combine that with the symbolic
acts of Reagan - firing the black Civil Rights
Commission members and allowing the head
of the Justice Department to say affirmative
action is wrong - and you get people's backs
up. The details might not stick for young
voters, but the impression does, and that's
what matters in elections."
IN 1980, blacks may have feared such effec-
ts of a conservative political victory, but
young people continued to be cynical about
their power to affect it, according to Dr.
Jewel Presage, chairwoman of the Depar-
tment of Political Science at Southern
University in Baton Rouge, La. It was that
trend which the unexpected triumph of
Harold Washington reversed.
"What it has done - accurately or inac-
curately - is to convince black youngsters
they can make some movment in organizing
politically to answer some of their needs,'
Aldra Henry, a 27-year-old black woman
who has been nominated for the Republican
State Central Committee in California,
agrees that recent election victories have
helped shake off the longstanding lethargy of
the young. Until fairly recently, she says,
apathy stilled the interest of more affluent
black youngsters as well as those plagued by
joblessness. "In my generation, we were con-
cerned about our LaCoste shirts and Calvin
Klein jeans. No way were any of us going to'
march for anything."
Henry believes that even in the recharged
political climate, young activists are less
likely to be driven by starry-eyed idealism
than their older sisters and brothers were in
the black power area. "They don't do it 'for
the cause,' the way people did in the '60s," she
contends. "Today it's a matter of bringing
home the day-to-day significance of their in-
volvement in politics."
KERMAN MADDOX, 28, is administrative
assistant to California State Assemblywoman"
Maxine Waters, a Democrat. He saysghis
political education began at 17, although he
waited years to use it. "When I was a senior in
high school, I was a box boy at a market, and I
worked hard to get promoted to cashier," he
But another box boy, who was white,
replaced Maddox at the cash register while he
was on vacation, and neither management
nor the union would do anything about it -
until a city councilman brought some
pressure on the store. "I had learned a lesson
in the power of elected officials," says Mad-
Such lessons are multiplying in the '80s,
along with economic and social problems that
make them compelling. And as a result, much
of the new youthful black activism is self-
generated, despite its debt of inspiration to
Washington and other older leaders.
"MOST OF MY campaign workers were
my college friends," says Inglewood's Danny
Tabor. "Some moved into my house and
stayed with my mother. We'd work from eight
the morning until 10 at night. I was the
hometown kid. They knew me. It was
something real they could change in politics."
Indeed, this sense of personal connection,
long missing in mainstream politics, is a con-
stant theme in young black candidates'
careers. And because of its continuing absen-
ce from the political experience of the most
disadvantaged in the black community, the
new surge of interest has largely had a mid-
dle-class focus so far.
Maddox, who works in L.A.'s deeply
depressed Watts district, comments: "It's
still extremely difficult to get the very young
people who I see out to vote or to be involved
in any other way. I don't think opposition to
Reagan alone is enough to make a difference
to them. It's going to take something' like
Jesse Jackson running for president to turn
that around. The person who's going to turn it
around for our kids is going to have to be
someone who makes it clear that he is in
touch their problems.
Nevertheless, even in Watts increasing
numbers of young people are turning on to
politics. Keith Johnson, 18, attends a "con-
tinuation school," a special high
school for would-be dropouts, most of them on
court probation. "Politics runs everything,
even the amount of dope allowed into the
city," he says. "Politics controls the police.
That's why I'm going into politics at a young
age. I have a basic handle on it now. I believe
I can be one of them."
But bringing people like Keith. Johnson into
the poltical system is no simple matter. In his
district, says Maddox, the approach itself
must be new and different. "Most of the time,
people in our community are not asking for
legislation. They just need to talk. When the
assemblywoman is at the State Capitol, I'm
often the one who has to talk to a mother to
convince her not to take a gun and shoot a
policeman for beating up her child. I sit there
and say, 'I've been there. Two wrongs don't
make a right."'
Perhaps, he says, "that's not politics. But
at least it lets young people know there's
someone in the community who's listening. If
we - the young blacks in politics - aren't
going to listen to them, who is?"
Douglas wrote this article for the
Pacific News Service. She is a PNS Los
T mEFOiE I START MY 1WDEFENDING
THE MOTHREILANR I ALWAYS' BEGiN
II' 'I i //I j /I ,
LETTERS TO THE DAILY
Candidate Hart's vision a little blurry
WrrH a GaoOD LWHAT$KIE2
- (iORIOUS, ?E\CELOVINci
To the Daily:
If Dave Kopel's article. "Gary
Hart: A candidate with vision,"
is an example of Gary Hart's in-
novative thinking, I hope the
candidate remains a dark horse.
I take issue with Mr. Kopel on two
of his major points.
First, Gary Hart's Tax-Based
Incomes Policy (TIP) is in fact a
form of wage and price controls,
particularly to the 2000 largest
corporations that . it
discriminates against.tA single
issue fiscal policy such as TIP
will not stop inflation as Mr.
Kopel asserts. Furthermore, TIP
is only a godsend to the 2001
largest corporation not the
American people. Finally, Mr.
Kopel's statement that TIP will
not put nine million people out of
work, makes no real economic
sense, even in reference to the
tight monetary policies of the
Second, Gary Hart's military
reform ideas sound exactly like
those of any other of the
Democratic candidates, not to
mention Ronald Reagan.
Military reform is simply a pain-
fully slow process, no matter
who is in the White House. I am
pleased that Gary Hart plans to
save the American people $17
billion in defense spending.
However if his only plan is that,
"we should purchase weapons
that will work, and purchase
them in larger quantities", I
wonder how much more he will
accomplish than any of the past
three presidents. Deep thinkers
should possess comprehensive
plans to reach their goals, not
I hope that in the next year the
Daily.will turn its editorial pages
into a forum for complete presen-
tations of the prospective
presidential candidates, rather
than allow these pages to become
awash with typical campaign
Timothy J. Sloan
Bugs in the meal (card) system
To the Daily:
At any large university,
bureaucracy is unavoidable. Red
tape, scheduling conflicts,
registration problems, and the
like are hallmarks of university
life. It is because of these things,
often, that students at the
University ofMichigan are of-
fered a wide variety of courses,
and options. However, I believe
Anti-Krell matter returns
that in the area of meal cards and
the acquisition, use, and general
policy 'towards them, some
reforms could be made..-
Granted, no student should be
allowed into the cafeteria if he
has not paid for a meal ticket.
There are, however, certain ex-
tenuating circumstances which
do occur. Suppose someone had
purchased a ticket and was
issued only a temporary ticket
because on a certain day they
could not get their picture taken.
If this ticket was then lost or
misplaced, and their permanent
ticket was on the way, what
should be done in the interim. By
the same token, if the person had
to wait a couple of weeks and they
still pay for the permanent ticket,
what alternative might exist?
It should not be forgotten that
theft is a major problem at any
university, however, might not
there be a way in which the in-
nocent might not have to pay for
the guilty? We are all paying a
substantial fee to attend this
University and we are paying it
for good reason.
Perhaps a checker could be
placed inconspicuously to make
sure that this is not abused. I, for
one, would not mind monitoring
Perhaps if a person just wanted
a drink, someone could bring it to
him in a paper cup off their own
tray, as their "sacrifice". In
many instances the cards do turn
up, it is just that students do not
have or do not feel that they can
allocate the money at that time,
regardless if they will later get it
To the Daily:
Well, well, well.. . Just when I
hoped the era of the poet cum
reviewer had come to it's end, up
pops the ludicrous, laughable C.
E. Krell; evidently The Michigan
Daily staff music reporter and
someone who, regardless of their
sex, wishes he/she were either
Harlan Ellison or James Joyce.
At least that's what he/she at-
tempt to achieve. Oh, I'm sure if
you asked him/her, Krell would
say, "Who? Never heard of 'em,
man. This is all mine. My
Unfortunately, Krell's style is
more "anti-making sense."
Regarding one recent example of
Krell's silly meaningless prattle
is the review of The Gun Club. I
attended the show and I can't
type beat poetry to be printed as
a review for the public to try to
decipher? This boring doggeral
belongs in Krell's junior high
school notebook, not in a
Is the editor asleep at the swit-
ch? Who's proofreading this
Krell's crap? Does Krell get paid
for this? . . . or worse doing it for
nothing so he/she can hone their
neodadaistic mutterings to razor
sharp perfection,tmove to France
and become regarded there as a
true genius? Please give our eyes
a break from this moronic, im-
possible phony. Thank you.
-Bobby Lee Yardley
Letters and columns represent the opinions of
the individual author(s) and do not necessarily
reflect the attitudes or beliefs of the Daily.
by Berke Breathed
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