Wednesday, October 16, 1985
The Michigan Daily
ts and equality
During Civil Rights Commission
Chairman Clarence Pendleton's recent
visit to the U of M campus Daily opinion
page editor Joe Kraus and staffer Peter
Mooney interviewed him regarding his
opinions on the American Civil Rights
Daily: Does racism exist in America?
D: What do you think the government's
role should be in dealing with this problem?
P: To get out of it. There are enough laws
on the books right now.
D: So you don't believe the government
should play a primary role in eliminating
discrimination against blacks?
P: Well first of all discrimination, like
anything else can be resolved in the courts
D: So you believe the civil rights laws are
adequate to protect against discrimination?
P: Yes, overly adequate.
D: Are there any acts in particular which
you think should be repealed?
P: I hope the President signs the
executive order getting rid of goals, time
tables and preferences.
D: What do you see as the purpose of your
commission since you have renounced so
many of the policies traditionally followed
by the commission?
P: The affirmative action policies
followed under the Carter administration?
It wasn't Carter who put them in place, it
was a Republican action under Nixon. It
was a dumb Republican action.
D: You oppose affirmative action?
P: I don't oppose affirmative action, I op-
D: How do you define affirmative action?
P: I agree with Lyndon Johnson's and
John F. Kennedy's definition, to increase
the recruiting pool. We all don't agree with
D: You referred to comparable worth as a
"looney idea." Why are you opposed to it?
P: It's the looniest idea since looney tunes
came to the screen. It proposes to destroy
D: Do you feel that there is a problem in
P: The marketplace determines wages,
not the government.
D: Do you feel the marketplace acts on
the vulnerability of a women's economic
P: I think it's a crime that women earn
only 58t for every dollar that a man makes,
but that's the law. You've got to face the fac-
ts. It's due to marketplace forces, when you
take the women aged 20 to 25 they make only
2.8% less than what a man makes, and when
you take the aggregate women make
something like 65¢ on every dollar a man
makes. There are all kinds of reasons why
women exit the marketplace more than men
do, and women work less hours per year,
and whether it's sexist or not men don't
D: Do you believe it's women's volition to
work less than men do?
P: I think women go into jobs based on the
return they can get in the marketplace. Now
society places a different value on women's
work. I support a lot of the good which have
happened such as equal pay for equal work.
D: Why was support for Walter Mondale
by black leaders a "suicide mission."
P: He lost, they knew that going in. That's
why it was a suicide mission.
D: You think they should have supported
P: That's not what I said. I just said they
lost by going in. You put down your money
and you take your pick, but if you know
you're going to lose it's suicidal.
D: What course of action would you have
preferred to see major black leaders take?
P: I don't know who you're talking about.
Are you talking about the media designated
D.: The NAACP, Urban League...
P: Those are leaders you say?
D: Well, they're media designated
P: Well, they're outlaws. They're the ones
who said the defeat of Ronald Reagan was
critical to the survival of the black com-
munity, yet there were more black
businesses in this country between 1976 and
1982 than ever before.
D: Do you question their roles as leaders
P: I question the way the media makes
them leaders. Only 14 percent of America
belongs to any of those organizations, black
America, and most of the money is white
money from philanthropy, not black money
from a grassroots kind of support, so I think
you have to examine that. They spent $100
million dollars this summer on conventions
talking about how bad Ronald Reagan is and
not a dime went to the black community. So
you have to add up which way the leadership
is going and who is benefiting by their ac-
D: Then do you see an alternative leader-
ship within the black community?
P: Does white America have a leader?
D: That's part of my question...
P: Then black America doesn't need a
D: Then you don't think emphasis over the
past 20 or 30 years for black America to vote
as a block is appropriate?
P: It'll never happen.
D: You don't think it's possible?
P: I don't think it's possible, I don't think
it's practical. What you've got to remember
is that 90 percent of the blacks votes cast
went for Walter Mondale, not 90 percent of
the black support, I mean people probably
didn't vote. There were ten million people or
so who voted for Ronald Reagan.
D: In the primaries before the election
Jesse Jackson's support came primarily
from the black community.
P: And again I can only reemphasize the
fact that he lost.
D: In Michigan Williams Lucas is running
for governor as a Republican. Do you see
this as a positive development in black
P: I think there have always been blacks
running on the Republican ticket. Just
because you have one in Michigan who
decides to run now at this level isn't a
Republican thing, I think it's a change on
the part of Bill Lucas in deciding which base
he wants to use from which to run. Is
(Thomas) Barrow a Democrat or
Republican (candidate for mayor of
P: You've got a lot of people deciding to
run for office as Republicans that you just
don't hear about. I think it's obvious that
Bill Lucas is the highest ranking elected
person to run. That's good. It shows that this
is the land of the free and the home of the
brave. If you decide you're brave enough to
run you're free enough to be able to do it.
D: Are you encouraged by the fact that
the Republicans seem to be embracing
P: I'm encouraged when the Republicans
embrace anyone who is a good candidate. I
need you to understand, I'm not into this
black thing, I don't belong to anything black
and Republican, I'm a Republican, I don't
belong to any auxiliary. And nobody told me
I had to be a part of an auxiliary to be a part
of the party. I don't think Commissioner
Webb (Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission Member William Webb who
observed the interview) can be considered,
as a Reagan appointee, he cannot be con-
sidered as buying into all this blackness,
that we have some special agenda. I can
safely say - he can speak for himself - that
we buy Ronald Reagan's agenda. I don't see
anything wrong with that.
D: So then, do you think it was ap-
propriate at one time for black America to
adopt something of a black agenda?
P: Well a civil rights agenda is not going
to make blacks free because it has no money
on it. And people, I think, misuse the term
civil rights. Civil rights allowed you to vote
and to go to court and allowed you to have
coalition politics with other people around
issues but if you want to coalesce around
race it's not going to work.
D: What do you see as the major civil
rights problems in the United States right
P: Too much protection - 85 percent of
America belongs to protected classes. I
think it's the social and economic use of civil
rights laws that is the problem. And I'm op-,;
posed to specious schemes like comparable
worth and federal equitable pay practices.
D: What about the fact that many people
in the protected groups come from
backgrounds that make it more difficult for
them to compete?
P: Well if you can say that your
background and your ethnics came from,
poor schools and poor backgrounds, that's
one way of looking at it. There are the
Russians and Byelorussians and Latvians
and Lithuanians and Italians, then they
ought to be part of a protected class too. And
I don't consider myself to have come from a;
disadvantaged background, I've probably
got a better background than most of you,
either one of you. My family went to college
back in 1867, there's no question in my mind
I'm not disadvantaged. Never have been
and never will be and I'm not taking that
label. I went to black schools before they,
D: Do you agree with Head Start?
P: Yes, that's just about the only one I
D: So you think it's right to help people to
P: You help them to prepare to competer,
but you don't give them a place in the com-
petition. You don't give remedies for
discrimination without people being vic-
tims. There are remedies for individual vic-
tims of discrimination, I think one of the
biggest problems we have right now is the
laws creating all of these innocent victims:'
And the people who get blamed under the
quota system are the ones taking jobs from
whites. Another big problem is white male
America is afraid of being called a bigot. So
we get all these specious little things like
comparable worth which reflect liberal-
b e d tbsa niichig an i
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCVI, No. 30
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Passing the buck
THE ATTEMPTS of the Ann
Arbor Elected Officers Com-
pensation Commission to agree on
a salary recommendation for the
Mayor and the City Council have
repeatedly been stymied by
Chairman Ted Heusal whose fear
of condemnation by his radio
audience has kept him from taking
Heusal, who hosts a morning
call-in show on WAAM, has missed
two meetings of the commission
leaving it deadlocked by a vote of
three to three in both instances.
The commission, which meets
every other year, made its first at-
tempt to agree on a recommen-
dation on Sept. 18. Heusal showed
up for this meeting but left before it
began, saying that he would be
"crucified" by his radio audience
if he voted for an increase. On Oct.
8 he missed another meeting, this
time because he "completely
Heusal has not made a public
statement on the issue, though he
claims that will happen in the next
Commission meeting. It would
befit anyone willing to accept the
Chairmanship of a city commission
to at least attend the meetings.
It's particularly important that
Heusal attend the Oct. 29 meeting
as state law requires that the
commission make a decision by
mission has been accurately
described by former councilmem-
ber Roger Bertoia as a
"smokescreen . . . for public of-
ficials to hide behind."
This is not to say that no increase
is justified. Mayor Ed Pierce
currently earns $10,000 and city
council members earn $5,500; the
salaries which have been paid sin-
ce 1975. It should be noted,
however, that both of these
positions are part-time and that all
of the officials have other jobs.
Pierce is seeking a salary increase
to between $20,000 and $25,000
.citing the fact that he has had to cut
back on his medical practice.
Perhaps a more moderate
recommendation would be that of
former mayoral candidate Jack
Garris who suggested a raise of
$5,000 for the mayor and $1,500 for
councilmembers. While this is no
king's ransom, public service is a
privilege which requires certain
Whatever level of salary in-
crease is finally decided upon it
should be determined by the coun-
cil. By leaving the decision up to-
the commission they are literally
and figuratively, passing the buck
(bucks?). Heusal's behavior is
inexcusable, but he never claimed
to be a representative of the people.
Decisions which inflame passions
such as this should be undertaken
To the Daily:
Clarence Pendleton, the
Reagan appointed Civil Rights
Commissioner, came to the Law
School on October 8 to address
the question: "Is There Still
Racism in America?" His predic-
table response was that while, of
course, there is still the old,
familiar kind of racism, a "new
racism" is emerging as the result
of the substitution of race for
standards in employment hiring
and promotion and in University
admissions. He said that he
favors "Kennedy-Johnson style"
recruitment and training
programs over current deadlines
and quotas which, he said, "are
giving new meaning to the term
While this is an interesting
argument, I submit that it is
strange to hear it from an ad-
ministration which has been
giving new meaning to the term
"War On Poverty" for over five
years. Judging by the Reagan
Administration's broad and
vigoroustassault against most
existing anti-poverty programs,
one must conclude that Pen-
dleton's plea for alternative
methods is little more than a
His real purpose is to destroy
much of what little hard-earned
progress has been made in get-
ting government to respond to
social and economic inequities.
The Administration has no com-
mitment to replacing existing
programs with effective alter-
natives; its real commitment is
to drastically reduce gover-
nment's role in achieving social
justice. That Pendleton should
quote Hubert Humphrey in sup-
port of these ends defies belief!
But suppose we take what Pen-
dleton saysat face value. Sup-
pose in response to "new racism"
we design alternative programs
which remain effective in ad-
dressing disparities in income,
employment, education, and
health care. Then where is the
need to abandon the current
quotas and deadlines at all? All
we have to do is add the recruit-
ment and training programs, and
the deadlines will be that much
easier to meet. We can keep the
Support the South End
same results in terms of the
quotas, while "new racism" will
be completely circumvented.
But Mr. Pendleton and the Ad-
ministration would not want
standards of accountability for
effectiveness of alternatives, I
would guess, even if we set those
To the Daily:
On October 4 you carried a
front page article ("Wayne St.
board fires editor," Daily) about
the firing of the Wayne State
editor of the student newspaper
for refusing to run advertisemen-
ts for the US military. This seems
to me to raise questions here at
the University of Michigan too.
Not only does the very same
number of the Michigan Daily
carry a romanticized adver-
tisement for the US Marines, but
for several years the Time
Schedule directory of classes
distributed free at thesbeginning
of each semester also carries
such advertising. In the latest
edition there are at least two such
ads, each full-page, in contradic-
tinction to a newspaper a vir-
tually obligatory possession for
all university students and many
professors, a guide book, in ef-
fect, to what the academic depar-
tments are offering, where and
when. Not only is it obligatory in
this sense but it couldn't very
well exist without the work of the
professors, who teach the courses
listed, and the students who at-
tend them. To advertise in such a
publication, therefore, is to
piggy-back with neither per-
mission nor fee on the work of the
professors and students.
As a professor whose two cour-
ses are listed in this schedule, I
feel that I am being used by the
advertisers, very much including
the military, and by the persons
who. put the advertisements
together and receive the revenue.
Both these parties are using my
academic worth and work in or-
der to sell a commodity. Fur-
thermore, and this applies with
special force to the hired killers
that are euphemistically called
"the armed forces," it is clear
that academic work is here being
used to legitimate and normalize
a career in the killing services.
It is also worth noting that by
the same process the work of
academic labor is dragged down
by such a terrible association -
To the Daily:
Susanne Baum, in her October
9 review of "Greek folk dance
marred by difficulties" of
Kalidoscopio of Greece, shows a
fundamental lack of knowledge
and understanding of Greek
culture. We would like to point
out some erroneous observations
that she presented in her article.
Baum should have understood
that the Greek dancers inten-
tionally look at the floor during
some folk dances, to express a
certain feeling. In Greek culture,
folk dancing i)not only expresses
the emotions of joy and en-
thusiasm; but also, those of sad-
ness and concern of daily life.
For example, the Tapinos dan-
ce of Thrace and Macedonia
(Tapinos is the Greek work for
humble) is a slow ceremonial
dance that expresses the concer-
ns of the mountain peasants
and this surely applies with equal
force to the large number of ads,
for cars, radios, telephones, etc.
thus putting everyday com-
modities on a par with military
and, in the final analysis, com
modifying the university and a
university career as well.
- Michael Taussig
Oct. 8, 1985
about their lives and their
feelings about love, war and
Similarly, the Zeimbekikos, a 4
popular tavern dance, is also per-
formed with the dancer looking at
the ground as he tries to convey
his feelings and worries about
Most of these songs are
emotional and melodic, and the
performers cannot display the
"vivacious movements" that
Baum thinks typical of all Greek
If baum had read the four-page
program which was distributed
before the performance, she,
would have had a better under-
standing of the dances, the goals
of the performers, and of Greek;
standards at one fourth of the
existing deadlines and quotas
about which they so shrilly com-
Which only serves to underline
the obvious: Pendleton is using
the minor problem of "new
racism" to avoid confronting the
real problem a Civil Rights
Commissioner ought to be chiefly
concerned with: the galling
social and economic effects of
Letters to the Daily should be typed,
triple-spaced, and signed by the in-
dividual authors. Names will be withheld
only in unusual circumstances. Letters
may be edited for clarity, grammar, and
by Berke Breathed a