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April 14, 1988 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-04-14

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01

OPINION
Page 4 Thursday, April 14, 1988 The Michigan Daily

Edite m dbd saenr a n* I
SEdited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Response to Nazi

violence

Vol. XCVIII, No. 132

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other
cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion
of the Daily.
Students take power
Fi.ght Flemings code

TODAY IS THE LAST DAY of the
comment-on-the-code period, designed
to allow input from the University
community. This mocks the democratic
process and demonstrates the adminis-
tration's disregard for any substantive
input from students, faculty or work-
ers.
Interim President Robben Fleming
and the University board of Regents
have continuously ignored comments
and proposals from campus groups
who are interested in instituting a real
and effective policy of racial harass-
ment. The administration has created an
ambiguous policy which, because of its
many loopholes, will be used to limit
student power rather than provide a so-
lution to racist acts.
The administration is not willing to
discuss solutions to the problem in
general; input is only being accepted on
the specific proposal put forth by
Fleming, regardless of whether it is
right or wrong.
Fleming's policy affects only stu-
dents. This presupposes that the perpe-
trators of racist acts are students rather
than faculty or administrators. Events
such as LSA Dean Peter O. Steiner's
racist comments about Blacks have
proven that there is little administrative
understanding of racism, its history
and its impact.
The policy is a reflection of the ad-
ministrations inadequacy. Through his
refusal to apologize or retract his nu-
merous statements Steiner has shown
his lack of concern over dealing with
racism. Neither the Regents nor Flem-
ing have reprimanded Steiner for his
bogus statements; they also do not fault
LSA for its incredibly small numbers
of women and minorities. Through

their support of Steiner and their sup-
port of Fleming's policy the
administration has proven that they also
have an inadequate understanding of
discrimination.
Fleming's policy can be used by
whites against Blacks in instances of
"racial harassment." This means that if
a Black student calls a white student a
"honky" they are subject to the same
penalties as is a white student who
calls a Black student a "nigger." This is
an inaccurate analysis of what racism is
and where it comes from. It shows a
complete ignorance of the power rela-
tionship between whites and Blacks in
our society and the history of racism in
this country and on this campus.
An argument could be made that it is
cruel or unkind for a Black person to
call a white person a "honky." This
does not, however, constitute racial
harassment and should not be included
in a policy which is seriously trying to
deal with the real problem of racial ha-
rassment.
Fleming's policy leaves the respon-
sibility of determining whether a racist
act has been committed to the
administration. The administration has
already proven its inability to accurately
assess what a racist act is and the pol-
icy is a pathetic implementation of a
wrong analysis of racism.
Fleming's policy should be opposed
on the grounds that it does not address
the real issue of racial harassment and
is intended as a tool for gaining greater
administrative control over the lives of
students. If you are a member of the
university community who cares about
students' rights and racial harassment,
be on the Diag today at noon.
OPPOSE THE CODE.

By Paul Henry
On Saturday, March 19, 25 neo-Nazis
attempted to rally at the Federal Building
as part of their annual "Spring recruiting
tour." Despite the protection of their
swastika-emblazoned shields and 50 Ann
Arbor police, the Nazis were driven back
into their vans only minutes after they ar-
rived because dozens of people in the
crowd of 250 anti-Nazi demonstrators re-
sponded to their cries of "Kill Niggers!
Kill Jews! Heil Hitler!" by hurling rocks,
bottles, rotten fruit and whatever else came
to hand. At this point, the cops rioted,
injuring more than a few bystanders as
well as demonstrators.
The outrageous brutality of the cops
culminated in the pummeling of one
demonstrator by six cops. The police
charged him with resisting arrest - be-
cause the demonstrator had the audacity to
raise his hands to ward off the repeated
blows of the cops' billy-clubs! Five anti-
Nazi demonstrators were arrested.
In the days following this angry clash,
The Daily was filled with critical letters
from liberal pacifists expressing in-
dignation at the police brutality but also
support for police protection of the rally-
ing Nazis on the grounds of free speech.
Most of these liberal critics contend that
by using violent force, the counter-
demonstrators were "lowering themselves
to the Nazis' level." Spouting platitudes
such as "violence only begets violence,"
these liberals call instead for a symbolic
show of disagreement with fascist ideas or
- even worse - advocate that everyone
should simply stay home and ignore "the
Nazi lunatics" the next time they show
up.
Such positions show a lack of under-
standing of what fascism is and what his-
tory has taught us about fighting it. Fas-
cism is a grass-roots movement. It finds
its recruits among members of the disen-
franchised middle class, especially youth,
and thus prospers during times ot eco-
nomic crisis. Fascist ideology is ostensi-
bly concerned with combating the ele-
ments of capitalism which create eco-
nomic crisis. Fascists are people who
have been screwed by the system and are
looking for a way to change it, but they
are misled into believing the enemy is
Blacks, Jews, immigrants, and the unem-
ployable. In fact, the real enemy of both
workers and disenfranchised middle class is
the capitalist system. Fascism, then, has
the effect of destroying working class

Photo by LESLIE BOORSTEIN
The Ann Arbor Police pacify an anti-Nazi protestor by pulling his hair, pressing his
face into the concrete and forcing a hand into his mouth. Other police are stepping on the
demonsrator ankl and rstraiing hs hea

0

demonstrators cankle and restraining his head
place on March 19.
Right now, the big bosses are not sup-
porting the fascists. It is politically much
too risky. But they do seek to maintain a
small body of fascist thugs who can serve
as the core of a fascist movement for the
purpose of smashing any future move-
ments of radicalized workers and the op-
pressed.
So it should come as no surprise if the
cops - the bosses' main henchmen -
expend such massive resources to protect
the Nazis. We cannot depend on the po-
lice to protect us from fascism. Certainly
they did not protect the arrestee who was
so badly battered about the head that blood
poured over his face.
We need to build defense guards based
on the unions and organizations of the
oppressed to smash the fascists whenever
they begin to organize in our communi-
ties. We must disrupt the fascists' ability
to commit organized racist violence. We
must show the young racists who are their

and shoulders with night sticks. This took
fascist rally is not merely words: it's a
tool for recruiting more fascists!
Over the space of several years, a small
group of neo-Nazis holding annual rallies
in Marquette Park, Chicago, have been
able to build such a following that thou-
sands of racist Nazi sympathizers routinely
attend these rallies. It's only a matter of
time before a gathering of this many hate-
mongers turns into a pogrom, an attack on
nearby black neighborhoods, or a gay-
bashing expedition - or all three at once.
Pacifism is a 'losing strategy. The
Holocaust could have been averted by a
militant fight against fascism. The partial
victories of the courageous Jewish ghetto
resistance fighters shows this, but unfor-
tunately it was a case of too little, too
late. For too many years the bureaucratic
misleaders of the German Social-Demo-
cratic and Communist parties.urged their
rank-and-file not to fight back against the
fascists, using the same arguments that are
used by the liberals today. Nazi
Stormtroopers, even when they were still
in relatively tiny numbers routinely at-
tacked and broke up meetings of workers
ten times their number. At every turn the
Nazis carried out a bold campaign of terror
which crippled the labor movement and
was a source of constant fear for Jewish
and immigrant workers, as well as Gyp-
sies, gay people, leftists and other
"undesirables."
Progressive students, workers and the
oppressed must form a united front to de-
feat fascism. Come to the pre-trial at 15th
District Court (6th floor of City Hall) at 9
am on May 3rd and demand the charges
against the five anti-Nazi protestors be
dropped! Attend the meetings of the Ad
Hoc Committee to Fight Fascism and
Police Brutality, an emergency response
group composed of students and workers
working together to mount a legal defense
of the anti-Nazi 5 and to expose the brutal
role of the police.. Drop the charges now!
Smash the Nazis! Smash the Klan!

Recognize Vietnam vets

THE VIETNAM WAR was radically
different from other American wars. It
lasted 20 years, was never officially
declared, and the American public dis-
approved of it. In addition, heavy me-
dia coverage, with photographs of
frontline violence for the first time, re-
moved the glamor that distance created
during other wars.
The American public had to face the
fact that we were engaged in an unclean
and unfair war every time they picked
up a newspaper or turned on the TV.
No one liked what they saw. The Viet-
nam veteran became the whipping boy
of this negative public sentiment.
Further complicating the emotional
plight of Vietnam Veterans, they left
the United State alone without a pla-
toon or group of friends. Previous
wars had been fought by the National
Guard and Reserve; these men had
been together for a long period of time
and shared that comradery.
draft/leaving alone
The veterans of previous wars re-
turned together in troop ships and were
welcomed by parades. The Vietnam
Veteran came home alone, one at a time

or in small groups. There were no pa-
rades or hero worshippers waiting for
them when they arrived.
To the present there is no concrete
data on the amount of Vietnam Veter-
ans who are homeless, suicidal or who
suffer from Post Traumatic Stress
Syndrome. However, Colonel Charles
Tackett, puts the number of homeless
around 8 million. He feels that the me-
dia stigmatized the Vietnam veterans
and made landlords wary of renting to
them.
Since the mid-1980s, there has been
a lot of media attention given to the
Vietnam war; attention that has been
more positive than in the past. The ac-
tivities of Charles Tackett to get Ann
Arbor to celebrate a special day for the
Vietnam veterans is very appropriate
when we consider how the public has
mistreated the Vietnam veterans in the
past.
May 7 will not only remind us of the
Vietnam war, it will also reminds us to
actively seek to end American
intervention in other foreign wars
which are usually fought in small
countries against unknown and unseen

'We must disrupt the fascists' ability to commit organized racist
violence. We must show the young racists who are their potential
recruits that fascism is not a popular movement but instead incurs
the wrath of the great mass of workers and the oppressed.'
-Paul Henry, supporter of RWL

unity and crushing proletarian social and
political movements.
Realizing this, wealthy big business
owners have often nurtured fascism as a
way of combatting the gains of the orga-
nized working class. During a massive
upsurge of working class militancy in
Germany in the early '30s, the capitalists
of Britain and the U.S., most notably
Henry Ford, lent considerable material
support to the rise of the Hitler regime.
Paul Henry is a supporter of the Revo-
lutionary Workers League.

potential recruits that fascism is not a
popular movement but instead incurs the
wrath of the great mass of workers and the
oppressed.
Some idealists will continue to fetishize
the notion of free speech for everyone in-
cluding fascists. The ruling class fosters
no such idealism and afford us free speech
only when it does not pose a threat or in-
convenience to them. Granting free
"speech" to fascists poses a serious threat
to the well-being of Black, Latino, Jewish
and lesbian/gay people as well as all
workers - because the free "speech" of a

0
6

Shanty for Palestinians

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fs

By Faheem Ahmad,
Muzammil Ahmed, and
Imtiaz Khan
Yesterday, a new shanty went up in the
diag. This shanty symbolizes the living
conditions of the Palestinians living under
Israel's iron fist. Their suppression has
climaxed during the last few months as
Palestinian youth have broken out in riots.
That they did so should not come as a sur-
prise.
Palestinian homes are considered threats
to Israeli security since where there are
homes, there are people. By systematically
destroying Palestinian homes, Israel hopes
to uproot the Palestinian people from their
centuries old homes, and drive them out of
+1, +-:---~ -

As in South Africa, these steps range
from arrest and almost indefinite jailing
without charges or trial to denial of ade-
quate health care and education. The reputed
standards of a democratic country are also
lacking in the area Israel controls. Like
Blacks in South African Bantustans, Pales-
tinians in the occupied territories are
stripped of most rights to elect rep-
resentatives, assemble, speak, or print and
distribute literature. Even mainstream Is-
raeli media is censored by the military.
Palestinian homes, like those of Black
South Africans, are regularly demolished.
The only excuse the military needs in order
to bulldoze or seal off a Palestinian home
is a family member who is suspected (not
even accused) of a crime. Once destroyed or
sealed off, it is illegal to rebuild it in any
form. The former occupants of such a home

to realistically address the Palestinian
problem by granting them self determina-
tion.
To show that we stand in solidarity with
the Palestinians, and to demonstrate our
concerns to our representatives in
Congress, the Muslim Students Associa-
tion with the endorsements of the Arab
American University Graduates, the Latin
American Solidarity Committee, the
Palestinian Solidarity Committee, the
Palestinian Students Association, and
UCAR have built a Palestinian shanty.
The presence of the two South African
shanties in the diag is appropriate. The Is-
raeli laws governing the Palestinians and
Israelis are reminiscent of apartheid: the Is-
raelis are given rights and privileges in the
West Bank and Gaza denied to Palestinians
solely on the basis of their race or religion.
l1.. 1.. .t. - 11 1_ _- - - - r ^ nnv

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