The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 16, 1986 · Page 4
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 4

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Thursday, January 16, 1986
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Page 4
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Opinion The Salina Journal Thursday, January 16,1986 Page 4 nri ®6fcto T 1 1 he Journal Founded in 1971 HARRIS RAYL, Editor and Publisher KAY BERENSON, Executive Editor SCOTT SEIRER, News Editor LARRY MATHEWS, Assistant News Editor LORI BRACK, Weekend Ed/tor JIM HAAG, Night Editor MARY JO PROCHAZKA, Associate Editor President Carlin? Perhaps our governor had at some point in his political career made up a little plaque with "President Carlin" engraved on it — just to see how it would look, of course. But with a plaque engraved there'd be the temptation to get a title to match. So, why not apply to be president of Kansas State University? Carlin has apparently done so. Even though the application raises the specter of an incredible conflict of interest if Carlin were appointed by the Board of Regents. Carlin appointed the Regents. If they in turn appointed him, the state would be racked by rumors of political deals and payoffs to win Carlin the post. It's no small plum. Resigning KSU President Duane Acker will be paid $92,000 during his final year in the presidency. Carlin's annual salary as governor is $65,000. Carlin's record as governor indicates his competence as a manager and politician. His political savvy and contacts could undoubtedly help K- State generate a broader base of support, including financial support. But the price tag for such support would be high — a loss of credibility for an important educational facility. The aim of a state university is not to generate political support. Nor is being well managed a sufficient goal. The goal is to provide quality education. Carlin's credentials in state government are sound. He learned it from the bottom up in the state Legislature. He has no similar credentials in education. Advanced academic degrees are de rigueur in academic circles. Carlin has none. He has little experience in or knowledge about advanced education. If Carlin wants to enter academia, he needs to build up some credibility in the field before taking the helm of a large state university. For both those reasons, Carlin should withdraw his name from consideration. NRC's public insult George Orwell wouldn't have been surprised by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. After all, Orwell coined the term "doublespeak" in his book "1984." So news that the NRC will try to get around public scrutiny by instituting "non-meeting gatherings," closed to the public, would have been right in line with Orwell's expectations. Under a proposal that could be made final this week, a majority of the five NRC commissioners supports changing the agency's definition of a "meeting." What the regulators want is to be able legally to meet in private to discuss such "big picture" matters as the agency's relations with Congress, news organizations, the nuclear industry, foes of nuclear energy and the public. NRC Chairman Nunzio Palladino even went so far as to ask Rep. Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat who heads a House subcommittee overseeing the NRC, to keep the commission's plan secret. The commissioners, appointed to a public agency charged with regulating an industry to protect the environment and public health and safety, apparently feel their public trust is none of the public's business. That, despite the fact the public is rightfully concerned with the safety record of an industry in which human error can mean the loss of many lives. How convenient, if the NRC can establish its own definition of "meeting." Probably Congress, state legislatures and city and county commissions would like to follow suit. The commissioners seem to have forgotten that they serve in public posts in a country that boasts a government of, by and for the people. Perhaps they'd be more at home in a country with government over the people, who aren't trusted to make informed decisions for themselves. To make informed decisions, including the decision as to whether the NRC is acting properly, the American people need information. Letters Try nonviolence Why do terrorists do it? Why do they kill and torture their fellow man? Doesn't a terrorist know that the man whose head his gun is pointed at has a wife at home? He has kids. Just like terrorists. Don't terrorists know they accomplish nothing? That there are more effective ways of getting their point across to their governments? In America, the most drastic changes in our government have not come from acts of violence or terrorism. The changes have come from peaceful demonstrations and civil disobedience. One of the most distinguished advocates of civil disobedience was Martin Luther King Jr. His persistent struggle for civil rights in America is well known. He preached nonviolence and embodied the spirit of peace in his own life. Through King's lifelong work, he helped to change America from a prejudiced country into a country that is truly the "land of the free and the home of the brave." As a deserved reward for his efforts, King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Now America holds a tribute to him by celebrating his birthday on Jan. 20 as a national holiday. Terrorists should look at 'themselves. Are they candidates for the Let them know... IS AROSE AROSE American apartheid foes forget U.S. race history WASHINGTON — Desmond Tutu, the Anglican bishop of Johannesburg, was in town last week. Peter, Paul and Mary, the folk singers, were here too. Their purpose was to stir up American public opinion in favor of stiffer sanctions against South Africa. Let me wish them no luck at all. Economic sanctions simply do not work. As a weapon of international persuasion, they are about as effective as popguns. The United Nations imposed drastic sanctions upon Rhodesia; they failed utterly. We imposed sanctions upon Poland; nothing happened. Our government has forbidden trade with Cuba for the past 25 years; Cuba goes its way. Most recently the president has laid heavy sanctions upon Libya; our noble allies have pooh-poohed the effort. So it will be with South Africa. If Bishop Tutu's efforts succeed, and American corporations are forbidden to do business there, the economic vacuum will be swiftly filled. A significant number of blacks who work in American-owned plants will lose their jobs. The example of these non-discriminatory industries will be lost. If there is money to be made in South Africa, someone else will step in to make it. Formal sanctions will have little effect. Neither will the kind of ritualistic demonstrations we have seen outside the South African Embassy over the past year. These nicely orchestrated events have all the spontaneity of a good Swiss clock. At the appointed hour the celebrities pop out, march to the door and get politely turned away. The police gently arrest those who have signed up for the afternoon's program. All hands are taken downtown to be booked. With a round of James Kilpatrick UNIVERSAL PRESS handshakes the defendants are released. No one is ever prosecuted; no one is even inconvenienced. This is apartheid chic, the trendy thing to do, but it is inconceivable that ego trips in Washington produce guilt trips in Pretoria. Violent measures within South Africa offer much worse alternatives. Bishop Tutu morosely speculated on the kind of "naked terrorism" that he sees ahead. "Virtually all school buses in South Africa carry only white children," he said. "They are the softest of targets." He also suggested that the outlawed African National Congress might recruit black servants to poison their white masters. "Here's something we want you to slip into their early morning coffee." The murder of children or the poisoning of white adults would trigger a passionate reaction among all elements of the white community. Many blacks would be as outraged. Moderate white voices would be effectively hushed. Positions would polarize, and South Africa's armed forces would mount bitter and bloody reprisals. What, then, might be effective in putting an end to the most shameful elements of apartheid? Reform will have to come from within. The best the United States can do is to encourage the voices of moderation, some of them within the Botha government, in their quiet search for a not intolerable political solution. Patience, moral suasion, good example —these tools may be effective in ways not immediately visible. Reforms of great magnitude take time. Well, say virtuous Americans, time's up! Our patience is exhausted! We want our moral values adopted now! What hypocrites we mortals are. Americans as a breed have no sense of history. They have forgotten, or have never learned, our own history of slavery and racial segregation. They are blind to the terrible apartheid we imposed upon our Indian tribes. They overlook the years and years that were required before public attitudes changed. During his visit here, Bishop Tutu was presented with a petition reportedly signed by 1 million Americans demanding freedom for South Africa's blacks. How many of those 1 million signatories, I wonder, reflected for even an instant upon the highly selective nature of their outrage? Are they as concerned about freedom and democracy elsewhere in Africa? Here in Washington the Soviet Embassy is only half a mile away from the South African Embassy. Do Peter, Paul and Mary sing their folk songs there? The encouraging thing is that reforms are in fact taking place within South Africa. Changes are coming about that would have seemed impossible only a decade ago. More reforms are on the way. There is increasing talk of federation. Let us strive for patience and perspective and let us remember that in this affair we are outsiders. Given our own past and present record of race relations, we are not even attractive outsiders at that. Strand of hope Blackburn stood for lives on "I can't stand bullies, people being fobbed off justice." and I don't like with second-rate SEN. BOB DOLE, SH141 Hart Building, Washington, D.C. 20510. Phone: 202-224-6521. SEN. NANCY KASSEBAUM, 302 Russell Building, Washington, D.C. 20510 1 . Phone: 202-224-4774. REP. PAT ROBERTS, 1519 Longworth Building, Washington. D.C. 20515. Phone: 202-225-2715. REP. JIM SLATTERY, 1729 Longworth Building, Washington, D.C. 20515. Phone: 202-225-6601. REP. BOB WHITTAKER, 332 Can-v non Building, Washington, D.C. 20515. Phone: 202-225-39U. Nobel Peace Prize? Will their countries celebrate their birthdays when they die? Maybe terrorists don't care about those things. But are they really making a difference in their countries? The world? Are they getting their point across, or just making every nation outraged? If they really want to make an impact, they should try peaceful demonstrations, sit-down strikes and nonviolent marches instead of using guns. If they do plan to study nonviolence and civil disobedience as tools in their struggles, they should look up these respected names: Mahatma Gandhi, Bishop Desmond Tutu and Pope John Paul II. I hope, for the sake of many lives, that they will take my advice. I know that it will be more effective than their present tactics. -STACY BERG 856 S. Fifth Trapping is cruel You made my stomach turn and spoiled my Sunday dinner with your article on coyote trapping in Sunday's paper (January 12). Did you have to write a one-and-a-half- page-long article, with explicit details and pictures of how Rex Ackerman enjoys practicing his "craft"? Leaving these coyotes for hours in excruciating pain, then shooting them if they're still alive and then skinning them to protect calves on their common grounds from being eaten is cruel and inhumane. There are more humane methods of taking care of the coyote problem, according to Gayle Rose, vice president of the Saline County Humane Association. As the most intelligent of creatures, we were created by God to love, respect and care for all of God's less intelligent creatures, not to inflict senseless pain and death on those who cannot defend themselves. -EVALANKHORST 901 Merrily Dr. —Molly Blackburn NEW YORK — Last May, at one of the numerous funeral rallies blacks have staged during 15 months of unrest that have claimed more than a thousand lives in South Africa, a white activist named Molly Blackburn led a delegation of white people into a stadium jammed with thousands of blacks. "When she appeared," Alan Cowell of The New York Times reported, "blacks rose up to salute her with clenched fists — a rare tribute across the color lines in this divided land." This month, it was the other way around. On Dec. 28, as she was returning to her home in Port Elizabeth after investigating allegations of human rights violations in a black township on the Eastern Cape, Blackburn, 55, was killed in an automobile accident. Her funeral, attended by 10,000 South African blacks, became one of the biggest anti-apartheid rallies yet held — an even rarer tribute to a woman who defied convention, the law, the power of the state and the opprobrium of many of her peers to oppose bullies and "second-rate justice." But Blackburn's work, notable and courageous as it was, symbolized something greater, something too easily lost sight of in all the reports from South Africa of injustice, repression, riots, violence and death. She embodied what Cowell called "the frail strand of hope" that whites and blacks in that unhappy country may yet salvage a way of living together in peace. For Blackburn was not alone among white South Africans in lending her strength, presence and sympathy to its millions of voteless and oppressed blacks. She was, for example, Doonesbury Tom Wicker NEW YORK TIMES a member of Black Sash, a white women's anti-apartheid group; her political party, the Progressive Federals, is in official opposition to the ruling Afrikaner Nationalist Party, which devised and maintains apartheid. Numerous whites, including not a few Afrikaners, have risked a great deal to support black rights. The Rev. Allan Boesak, who spoke at Blackburn's funeral, was recently jailed for his efforts; the Rev. Beyers Naude, once a member of the secret Broederbond through which Afrikaners wield enormous political power, was "banned" for five years for preaching that apartheid was "un- Christian." Just recently a delegation of white businessmen met leaders of the banned African National Congress to begin laying the groundwork for post-apartheid black-white relations. Other white political and business leaders have spoken and acted for change. As in their recognition of Blackburn, South African blacks know that not all whites are their oppressors. Influential black leaders, like Bishop Desmond Tutu, still work for moderation of the kind that caused the vast throng of blacks at the funeral to eschew, in Blackburn's honor, violence and disorder. "We do not hate whites," a black woman remarked during the funeral rally. "We only hate apartheid." That is the ground upon which South Africans of good will and fair mind, whatever their color, can stand together — opposition to an unfair system of "second-rate justice" and unequal opportunity, enforced by armed bullies and a ruthless government. Not enough whites, either English- speaking or Afrikaner, yet share that ground to make Blackburn's goal anywhere near a reality. Many whites, owing to the restrictive information policy of the government, hardly even realize the depth and passion of black resistance. South Africa's most palpable injustice, moreover, is its central dilemma — that its oppressed blacks are an overwhelming majority; combined with persons of mixed white and black ancestry and Asians, they are roughly 22 million to only about five million whites (English and Afrikaner). Those figures guarantee determined white resistance to one-man, one-vote solutions; but anything less than a system of effective equality will not for long satisfy legitimate black aspirations. So it is indeed a "frail strand of hope" that Blackburn's life and work represents; but as Boesak said, "She died still trying to mold out of the hatred and misery and suffering of our people something new, joyful, beautiful." And what she stood for lives on. Letters The Journal welcomes letters to the editor but does not promise to print them. The briefer they are the better chance they have. All are subject to condensation and editing. Writer's name must be signed with full address for publication. Letters become the property of The Journal. TOM£. I'M HOPING H^iLK^ A0LBTD PUTM&^ ONTH£Pf!OClJf!&- YOULAUGH. PKXUKMENT isiH£fvn/f! OWXIUAYTO BOY'S PRSAM. CONTRACTORS! YUP/HOlt/POKXJ UKBTHWAPPIK, YOU'RE NOT A CRACK AT THEM ? MNGING NOUMY, BACK.TOTHE

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