Calgary Herald from Calgary, Alberta, Canada on May 15, 1975 · 7
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Calgary Herald from Calgary, Alberta, Canada · 7

Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Issue Date:
Thursday, May 15, 1975
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PAGE SEVEN THE CALGARY HERALD THURS., MAY 15, 1975 BACKGROUND TO THE NEWS Ghetto rioters replaced by killer youth-gangs What's happened since Watts? Nothing! LOS ANGELES Little has changed in the basic conditions of the black ghetto in 10 years since the Watts riot erupted in six days of violence, leaving 34 persons dead. 1.032 injured and $40 million in property damage. Many think things are worse. Joblessness is soaring to depression levels. Youth gang violence is a daily terror and deadly threat. By John Kendall The Lcs Angeles Times The fearful live behind protective bars and double locks. High schools are graduating functional illiterates. Business has not returned to burned-out areas swept by the August fires of a decade ago. The black ghetto is not a viable community. For tens of thousands on welfare, the American dream is what Malcolm X called the "American nightmare." Cries of "black power" and "black is beautiful" are muted. The fighting mood of the 1960s has been replaced by a sick apathy or angry frustration. For the black in the ghetto, the goal is survival: surviving welfare, high prices, crime and violence, without much hope for improvement. If conditions are so bad. can Los Angeles expect another black riot? Blocks vs. blacks No, according to those who should know. The small percentage cf blacks who rioted before and who might riot again have learned they don't have the weapons to fight an army. That is not to say that the frustration and sense of helplessness will not be expressed in another way. Some say it already is being reflected in . youth gang violence and crime blacks killing and robbing blacks. Others suggest that if conditions worsen, black discontent may be translated by a desperate minority into urban warfare against selected public targets. Are conditions really that bad? Surely good things have happened during the last 10 years. Black athletes and entertainers make millions. More blacks are going to college, and trained blacks have been able to advance. Today it is unthinkable that blacks should ride at the back of the buses, eat at separate lunch counters, drink from marked water fountains, used separate restrooms or not register to vote. Yet, those were the issues of the 1960s in the south. Doesn't all that has happened since represent progress? Perhaps it does to whites. But independent blacks do not glory in having cr doing what should have been theirs in the first place as human beings and American citizens. Some blacks think that if overt white racism has abated, it has become more subtle, more institutionalized, and there is a deep-seated feeling that white will let blacks go only so far in integration. The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders summed it up this way in a report on the urban riots cf the 1960s: "What white Americans have never fully understood but what the Negro can never forget is that white society is "V ; ' Ik ! if M 1 ; If 1 i i M I 1 -1 Rubble-strewn Watts after the riots deeply implicated in the ghetto. "White institutions created it. White institutions maintain it and white society co"dcncs it." The ghetto is still there, and whites are still seen as cold, impersonal and uncaring rbout the culture, aspirations or living conditions of blacks. vo conspiracy The theary goes that eventuallv "They" variously described as right-wing organizations, business interests or organized crime will use the "violent-criminal" label to remove blacks from the community- Pol'remen. both black and white, say there is no evidence of such a conspiracy. Black professionals suggest that such fears a-e paranoic, a way to exclain seemingly inexplicable troubles. Nothing new. Nevertheless, to some, the conspiracy theory is a reality, part of a genocide syndrome cf the "black as Jew" and the "black as Indian" tough as a virus to kill. The Watts riot, or Watts revolt as some prefer, was a radical reordering. Rioting got the establishment's attention. Afterward, pverybody wanted to help. Angry, militant blacks called press con ferences, issued threats and m;de demands. The Los Angeles news media took them as "black leaders," and some may hive beei. bin most faded like the initial liberal do-eooderism after the riot. During the day in the black ghetto, large numbers- cf working-aae vmiths and men loiter arcund empty buildings, cafes and liquor stores. They visibly represent the problem rf too few job, too much welfare and too little economic base. It is difficult to obtain accurate statistics on how many ghetto residents are without jobs, but officials estimate there are pockets of unemployment of 40 per cent or more. Thousands have been jobless for so long they no longer look fcr work. 'A disaster' Looking back, Police Chief Ed Davis recalls the August night in 1965 when he deployed police forces "lo keep everything from burning down." He said "I go back and I look at the very same streets that we tried to hold and lost in many cases and did hold in some cases, and they look the same. Nothing more has been generated. Nothing's happened in 10 years." Crime is a disaster in the black ghetto. It endangers those who live there, keecs jobs and business out, hampers education and encourages those who can to move away. Fear is a permanent resident. Black-on-black crime is not new, but a frightening element has emerged within the last three or four years: violent youth gangs whose members kill without remorse. Gang-related murders in Los Angeles increased from 11 in 1971 to 29 in 1972, 39 in 1973 and 66. in 1974. Chief Davis predicts 100 gang-related killings this year. Gang violence Demands are growing in the black ghetto that something be done about the gang violence. In a front-page editorial last November, the Los Angeles Sentinel, a weeklv ypi-vinT the black comumniiy. declared, "The time has come to remove the velvet glove." Blacks suggest that violent gangs emerged because ghetto youth r.i longer had the militant figures and organizations cf the 1960s to identify with. The police suggest that violent gangs emerged because the system has demonstrated that nothing will happen to youthful criminals no matter what they do. Whatever their reasons f ir existence, gangs are a source cf angry despair. "Instead of education, you tolerate now." said a black teacher at a central city junior high. "Instead of destroying the school, they're killing each other." Red schools are "critical." Blue schools are "serious." Both colors are splattered across a chart-map prepared by the Los Angeles Unified School District to illustrate conditions in city schools. The colors identify schools needing special attention because of absenteeism, expulsions and truancy, and frequency of vandalism, violent incidents or deviant behavior on t near the eamous. Color either red or blue 103 of the total 553 reaula'- elementarv. junior high and high schools in the district. School fortresses Glance at the chart-map briefly and one thing is obvious: most cf the red and blue schoals are in the central city, where youth gang violence in 1974 left two students dead in school shootings. From January to November last year, there were 3.980 reported incidents on city school campuses, including 153 robberies, 351 a'? nil--. 33 sex offences. 1.791 burglaries, 827 thefts and 314 cas'es of malicious mischief. Besides the two young men who died, four others were wounded and six times guns were fired on campus without injuries. Amid this atmosphere of violence, schools are closed and guarded like fortresses or prisons, both from threats from without and troubles from within. All the "red-for-critical" schools are not in' the blaek ghetto, but manv are because they reflect disabling social conditions which create what is described as the' "snirsi of failure." Millions have been spent on special educational programs since the Waits riot, but it is a matter of opinion whether the "spiral of failure" has been interrupted when virtual functional illiterates still are graduated from high school. Ken Liddell's column IP EVIR a woman took her place iu a world of men : without . making . a fuss aiout it, it was Dr. Frances Gertrude McGill. Dr. McGill was Saskatche-vsan's pathologist for years, aid she did so much work for tie. RCMP that at one time sle was known as "Canada's oily woman Mountie." Her death occurred in Win-npeg at the age of 81 years. Siortly after, on April 3, 1939, tte Saskatchewan govern-ment honored her memory by naning one of its northern lales McGill. n an editorial at the time cf her death, the Regina . Ltader-Post said that in a lifetime of public service she had "gained a measure of im-irurtality." : STRANGELY, IN view of her record, there is little in the Saskatchewan Archives about her and what is gener-aly associated with orders-in-camcil about her various ap-pdntments. i The accompanying photo wis obtained from the archives, but in turn it was cop-iel from an article about her t.tet appeared in the RCMP Qtarterly.) She was superannuated by the government in J942 and began a private practice in Rtgina, specializing in allcr-giis. : 3ut she continued to lecture at the police college, on fo-reisic medicine, and in 1946 tin RCMP gave her the rank of. honorary surgeon. But she had been a "P.Ioun-tie'' for years, as much as any male member of the fatce. Unlike the girls in their attractive uniforms of today wto comprise the new women's division. Dr. McGill's w a r k i n g costume was a sirock. - ?HE POLICE and' any olc-tinier of the force will tell you her male counterparts actually revered the woman saw her as more than a doctor. . To them she was also a detective and on occasion her inquisitive mind led her to conclusions that changed the course of some investigations. It is a shame the services of such women there were other professions so blessed were not recorded by their individual professions throughout the years. The Federation of Medical Women of Canada saw this shortcoming a couple of years ago when it commissioned Car-lotta Hacker to record the lives of some of their leaders. Among them, along with Dr. McGill, is Dr. Lola Mc- Latchie, a provincial pathologist for Alberta. To say that Dr. McGill was at one time Canada's "only woman Mountie" is in error, because for years the force engaged women in non-uniformed capacities as assistants for escort and matron duties. - ONE WHO WOULD take issue with the term the press applied to Dr. McGid would be Joy Duncan, of High Uiv:r. who edited the book Red Seree Wives. It is the stories of memoirs of wives and Mr", jjuii.aei shows the w'fe was on duly just as was her husband, although not officially. One of the problems Dr. ''it;- - DR. FRANCES McGILL: A woman among men McGill faced was purely per-, sonal: Whether to sit or stand. ' Women usually sat. She solved the problem by wearing a hat in respect to the court and by standing as a mark for respect for the men with whom she worked. IN PHYSICAL appearance, Dr. McGill was heavy-set and also short, but no lawyer flaunting his gown as he strode back and forth firing questions ev;r made her l:ol; small. in the book, The Indomitable Lady Dactors (Clarke-Irwin), Carbtta Hacker, who obtained some reminiscences from Jim Robinson, now retired in, Regina but once a colleague of Dr. McGill at the barracks, tells a story of how adept she was at outwitting lawyers. In one case, counsel for a defendant asked if she had jone through the pockets of a deceased. She replied, "that i? th? rob of the legal profession." Sh? n ittrr expected nor vas offered repi.e when it came to long and tiring patrols on some cases, 'eu( exchanged quip fcr quip with her colleagues who at the same time treated her as a fcdy. ONCE WHEN entertaining a g;vup of the men at her suite, she asked if anybody wanted ice in their drink. Some did. so she went to the refrigerator to get it and opening of the door revealed bottles which not only contained the evening's enjoy-joyment but also such things as a human heart and kidneys. That was some homework she hed taken from the provincial laboratory. Dr. McGill was born On a farm at Minnedosa. Man. and taught school to put herself through . Manitoba Medical College, from which she graduated in 1915 with prizes for general proficiency. She interned at the Winnipeg General Hospital, tlien became Saskatchewan's prov-i n c i a 1 bacteriologist, later was appointed provincial pathologist anl laboratory director. She did work for both the old Saskatchewan Provincial Police and the RCMP. In 1933, the RCMP established its own laboratory at Regina under Dr. Maurice Powers. Dr. Powers was killed in a plane accident while on duty and Dr. McGill took over the work lor a time. HER SENSE OF deduction was remarkable. Once a young man. dead of a gunshot wound in the head was found in his shack at Lintlaw, Sask. The weapon, a rifle, was found hidden in a bin of wheat. Blood was everywhere. As the young man had previously had a quarrel with a neighbor, it appeared he had been murdered. The suspect had blood on his clothing and he said it was animal blood. One of his ialve.- had cut. an car aid he had wrapped it in his coat for protection. It was routine for Dr. McGill to make her own decisions in other phases of a case and she asked the body be exhumed. SHE DEDUCED the young man had committed suicide as the bullet had entered under his chin and had gone straight up. She deduced he had dabbed his own blood on his face to appear he had been in a fight and had lived long enough to hide the rifle in the bin, spattering blood on the shack floor in the process. Police found the man had borrowed the rifle from a ' neighbor who said the de ceased had asked for only one bullet when he had done so, saying he was going to shoot crows. It didn't seem reasonable to Dr. McGill a man would take one bullet to shoot crows. She examined the blood and found it was animal blood on the suspect's coat and that the supeet's calf had a cut ear, as he had said. Her deductions changed the whole course of the investigations and the suspect was released. I MET DR. McGILL on many occasions in my years as a police reporter. In particular, I remember an incident when we travelled together by train from Regina to Gull Lake, where she testified at the preliminary hearing of a woman accused of murdering some fellow. The woman had fed the man small doses of poison over such a long period of time his system tired of the diet and he passed on. It appeared to be a natural death, but the police continued investigations and it was labelled premeditated murder, which it turned out to be. For reasons I forget, a skull entered into Dr. McGill's testimony (not the skull of the deceased but one from her laboratory). On taking the witness box, she produced this from her bag. It was covered by a handkerchief and Dr. McGill unfolded it with all the drama of a magician. SHE HELD IT up to demonstrate some point of her evidence. The audience gathered in the town hall gasped and one was heard to say. "that's Joe." And during the train ride. Dr. McGill hardly seemed the type to have a- skull in her luggage as we chatted and she busied herself with her knitting. ( Copyright i Potential for conflict Korea tension builds again WASHINGTON The trauma of Vietnam is still fresh as the U.S. approaches the 25Ui anniversary of a similar but more successful struggle the Korean War amid some nervousness that it may be Korea's turn for trouble again. President Ford touched this note recently with his remark that he wants to "tie more closely together South Korea and the United States." Press secretary Ron Nessen later said the president intended to convey to North Ko-By Robert J. Donovan rea "the American intention The los Anqeies Times to meet any attempts to raise tensions in that area." Given the parallels between Vietnam and Korea, it would he a sort of grim irony if. with the U.S.'s Vietnam nightmare just ending. Korea should heat up again a quarter century after that conflict began June 25. 1950. The Korean w ar was a terrible experience although not so terrible for the U.S. as was Vietnam. At the time. Korea was the third largest war in American history. American deaths in battle and in other incidents totalled 54.246 compared with 56.737 in Vietnam. The number cf Americans wounded in Korea was 103.2S4, romnared with 153.311 hospitalized as a result of wounds and injuries in Vietnam. Though Korea was a lesser war than Vietnam, nothing that harmened in Vietnam or in the two world wars not even Pearl Harbor and the Battle of the Bulge caused Americans such fear and foreboding, if only for a few weeks, as the entry of Chinese forces from across the Yalu River, compelling the Americans and their allies to make a grim withdrawal to South Korea in late 1950. Great turning point Korea, with its cbsh of American and Communist forces, proved to be a stepping stone to Vietnam, for Korea marked a creat turning point in U.S. foreign policy. It was onlv a matter of time. then, before Vietnam was linked to American security and thus was seen as a country that had to be defended. After North Korean artillery opened fire along the 33th parallel before dawn on June 25, 1950. and infantry forces moved down through the rain toward the South Korean capital cf Seoul, the United States began expanding to include Aia in its policy of containment of communism, a policy pre-viw-Iv focused on Greece and Turkey, and primarily intended to halt further Soviet expansion in Europe and the M;He??t. While the genesis of the North Korean attack remains debatable a generation later, the outbreak of war was viewed at the time by President Truman and his military and diplomatic advisers as a major effort by Stalin to expand Soviet power and influence in Asia. Perhfps it was. In any case, it was at that point, not at the time of the Truman" Doctrine of 1947. that the United States began on a major scale to rearm itself and its allies to contain communism everywhere. It. was "at that point that the United States set out in quest of world leadership through the United Nations, through NATO and through its response to the North Korean attack. In a drastic change of policy, the United States undertook a war on the mainland of Asia in 1950 because it did not want South Korea to fall under the dominion of the Soviet Union and China. In this effort to check the spread of communism, the United States not only moved the 7th Fleet between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, but began increasing , aid to Indochina, thereby deepening the American commitment in that area. , . U.S. forces in South Korea, after four years of occupation following the Second World War, had been withdrawn months before the Communist attack. Before' the Communist attack, therefore, South Korea was not an area of primary American concern. It was only when it became part cf the apparatus of containment that the United States poured men and material back into the country. Similar attitude President Truman's attitude toward Communist expansion in Asia was bequeathed to presidents Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy. Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. Essentially for the same reason that Truman opposed the North Koreans, these later presidents opposed the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong, namely, to keep 'South Vietnam out. cf the sphere of China and the Soviet Union. If the line from the Korean War to the Vietnam War was not a direct one. still the attitude that caused American intervention in Korea spawned the later American policy in Vietnam. The two wars were similar in some respects and dissimilar in others. Both were fought on the mainland of Asia in defiance of traditional American military thought. Both pitted the mightiest industrial nation on earth against small and backward countries. Both wars were remote, and their purpose bewildered millions of Americans. Both were unpopular. In both wars, the United States deliberately abandoned the goal of complete victory for fear it would only lead to another world war with China or the Soviet Union or both. Both wars proved the limits of American power in the world, although in Korea, unlike Vietnam, the United States achieved its original objective, which was to throw the North Koreans back from the 38th parallel and preserve the independence of South Korea. The dissimilarities also were numerous. Vietnam was a stronger place than Korea far Americans. The United States had had, after all, four years of experience as an occupying power in South Korea and a working . relationship, if not an easy one, with its American-educated president, Syngman Rhee. Also, unlike the war in Vietnam, the United States had in Jaoan a vast nearby base for its land, air and sea forces. Perhaps most important, the Communist side in Vietnam was better able than the Korean Communists to marshal the forces wanting social charge, and to enlist the power of nationalism against the foreign power supporting a regime that stood basically for the status quo. What's been learned? So what has the U.S. gained and learned from these two coctly. divisive conflicts in Asia? Many people say the Vietnam War has taught the U.S. a lessen: -no more Vietnams. But we used to say just as emphatically: no more Koreas. Before long, however, we got into Vietnam. Circumstances can obliterate lessons learned. What if the North Koreans, inspired by the success of the North Vietnamese, should suddenly try again to unify tlieir country? Approximately 38,000 American troops are still stationed south of the 38th parallel in Korea. The tinder for a new conflagration may be there. President Park Chung Hee asserted in Seoul just before the fall of Saigon that the North Korean Communists "appear to have set 1975 as the year of .aggression against the South." In the North. President Kim II sung apparently cherishes his hope of reuniting Korea. He could be tempted to use force by unrest in the South over Park's repressive policies, coupled with U.S. reluctance to intervene again in Asia after the Indochina debacle. But would China and the Soviet Union, with their interest in detente, give even tacit backing to such a venture' bv the North? If the situation on the Korean peninsula does worsen, Uip ' U.S.'s resolve and its hard-won wisdom could be tested anew.

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