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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 11, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta ......_____ Tvcjdny, April 1972 THE IETHBRIDGE 5 William Millinsliip Busing: justice or transport question HLF lyASIUNGTON When an American school bus, n bright yellow, old-fashiomxl stylo vcliicle, stops to drop or pick up passengers, it flashes red lights at front and rear to bring all traffic in the vicinity to a mo- mentary liall. H has now be- come, the symbol of an emotion- al public outcry that threatens to halt this country's long struggle lo break down racial segregation in its schools. There are about school buses in tho United States. Over 40 per cent of ele- mentary imd high school chil- dren ride in them io school. !n a country that is poor in public transport the yellow bus is of- ten the only way for a child lo reach school easily, especially in rural areas. The. licet of buses grew lo massive propor- tions as America moved away from Ihe one-room local school and built large, impressively equipped institutions serving much wider catchment areas. Hut the word "busing" now lias the power lo arouse pas- sionate debate because it is a shorthand way of referring lo the use of school buses to achieve racial integralion as ordered by federal courls. This process began in 1954, vher the Supreme Court of the United States declared that the racially segregated "dual" school systems established by law in the Southern stales wers unconstitutional. For years the South mado only token gestures towards de- segregation. Then, under pres- sure from the Johnson adminis- tration, rural schools were inte- grated, although Southern cities still resisted. In 1869 the Su- preme Court declared that tho dual system should be ended "at and lower courls be- gan enforcing the order. One of the most radical de- segregation plans was imposed on the city ol Charlotte in North Carolina, where the in- ner city schools were almost all black and the suburban schools all white. The federal courl in Ihe area ordered school attendance patterns changed so that all schools in ihe city and ttic suburbs in the surrounding country would be- come racially mixed. The plan Involved tho extensive busing both into and out of the city. h i t e parents appealed against the order, hut this was upheld by the Supreme Court last year in a unanimous deci- sion. Chief Justice Warren Burger, while granting that there could be valid objeclions to busing when it involved .such long journeys that children's health and education were affected, said: we find no basis for holding that the local school au- thorities may not be required to employ bus transportation as one tool of school desegrega- tion." The present wave of anti-bus- ing emotion, however, began in the North, not in the South. la Ponliac, Michigan, angry par- ents destroyed 10 school buses in protest against a court-order- ed integration plan. Since the end of the Second World War, there have Irecn two great migrations. Blacks moved into (he North in search of boiler jobs and tended to concentrate in central oily ghettos. Whites moved from Book Reviews the cities into the suburbs. There is now greater racial .se- gregation in the North than in the South, but the Supremo Courl has not yel ruled whether this ilc- facto segregation is also unconstitutional. It tuis so far dealt exclusively with r'o segregation imposed by law in the Southern slutcs. However, some federal courts have found that the dis- tinction is for from clear cut, and that so-called de facto te- gregatiori lias been reinforced if not oealed by local govern- ment decisions about where to build new schools and how to draw the boundaries of catch- ment areas. The courts have therefore bo- gun to order integration in Michigan. III! n o i s, Massachu- setts, California, Colorado, Vir- ginia and a number of other slates. Local anti-busing groups have been organized itl many part.? of the country. Hecently, several hundred parents from Excellent naval story "The Flag Captain" hy Alexander Kent (Longman Canada Ltd. S7.95, 352 is what f would refer to as a "man's" book. A novel of the sea, taking place in those years of the Napoleonic wars around 1790-1835. The dust jacket of the book compares tiie writer Kent with the writer of the Hornblower series, popular books of more than a decade ago. Bul Fore- ster's Hornblower and Kent's Bolitho are nol rubber-stamp products of naval school back- ground. Bolitho emerges as an introverl, concerned wilh ttie men he must work with, the problems and injustices of war arid the hopes and dreams of military men who want only to return home and live normal lives. Having not read Ihe two ear- lier books in the series, I can't comment on whether the epi- sodes in Flag Captain are se- quential in Bolllho's career. In tbis one, Bolitbo is a flag-cap- lain; that is to say, he is the captain of the ship chosen by an admiral as the flagship for his fleet. He becomes involved in the naval mutinies which al- most cause the destruction of Ihe British Navy in 1797. There is plenty of action, bloody bat- 11 e s and stomach-churning scenes which is Ihe reason f classify it as a "man's" book. I had to skip some of Ihe gory parts. Apart from the bailies lie must become engaged in, Bnli- tho has an inner battle to fight, and the soul-seeking introspec- tive puts Bolitho in a new classification of naval heroes. This book is highly recom- mended by my husband, a Hornblower fan and a naval story fanalic that's a very good recommendation MARGARET LtiCKHURST. Ttichmond, Virginia, drove lo Washington in a giant motor- cade to protest againsl busing, Mrs. Irene McCabe, an anli- busing activist from Detroit, is walking the 601) miles to Wash- iuston with a milliner of sup- porters, and plans a mass rally when she gels here. Suddenly, busing has beeomo a serious political issue that has already to have a con- siderable impact on the presi- dential cleclion campaign. So far, the debate has been extra- ordinarily confused, and few political leaders have shown much enthusiasm for leader- ship in their handling of tiie problem. Many have either taken refuge in a studied vagueness or have simply join- ed the anti-busing movement. The trouble is that the voice o! the public is leading in two con- tradictory directions. Public opinion polls and the response to referendum questions in Florida show that the great majority of Americans approve of racial integration, but even more of them are against bus- ing lo achieve that integration iu schools. What is the liberal believer in civil rights lo make of this? While there is an element of racism in the passionate opposi- tion to busing there are many other factors involved. Tliero are practical objections to long bus journeys which tire chil- dren and limit their participa- tion in non-academic f.tivilies. There is fear for the safety of children bused into high-crime areas. There is angry rejection of the notion that courts can dictate which school a child may attend. There is enormous frustration among parents wiio moved to areas with good schools to find that their chil- dren are not allowed to go lo them. The picture is also further complicated by evidence that many black parents also object to compulsory busing. Some prominent black leaders have spoken against it and called in- stead for black control of all- black schools. This has allowed while oppo- nents of busing to claim a non- respectability for their crusade. Governor George Wal- lace of Alabama, a former Our Building Industry Consulting Service helps architects, engineers and developers to control the communications explosion. The communications explosion occurs when a building can no longer keep pace with ils tenants' growth. When new or expanding communications systems outstrip a building's ability to accommodate the necessary wiring and equipment needs. That's when problems begin. Serious problems, for everyone concerned. You can prevent them now, before your next building gets underway. Just by planning ahead. And our people will help you. Plan now for the complex communications facilities which make a modern building an efficient place to work or live. If these plans are made before Ihe blueprints are finished, no one will have to make expensive alterations later. Or add unsightly wiring Or worse, be forced to do without badly- needed communications systems. The symptoms ol the communications explosion. For help in planning ahead, call AGT's Building Industry Consulting They'll help you plan ahead so that a communications explosion doesn't catch you oil guard. And their time and services are free. Call collect: in Edmonton 425-4901; in Calgary 261-3311. BUILDING INDUSTRY CONSULTING SERVICE ALBERTA GOVF.RNMENTTELEPHONES champion of segregation, care- fully avoided racist phrases while riding the anti-busing is- sue to a stunning victory iti Florida Democratic presiden- tial primary. President Nixor iilso referred repeatedly lo block opposition to busing when lie announced his solution to the problem im television. Using the rhetoric of wisdom and compassion he pro- posed a moratorium on new busing orders, while calling for a commitment to .stamp out se- gregation and improve the quality of inferior schools at a cost of some million. This generous gesture, how- ever, proved to be empty. He was not talking about "new but only a re-alloca- tion of funds already printed or requested from Con- gress. The ban on further b u s i n q took him so close to the boun- dary between executive and ju- dicial powers that it may even- tually he found unconstitu- tional. However, if Congress enacts the required legislation there would he little hope of, testing it in the Supreme Court before the presidential election in November. In the meantime, tiie president has put himself firmly on the popular side oE the issue. Despite his lip-ser- vice to "equal opportunity" in education the political purposa of his proposals was transpar- ent. His criticism of faceless "extreme social planners who insist on more busing even at the cost of better education" was an unmistakable echo of Governor Wallace. There was no attempt to put busing into perspective, or to alleviate the fears it has aroused, or to explain Ihe long- term advantages of breaking down racial barriers. The most authoritative studies show that blr-ck children do far belter scholastically i n integrated schools than in all black s c hool s 0 ut instead of exam ining how and why integration bad worked successfully in some areas, the president evoked the picture of eight- year-old children forced to spend two hours a day travell- ing to and from school, His suggestion that more money alone would o ve rcome disadvantages of ghetto schools hinted at a return to the idea of "separate but equal'1 educa- tion rejected by the Supreme Court in 1954, His proposals also seemed to provide a loop-holo that xvould allow Southern states to undo some of the school integration already achieved. This was a saddening per- formance. The country, at a crucial stage in immensely difficult effort at building a multi-racial society, seems sud- denly to have lost its nerve. The president, instead of at- tempting to steady public opin- ion, has chosen to court popu- larity. On the Democratic side, the president's anti-busing propo- sals were condemned by Sena- tor George McGovern and Mr. John Lind s ay the M ay or New York, the left-wing con- tenders for the party's presi- dential nomination. Of the oth- ers, Senator Hubert Humphrey first welcomed, then criticized. tin; proposals in the space of two days. Senator Henry Jack- son called again for a consti- tutional amendment against busing, and Senator Edmund Muskie remained unclear about precisely where he stood on the issue. Perhaps flic bravest attempt (o provide leadership has been made by Governor Kcubin As- kew. Ihe Democratic governor of Florida, who risked his poli- tical career by campaigning against the proposal to acid an anti-busing amendment to the Constitution. At a public meeting in Or- lando a few weeks ago, he said: "We must not take the risk of seriously undermining the spirit of (he Constitution, one of the noblest documents ever produced by man. And MO must not take the risk of re- turning to Hie kind of segre- gation. fear and misumicr- sl and! tig which produced tho very problem that led to busing in the first place 1 think we're well within the reach of understanding one another, far- ing for one another, and affirm- ing our principles of justice and compassion Of course we don't want our children to suffer unnecessary hardships. But neither do we want our children to grow up into a world of continuing racial di.s- cord, racial hatred and finally, a world of racial violence I hope we can say to who keep us angry, confused and divided, that ve're more concerned about a problem of justice than about a problem of Written for Tlio Heratil end The Observer, London) Penal reform Tlic Algerian 'PHBHE is a certain bizarre trait in the human personality which not only re- sults in our festooning our newspapers and olhcr media with stories about the sensa- tional, the absurd and the grotesque, but ;.lso results in ciuoiional judgments based on these sliiries instead of reasoned judg- ments based on facts. The issue of temp- orary leaves for prison inmates is a case in point. When convicted wile-slayer Yves Geof- [roy skipped off lo Spain while on a 50- hour pass from St. Vincent do Paul peni- tentiary, a great hue and cry ensued. Amid charges of incompetence, corruption, stu- pidity and so forth, the whole prison sys- tem came into question and, in particular, there were calls from many quarters to end the "dangerous" prncticc of lemAirary leaves. Yet a recent report from Ottawa indicates lliat of federal inmates who were given Icmjxirary leaves over the Christmas season, only IS abused their privilege and flew the coop. finmlcd, 1U is li! loo many, bul that's still a pretty good batting overage. Never- theless, the Geoffroys of this world are the ones who provoke pressure on our gov- ernment) for change, not the prisoners who respected their privilege and returned. The oulcry over the Geoffroy incident, logether with olher recent comments about Solicilor General Jean-Pierre Goyer and some of Ins ideas, raises the whole question of our attitude toward intelligent penal re- form an allitude which, alas, is too often more emolional lhan rational, and in Ihe healed arguments we often forget cer- tain facts and principles that are crucial lo the whole issue. For example, we must remember that when a judge passes sen- tence on a convicted criminal, there are four essential elements which ha must con- sider. These are punishment, deterrence, rehabilitation and public protection, Punishment, from one point of view, can be seen as a throwback to the old eye-for- an-eye days, and in this respecl has no useful function in a civilized society. How- ever, punishment can also be seen as funda- mental lo Ihe justifiable objectives of de- terrence and rehabilitalion and as such doubtless must remain an essential aspect of any correction program. The element of public proteclion is selt- cvidenl. It is essential that potential re- peaters cf violent crimes ho kept out of circulation. Deterrence is two fold. It involves dc- lerrina the individual himself as well as (k'tiTring others who might feel templed to imilale him. The whole philosophy behind deterrence has been questioned m some hut common sense indicates that il is of value, although perhaps that Value has been excessively emphasized in the pasl. Rehabilitation must be the most element of any correctional system that purports to do its job, and il is in this area that the bulk of tiie ccnlroversy (-.rises. .Statistics show that 80 per cent o! the in- rubles in federal prisons are repeaters. This has !rd lo the rather curious logic that since criminals rejioat arc rot capable- of being rehabilitated and hence that any attempts to do so are simply par.uVring to the criminal elements. H is this attitude, probably more than anything c'.-e. v. bich hns resulted in Lie failure of many of what rehabilitative piograus v.e have tried. Tiie presi'iit system, with its rale of repeating criminals, represents a tremen- dous waste of both financial and human resources. Not only must we consider the cost of maintaining these people, bui we also have to consider what they could con- tribute to society if they did nol spend so much of time in jail and if, when they are out, they did not spend their time com- mitting anti-social acts which, of course, lead them back to jail. Much has been done in recent years, but much still remains to be done. While it is easy to talk about rehabilitation in the abstract, the simple fact is that we don't know enough about the motivation behind the criminal behavior lo set m a rehabilita- tive program that will be truly effective for the majority of prisoners and nnl jnsl for tiie few who, for one reason or another, have seen the error of their former ways and wish to reform their lives. If Cana- dians are truly interested in the just society they thought they were voting for in 190S, they will stop treating ttiis issue like an emotional hot potato and urge governments to set a high priority on penal reform and to commission the sort of behavioral re- search necessary before ve can hava ef- fective reform and not just haphazard change. Auschwitz revi isited I The New Y N the annals of man's inhumanity to man, there are few names that evoke more horror than that of Auschwitz, (he Nazi "death factory" in Poland. The sys- tematic savagery practiced there against men, women and little children during tha years of Hitlcrian terror is shocking al- most beyond belief. Equally incredible is the acquittal by an Austrian jury recently of Waller Dejaco, the former Nazi architect who designed and built Ihe Auschwitz gas chambers and cremation furnaces in which three mil- lion innocent victims died. There can hard- 'ork Times ly be question of Dejaco's complicity in the atrocity of Auschwitz. The court was shown blueprints for the gas chambers, for the furnaces and for electric elevators to transport corpses to the ovens, all bearing the architecl's signature, While no penalty can alone for the horror of Auschwitz, It is a desecration o! the dead to allow Its perpetrators to go sent free even a generation later. Crimes of this enormity serve to undermine the very foundations of human society. How can they so soon be forgiven? JIM FISHBOURNE Playoff time TTS playoff time again, mid it's only right local hockey fans should "get tho word" before placing their bsis. As an expert i.e., a non native who Kays he's an export I owe them the benefit cf my expertise, Here it is. Judging from coffee-counter comment (and the odds we Montreal fanciers got so easily last year) much local sentiment favors Boston. Many of you will be pleased, therefore, to hear that your heroes are very apt lo viin the Stanley cup this year. Why this year, do you ask? Well, two reasons; first, they'd belter get started on that "dynasty" they keep talking about, causc hockey players don't improve with age; and second, there's really no one lo stop thorn. And if you can't accept Ihut last flat statement, in spite of my clear asser- tion of expertise, just fit the other teams and work it out for yourselves. It's easiest to start in the whore (here's only one team that rales a first look, let alone a second. That's Chicago, of course, and the Hawks aren't afwut to win a Stanley Cup this year, or for a few years to come. They in ay have bnck- chci-kinf! in the long tic, but Ihnt doesn't win Cups. In (he East, start by writing off Toronto. They've got a lot of good, tough kkis, and a good veterans like Tlantc ami Ull- man. But they're three or four years away from being a real contender, and it'll be longer than that if they don't find replace- ment for their veterans be-fore they wear (hem out. New York? Well, Ihe way they play lea- gue games (except against floston, maybe) you'd think they should go somewhere in the playoffs. But do they ever? And this year, with two forward lines including their big one racked up. they're a poor bet to go further than tiie first round, v, here they bowed out last yenr, Which lc-avc> Now no one in his right mind discounts those Frenchmen v.hen it comes lo playoffs, but this year T don't think they can go all the Yes, I've heard how Drvden whipped the big, bad Bruins all by himselE last year, and the other version where lie got a little help from tJi? Mahovolich brothers. I realize all three of those gentlemen will be there this year, and also that younyei' Habitants have developed enough fire-power to make the fans almost forget about Big John Bcliveau. But there's anotiier Big John that is missed this year, and that's ol' Number 22 Big John Ferguson. It's I-'crgie that'll prove to be the missing ingredient. Some of you will remember Conn Smytlio, Hint tough old gentleman who Toronto Maple i.eaf.s a while back. It was he who something lo Ihe effect that if you can't beat 'cm in the alley, you'll never brat 'cm on that Brutai, and a bit overdone perhaps, but not with- out a degree of truth, especially at playoff time, when a lot of good hockey players are competing for nearly a million rlnltars in prize money. The toughest team won't necessarily win, but a 1mm that absorbs a physical beating night after night is pretty sure not to. That's why Fcrpe was ,co valuable to Montreal. Montreal teams like to .skate, and il's an axiom around the Hoc- key League that if you let them skate. they'll lie.'t you. You stop them skating by hiUing them, and hitting thorn Fair enough, and for those big guys from Bos- ton, a lot of fun. Hut it isn't quite much fun when you get hit hack, and with Fergie around, getting hit back was what hap- pened, early and often, The speedy Mon- treal forwards knew they could go all out, with Fergic around, and that if anyone, whacked them too often, or in a wny ihat crossed invisible all hockey p'.v-- ers Know about, it v.o'.itd h? care And it was; ask any one of half a Iloston tough guys. Well, this year Double isn't in iheic. and .so far isn't my one ED take his place as Montreal's policeman. So place your bets TUiifnn il shoulJ your year. ;