The Hard Hats Versus The Soft Heads
The struggle going on in America today can be aptly described as the hard hats versus the soft heads. The hard hats used to be part of the silent majority — but now are silent no longer. They are willing to go into the streets to proclaim their devotion to hard work, patriotism, and the American Flag — and their disgust with those who want to destroy our great country.
The soft heads are the 33 college presidents who denounced President Nixon for his handling of the Vietnam War — but can’t even settle the war on their own campuses. And it is “war” on the college campuses — a war which includes firebombs, guerrilla tactics, arson, vandalism, and other weapons used in Vietnam and Cambodia.
The soft heads are the college professors who expound at length about the right of free speech and the right of dissent – for everyone, that is, except Vice President Spiro Agnew. The soft heads are the students who throw firebombs and commit arson — at the same time that they protest napalm in Vietnam.
The soft heads are the university administrators and advisors who refuse to let any conservative Senator or leader speak without disruption — but who welcome as campus speakers and pay handsome honorariums to convicted Communists and convicted rioters.
The soft heads are Dr. Spock’s babies grown up — the same ones who were permitted at the age of five to have public tantrums — and now at the age of 20 are calling their public tantrums “justified politically-oriented demonstrations for peace, love, and against the entrenched establishment.”
The press and the television have been filled for weeks with news of campus riots, arson, killings, demands, confrontations, and assorted illegal and violent acts. The daily topic of conversation everywhere is: Why did these happen — and what are we going to do about it?
The public is supposed to believe that campus riots are due to either (1) the spontaneous mischievousness of youth which in earlier years resulted in such passing follies as eating goldfish and crowding into telephone booths, or (2) the failure of parents to exercise parental duty and discipline, or (3) legitimate grievances of students. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is no hope of solving the campus problem until we recognize what it really is.
What, then, are the reasons for campus riots? Here are some of the major causes:
1)Professional agitators who move from campus to campus. It should be completely obvious to anyone who can read the daily news that campus riots are professionally organized and directed, that they follow the same pattern from campus to campus and even include some of the same agitators.
Do you doubt that these professional agitators are deliberately stirring up trouble, trying to tear down America? Then listen to the words of Jerry Rubin, one of the convicted Chicago Seven, in his new book called Do It! Rubin writes: “We’ve combined youth, music, sex, drugs, and rebellion with treason. That’s a combination that’s hard to beat! . . . Give us an inch – and we’ll take a mile. Satisfy our demands and we got 12 more. The more demands you satisfy, the more we got. . . Demonstrators are never ‘reasonable.’ We always put our demands forward in such an obnoxious manner that the power structure can never satisfy us and remain the power structure. Then we scream, righteously angry, when our demands are not met.”
Jerry Rubin spoke at Kent State University a few days before the riot there that resulted in the deaths of four students. He urged his audience to “burn books, kill parents, and burn the suburbs.”
“The first part of the Yippie program, you know,” Rubin said, “is kill your parents. And I mean that quite seriously, because until you’re prepared to kill your parents you’re not really prepared to change the country, because our parents are our first oppressors. . . . Quit being students. Become criminals. We have to disrupt every institution and break every law.”
Is it any wonder that Kent State erupted in violence?
Victor Riesel (the labor columnist who was blinded by acid thrown several years ago by agents of the goons he had exposed) has filled in some of the details. He said it wasn’t any accident that Kent State was turned into a battleground – it had been an SDS target for years. He said anyone could have predicted the violence by observing how “the SDS Weatherman faction – Mark Rudd, Bernardine Dohrn and comrades – scream, literally, for blood, for murder, for revolt, for the leveling of its buildings to windblown ashes. and for armed rebellion.”
2)Left wing and radical college professors. Most college security men say that they could take care of the students if it weren’t for the problem of the professors!
A strange series of Supreme Court decisions has made the academic community a privileged sanctuary for Communists, pro-Communists, and assorted radicals who cannot be fired from exerting their influence over the minds of our youth. Today’s riots are the inevitable result of yesterday’s decisions.
In Slochower v. Board of Education of New York in 1956, the Supreme Court decided that a teacher could not be fired for refusing to answer questions concerning his membership in the Communist Party because this would impose a “straitjacket upon the intellectual leaders in our colleges and universities [and] our civilization will stagnate and die.”
In Sweezy v. New Hampshire in 1957, the Supreme Court ruled that New Hampshire had no right to ask Professor Sweezy, who taught at the State University, “Do you believe in Communism?” and “Did you advocate Marxism [in your lectures]?”
In Cramp v. Board of PublicInstructionin 1961, the Supreme Court ruled that Florida could not require a teacher in a public school to swear that he never lent “aid, support, advice, counsel or influence to the Communist Party.”
In Baggett v. Bullittin 1964, the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutionally vague a Washington State law which required teachers to swear that they “will by precept and example promote respect for the Flag and the institutions of the United States of America and the State of Washington, reverence for law and order, and undivided allegiance to the government of the United States.”
In Keyishian v. Board of Regents of New York Universityin 1967, the Supreme Court reversed an earlier decision and decided that the New York State Feinberg Law, which forbade employment in the educational system of any person who advocates or teaches the forcible overthrow of government or publishes material so advocating, was unconstitutionally vague.
In Tinker v. Des Moines School District in1969, the Supreme Court (in an opinion written by Justice Abe Fortas) ruled that it was unconstitutional to forbid the wearing to classes of Vietnam War protests such as black armbands.
In addition to the academic privileged sanctuaries created by these Supreme Court decisions, our Selective Service laws have created an academic sanctuary for a privileged class of professional draft dodgers. As a result, a war veteran on a college faculty is as rare as an American Flag at a student demonstration. It should be no surprise that the ROTC has become a main target of campus arsonists.
By now, these privileged professors have academic tenure and cannot be fired.
3) The spineless university presidents and administrators.They seem to be scared of their own shadow, intimidated by any hairy student who serves up a “demand.” As Dr. Miller Upton, president of Beloit College in Wisconsin, stated recently: “We in the colleges and universities have tolerated unspeakable intimidation and thought control on the part of radical students, faculty, and others. “
A case in point is that of Washington University in St. Louis where the sequence of events went like this. The student body voted, in a democratic election, to retain ROTC on campus. The campus rioters burned down the ROTC building. The university moved the ROTC classes to another building. The agitators tried to board up the windows of the ROTC building. The police arrived. The agitators threw rocks and squirted mace at the police. The university president threw the police off campus, and took the position that it was all right to disrupt classes so long as the disruption wasn’t violent — but when the windows were broken, that wasn’t violence but an accident. Some 200 troublemakers succeeded in closing down classes for 10,000 students. In the face of such cringing appeasement, the agitators invited Rennie Davis, one of the convicted Chicago Seven, to speak on campus. Hestirred up the pot of hatred, and then the agitators went out and burned the second ROTC building.
4) The general breakdown of law enforcement.Crime on the campus today is another manifestation of the rising crime rate that we witness everywhere. A series of mistaken Supreme Court decisions has tied the hands of the local police, turned criminals loose after they have been convicted by local juries, given criminals all kinds of new “rights” and privileges, and surrounded law enforcement with so many technicalities that most criminals escape punishment altogether.
FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover reported on March 16 that the police are now able to solve only 20 per cent of the serious crimes. In Washington, D.C. today, a potential criminal knows that he has only one chance in 26 of serving time for a crime. Those are pretty good odds!
Among the students at the universities closed in May 1970, there was a widespread belief that the student rioters will never be punished for their crimes of arson, destruction of property, looting, attacking the police, and interference with the rights of the serious students who desire an education. The fact that the troublemakers believe that no punishment will be forthcoming surely adds greatly to their audacity in committing the crimes.
5) The Communist assault on our youth.While most of the agitators appear to be working simply for the destruction of the establishment, there are evidences of Communist penetration which cannot be ignored. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover reported that Communist Party leaders made more than 60 speaking appearances on U.S. college campuses last year, and that Black Panther party leaders filled 189 speaking engagements on college and secondary school platforms.
The Illinois Crime Investigating Commission, after a careful investigation, issued a 750-page report on April 20 documenting the link between the Weatherman faction of the SDS and international Communist subversion. The Weatherman faction built up a war chest of $112,000 before the Chicago disorders in October 1969.
It has become commonplace for student demonstrators to wave Viet Cong and Red flags and to carry pictures of Communist leaders such as Che Guevara. Student rioters at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968 marched in military formation chanting “Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh.’ When student criminals ransacked Columbia University, they scrawled the wall of the offices with the words “Lenin” and “Fidel.”
Life Magazine published pictures of Harvard students wearing T-shirts with the Communist red clenched fist stenciled on the back. When the University of Chicago students occupied the administration building for 15 days in 1969, they sang the Italian Communist song of which the principal words are “Forward you people; raise the Red banner.”
FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover has pointed out that distinction between labels is now irrelevant “because the basic objective of both new left and old-line Communists. . . is to completely destroy our form of government.” Certainly they all follow the number-one Communist tactic: the promotion of the “class war”– that is, a constant military-type struggle designed to sow enmity between every possible class, black against white, labor against management, students against universities, draftees against the Pentagon, youth against authority, etc.
Most of the bomb explosions that have taken place in recent months have been traced to Castro’s Cuba. When a tremendous bomb explosion destroyed an automobile in Be1 Air, Maryland, the two occupants it killed had been indoctrinated in Cuba. When a $250,000 townhouse in New York was destroyed by the accidental explosion of bombs, at least three of the bomb manufacturers had been in Cuba with the “Venceremos brigade” of so-called cane cutters. Hundreds of U.S. revolutionaries have been indoctrinated and trained in guerrilla warfare tactics while working as volunteer cane cutters in Cuba.
Do students have legitimate grievances which justify their agitation? Most of them wouldn’t recognize a real grievance if it walked up and said “hello.” Obviously they don’t have to work their way through college, as they have plenty of time for demonstrations and political activity. Who is subsidizing them? Most students today have parents who never had the chance to go to college at all, or had to finance it themselves.
Most of their parents can remember the Great Depression when people really did have some grievances, such as years of unemployment, hunger, a bleak future of more of the same, long hours, and little pay. But the college students of those days spent their extra energy in a determination to succeed, hard work, and constitutional channels of protest — not in hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails, and throwing temper tantrums in public.
As an example of a campus riot that didn’t have a shred of a legitimate grievance, look at the “Strikers’ Manifesto” nailed up around the Harvard Yard during the campus demonstrations there in April 1969:
“Strike for the eight demands. Strike because you hate cops. Strike because your roommate was clubbed. Strike to stop expansion. Strike to seize control of your life. Strike to become more human. Strike to return Paine Hall scholarships. Strike because there’s no poetry in your lectures. Strike because classes are a bore. Strike for power. Strike to smash the Corporation. Strike to make yourself free. Strike to abolish ROTC. Strike because they are trying to squeeze the life out of you. Strike.”
Note that here are no legitimate grievances. There is nothing about racial problems, voting rights, the draft, etc. This call to strike is professionally organized troublemaking. It is totally destructive of values, of property, and of rational discussion.
If the students didn’t have Cambodia to riot about, they would dream up some other issue and call it a “grievance.” At Columbia University, they couldn’t find anything to demonstrate about except a new gymnasium — but they went ahead with their violence and occupation of buildings anyway. Campus riots will not end if the Vietnam War ends tomorrow.
During the race riots in 1966-1967-1968, we were told ad nauseam that poverty causes crime, that the way to stop riots was to wipe out poverty in the ghettos. Of course this was false then, and the campus riots of 1969 and 1970 prove it false. There is nothing poor or disadvantaged about rioting students — they are the most pampered, underworked, overindulged class in the world. Surveys have shown that the families of SDS members have an annual income in excess of $20,000.
Dr. Bruno Bettelheim, professor of psychology at the University of Chicago, told a House Subcommittee probing the causes of student unrest: “I think many of the rebellious students are essentially guilt-ridden individuals. They feel terribly guilty about all the advantages they had. And there’s also the guilt of their exemption from the draft, which is a serious guilt. They try to destroy society or certain institutions rather than deal with their own inner guilt, because they have it so good.”
What is the solution to the disgusting demonstrations of the last few months which have disrupted classes and cost us so much? Obviously, the primary responsibility is on the college authorities, and this is what they should be doing:
1) Any student should be immediately expelled – not suspended – who destroys property on or off the campus, defiles the American Flag, interferes with another student’s right to attend classes, or advocates violence. Expulsion is the best punishment of all; they cannot afford to lose their student status – for one thing, this would cause them to be drafted!
2)No speaker should be allowed on any campus who has been convicted of any crime, who advocates criminal acts or the overthrow of the U.S. government by violence, or who utters obscenities.
3) College authorities should cooperate with the local police to make sure that students and outside agitators who commit crimes are arrested and convicted. There should be no student privilege to commit crimes that others are not allowed to commit. These are the obvious solutions. But the real problem is that most college officials apparently will not fulfill their responsibilities and take the necessary action. So what are the rest of us to do?
Cut Off The Money
There is only one language the soft heads understand – cut off the money. That is exactly what we should do –for the sake of law and order in the community, for the sake of the serious college students who want an education, and for the protection of life and property.
1) Congress should make an immediate investigation to determine that absolutely no Federal money finds its way directly or indirectly into the hands of students who are committing crimes or supporting Communists, or into the hands of university professors who are encouraging or condoning such students. As an example of the kind of Federal expenditure for which there is no excuse whatsoever, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare poured more than one million dollars in Federal funds into a Student Health Organization in Chicago which puts out publications praising such international Communists as Ho Chi Minh, Che Guevara, and Mao Tse-tung, and carries obscene cartoons on Vietnam.
Vice Admiral Hyman Rickover urged the House Special Subcommittee on Education to go a step further. He recommended that Congress approve legislation to require colleges and universities to submit plans for controlling campus disorders before being granted any Federal aid. He said that campus rioters are law-breakers and should be treated as such, and that college officials who tolerate campus disturbances are actually accessories to criminal conduct.
2) State legislatures should exercise their power of the purse over state universities to stop immediately all campus riots. Most state universities carry no insurance on their buildings, so if they are burned down or damaged the taxpayers have to foot the bill. The damages to campus, municipal, and state property in Illinois during May 1970 are estimated at $664,000, plus $525,000 for calling out the National Guard. Therefore, the taxpayers have a substantial interest in seeing that campus riots do not occur. In Illinois, the State Legislature summoned college presidents to the State Capitol to answer for the disruption and violence that took place on their campuses in 1970. This is a healthy reminder to the colleges of who is paying the bills.
3) Parents should cut off the money to their children if they are spending their time in disruptions rather than in getting an education. Donors to private colleges should restrain their annual urge to write checks. Alumni and parents should protest to the trustees of private universities.
Enforce The Laws
4) The public should demand enforcement of the laws to see that justice is meted out to those who have destroyed property or committed other crimes. This includes rigid enforcement of the Civil Rights Act provision against crossing state lines to incite a riot, of the Federal laws against harassing the ROTC, and of the recent Federal laws against desecrating the American Flag. There obviously is no problem of identification — all the agitators have been well photographed; many of them have been on television.
5) Congress should pass legislation to overcome the mistakes of Supreme Court decisions in the fields of law enforcement, Communism, and education. It is ridiculous to remain bound by the Supreme Court rulings that a prayer to God may not be spoken in a public school, but that an atheist Communist may not be fired from teaching in the same school. Congress has the right and the power to remedy such mistakes — and should do so without delay.
6) We should give our support and acclaim to judges such as Julius Hoffman who ordered the Chicago Seven to jail — and we should point the finger of shame at the appellate judges who turned them loose to roam campuses from coast-to-coast, leaving a trail of blood and ashes behind them.
7) Colleges and schools enjoy tax exemption on the ground that they are non-partisan educational institutions. When they resort to political activity — as Princeton and others have threatened to do in order to “purge” certain Congressmen in the elections this fall — Congress should revoke their tax-exempt status.
8) Consideration should be given to various other proposals which can be handled by state legislatures, such as cutting off the subsidies to college newspapers, and barring itinerant radicals from the campuses. Many college newspapers advocate violence and are filled with obscenity. There is no reason why the taxpayers should subsidize them. Delyte Morris, president of Southern Illinois University, asked the Illinois State Legislature to keep itinerant radicals off the campuses, saying, “There are those who seem to live only to destroy our institutions. Some are itinerant part-time students or nonstudents who live in the community, some of them 30 years old. They are always inciting disorder. We have no way to cleanse ourselves of them.”
The great physicist, Dr. Edward Teller, in speaking out against campus turmoil on May 30, said: “Academic freedom — the highest form of free speech – means not only freedom, but the obligations which go with that freedom. The first obligation is the obligation to listen . . .” American students and professors should learn this lesson. They should listen to what is great, and noble, and good about America, before they take it upon themselves to burn it down.