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I am astounded by the lynch mob virulence of some of the comments and letters submitted in response to the article on the Port Huron Statement's 50th anniversary. We in SDS, and in the Port Huron Statement, advocated for democracy, human rights, reasoned discussion, a wider justice and freer life for all. Clearly some University "graduates" don't like democracy, prefer the rule of banksters, monopolists, and warriors. It escapes me how our bands of idealists and activists are to blame for the horrors of contrived wars and the predations of the gluttonous rich. Fascism was a preferred system by many in the pre-World War II world, and it still is, with a tight interlock between the political, the economic, and the military elites. It is laughable that we are the ones called arrogant and elitist. We did not invent the political struggle between democracy and fascism, but we did find our place on the side of justice and we did contend with the powers that be and their murderous ways. Those in the moral limbo of complicit silence may lash out at our imperfect-nesses, but they fail the test of courage to challenge a status quo rooted in oppression and rationalized by the gun. We sought a better way of living, more loving, more cooperative. The Michigan Today article talks about the Port Huron Statement as an object separate from the organization spirit that created it. It was not Tom Hayden's work or my work that made it happen. It was a determination arising in our generation then, particularly among young women, to do something about the wrongs we saw. Women like Sharon Jeffrey, Carol Cohen, Sandra (Casey) Cason, Dorothy Dawson, Becky Adams, Betty Garman, Mary (Maria) Varela, Sarah Murphy, Barbara Jacobs (to name but a few) all in all, were more significant than the men, like Tom and me who tend to get the attention. These women brought a human directness, and love, as well as organizing skill and knowledge, that made SDS different from other political organizations. The University community will have the benefit, for the first time ever, to hear a panel of some of these SDS women tell the story from their view. This panel will be part of the University conference on the Port Huron Statement, Oct. 31-Nov. 1 and 2, 2012. I hope the blowhards and know-nothings, commenting here, will come and attend, perhaps to learn something they missed as students, and still do. The more receptive commentators will find a chance for creative engagement with some of the pioneers in the freedom movement and struggle for human liberation. Our organization did not survive the Vietnam war, the "counter-intelligence program," (cointelpro), and the mind numbing horrors we witnessed in opening our eyes to the reality of world politics. As individuals. In the years since, we of that generation who then looked uncomfortably at the world we were inheriting, have continued, in myriad ways, working to build a peace system of non-violence, partnership, sharing, caring, generosity, kindness, and healing to replace the war system in which we were born and grew up, of patriarchy, violence, domination, imposition, impunity, etc. SDS of course is still organizing, students for a democratic society again, and now also, seniors for a democratic society. The umbrella movement for a democratic society (.org) is undertaking an activist projection to interact with the academic reflection, beginning with the question, for those who care: What would you want in a "manifesto for now." Participation is invited. It's about democracy. (http://bit.ly/manifesto4nowwiki)

Note: Some of the comments on the article were thoughtful and constructive. I think the one about a debate between the SDS democrats and the William Buckley/Russell Kirk crowd would be most interesting and worthy of University sponsorship. We did once have a debate with Mr. Buckley. Most to the point was the call and need for people to be flexible, imaginative, and committed. I hope Michigan Today will continue this discussion in subsequent issues leading up to the anniversary conference, and also publish a post-conference report.

  • Alan Haber
  • Co-founder, SDS
  • Ann Arbor

Did you think it was an honor to Michigan to claim "parentage" for the SDS? That you will publish something on campus Republicans does not undo the ignorance of the not rare offense to alumni of U.M. publications which appear to get excited about the legacy of the University's darkest days. We do not share the faculty's dominant ideology now or the administration's weakness in face of it.

  • Robert Lawson
  • B.A., M.A.,Ph.D.
  • 1953
  • LS&A, Education
  • Lewis Center

I was a little shocked by the intensity of the anger expressed in several letters received by Michigan Today concerning its coverage of the anniversary of the Port Huron Statement. These letters crucified the students involved in the Students for a Democratic Society and castigated the Michigan Today for even covering the anniversary of the seminal essay. Political terms were hurled as if the most vile of insults: “socialists,” “radicals,” “liberalism.” I felt as if I were listening to talk radio. I volunteer to go first to criticize not only the excesses of the Sixties movement but many of its principles and primary traits and behaviors, particularly moral relativism, sexual promiscuity, recreational drug use, pseudo intellectualism, and the generalized assault on traditional institutions such as marriage. However, the movement was not all bad. It did struggle against the Vietnam War, America’s suicide attempt in the words of historian Paul Johnson. The American military machine killed millions of people who had never attacked or even threatened our country. Even though Congress never declared war as the US Constitution requires, we dropped more bombs on Vietnam than we did on Germany during the Second World War. The Sixties movement and the SDS also battled America’s apartheid in the South, industrial pollution, and poverty. Sociology is complex as are people. The students involved in SDS were not demons, even though they were wildly misguided in most areas in my view. In some respects, they were idealistic and self-sacrificing. In other respects, they were decadent and reckless. You can say that they were much like the society that produced them. As the adage goes, apples don’t fall far from the tree. Anybody who is given to rant about their children needs to take a good look in the mirror. I am glad to see Michigan Today cover the anniversary of the Port Huron Statement just as I would to see it write about neo-conservative Ann Coulter, another Michigan graduate. We have all kinds of people here. Let’s read about them and discuss the issues with civility and reason.

  • Scott Kashkin
  • AB
  • 1984
  • LSA
  • Passaic

I was a little shocked by the intensity of the anger expressed in several letters received by Michigan Today concerning its coverage of the anniversary of the Port Huron Statement. These letters crucified the students involved in the Students for a Democratic Society and castigated the Michigan Today for even covering the anniversary of the seminal essay. Political terms were hurled as if the most vile of insults: “socialists,” “radicals,” “liberalism.” I felt as if I were listening to talk radio. I volunteer to go first to criticize not only the excesses of the Sixties movement but many of its principles and primary traits and behaviors, particularly moral relativism, sexual promiscuity, recreational drug use, pseudo intellectualism, and the generalized assault on traditional institutions such as marriage. However, the movement was not all bad. It did struggle against the Vietnam War, America’s suicide attempt in the words of historian Paul Johnson. The American military machine killed millions of people who had never attacked or even threatened our country. Even though Congress never declared war as the US Constitution requires, we dropped more bombs on Vietnam than we did on Germany during the Second World War. The Sixties movement and the SDS also battled America’s apartheid in the South, industrial pollution, and poverty. Sociology is complex as are people. The students involved in SDS were not demons, even though they were wildly misguided in most areas in my view. In some respects, they were idealistic and self-sacrificing. In other respects, they were decadent and reckless. You can say that they were much like the society that produced them. As the adage goes, apples don’t fall far from the tree. Anybody who is given to rant about their children needs to take a good look in the mirror. I am glad to see Michigan Today cover the anniversary of the Port Huron Statement just as I would to see it write about neo-conservative Ann Coulter, another Michigan graduate. We have all kinds of people here. Let’s read about them and discuss the issues with civility and reason.

  • Scott Kashkin
  • AB
  • 1984
  • LSA
  • Passaic

Not for publication. Went to register and got shunted to "scholorsipformoms" and Argus college and Phoenix U and limited options of study --not at all what said was offered for Dows program. Something is wrong and hope you can correct the problem. Bernard E. Skud P.S. Really enjoy your pub.

  • Bernard E. Skud
  • BS, MS
  • 49
  • Arts and Science
  • Oak Harbor

It's always gratifying to receive the latest e-mail Michigan Today because each one makes me proud to have spent half a decade at this wonderful institution. I enjoyed the interesting piece on the Port Huron Statement, a document that showed that education was working, and the slide show on the Clements Library. I grew up in Bay City and my mom's house is half a block from the site where Mr. Clements's dwelling stood. Her home was built by the woman who became his second wife and was designed by a U-M architecture professor. Your publication reminds me that U-M is our state's crown jewel.

  • Chris Campbell
  • MA, JD
  • 1972
  • Rackham, Law
  • Traverse City

Every time I receive the e-mail Michigan Today I am gratified to have been able to spend half a decade at this fine institution. This month's issue is full of interesting pieces--the report on the Port Huron Statement and the widespread unease with the complacent age that preceded it, the slide show on the Clements Library. I grew up in Bay City and my mom's house is half a block from where Mr. Clements's dwelling stood (hers was built by the woman who became his second wife, and designed by a U-M architecture professor). All of this reminds me the U-M is our state's crown jewel.

  • Chris Campbell
  • MA, JD
  • 1972
  • Rackham, Law
  • Traverse City

I am a graduate of U of M (BFA--magna cum laude--1977) and I am appalled that, in your U-M Heritage article: "Port Huron Statement at 50," you would waste the pixel space to glorify some of the worst Communist/Socialist radicals--the Students for a "Democratic" Society or SDS--that this nation has ever produced. I am embarrassed to say that I am a part of that naive generation that produced such misguided and socially dangerous groups as the SDS. With the sad state of moral and economic decay in this once proud nation of ours I can see nothing to warrant pride in the fact that this student "movement," of social degenerates was begotten in the back alleys of U of M. It's already bad enough that we now have a president that was born and thoroughly indoctrinated on this socialist baloney. There are surely other events in the "heritage" of this great university one can take pride in and you should be ashamed (though I doubt that you are or will be)! Just my opinion. Thank you.

  • Dale H. Leach
  • 1977

Your liberal slanted story about the Port Huron Statement is very offensive to me. It really marks the beginning of the left’s takeover of the colleges and the chilling of true free speech and interaction of ideas. Schools like UM are more indoctrination centers than places where facts and information and real thinking skills are taught. I actually received a great education in the 60’s. Most of my professors were dedicated to teaching, not indoctrination. Liberalism is a disaster. Just look at what Obama has tried to do. Transform America by taking away our freedoms. Liberalism has failed everywhere. Why don’t you run a piece that provides two sides to this story? Wait, that’s not what liberals do. I forgot.

  • Jack Cohn
  • 1967

Your liberal slanted story about the Port Huron Statement is very offensive to me. It really marks the beginning of the left’s takeover of the colleges and the chilling of true free speech and interaction of ideas. Schools like UM are more indoctrination centers than places where facts and information and real thinking skills are taught. I actually received a great education in the 60’s. Most of my professors were dedicated to teaching, not indoctrination. Liberalism is a disaster. Just look at what Obama has tried to do. Transform America by taking away our freedoms. Liberalism has failed everywhere. Why don’t you run a piece that provides two sides to this story? Wait, that’s not what liberals do. I forgot.

  • Jack Cohn
  • 1967

Your liberal slanted story about the Huron Statement is very offensive to me. It really marks the beginning of the left’s takeover of the colleges and the chilling of true free speech and interaction of ideas. Schools like UM are more indoctrination centers than places where facts and information and real thinking skills are taught. I actually received a great education in the 60’s. Most of my professors were dedicated to teaching, not indoctrination. Liberalism is a disaster. Just look at what Obama has tried to do. Transform America by taking away our freedoms. Liberalism has failed everywhere. Why don’t you run a piece that provides two sides to this story? Wait, that’s not what liberals do. I forgot.

  • Jack Cohn

As news director of WCBN during its Golden Age, 1965-1967, I'm here to tell you that your reporter would have been fired for filing the above piece. He missed the story entirely. During that period, WCBN's news department made national headlines with its reporting on the Vietnam war, from coverage of the first teach-in to exclusive reportage on the military draft. Our radio documentaries on these topics were picked up and rebroadcast worldwide by the CBC. The programming department set the standards for what became "underground radio," so important in the cultural history of the '60s and early '70s. Most importantly, WCBN was the training ground for a whole generation of media stars and standouts: Gilda Radner, original cast member of Saturday Night Live, began her career as "the weather girl" on our breakout morning program "The Saltman-Segal Psychedelicatessen." Steve Segal, my co-host on that show, became a famous DJ on the top stations in Los Angeles and Boston. Joe Quasarano, DJ and program director, became a top media executive in LA. Justin Friedland, DJ, became Paris bureau chief for ABC News. Bill Kirchen, a regular guest on our show, became a world-famous musician, after a long stint with our pals and frequent on-air guests, Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen. Jim Mack, Vince Capizzo, Rob Marks and other technical wizards became big behind-the-scenes stars in the media. I became a producer on CBS News Sunday Morning, then executive producer of documentaries at CNN in New York. There is much more to this story.

  • David Saltman

Your liberal slanted story about the Huron Statement is very offensive to me. It really marks the beginning of the left's takeover of the colleges and the chilling of true free speech and interaction of ideas. Schools like UM are more indoctrination centers than places where facts and information and real thinking skills are taught. I actually received a great education in the 60s. Most of my professors were dedicated to teaching, not indoctrination. Liberalism is a disaster. Just look at what Obama has tried to do. Transform America by taking away our freedoms. Liberalism has failed everywhere. Why don’t you run a piece that provides two sides to this story? Wait, that’s not what liberals do. I forgot.

  • Jack Cohn

Do you really consider it an honor to Michigan to claim "parentage" for the students who started SDS?

  • Robert Lawson
  • B.A., M.A., Ph.D
  • 1953
  • LS&A, Education
  • Lewis Center

Do you really consider it an honor to Michigan to claim "parentage" for the students who started SDS?

  • Robert Lawson
  • B.A., M.A., Ph.D
  • 1953
  • LS&A, Education
  • Lewis Center

Do you really consider it an honor to Michigan to claim "parentage" for those who founded the SDS?

  • Robert Lawson
  • B.A., M.A., Ph.D
  • 1953
  • LS&A, Education
  • Lewis Center

Typically, one looks back over the decades and tracks the developments in the life of the college graduate and not that the alma mater. However, as former University of Michigan president James Duderstadt once commented to me “Michigan is always changing.” I have been looking with jealousy at all the undergraduate programs that the university is sponsoring these days: Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, 10 Michigan Learning Communities, 5 Theme Communities, Comprehensive Studies Program, and the Mentorship Program. I recall the Honors program and the Residential College from my time at UM three decades ago, but most of the others seem new. They look fantastic and cause my mind to replay the ending of Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions where he as the author visits his beloved protagonist Kilgore Trout and grants him any wish. After a stunned pause, Kilgore shouts out the following as the book ends: “Make me young, Make me young, Make me young.”

  • Scott Kashkin
  • AB
  • 1984
  • LSA
  • Passaic

Typically, one looks back over the decades and tracks the developments in the life of the college graduate and not that of his alma mater. However, as former University of Michigan president James Duderstadt once commented to me “Michigan is always changing.” I have been looking with jealousy at all the undergraduate programs that the university is sponsoring these days: Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, 10 Michigan Learning Communities, 5 Theme Communities, Comprehensive Studies Program, and the Mentorship Program. I recall the Honors program and the Residential College from my time at UM three decades ago, but most of the others seem new. They look fantastic and cause my mind to replay the ending of Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions where he as the author visits his beloved protagonist Kilgore Trout and grants him any wish. After a stunned pause, Kilgore shouts out the following as the book ends: “Make me young, Make me young, Make me young.”

  • Scott Kashkin
  • AB
  • 1984
  • LSA
  • Passaic

I wouldn't be too proud about the Port Huron rabble rouser antics.

  • Raymond H. Newman
  • BSE,NAME
  • 1959
  • Engine.
  • Jacksonville

Dear Editors: I note with great dismay that Michigan Today appears to be proud of the connection between the University and the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Unlike the author of this article, as an alumnus of the University of Michigan, I am not proud of any connection to such a movement—a movement characterized by spoiled rich kids devoted to communism, terrorism and treason. I find it interesting that the author completely ignores any connections in his article between the SDS and the Weather Underground, or any of the other violent, seditious movements of the sixties and seventies. When I think of SDS, the first images that come to my mind are of college kids spitting on brave soldiers returning from Vietnam, or planting bombs in Chicago—not this childish and ridiculous "Port Huron Statement." I encourage the editors of Michigan Today to publish a retraction of this article, or at least present a more balanced view of the damage that was wrought by these people and all their ilk during this terrible time. I would also encourage the editors to reject any further stories submitted by Mr. Maxwell, as a person who holds the SDS in such high regard has no business being associated with the alumni newsletter of the University of Michigan. Mr. Maxwell: I hope that this letter reminds you that not everyone in this country thinks that communism and political correctness are the cures for what ails America and the world. It saddens me to think that so many of my fellow citizens subscribe to the beliefs advocated by groups like SDS. My hope is that real-world experience will not be too harsh a teacher for the young people today that are misled by these ideas, and that we are able to reverse the damage caused by these thuggish, leftist organizations. The sooner the efforts of Marx, Hayden, and Haber are deposited on the trash heap of history, the better.

  • William White
  • PhD, 2006

Ladies and Gentlemen: Thank you, from Canterbury House, for your article "A Canterbury Tale" by Alan Glenn, May 23, 2012. As noted in the article, Canterbury House continues as the Episcopal campus ministry to the University of Michigan; and while it is true that times have changed, economically, musically, and even spiritually, some things remain very much the same. Gayle Rubin's description of Canterbury House as "very permissive, but [with] a deep and committed spirituality" remains true to this day, and our services continue to be "warm, welcoming, and ecumenical." Moreover, Canterbury House continues to be Ann Arbor's best venue for innovative, prophetic music. Our Concert Series features regional acts, student and faculty ensembles, and internationally-known artists drawing from jazz, contemporary classical, electronica, and other forms of improvised music. Recent concerts have included such established artists and Pauline Olveros, Stephen Rush, and the late Faruq Z. Bey, as well as musicians everyone else will be talking about soon, such as Joey Dosik, Theo Katzman, and Laurel Premo. I look forward to reading the article you will be publishing in another 20 years, about the thriving, welcoming, musical place that Canterbury House is and has always been. Again many thanks.

  • (The Rev.) Reid Hamilton, Chaplain

Ladies and Gentlemen: Thank you, from Canterbury House, for your article "A Canterbury Tale" by Alan Glenn, May 23, 2012. As noted in the article, Canterbury House continues as the Episcopal campus ministry to the University of Michigan; and while it is true that times have changed, economically, musically, and even spiritually, some things remain very much the same! Gayle Rubin's description of Canterbury House as "very permissive, but [with] a deep and committed spirituality" remains true to this day, and our services continue to be "warm, welcoming, and ecumenical." Moreover, Canterbury House continues to be Ann Arbor's best venue for innovative, prophetic music. Our Concert Series features regional acts, student and faculty ensembles, and internationally-known artists drawing from Jazz, contemporary classical, electronica, and other forms of improvised music. Recent concerts have included such established artists and Pauline Olveros, Stephen Rush, and the late Faruq Z. Bey, as well as musicians everyone else will be talking about soon, such as Joey Dosik, Theo Katzman, and Laurel Premo. I look forward to reading the article you will be publishing in twenty years, about the thriving, welcoming, musical place that Canterbury House is and has always been. Again many thanks. Blessing and Peace, (The Rev.) Reid Hamilton Chaplain, Canterbury House www.canterburyhouse.org

  • (The Rev.) Reid Hamilton
  • Ann Arbor

Ladies and Gentlemen: Thanks, from Canterbury House, for the very interesting article "A Canterbury Tale" by Alan Glenn, May 23, 2012. As noted in the article, Canterbury House continues as the Episcopal campus ministry at the University of Michigan; and while it is true that times have changed, musically, economically, and even spiritually, some things remain very much the same! Gayle Rubin's description of Canterbury House as "very permissive, but [with] a deep and committed spirituality" remains true today. Moreover, Canterbury House continues to be Ann Arbor's best venue for innovative, prophetic music. Our Concert Series features regional acts, student and faculty ensembles, and internationally-known artists drawing from Jazz, contemporary classical, electronica and other forms of improvised music. Recent performances have included such established artists as Pauline Olveros, Stephen Rush, and the late Faruq Z. Bey, as well as musicians everyone else will be talking about soon such as Joey Dosik, Theo Katzman, and Laurel Premo. I look forward to the article you will be publishing in twenty years, about the vibrant, welcoming, musical place that Canterbury House is and has always been! Blessing and Peace, (The Rev.) Reid Hamilton Chaplain, Canterbury House www.canterburyhouse.org

  • (The Rev.) Reid Hamilton
  • Ann Arbor

LBJ's Great Society (May '12) has done more harm than good for its intended beneficiaries. My just published book, Marshall Plan versus the Great Society(www.createspace.com/3634888 or Amazon.com), describes how my wife and I used incentive-based methods, similar to the Marshall Plan, to help so many. The book is also listed on Michigan Alumni Author series, http://alumni.umich.edu/authors.

  • Vithaldas H Patel
  • MSE
  • 1961
  • Engineering
  • Cornelius

It was less than a year before the "1988 DPN Movement" (Deaf President Now" at Gallaudet University in D.C.); There would elapse more than 4 years until the signing of the "Americans With Disabilities Act" in 1992.

A professor felt he had the choice to refuse to clip a lapel microphone with a transmitter so that I could more clearly hear his lecture. "Oh I have a loud voice. You will hear me without this microphone."

There were no laws backing up my request, at least none about which I was aware--nothing compared to the Americans With Disabilities Act, and an empowered deaf community, which also positively spilled over to hard of hearing self-advocates like myself.

Now 2011?

If I were a student now, I would request realtime captioning as well as a wireless *hearing clearly* device for all my graduate classes.

This is an enormous and welcome shift with University of Michigan: a model for access. Every yard of progress takes nine yards of blood, sweat and tears. We've come a long way and still have a long long way to go re: communication / human rights.

  • Cindy Shapiro
  • M.S. Neuroscience
  • 1989
  • Rackham
  • Ann Arbor

When I was in Ann Arbor there was usually a Spring music festival, e.g. Philadelphia Symphony. Is there any such now?

  • sanford sternlieb
  • MS
  • 1948
  • rackham

Why is it "victors valiant" rather than "valiant victors?" Musically I don't think it makes a difference. And why Latinate a football fight song?

  • Josh Greenfeld
  • BA
  • 1949
  • LS&A
  • Pacific Palisades

I am a PhD student looking for University of Michigan alumni who attended the university anytime between 1960 and 1990 who would be willing to speak to me about race relations on campus. I'm writing a dissertation on the origins of the university's diversity policies, and my project would greatly benefit from your stories and insight. My email address is mjjohnson@temple.edu.

  • Matthew Johnson
  • Philadelphia

Perhaps Football-Coach Rodriguez should consider scouting, recruiting(and training)potential Field-Goal Kickers from the soccer teams(WOMEN'S & Men's)!

"Soccer-Style" kickers were both New & Successful as NFL-Team Weapons in the 1960's--Even without "Blocking or Tackling" skills...And if "The-Best" just happens to be a Woman--UM will again have lead the way & broken yet another barrier or two.

  • Vincent C. Davis
  • BA
  • 1969
  • LS&A
  • Rochester Hills

Dear Editor, I saw your story about Governor-Elect Snyder and other UM alumni who just won election to public office for the first time. You may have only been focusing on federal and statewide offices but, FYI, I just won election to the Michigan House of Representatives (District 26 - Royal Oak and Madison Heights) as a Democrat. I know there are other UM alumni in the freshman class of lawmakers. Thought you'd like to know. Go Blue, Jim Townsend MBA/MPP '97

  • Jim Townsend
  • MBA, Master of Public Policy
  • 1997
  • Business School, Public Policy School
  • Ann Arbor

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