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6The Daily Tar HeelMonday, ADril 25, 1983
91st year of editorial freedom
Kerry DeRochi. Editor
Alison Davis, Managing Editor
LISA PULLEN, University Editor
CHRISTINE MANUEL, State and National Editor
MTKEDeSISTTI, Sports Editor
BlLlRlEDY. News Editor
Nov. 3, again
"Justice is in a state of comatose in North Carolina and across the na
tion. I urge you to prosecute the Klansmen and the Nazis in North
Carolina for violation of the rights of the victims killed Nov. 3."
The Rev. Joseph Lowery in a
1980 telegram to President Jimmy Carter
On Thursday, a federal grand jury indicted six Ku Klux Klansmen and
three American Nazi Party members in connection with the 1979
shooting deaths of five Communist Workers Party members in
Greensboro. The jury's indictments 29 months after Lowery's
telegram represent an attempt to answer the public outcry, over the
1980 not-guilty verdict and to answer the questions still remaining from
the 23-week long trial.
The indictments stem from a 1979 "Death to the Klan" march and
rally that was organized by Communists and disrupted by a nine-car
caravan of Klansmen and Nazis. Five communists were killed, seven
others were injured.
What followed was the longest trial in N.C. history. It was called a
"sham" from the start. CWP members refused to testify, saying they
already knew what the outcome would be. The jury that was selected
from a list of 2,250 included a former Greensboro policeman and a
foreman who had fled the communist regime of Fidel Castro. There were
no blacks. Only one person had more than a high school education.
More importantly, though, was the trial testimony itself which seemed
to revolve around a videotape showing Klansmen and Nazis unloading
guns from their cars and rushing into the crowd of demonstrators. As
some have argued, the jury seemed to pay more attention to the federal
testimony saying the klansmen had shot in self defense. They became
caught in trying to distinguish between "hostile" and "inhostile" bullets
a questionable basis, for a verdict.
After sue days of deliberations, the jury found the Klansmen and Nazis
innocent of first-degree murder, of second-degree murder, of voluntary
manslaughter and of felonious rioting. Jury foreman Octavio Mandulay
said in a press conference after the trial that the jury did not condone the
actions of the three groups. Yet it was argued that the jury's decision set
the groups above the law; though five people were killed in the riot, no
one was held responsible
In reaction, people across the state and nation held silent vigils and
loud marches. They carried signs saying "And justice for all?" and
"The Frankenstein of racism must be destroyed." Here, about 800
students marched on South Building in a Rally for Justice where faculty
members, students and administrators spoke out against the verdict.
It's the same names that were called out in that Greensboro courtroom
three years ago that are now listed in the new indictments, this time on the
federal level. Now, the Klansmen and Nazis face charges that they had
violated trie civil rights of the participants in the parade, resulting in death
and bodily injury. In addition, a key witness in the 1980 trial faces
charges of perjury.
No one can say that the new indictments will or should mean a new
verdict, that those once found innocent will or should be found guilty of
other charges. But the grand jury's indictments serve to uphold this coun
try's judicial system by pursuing answers to the unresolved questions.
They carry with them the satisfaction of an investigation thoroughly com
pleted and a hope that justice will be done.
TH E Daily Crossword by Elaine D. Schorr
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All Rights Reserved
JEFF HlDAY, Associate Editor
John Conway, atj Editor
KAREN FISHER, Features Editor
, Jeff Grove, Arts Editor
CHARLES W. LEDFORD, Photography Editor
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9 Small fry
The life within
By MARK LANGSTON
The editorial "A Modest Proposal" (DTH, April 21) is
quite representative of typical pro-choice arguments. The
DTH is guilty of doing precisely what its editorial con
demns others for ignoring the issue of human rights.
The article starts and concludes discussing the federal
government's interference in freedom of one's choice,
saying that no law should legislate what a person does
with his or her own body.
The middle of the article, however, is another story. In
stead of logically and rationally pursuing this idea, the
DTH chooses to bring in as many red herrings as space
would allow. Gone is intelligent discussion of human
rights, replaced by the mere stating of some health
statistics and sentence or two about the pro-life move
ment's "muddling" the issue with debate over life begin
ning at conception, along with the reminder that a preg
nant woman has only one option other than abortion. We
all know what that is.
But forget the middle part; if the DTH wants talk on
human rights, then here it comes. I firmly believe that
A bortion editorial exhibits disturbing illogic
To the editor:
The editorial "A Modest ProposaT
(DTHt April 21) on the proposed national
amendment against legal abortion exhibits
a disturbing level of argumentative sloppi
ness and illogic. You write: "Debate has
centered around whether life begins at
conception, an argument the pro-life
movement has used to muddle the issue.
They choose to ignore the central issue of
whether a woman has a right to control
her own body " Certainly some who
support the pro-life view do ignore what
you term the "central issue." And in fail
ing to address this viewpoint, they do give
the impression that they haven't even con
In your editorial statement, however,
you have ignored the pro-life view as com
pletely as the most dogmatic pro-lifer
could have ignored yours. Without any
supporting arguments whatever, you sim
ply dismiss the concern with when life ,
begins, labeling pro-lifers as those who
"muddle the issue." Such labeling hardly
shows intelligent consideration of the pro
life stance, nor is it in any way an effective
refutation of their position. Labeling sel
dom refutes any argument.
Many pro-lifers present arguments that '
are much more balanced than yours. They
consider and affirm your point that a per
son has the right to control his or her own
body, but they say that this right must be
limited when it could lead to the avoidable
destruction of human life. Along with the
woman's rights, they are concerned with
those of the fetus. Their arguments are
based on the assumption, of course, that
the fetus is at some point a living human
being. How can you totally neglect con
fronting this assumption?
Your handling of statistics supporting
your point of view seems equally poor.
You cite the statistic that 39 women died
from illegal abortions in 1972 as compared
with no reported deaths of women from il
legal abortions in 1979. You use this com
parison in an attempt to support the idea
that "legalized abortion has led to fewer
deaths among women who have
abortions." Your comparison shows
nothing of the sort. Of course there would
be fewer deaths from illegal abortions in
1979, when any person could get a legal
abortion. Your comparison might have
some validity if you found statistics show
ing the total women's mortality rate for all
abortions, legal and illegal, for the two
You never mentioned the number of
fetuses that have been eliminated in
legalized abortions. Statistical Abstracts of
the U.S., 1981 reports that 1,409,600 legal
abortions occurred in the United States in
1978. The number of legal abortions from
1973 to 1978 grew at an average rate of
133,000 per year. Should any thinking per
son, pro-abortion or not, carelessly dismiss
A bit narrow-minded
To the editor:
I am writing in response to the column
by Ken Mingis ("Better dead than red?"
DTH, April 22). While I share his horror
of war, I would like to make two com
ments. The first is that, as originally posed, the
WQDR question had no reference to na
tionalities. I think that it was 'wrong for
Mingis to assume narrow-mindedly that
"patriotism" and "the Star-Spangled
Banner" would be what people would
fight for and that the enemy was the
Russian Bear, the Soviet Union, rather
than, as the question said, "communism."
Mingis ought to admit the possibility that
the five or six respondents who tentatively
chose nuclear war over communism were
not choosing "America right or
I wrong" but "free society."
The second point concerns his state
ment, "Communism is not the worst
thing; death is." I am not ready to argue
that communism is worse than death.
Millions of people honestly believe that it
is good, virtuous and right; its cousin
socialism has been found, in northern
Europe particularly, to be quite compati
To the editor:
In response to Sheryl Moore's letter,
(4Give staff help instead of
complaining," DTH, April 18), I am in
sulted. When describing the organization
of photo sessions' for the yearbook she
states, "And every year it's like pulling
teeth." As a first-year dental student, I
legally, if not morally, a woman has the right to do what
ever she wishes with her own body. So does any human
being. That's not the issue. The real issue, which the DTH
so conveniently avoids in its words on human rights, is
whether it is within a woman's rights to abort the child she
carries. It is not within those rights, for a very simple
reason. All human freedoms carry the proviso "so long as
the person does not interfere in die rights of others." My
right to swing my arm stops at the reader's nose. A preg
nant woman's right to do with her body as she chooses
therefore stops whenever it interferes with the right of the
life inside her. One cannot deny an unborn child the
distinction of a separate entity, regardless of one's opinion
of the morality of killing it.
So it becomes a question of the unborn child's rights,
not of the mother's freedom of choice. Assuming the
woman was not raped, no one forced her to become preg
nant. There are risks in doing anything, even sex. Since we
know that an unborn child has everything it needs to
develop into what we recognize as human, how can we
not bestow upon it the very least of all human rights, that
of survival? As a human entity, regardless of the state of
development, does it not deserve the basic right to live? Of
course it can't vote, but doesn't the mother have a respon
sibility to at least allow the child to be born alive?
the thought that these fetuses might have
the status of human beings?
You end by affirming that the statistics
in favor of your case are "staggering," but
the statistics you provide are few and in
conclusive, and you apparently expect the
reader to accept on faith that the rest of
your impressive numbers exist somewhere.
And why did you select the title "A
Modest Proposal" for your pro-abortion
stance? Are you not aware that Jonathan
Swift's "A Modest Proposal" is a bitterly
satirical proposal that the babies of Ireland
be eaten? There is a grim irony in your
strange title selection. Your lack of
thought here is consistent with the rest of
the editorial, however.
I am bothered when I see one-sided,
slapdash arguments in the "Letters to the
Editor," but such narrowness in the edi
torial opinion of a major college news
paper is more disturbing. You are respon
sible for presenting your readers with a
more incisive interpretation of events. The
pro-life view deserves more careful con
sideration. Wendell Jones
sTo the editor: '
The editorial "A Modest Proposal"
(DTH, April 21) accused the pro-life
movement of muddling the abortion issue
by centering debate around the issue of
when life begins. It is obvious that the
DTH, in saying that the central issue-is
whether a woman has the right to control
her own body, is the one that has really
muddled the issue.
I would hope that no one would say that
parents have the right to kill a three-year-old
because she inconveniences them. That
would surely be murder. No one would
suggest that we kill abused children in
order to solve the problem of child abuse.
So if a fetus is a person two months after
conception, why should we allow her to be
murdered for the convenience of her
mother? I fail to see the difference. "
You and I may have an honest dif
ference of opinion oh whether the fetus is
really a legal person, but we cannot
reasonably disagree on whether, if she is a
legal person, her mother has a right to kill
her without good reason. Rape (a case in
which the mother did not voluntarily make
it possible for the new person to come into
the world) may be one reasonable excuse
; for abortion. A mother's life being put in
to serious danger by a full-term pregnancy
may be another good reason.
As I said, we may have an honest dif
ference . of opinion about when per
sonhood begins. I can respect that. But if
personhood begins at conception, our
ble with free societies; and in Poland we
can see the potential for a modified com
munism which we would be happy to sup
port. However, I do argue that death is not
the worse thing imaginable. The romantic
phrase "fate worse than death" is literally
accurate, I believe, under certain circum
stances. Would I rather die than own
slaves? . . . than live under a Nazi
regime? ... than participate in the
death mutilizationmedical experimenta
tion on or sterilization of racially deter
mined "undesirables?" Hopefully, I could
effectively oppose such things without dy
ing. But if I was not willing to die if need
ed, my resistance would be half-hearted
and half-effective, and any adequately
totalitarian regime could easily ignore me
For me, communism is not worse than
death. Bat I can sympathize with those
who think so, who think that communism
removes everything worth living for. And
it should not be assumed that those who
think so are all patriotically bigoted
can competently state that "pulling" (we
call it extracting) teeth can be performed
with a minimum amount of pain with
modern anesthetics. Come on; give us
dentists a break.
society can no longer condone wholesale
murder. The woman takes a chance on
"dramatically affecting the rest of her.
life" when she volunteers to have sexual
To the editor:
This letter is in response to the editorial
"A Modest Proposal" (DTH, April 21).
Your whole editorial focuses on the im
proved health of women since the legaliza
tion of abortion in 1973, but you ignore
the fact that since that time at least, 10.
million unborn children have been killed.
It angers me that people can get so worked
up about the women that have died from
illegal abortions, and at the same time
refuse to acknowledge that every day
babies are being killed. How can you say
that debate about whether life begins at
conception "muddles" the issue? That is
the issue! If that fetus is a human being,
then aborting it is the taking of an inno
cent life. That is something to get worked
You say a woman has the right to make
her own decision concerning her body, a
decision which might dramatically affect
the rest of her life. But what of the baby
inside of her? Has he no rights in a deci
sion which will dramatically affect the rest
of his life also, a decision which might
deprive him of the rest of his life?
People only deny that a fetus is a human
being in order to justify disposing of it as
an unwanted object. But common sense
tells us that it is a living human being
life begets life and humans beget humans.
A human fetus cannot develop into any
thing but a human.
Who are we to choose who may live and
who will die?
To the editor:
This letter is in response to the editorial
"A Modest Proposal" (DTH, April 21). In
the article you state that the amendment to
reverse the 1973 legalization of abortion
places a "woman's right" on the line. In
the opening paragraph you miss the point
of the whole abortion issue. The real ques
tion is,"Do I or does any other person
have the right to kill another human be
Jng?" In 1857, in the Dred Scott case, the
Supreme Court decided that a black per
Death of a
By TIM CROTHERS
"We'll be in touch." Now I consider
myself fairly well-versed in the
language of the "runaround," but if I
was a little shaky before, I've got the
old "Don't call us, we'll call you"
routine down perfectly now. My exper
tise has come from exposure to The
Daily Tar Heel and the dreaded box
found on the back page of every paper.
Anyone who's ever submitted some
thing to the DTH knows this box, it's
the one that says the newspaper "wel
comes . . . contributions of columns,"
etc. Well, this certainly gives no
guarantees, but it sure is a kindly little
message and I fell for it.
On Jan. 26 1 contributed a "welcom
ed" column to the DTH. The other day
I picked up my unpublished column
and thanked them for nothing; nobody
said "You're welcome." That I knew.
Before I start sounding like a martyr, I
want to explain that the following
. highly edited version of my two-month
attempt to get a column printed is done
simply with the hope that nobody will
make the same mistakes I did.
I originally submitted my column on
a Wednesday, and the editor, who
seemed quite satisfied with it, said that
it probably wouldn't be printed until
the next week. This came as no disap
. pointment to me, and I waited. After
reading the next week's worth of
papers and finding nothing by me, I
returned to the DTH office and spoke
with a different back-page editor. My
column, which seemed to have been
lost, was found in a bin that included
columns from the late '70s. I was told it
was now necessary to make a small
change and then resubmit. Upon my
I am sorry about the women who die in illegal abortion
attempts, but what about the tens of millions of children
who die from legal abortions? I can't sympathize with
someone suffering injury from trying to kill another. And
perhaps abortion has a lower mortality rate for women
than full-term delivery; what about the 100 percent mor
tality rate for the children? Why don't they count? Why
do the DTH and other prp-choicers feel that a separate,
albeit dependent, living entity with every human feature
except age has no human rights? If they can shrug off an
unborn child's most crucial right, just for the woman's
"freedom of choice" (which she exercised in taking the
risk of becoming pregnant), how do they define a right at
all? Are they not condoning murder simply because it is
convenient and the victim cannot complain?
. No federal law should legislate a person's freedom of
choice. But no person's freedom of choice includes the
right to kill another. Just because the procedure is surgical
and the victim helpless does not make it any less murder.
Mark Langston is a sophomore business major from
son was not a legal person, and because of
this, blacks continued to be killed and
mistreated for decades.
We all know that black people are just
as much human beings as everyone else
and have basic rights just like any other
person. At the time of this decision much
was said on both sides of the issue, but the
Supreme Court's decision did not negate
the truth of the issue a black person is a
: human being, deserving rights to life,
, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Today there is an issue that is amazingly
similar to the slavery issue. It is abortion. I
would like to stand up to speak for those
who cannot speak for themselves.
The truth is that abortion is not a
woman's right because the life that is taken
is not her own. As a matter of fact, her .
blood and the baby's blood never even
mix. Regardless of what the Supreme
Court says, that growing "thing" in the
womb is very much alive and a human be
ing, and therefore deserves basic human
There was never another person like
that one aborted and there will never be
another again. Everything that a person
will ever be is resident within the fertilized
egg the only thing ever added will be
nutrition and oxygen. The heartbeat of an
unborn baby begins between 18 and 25
days. Electrical , brainwaves have been
recorded as early as 40 days. All of the
baby's body systems, are present by eight
weeks. At 10 weeks the ; baby's feet are
perfectly formed with a unique footprint.
Ask doctors who do second- and third
trimester abortions (which are quite com
mon) if those babies are human beings.
Ask nurses (even those at NCMH) who
see aborted babies come out alive and
dropped in a bucket to starve or suffocate
in their own or their mother's life blood, if
those are real lives in there.
People cry out to save the whales, the
' grass and the Earth. In America it's against
the law to destroy the egg of a baldeagle.
A hunter in the woods would never shoot
unless he were absolutely sure that what he
sees is not a man, but a deer. We know
that it's human life in the womb, but we
continue to kill.
No, it was not any woman's or man's
right to kill another human being. The law
statistics, nor any amount of rationaliza
tions will ever justify murder. The blood
of millions of aborted babies in this coun
try (an average of 1 .5 million a year in the
United States) cries out for justice.
Tracey St. Pierre
return I was told that the column was
OK but that the back page would be
very busy in the next few weeks. As I
left, I'll admit to a twinge of skepticism
about their promise to "do their best."
In the next couple of weeks, I read and
enjoyed back pages full of candidates'
platforms and later the farewell address
of the former DTH editor, which sig
nalled the end of the line for me and
my old buddies at the edit desk. With
the new staff came a new hope and I re
submitted the column solely out of
stubbornness and principle, but the
result was the same. T was originally
promised it would be printed. This '
came almost as a joke to me by then,
and upon my final trip to the office, I
was told by an editor who had never
seen my column before that it was "no
longer relevant." No kidding.
Despite this setback, my literary
endeavors continue, inspired by the
dream that I could someday be one of
those elite few successful writers who
can look back fondly on that first col
umn ignored by the college newspaper.
More likely I'll be one of the countless
millions whose brilliance never quite
surpassed that first masterpiece. But no
matter what happens, I would certainly
have expected more from the DTH. As
a loyal subscriber to the paper whose
old issues strewn across my floor act as
wall-to-wall carpeting, I would have
hoped my column would not have to
stand the test of time. While the former
staff found time to exchange deserved
pats on the back and the new regime
finds space to complain about their
lack of funds, I believe that each staff
member of the student newspaper has
to muster a little more respect for the
Tim Crothers is a sophomore
English major from New Canaan,