To the Editor:
May I say one thing, I hope that the Fifth Estate is not losing it’s awareness, love, peace and spiritual splendor.
From reading the August 1-15 issue, exploiting the Detroit Riot scene, and all—that excess-baggage that was written along with it was just too much for me to bare.
I’ve been very loyal to the Fifth Estate and I hope to continue, but please for heaven’s sake don’t drop your fine paper into the acid of terror, etc.
Rather mention it as an occurrence, and dwell on more lovable things, like pot, drugs, useful comments on sex, the Detroit scene and other things like that. I Love as much as I can.
L’Odeon Ethos Press
I’m writing to add to information you printed in your paper (FE #36, August 1-15) about incidents on Prentis Street the second night of the riot. I’m afraid whoever the informer was who complained about police brutality did not give you a complete picture.
First of all, the police and National Guardsman were there in the first place because Kroger’s on the corner of Second and Prentis had been broken into and looted. I’m sure your little Fifth Estate reporters were right in there when the looting was going on, too.
There is a gang of what I shall call pseudo-hippies living on our street who are in fact a band of hysterical teen-agers. I do believe these little toughies would like to identify as hippies, because of their bizarre dress and behavior. However, the real hippies I have known and lived with are perceptive, kind and most of all gentle.
The kids on our street cavort, scream and giggle hysterically all night, every night, routinely. They were very excited by the riot, ready for anything to happen. When the revolutionaries came and broke Kroger’s window, these little pseudo-hippies poured in and looted. Then, when the police and national guardsmen came, they were jeered at and heckled by the kids. At a very tense moment, as the Guard neared the end of the street (2:30 A.M. Tuesday morning) one of the kids (a real bright one!) threw a firecracker. It was in response to this that the Guard came off the truck onto the street shooting at what they thought was a sniper.
The kids were literally begging for trouble, and got it.
Yours for Peace,
Marry A. Ferrari
Dear John Sinclair,
It’s turning into an obsession with you about the establishment being scared to death.
How do you know that LSD doesn’t cause chromosome damage? In this country of still white Americans, there are a few who do not hold a concern for the now, and for future generations—a genuine concern for what people stuff into themselves and spread around.
You might not be so cock sure about the effects of LSD. I don’t stand alone in being happy your daughter is healthy, but chromosome damage often doesn’t show in the first generation. You’ve dropped enough acid to know what that’s about, but it doesn’t mean you know a thing about chromosomes. And maybe damage, but then again, maybe there is.
And when you can’t really know, and when you hold so much influence, (it doesn’t matter any more if you’d just like to be the guy who buys Dairy Queens every day), it doesn’t seem to me you should ‘not recommend’ by saying ‘go on kiddies. It’s all right. I know.’
The reluctance of the members at the first meeting of the Detroit Citizens for New Politics to endorse black self-determination, specifically in the choice of tactics and methods for liberation, is strangely reminiscent of the continuing paternalism practiced by a large segment of white society.
The meeting suggested the increasing unpopularity of extending human rights to minorities. It, moreover, seemed to reflect the resistance many whites have in relinquishing their ‘consultant’ roles and in accepting black and other non-white people as equals, having ideas and plans for their own destinies.
New Politics, will, of necessity, have to confront existing injustices in the social order with fresh, clear assumptions.
I trust that future meetings of this potentially meaningful group can move beyond elementary hassles on what black people will or will not do in acquiring their basic rights. The question for consideration is how can political power be created and utilized to result in a socio -politico-economic system which will insure human and civil rights for all?
Ivan L. Cotman
P. S. I have admired the forthright and emphatic manner in which your paper concerned itself with protecting the human rights of those being oppressed in Detroit and other areas. Keep sending the paper!
To the Editor:
I stopped in a Plum Street restaurant for a cup of coffee.
There was no counter so I sat at the table. On it was a sign: “50¢ minimum charge.” Was this intended to exclude the Hippie or to exorbitantly exploit the tourists?
In our modern business ethics, this is not only permissible but expected and accepted. But this does not concur with the strivings for new and higher cultural relations.
My concern is not for the tourist. He has been conditioned to expect it. It is a mark of his status that he is willing to pay. He would be disappointed otherwise.
I am thinking of our new social types. They are being doubly exploited. Even if he only pays a dime. At a dime, a profit is made. Also no Hippie, no tourist to exploit. An exploited tourist is also an exploited Hippie.
If it were only the matter of a profit; it wouldn’t be so bad. Out of this arises a clash of interests; and not in a minor area of life. This clash cannot be a source of love; it can only contradict it and cancel it out.
A major concern of these our new people is that love should rule the relations between men. No one can quarrel with that; not even LBJ. When there is an exploitative relation in one’s consuming and producing activity, love can only be ephemeral and episodic.
In response to the letter of Mr. Irwin Rubin in your August 1-15 issue, he turns me off. I’m nineteen and I figure if he wears a suit and tie all the time and goes to church on Saturday, more power to him. But I wear a suit to church on Sunday and if I have to I’ll wear a suit during the week. I’d sooner wear jeans and a work shirt, but there is a time and a place for everything.
As far as kissing goes, well, any man who doesn’t want to kiss a girl (no dogs, good looking only) I think he’s beyond hope.
As far as the Fifth Estate goes, I think it is a good paper and it serves its purpose. If Mr. Rubin can think of good legal reason why it should not be sold, then he can go to a lawyer and spend his money. Better yet, he can pay a visit to Plum Street and he will see it is a pretty nice place to be. In fact, I feel more safe at midnight on Plum Street than I do on my East side streets.
Daisies to the hippies and the Fifth Estate.
Glen H. Battjies
Hippy at heart, workingman outside