To the Editors:
William Leach from the Black Panther Party is absolutely correct (“The White Left—Serious or Not?” FE #70, January 9–22, 1969) when he points out that white so-called revolutionaries have not organized anyone in the white community—we must ask ourselves why?
Is it because we are afraid to challenge the handful of Wallacites in Hazel Park, or Wyandotte who are attempting to give leadership to the thousands of young white workers who live there.
White- workers, young and old, are more exploited by the capitalist system than white students. Basic questions about the system are being asked, but always there is the racist smog that clouds the vision—that’s our job to clear the air.
But in order to attempt to organize the white workers some of us must give up some of our escapist ideas of this revolution to change the system being a big freak party, love in, etc. I think we must first have a serious revolutionary program that also answers the immediate needs of white workers such as jobs, taxes, working conditions, food prices, and various local community problems, like highways taking houses, traffic lights, schools.
We must also point out that each victory or defeat is only temporary as long as we have a capitalist system. We must show the tenacity, and guts as well as the ability to stick to this job of organizing for a revolutionary plan no matter how long it takes.
Young, white workers are in the army, drive trucks, pump gas, work in factories, offices, etc. We should be there to work together to give leadership where needed and to learn from the masses.
Finally let me say that there is no such thing on this planet as a white panther. This is more escapism. How can we talk about blowing up police cars when we haven’t been able to convince the majority of white people that police brutality exists in the Black community?
Instead of trying to copy the Black Liberation Movement, it might be better to find out about some of the problems in our communities and work from there, then we might be able to build the alliance needed for victory for all.
To the Editors:
Kids have got to understand that when somebody hits them over the head, with a club or a regulation or a dirty look, they don’t have to stand for that kind of shit.
They don’t have to shuffle before the eyes of parents, cops, teachers, all the old people.
Man, like my high school (I’m a senior) everybody’s heads, y’know, I mean everybody smokes up a storm: hippie-types, cheerleader types, greaser types.
So it could be cool, right? Like we could have some kind of smoke-in or something, or a big Student Council resolution (if you can tolerate bureaucratic legal channels), right? But, no, everybody dislikes and distrusts.
You either hate a guy cause he drives a big greasy Chevy (and street races, and gets busted for that) or you hate him cause he has hair down to his knees (and smokes grass, and gets busted for that).
Meanwhile, they ignore the common enemies, the desiccated, desolated, bastards who are screwing more and more kids every day: the narcs, the pizza-parlor guy who won’t serve you, the bus driver who threw you off for your ugly looks—these people are everywhere, in our own homes most of the time.
We, the young, are not perfect, of course not. Maybe twenty years from now I’ll use a copy of this letter to light a fire with in the spacious living room of my $60,000 suburban home, with my Pontiac in the garage and my French poodle on my lap. Meanwhile, my kid will be upstairs, shooting some kind of super-sonic dope, and cursing me under his breath.
Okay, maybe that’s how we’ll all wind up...but in the meantime, maybe we can make the “sad songs” better, hey, Jude?? Like Morrison says, “They got the guns, but we got the numbers!!”
Oh, my head is busting open to think about the possibilities open to us, if we can GET DOWN ON IT, GET INTO IT, if we can get five hundred teenage freaks on a stage all singing and yelling, if we can laugh at the dope laws, IF WE CAN CREATE A BROTHERHOOD OF COSMIC ENERGY, BURSTING FROM THE CROTCH AND THE CRANIUM, PULSATING, FLOWING, CONSUMING THE WHOLE SCREWBALLED SOCIETY!!!
S. Andrew Schwartz
To the Editors:
I have just seen the latest Fifth Estate. And I wanted to let you know that I am in complete agreement with the position taken in the Editors’ Notes column. It makes good sense to me.
In the continuing saga of Leach vs. Sinclair, I have the feeling that both are full of beans. Sinclair’s column is most appropriately named: “Rock and Roll Dope,” he is. As far as Leach is concerned, he is but half-right, and that’s giving him the benefit of no small amount of doubt.
Sinclair seems to really believe that exposing yourself while strumming an electric guitar constitutes revolution. He’s a fine guy, and all—but goodness he’s naive.
And I’ve never felt white radicals ought to strip naked and demand a flogging from blacks, as a letter-writer implies, responding to Leach. Geez. Who needs it (then, maybe they do)?
One thing though—the “white working class” doesn’t view itself that way; and is as alienated as youth is. Witness 13 million distrusting votes for Wallass, people disbelieving the Warren fantasy, etc.
I remain yours in Jesus,
To the Editors:
I think John Sinclair should take his Motor City Five and use the ensuing collective intelligence to unscramble “Revolution Number One” for their waxen flaxen pubic public everywhere.
The aftercarriage of solution hopefully will leave him prone to stick his cheerleader rhetoric back up next to his wallet—from whence it came.
The Fornie Finger of Fate
My Gracious Friends:
I would like to thank you for the copy of your newspaper. It was a pleasant break in the rather trying routine of a 7 days a week, 10 hours a day schedule we are forced to keep here. I’d deeply enjoy the look of disgust on the lifer’s face who had to deliver it to me.
It would be my pleasure to provide you with some of my views of this imperialist venture of our great fatherland, but I’m sure I could say nothing new.
I would like to say there are a great number of good, intelligent and kindhearted people here who do everything in their power to try to set right all the wrong that’s done to the people of Vietnam by the preying eagle of America.
Love and peace to your most kind souls.
E. Jay Carrol
(Only 94 days left, thank Buddha)
“Here I sit high getting ideas,” just wondering what the hell I’m really doing here. As the other enclosed letter stated, I’m located in a beautiful land with the ugly atmosphere.
Even though I’m from the West Coast, I did terribly enjoy your attempt to relive the brainwashing campaign of the military.
Being that we are in the same unit, I really don’t think I need a subscription to your paper, but it’s the thought that counts, as many of the old sayings go.
It’s good to hear that other people are thinking of us over here without putting it into military strategy or statistics. Be cool and maintain.
This is just a small note to thank you for publishing the Judy Collins review by Mike Kerman in the last issue [“Judy Collins Gets it On,” FE #71, January 23-February 5, 1969].
In the mid-winter of everything else in your paper (far from being your fault, you but report( it was a pleasure to see a warm day when the sun shines.
I have yet to hear the recording by Judy, but if the review reflects the record then I’m sure it’s time to have a record which makes you feel as good as the review does.
Thank you, Mr. Kerman for the sunshine!
Wow, you have one of the grooviest things going in Michigan. I’ve read many underground papers in college days, but you’re nearing the top of my reading list.
My fiance has sent me two of your issues and I dig them. I am hoping you will enter my subscription and send it to me over here in Vietnam.
Sp/4 Bruce Rerick
P.S. I’ve seen the MC5 in Benton Harbor, Michigan and they are wild but they have a decent show. Uptite scene...
The other day I happened to run into a copy of your paper. I read it and man, it’s as groovy as the Village Voice which I also take.
I’m stationed here in Chu Lai, Vietnam and I’ve noticed in your paper that it’s the one to relay the happenings back here to me.
In your subscription ad it said free to personnel in ‘Nam. I hope this is true ‘cause I’d definitely like to take it. I’d sure appreciate the first copy as soon as possible.
I know my friends will subscribe also. This is one of the best papers us GIs over here in ‘Nam can get FREE.
Thanks so much,
Pfc. Craig P. Schaefer
To the Editors:
I’d like to give you guys and everyone else something off my back. Some guy named Ken Brown wrote the most phony bullshit I’ve ever seen in your Jan. 9 issue.
Let’s start classifying freaks as what they are. People are people! You can’t classify them into groups.
You can’t say “I take dope” and wear a peace symbol and say “I’m a freak!” Man, you’re fucked off your ass if that’s how you think.
It just makes me sick when I hear somebody say “He’s a frat,” or “greaser,” or whatever the hell you call them.
Like, I go to Groves H.S. in Birmingham, which is a bummer as it is. Then we’ve got all these phonies there that think they’re a “hippie” because they got long hair or wear a peace symbol or take dope. God, does that make me puke!
Dear Fifth Estate,
I have read your paper Nov. 28-Dec. 11, 1968. I am requesting a free subscription because I am in Vietnam.
Your paper is a ray of love in this world of impersonalized hate. I am a medic with the Marines. I need help to teach them the love of Jesus and the great mystics.
Love & Peace
I wonder if your blank for ordering the Fifth Estate for free is true. If so, send it to me as often as it comes out, or even more often if you can.
Personally, I’m tired of this same old hang up of perverse human relations which exists here in Nam. I’d much rather look out for conjugated verbs walking down Main Street while side-walk surfing over a bed of glass onions.
But maybe it’s just a change of climate or I’ll wake up soon. I hope I don’t talk in my sleep.
I would like to know why my Fifth Estate is always so late. The paper is really a groovy thing, but by the time it comes to Toledo everything in the paper is old and already happened.
Since Toledo is such a drag place and Detroit being so close I frequently go there. I would appreciate faster delivery.
Ed. Note: Sorry, we’ll try harder.