1968.04.09: Dr. King [Assassination] (UCLA Daily Bruin)

UCLA Daily Bruin, April 9, 1968
Dr. King [Assassination]

Editor: 

The murder of Rev. King has occasioned an outburst of sorrow, mourning and sympathy. Many of us have felt a deep revulsion toward this act of violence and a need to reassure ourselves of the vast gap that lies between ourselves and the man who fired the gun. But death is dispensed to the victims of bigotry, racism and discrimination not only explosively out of the barrel of a gun but discreetly through daily denials of opportunity and human dignity. If we do no more than mourn and sympathize and then slink back into a resigned acceptance of the evils of racial oppression, the gap between the man who fired the gun and ourselves is diminished.

The death of Rev. King is a horribly painful reminder of where we have failed. We should all upon it as an urgent call to come to grips with the unfulfilled tasks of democracy wherever we can have an impact — not least of all in the community that is the University of California. What can we — students, faculty and administration — do to align the University more effectively, forcefully and directly in the battle for human dignity? What can we do, for example, to open more widely the doors of the University to Negro, Mexican American and other non-white, non-middle class students at every level, undergraduate and graduate? What can be done to insure that our faculty and administration has a composition more in keeping with the diverse make-up of our society? A possible response is that since the University discriminates in neither admissions nor hiring, it can do no more than it is. But we can and must alter ways of evaluating students and faculty that effectively bar our doors to all but a few. If we merely bemoan the fact of discrimination and philosophically contemplate its disastrous results, we betray the profound educational objectives of the University.

Leon Leon, Acting Associate Professor of Law
Herbert Morris, Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy

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