persecution a teacher he thinks worthy, and he would, unhappily but true to his duty, lay it down to save even a teacher he thought unworthy from, say, a breach of the teacher’s contract for political reasons. As he saw intellectually corrupt and financially self-interested political pressures building against Caroline, he undertook his own evaluation of the man, hoping this case would not make him useless as dean and spoil his place at the university. In this inflamed situation, two moral life-styles, Silber’s and Caroline’s, thereupon collided. Silber concluded that Caroline was a sophist who held creating effects on behalf of what he wanted to happen more important than adhering to the standards of intellectual probity which Silber regards as minimum. The compromise that Silber pushed through not firing Caroline, but not renewing his two-year contract, either satisfied all but the worst of the yahoos and left almost everyone else feeling somewhere on a range from uneasy to outraged. IBELIEVE Caroline’s contract should have been renewed. He is a good man, from all accounts a good classroom teacher, a stimulating contrast to the applesauce professors; and if he is a sophist, he can be so accused, and evaluated under fire. That kind of give-and-take is what education is. “Let him who would punish a man with a moral idea because it is dangerous identify himself so we may laugh at him.” But I would not say that Silber, given his views and role, was wrong. I do not agree with him; I would not say that he was wrong. Without Silber there, 35,000 students and a couple thousand professors would be giving and getting a lesser education under conditions of less freedom. The task is to weigh comparative damage to good values. There is an arrogance of power; there is also an 16 The Texas Observer arrogance of morality. If a man wishes to be sure always to take a position others of his kind will applaud, he can do so. If he is determined rather to bear and act through frn My Opinion Austin Well, six years after we lost President Kennedy, I finally have seen the movie film of that tragic event which Abraham Zapruder made on Elm Street in Dallas. The Zapruder film, as you know, is the “property” of Time-Life, Inc., which paid Zapruder a handsome fee for the rights to the film. We the people have been denied the use of the film; the Warren Commission, our representatives in the inquiry into JFK’s death, did not see the Zapruder film, not the original; they saw a copy of the film. A copy. I understand that the Warren Commission saw a first generation copy; that is, one made directly from the original. I am told that what I saw the other day, in the Observer office, was an eighth or tenth generation copy. These copies are available from various sources now, I understand, at a very low price. More of that in a moment. Eyen though what I saw was a poor copy of the Zapruder film, I now must say that surely President Kennedy was murdered by at least two people, and the fatal head shot simply had to have come from the front and slightly above and to the right as the president rode down the slope towards the triple underpass. Probably the fatal shot came from behind that wooden fence that separates Dealy Plaza ftom the railroad yards. As you and I have heard it described many times, President Kennedy was thrown back hard against the seat of his car by the fatal head shot. But to hear or read that statement is not at all the same as seeing how it happened, as the Zapruder film permits. Kennedy, leaning forward, stunned by the shot to his throat, is hurtled back. I’m groping for words here, trying to convey in more accurate terms than I’ve heard the extremely violent nature of the impact of that shot on Kennedy and, more importantly, to say to you and to anyone else who will listen, that Kennedy could not have been hurtled backwards and to his left by a shot from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. You don’t have to be a ballistics expert to know that; you don’t have to have done any deer hunting to know that; you don’t have to be conversant with the principles of physics to know that. All you need when watching the Zapruder film is some eyesight and some as morally as he can the paradoxes of actual life, the sun will still warm him, and he may be stronger when he is sure what he should do. R.D. common sense. Afterwards, you know that head shot came from in front of the president. The single shot theory, which former Gov. John Connally has himself disputed, was surely a contrivance \(or, if See the film. I can get copies of it for $2.50 or $5. So I am told. I am expecting to know for sure in a few more days. If you want the film send me your name and to you charging you what it costs me and no more. If there is a group of people in Austin who want to see the film I have seen, let me know and a free public showing will be arranged. I know you are sick of this subject as we have become sick of Vietnam, the youth and black rebellions. But I do not raise it again here out of morbid curiosity or any maudlin longings. I simply believe we as a nation never faced seriously the alternate possibilities that the first Kennedy assassination posed. We were \(or so wounded as a nation by the event that we could not bear to face the possibility that some conspirators \(one or more of president in. It conformed more with our sense of what our country is or is supposed to be to believe that a single madman, acting alone had shot the president. It was unthinkable to consider that perhaps a band of people had perpetrated the deed. But if we as a nation are to prevail we must face hard questions. Consider all that has happened to our country since that November six years ago. Perhaps it is only a sickness of spirit that has caused the unhappiness this nation has endured since then; a sickness of spirit arising out of our sense of shame and loss, and, more to the point, out of a deep-seated sense, often repressed, that we failed Kennedy, our nation, and ourselves in not looking diligently, intensively, and hard into the assassination unafraid to face whatever the truth might have been. Or perhaps, as some say, the dark forces who plotted President Kennedy’s death are now in control of the country after having killed JFK who, it is said, posed a threat to those forces. Whatever you believe, you owe it to your country to see the Zapruder film. If you do see it, you won’t believe the Warren Report. G.O. The Zapruder Film
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