Marianne Mele Hall, the Reagan administration's newly confirmed chairman of the Copyright Royalty Tribunal, said on a Senate questionnaire that she was "coauthor" of a 1982 book that says American blacks "insist on preserving their jungle freedoms, their women, their avoidance of personal responsibility and their abhorrence of the work ethic."
The book, "Foundations of Sand," says that "blacks have inherited a different set of aptitudes, values, mores, goals and life styles over a period of 10,000 years." It concludes that the race problem in this country arises "when you displace the jungle-freedom-types into the Scotland-type environment which is America . . . . "
One solution, according to the book, is to set up a "separate but superior" school system for blacks, using "male teachers, and it probably would be wise to have retired star athletes as principals." Blacks "resent" the current school system partly because "they find it humiliating that female teachers should instruct black males."
The Senate confirmed Hall on April 2 to the $70,000-a-year chairmanship of the Copyright Royalty Tribunal, a small but increasingly powerful federal regulatory agency that sets the rates cable-television operators must pay for the right to rebroadcast movies, TV shows, news and sports events to subscribers. It also divides among copyright owners the millions of dollars in royalty fees it collects.
Excerpts from the book first appeared in the April 29 edition of Broadcasting magazine. The book, which is in the Library of Congress, lists on its cover the names "Lawrence Hafstad, PhD, with Marianne Mele, JD, and John Morse, MA."
"I want to make it very clear," Hall said yesterday in a telephone interview, "I edited that work -- period. Those are Dr. Hafstad's ideas."
Asked whether she agreed with views expressed in the book, Hall said, "I'm not qualified to address concerns of a scientific nature like that . . . . I'd like to defer those types of questions to Dr. Hafstad.
"For me to become defensive now will turn this into a spat, and this whole experience doesn't deserve that kind of dignity," she said. "If somebody calls you a whore, and you protest, what can you say? Can I scream I'm not a whore?"
Asked why she listed herself as "coauthor" on the Senate questionnaire, Hall replied, "In the sense of a ghostwriter -- no research, no writing, clearly editing. I didn't know how else to put it." Asked why she didn't leave her name off the work, she said, "If I wash a floor real well, I'll take credit."
Hall said she was also an editor for the 1981 work, "High Frontier: A New National Strategy," which first proposed the "Star Wars" plan, formally known as the Strategic Defense Initiative, that has become a centerpiece of the administration's arms policy. "Most of the time I was editing 'High Frontiers' I couldn't understand what I was reading. It's something I do when I'm asked to do it -- for a price."
In the acknowledgments in "Foundations of Sand," coauthor Morse states: "I would like to thank Dr. Hafstad for putting into print his brilliant ideas which reflect the thinking of so many of us and Marianne Mele for expressing them so effectively."
Morse, a retired Navy captain, works with High Frontier Inc., a group that grew out of that initial "Star Wars" study.
Yesterday, Morse said he urged Hafstad to leave out the chapter on minorities because "I knew what would happen . . . . We knew that would be explosive."
Hafstad said Hall was "the professional writer/editor." He added, "she made many other helpful suggestions."
"Foundations of Sand" describes itself as "A Hard Look at the Soft Sciences." In the chapter entitled "The Minority Problem," the book sets out to "think through the roots" of the issue.
The book assails sociologists, who "put blacks on welfare so they can continue their jungle freedoms of leisure time and subsidized procreation."
Warning of possible riots, the book says that "conditioned by 10,000 years of selective breeding for personal combat and the anti-work ethics of jungle freedoms, it seems unlikely that the explosion which black columnists have anticipated can be far off."
Hall, 34, is a New York native and a 1978 graduate of Rutgers law school.
In 1979 and 1980 she was an equal employment specialist for Riggs National Bank, helping the bank comply with federal and District equal employment laws.
She said yesterday she is the author of a Small Business Administration book on minority businesses.