He majored in political science intending to be a teacher. "It was also a major with few requirements, and since there was so much political activity going on outside, you almost didn't need to go to class to get an education."
In the years after graduation, however, the spirit of the '60s ended and Novick became frustrated by what he saw as the apathy that set in. "I thought all the protests and movements would create a better society, a better outcome, that things would really change, but they didn't. I don't have much hope for a revolutionary transformation in our values and attitudes toward other people, but I think something has to change."
Teaching, writing and staying active in political and social causes, Novick moved to Los Angeles in 1981, looking for new challenges. "I didn't like it here much and would've moved back to Chicago if I didn't get married. My wife wants to stay out here now for her children."
His wife, a kindergarten teacher in Burbank, supports his anti-racism efforts, as do his three stepchildren, two of whom are in high school, while the other is "a real gung-ho Marine." Novick said: "He joined the Marine Corps recently, and loves it. We have some real interesting conversations when he's home."
Novick carefully follows news reports and gets calls and letters from his readers regarding racist incidents. "I've definitely seen an increase in racist activity since March, and it's increased slowly over the last several years."
The latest issue of the Tide carries accounts of 24 incidents that occurred from February to April, including the attack on two Japanese-American surfers at Topanga State Beach, the burning of a kosher butcher shop in Van Nuys on Hitler's birthday, and the shooting of an undocumented Mexican immigrant in San Diego.
"I think there's been a lot more violence associated with these hate crimes than there has been in the past. You used to see vandalism; now it's assaults and shootings," he said.
Since its inception, Novick has regularly worked with the Los Angeles Student Coalition, a group of high school and college students who organize and demonstrate for social causes while they promote and provide input for the Tide. "By getting young people involved, we get them to see humanity in a better light.
"A lot of hate groups target young people because they're impressionable, and you have Nazi skinhead gangs who try to relate their alienation to what kids feel."
Novick believes that youth hate groups are starting to thrive in the Inland Empire and Ventura County since he has seen racial incidents in the two areas rise. To combat these groups, Novick began working with Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice and other anti-racist groups, helping them organize demonstrations and distribute anti-racist literature. "Unfortunately, a lot of these groups come and go before they can have much impact. But the main thing is that people are interested in the subject and want to get involved."
Novick has tried to expand the readership of the Tide by distributing it at more events, libraries and schools. He admits his part-time efforts can only take the newsletter so far. "It's an uphill battle, and it's not going to be won by one person alone. There are deep issues that one person can't take on himself.
"The bottom line is that issues like racial violence are part of a larger problem, which is economic discrimination and political disenfranchisement for those who aren't in the mainstream of society.
"No one feels it's objectionable to have a Latina as a maid, not thinking that this person can't survive on what they're being paid. These are things that must change," he said. And to create change, Novick feels the public has to know more about what they may not see in the newspaper or watch on TV.
Novick also gathers information and writes and distributes research papers on such topics as exposing racist front groups active in Southern California. He details ties between the organizers of the Populist Party, which ran Louisiana legislator Duke as its candidate for President in 1988, to the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi activists. Another paper claims police are actively being recruited into white supremacist groups.
He's also working with artists from a group called Eclipse Publishing in Los Angeles to produce a series of anti-racist postcards. "They'll be exposing racist groups and promoting racial harmony. I'm always looking for new ways to get the message across."
He has also tried to stage more demonstrations to bring attention to the problem. "After the leader of the White Aryan Resistance, Tom Metzger, was convicted last year in a cross-burning incident, he was allowed to leave jail to go to the funeral of his wife. While he was out, he called for a huge demonstration on the U.S.-Mexican border against immigrants.