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October 25, 1977 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-10-25

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Page 4-Tuesday, October 25, 1977-The Michigan Daily
Eighty-Eight Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Vol. LXXXVIII, No. 41 News Phone: 764-0552
Edfited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
ToMSA:Don't evict ethnic
political groups from Unio:

I AM a T-HA~ic(Au.
o ,'

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I WI t Ga)T~aA t ,60

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AST FRIDAY morning, President
Robben Fleming summarized a
'discouraging outline of the student ac-
tivities space problem by telling the
'Regents, "Students often get impatient
with our speed of movement, but what
they forget is that while they have one
problem to solve, we may have fifty."
President Fleming was only par-
tially right: students are impatient,
and rightfully so after years of over-
4 crowding and incompetent manage-
ment and the construction and expan-
(sion that have been discussed by
student leaders and administrators is
(complicated. To the President it may
in fact represent fifty problems, and
'we cautiously applaud the first steps
-.taken by administrators to work with
students on the problem.
But Fleming is poorly informed if.
"he sees the space problem as a simple,'
unified student cause the way they
used to make causes.
Tomorrow, the Michigan Student,
Assembly (MSA), which has shown so
much responsibility in planning for the
future, may undo its careful work by
turning on a number of political and
ethnic organizations and deny them of-
fice space in the Union.
In a debate before his successful
campaign for MSA president last
week, senior John Lauer said that he
wants to establish a rapport with stu-

dents, to answer "questions about
(MSA's) existence."
tunity; to build a solid student
base for MSA. Office space is in short
supply in the Union, but unless MSA,
the group responsible for matching of-
fices with activities, asks organiza-
tions to divide up the space equally, the
new MSA president may as well re-
sign himself to the lackluster support
MSA has received in the past.
Then, if MSA decides to drop its dis-
criminatory office selection process,
students might be able to concentrate
on some of the causes that President
Fleming can easily recall from recent
history. Students working together
with "one problem to solve."
c , ht hdiijan gf'a-IV
DEBORAH DREYFUSS.....................Business Manager
COLLEEN HOGAN.................Operations Manager
ROD KOSANN ............................ Sales Manager
NANCY GRAU......................Display Manager
ROBERT CARPENTER ...............Finance Manager
SHELLEY SEEGER.................... Classified Manager
SUSAN BAIRY..................National Ad Manager
PETE JPETERSEN ................ Advertising Coordinator
STAFF MEMBERS: Steve Barany, Bob Bernstein, Richard
Campbell, Joan Chartier, Fred Coale, Caren Collins, Pam Counen,
Lisa Culberson, Kim Ford, Bob Friedman, Kathy Friedman,'
Denise Gilardone, Nancy Granadier, Cindy Greer, Amy Hart-
man, Susan Heiser, Larry, Juran, Carol Keller, Randy Kelley,
Dough Kendall, Katie Klinkner, Jon Kottler, Lisa Krieger,
Debbie Litwak, Deb Meadows, Art Meyers, John Niemisto,
John O'Connor, Seth Petok, Dennis Ritter, Arlene Saryan,
Carole Schults, Claudia Sills, Jim Tucker, Karen Urbani, Beth

Letters to

The Daily



human rights
Rod Kosann's article
"Hypocrisy on Human Rights"
published in the Michgan 'daily
on October 19, 1977 deserves at-
tention not so much for its
aggressive and unbridled attack
on the integrity of the American
Chief Executive as it is for the
lack of objectivity displayed by
its standard of human rights
across the African continent.
This may be desirable, but it is so
impossible to affect that a
demand for it borders on the
unrealistic. A uniform standard
of human rights across Africa, or
any other region for that matter
is impossible for reasons that a
universal standard of human
rights is impossible to affect.
First and foremost, Kosann ought
to know that there is no common
agreement along international
lines as to what should constitute
human rights and their violation.
Nor is this surprising. In a world
of several conflicting mores and
values, one does not expect the
situation to be otherwise. Secon-
dly, even given that there is in-
tuitive agreement on what con-
stitutes fundamental human
rights ability to protect same
becomes a function of several
variables. The following vari-
ables deserve considerations.
ONE DOES NOT have to stret-
ch the imagination to realize that
there is a-close tie between the
economic health of a society and
its ability to protect human
righta. Take the case of the
prisons for example where it is
generally alleged that human
rights violations are rampant. It
is not hard to appreciate the
fact that the more affluent
societies of the world should be
able to provide better living con-
ditions for inmates. What may be
considered a basic human need in
these prisons may constitute
luxuries for people in the free
world in poorer sccieties. I am
noe suggesting that poorer
societies should stubbornly resist
prison reforms. All I am trying to
underscore is the fact that in a
world of competing demands and
scarcve resources, poorer
societies would often view prison
reform as low in national
To every right there is a
responsibility, is a well known
cliche. Education is no panacea
for the world's ills, but education

helps to inform people absorb
their social responsibilities. Un-
fortunately, the level of education
varies from society to society.
Consequently, for practical pur-
poses, the numbers of rights and
freedoms vary from society to
society. For some societies, cur-
tailing of freedoms is counted
upon to'insure the good behavior,
of some people dangerously
irresponsible both to themselves
and to society at large.
Law makers in the different
societies are fearful about the
several clandestine activities of
the big powers. To the extent that
this fear exists, law makers are
bound to be cautious about the
freedoms they permit in their
societies. The poorer nations of
the world have often been
frequent victims of big powers'
conspiracies. Often overlooked,
this, however, is one of the major
causes of human rights violation
in developing nations. Chile and
Uganda are cases in point.
AN AIM OF all normal human
societies is to achieve state
security. This goal is common,
the method and instruments for
achieving same may vary from
society to society. In the final
analysis, what freedoms in a
given society represents a trade
off between state security
without having to inconvenience
the citizens or give the im-
pression of a police state. Unfor-
tunately, again, technological
advances are different from
society to society.
Some societies must rely not on
electronic devices but rather on
armed personnel to monitor state
security. This is quite true of the
developing nations. This state of
affairs sometimes results in a
brush between security offices
and citizens. But this is not a
rule; at least not in Great
Often these developing nations
are labelled police state by
visitors from more affluent
societies. But this label is wrong
for these nations are no more.
policed than the more affluent
ones are. It is only that their
methods and instruments are dif-
ferent. In the more advanced
nations policing is performed by
wire tapping, bugging, and
probably by secret assassination
of activists. In the developing
nations the policing is done by
armed personnels in the open.

these variables, can Kosann in all
good conscience and intelligence
still demand a uniform standard
for human rights across the
American continent? As if this
demand were not unfortunate
enough, Kosann, in my view,
sought to enlist the sympathy of
white readers by suggesting that
Carter cared for human rights
only when it involved the racs.
This is simply not supported by
the record. I sincerely hope and
pray that whites do not get misled
by Kosann and his likes.
No where has Carter decided
human rights violation with the
same boldness he showed in the
alleged Ugandan case. I think the
President laid waste diplomatic
protocols when in public he men-
tioned Idi Amin by name. Yet in
Uganda the issue of human rights
is one between black and blacks
and not. between blacks and
whites. Furthermore, in Brazil
and the Soviet Union, the human
rights issue is not one necessarily
one between races. What else can
Kosann be driving at ether than
to sow the seeds of misgiving
between the races?
And to charge Carter with
hypocrisy as Kosann did because
the chief executive praised the
Nigerian, head of state for
promising to return his country to
civilian rule by 1979, is to exhibit
diplomatic naivete. In my view,
such praises from Carter were a
subtle and diplomatic way' of
telling the Nigerian head of state
that the U.S. would like to see and
end to military rule in Nigeria.
AND AGAIN to consider
Nigeria's Olusejun Obasanjo a
hypocrite and violator of human
rights simply because he is head
of the military regime is to
suggest that every country shouls
be fashioned after the image and
likeness of America. This is not
only impossible, but also it is un-
Realistically speaking, in some
countries military intervention in
politics becomes necessary to
restore peace and order. Secon-
dly, Obasanjo happens to be a
man whom circumstances made
king. Those who have followed
political events in Nigeria (and
Kosann does not seem to be one of
them) would have known that
Obasanjo was appointed head of
state after his superior officer,
General Mohammad, was

assassinated in an abortive coup,
which some have blamed on
foreign meddling. Therefore, Lt.
Gen. Obisegan Obasanjo should
be judged not on being the head of
a military regime but rather on
how he. manages the military in-
tervention in politics to give the
Nigerian people the necessary
basis for a strong constitutional
rule. At the moment many would
give his integrity and performan-
ce a clean bill of health: a new
constitution is being debated by a
cross section of the Nigerian
population, the econony is per-
forming well and education is no
longer a privilege for the few but
a right for many.
And finally Kosann strikes me
as being more than a Michigan
Daily Sales Manager. He strikes
me as a salesman to the
American public the views of the
apoloists of the status quo in
South Africa. How else should he
have asserted that the problems
in South Africa should be settled
in Johannesburg and not in
Washington? True, a 'country's
domestic problem should be set-
tled within a country. But the
problem of South Africa is no
longer a domestic problem or at
least it should no longer be
viewed as one.
about the highly "volatile" state
of that part of Africa, the general
was not simply shouting "wolf".
South Africa has the frightful
potential to touch off a world-
wide racial blood bath. Further-
more, the state of things there
may bring the super powers to a
confrontation with the frightful
possibilities of a nuclear
-holocaust. Hence South Africa
calls for a collective world action,
and for Kosann's information this
is a real role of the U.N. of which
the U.S. is a key member.
However, if Kosann is not
satisfied with this explanation, he
does not have very much to worry
about. Increasingly African
problems would be solved in
Africa. The Nyereres and
Obasanjos will not forever have
to carry African problems to
Washington or Moscow or New
York. The Africa of tomorrow
would be a place where African
problems racial or otherwise,
would be solved by Africans, for
Africans and in Africa, and
probably by any means
-Riase Jakpor



Students deserve office spac

On October 14 most foreign
student groups and all leftist
political organizations were in-
formed by the Michigan Stu-
dent Assembly (MSA) that they
were to be thrown out oJ their
offices in the Michigan Union.
The groups include the Sparta-
cus Youth League, the Revolu-
tionary Student Brigade, the
Young Socialist Alliance, and
the Organization of Arab Stu-
dents, many of which have
maintained offices for years.
The proposed evictions are a
direct attack on the democratic
right of political expression and
must be vigorously protested.
The action was certainly not
prepared arbitrarily. Michele
Spraregen of the Student Or-
ganizations Board (SOB) open-
ly admitted that office space
was deliberately denied to most
political and foreign student
organizations. Jasper DiGiu-

raise their politics on college
campuses. Beginning with the
Berkeley Free Speech Move-
ment, the radicals won the
right to set up display tables,
distribute literature, hold ral-
lies and actively organize on
campus. These rights are im-
portant gains of the student
movement that are now threat-
ened by the MSA's action.
For organizations attempting
to disseminate political ideas

These "guidelines" make clear
the administration's intention
to clamp down on campus radi-
cals. According to the guide-
lines, students will not be able
to demonstrate their outrage at
imperialist butchers such as
Richard Nixon or Henry Kissin-
ger on campus without facing,
the threat of physical removal.
Surely the University adminis-
tration is pleased that the MSA
is doing the dirty work of

decision; the Supreme Court's
. refusal to allow abortion to the
poor; Anita Bryant's anti-
homosexual "Save Our Chil-
dren" crusade and Jimmy
Carter's anti-Soviet "Human
Rights" campaign.
This assault on the democrat-
ic rights of leftist groups is a
threat to the freedom of expres-
sion of all students. As in the
past, the curtailing of demo-
cratic rights on the population
as a whole. We strongly protest
this harrassment and urge
students, professors, campus
organizations and unions to
demand: no evictions! No po-
litical or racial discrimination
by the MSA in allocation of
office space!

From the
Spartacus Youth League

on campus, office space is
necessary for the storage of

harrassing radicals and foreign
student groups on campus with-

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