Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

May 25, 1978 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-05-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Page 4-Thursday, May 25, 1978-The Michigan Daily
michigan D AILY Free speech must
Eighty-eight Years of Editorial Freedom
To The Daily: existence of an ultimate morality
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, M. 48109 It has been interesting to read that is equally binding upon all of
the editorial page of the Daily us and that transcends the par-
Vol. LXXXVIII, No. 17-S News Phone: 764-0552 recently. Last Wednesday we ticular "party" politics or tem-
Thursday, May 25, 1978 read Michael Arkush advocate poral social standards by which
that we take away certain fun- we have for so long defined our-
Edited and managed by students damental rights for one group of selves and in whih we have
at the University of Michigan people, and last Thursday we traditionally found so much
read the editors and Arthur "meaning". It demands of us less
Arroyo decry the fact that basic sloganeering, rhetoric and thrill
O n rights are being denied another of confrontation than it does
ao group. It is interesting o note tangible, positive and
O t rt that the Michigan Daily presents unassuming expressions of the
us with as varied and inconsistent dignity and worth of all people. It
a view of human and civil rights demands a sense of genuine love,
perecived a certain commonality people-including sympathy for
between the Wednesday and the Nazis and Anita Bryant, with
T HE STATE House of Representatives has fol- Thursday issues of, the Daily their pathetically distorted view
lowed the lead of Ann Arbor voters and which I believe warrants fur- of humanity and overblown sense
finally decided to grapple with the problem of ther comment. of self-importance and including
First, I'm glad that Mr. a commited concern that the
illegal clauses which pervade virtually every Arkush, in his infinite wisdom, misfortunes, tragedies and bit-
lease in this city and throughout Michigan. had decided for all of us in this terness which we have, for
The House, by an overwhelming 93-6 vote, country what the ultimate example, driven some people in
passed a bill Tuesday allowing tenants to sue their "moral" course of action is with despair to Nazism not occur
landlords who use illegal lease clauses. It permits respect to the Nazis' impending again. It furthermore demands
tenants to sue for upto 0 for so-called clear march on Skokie. He says that we an unbiased and apolitical view
p to $550are morally justified to deny o of justice and fairness.
violations and up to $250 for those which are
technical in nature. Sponsored by Rep. Mark
Cloldfelter, the bill would also allow tenants to 'In his zealous advocacy of legislating this
have their leases voided. "moral" principle of discrimination (Michael
Just last April, Ann Arbor citizens voted to Arkush) sounds remarkably like Anita
amend the City Charter with the "Truth in Ren-
ting Act," which is similar to the pending state Bryant.'
legislation. The act-one of two tenants' rights
issues approved by voters-makes it illegal for them the rights of assembly and On the
themtherighs o assniby an Ontheother hand, I guess most
landlords to include in their leases any clauses free speech. In his zealous ad- of us find it much easier to gather
which they believe to be deceptive. It also vocacy of legislating this together like-minded people and
requires that a statement appear on each city "moral' principle of beat the hell out of those with
lease warning tenants that illegal or questionable , discrimination he sounds whom we disagree-if not in the
clauses may be contained within it. It is now a remarkable like Anita Bryant. courtroom or with the ballot, then
claues ay b cotaied wthi it It s nw a THE TWO HAVE several ultimately in the streets of Skokie
misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $25 for things very much in common. or Dade County. (The only dif-
landlords who don't comply with the law. Both are willing and eager to turn ference is in the degree of blood-
The Ann Arbor law came after years of concern in the sense that they are binding letting and the ease with which
by tenant advocates aware of the need to aid tenants in upon all of us. Neither seems we can comfort our consciences
a captive market where landlords call most of the willing to spend his orher after we've won.) All one needs
shot. Tnans' ighs hve log wy t goin hisenergies instead in the positive is his own morality and enough
shots. Tenants' rights have a long way to go in thisaffirmative actions which help power to force it upon others.
city and it's about time legislators begin making build up the type of society where I VENTURE to guess that in
inroads on the state level. Nazism (or, for Miss Bryant, the long run the Jewish residents
"sexual promiscuity") would be of Skokie (if not all Jews across
ND JSTIFCATON crtaily xist forre-so undesirable that no one would the country) hve less to fear
A ND JUSTIFICATION certainly exists for re- bote. rotpt for itoin thefirs fom a hadulhal es orting
forming lease clauses. A study released last place. Both are stronger in their Nazi paraphernalia and shouting
November by the Public Interest Research Group desire to punish the evil than they Naze slogans than they do from a
in Michigan (PIRGIM) revealed that state leases are in their commitment to con- society in which even traditional
are fraught with deceptive clauses. The 18-month stantly and actively affirm the liberals (like Mr. Arkush and the
study revealed that of 200 leases investigated good. They both seem more many recently-resigned mem-
yontae ilega ed willing to sacrifice others for bers of the ACLU) start talking
state-wide, 99 percent contaied 'illegal, unen- their respective causes than to about suspending human rights
forcable, or abusive clauses." In Ann Arbor sacrifice themselves. and freedoms. In other words, we
alone, PIRGIM found that violations average 6.6 But I guess that is a pretty need to particularly fear the day
per lease. hard thing to do. It's too when people with otherwise
thrlea e. unnfrcabenlauescotae in " t", It ilst hephonorable intentions start acting
Among the unenforceable clauses contaed in idealistic". It implies the like Nazis. The real danger lies in
leases are those giving the landlord power to
unilaterally change the lease, requiring tenants 1 5 AlI& 'l4 , 0
to pay rent even if the landlord reneges on main- - S
tenance obligations, excusing the landlord from csvs
keeping property up to housing code requiremen- 'A
ts, and requirements that tenants pay the land-
lord's legal costs arising from any suit involving
the landlord.
The Clodfelter bi Sl faces a tough battle in
the stte Senate, where legislators, undoubtedly -
are under pressure from powerful landlord in- 10 sW 0
terests who would have no trouble rounding up a A -
large sum of money in hopes of whipping the al6
But the Senate must support the bill, which, &
when enacted, would only be a step to protecting
to s rights in Michigan. Landlords have had
the i

carry on
the fact that these will not be
wearing swastikas and that we
will not perceive the threat until
after it is too late.
So it might not be inappropriate
after all to say Sieg heil to Mr.
Arkush, Miss Bryant, and others
who in their self-righteousness
feel that we should start suspen-
ding basic human and civil
rights. In form they may not be
Nazis (in form they may even be
liberals with otherwise honorable
intentions or they may even be
sugar-coated Christians), but
they sure function like Nazis.
To The Daily:
I share the sense of concern
and frustration expressed in the
Daily's May. 11 editorial regar-
ding paraquat. By not providing
adequate testing facilities to
check for the presence of this
lethal substance in marijuana,
our government is, in effect, sen-
tencing its users to apunishment
far more severe than even the
currently outdated laws imposed
upon marijuana smokers.
Whether or nor marijuana
use persists to be viewed as a
crime is not the relevant issue
here. The fact is simply that
people deserve as much protec-
tion from paraquat as they do
from PBB or any other toxic sun-
stance in the environment.
TOXICOLOGY studies have
traditionally been a state respon-
sibility. In this case, as well as
any other, it is up to the state to
respond to this need quickly and
effectively, to deal with it as a
serious threat to public health
and safety-before people ingest
enough of the poison to become
seriously ill.
-Edward CPierce M.D

aIvsV6S MVuO.... Y sI, VA"
Ile CT f4~ fv1

Back to Top

© 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan