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December 11, 1981 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-12-11

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

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OPINION

9e4 Friday. December 11. 1981 The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Weasel

By Robert Lence

Vol. XCII, No. 76

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

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HERE You Go.
ARE Yoo 60196 -M
USE THE "SICK MOTHER
(w PITTSOLW" ExtusE
AGAIN THIS TERM?
I THINK IL
3VST 60 WITH
MoriO" FaDUTINE.
ITS WDRKBP
WELL FO;. ME
"1s3 IN STi
f T Past

Wayne State repression

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"APVJANCEP ASMRPHYSKS0
NAW.... ASTROPHYSICS Z
WAS A GLOW-OFF.
J:Mfr LOOKIN& FOR.
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MORE COMB8RAL-

WAIT
YOU CAW va I MIS!
YOU CAN C PFORE Tb
TAYE CLASSFS NOW I
FINAL EXAMS ARE
NEXT WEED K. !
ITS TOO LATE! i
Mr J
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FRESHMAN. "
ISIKNEW IHE
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T HE SOUTH END, our sister
newspaper at Wayne State
University, has been undergoing
tribulation lately, the likes of which
would never be seen at most other
college papers, let alone in the
professional press.
The editor of, the South End, one E.
Dale Lee, published an editoral car-
toon on November 18 which has been
causing him trouble ever since. The ar-
twork showed five black men dribbling
basketballs followed by a white man in
a KKK-variety bedsheet. The cartoon
probably didn't make sense to most
readers who saw it (it certainly didn't
to us), but, naturally, some of the more
sensitive political types on the WSU
campus were upset by it.
Representatives Qf two groups-the
Spartacus Youth League and the Black
Student Association-demanded that
Lee be removed from his position. Now
that's the kind of demand that would be
politely ignored at any ordinary
newspaper; certainly, editors will ex-
plain their editorial actions, even
apologize on occasion, but suspension
is not among the alternatives-at least
it shouldn't be..

The South End, like most college
papers-including this one-operates
under the official authority of a
student-faculty board. Under pressure
applied by the two political groups and
an egregiously wrong-headed notion
that to do nothing was to do evil, the
WSU publications board suspended
Lee for five days. They may yet fire
him.
Perhaps it's a little predictable that
one student paper would squawk when
another is dealt a heavy hand of cen-
sorship, but the situation at Wayne
State is really quite intolerable. The
axiom that holds true for the Detroit
Free Press and the New York Times
must be kept in mind even among the
college press: News people simply
cannot do their job with the threat of
firing or any other such repercussions
hanging over their heads. They make
mistakes from time to time, often
highly visible ones, but if they are not
free to make and to rectify mistakes
without fear of dismissal, there might
as well not be any newspapers at all.
We sincerely hope and recommend the
WSU board reconsiders its repressive
blunder.

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

Racist rati*onalizations sadly typical

S Smith's rc
The loss o
T A UNIVERSITY where
As teaching is often considered
econdary to administrating and
ifasearch, Allan Smith stands apart. In
his 35 years at the University, Smith
las served as law school dean, vice
president for academic affairs, and in-.
tgrim president. But in the end, Smith
returned to teaching.
While it is true that; as an ad-
ministrator Smith often did not seem
amenable to an "open door" policy, he
also had a knack for dealing with
people on a day to day basis. As in-
terim president, he helped provide a
smooth transition between the terms of
the flamboyant Robben Fleming and
the prosaic Harold Shapiro.
y The true sign of an academician,
however, is his ability to teach others.
And Smith certainly had this ability.-

f a teacher

To many, he will probably be remem-
bered for this quality rather than for
his tenure as an administrator.
Numerous former students have
praised the law professor for his skills
as an educator.
And it seems that Smith, who will
retire at the end of this term, is more
comfortable with the role of teacher
than administrator. At a reception for
him Wednesday, Michigan Football
Coach Bo Schembechler presented him
with an award and then introduced him
to athletic director Don Canham. "I'd
rather deal with my class than with
him," Smith quipped.
Indeed, when Smith leaves the
University at the end of the year, it will
lose a former administrator. But much
more importantly, the University
community will lose a good teacher.

To the Daily:
I must confess that I am not
surprised by the numerous
historical inaccuracies in the
"Racism as Mythology" article
in the Daily. Given 'that Mr.
Newman is a supporter of a
president whose ideas and
politics are riddled with distor-
tions, the ignorance of history -
and the constant rationalizations
contained in the article are, un-
fortunately, quite typical.
It doesn't occur to Mr. Newman
that the situation for blacks in the
U.S. has historically been fun-
damentally different from the
circumstances encountered by
other ethnic groups. Jews, Irish,
and Poles didn't arrive in this
country in chains; they may have.
Danger from
To the Daily:
I am writing in response to the
article entitled "Environmental
factors pervade cancer picture"
which appeared in the Dec. 8
edition of the Daily.
What I found disturbing in this
article was the implication that
saccharin and other carcinogens
were only "potentially"
dangerous, seemingly long-shot
causes of cancer with very small
probabilities of occurring, as
provei by some studies done with
laboratory animals, a method
which has been under public
criticism for some time. This.at-
titude is embodied in the quote :
"All (the research) proves is that
this chemical (saccharin), given
in some hige dose, will cause
cancer in some animals."
Studies of carcinogens, using
laboratory animals are the most
effective weapons in the battle
against cancer because they are
preventative in nature. Of course
there are biological differences
between laboratory rats and you
or I, but there are enough
similarities to make this method
of research both viable and
useful. The alternative, studying
the effects of cancer in humans
who have already contracted the
disease, can be helpful in
allowing scientists to examine
the development of certain can-

been poor, but they had basic
political and economic freedom.
Since they were "like us," of
European descent, there were no
insurmountable economic
barriers for them. They didn't
have to seek corporate or gover-
nment special assistance, simply
because business and gover-
nment were not explicitly hin-
dering their economic and
political progress.
The ethnic groups with the
closest "involvement" with the
U.S. government, however, have
been forced to deal with the
government, and didn't simply
"choose the political route." Sin-
ce the government and the
prevailing economic forces chose
to have these "other" races bear
carcinogens
cers and observe their physical
effects, but do little in way of
preventing future cases, the true
battle in my mind. I believe these
studies (human) are relevant but
should be considered secondary
to their animal counterparts
which prevent cancer in the
future rather than examining the
irreversible physical effects in
the already doomed.
The most important thing we
can do is respect the serious im-
pdlications of carcinogenic fin-
dings by animal studies and
adhere to their health warnings.
The risk of ignoring them is sim-
ply too high..'
If saccharin is shown to cause
cancer in one person in 10,000 or
one in 100,000 for that matter,
shouldn't it be taken off the
market? Or should the cost of a
human life be weighed against
the possible profit of continuing
production? The pertinent
question is not if one will contract
cancer from these carcinogens
but the probability of doing so.
Ignoring the findings of these
studies (such as those on sac-
charin) and allowing them to
remain in production only in-
creases our precarious chances
of contracting this crippling
disease someday.
-Daniel O'Grady
December 10

the burden of economic develop-
ment, through slavery and
removal from homelands, blacks
and native Americans found
themselves "involved" with a
government that was using its
powers in a negative way. The
inevitable result of such policies
and economic conditions was the
struggle by those suppressed
races to achieve sufficient
politicalsocial, and economic
freedom to enable them to
become self-reliant. This
struggle, sadly, continues to be
necessary today, despite attem-
pts by the administration and its
disciples to rationalize the
struggle out of existence.
The minimum wage example
cited in the article is a further
demonstration of clouded
thinking. If there were no
economic barriers to opportunity,
for any ethnic groups in the days
before the minimum wage and
other "liberal" policies, one must
wonder"why blacks waited until
World War I to go north and "look
for their day in the sun." The
reason, of course, is because of
negative government, social, and
business actions; the examples of.
slavery and the "separate but
equal" doctrine come to mind. If,
furthermore, the low minimum
wage was such a wonderful thing
for blacks, one must ask why
there are virtually no 50-year-old
blacks, the teenagers of that time
of "economic opportunity" in the
1940s, in executive or powerful
positions. The answer is that
discrimination has blocked many
paths and discouraged many
people of brilliant potential.
Either Mr. Newman has, in his
ignorance, ignored these
historical facts, or he believes
that blacks are inherently lazy
people. Incidentally, the high
minimum wage still leaves the
worker in a minimum wage job
well below the poverty level.
Perhaps Thomas Sowell's
"American Dream" life story is
referred to-as a dream because it
was merely a dream for any
black person unfortunate enough.
to be born in the wrong place or.
time in this country. This exam-
ple only serves to point out how
many opportunities for advan-
cement Mr. Newman simply
assumes everyone has. Had
Sowell been born a few years
earlier, he very likely wouldn't
have ever gone to high school; he
would have been in a segregated
unit of the Marines (if he had
been allowed in at all-blacks
weren't accepted into the Marine
Corps until 1943), and would have
had virtually no chace of
becoming'an officer (the percen-
tage of black officers in 1948 was

approximately 0.5 percent); he
would have had a difficult time;
getting admitted to the college "f
his choice.
Mr. Newman apparently
doesn't know of the long history
of racial discrimination in the
U.S., and doesn't realize that it
took positive government action
to gain all of these basic social
freedoms for Sowell and other
blacks. Irish immigrants did'tO
need government intervention to
go to school-but remember, Mr.
Newman, goodiold George
Wallace "standing at the
schoolhouse door" of the Univer-
sity of Alabama just a few short
years ago?
Though I consider myself fairly
liberal, I don't think that the
government handing "down"
money to people considered in-
ferior is going to solve anything.
That doesn't mean, however, that
the government can do nothing
positive to help those who have
historically been at an economic,,
social, and political-disadvan-
tage, or that the government
cannot, act with compassion. In
fact, since institutions such as
government and business often
serve as the instruments of
racism for those groups in com-
trol of the institutions, only;,
positive government and
business action can hope to over
come the damage done by their
negative action in previous
years. The first big step our.
government- officials can take is?
in the direction of recognition of a
genuine problem deeply rooted ini
this country's history. Though a
few before him have at least.
recognized the problem, Reagan'
has shown that he intends to'
ignore the historical reality of
racism; instead, racism is.
rationalized away as
"mythology" and the newspeak;
of "self-reliance" is the panacea.
I have no way of knowing
whether President Reagan is'
fundamentally racist in intent.
He is, however, demonstratably
ignorant, especially in historical
matters. Since ignorance breeds,
racism, Reagan's policies are-
fair game for charges of racism.
Mr. Newman suffers from the:
same historical ignorance as
Reagan, but Reagan, unfor-
tunately, has- a great deal of
power. Both forget that this'
nation was founded by European
immigrants, and that black
people were brought here in.
chains. "Those who forget the
past are doomed to repeat it;' 'let
us work to prevent Reagan's
ignorance from leading this coun-
try to repeat the dismal, racist
events of its not-so-distant past.
-Jim Lewis
December 10

"TE RECESSION MAY BE DEEPER BECAUSE
YOU'RE NOT P0146 ENOLGH 3UYING"

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Apathy with a point

7

To the Daily:
Yes, current student apathy
towards political issues is ex-
cusable (Dec. 2, Gary Schmitz's
article). No, it is not inherently
dangerous that so few students
believe strongly enough in a
political cause to do something
about it (Dec. 8, Robert Lear-
ner's letter).
The fact that students are not in
active pursuit of a political
grievance is ndt a shortcoming of
the student's, rather it reflects
the notion that our political and
economic system is working to
the satisfaction of its citizenry.
The statistical fact that only
slightly over 50 percent of the
CORRECTION
Due to an error in typesetting,
the word "revolutionary" instead
of the word "reactidnary" ap-
peared in Michael Piret's letter
on Dec. 9. The sentence in the let-
ter honid have read. "The

citizens of this country vote in
presidential elections indicates to
me that, for the most part,
Americans are relatively content
with their life and the politico-
economic system in which they
live. Give us a controversial issue
such as Vietnam and you would
see apathy overcome. But for
now, let us be content, if you will,
without feeling the need to
fabricate a political gripe.
-Jeffrey Abrahamson
December 8
Weasel fan
To the Daily:
I had begun to think that the
posters were lying. The posters
that said, "Lence. Only in the
Daily." A month had passed and'
Robert Lence's comic strip
Weasel was still conspicuously
absent from the Daily's Opinion
Page.
Then last week I opened my

Illegitimate opinions

To the Daily:
I'm pretty disgusted!
Somewhere in our scholarly
community live a couple of
English classes which are using
the Daily's Opinion Page to get a
grade. Their objective: Get
something published, anything!
Who cares what it says or if you
believe it, just get the Daily to
publish it.
I have absolutely nothing

a few weeks back concerning the
creation of study days for mid-
term exams! How ridiculous! I
can't imagine that anyone could
possibly be serious about such a
comment.
These students are bombarding'
the Daily with their opinions
begging to have them published
to prevent getting a bad grade. I
can't tell you how pleased I am
that this is the end of the term,
not because I'm sick of school or &

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