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March 23, 1982 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-03-23

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OPINION

Page 4

Tuesday, March 23, 1982-

The Michi

Mr. Administrator cleans up the facts

gan Daily

"Come in here, Ernest," Mr. Administrator
called out as his young assistant passed by his
office. "I want to talk to you a minute about this
draft you prepared for the University's new
publicity booklet."
"Sure, Mr. Administrator," Ernest grinned
confidently as he walked in. "I hope you liked
it-I really think it gives prospective students a
good picture of what this place is all about."
"That's why I wanted to talk to you," Mr.
Administrator smiled paternally. "Now I know
you're new here and don't quite understand
how we do things, so let's have a little chat."
"Great," Ernest exclaimed cheerfully.
Mr. Administrator started in as gently as he
could. "Let's take the cover, for example.
'Smaller but Whiter: An Introduction to The
University of Michigan.' Exactly what is that
supposed to mean?"
"WELL, WITH ALL the budget cutbacks and
falling black enrollments, I thought-"

"Now there's your problem," Mr. Ad-
ministrator broke in pleasantly. "Try not to
think too much." He snatched up a pencil and
started scribbling on the cover. "The proper
phrase is 'Smaller but Better,' see?"
"Sure," Ernest said, a little confused.
"Now over here on page three," Mr. Ad-
ministrator continued. "You wrote: 'Despite a
12-year-old promise by the University ad-
ministration to boost black enrollment to 10
percent, the number of black students on the
Ann Arbor campus continued to drop sharply
last year, plummeting 5.2 percent since Fall,
1980. Only one student in 20 at the University is
black, reflecting a dismal 4.9 percent black
enrollment rate.' Frankly, Ernest, I'm disap-
pointed. Don't you remember anything from
your 'Creative Statistics' course in Ad-
ministrator School?"
"But those figures are all accurate-"
"AND SO ARE these," Mr. Administrator
cut in again, handing Ernest a sheet of paper.
"Now, why don't you read this revised version
I've prepared?"
Ernest read: " 'Overall minority enrollment
at the University's three campuses was up a
whopping 3.2 percent last year, reflecting the
administration's renewed commitment to
minority recruitment goals.' '
"Pretty smooth, eh?" Mr. Administrator
beamed.

Ernest was aghast. "But that's so misleading,"
he protested. "You're mixing in figures for the
Dearborn and Flint campuses, and you're in-
cluding Asian and Hispanic students to gloss
over the declining black enrollment rate."
Mr. Administrator wasn't listening. "Let's
look at page ten. You wrote: 'University ad-
ministrators have targeted the Schools of Art,
Education, and Natural Resources for budget
cuts and possible elimination. Meanwhile, Pen-
tagon-sponsored research in hard-science
areas more than doubled last year.' I'm sorry,
Ernest, but I've had to rewrite this section
also."
ERNEST WAS beginning to sense a pattern.
"It was a little direct, I'll admit," he said
apologetically, hoping to avert the worst.
"Good. I'm glad you agree. Now, how does
this sound? 'Although the University is actively
fulfilling its patriotic duty by increasing defen-
se-related science research, other more
humanistic areas are hardly being ignored.
Many students polish their artistic skills by
doodling during lectures, and all ecology-
minded members of the campus community
are encouraged to visit the Nichols Ar-
boretum.' You see? Much better now."
"Of course," Ernest said dully.
"Over here on page thirteen," Mr. Ad-
ministrator breezed along. "You wrote:
'Although University administrators say they

are concerned about the plight of blacks in
South Africa, no progress has been made on
divestment of University holdings in cor-
porations that do business in that white-ruled
country. In fact, two University regents haye
admitted that the administration has failed to
comply with its own divestment guidelines.'
Now this is a little better, Ernest. You're get-
ting the hang of it."
ERNEST LOOKED up in disbelief. "I am?"
"Sure-I don't even have to rewrite this sec-
tion," Mr. Administrator said, scratching
furiously with his pencil. "Just cross out a few
words here and there and, presto! It's all set!"
Ernest read the revised paragraph. "Univer-
sity administrators are concerned," it said.
"That's it? That's all you're leaving?" Er-
nest gasped, his dying will barely managing to
flare. "What about divestment? What about the
guidelines? I thought-"
"There you go thinking again," Mr. Ad-
ministrator interrupted. "Look, we can't con-
fuse prospective students with all this stuff
about South Africa. Most of them don't even
know where South Africa is. This way,
everything's nice and general."
Mr. Administrator read the sentence again,
quite pleased with his handiwork. " 'University
administrators are concerned.' Kind of adds a
human dimension, don't you agree?"
"Yeah; great," Ernest surrendered. He felt

his mind going blank. His head started nodding
backand forth uncontrollably.
"VERY GOOD. And this section here about
the geography department-"
"Wait, I think I know," Ernest interjected,
his voice quavering into a monotone.
" 'Because most students don't even know
where countries such as South Africa are,
much less care about them, it was decided that
a geography department was unnecessary at
the University.' How's that.
"Brilliant!" Mr. Administrator blurted. "By
jove, I think you've got it!"
"Here's another one," Ernest droned, his
voice now totally flat, his eyes rolling back into
his head. "'In a move to protect the campus
community, University administrators recen-
tly decided to restrict public access to research
files, explaining that knowledge can be
dangerous.
Mr. Administrator was ecstatic. "Oh Ernest,
Ernest! You dear, sweet boy!" He leaped up to
hug his assistant, barely able to contain his
emotion. "You're one of us now! You're one of
us! Why, I think we might even promote you.
upstairs, to the University Record!"
"Smaller but better. Smaller but better,"
Ernest repeated vacantly as his boss kissed his
cheeks.
Witt's column appears every Tuesday.
-
By Robert Lence
TOUR
M5WE OPE TRAT BY 1990
NT. WE WILL HAVE AC4IEVEDA oR
JT 60AL oF CoNVERTIN6 THE
L BE ENTIREU -M cAMPU6 INTo A
ENT3,AMP SRAWUN6, M-TI-pIMENS NAL
p Ts. ROBOTICS PARK.

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Weasel

Vol. XCII, No. 135

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

WE IN TE.'U"RIERARCHY REALIZ.E
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IN THE S&CHOOL.S TO BE REVIEWV
ARE NO DOUBT A BIT ANXIOUS.
ON BEH4ALF OF THE AYMINISTRA11ON
X JUST LIKE TV AY A PEW WAD-
TO C-EAR THE AIR.
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THAT 009 PEONON TO
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THIS IS I3 f NO MEANS
UNINTENTI ONAt-.
do

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WHOL-E EVlUCAT I ON SY51
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TN~REr:ORE~, OVER THE N
6IV1:RAL Y~EARS We WIL
PH4ASIN& OUT TIhe.5"tA
PASIN& IN THE Rob

Placing blame

T HERE WAS A reason behind
Saturday's violence at the neo-
Nazi rally at the Federal Building. The
..,r,.e. iai, lr " Oln] nnr

which these revolutionary groups do
not have a say. This is not to imply that
the issues they address do not merit at-
tention-it is merely the method used

f
,,.

l

reason was neitn1L riogJia , AL
rationial The reason was, however, that is so utterly detestable.
founded in hypocrisy and the Banners flew at the City Hall rally
misguided actions of a minority of the proclaiming an end to the Reagan war
participants. drive-a philosophy well worth suppor-
ting, and yet completely out of place 15
Some of the various "radical" one was interested in protesting the
groups involved in the melee at the Nazi threat, not in capitalizing on the
Federal Building-the Committee to rally. Speakers blared their message
Stop the Nazis and the Coalition again- of confrontation at the crowd, claiming
st the Nazis-used Saturday's events to that the Nazis must not be allowed to
propagate their own beliefs. They march in Ann Arbor. In essence they
manipulated the anger of the crowd called for a suspension of the con-
and the confusion of the rally to spread stitutional rights of the marchers, and
the hatred of their ideas and the they supported their cries with threats
hypocrisy of their actions. of violent action.
Certain groups-the Spartacus Nothing could be more reproachable
Youth League and the Revolutionary than the methods of these groups.
Socialist League, to name a few-at- Their outlandish wars with the rest of
tended the rally in force because of the world usually make people laugh,
their virulent hatred of everything for but on Saturday, they caused trouble.
which the Nazi's stand. And yet these When a group's actions become so
same groups turned around and made absurd that they threaten the physical
the whole scene a horrendous spec- safety of innocent observers, they too
taclerunmatched in recent Ann Arbor shouldebe ignored, no matter how
history. horrible the ideology they are
This is typical of the way in which protesting against. Even though these
these groups operate. They represent radical groups were, in the end, on the
opportunism carried to its extreme. right side, their actions make it hard tot
There is never an issue on campus on call them allies.t
t 5

a ., , . . ..

LETTERS TO THE DAILY

Disappointed with Daily's cov

To the Daily:
I suppose that more than
anything else, I am disappointed
that in your coverage of Satur-
day's events (Daily, March 21),
you neglected to give the deser-
ved coverage to an im-
measurably important Ann Ar-
bor event. Sure, the Nazis were
here, and several violent confron-
tatins ensued; but what does an
enlarged headline and front and
back page stories of the clash bet-
ween neo-Nazis and other blood
hungry individuals prove? Isn't
this publication supposed to
educate its readers, to provide
equal coverage of equally impor-
tant events? Am I expecting too
much of a university newspaper?

The Ann Arbor community
rally, which occurred Saturday
at the Federal Building, was a far
more important happening than
the "mob clash". The purpose of
the rally was described as
follows:
"Our original reason for
gathering here today was the
Nazi 'visit' to Ann Arbor. We are
here, however, not solely to react
to the Nazis, but to make a st-
atement in favor of human
dignity and freedom. We have not
remained silent, nor have we
walked away. . . we affirm the
right of every human being to live
in dignity with the freedom to
make personal choices. This is
the antithesis of what the Nazis

represent, and this is our answer
to any such group."
The Daily staff member who
wrote the editorial, (Daily, Mar-
ch 21) should be reminded that
"92 years of ediorial freedom"
does not give one the right to
ignore reality. I was at the com-
munity rally along with hundreds
of other people and, at that rally,
none of us created what the
editorial referred to as a
"disgusting spectacle that drove
the Nazi hatred from our Ann Ar-
bor streets-with clubs, rocks
and abuse-all in the best fascist

erage..
tradition." I heard people spe,
of the beauty of humanity. I sivC
people who had never beforenr4
holding hands and singing sonr
of peace and hope. I saw me
women and children of differed'
religions, races and politidal
orientations together-peaceful
ly. Unless my knowledge ;ilj
skewed, that does not constitute
fascism.
The Daily should take a closer
look at the events on which it
reports.
-Elissa Driker
March 22

.

...and editorialflip-flops

0 .and rally violence

To the Daily:
This Saturday I had the unfor-
tunate experience of witnessing
the response to the Nazi demon-
strators in front of the Federal
Building. I do not wish to use this
space to condemn the Nazis. Let
it be accepted that everything the
Nazis stand for is hateful, ex-
ploitative, and intolerable. I do,
however, wish to express my
disillusionment with the actions
of those individuals who felt it
was their righteous duty to purge
the Nazis in a Nazi-type fashion.
In talking to different in-
dividuals, I dound that many had
the attitude that we must
physically put down the Nazis so
that they won't physically put us
down. One man chanted
something along the lines -of
"Cops, go home, let us deal with
the Nazis." The absurdity of such
thinking is readily apparent. To
hurt the Nazis so they won't hurt
others, to want to kill Nazis (as
some all too sincerely expressed that
they wanted to do) because they
could gain enough power to kill
others. To act like a barbarous
mob so that the Nazis will never
turn us into a barbarous mob

leave through the gentle per-
suasion of rocks and ice. A well-
placed rock could easily have
killed one of the fascist demon-
strators, a police officer, or an
unfortunate observer. Would that
have pleased some people at the
demonstration? Am I wrong to
worry?
Believing in a cooperative in-
ternational community, equality
and freedom for everyone,
socialism as a feasible and
necessary solution to the present
economic situation, and
unilateral elimination of nuclear
weapons-that is, believing in an
ideology that is the polar opposite
of Nazi fascism-I understand
the need for unrestricted
free speech.
The best way to put down the
Nazis is through peaceful protest,
as many organizations around
campus advocated. Such a plan
of action contrasts the
peacefulness of the anti-Nazis
with the violent and hateful
rhetoric of the white racists. The
action in front of the Federal
Building had the reverse
results-the anti-Nazis cause ap-
peared to be a violent one, while

To the Daily:
While it seems that the Daily
editorial board wrote consisten-
tly against a violent response to
the Nazi demonstration on Satur-
day, it surprised me to see that
the Daily needed two editors and
three reporters to write up the
"violent" demonstration.
It concerns me that the lines,
"They got action, They got
violence. They got bloodshed,"
from Sunday's editorial (Daily,
March 21) are as applicable to
The Michigan Daily reporters as
they are to the violent protestors.
Why did the peaceful human
dignity rally, ardently supported
by the editorial staff, deserve but
one reporter to cover it? Perhaps
with better coverage, someone
might have recognized that the
number of people attending the
peaceful rally was at least three
times that which was reported in

the Daily. Two Detroit television
stations and a local Ann Arbor
paper estimated the total atten:
dance at 1000.
The Daily did a great injustice
to those peaceful members of the
Ann Arbor community who at-
tended the Rally for the Affir,
mation of Human Dignity and
Freedom by accusing, in Sun-
day's editorial, the "peace-
seeking inhabitants of Ann
Arbor" of creating "a spectacle
as disgusting as any neo-Nazi
could have presented."
The success of the Human
Dignity Rally, despite earlier
violence, reaffirms the Ann Ar-
bor community's dedication to
rational and effective alter-
natives of preventing racism
through unity and education.
-Robert Levine
March 22

S

...and media attention

To the Daily:'
They got action. They got
bloodshed. They got everything
they wanted. Everyone got what
they wanted, especially the
media. They got meaty ink to
splat on their paper.
Yesterday I attended the rally

That hateful atmosphere was
turned into one of brotherhood
and strength.
When over a thousand (not 350,
as reported in the Daily) people
join arms, sway and sing "We
shall Overcome," you know that
there is hope for our planet.

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