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April 24, 1985 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-04-24

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OPINION

Page 4

Wednesday, April 24, 1985

The Michigan Daily

bta a n
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

A genocide never

exposed

Vol. XCV, No. 163

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

a

Rally today

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x

By Jilber P. Altinok
Today marks the 70th anniversary of the
first genocide of the twentieth century-the
1915 genocide of the Armenians perpetrated
by the Turkish Government. The anniversary
of this genocide serves as a reminder to the
world of atrocities forgotten by most but
always remembered by the Armenian people.
On April 24, 1915, the Ottoman Government
began a systematic massacre of 1.5 million
Armenians in an attempt to destroy the Ar-
menian race. This decision to eliminate a
whole race of people was not a hasty one; in
fact, it was the result of a prolonged and
careful decision initiated by high officials of
the Turkish Government.
In an attempt to conceal their intentions,
the Turks "deported" hundreds of thousands
of Armenians; only later did these victims
discover that the "deportations" led to star-
vation, * torture, hangings, and ultimately
death. The outside world was to be kept
Altinok is president of the Armenian
Students' Cultural Association.

CHANTS of "hey, hey, ho, ho, South
African stocks have got to go"
return to the Diag today in a show of
support for campus protests around
the country opposing apartheid.
With the chants, and speakers, and
banners, students here will- become
part of the latest surge in a wave of
campuses joining the Free South
Africa movement. But don't expect the
disobedience at other schools. Don't
expect students to chain the doors of
the Fleming Administration Building
and dub it Mandela Hall. Don't expect
the police to be called in and arrest 139
students as' in Berkley. It's not that
students here are any less militant, it's
just that the fight here is more com-
plicated.
Two years ago, after seven years of
protests, the University Board of
Regents decided to divest all but $5
million of the $50 million in stocks it
holds in corporations doing business in
South Africa. It was the largest
divestment of any public institution in
the country.

ignorant of these events until the annihilation
was completed and the possibility of inter-
ference eliminated.
The Turks' attempt to keep their actions
secret was unsuccessful; news of the horrors
taking place spread to the United States and
other countries. Eyewitness accounts of
American Consuls and Ambassadors
document these appalling events. In spite of
these documents and numerous photographs
depicting massacred and starved Armenians,
the Turks deny that the genocide occurred.
This continual denial by the Turks has per-
sisted for 70 years. As a result, not only did
the Armenians of 1915 suffer, but also the Ar-
menians of today suffer from the refusal of
the Turkish Government to acknowledge
what happened.
The Turkish denial has even gone as far as
to pressure the United States' State Depar-
tment into not acknowledging the per-
secutions of 1915. The State Department
refers to an "alleged" genocide while asser-
ting that the historical record of the 1915 even-
ts in Asia Minor is ambiguous. This is the
Department's position even though the Ar-
chives of the United States are filled with

credible accounts of the atrocities committed
by the Turks.
Sadly, it seems that the State Department
values the NATO alliance more than the
preservation of truth, justice, and basic
human rights. This is an embarrassing
position for one of the most humane countries,
in the world.
The refusal of the Turkish Government to
acknowledge the carefully planned massacre
of 1.5 million Armenians by its predecessors
is unthinkable. The Turks show no remorse
for the atrocities they have committed. They
continue to carry out a "silent genocide"
against the Armenian people by their in-
cessant denial of the facts, even though
documented evidence from credible sources
is prevalent.
The Turks must admit the actions of their
government to put an end to 70 years of silen-
ce. The State Department must acknowledge
the atrocities committed by its NATO ally.
Let us not allow history to repeat itself; our
mistakes of the past must be recognized if we
are to prevent the continual recurrence of
man's inhumanity to man.

Hard-core protesters will ask about
total divestment. $45 million is all well
and good, but why not all?
The regents say that only stocks in
businesses that provide employment in
the state are being kept. But the mat-
ter of total divestment is out of the
students's hands.
This is not to say that the University
will not totally divest. A 1982 state act
requiring the University to divest all of
its South Africa-related stocks is now
being challenged by the regents. They
say it is a threat to University
autonomy. Arguments from both sides
have been made and all that remains
will be the decision by Ingham County
Circuit Court Judge Caroline Stell. The
courts will decide about total divest-
ment.
If after the decision is made, the
University does not act for total
divestment, students will probably
return to the Diag-this time deman-
ding divestment. But for now, it's im-
portant to act in solidarity with the
national campus movement, which is
what today's rally is all about.

Letters
Regents ignorant on affirmative action

Darkness before dawn

To the Daily:
On Saturday April 20, you
presented the community with
the article "Recruting efforts fail
to meet goal." I am outraged by
the officials', in particular the
Board of Regent's, attitude on af-
firmative action. I claim that
they cannot afford to be
frustrated or disappointed about
the recruitment efforts. What
does that do for the University?
Who needs a Board of Regents or
a University president with a
tone that is pointless and con-
descending. The people at the
top, while they must be realistic
in their approach to the problem,
need to be more innovative,
eager and determined to do
something positive to correct the
problem.
Regent James Waters appears
to have a sensible approach. He
asks; why do people offered
positions reject them? The only
reasonable answer, which the
University is afraid to admit, is
that the University atmosphere

and policy are unattractive to
both women and minority in-
structors. These people are not
just bought. They should be given
a better reason to come to this
University. Reconsider the num-
bers presented. The ratio of
senior faculty between white
males, females, and blacks for
the years 1984-85 is 1325:165:40
respectively. The ratio for
assistant professors in the same
period is 360:161:19 respectively.
The roots of the problem are
extraordinarily deep. This
recruitment issue directly
parallels the atrociously low
minority enrollment at this
University. Have the Regents
never acknowledged the reason
why the improvement has not
been made? Because it's not that
easy to be a minority on our cam-
pus; because the discrimination
exists here day in and day out;
and because the University does
a lot of talking without taking ac-
tion to correct the heart of the
problem. The heart is our com-
munity's ignorance.

Where are the Regent's heads
at? Regent Sarah Power was
quoted as saying that "the
University should better
publicize the efforts it makes to
attract minority students and
faculty." What kind of rhetoric is
that? This University does not
need to better publicize anything
of the kind. It should straight out
improve the efforts. The officials
of our administration need to
concentrate with the University
first or their publicity will be
guilty of false advertising.
Then, there is Regent Roach.
Why is this man a regent? He
claims that this University's
problems are not atypical. Just
by the nature of this University
being atypical and one of the best
in the country, I do not want to
hear a regent compromise the
goals of affirmative action. He

also states that: "if we didn't do
this much, the problem would be
worse." What could be more ob-
vious? I say it is not enough. Why
don't you?
Finally, I think the entire ad
ministration should stop pointing
fingers. Ignorance, on the part of
the University toward affir-
mative action, is not bliss. Our
administration's attitude justi
shows that they are naive on the
issue. Some of the Bored of
Regents may not know what af-
firmative action is all about. I in-
vite them to take a class I had
last fall called. "Inequality in the
U.S." For such an intelligent
community, we have some ver
naive officials.

T HE STUDY carrels in the grad
library are full. There are no
empty seats in*the UGLi's reference
room. And once deafening dorm halls
are ominously quiet.
It's finals time, and at a university
as competitive as this one, that means
business for most students. Uncharac-
teristic studiers start pulling all-
nighters and habitual workaholics
begin on their comprehensive review
programs.
Friends passing one another no
longer say hello. They recount the
various term papers or finals they
have due in the coming week or com-
plain about not having slept enough.
Forgotten bills take their toll on
already depleted savings accounts and
jeopardize the long-planned farewell
binges.
And midnight philosophers, drained
from full days of studying, gather to
discuss whether it's all worth it.
All their questions will be answered
soon enough, though, when the dark
night of finals recedes into the dawn of
summer.

As backpacks give way to hackysac-
ks and jeans to Bermuda shorts,
thoughts of Nietzsche, invertebrates,
and carbon tetrachloride crystals fade
before worries about whether the sun
will stay out past 6 p.m.
The Diag invites the city's bored and
aimless to take part in discussions
covering most of the subjects students
did their best not to think of during the
school year.
Alarm clocks are stuffed into
drawers that hold reams of the now-
forgotten term's homework as "I'll be
up by noon," becomes an adventurous
motto.
And some students begin to look for-
ward, ironically, to the beginning of a
new academic cycle.
For now, however, as exams appear
interminable, it is comforting to recall
that just as thunderstorms grow
strongest before they fade and the
night darkens before the dawn, finals
will soon give way to the glorious
summer.

- Paul S. Cohen
April 22
ill

Daily racist as w

Trucks for Ethopia

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To the Daily.
By now, the famine stricken
country of Ethiopia has become a
household term. More than seven
million Ethiopians are facing
starvation, but America has
stepped in to respond to this
tragedy.
The Agency for International
Development (AID) has now
directed all its efforts to the
country in the hopes of
alleviating this problem.
American entertainers have con-
verged to form a group called
United Support of Artists (USA)
for Africa. This effort is expected
to raise up to $50 million for the
immediate and long term relief to
the population. Lastly, President
Reagan signed legislation last
week providing $1 billion in ad-
ditional aid for African famine
relief.
However, these funds are not
being effectively utilized by the
Marxist-run Ethiopian gover-
nment. Reports have been con-
firmed by AID that 56,000 tons of
emergency food is backlogged at
the African port of Aseb. Efforts
are being made to resettle the
population and bring the people
to the food instead of vice-versa.
Yet, the Ethiopian government
cites that the problem lies with
the trucks they use to move the
people and food to distribution
centers. Broken down and worn-
out parts have resulted in 40 per-
cent of the vehicles being out of
commission. As a result, lives are
being lost because of inefficient
trucks.
In lieu of all this I have taken
the initiative to write the public
relations departments of both
GM and Ford, requesting each
company to determine the
feasibility of donating ap-
proximately seven trucks to the
government of Ethiopia. I realize
that this is a tremendous request,

of the media, thus offering free
publicity and advertising to
generate future sales.
But I am only one concerned
person, and since there is power
in numbers, you, the reader,
must come into play. I have listed
the names and addresses of the
Public Relations offices that I
have contacted. Please take 10
minutes out of your busy
schedule to write them and in-
dicate that their participation
could be vital in saving millions
of lives. You don't have to
elaborate on the current con-
ditions, just let each respective
company know that you think
that it is a good idea for them to
donate their resources to a coun-
try in need (if you think it's a
lousy idea-go study. The Public
Relations department is not an
editorial office). Hopefully, if the
response is good, we may get a
foot in the door to achieving
something great. The addresses
are:
Mr. Jerry Sullivan
Public Affairs Manager
Ford Motor Company
Research and Engineering
Center
20000otundra Dr.-Blg. 1
Dearborn, MI 48121
Mr. Jerry Bishop
Public Relations Department
General Motors Company
3044 W. Grand Blvd. Rm 11-261
Detroit, MI 48202
Please write them im-
mediately, and thank you for the
consideration. "It's true we make
a better day, just you and me..."
-Scott Stewart
April 17
BLOOM COUNTY

To the Daily:
The Daily recently picked up,
with apparent glee, the Free
Press' poorly conceived story on
racism at the University
("Racism article stirs anger,"
April 13). A few days later (April
6) the Daily's Inquiring
Photographer interviewed
several Afro-American students
and employees who described
experiences with campus racism.
Now it's time for the Daily to
examine its own ranks, where a
sort of casual, callous, punk
racism seems to have become
contagious.
A few examples from just one
recent week: Your sportswriter
Adam Martin referred to
amateur boxers as "no-name
minorities" beneath his interest;
your fashion writer derisively
talked of "Jappy" styles and
your film critic Byron L. Bull
called the boycotted, reac-
tionary, pro-apartheid South
African movie, The Gods Must Be
Crazy, "the newest cult classic in
town and deservedly so."
It is reprehensible that such
expressions of racism, nastiness
and ignorance are oozing almost
daily from a student newspaper. I
could cite numerous other exam-
ples of slurs at Jews, Afro-

Americans, Asians and Hispanic4
in your publication.
Little wonder, isn't it, that
many Americans from ethnic
groups that have suffered from
systematic discrimination (the
so-called "minorities") are
discussing the recent increase in
whites who've succumbed to
racism. This is, of course, not a
phenomenon limited to students
at the University, nor to the
University itself.
The Daily's editorials againsi
racism are encouraging, but in
light of the weaknesses itbmust
overcome-the most severe of
which is the segregated com-
position of its staff and advisory
board-the Daily faces a real test
in becoming more effective in
fighting journalistic cases of the
racism that its editorials deplore.
One thing still puzzles me: Just
how do you and the commercial
press manage to ferret out and
quote only the two or three
atypical blacks who are
allegedly "frightened" by this
racism? You can rest assured
that most Blacks on this campus
or elsewhere are incensed, not
"scared," by racism, and are
ready, as always, to struggle
against it.
John Woodford
April 19

Z"

Letters to the Daily should be typed,
triple-spaced, and signed by the in-
dividual authors. Names will be withheld
only in unusual circumstances. Letters
may be edited for clarity, grammar, and 0
spelling.
by Berke Breathed
II W lU, FR.4AK4Y, iHgY tOsr 1
T #3ig/9 MIU.ION IN ,flyCH 4(.O

M2.'1 E7 AMAA

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