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November 11, 1985 - Image 4

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-11-11

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OPINION

Page 4
m mt tigan tlu
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCVI, No. 48 420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

Monday, November 11, 1985

The Michigan Daily

Emotionalism denies logic

Shapiro '
U NIVERSITY President Harold
Shapiro has adopted a position
of silence on police brutality
at peaceful political demonstrations
on campus. It is time he clarified
his policy.
Although University Vice-
President Henry Johnson did at-
tend an open house held last week
by the Latin America Solidarity
Committee (LASC) (the group that
organized the Today show protest),
Johnson had no comment to make
on the University's recent actions
against LASC or other protesters.
The Michigan Student Assembly
has unanimously passed two
resolutions condemning police
brutality at the demonstration
against the Central Intelligence
Agency, as well as the use of
University security personnel and
Ann Arbor police to quash even
silent political dissent during the
Today show broadcast. The
resolutions called on President
Shapiro to apologize for the police
abuses and to ensure that similar
actions will not occur in the future.
Shapiro has not responded.
Reacting to concerns of City
Council members, the city ad-
ministrator is conducting an in-
vestigation into the activities of the
Ann Arbor police. The city will in-
vestigate allegations that in-
dividual officers have acted im-
properly and generally review city
policy regarding the use of police
force at legal demonstrations on
campus. Again Shapiro has offered
no counsel
During the Today show broad-
cast University security and police

silence
took a political banner out of the
hands of protesters. Shapiro has of-
fered no justification.
At the CIA protest staged at the
Career Planning and Placement
Office, there was no indication of
protester violence or illegal ac-
tivity, and in fact the protesters
made no effort to block inter-
viewees from entering the offices.
Last year, the University allowed
protesters into the offices of Career
Planning and Placement during
CIA recruitment to chant and talk
to people. This year Shapiro sent in
the police.
The use and abuse of police force
in response to peaceful protest
clearly intimidates students who
wish to express their legitimate
oppositions to such actions as the
CIA's mining of Nicaragua's har-
bors. On Tuesday, the 26 protesters
arrested at the anti-CIA rally will
start pre-trial hearings at the ex-
pense of their time and money, not
to mention the city's resources.
Since it was hopefully only an
isolated, unfortunate over-reaction
that Shapiro called in the police to
an initially peaceful demon-
stration, Shapiro should drop the
charges against the protesters.
By ignoring student and public
concern over the University's ac-
tions, President Shapiro only lends
credence to the protesters' claim
that the University is deliberately
repressing them for political
reasons.
The University's silence strategy
should not force the questions
raised by community members
regarding the police actions to die.

By David Kaufman
There once was a group of students who
knew what should be taught at a university,
what should not be taught, and what areas of
concern could be investigated by faculty
members. They assured everyone that their
reasons were based on "higher moral
grounds," grounds so sacrosant that no one
could or should question them.
This small, yet vocal minority was able to
legislate their beliefs into law. Certain sub-
jects could not be taught, discussed, or pur-
sued. Maybe the state of the economy
allowed such legislation to pass, maybe it
was the apathy of the majority, or the indif-
ference of the legislators. But whatever the
cause, it was a dangerous precedent.
Sometime later another groupfell into
favor and decided what could and would be
taught on college campuses. This second
group's beliefs were completely opposite
those of the first, however theirs were also
based on "high moral principles." So
Kaufman is a student at the Institute
of Public Policy Studies.
Wasserman.

"moral" were these precepts that those who
questioned were labeled heritics. They too
were able to legislate their beliefs on what
should be taught and what subjects deman-
ded further investigation.
The first group became impotent and
irate over the reversal of their "accom-
plishment." "So much work for naught,
because of a vocal minority," they thought.
How could such a travesty occur? Surely
there are safeguards which should allow in-
dividuals to study and learn about anything
that they wish. But somehow the logic the
two groups used over what should be taught
was based on ethical concerns paramount to
the freedom to study or to learn. "Lives are
at stake," they cried. Well, were there not
individuals who gave their lives for the
freedom to study or learn without inter-
ference? Many have paid the price so that
freedom can be enjoyed.
But why has the debate on "military
research" on campus not focused on these
issues, for these are at the crux of the mat-
ter. Often emotional appeals void of logic
are easier to wage against a largely disin-

terested populace. It is not whether "Star
Wars" or more appropriately SDI is good or
bad or whether it will improve our nuclear
deterence or not. It is not over whether this
will increase or decrease international
stability. The issue is not whether a certain
study will help lead to a new method to end
or abbreviate life. Not that these concerns
are unimportant, but they are related to
another debate. No research itself is
inherently "good" or inherently "bad." It is
what the research is used for that one can
attach value judgements.
Ths issue is whether one group can
prevent others from teaching or studying
certain phenomenon or occurances. There it
is. The proper (and only) role for a univer-
sity to take is to provide a forum for free and
open discussion of all the issues from all
points of view. Certain conservative
positions should not be excluded anymore
than liberal or radical ones. What would
happen if certain groups were able to ex-
clude certain avenues of discovery? The
parable at the beginning of this piece serves
as a reminder of what could happen.

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LETTERS:
Pro test m ultin ation als, no t just m ilitary

To the Daily:
"Daily should drop military
advertising" (Daily, Oct. 29)
written by Susanne Greenlee was
a letter of ignorance. In this let-
ter, she calls the military im-
moral, evil, frightening, and
based on "the ideals of money
and hypocrisy." She also points
out that to lessen the power of the
military, one must stop printing
military ads.
My reaction to this was that of
disgust. I cannot imagine why so
many people in this world blame
those in uniforms for the bad
things that happen around them.
What really should be said is that
in a world of information, so
many are misinformed and
misrepresented. Such is the case.

IBM, Texas Instruments, etc.,
who work with the military in one
way or another?
Without the military, we would
not be able to enjoy the freedoms
of this country. If we are to en-
sure world peace, we should

strive for human relations bet-
ween us and our enemies, and not
this "get rid of nuclear bombs
and the military" business.
Ignorant are those that hate those
that do their job, protecting this
country and "the principles

which made my country free."
Let us not use our freedom of
speech to deny someone else's
theirs.
-Darren L. Stout
October 31

Linking Israel and South Africa

To the Daily:
After reading Ronald Rogers'
letter ("Activists at the Height of
Fashion," Daily, Oct. 30), I
received the impression that he is
not current with the latest "styles
and trends" in current events. If
one were to cut out the campus
events mentioned, the only
"fashion" remaining is Israel
and South Africa. Except for a
short two paragraphs on cor-
porate investment and activity in

withdrawal, Syrian forces main-
tain a strong presence in Lebanon
and have a ruling hand. Maybe
we should ignore this presence
though, because Syria does not
even recognize Lebanon as a
sovereign state. Other violators
of peace are the religious and
sectarian factions within
Lebanon. A prime example oc-
curred this summer in two areas
called Sabra and Shatilla
(remember them?). A second

Making sense'?

'T HE RECENT compromise of-
fered by several record
producers to provide ratings for
their lyrical content is a shrewd
political move to fend off real in-
fringement of their artistic
freedom, although it does offer a
disturbing precedent for future in-
fringement.
19 record manufacturers have
agreed to voluntarily issue warning
labels concerning the lyric content
of their records or to print the
lyrics. Their move comes in
response to political pressure from
a coalition of parent groups and
several wives of influential
Senators calling for governmental
regulation of the industry.
It seems appropriate that rock
lyrics should be available to paren-
ts interested in monitoring what
their children hear, but it borders
on censorship when those lyrics are
categorically judged as "offen-
sive" by "concerned citizens."
In adopting their compromise of
self-regulation, the record industry
has probably taken the wind out of
the sails of the coalition, and while
that concession appears to be wor-
th the price, it may prove
problematic if a similar coalition
ever musters such support again.
While some of it may be of
questionable quality, rock music is
a form of art. As with all art, it
-- L~i'd . -

Rock music gets attention when
it meets the needs of the people who
want to listen to it. If teenagers are
drawn to particularly violent,
sexist, or satanic lyrics, it is not the
fault of rock music so much as it is
an articulation of problems un-
derlying society in general.
By the same token, network
television reflects a national ob-
session with specific definitions of
physical beauty and simplistic
ideals of vigilante-style justice
which are in some ways as offen-
sive as any of the worst rock lyrics.
The point is simply that censor-
ship, or any effective means of
banning such "art" does not attack
the root of the problem. Violence in
rock music is an outgrowth of youth
frustration and disenchantment
with what "inoffensive" society
has to offer.
Instead of trying to prevent
teenagers from hearing the type of
music they want to, the coalition
should work to understand why
teenagers are attracted to that
music in the first place.
Record producers have taken an
expedient route to sustain their
brisk business. They may have
done away with the likelihood of the
coalition imposing any serious
form of censorsism on the industry,
but in agreeing to some of the
coalition's demands have given
thtam n lac MM-m, + mav tn en

In the Constitution, especially South Africa, he links the massacre occurred at these!
in the Preamble, of which this problems in that country to camps, even more devas
country was founded and Israel. So let's face it, Mr. Rogers than the one in 1982. Yet vex
established, it is mentioned that is not a fashionable guy (by his people know about this
the citizens should "provide for own words) and has decided to because the media was
the common defense." If one is to target Israel. ALLOWED to report exten
protest the advertising of the Focusing on Lebanon, the only on this by the Arab parti
military, shouldn't he be violator of its "national volved. Such activity receiv
protesting the adverstising of sovereignty" is Israel. But what tle attention and protes
Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, about Syria? Even after Israel's because it was not "in style
Oromo struggle outside the media eye

same
tating
ry few
event
NOT
sively
es in-
ed lit-
t not
e" but

because the forces in power dic-
tated such results.
While on the subject of
violating national soveriegnty,
why only blame Israel? It is not
as if they have not been attacked
by other countries. In fact, only
one of Israel's neighbors has
recognized Israel's sovereignty
and this occurred in 1978. Should
we ignore the terrorist activities
of the PLO within Israel - acts
aimed at bus riders, shoppers,
and school children - since they
are not a country? Surely a
delegation recognized by the
United Nations can be held in
violation of national sovereignty.
One element of protest which is
in vogue is accurate information.
So, where is the evidence that
Israel is an arms supplier to
South Africa? A recent
Congressional Research Service
(a nonpartisan research
organization) study indicates
that France and Italy are the
main arms supplier to South
Africa and that "since 1977
weapons transfers have mostly
ceased..." In fact Israel only ex-
ported $69 million in goods to
Pretoria in 1983, or 0.4% of South
Africa's imports.
If activism and protest are
truly fashionable, and it seems
that Mr. Rogers is protesting
against the state of Israel, then
we ought to demand the current
style to include traditional
elements such as fairness, com-
pleteness, and accuracy.
-Eric Gould
October 31
by Berke Breathed

To the Daily:
Thank you for publishing the
plight of the Eritreans and
recognizing the hypocrisy in our
president's recent denunciation
of "Soviet Imperialism" in
Ethiopia ('Anguished Eritrea',
Daily, Nov. 4). The parade of
fickle alliances that have been
forged in the Horn of Africa reads
like a supermarket romance:
U.S. spurned when ex-lover
Ethiopia elopes with Russia
begins courting Somalia,
Russia's previous mistress, until
Ethiopia, unhappy bride, seems
ripe for an affair.. . but not until
she comes crawling back for aid.
All this intrigue generated by
the two superpowers' attempts to
protect "strategic interests" alo
ng the Red Sea might be amusing
if it were not for the wake of
human wretchedness that follows
the troops of desperate men, ar-
med to the teeth with Soviet and
American weaponry, as they
terrorize the countryside. These
bloody wars consume not only 30
Ipercent of Ethiopia's G.N.P., as
you point out, but also the lives of
the young and able-bodies who
could be out planting their fields.
In the southern landlocked
provinces of Ethiopia, another
human struggle is taking place

although their lands are fertile
and have not been affected by
drought. Currently the Ethiopian
government is carrying out plans
to resettle involuntarily famine
victims from the rebellious nor-
thern provinces into strategic
hamlets in the south. Thousands
of Oromos are being displaced
from their homelands and are
fleeing as refugees to neigh-
boring countries. U.S. trucks,
donated for grain transport, may
be aiding this forced resettlement
program.
Teferi Fufa, Oromo intellectual
now living in Minneapolis,
escaped Ethiopia as a college
student in 1972 and represents the
Oromo Relief Association in the
BLOOM COUNTY

U.S. Mr. Fufa will be speaking
here on our campus late in
November about the persecution
of the Oromo people and the role
of U.S. aid in Ethiopia.
An Oromo proverb states, "He
who stood by and watched the
slaughtering of the donkey felt
more guilty than the one who did
the slaughtering." I would add
that those who refuse to know
about the slaughtering of the
world's donkeys are implicated
in this guilt.
- Sandra Steingraber
November 4
Steingraber works with the
World Hunger Education Ac-
tion Committee.

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