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January 24, 1986 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1986-01-24

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OPINION

Page 4

Friday, January 24, 1986

The Michigan Daily,

Eit adCbatTheUivy Migal
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Discrimination still exists

Vol. XCVI, No. 81

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

A woman
WEDNESDAY MARKED the
thirteenth anniversary of
the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade
decision, which legalized the right
of women to have abortions. This
decision should stand.
The philosophical debate over
abortion will never end. "Right-to-
lifers" will continue to believe that
human life begins at conception,
and that abortion is therefore
murder. "Pro-choice" advocates
will continue to maintain that a
fetus is still part of the mother's
body, and that abortion is a per-
sonal decision. No medical findings
can determine when "life" begins,
this is a matter of philosophical or
religious belief. Since the
metaphysical question is moot, one
should consider the practical
arguments for abortion rights.
Abortion is often the only
reasonable choice. Pregnancies
that result from rape, incest - or
in which the mother is too young,
too poor, or otherwise incapable of
caring for a child - should be ter-
minated. Opponents of abortion
rights advocate the "right to life,"
but they say nothing about the
quality of that life. When a woman
(or a girl) wishes to abort a fetus,
she is saying something about her
ability to take care of a child.

's cho ice
Society should not second-guess
her.
Right-to-lifers claim that a
woman in dire circumstances
should bear the child and give it up
for adoption. However, in many
cases, such as the one of a twelve-
year-old who has been raped, the
psychological and physical effects
of completing the pregnancy would
be ruinous.
Abortion is a reality. Regardless
of the law, women determined to
end their pregnancies will have
abortions. Wealthy women will
always be able to find a competent
physician and sanitary conditions,
even if they have to travel abroad.
Poor women cannot afford that
luxury, and in desperation will ac-
cept life-threatening, back-alley,
coathanger abortions. If abortion
is illegal, the government has no
way of enforcing safe standards.
Making abortions illegal does not
stop them; it just makes them
more dangerous.
Opposition to abortion rights is
vehement, and President Reagan
serves as the vanguard. As Reagan
promised a crowd of right-to-lifers,
"We will continue to work together
with members of Congress to over-
turn the tragedy of Roe v. Wade."
Hopefully this statement is just the
quacking of a lame duck.

By Ken Berman
According to the present administration,
racism - a problem that hasstouched vir-
tually every political, social, and
economic aspect of American growth and
life since the signing of the constitution - no
longer exists. Attorney General Edwin
Meese along with cohorts Brad Reynolds
and Clarence Pendleton is attempting to
destroy over two decades of civil rights
progress with a proposal that would negate
the executive order signed by Lyndon John-
son in 1965. This order mandated that
federal contractors promote the hiring and
advancement of blacks, hispanics and
women in reasonable proportion to their
numbers in each local labor market. The
same plan also seeks to wipe out affirmative
action for good. The Meese-Reynolds-
Pendleton bill is stated under the two
premises that 1) racial and sexual
discrimination no longer exist in America,
and 2) the intent of the founding fathers was
that the constitution be color blind.
In the past few months various local, state
and national incidents of discrimination
arising from racism haveoccurred.aLess
than ten weeks ago a black couple and a
biracial couple in a predominantly white
Philadelphia neighborhood were slandered,
harassed and insulted merely because they
became residents there. Charles and
Marietta Williams and their seven year old
son lost their home for being black in a town
of whites. They moved in on November 16
and within three days became the focus of
white crowds gathering outside their house
chanting "we want them out!" Similarly,
Ken Berman is an Honors freshman in
LSA.

the biracial couple, Gerald and Carol Fox,
sufferred from racist hostility and van-
dalism. It became so violent that Mayor
Wilson Goode had to declare a state of
emergency to quiet the racists. The
Williams' still decided to leave. These law
abiding citizens who exercised their rights
without infringing on others, became
victims of discrimination because of their
color.
This harassment is not uncommon. Last
year, at least two black families were
buried out of their homes in Chicago due to
racist violence. Less than two months ago,
black homeowners in Maplewood New Jer-
sey became the target of racist vandalism.
This week, four real estate companies in
Nassau County, New York are being sued
and investigated for promoting housing
segregation by steering black home buyers
to areas with large black populations while
showing whites of similar incomes homes in
virtually all white areas. The University it-
self is a victim of racist vandalism. The
closing of the parks in Dearborn to non-
residents is another example of racism
existing in our society today. As for the first
premise of the Meese-Reynolds-Pendleton
proposal: "You don't need a weatherman to
tell which way the wind blows."
The second premise (that the Constitution
was meant to be colorblind) is blatantly
false. The Constitution of the United States
was everything but colorblind when it
legitimized slavery in half the nation while
counting a black slave as three-fifths of a
human being. Many of the creators of the
constitution were slaveholders. It was not
until 1870, with the ratification of the 13th,
14th and 15th amendments that slavery was
reversed in principle by the Constitution.
However, only with the civil rights

movement over twenty years ago did the
real change finally begin to take place. Lyn-
ching of blacks didn't officially terminate
until 1956. "Seperate but equal" social
status was backed by the Supreme Court un-
til 1964. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the r
Voting Rights Act of 1965 finally legalized
and affirmed black humanity, U.S. citizen- N
ship, and rights as citizens. It took America, 9
"land of the free," almost two hundred
years to allow all men to be treated as
equals under law.
Yet blacks were still victims of racism
and physically and psychologically
damaging white discrimination. Blacks are
disproportionately concentrated at the bot
tom of the social and economic ladder in
American society, with little upward'
mobility. Now, the Reagan administration
is striving to take that ladder out from their
hands, turning the calendar back thirty
years.
The federal government is ignoring the
active racism in America. This is inex-
cusable. If this bill is passed it will mark a
return to the ignorant prejudice of pre-civil
rights America. However, we no longer
have the excuse of ignorance. The gover-
nment can no longer hide from this obvious
problem. The irrationality of racism was
brought to the world's attention with the
civil rights movement over twenty years
ago. This issue must be confronted rather
than avoided. Racism is an issue which in
volves all mankind. Color does not seperate
humanness. Color is merely skin deep, bait
humanity transcends the skin. It is the link
which allows man to coexist with each other
in a civil, humane and rational manner.
Why must men strive to break this precious
link?

-- .

Wasserman

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IN GEORGE Orwell's nightmare
vision of the future the state runs
a lottery for the working class
proles which no one ever wins. In a
similar manner many states now
run lotteries which instill in their
citizens a false, fatalistic hope for
easy wealth.
A major problem with the lottery
is the extent to which it preys upon
the desperation of the people who,
because their futures are bleak
turn to gambling as their only hope.
A Maryland survey found that the
poorest one-third of the state's
households bought half of .all
weekly lottery tickets sold there.
Advertisements which promote the
lottery contribute to an illusion
about the system leading many
people to become addicted to it.
Through the lottery the state is
sponsoring an insidious form of
regressive taxation.
By linking success with easy
money the lottery perpetuates
materialistic values instead of
promoting self worth through job
training programs which have
decreased with recent budget cuts.
A truly progressive tax could fund
such work programs. Instead, the
state self-righteously condemns
vice while making itself the largest
bookie.
Being against the lottery does not
imply taking a paternalistic at-

titude to society or to the poor in
particular. The lottery harms
people who have become addicted
to it from the middle as well as the
lower classes. The poor are most
likely to see themselves as having a
bleak future.' As members of
society they have a right to expect
help in their efforts to pull them-
selves out of poverty. A supporter
of the lottery recently said that
"unlike life, in the lottery everyone
has the same chance." Offering
everyone in the six and a half
million odds is not a blow for social
justice.
Despite the injustice of the lot-
tery, states often justify its
existence by the fact that it in-
creases revenues at a time when
the public is unwilling to accept tax
hikes. However, 40 percent of lot-
tery revenues go back into the
system for prizes and promotions.
The money which does go into
education does not increase
education expenditures but
replaces money which gets diver-
ted elsewhere. Also, money
received through lottery ticket
sales replaces money which could
have been raised through sales tax.
If the state was interested in
making money by any means
available it could sell narcotics or
other addictive drugs. This,
however, like the lottery, would be
wrong.

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LETTERS:

More on the Palestinians and Israel

To the Daily:
At the risk of sparking an en-
dless literary "point Counter-
point," I would like to counter
Hilary Shadroui's response
"Zionism is Racist in Israel,"
(1/20/86). It seemssthat Shadroui
needs a bit of a history lesson
herself before she asserts that
others are spreading propagan-
da.
First of all, and contrary to
Shadroui, Palestine was
primarily a barren wasteland
before the Jews settled it. The en-
tire Huleh Valley in upper Israel,
once a malaria-ridden swamp, is
nw one of the most
agriculturally productive areas
in the world. The hills around
Safed, once totally barren, are
now heavily forested. The
Israelies are considered the
foremost experts in desert
agriculture and land
relamatinn .and the notion that

tlers this land only because it was
so infertile, they assumed the
Jews would quickly give up the
notion of ever growing anything
worthwhile and would leave
Palestine. Even though this new
Jewish state was logistically im-
possible to defend from its in-
creasingly belligerent Arab
neighbors, the Yishuv Central,
the official Jewish government,
agreed to the partition. It was the
Arab states and the Palestinian
leaders (i.e. Haj Amin Husseini,
Fawzi Kawjuki, etc.) who did not
accept the partition plan, vowing
to "drive the Jews into the sea."
The Israelis begged the
Palestinian fellaheen to stay out
of the ensuing battle. Some did,
most didn't. As everyone knows,
the Israelis won their war of in-
dependence, indeed capturing
land not allocated to them by the
U.N. partition plan. However,
considering the belligerence of its

irresponsible and unfair. It was
the Arab leaders who sold out
their Palestinian "brethren" by
promising them the land of their
Jewishneighbors if they would
fight the Israelis. It was Jordan
that annexed the West Bank,
which was supposed to comprise
most of the Palestinian state, yet
the PLO never declared war on
the Jordanian people.
Shadroui contends that the
PLO is not anti-Semitic, but an
anti-Zionist organization. Tell
that to Mrs. Bernard Klinghoffer,
to the relatives of the Jews mur-
dered in cold blood on the Maltese
jetliner, or to the Jews standing
at the Rome and Vienna El Al
counters who were targeted just
because they were Jewish. The
PLO, by reason of its actions has
declared war on the entire Jewish
people, not just the Israelis.
Palestinians claim that the
PLO is fighting a legitimate bat-

Olympic athletes, and people
worshipping in synagogues? Why
does the PLO place its militar
basestin the midst of civilian
when it knows tht innocents will
inadvertantly become targets,
literally hostages to the PLO?
The PLO is a ruthless
organization of murderers that
indiscriminately kills Jews of all
ages, nationalities, and political
persuasions, yet the Palestinians
have chosen this organization to
be theirhspokesman. Is it any
wonder that the Israelis requir
Palestinians to carry I.D.cards,r
submit to searches? The Israelis
are scared. The PLO has shown
that every Jew is a potential
targeteso the Israeli government
is reacting in the only way it can.
This unfortunately results in the
loss of civil rights for many in-
nocent Palestinians. However,
until the Palestinian people
renounce the PLO as its leader-
chi thaw wll n__ _ rui 41

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