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March 19, 1986 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1986-03-19

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I

OPINION
Page 4 Wednesday, March 19, 1986 The Michigan Daily

Sh~ tigan tly
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. XCVI, No. 114 42 anr t
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board

Open letter to Pres. Shapiro

Guard stay home

' ICHIGAN National Guard
members are taking part in
training exercises in Honduras, an
activity which bears no relevance
to their state responsibilities
Though the National Guard has
been drafted into foreign service in
previous wars, it is designed for
domestic defense, handling tasks
such as riots or disasters too large
for police to handle. The Reagan
administration has declared it does
not intend to send troops to
Nicaragua, but their actions ii-
dicate the opposite.
Any U.S. military presence near
the Nicaraguan border poses a
dangerous threat, since a small
skirmish could be used as a pretext
for conflict. Sending U.S. troops to

Central America increases the risk
of further military involvement
and heightens regional tension as
surrounding coutries feel more
threatened.
Unfortunately, Governor Blan-
chard has acquiesced, giving
Michigan's support to preparations
for combat. It would be better to
deny the administration's request
as Massachusetts Governor
Michael Dukakis has done. This
would avoid the phenomenal risk of
United States involvement and
make Michigan's statement again-
st such exercises. Unless Blan-
chard plans to declare war on
Nicaragua, he should not send
troops there in preparation to
fight.

By Hector Delgado
On November 15, 1985, a letter from Dr.
Thomas Holt (Director of the Center for
Afro-American and African Studies)
nominating Nelson Mandela for a Doctor of
Humane Letters degree was mailed to you.
Thus far the following individuals, and
numerous faculty members, have written
letters in support of the nomination: Nadine
Gordimer, noted South African writer;
Senator Donald Riegle, Jr.; Rep. George W.
Crockett, Jr., 13th District (MI); Reg.
Howard Wolpe, 3rd District (MI), Chair of
the subcommittee on Africa of the Committe
on Foreigh Affairs; Michigan state
representatives Perry Bullard, House
Judiciary Committee, and Carolyn C.
Kilpatrick, Majority Whip; Erma Hender-
son, President, Detroit City Council; Peter
Nazareth, President, African Literature
Association; Dr. Stephen H. Arnold, Editor,
African Literature Association and
professor, University of Alberta; Dr. Lamin
Sanneh, Harvard professor of religion; and
Dr. Elliot P. Skinner, Franz Boas
Professor at Columbia University and for-
mer U.S. Ambassador to the Upper Volta -
Burkina Faso. As of the week of March 10,
however, the last time the nomination
committee met, a decision on Dr. Holt's
nomination had not been made. If a decision
is not made soon, we will have no choice but
to assume that the university has decided
Hector Delgado is a member of the Free
South Africa Coordinating Committee.

against granting Mr. Mandela an honorary
degree. Meanwhile, we are very unhappy
with the treatment the nomination has
received.
According to the university's honorary
degrees policy, a pool of candidates is
"solicited in the early fall of each year..."
and "the final selection of three to five
recipients [is] completed by December."
The letter nominating Nelson Mandela was
received in time for the committee to con-
sider, but for some unknown reason the
university appears to have departed from
its normal procedures by not deciding one
way or the other on the degree. If you are
opposed to granting Mr. Mandela an
honorary degree, then you should so state
and publicly. A decision as important as
this simply cannot be swept under the rug.
In addition to this, the letters in support of
Nelson Mandela's were forwarded to the
committee, but it appears that committee
members were not receiving copies of these
letters. We do not understand why they
were not. We, however, provided commit-
tee members with copies in order to insure
that the nomination receive the fairest
treatment possible.
Wemare indeed disappointed that Mr.
Mandela has not been awarded an honorary
degree and that the nomination has not
received the treatment the nomination of
someone of Nelson Mandela's stature
merits. Mr. Mandela, an extraordinary in-
dividual in his own right, symbolizes the
struggle of blacks in South Africa to disman-
tie apartheid. In his twenty-three years of
imprisonment, he has refused repeatedly to
comprise the highest ideals to which anyone
or any institution can aspire. During his

trial, Nelson Mandela said, "During my
lifetime I have dedicated myself to the
struggle of the African people. I have fought
against white domination and I have fought
against black domination. I have cherished
the ideal of a democratic and free society in
which all persons live together in harmony
and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal
for which I hope to live for and to achieve.
But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am
prepared to die."
We challenge you to display the same
conviction Mr. Mandela and others in South
Africa display every second of every day, by
awarding an honorary degree to Nelson
Mandela or, at least, by stating publicly that
he does not merit one at this time. Your
policy states that the final selection is based
"solely on the distinction of the con-
tribution" of the individual. Are there con-
tributions to freedom and the respect for
human life and dignity that overshadow
Nelson Mandela's?
This Thursday, March 20th, the Regents
are meeting in the Fleming Building. At 4
pm the meeting is open to the public. We are
urging everyone who believes that the
university should award an honorary degree
to Nelson Mandela to attend. This will kick
off two weeks of action against apartheid,
culminating with a march and rally April
4th, commemorating the day Martin Luther
King, another great freedom fighter, was
assasinated. The march will begin in the
Diag at 10:30 AM. The university can make
a meaningful contribution to these activities
by awarding an honorary degree to Nelson
Mandela and by divesting itself of all stocks
and bonds it holds in companies under-
writing apartheid in South Africa.

I
I

I

Wasserman

Handling Marcos

F ORMER Philippines president
Marcos asked the State
Department to find him asylum
outside the United States because
he is not receiving "the dignity and
respect promised him" by Nevada
Senator Laxalt and Secretary of
State Schultz. Though no country
has yet consented, the State Depar-
tment would permit him uncon-
ditional departure and return. This
is a contradiction of U.S. policy.
Though the American media
may antagonize Marcos, allowing
him to leave is not the "rational"
solution the Reagan Ad-
ministration contends it is. The
United States was forced to take
Marcos to secure the safety of a
one-time ally and to strengthen
relations with President Aquino.
Allowing him to leave is irrespon-
sible to her new government. The
United States should attempt to
return all illegally taken wealth the
Marcoses have accumulated in this
country and abroad.
Marcos is leaving in order to
protect his vast wealth amassed at
the expense of the Filipino people.
The Congressional committee.

looking into the validity of Marcos'
money and repressive policies of
his regime has already prevented
Marcos' closest aide, General Ver,
from leaving the country. Marcos,
too, fears subpoena, which is likely
if he remains in the United States.
However obvious the link bet-
ween Marcos' billions and the ex-
ploitation of the Philippines, it will
be difficult to establish in the cour-
ts. The willingness of the State
Department to allow Marcos'
return is a ploy to entice another
nation, fearful of offering per-
manent asylum, to take him.
Giving Marcos free reign to come
and go as he wishes sanctions his
past actions and allows him to
escape trial-undermining United
States-Philippine relations and
ignoring how Marcos wasted U.S.
tax dollars on his personal fortune.
A better solution would be insisting
that he stay at least until Congress
can decide whether he will be sub-
poenaed. Later, he should have the
option of leaving for good or
remaining. In either case the im-
properly acquired billions should
return to the Philippines.

THE N1CA~AvANS a
CONSORTI N&
wMTH LIYa~,"
1~IRAAN 4
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World class leadership

LETTERS:

I

Daily story gives one side of SAM

REA STUDIES are an
academic contribution to the
breaking down of walls between
entire peoples. The University is
taking a real step in world leader-
ship by recently granting
fellowships to scholars from across
the country to use the area studies
centers here.
Often American impressions of
foreign societies come from the
mass media, which tend to focus on
geographical conflicts. If one read
the American papers on Central
America, one might easily think
that Central Americans are either
Soviet tools or so-called freedom
fighters backed by the United
States.
After the revolution in China and
during the revolution in Vietnam, a
: vision arose of yellow hordes
spreading communism across the
globe. Many people entered East
A .. i..7... ..L .... .U -- ..n

standing of foreign societies and
histories is not the turf of any one
social science. Still, without an un-
derstanding of African, Middle-
Eastern and other societies at a
close level, it would be impossible
to build or apply important
theories in political science,
economics, sociology and an-
thropology.
Area studies these days often
seem beleaguered. On the one
hand, universities across the coun-
try are cutting back and stifling
Afro-American and African studies
because of a perceived decline in
the activism that forced these sub-
jects onto university agendas. On
the other hand, as Nadav Safran's
resignation from Harvard's Middle
East Studies showed this past year,
the C.I.A. is attempting to rebuild
and strengthen area studies to
make use of area studies programs
fn ;adite nwnuiirnaP

To the Daily:
During the last week, I found
myself appalled by the narrow
and unjust treatment which was
brought upon the members of
Sigma Alpha Mu by the Michigan
Daily. Yes, we did pay out a con-
siderable amount of money to fly
in the entertainer, Bill "The Fox"
Foster, from California to put on
a show for us. However, per per-
son the cost was no more than
going to see a concert, or taking a
friend out to dinner. (Each
fraternity member was allowed
to bring a guest at no additional
cost.) Thus, I suppose it will only
be a matter -of time before an ar-
ticle in the Daily appears con-
demning those who frivolously
spend their money at the movie
theatre.
In the interest of fair play, I
would like to take this time to
bring the Daily staff and its
readers up to date on a few of the
ntharn.. nH rui t Pe nnnenr.ad 1%u

these annual fund raising events,
the Daily may be interested to
know that our chapter is proud to
carry one of the highest average
GPAs among fraternities on
campus, along with being a run-
ner-up for the Founders Cup, an
award given to the best Sigma
Alpha Mu chapter in the nation.
Moreover, the members of our

chapter are also concerned with
the community itself as eviden-
ced by the over twenty members
who are enrolled in "Project
Community", and spend many
hours each week volunteering
their time at local hospitals,
juvenile detention centers, etc.
We at Sigma Alpha Mu are
very proud of our chapter, and

can only be dismayed and in-
sulted when a fine paper like the
Daily clearly only reports one
side of the story. I hope that in
the future, the Daily will be a lit-
tle more selective in the events
which they choose to cover.
Eric Rosenberg
President, Sigma Alpha Mu
March 13

Controversial statement misquoted

To the Daily:
In Kery Murakami's article,
"Parks urges Blacks to continue
struggle," (3/11/86) he writes,
"Student aid, she said, is 'just
one of those things young people,
and old people who can register
to vote can take care of.' " First
of all, this is a misrepresentation
of Rosa Parks' statement. She
was responding to a question
from the audience asking her
opinion on the Reagan ad-

old people who can register to
vote can take care of," the "it"
referring to President Reagan, not,
student aid. It seemed entirely
obvious to the rest of the audience
what Mrs. Parks was implying,
judging from their loud applause.
If the other six hundred people
(the Daily's own estimate) in the
audience understood her
meaning, I find it hard to believe
that your reporter could have

controversial statement against
the President, it should have been
left out of the article entirely. I
realize that the words "student
aid" were not placed in
quotations in the article, yet the
meaning of Rosa Parks' stat-
ment was dramatically altered
by the wording. I'm finding it
easier to believe the claims of
other students that the Daily
frequently misquotes statements
in its articles, especially since in
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