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April 04, 1986 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1986-04-04

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4

OPINION
Friday, April 4, 1986

Page 4

The Michigan Daily

I

Edite ma bs ant Mic
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

INS censors critical writer

Vol. XCVI, No. 126

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board
Council elections

MONDAY'S Ann Arbor city
election results will deter-
mine the action the city takes at a
crucial time in its history. The
questions of how to deal with
development and fixing the roads
could well be decided by the
results.
The Daily endorses the following
candidates:
Ward One: Larry Hunter, the in-
cumbent Democrat, for reelection.
Hunter's accomplishments on
council have been significant.
When the Department of Housing
and Urban Development wanted to
foreclose on the Arrowhead
housing project, whose mortgage it
held, Hunter arranged for the city
to loan money to the project and
pleaded with HUD officials in
Detroit to save the project. Hunter
is also responsible for golden cab
service, which provideds one
dollar cab service for the elderly.
Hunter arranged for the city to hire
a human services consultant to
coordinate ways in which the city
can aid its lower income
population.
Hunter's opponent Debra Shan-
non, does have some innovative
ideas about changing the housing
code to incease the number of
saleable units. She also feels that
essential items in the city budget,
such as roads, shoult be funded
directly by the city with less
"essential" items such as human
services being placed on referen-
da. Her campaign suffers from an
emphasis on denigrating Hunter's
accomplishments and a vagueness
regarding which programs should
be on the ballot.
Ward Two: In this election,
which pits two term incumbent
Republican Jim Blow against
challenger Seth Hirshorn, the
Daily endorses the candidacy of
Seth Hirshorn.
Hirshorn, a U-M professor of
public administration, has run an
energetic campaign in which he,
unlike most of his fellow can-
didates, has attempted to reach out
to the student voter. He believes
that safety at night is an important
issue which the city needs to ad-
dress for those students living in
off-campus housing. Hirshorn feels
that it is essential that the city in-
crease the manpower level of its
police force, something which has
not been done since 1973.
Hirshorn takes a creative, idea
oriented appraoch to the issues. He
opposed the Huron Plaza develop-
ment and offered an alternative.
Megastructures are simply inap-
propriate for Ann Arbor, he
argues. Instead he emphasizes
"diversity" on a "human scale."
Hirshorn has taken the initiative in
supporting a long overdue cleanup
of the Huron Riven and with his
background in public ad-
ministrationis well equipped to in-

sure that the city bureaucracy
performs efficiently.
His opponent, Jim Blow, has not
been known as a particularly ac-
tive councilman in terms of
proposing legislation. Though he
does do a good job of getting input
fr.nm hie nnneti.-an eati i crimd o

Ward Three: In this race the
Daily endorese Democratic
challenger Susan Contratto over
incumbent Jeanette Middleton.
Contratto's background with the
assault crisis center makes her
well equipped to deal with the
problem of sexual assault. She
proposed ways to make parking
structures, bus stops and parking
lots safer places to be at night and
would redirect police priorities
toward a greater emphasis on
sexual assault.
Middleton has exercised in-
dependence as a member of city
council and has supported city in-
volvement in human services. But
like Jim Blow, she has been
excessively eager to support de-
velopment.
Ward Four: The Daily endor-
ses Democratic challenger David
DeVarti over incumbent Gerald
Jernigan.
This race is very close in that it
features two strong candidates.
DeVarti is the better choice
however because of his strong
grasp of the issues, his knowledge
of the city gained from living here
his entire life, and his involvement
with students and concern about
the issues which affect them.
DeVarti plans to make police
behavior during protests an issue
when it comes time to review their
-funding if necessary. DeVarti is
strongly in favor of Proposal A
which would oppose U.S. Interven-
tion in Central America. He sup-
ports the extension of Nite Owl
Service to students living in off-
campus housing as a way to insure
safety at night. DeVarti supports
residence parking permits which
would help alleviate the congested
parking situation around off-
campus student housing.
Jernigan has in many ways been
a strong asset to the Republican
caucus on city council through his
intelligence and ability, to work
with Democrats. His investment
expertise is also very beneficial on
council. Jernigan joins his fellow
Republicans, however, in arguing
unconvincingly that Proposal B is
not needed to fund the roads and
ignores the opinions of the people
in neighborhoods around the Huron
Plaza proposed development.
Ward Five: In this ward incum-
bent Democrat Doris Preston is a
better choice than challenger Phil
Spear.
Preston responded to the feelings
of the residents of her ward by
decisively opposing the Huron
Plaza project which would have
had a disruptive impact on fifth
ward neighborhoods. She poushed
through the Downtown Develop-
ment task force to provide a
criterion for supporting future
projects. She strongly supports the
creation of low-income housing in
Ann Arbor and new apartment
buildings in the campus area,
through new zoning or building
codes if necessary.

Phil Spear, a long-time Ann Ar-
bor realtor, seems somewhat out of
touch with much of what is going
on. He says that he believes 99 per
cent of landlords in Ann Arbor do
an excellent job of responding to
th eir tena nts' compnlaints.

By SholeyArgani
For many progressive writers at the PEN
congress in January, the tyrannical spirit of
the American 1950s seems once again to be
afoot. Uneasy, these people signed a letter
addressed to the opening speaker, Secretary
of State George Shultz: "As you are
probably aware, a number of writers and
editors here feel that it is inappropriate for
you to open the 48th International PEN
congress... the Administration you represent
has done nothing to further freedom of ex-
pression, either here or abroad." Many of
us are aware of our troubling role of suppor-
ter of regimes, whichviolate individual liber-
ties of expression and association. But what
of repression here, in the land of the free? A
better kept secret than our international in-
terventions is the profound hostility to
dissent frequently evidenced by the Reagan
Administration. More and more boldly, the
President and his men have taken steps
towards defining and punishing objectionable
ideas.
A particularly disheartening instance has
been the use of the "ideological exclusion
clause" of the McCarran-Walter Act to
prevent the entry into this country of public
figures at odds with U.S. policy. This law,
which was passed over Truman's veto in the
McCarthy era, has done service in the past
to exclude from American soil such un-
desirable characters as Pablo Neruda,
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Graham Greene,
and Hortensia Allenda, widow of Chile's
slain President. But this is not all of its
history. The exclusion of Margaret Randall
has provided a dramatic recent example of
the INS' attempts to keep America
ideologically pure. For Randall, an author,
photographer, and political activist, what
began as an attempt to regain her American
citizenship has turned into a nightmare.
Using the laws and tactics of Red-baiting,
the government has launched a vendetta
against a woman who, as the author of over
forty books, "participated in developing a
literary genre which seems particularly
threatening to the current interpreters and
enforcers of immigration law in this coun-
try." When Reagan aspires to the
privileges of dictatorship, our fundamental
freedoms are in danger.
Argani is an Iranian American and
feminist.

At first sight, Randall's claims to return
to the state of New Mexico are impressive.
Born in America in 1936, Randall moved to
Mexico with her son in 1961. Not long after-
wards, married to a Mexican poet and sup-
porting three small children, she took out
Mexican citizenship. As she explains, "It
was a way of enlarging my job possibilities
in a time of financial need, an economic
move - not, as some have tried to claim, a
political statement. Given bad advice by
her lawyer and mistakenly believing she
had no other option, she also signed her
American citizenship away.
Writing has been an integral part of Ran-
dall's unusual and rewarding life. As a
young woman, co-founder and editor of the
bilingual quarterly The Plumed Horn, she
helped to bring to the American reader the
powerful literature of Octavio Paz, Ernesto
Cardenal, Vallejo and Cortazar. An artist in
her own right, she provides valuable infor-
mation about men and women in the Third
World. Most notably, in Sandino's
Daughters (1983) she intersperses inter-
views with commentary, photographs and
poetry to create moving images of lives and
ideals in revolutionary Nicaragua.
In early 1984 Randall returned to New
Mexico to be near her elderly parents,
married an American, and filed for a green
card, a first step toward American citizen-
ship. Randall's parents, husband, sibling,
and oldest son are all American citizens;
therefore, by INS rules regarding
unification of families, she is entitled to top
priority. In this case, however, the INS
refused to grant her citizenship, because,
"her writings go far beyond mere dissent,
disagreement with, or criticism of the
United States or its policies..." Who can say
where "mere dissent" ends and dangerous
sedition begins? The INS has appointed it-
self the national watchdog.
Randall has been forthright about her
support of radical ideas, In the wake of the
Attica prison rebellion of 1971, she called the
police "pigs." More than ten years ago, she
attacked U.S. policy in Southeast Asia.
During the sixties, she admits that she
sometimes spelled "America" with a "k."
Such statements must have been common
amongst the young people of the period. For
the INS clearly, the real threat is not Ran-
dall's radical style or personal history but
her substance, a different kind of "history."
The brand of information Randall offers is
not palatable to those who wish to conduct a
covert war on Central America. "For more

than fifteen ye4rs," she recalls, "I have
done oral history with the ordinary people of
countries about which the American public
is fed information geared to produce an
image of childlike incapacity, racial in-
feriority , and uniform yearning for the
American Way of Life." The notion that
Cubans, or Nicaraguans, are members of
another species, not entitled to struggle for
self-determination, is a mainstay of im-
perialist foreign policy.
But since when is citizenship to be a priz-
e for views acceptable to the INS? Is
Margaret Randall to be victimized for having
once, as the working mother of three,
signed away American citizenship? Is her
case to deter other writers who may wish to
travel abroad, to range broadly, to question
prevailing misconceptions of other peoples?
With the McCarran-Walter Act - which
Truman correctly predicted in his veto
message would stifle both native Americans
and foreigners - Reagan now seeks a
dangerous power to silence artists. The first
steps toward a police state may seem small
and even reasonable. That does not detract
form their repressive and arbitrary nature.
Alice Walker and other writers have filed
suit against the INS, charging that their
constitutional right to associate with and
receive information from Randall is being
violated. Meanwhile, Randall, teaching
women's studies in New Mexico, faces
deportation with quiet courage. "I feel I am
involved in a- struggle for many besides
myself" she declares. "If I win, we all
win. And if I lose, I lose only in a personal
sense." The story of Margaret Randall, an
artist against the state, unfortunately begs
comparison with that of the outspoken,
brilliant Black singer Paul Robeson, exiled
in the fifties. Do we in America want an-
other era of unthinking partisanship?
If Randall suffers uprooting for written
ideas that the Reagan administration
believes go "far beyond mere dissent," we
will all be diminished. To those who believe,
with Randall, that a "critical view is con-
sistent with love, not hate," she has done
America a service. Her persecution will
cause many other writers to walk in fear.
Margaret Randall will speak on
"Cuban and Nicaraguan " women at
8:00p.m. tonight at the Michigan Union
ballroom.

Chassy
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LETTERS:
Code will preserve freedom of speeche

To the Daily:
The University environment is
a special one because it is meant
to guarantee freedom of ex-
pression. To encourage all points
of view allows interested in-
dividuals all information
available on a subject to ensure
an educated formation of

Since any abridgment of these is
less a matter of criminal than
ethical consideration, a code of
non-academic conduct would be
very appropriate. Many instan-
ces in the- past year tend to show
an intolerance on behalf of a vocal
minority in this regard. Also,
through the student government,

what a university exists for.
Herein lies the real value of a
code, that students be allowed
access to information unobstruc-
ted by an intolerant minority, or
even a repressive majority. Also
those individuals espousing a cer-

tain viewpoint must be given a
hearing and not dismissed out-of-
hand. Otherwise through their
exclusion we remain that much
more ignorant.
- Dan Sladich
March 6

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