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November 14, 1986 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-11-14

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Friday, November 14, 1986

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

., .
Vol. XCVII, -No. 52

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.

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31

Police harassment

ON OCTOBER 28TH, citizen
spectatorF in Ann Arbor's 15th
Judicial District Court saw a good
example of their tax dollars going
to waste. Ann Arbor police with
the aid of city attorney Ron
Plunkett attempted to prosecute
Frank Aponte for "resisting the
order of a police officer," who had
asked Aponte to show his driver's
license.
It turns out that instead of
immediately producing his license
Aponte ran from Ann Arbor Police
Officer Phil Lavigne into a
restaurant where Aponte had
worked and where several police
officers including Lavigne fre-
quently ate. The officers testified
that Aponte reemerged from the
restaurant with the manager to
confront the police, all within 30
seconds of Lavigne's request that
Aponte show his driver's license.
Aponte, who is a 22-year-old
black, had good reason to run from
Lavigne, who is white, to find a
witness. Lavigne was pursuing
Aponte's license in relation to the
charge of "obstructed vision."
Aponte had tassles and a five inch
bear hanging from his rearview
mirror. In a previous case on
Christmas Day, 1985, Lavigne
arrested Aponte for having dice
hanging from his rearview
window. Aponte claimed that
officer Lavigne had told him
that "I can take you off the streets
any time I want" and that given
Aponte's many previous experi -
ences with Lavigne this proved
true.
Aponte's trial, which took
more than an hour in just the
hearing of witnesses, the defense
attorney, Aponte, two officers
involved, supporting officers and
the prosecutor Ron Plunkett proved

the pettiness and probable racism
of at least some officers of the Ann
Arbor police force. In finding
Aponte not guilty, Judge Alexander
Thomassen noted that there would
be too many arrests if police
hassled all the University graduates
who hung up tassles on their rear
view mirrors.
The city prosecutor is perhaps
most culpable for the harassment of
Aponte and the waste of tax dollars
spent on the arraignment, pre-trial
hearings and court time of police
officers who seem to thrive on
overtime pay. The prosecutor had
hardly any argument to make
against Aponte and never should
have agreed to prosecute the case.
The prosecutor's desperate
position showed in his weak
arguments. First, he argued that
Aponte ran into the restaurant to
escape the police. This, however,
was highly unlikely given that
Aponte had worked at the
restaurant and knew that it was a
place frequented by police officers.
Secondly, and only in his
concluding remarks, the prosecutor
tried to imply that Aponte must
have run into the restaurant to
conceal drugs that he had with him
at the time. Plunkett, who also
prosecuted University students
protesting CIA recruitment for
trespassing on University property,
implied this without once providing
any evidence or even any mention
of drugs throughout the trial.
The city attorney must have the
political courage-and mobilize
public opinion if necessary-to
stand up to police and not
prosecute such ridiculous cases.
Legitimizing these cases en-
courages police to waste tax
revenue on petty harassment of the
citizenry.

-*, r -, /

_ ©/,6

4

LETTERS:

.4

IMPAC left out of the mainstream

Thanksgiving missed

WHERE DID THANKSGIVING GO?
It is November and leaves on the
ground are still fall colored.
Football season is going strong and
the University has not recessed for
the Thanksgiving holiday. Ann
Arbor, however, is already
drumming up the Yuletide spirit,
overshadowing an important
national holiday.
The turkey-Pilgrim-Mayflower
motif seems to have been forgotten
by nearly everyone (local
elementary schools are notable
exceptions). There are almost no
reminders of American Indians, of
the harvest, or of the long table
overflowing with food and a
bountiful, strategically placed
"horn of plenty."
Christmas decorations adorn
State Street and many local shop
windows. The Sears Christmas
catalogue is already in the
possession of greedy children-(an
unidentified third-grader was
quoted as saying "No, I want the
baby-doll that wets her pants!").
Soon, Santa Claus will begin
taking personal requests and
making guest appearances.
Toy commercials dominate
advertisine time on television and

Proclamation. The Proclamation
expressed the thankfulness of the
settlers toward their Indian
neighbors. The Pilgrims invited
the Indians to a three-day feast to
celebrate and give thanks, and to
share some of what they had
grown.
Throughout the past three
hundred and sixty-five years the
event has evolved into a national
holiday, celebrated annually on the
fourth Thursday of November. It is
still an important, symbolic day
(besides being the only Thursday
of the year on which a pro football
game is played). It is a time when
families gather together to celebrate
all they have reaped from the land.
It is a time of unity, sharing, and
love, as well as a convenient break
for burned-out college students.
At the same time, it is an
appropriate opportunity to consider
mistreatment of American Indians
by generations of Pilgrim
ancestors. American Indians have
been regulated to a small,
insignificant portion of this land
that was once theirs and which they
originally shared in good faith.
What may be the most important
message of Thanksgiving, is to be

To the Daily:
As a Zionist, I am concerned
with the apparent liberal
Democratic partisanship that
has become inherent to
IMPAC (Involved in Michigan
Political Action Committee).
In the Tuesday, November 4,
issue of the Daily, in the
article entitled "Group aids pro-
Israel tickets," IMPAC claims
to be a "single-issue PAC."
IMPAC executive committee
member Jeff Parness and
IMPAC founder Jill
Goldenberg state that IMPAC
"knows no party boundaries."
However, this is not the case at
all.
Since IMPAC was founded, it
has never once actively
supported a Republican, or
even a conservative, candidate
for public office. Indeed, the
three political candidates that
IMPAC has actively
campaigned for-Senator Paul
Simon (Illinois), and
Congressmen Bob Carr (East
Lansing, Michigan) and Ed
Feighan (Cleveland,
Ohio)-are all liberal
Democrats.
Furthermore, in the case of
Carr, his opponent, Jim Dunn,
had an equal, if not better, pro-
Israel voting record in
Congress. The only difference
was that Dunn supported the
Strategic Defense Initiative
(SDI), upon which Israel's
survival rests, according to
Israeli Prime Ministers
Shimon Peres and Yitzchak
Shamir and many Israeli
members of the Knesset
(Israel's Parliament).
Incidentally, Israel recently
signed a contract with the
United States worth ten
million dollars, a sum which
would help the wavering Israeli
economy significantly, to do
SDI research. Carr opposes
SDI.
IMPAC claims to support
candidates who support Israel,
and who are engaged in close
races in nearby areas. Given
the equal pro-Israel records of
both candidates in the Carr-
Dunn race, why did IMPAC
take sides? Cpuld this be due
to the facts that Dunn is a
conservative Republican and
that all of the six members of
IMPAC's executive committee
are liberal Democrats? Perhaps
the fact that Lisa Bardach,

other than that it did not want
to do so. IMPAC's active
support would have been more
than welcomed by pro-Israel
Republican congressman Bill
Schuette of Michigan's Tenth
District. Schuette meets all of
IMPAC's criteria for support,
in that he possesses a strong
pro-Israel voting record, was
engaged in an extremely close
race against former Democratic
Congressman Don Albosta,
who has a poor pro-Israel
voting record, and his district is
in close proximity to Ann
Arbor. The one fact, however,
that probably caused IMPAC
to refrain from actively
supporting Schuette is that of
his political party
affiliation-Republican.
Consider t
To the Daily:
Language both reflects and
reinforces societal norms and
values. Inclusive language is
words, examples, and images
which encompass all segments
of our society, including
women and racial minorities.
Although often unintentional,
language excludes groups of
people. This exclusion can
reinforce a group's own sense
of alienation from culture and
economy, and thereby fail to
challenge existing walls of
prejudice. We are promoting
language that would eliminate
such alienation and asking that
you consider the use of
inclusive language.
Imagine being a white man
enrolled in a Women's Studies
course. Throughout the se-
mester, you feel yourself being
classified as "one of them," a
member of the traditionally
privileged group-the male
oppressor. If this message was
reaffirmed in the language of
the professor, your discomfort
would be confirmed and your
interest in the course squelched.
Likewise, imagine being a
woman enrolled in an
engineering lecture. The class
is filled with male students and
taught by a male professor;
you are one of three women in
the lecture hall. While taking
an exam you realize every
question refers to engineers as
men. Both situations are
alienating; learning would be
Axfrn: 11 nnf .-r mfnr.. 1S Ttn

Inclusive language opens up
the possibility for anybody to
enter any field and fill any role.
It facilitates change by
countering the existing norms
and realities, such as women
still being a minority in the
field of engineering.
. To encourage use and
discussion, we are sponsoring a
contest in which students will
be asked to choose a professor
who is notable in her or his
The Star Wars de
To the Daily:
I am writing this letter in
response to the unbelievably
ignorant perspective give by
Mr. Patrick Eugene Palis
(Daily 11/10/86). Palis
presents an argument for SDI
stating that SDI will be used
only as a defensive weapons
system and that to consider it
as a first strike system
"morally equates the United
States with the Soviet Union."
He explains his point by
saying, "A machine gun in the
hands of Mother Theresa is far
less menacing than the
identical weapon in the hands
of Abu Nidal." It is exactly
this type of mentality that is
so frightening. It is not only
the public community who
continually assign the roles of
good and evil to the United
States and Soviet Union,
respectively. Our top
officials-men who are
sunnosecrno nevotintinpr mith

Luckily, Schuette won his re-
election bid without IMPAC's
help; although, his victory was
only by a slight 51-49 percent
margin, or 3,751 votes. Can,
on the other hand, defeated
Dunn by a much wider 57-43
margin. Thus, that race was
not that close, and Can was a
sure winner with or without
IMPAC's help.
Because of the fact that
certain executive committee
members of IMPAC, including
its president, resented
suggestions that they choose to
also support Republicans, and
chose to ignore the complaints
and facts pointing to IMPAC's
obvious partisan politics, these
complaints must be aired
he use of inclusi

publicly in order to elicit any
sort of positive change.
Therefore, in the future,
IMPAC would be better
advised to actively support
conservatives and Republicans,
in addition to the liberal
Democrats, which it has
traditionally and exclusively
supported. Otherwise, if
IMPAC chooses to continue
its flagrant liberal partisanship,
it can expect to alienate many
pro-Israel organizations and
individuals both on and off
campus. I would hope that the
former would occur.
-Debbie K. Schlussel
-National Jewish
Coalition Rep.
November 9
ve language
awareness of inclusive
language. Voting will take
place in the Fish Bowl on
November 13 and 14.
Thank you for your
attention to this important
issue. Your use of language
does make a difference.
-PIRGIM's Women's
Issues Committee
November 4
ense is shot down
on the proposed arms
limitation agreements by the
Soviets. Though we all know
that SDI could be used as a
first strike system, the Soviets
should relax because ot4
inherent Mother Theresa-like
qualities (especially apparent in
recent actions toward Tripoli,
Central America, and Iran)
insure their safety. In short,
they must trust us while we
mistrust them.
Mr. Palis claims to be quite
a historian, no I was surprised
when he used the analogy
comparing the U.S. to Mothe
Theresa. I assume since he
believes we are such a morally
infallible nation, we need not
abide by such treaties violated
by the likes of SDI. We must
be following some greater .
cause, which allows us greater
privileges,
-William Pemberton
November 11

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