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November 20, 1986 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1986-11-20

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Thursday, November 20, 1986

The Michigan Daily

4

Educate

U.S.

public

on

hunger

By Jonathan Hirschmann
How is it possible that
20,000,000 Americans are
hungry at least some time
during each month, when
"the U.S. government stores
enough surplus cheese, milk,
and butter to provide every
American with almost 50
pounds and enough surplus
wheat to bake nearly seven
loaves of bread for every
human being on earth?"
(Physician Task Force,
1985), (Frances Moore
Lappe & Joseph Collins,
1986)
Hunger is perhaps the largest crisis
that America faces. In order to alleviate
this national tragedy, people must be
educated about the characteristics of our
nation's hungry as well as our political
and economic system which is supposed
to handle this crisis.
Most American voters, including
myself, are better off economically than
Hirschmann is an LSA sophomore.

our nation's hungry, who traditionally
have lower voter turn-outs during
elections. Most voters are isolated from
those Americans who are not able to
provide enough food for themselves.
Since most of our citizens never see or
hear about hunger in their day to day
lives, they vote to maintain the status
quo simply out of ignorance. Thus, I
conclude that people must be educated
about this hidden and unpublicized part of
society so that the government responds
towards its needs in order that the nation's
hungry will receive better living
conditions.
If citizens were educated about the
people who frequent soup kitchens they
would question why President Reagan has
stricken one million people from
receiving food stamps and reduced the
benefits for an additional twenty million
people.(Food First, 1983) The people
affected by these cutbacks are mostly
hard-working citizens who have recently
lost jobs in industries such as steel, that
are being phased out of our economy,
rather than these people being bums who
are simply too lazy to get a job, as our
government would have us believe.
If citizens were better educated, more
people would be aware that twenty

percent of all the food produced in the
United States each year is wasted,
(PIRGIM, 1986) and would demand that
their government take some action.
Imagine corn in such an abundance in
Iowa that thousands of acres are never
even picked because it is feared that prices
would fall too low. What would most
citizens do if they knew that their
government watched this happen without
even once considering to transfer this
"surplus" to the hands of our nation's
hungry. It is ironic and sad that such a
word as "surplus" can be used when
twenty million Americans go hungry
sometime during each month. If people
were made more aware of the reality of
hunger in America, change would be
demanded.
Did you know that over two million
full-time American workers fall below the
official poverty line? (PIRGIM, 1986)
Furthermore, many Americans with
incomes above the poverty line cannot
even feed themselves properly. Once I
became aware of this condition it changed
my whole way of thinking about the
world hunger crisis. Others must also be
educated if we ever hope to feed all of our
citizens. It would seem as though this
condition, which involves so many of our

citizens, would be known throughout
society. Most people, however, remain
ignorant. Why is this so? A very simple
answer exists. Our government and big-
business keep our citizens uninformed, so
that we don't threaten the status quo
which they so much enjoy. Education
would lead people to question the very
political and economic systems which
enable such an injustice as hunger to
exist.
In conclusion, hunger affects a
significant number of people in America.
As long as there is one person who goes
to bed hungry at night, our citizens have
failed to protect our inalienable rights as
elaborated in our constitution. Hunger
affects all sectors of America even though
most of us rarely see people starving in
the streets of our sheltered neighborhoods.
There are many ways to help solve
hunger, but we must put all of our energy
into educating our fellow citizens,
because most of them don't even know
what is going on in their own country--
namely people starving, or how their
government simply neglects many of the
responsibilities which we assume it is
fulfilling. Only through education, can
the myths about the poor and the
government be broken. We cannot expect

help from big business or government,
because they would tell us such things as
"there's simply not enough food,"
"nature's to blame," "there are too many
mouths to feed," and "the free market can
end hunger." (Frances Moore Lappe &
Joseph Collins, 1986) All of these are
myths and not fundamental issues of the
cause of hunger,which cannot be resolved.
Let's stop believing that nature is to
blame and realize, that in reality there is a
distribution problem. People must work
together in educating their communities
by starting at a grass-roots level. It won't
be an easy task, but we must try .to
educate each other about the society ,in
which we live in, as well as thinking of
ways to change our economic and social
systems which too many of us accept as
being the best possible for our whole
society. Although most of the students
at Michigan benefit from our political and
economic system, we must not forget
about those that are victimized by these
same policies.
Director of Oxfam John Hammock will
speak tonight on "Hunger, Technology
and Change" at 8p.m. in the Pond
Room of the Union.

Edited. and managed'by students at The University of Michigan

Confront

the

Vol. XCVII, No.56'

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.

Resigned to a c t

THAT THE FOUR STUDENT
members on the Research Policies
Committee have resigned is a major,
statement about the failure of the
University to discuss weapons
research and to recognize student
concerns. Through resigning, the
students have brought attention to
the unacceptable position of the
committee on which they serve.
The Research Policies
Committee has endorsed the
majority report of the Ad-Hoc
Committee on Classified Research
which was appointed by President
Harold Shapiro to contend with the
1985 University Board of Regents'
request to review the research
policies adopted by the University
in1972. Specifically, the
committee was to consider the
position of the University on
classified research, and the end-use
clause, which prohibits research
with the intent to kill or maim
human beings. Indeed, prior to the
current guidelines which the
regents instilled in 1972, the
University had the reputation of
being the "Eyes of the Army"
because of the research conducted
in the then University affiliated
Willow Run Laboratories.
By prohibiting restrictions on
publication beyond one year of the
end of a project's funding period,
the spirit of the majority report
implies that weapons research will
not be conducted at the University.
Since such projects are generally
classified for more than one year,
getting clearance beyond that
time period is virtually impossible.
The majority position on
openness is admirable, but ironic,
in light of deliberate lack of
attention to weapons research in the
report. That the discussion .of
weapons research, and specifically,
the intent of such research to maim
or kill human beings has been
suppressed, is contrary to the
encouragement of onenness in the

can fund it. While it is important
to respect the integrity of
University researchers, it. is also
important to protect University
autonomy from the government by
recognizing that it has a huge
amount of resources to fund
University projects.
Since 1967, when the University
was conducting extensive research
for the Vietnam War, classified
research has decreased from
$10,354,239 to $351,732 in 1985.
The claim of the report that
University policy should not be
affected by the politics of the time
may have some validity, but even
so, the University should always
be in favor of human life, in war or
peace. Research content, in any
case, is directly affected by the
politics of the time; the fact that
both the minority and majority
report reject this argument by
ignoring it, is one of the primary
reasons the four students became
frustrated on their committee.
If the primary concern of all
involved is truly open discussion
and academic integrity, then this is
not coming through in any
formulated policy. Open
discussion is not taking place in
these committees and
consequently, is not included in the
report. That the University would
remove the supposed bureaucratic
process of research review
completely opposes ideals of
openness and discussion. It also
removes students even further
from the decision making process,
since public inspection of research
projects would occur only after the
projects had already been accepted.
The students' resignation is a
signal to students that working
with the University on committees
may be counterproductive.
Clearly, while the administration
claims to care that students
participate in discussion, students
have no authority, nor are they

By Brett Stockdill
Students and other members of the
University community wishing to
express support for the anti-apartheid
movement and anti-racist efforts on
campus will have an opportunity this
Thursday, November 20, when the
University regents hold their public
comments section. This meeting will be
integral in determining further action
against racism by the regents and other
groups such as the Free South Africa
Coordinating Committee. (FSACC).
FSACC will confront the regents' refusal
to honor Nelson Mandela, their continued
investment in South Africa, and their
failure to combat racism here. University
students, faculty, staff and any other
concerned parties are urged to attend the
meeting, to be held at 4 p.m. in the
Fleming Administration Building (near
the cube).
The regents' support for apartheid in
South Africa is a reflection of the blatant
racism which pervades our university.
Racist, anti-semitic, sexist, and
homophobic graffiti pollutes bathroom
stalls, desks, tables, and buildings
throughout campus. The administration
chooses to 1^a- up such statements as,
"Burn the n ger shack!" What is more
Stockdill is a member of FSACC.

disturbing is the fact that such graffiti is
fostered by the hateful prejudices which
smother the University.
Slightly more subtle are the virious
forms of institutional racism which are
evidenced at the University. Despite
recent claims that great strides have been
made in increasing minority enrollment,
little progress has been made toward
meeting long promised goals, e.g. the
Black Action Movement goal of 10
percent black enrollment. The University
places little emphasis on minority
retention and graduation rates, which are
drastically lower than initial enrollment
rates.
University employment practices are
racist. Minority and women workers
experience poor working conditions,
restriction to lower paying and less
rewarding jobs, and discrimination in
actions affecting those postions. Tenure
review procedures act to prevent the
promotion of ethnic faculty, a key to
providing a proper educational
environment for all. The University has
made no effort to explore its systematic,
institutional racist policies, and thus, no
attempt to implement specific programs
to. reverse them and fulfill its
responsibilities to ethnic and racial
minorities.
Administration and regental procedures
to implement change are designed to
circumvent input from students, faculty,

'egents
and staff. This is seen in the history of
the Mandela degree. Subsequent to
Mandela's nomination, the regents knew
of a by-law prohibiting conferring of
honorary degrees in absentia (obviously
applicable to Mandela), but waited four
months before informing FSACC. The
regents also failed to acknowledge the fac
that four exceptions had been made to the
by-law within the past 25 years.
The regents continue to behave in a
racist undemocratic manner. Their
decision to form a committee to
determine the very validity of honorary
degrees only after Mandela's nomination
is fundamentally racist. Despite the fact
that FSACC's demand for the Mandela
degree led to the committee's formation,
no FSACC members are on the
committee. The free exchange of ideas
between the committee and other
individuals or groups is precluded by the
secrecy oath each committee member is
forced to take.
The regents set aside one hour
per month to listen (without open
dialogue) to those they supposedly
represent. It is critical that we. use this
hour. FSACC will address several issues
of racism mentioned above. In turn thd
regents have the power to become a
positive force in attacking racism rather
than buttressing it. It is important that
all concerned individuals attend this
meeting to pressure the regents to share
in community efforts to destroy racism.

LETTERS:

4

198

.The Year of

Palestine

To the Daily:
1987: The Year of
Palestine.
In 1977 the United
Nations declared November
29th the international day of
solidarity with the Palestinian
people. It is a day celebrated
by Palestinians and their
friends as they reflect upon
accomplishments gained in
the face of formidable
obstacles.
During the last forty
years the Palestinians have
developed an independent
expression of their national
identity, which is embodied in
the Palestinian Liberation
Organization. The PLO is a
legitimate government in exile.
It rebuilt the social fabric of
the Palestinian people and
created national institutions
such as schools, social
programs, clinics, trade unions,
professional unions, and a
military for its people's

reached, it must include the
PLO--which over 90% of the
West Bank and Gaza
Palestinians declare to be their
sole legitimate representative.
November 29th, 1986
has great significance because
it marks the start of The Year
of Palestine, so designated by
the nongovernmental organiza -
tions of the United Nations
Committee on the Question of
Palestine.
This year will focus
more attention on the
Palestinian people, their
aspirations for self-
determination, and their hopes
for peace in the Middle East,
than ever before. 1987 is an
important year because it
marks several significant
anniversaries that underscore
the aggressions committed
against the Palestinian and
other peoples of the Middle
East by an expansionist Israel:
June 6 marks the

occupation.
June 5 marks the
fifth anniversary of the
Israeli invasion of
Lebanon. Thousands of
Lebanese and Palestinians were
killed, maimed, and made
homeless by Israel's infamous
"Peace for ° the Galilee"
campaign.
On the fifth anniversary
of the occupation, Israel
continues of occupy Lebanese,
soil, bomb refugee camps and
cities in Lebanon, and interfere
in Lebanese affairs.
November 29,
1987 marks the fortieth
anniversary of the U.N.
vote to partition Pale -
stine into two states. Yet
after forty years, the
Palestinians still lack the
fulfillment of even a portion of
their national rights. To
acknowledge this denial and to
launch a process to reverse it,
the U.N. in 1977 declared this

America's role in the
continuation of the injustice:
our tax money bolsters the
Israeli government (with
approximately 5 billion dollars
per year). It is time America
joined the internationa4
consensus for peace wi:th
justice in the Middle East.
We also want to alert
the American people to the
danger of our government's
hypocritical policies. President
Reagan would rather pursue
tactics of aggression and lies
(more politely termed
"disinformation") than seek
justice and real peace
The Palestinians
are like anyone else: they
fight oppression and seek
fundamental rights claimed hy
any other people in the word
today. Show your solidarity
with the Palestinian people
during the year of Palestine.
Write to your elected
representatives and demand the4

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