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February 10, 1987 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-02-10

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4

OPINION
Page 4 Tuesday, February 10, 1987 The Michigan Daily

4

1 jer 5t4ii4anlsatlu
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Work

to

defeat

Vol. XCVII, No.93

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.

Racism in America

IN A SPEECH LAST FRIDAY,
Assistant Attorney General William
Bradford Reynolds denied that
there is increasing racial violence
and tension in this country.
Reynolds called the recent racist
attacks in Howard Beach and
Forsyth County, Georgia, isolated
incidents. He attributed such
'aberrations' to a breakdown of
public education and family values.
With these-comments, Reynolds
has rivalled the achievements of his
boss Ed Meese in terms of fictional
analysis and distorted
interpretation. Figures from
Reynolds' own agency report 276
racial incidents last year compared
to 99 in 1980 (the Justice
Department's Community
Relations Service). The recent
racial attacks are not isolated
occurrences. They are only
dramatic - read "newsworthy" -
indications of the vast and growing
racial injustice in this country.
Such tragedies cannot be dismissed
with platitudes about 'exceptional
cases' and 'the breakdown of
public education and family
values.' They deserve and demand
more thoughtful analysis.
Reynolds' "isolated incident
theory" will probably meet with
widespread acceptance coriering
the popular myth that "the racial
problem" has been solved in this
country. Many people harbor the
comforting delusion that racial
injustice was nearly eradicated by
the Civil Rights Movement.
Unfortunately, this belief has no
basis in reality. The Civil Rights
Movement won some significant
political changes but did not ease
the economic plight of American
blacks. Racism is, in part,
produced and reinforced by
economic inequality. Thus, racism
against blacks will never be
-ase of the Howard Beach
"incident," deterioration of cities
and accelerating concentration of
blacks in urban areas has caused
increased pressure for racial
integration of traditionally white
neighborhoods. This has led to
increased racial tension with
attempts, such as the Howard
Beach attack, to preserve
segregated color lines.

Assistant Attorney General
Reynolds and other government
officials choose to ignore
worsening economic conditions
and their relationships to racism.
Those who wish to affect racial
equity and justice cannot afford to
do likewise.
eliminated without eliminating their
economic oppression.
Despite prevailing beliefs, the
economic gap between blacks and
whites has been growing in last
two decades. In 1967, the median
income for black families was 58.1
percent that of white families; by
1984, the percentage had dropped
to 56.9 (Bureau of the Census). A
relatively small number of blacks
has benefitted from reforms like
Affirmative Action and moved into
better, more visible occupations;
but the majority of the black
community continues to live in
poverty secluded from white
America's vision. In 1984, the
Bureau of Census reported that the
majority, 51.1 percent, of black
children under 6 years were living
below the poverty line. This is the
highest level recorded since the
Bureau began reporting such a
statistic in 1970. Clearly,
conditions are deteriorating, not
improving.
And conditipps promise to get
worse. W hie in 1977; college
attendance rates, for blacks and
white were nearly equal, due to
cuts in student aid and other
factors, a white person is now 45
percent more likely to reach
college. Another discouraging and
upsetting situation is endemic
underemployment of young blacks:
43 percent of blacks between 16
and 19 years of age are
unemployed, compared to 16
percent for whites. These are
among the reasons one should not
expect continuing growth of racial
equity in the United States -racial
equity has not been growing and,
barring dramatic and significant
change, will not do so in the
immediate future.
Several reports released recently,
including one by the National
Urban League, have documented
the relationship between growing
economic inequality and increasing
racist attacks. Specifically in the

By Marc Carrel
There has been much anger on campus
this past. week. Visible anger about the
racist incidents that have occurred
recently, both on campus and across the
nation. Along with this anger has been
frustration. Frustration on the part of
concerned students that the University has
not taken a stand on these incidents.
This anger and frustration hit a peak
on Friday with a rally on the Diag. A
rally that focused on these recent
incidents, and tried to release the anger
and frustration to some extent.
The rally spoke out against racism
trying to elicit a response both on the
part of students to act against it with
forums and rallies, and on the part of the
administration to take a stand on the
recent racist acts on campus. Most
notably the one in Couzens Hall.
I am a resident of Couzens, and I live
on the hall where the racist incident
occurred almost two weeks ago: a racist
flyer was put under the door of my hall's
lounge while a group of black women
were meeting there.
This - incident was most likely
unrelated to the other racial incidents
around this campus in recent weeks.
Unrelated on one level at least: it is
unlikely that the perpetrators of all of the
incidents were the same person or group.
But on another level all of these racial
incidents (the flyer in Couzens; violence
Marc Carrel, a Couzens resident, is
a Daily staff writer.

against blacks on campus; Forsyth
County, Georgia; Howard Beach, New
York) are very much connected to each
other.
All of these incidents are related
because the victims are the same. Some
would say the victims are blacks, but that
is only partially correct. For everyone is
a victim as long as racial incidents,
incidents of hatred and ignorance
continue.
Everyone is a victim as long as there
are those that believe that someone
doesn't deserve the same rights and
privileges just because of the color of
their skin.
Everyone is a victim as long as there
are people who decide that that they are
better than another person just because of
their family's ancestry.
Everyone is a victim as long as people
continue to sit idly by, ignoring these
types of incidents and saying "It's not
that bad, just forget about it," or "Don't
take it personally, he's just joking."
These incidents are not jokes, but
rather harmful to our campus community.
They cause a group to feel threatened by
an unknown, which is worse than
knowing who you are threatened by.
The incident in Couzens was not
known across campus until several days
after it occurred. At first most people
who had heard about it considered it a sick
"joke" with serious racial overtones. And
the person(s) who placed the flyer under
the door wasn't known. But as time went
on, the incident has become much more
than just a sick "joke." It has become a
cause, and the person(s) responsible, still
unidentified, has become an enigma.

racism
The perpetrator will most likely never
be conclusively identified. And that
furthers his status as an enigma of
racism. He represents the feelings many
people have, that blacks are not on the
same level as whites. And as long as he
is unidentified strength will build from
the other side, the side fighting against
racists, to drown out their ideas bound in
stereotypes, misinformation, and
unsubstantiated myths.
The enigma of racism on this campus
can be destroyed if those opposed to it
make themselves known, and speak up.
One positive thing came about as a
result of the Couzens incident. That is
that the line of communication in
Couzens Hall, between white residents
and black residents was opened.
Because of the incident, Couzens Hall'
held two forums on racism for its
residents. That has started something.
There is now less animosity in our
dorm, and more understanding. There is
now less mystery, and more awareness.
And as a result we stop being victims.
Because of these, some campus-wide
forums have been organized for this week.
Forums designed to increase awareness,
and promote understanding, both
powerful weapons in the fight against
racism.
For racism is not a thing one can
topple, but an idea one must erase. And
it may be a slow process, but the
outcome is worth the time and effort.
Education is the key to stopping
racism. And by us living and studying at 4
a respected university we are already
halfway there. The other half is up to us,
the victims, so that we will not be
victims any longer.

Lucas

- - .

SENDING A CAKE AND
A BIBLE TO IRAN
WASN'T SUCH AAP /
IDEA B UT
./.
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I REALLY DON'T
STHINK THAT THIS
IS GONNA WORK.
7 I,
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Israeli arms deals

LETTERS:
Support Michigan's hockey team

A
is
,i

EVERY YEAR ISRAEL RECEIVES
billions in foreign aid from the
United States. Israel is one of the
United States' closest allies. One
issue which has been commonly
overlooked in Israel-U.S. relations
is the willingness of Israel to
implement American foreign policy
uinitiatives.
For example, Israel has
contributed to the maintenance of
aid to the Contras, perhaps most
notably in conjunction with Iranian
"moderates."
Israel also sends arms to South
Africa and advisors to help South
African troops in Angola. Israel's
willingness to trade with South
Africa undermines the efforts of
those fighting the Apartheid
system.
The relationship between Israel

governments. The U.S. cut ties
with the right-wing Pinochet
regime of Chile because of human
rights violations, yet Israel still
sells arms there.
Israel is by no means unique
regarding selling arms to nations
which its allies have condemned.
France sells arms almost indis -
criminately around the world.
Israel was formed as a haven for
Jews against world-wide racism
which resulted in the death of
millions during the holocaust. It is
inappropriate for Israel to link itself
to nations such as South Africa.
It seems likely that United States
is using Israel as a means to funnel
arms to entities which are
unpopular with the American
public. If this is case, the United

To The Daily:
The screaming hoards
shouting, "Let's go state! Let's
go state!", would not have
bothered me had I been in East
Lansing. However, that I was
at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor
attending January 24th's
M.S.U. - U. of M. hockey
game did disturb me.
Though the Wolverines lost
2-1 to the defending national
champion Spartans, they did
play a hard fought match, and
had, in fact, handily defeated
the Spartans 8-2 the previous
night in East Lansing, thus
establishing what a little time
and experience can do for a
young talented hockey team.
It puzzles me, therefore, that
a university that can routinely
fill a football stadium of over

outnumber the maize and blue
3:1.
This is an unfortunate
situation, for why should fans
of Wolverines hockey be made
to feel like visitors in their
own arena? Obviously, they
shouldn't. Furthermore, the
team deserves better treatment:
In their last five games U. of
M. has a record of 3-2 and have
outscored their opponents 29-

14.
Perhaps people can only
derive enjoyment from
coughing up $8 and getting a
nosebleed in the high altitudes
of Michigan Stadium. If not,
then maybe some more people
will take a $3 chance on the
Wolverine hockey team and
pay a visit to Yost Ice Arena
where every seat is close to the
action.
Granted, there are no

household names on tlhe
hockey team like Jim
Harbaugh or Jamie Morris.
However, this may change,
should Michigan studenis
support the hockey team even'a
fraction of the way the iceis
support the university evefy
time they take the ice proudfy
wearing the maize and blue.
-S. Ovar Stanchfieltd
February 1

Reagan doesn't have to obey the majority

To The Daily:
Your editorial, "Abortion is
Democratic," (Daily, 1/28/87)
is a weak attempt to the
support the pro-choice
movement, it shows your

indeed rule on this critical
point.
If, after electing a president,
we find that we do not not with
his views, the legislative
branch of government exists to

not agree with most of the
president's views-I know I
don't-but no one can deny
him the right to make
decisions as he sees fit as long
as he stays within the bounds

4

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