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January 07, 1987 - Image 4

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-01-07

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Wednesday, January 7, 1987
Wasserman

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

The Michigan Doao

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Vol. XCVII, No. 69

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.

REFRESHER

Year in Review

THE DAWNING OF 1987 presents
an appropriate opportunity for
reflection on the old as well as
resolution for the new year.
Near the end of Febuary, Maya
Angelou graced a packed Rackham
auditorium celebration of Black
History Month and women's
week. Sparkling, beautiful, and
brilliant Angelou captivated the
audience.
During March and April,
activism of all types increased. The
proposal to establish a sister city
with Nicaragua-and condemn U.S.
support for the contras passed
overwhelmingly in April's city
election. Students and Ann Arbor
residents demonstrated anger and
frustration with Congressman Carl
Pursell's (R-Mich.) continued
support for President Reagan's
illegal war in Nicaragua and the
bombing of El Salvador by staging
nonviolent protests. More than 100
people were arrested during
protests at Pursell's office.
In May, testimony of solidarity
with the people of South Africa as
well as outrage at the University's
failure to grant Nelson Mandela an
honorary degree culminated in the
alternative graduation ceremony to
honor the jailed African National
Congress leader. More than 400
people, including cap and gown
clad students, paid tribute while
U.S. Congressman George
Crockett, Jr., among others, spoke
out in recognition of Mandela's
commitment to freedom from
Apartheid.
Over the summer, University
economics doctoral student Dean
Baker won the Democratic primary
against Don Grimes. The Baker
campaign mobilized 1000
volunteers around issues such as
farm support, Social Security,
education, and opposition to
Contra aid to forge a broad based
coalition which will undoubtedly
continue to affect local politics.
Operating on a shoestring
budget, brain power, and
determination, the grassroots
campaign received 41 percent of

the vote against 5 term incumbent
Pursell. Baker's total was the
highest any Democrat had gotten
sincel976.
Grassroots action at the
University has been the emphasis
of the Michigan Student
Assembly's Student Rights
Committee. Feeling the
University's pressure to pass a
code of non-academic conduct, the
committee has been working with
other University organizations,
speaking in residence halls, and
performing educational theater to
raise awareness about the code.
Increasingly, students have
recognized the difficulty of having
their voices heard in University
committees. Despite steady student
opposition, the Research policies
committee recommended the
removal of the end-use clause
which prohibited research a clearly
forseeable result of which is the
destruction of human life. That the
University would reverse such a
statement is a sad comment on the
change in direction since the policy
was first adopted in 1972 as a
reaction to exorbitant University
military research during the
Vietnam war.
Frustrated by lack of discussion
about military research and the
political realities which have have
accelerated the University's shift in
direction, the four student
committee representatives resigned.
That move demonstrated how
sometimes confrontational action is
necessary to bring attention to an
issue.
Though methods of expression
differ among groups and
individuals, all have the potential to
learn from mistakes and build on
past accomplishments. The lessons
of 1986 include the necessity of
coalition building toward the
struggle for a more fair and just
society. If this new year of
international peace is going to
move the world further from war,
people must share the vision of an
equitable world community and
actively work toward realizing it.

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LETTERS:

.4

Cartoon illustrates racist stereotype

University Cellar Blues

To The Daily:
The Free South Africa
Coordinating Committee
(FSACC) strongly condemns
the choice of The Michigan
Daily editors and staff to print
the racist cartoon entitled "Back
to School Shopping In
Detroit" (Daily, 12/8/86).-
FSACC strongly urges that
you cancel any further business
relations that exist with Mr.
Siegal, the cartoonist respon-
sible for this insensitive
bigoted comentary. FSACC
applauds The Daily's speedy
apology to the University
community (Daily, 12/9/86),
University people of color, the
people of Detroit and all of us
who were offended by both the
abhorrent, blatant and subtle
messages contained in the
cartoon.
FSACC demands that The
Daily, as a student publication,
fulfill its responsibility to
higher standards of journalism.
That role entails an obligation
to foster the ideals of pluralism
and the elimination of
institutional and personal
racism at this University. It
should not foster ambiguity
and insensitivity about issues
of stereotyping and bigotry.
The cartoon was especially
untimely because of the
anxiety surrounding the
conclusion of the academic
term. It was an intense term
full of University
administration ambiguity over
the issues related to racism,
such as Sough African
divestment and the Honorary
Degree for South African
freedom fighter, Nelson
Mandela.
Thus, it is the unanimous
reccomendation of the Free
South Africa Coordinating
Daily should
To the Daily:
When walking across the
Diag December 10, I was
handed a leaflet depicting the
"Back to school" cartoon. Not
being a regular reader of the
Daily, I hadn't seen the cartoon
when it first appeared.
Normally, when group X
complains that this or that
cartoon, movie, or book ir-
reparably injures the reputation
of its members, I don't pay.
much attention. But in the case
of this cartoon, I think that the

Committee that The Daily
implement the following
measures to correct its mistake.
First, a Michigan Daily series
of investigative and indepth
articles on the definitions,
occurrences, effects and
solutions to racism on the
University campus should be

published at the beginning of
the winter term 1987. Second,
The Daily should not print any
additional cartoons by Mr.
Siegal. He is undeserving of
further business agreements
with this student financed
publication. FSACC pledges
to continue the fight against

Daily must face and fight its own racism

THE DREADED LONG LINES and
high cost of buying books may
escalate now that the non-profit
University Cellar has closed its
doors for the last time.
As a result of massive student
protests, in 1970, the University
Board of Regents grudgingly
granted $100,000 for University
Cellar to set up shop in the
Michigan Union basement.
Students assessed themselves a
$5.00 refunable fee and raised
another $225,000. With these
modest beginnings, the Cellar
drove down the book prices stores
around campus.
In 1982, the Union basement was
renovated, forcing U-Cellar out
because of increased rent and
remodeling costs and the
Universidty's restriction on selling
Michigan paraphenalia.
The University Cellar then moved
to 321 E. Liberty Street, where it
served the community for 16 years.
University Cellar, despite its
location away from campus,
actually retained approximately 40
percent of the student textbook
market. Unfortunately, bookstores

Unversity Cellar's historical
problems with banks and other
businesses stem largely from a
non-traditional management
structure. With students, faculty
and an administrator among others
volunteering on the board of
directors, decentralized depart-
mental management, and a strong
union, University Cellar provided a
unique opportunity for all its
members to share in the decision
making process, but left more
traditional organizations uneasy.
It seems clear from a strictly
economic perspective that Citizens
Trust made a reasonable decision,
and no other banks would commit
to such a high risk enterprise.
Though the store was making
internal changes, such as more
central control, departmental
coordinators, and a voluntary 18
percent pay cut for employees, the
Cellar was existing on borrowed
money and couldn't negotiate for
more time.
The demise of University Cellar is
a sad end to a uniquely worker

To The Daily:
It was only December 11, in
the course of a meeting with
Detroit Public School officials,
that I saw the racially insulting
"cartoon" (Daily, 12/8/86)., 1
have since read, and fully
endorse, the letters of outrage
and protest from your fellow
students that you printed on
December 10th.
There is no way that The
Daily can atone for this
indignity, but there is
something that you can do to
begin to address the insidious
and deep-seated racial
stereotyping represented by this
so-called cartoon. You can
begin by recognizing that the
problem lies not with
anonymous racists somewhere
out there in the University.
The fact that this so-called
cartoon could pass the
inspection of your editors
without being recognized as
offensive and misleading,
shows that you have to start
addressing the problem of
racism at the University by
looking at yourselves.
Many, if not most, of the
incidents of racism of which
minoritystudents complain are
perpetrated by other students.
As the major student
publication on this campus,
you could take the lead in
respect students
The cartoon in question was
just pointless. What was it
supposed to illustrate? As it
stands, this cartoon is not
much better than the disgusting
anti-semitic "cartoons" that can
be seen on some University
restroom walls (and by the
way stay there forever, in
marked contrast to, say,
Mondale-Ferraro posters
which were removed extremely
speedily by the janitorial staff).
Get your act together! There

Sie gal

defends his cartoon

racism at the University. We
seek the entire community's
support in this effort.
- Roderick K. Linzie,
Chairman, Anti-Racist Agenda
Committee of the
Free Sough Africa
Coordinating Committee
December. 9

To The Daily:
About two and a half
months ago, the city of
Detroit experienced a wave of
teenage murders. Within a
week, roughly half a dozen
innocent children, some as
young as eleven years old,
had been either killed or
seriously wounded by other
kids with guns. The motive
was not revenge, gang
warfare, nor drugs, but
clothing. Two months
ago, I wrote a cartoon that I
submitted to The Daily,
titled "Back to School
Shopping in Detroit." It
depicted a teenager,
obviously of high school
age, holding up two other
teenagers at gunpoint, and
trying to decide whether or
not he should get the
"Reeboks or the leather
jacket." The point of the
cartoon was to try to convey
my absolute horror at the
fact that children in Detroit
have been murdering each
other, not to ridicule or
belittle what is clearly a
tragic situation. My intent
was to show that murder, for
any reason, is senseless.
The teenager holding the
Run, as well as one of his

media, are black. Had I
purposely- tried to be
noncontroversial by drawing
a white assailant, thereby4
omitting the fact that black
kids were in fact killing each
other, I felt that I would not
have been addressing the
issue responsibly.
The cartoon should
not have been published two
months after the shootings,
when it could very easily
have been taken out of its
intended context. Ultimate-
ly, the Daily must be
responsible for what it
prints, and I applaud the
editors' decision to change
their policy. This, I hope,
will prevent unfortunate
incidences like this in the
future.
I regret that the
cartoon was published, and I4
understandithat others may
have seen it as bigoted. In
my sincere attempt 'to
communicate the tragedy of
these senseless killings, I
offended many people. At
no time did I mean to imply,
either implicitly or
explicitly, that blacks are
criminal. Racism is far 1o0
prevalent in our society, dj

calling upon the Michigan
Student Assembly and all other
student organizations to begin
in earnest to work with your
fellow majority (i.e. white)
students to weed out bigotry.
Too often discussions of
racism take place in forums
where only minority students
are present when clearly the
problem lies primarily with
some of the majority students
on campus. As student leaders,
will you begin to address the
problem at one of its main
sources?

Obviously this is not. to s
that responsibility for
recognizing and alleviating
racism only rests with
students. All administrators,
faculty and staff should follow
President Shapiro's example by
making the elimination of
bigotry a personal and active
concern.
-Niara Sudarkasa
-Associate Vice
Presiderit
for Acedemic Affairs
--December '1

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