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March 24, 1987 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1987-03-24

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Tuesday, March 24, 1987

The Michigan Daily

SIb Sidj43au 1OatI4
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCVII, No. 118 420 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.

LETTERS
Support affirmative

A

BAM III demands

FOLLOWING PROTESTS AT THE
Fleming Administration Building
and the Michigan League,
University President ' Harold
Shapiro agreed to meet with leaders
of the Black Action Movement III
yesterday morning. Shapiro should
support the thrust of the BAM
demands.
The call to increase funding for
the Black Student Union through
the University is justified. The
BSU provides valuable resources
for Blacks on this campus and
serves as a lobby and a voice to the
administration for Black concerns.
BAM calls for the immediate
endowment of $150,000 for the
Trotter House from the University.
This step is important to the
preservation of Afro-American and
other minority cultural ideals on
campus.
The BAM demand that Blacks be
appointed to the chairpersonships
of 30 percent of academic
departments of the University is
perhaps more applicable to
minorities as a whole. The
administration should adopt a plan
to insure that more departments are
chaired by minority
representatives.
BAM demands the immediate
addition of a discriminatory
harassmen'clause to University,
rules arft regulations. The
University should be to inform
offenders -of their rights of due
process.
By putting a racial harassment

clause in the dormitory lease for
instance, the University can seek
legal prosecution of criminal racist
acts. It might also pursue civil suits
against those who engage in
discriminatory behavior at the
University.
The racial harassment clause
should not be a tool for the
administration to usurp the
functions of the legal system.
Also, the harassment clause must
clearly define what discriminatory
harassment entails.
The University's hesitancy to
listen to past student demands and
proposals has forced a militant
stance on the part of students.
President Shapiro is in a position to
demonstrate a willingness to heed
legitimate student desires.
The University maintains that it
will not cater to every group that
makes demands. The
administration question what
makes BAM and the United
Coalition Against Racism so
special that their needs should be
served before those of other
groups. The University should
recognize these groups because of
the support they have mustered and
the seriousness of the problem
which they are trying to combat.
The intentions and suggestions
of the BAM demands, including its
advocacy of the UCAR proposals,
are justified for the most part.. The
University must accept and
negotiate some of these demands in
an open-minded way or pay the
price of student unrest here on
campus and deserved em -
barrassment nationwide.

To the Daily:
I have' just finished reading
James Elliot's letter ("Will this
madness ever stop?" Daily,
March 19) and I am very angry,
not at Elliot, but at a society
that breeds and perpetuates his
type of thinking. I agree with
Elliot that the University
community upholds separatism
by supporting many "black"
organizations. However, these
separated groups are not racist.
They are a means by which
Blacks can fulfill certain social
needs which are not fulfilled in
a typical "white" society.
In addition, Elliot's whole
argument against recruiting
"minorities" was bullshit. I
don't think he understands the
idea behind Affirmative Action,
which is to provide
opportunities to blacks which
have long been denied them.
Encouraging them to attend
college by facilitating their
ability to do so is a small
attempt to compensate them
for discrimination they have
suffered. Eventually,
Affirmative Action should no
longer be necessary because
blacks will have become
recognized as equal with the
rest of society. If there is any
truth to rumors about lowering
standards to admit blacks to
universities and other schools,
I am certain there is truth to
rumors about lowering
standards to admit extremely
wealthy students. I believe I
am a qualified representative of
the point of view I am
espousing, especially since I
am white and suffered at the
hands of the Office of Financial
Aid, yet this has not turned me
against blacks on campus as
perpetrators of my predicament.
whites tend to focus blame on
blacks because they, in the
words of Ayn Rand, as quoted
in Elliot's letter, "are frustrated,
by a need to protest, not
knowing against what."
Rather, the basic nature of this
society is such that whites and
blacks are forced to compete for
what rightfully belongs to all.
Towards the end of his letter,
Elliot implied that what blacks
want is not equality, but
supremacy. I have to wonder
what ever gave him this idea.
The desire to achieve equality
and the desire to be supreme are
radically different, and I would
think blacks would at least
achieve equality before they
think about supremacy. The
United Coalition Against
Racism is not demanding
awareness of racial problems,
the University is well aware of
these problems, but it is
demanding that specific action
be taken to purge this campus
of racism.
I realize Elliot had good
intentions in exploring this
issue and trying to come to the
root of the racist problem.
However, by using old, worn-
out arguments he avoided the
true problem and failed to find
any solution. Elliot wrote,
"The problem is these groups
do not realize what they will
have to give up to achieve
equality." Was this a

typographical error or an
attempt at satire? The only
things blacks would have to
give up are grief, oppression
and anxiety caused by a white-
imbecile dominated society.
If it were possible to change
society overnight, a solution
would be simple.
Unfortunately, society takes
years, decades, even centuries
to change its attitudes. By
doing nothing blacks would
achieve nothing, but by
organizing and making their
apppeals heard they can only
improve their place in society
as a group, as well as society's
view of them as individuals.
Historically, every advance for
hbaks nn matter hnw sma1l

Standards not lowered

that the situation has been
ignored for so long that blacks
have to resort to extremes, but
if rallies, boycotts, and sit-ins
are what it takes to shame the
administration into doing
something then they deserve

To the Daily:
I would like to respond to the
letter you carried by James
Elliot ("Will this madness ever
stop?" Daily, March 19).
Mr. Elliot, if you desire an
end to racism in our society
and on campus then you must
be willing to pursue the truth
about it. Unfortunately, your
letter reveals you are as yet
unwilling to accept this
responsibility:
1)° You said, "The medical
school has to lower their
standards...to accept the black
student because they have to
reach their quota of minority
students." The truth is the
medical school does not lower
its standards to accept the black
student adthe medical school
has no minority quota.
2) You asked, "Why should
the medical school be forced to
take students who are not
qualified and shouldn't they
instead be looking for good
doctors?" The truth is the
medical school refuses
admissions to students who are
not qualified because they are
looking for good doctors.
3) You said that you,
"...Guess society does not have
enough black doctors." The
truth is black society does not
have enough black doctors.
4) You said that the fact
remains-"Many blacks are
accepted to the medical school
are not qualified." The truth is
every student in the medical
school is qualified to be there.
Clearly, anyone dedicated to
the truth would not attempt to
substitute empty assessments
and opinionated simplicities as
facts. The admissions
committee's definition of a
qualified applicant is much
more dynamic than you are at
present able to realize. For
them, "qualified" is not
synonymous with a particular
test score or GPA (as you
assessment would suggest),
although GPA's and test scores
do help to define a distribution
for the qualified appplicant.
Also, your assessment causally
links qualified (a certain GPA
by your terms) with
competency (being a good
physician). This is incorrect. In
fact, they aresnot causally
related. This is why many
students, both white and black,

with GPA's and test scores
well within the medical
school's standards are rejected.
It is not my attempt to explain
to you the complexities of the
admissions process. I can not.
Rather, I only seek to alert you
to the shallowness of your own
thought processes.
In speaking about the black
organizations on campus, that
labeling the Black Medical
Association, for example, as
"black" promotes racism and
that "By the titles alone, white
people can not join these
groups due to their color." The
"black" in the Black Medical
Association (BMA) does not
stand for no whites allowed. If
the BMA did not want to allow
white students into their
organization, then they would
have called the organization
NWAMA for NoWhites
Allowed Medical Association.
As a political organization, the
BMA does not suscribe to a
politics of exclusion as you
seem to believe, rather, theirs
is a politics of inclusion-a
valuable contribution can come
from anybody. The BMA is

also a cultural organization. It,
provides one setting for blacks
to maintain and express their
culture. It does not prohibit
others from experiencing that'.
culture. If you believe the
expression of black or any
other culture will prevent an.
end to racism and the,
procurement of total equality as
you seem to suggest: "The
problem is these groups do not
realize what they will have to
give up to achieve equality,"
then perhaps you are
diknowingly constrained by
your own cultural
interpretations of the problem.
If this is so, then how much
more important to you become
those campus organizations
expressing a culture distinct
from your own.
In closing, I would like to
leave you with this thought.
Truth is reality. If you are not
dedicated to the truth, you will
not be able to see the reality of
racism clearly; you will not be
prepared to deal with racism.
-Garfield Bryant,
U of M Medical School
March 20"

full support by everyone.
Hopefully, this University will
serve as an example to others
by demonstrating what can be
accomplished through
organized, persistent efforts. In
answer to the question, "Will

action
this madness ever stop?" -
only when whites stop "
complaining as if they were
being oppressed and start'4
working to help those who are.
-Jeri Schneider
March 1

Waivers are not justified
To the Daily:d-
"Tuition waiver for all doesn't seem right. M
under-represented minorities" people work hard in hi
was one of the demands the school in order to g
United Coalition Against admission to this prestig
Racism presented to University University. Would it be fai
tY ~hem:- if- thyadaig
Provost James DuderstadtG ..A, or hithey had a hig
(Daily, March 5). What is this? G.P.A or higher test sco
I thought to myself iss because the were white
some kind of joke? I understandbeas thenvry wryite
that blacks have been the target the University was trying
of racism at U of M lately, but fill the quota with blacks?
this has gone a bit too far. What about WJJ
Should e als give free Personally, I condemnI
tuition to the Japanese just actions of the disc-jockey
because they're in the airing the racist jokes, bu
minority? How about the shut down the entire ra
Hispanics or Jews, or even the station for the actions ofc
Christians? If you think about person is a bit too much. N
it. I am sure all of us could Couzens (hall) shut down
identify ourselves as a part of the actions of one person?
some minority. Please don't Please don't get me wr
get me wrong, I'm all for free I am not a racist, nor d
tuition, but I really don't think approve of the incidentst
this idea is quite practical. have occurred at t
Is it also fair to have a quota University. I do, howev
for the number of blacks to be believe that the reaction to
admitted to this University? I incidents has gotten a bit
realize full well that the blacks of hand, and the whl
are in the minority here, but to situation has gone way too
lower admissions for blacks as Bryan Mis
opposed to whites somehow Marcl

any
high
ain
ous
r to
gher
res,
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and
gto
TX?
the
for
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adio
one
Was
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ong-
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that
his
verb'.
the :
out -
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far.
tele $
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Lest we forget

From Compromise and things half done
Keep me with stern and stubborn pride;
And when at last thefight is won,
God, keep me still unsatisfied.
-Louis Untermeyer, A Prayer
A PALL HANGS OVER the fortunes
of United States interventionists.
Their Central American policy is
rapidly deteriorating under the
pressure of mounting domestic
opposition and the strain of internal
Contra rivalry.
Illegal funding of the Nicaraguan
rebels has brought increased
scrutiny upon the inherently
undemocratic nature of violating a
country's sovereignity and a
people's will. With Arturo Cruz,
former Contra leader, becoming the
latest rat to leave a sinking ship, the
so-called "freedom fighters" have
lost their most credible lobbyist for
continued congressional support.
Compounding its effect, the Cruz
resignation has occurred in the
wake of Democratic ascendency in
the Senate.
Yet, those who oppose inter -
ventionist policies cannot afford to
confidently await an imminent
disbandment of the rebel forces.
The recent defeat, by a
Democratically controlled Senate,
of legislation aimed at denying
further Contra aid has
demonstrated that imperialism is

neither uniquely Republican nor
necessarily doomed. The
intoxication of anticipated victory
should not render political
opposition unduly sedate.
Vigilance must be maintained if
peace in Central America is to be
assured. It is crucial that the voices
of dissent remain vocal and do not
prematurely turn to exaltations of
victory. A mass demonstration
being held in Detroit this Friday
beginning at 1 p.m. affords an
important opportunity to voice
opposition to interventionist
policies in Central America. The
march and rally is being sponsored
by hundreds of unions, religious
groups, and political organizations
opposing United States
involvement in Costa Rica,
Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua,
and - lest we forget - El
Salvador. Car pools are being
organized and those wishing to
attend the rally should meet in front
of the Union at 11:30 on Friday,
with cars if possible. The Detroit
rally should serve as a prelude to a
larger, national demonstration in
Washington, D.C. on April 25
protesting both Contra aid and
continuing relations with apartheid
South Africa. If people desire more
information on either rally, they
can call the Latin America
Solidarity Committee at 665-8438.

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