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April 21, 1987 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-04-21

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OPINION
Tuesday, April 21, 1987

Page 4

The Michigan Daily

editea dan manat
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

SARI finds Daily bigoted

Vol. XCVII, No. 138

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.
Reconsider guidelines

WHILE THE UNIVERSITY BOARD
of Regents is quick to recognize
that freedom has limits in many
areas, research is not one of them.
On Friday, the regents said
research at the University will no
longer be subject to end-use
guidelines, which prohibit research
harmful to human life. The regents
also decreased restrictions on
classified research. These decsions
effectively remove the right of the
University community to judge
what type of activity appropriately
reflects the University's mission.
The guidelines had been in place
since 1972 and the end-use
provision had been in existence
since 1967. When a research
proposal sponsored by Professor
Raymond Tanter was rejected
because it required the use of
classified documents and couldn't
be published within a year's time,
j the guidelines as a whole came
under review. The majority report
of the ad hoc committee formed to
review those guidelines advocated
a "de facto" ban on classified
research and the removal of end-
use guidelines. The regents'
decision removes end-use but
makes it easier to perform
. classified research.
:> By loosening restrictions on
military-related research, the new
guidelines will undoubtedly
increase ties between the
University and the Pentagon. The
Department of Defense funded
more than $10.5 million of all
University research last year and
this amount will increase by $2
million next year.

There are a lot of reasons to be
wary of Pentagon influence within
the University. While proponents
of the changes call themselves
advocates of "academic freedom,"
the likely effect of increased
Pentagon influence on campus will
be to decrease freedom. Last year,
a Pentagon official was quoted as
saying that a researchers' position
on SDI will be considered when
allocating grants.
There are also serious ethical
problems with military research.
The University should be involved
in research which makes the world
more humane, not less so. The
University's proper role should not
involve aiding and abeting the arms
race.
Under the guidelines, research
projects no longer face review from
any representative board. This
eliminates the role of the Classified
Research Review Panel and the
Research Policy Committee which
have reviewed proposals for
classified projects in the past.
The only remaining restriction
on classified research is a statement
that the University will "not accept
grants, contracts, or agreements for
research which unreasonably
restrict" publication or
dissemination of results.
Without defining "unreasonably"
- by including requirements that
the results be available for
publication within a definite time
frame - the guidelines mean
nothing.
Neither research harmful to
human life nor research which
cannot be published has any place
at the University.

By Thomas Prichard
Is
I want to thank the Daily for the
opportunity to express the concerns that
Students Against Religious
Intolerance have had about the recent
"God is Dead" (Daily, 4/1/87) editorial
found in the April 1 edition of the
Michigan Daily.
As has been stated in several of the
letters to the editor, had any of the things
said about John Paul II been said about
Martin Luther King (another church leader
who, in addition, is black) the editors
would have never printed it. One of the
main issues here is whether the same
standard should be applied to religion.
SARI believes the answer is definitely
yes. Not only does our society recognize
as fundamental rights those pertaining to
race, sex, religion, and color, but the
University of Michigan has a stated
policy of based on nondiscrimination
race, sex, religion, color, and national
ancestry.
A typical response is, "Let's not get
uptight about a little humor." The issue
Thomas Prichard is a graduate
student in the Institute of Public Policy
Studies.

*ie have with this is not whether it is
inappropriate to use some humor in a
newspaper, but at what point that humor
becomes inappropriate. Just like with the
racist jokes, the line is crossed at the
point where the humor takes on a
mocking, scorning, and denigrating
quality against a subgroup within society,
simply for being members of that
subgroup. Why is the "God is Dead"
article offensive? Black activists,
feminists, religious people and others are
people whose most firmly held beliefs are
under attack in an intolerant
environmment. The university
community has been on the vanguard
saying they welcome people of all types
and beliefs. If it then turns around and
says and does things that are insensitive
to the very people they proclaim to so
warmly embrace, it is no wonder their
behavior seems a bit disingenuous to
these people. They experience being
belittled, stereotyped and dismissed as
second class people. For all of them, their
beliefs, hopes, and aspirations are central
to their identity. If that center is insulted,
whether knowingly or unknowingly, it is
offensive.
We also called the article bigoted. The
definition of bigoted in the Harcourt,
Brace and World Standard College

Dictionary is, "One whose attitude or
behavior expresses intolerance of race,
religion, politic, etc." To print
insensitive and insulting editorials is
hardly tolerant, even if it is done under
the cover of humor. The word bigoted
applies to religious as well as racial
intolerance. Is the Daily handling this in
a bigoted way? Well, if someone came to
me and said that something I said was
found by them to be insulting, then
because I hold bigotry in disdain, my
natural response would be to say, "Tell
me more." Even if I ended up not
understanding their position, I would at
least try to arrive at a mutual
understanding. The editorial staff of the
Daily, until now hasn't bent over
backward to listen and certainly has done
nothing to apologize.
Finally, it has also been said, "Well if
you don't like it, don't read the Daily." I
may just do that, but there is a bigger
problem here than just me. If the attitude
of the Daily is the common attitude on
campus, bigotry will reign, not tolerance.
If it's "ok" in the Daily, it's "ok" in the
classroom and "ok" in the dorms and I
may be able to avoid reading the Daily
but then I can't go to class or live in a
dorm. Pretty soon I'll have a "reserved"
seat in the back of a bus.

Wasserman

ON OBSCEI.i4T,,
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LETTERS:

PIRGIM film encourages stereotypes

Greeks shake off racism

M UCH PUBLICITY AND
ATTENTION has been given to the
problem of racism on campus,
while the efforts to correct the
social issue have been limited. The
University has pledged to meet
some of the demands made by the
United Coalition Against Racism.
However, only time will tell as to.
whether or not the University and
the administration will implement
the majority of those requests.
Therefore, praise should be
bestowed upon the founders and
members of P.A.S.S. (Pepper and
Salt Shakers).
Granted, there have been
numerous teach-ins and workshops
dealing with the problem of racism
led by groups such as UCAR and
BAM. However, the people both
running the programs and
participating in them are the same
involved and informed people who
have noticed the problem from the
beginning.
P.A.S.S. is a group of fraternity
and sorority members from both
IFC/Panhel Greek houses and the
Black Greek Association houses.
By bringing the two systems
together, P.A.S.S. bridges social
and racial differences. The meeting
of the two groups symbolizes more
than just a large scale activity by a
bunch of apathetic, stereotyped
Greeks.
The car wash held by these
fraternity and sorority members is a
concrete step in the direction of

many people are more talk than
action and others would rather
blow hot air than to act on an issue,
P.A.S.S.'s action took the issue to
heart.
The one hundred plus people
who worked at the car wash did
more than rub automobiles with
soap and spray them with water.
As a unified group, both Black and
white Greeks together, they
showed the entire Ann Arbor
community that racists are a
minority. The car wash
successfully united the Black and
mainstream fraternity and sorority
houses, proving that although the
two may be different, they can still
work together.
The car wash was successful in
raising $1000 for the Green Glacier
community youth center, a center
for disadvantaged youths.
However, P.A.S.S. has no
intentions of stopping here. A
nonpartisan group, the Greek
members are planning on raising
more money again next fall.
The organization will hold other
fund raisers of equal significance,
using the money for guest speakers
on racism and for the establishment
of a scholarship fund. The actions
of this new group speak louder
than words. The way in which this
group of Greeks acted deserves
praise from the Administration, the
students, and the rest of the Greek
system. They concretely worked to
break down the walls of racism and
show the University community

To the Daily:
On Saturday, April 11, I and
two friends (one of whom is
Kenyan) went to see the film,
"Faces of Women." It was the
last film of a series entitled
"Celebration of Diversity"
which was sponsered by
PIRGIM. The purported aim of
this series was to foster within
the university community an
appreciation and respect for the
culture of groups which do not
form part of the mainstream of
North American life. Although
PIRGIM'S goal is admirable,
especially in the wake of recent
events on campus, and I do not
question the sincerity of the
sponsers, I must vigorously
protest the content of the film.
"Faces of Women" spared
no negative stereotypes in its
depiction of African people.
This was especially true of
African men. Without
exception, every African man
was depicted as being either a
buffoon, a pimp, or a leech.
African women fared only
slightly better. In one
particularly offensive scene, a
daughter is seen chastising her
mother for being too
ambitious. The daughter
counsels her mother to eschew
the business world as this is
the exclusive domain of men.
Instead, all women should
concentrate on gaining power
in the way that women know
best --- through their bodies.
What made this statement even
more incredible was the fact
that this young woman had
been college educated abroad
through the money that her
mother earned by being a
shrewd and resourceful business
woman. I could go on listing
example after example of
objectionable stereotypes de-
picted in the film, buttIwon't.
Suffice it to say that my
Kenyan friend was so offended
that she left in the middle of
the film.

To avoid this occurence in
the future I would make a
suggestion. Before any film is
shown on campus which
depicts the lives of people of
color or other oppressed
groups, representatives of these
groups should be contacted
ahead of time in order to
preview the film. If, after the
preview, the representatives
discover objectionable elements
within the film, there are two
options that could be pursued.
One, the film could be ditched
and every effort be made to find
'God is deac
To the Daily:
Congratulations on your
April Fool's Day editorial
"God is Dead."
The humor in the article is
pointed and funny. I especially
liked the political satire in the
following paragraph:
"The effects of God's death
have been Earth shattering.
Peace broke out in the Middle
East."
I disagree with those who
criticize this funny piece,
(while defending to the death
their right to do so). They
should have space for their
rebuttals, but not a censor's
eraser.
Any hint of punishment
of the Daily for this or any
writing is potentially chilling
to the precious free press.
Students should try to be on
guard to University admin -
istrators' using some offensive
article or radio talk show to
seize control of student-run
media.
Religious freedom includes
the right to challenge all
religion. Free speech and press
are not limited to the in -
offensive.
The freedom of speech and
press should be celebrated and
protected. One of the problems
of censorship is that it creates

a suitable replacement. Or, a
panel discussion could follow
the presentation of the film
with the express purpose of
exposing and discussing any
offensive material in order to
educate and enlighten members
of the audience.
In summary, I would like to
emphasize that good intentions
are not enough! Films are a
powerful medium with the
ability to reinforce or modify
values and attitudes held by the
audience. Therefore, if
PIRGIM, or any other group,

is sincere in its desire to foster
an appreciation for the richness
and diversity of the cultures
represented within the
university community, it must
ensure that the message
contained within the medium
accurately reflects its goals. If
this is not possible with a
given medium, then another
more appropiate vehicle should
be chosen.
-Mimi Duncan
School of Public
Health
April 13

should not be censored

determine when speech is
censorable and when it is not?
Who sits on the committee? If
it starts with racist and sexist

nation of unpopular but ex.-
cellent ideas, along with fool-
ish ones. Sometimes what is
popular and what is foolish is

and anti-religious speech, the subject of changing popular
where does it go from there? opinion over time. Free speech
Censorship begs the ques - and press let these changes
tion who, (or whose interest develop.
group), is censor and who is Would we censor criticism
censored. of government policy? Mis
Censorship also begs the cegenation and abolition of
question of the causes of. slavery were once anti-govern -
offensive speech. In the case ment policy and were the
of racist remarks, censorship subject of censorship efforts.
treats the symptom, but not The free press protects and
the underlying problem. A enhances other freedoms. In-
mandatory course on racism suits from the media arera
and diversity for all University small price to pay, and invite
students and tuition waivers for their own rebuttal.
needy and underrepresented I hope the Daily stands
minorities would undermine firmly by its article, makes no
the climate of racism on cam - apology whatsoever, and wel-
pus. The implementation of comes the writings of those
progressive programs, not cen - who disagree with the article.
sorship, is the solution to -Jonathan I. Rose
racism. April 19
Censorship threatens germi -
John 14:6 contradicts Daily
To the Daily: think that you owe Scriptures
Like many other Christians, - the very word of the God
I am outraged at the blasphemy you jokingly called dead -
that was published April 1 equal time.
under the heading, "God is In direct opposition to your
Dead." My anger, however, is column, John 14:6 of the Bible
for the people who want to states that Jesus said, "I am the
learn about God but were way, and the truth, and the life;
confused and intimidated by nn nPrnactoh Fther hilt

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