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April 22, 1987 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1987-04-22

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I

OPINION

Page 4

Wednesday, April 22, 1987

The Michigan Daily

. _ .T.e_ Mi_..aan.. Doily

A

ie £irgbtan ailtj
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCVII, No. 139 420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other
cartoons, signed articles, and lettersrdo not necessarily represent the opinion
of the Daily.

Dismantling nuclear arms

Year in the life

By Chihiro Kikuchi
As a nuclear engineer who has for
many years been concerned about peace in
the nuclear age, I find it strange that there
has not more public discussion on the
central issue of what to do with the
nuclear bombs we have already. There
have been endless rounds of rhetoric on
nuclear wars, on how our front yards
would be turned instantly into huge
atomic bomb microwave ovens, about
nuclear winters, or nuclear autumns as
some prefer to call it, and so forth. But so
far I have not heard any comments on
what we might do in our backyards to
prevent such catastrophes from befalling
us.
In passing, let me note that I am
identifying the personal and public, and
not the international issues of peace,
because I am using the typical method of
engineering - that of focusing on the
solutions. Instead of merely dwelling on
the societal issue only, our approach is to
analyze it carefully, try to identify the

specific component problems, and then to
search for the technical means available
for their solutions. For the societal issue
of nuclear peace, the public fear is that
the enemy will, by accident or design,
release a salvo of nuclear missiles, turn
our front yards instantly into a huge
microwave oven, and we ourselves, along
with millions of others, will be instantly
fried to death. The obvious way is to
make this impossible, of course, is to
reduce the number and to destroy the
nuclear bombs we already have, through a
mutual international agreement.
But if we start to think through this
problem, we will find that it is easier said
than done. According to reports, in the
U.S. nuclear arsenal alone, it's been
reported that there are somewhere between
10,000 to 50,000 nuclear warheads.
Presumably, the Soviets have a
comparable number. To get rid of them,
we would need to dismantle them to
remove the nuclear explosive, which is
bomb-grade Plutonium, and then to find
the ways and means to dispose of this
Plutonium, or to make it unfit for use
again in nuclear weapons. And keep in
mind that it has been reported that a mere
microgram - a millionth of a gram -
can cause cancer, and the amount we have

here in the U.S. alone is probably in the
neighborhood of 100 trillion micrograms!
Even the first step of dismantling
could raise sensitive personal and public
issues. In the first place, it cannot be
done openly, because there will be the
danger of international proliferation of th60
nuclear weapons technology. In addition,
there is the danger of Plutonium theft by
terrorist groups. This means that the
dismantling plants, despite the fact that
they are for nuclear peace, would need to
be kept under heavy armed guards day and
night. Furthermore, the workers will no
doubt have to be cleared for top secret
work and tested for drug use.
But the research and development for
the peaceful uses of the bomb-grade-
Plutonium will need to go on, and the
research workers would need to be
recruited from the academic community.
This, in turn, means that some of the R
& D on Plutonium uses will need to be
carried out as classified research on
campuses, and the research results kept
secret, not just for one year but, in some
cases, for many years.
I hope that the readers will no'
misunderstand me. I am not an advocate
of classified research. I feel that it shoult
See PROFESSOR, Page 5

A REVIEW OF THIS YEAR in the
"life" of the University community
should focus on the many visible
gains achieved by and for students.
Another standard of .review,
however, is less tangible; a
consideration of student self-
perception. A shift in the attitudes
of many students about their rights
and their abilities as members of
'the university community is the
root of renewed activism on
campus. Students are asserting
their rights as shapers of their
experience at the University, as
they develop confidence in their
'power to do so.
This confidence was
demonstrated early in the year, as
more than 500 students offered
themselves as volunteers for the
Dean Baker campaign. The degree
of support for a graduate student's
bid for a Congressional seat
reflected a renewed faith in the
student voice and the liberal
agenda. Baker's defeat of Don
.Grimes in the Democratic primary,
and his formidable challenge to the
incumbent Carl Pursell (R-
Plymouth), was a victory for all
students.
Students this year examined the
quality of University services on
:campus and assumed responsibility
;for their safety. The expansion of
Night Owl and the installment of
emergency phones were largely the
result of student lobbying efforts
through the Sexual Assault
,Prevention and Awareness Center,
:a center also initiated by students.
Similiarly, SAFEWALK was
created by students to accomodate
the needs of women, which have
been ignored by the University.
Members of the Greek system
also evaluated their needs, and
,developed Greeks for Peace; an
organization combining the efforts
:of students from different houses
to address the proliferation of
.'nuclear weapons other political
issues. More recently, members of
V the IFC/Panhel Greek system and
:the Black Greek Association
bridged their long-standing
,,separation to raise money for a
local charity, and take a visible step
..against racism. P.A.S.S. (Pepper
and SaltrShakers) and Greeks for
Peace are indications that many in
the Greek system are interested in
establishing a new agenda for
:Greeks, and assuming a new role
in the University community.
This building energy and
motivation of students throughout
1986-87 was most successfully
,channeled in response to new
indications of racism. Those who
,accepted the reality of racism on
campus came together to force the
administration's committment to
change this reality. The United
Coalition Against Racism (UCAR)
,and the Black Action Movement III

(BAM) consists of students who
have recognized their responsibity
to other students at the University,
and future students. The renewed
activity of another student group,
Lesbian and Gay Rights on
Campus (LaGROC), is a further
indication of a new awareness
among students; an awareness of
violated rights and the right to
challenge the attitudes of both the
administration and their fellow
students. More importantly, the
organizations believe in their
capabilities to achieve their goals.
Students have been able to see
the potential effects of sincere
mobilization. The University Board
of Regent's long-awaited decision
to award Nelson Mandela an
honorary degree at this year's
commencement is a direct result of
the Free South Africa Coordinating
Commitee's (FSACC) sustained
lobbying efforts for a coherent
University stand against apartheid.
Similarly, the administration has
begun to recognize the legitimacy
of UCAR and BAM III's demands,
and has taken steps - albeit
limited ones - to address the
issues of minority representation
on campus.
Unfortunately, the
administration has not been able to
sustain a committment to student
needs and values. The regent's
decision to eliminate the "end-use"
clause from University research
guidlines (the clause prohibited
research on projects potentially
harmful to human life), and the
administration's intimations toward
code-like procedures to reprimand
students involved in racist
incidents, are significant steps
backward for the University
community. These issues demand
the continued attention and
involvement from students
throughout the summer and
beyond.
The activists of the 1960s
demonstrated students' potential to
affect change when they are willing
to take action. The momentum of
those peace and civil rights
movements has helped to set the
pace for student mobilization this
year. It is crucial, howeverpthat
students of the 19 80's don't prove
themselves selective historians, and
choose to remember only the
outstanding rallies and sit-ins of
that decade.
Substantial changes were only
brought about through follow-up
and patience. If rallies are to
become hollow gestures, students
become party to the same
hypocrisy that they challenge in the
administration. The true legacy of
the '60s activists, is for students
today to demonstrate a sustained
committment to the values and
demands applauded on the diag.

Kikuchi is a
Professor Emeritus
Engineering.

University
of Nuclear

LETTERS:
Alumnus applauds journalist Wallace'

I I

To the Daily:
In 1981, a San Diego federal
savings and loan institution
was preying upon the poorer,
disadvantaged members of that
California community by
participating in a scheme by
which such citizens, largely
Black and Hispanic, were
without full knowledge signing
away their homes as collateral
for the purchase of air
conditioning units. Even just -
ified failures to make the
scheduled payments were
resulting in loss of hard-won
homes. Technically, the
scheme was unassailable - the
securing paper, once passed by
the merchant to a finance
institution, was free of defenses
(and right to withhold
payment) by a dissatisfied
purchaser.
Mike Wallace, in his role as
investigative reporter for the
CBS News program, "60
Minutes," took on the then
huge (now out of business)
institution, and forced admis -
sion that the scheme, while
perhaps meeting the letter of
the law, met no other business
or moral standard. I have not
followed up whether Mr.
Wallace's effort caused an
immediate abandonment of the
scheme, but I believe that we
must suppose that the exposure
made the continuance of the
practice untenable.
The sophistication of the
conditioner purchasers was
critical to the scheme, and to
the story, in two important
regards. First the conditioner
vendors depended upon the
trust, and lack of business
sophistication, of the more
disadvantaged members of the
community, to obtain sig -
nature to an outrageous "legal"
document which mortgaged a
full house to secure a minor
purchase, an air conditioner.
Secondly, the savings and loan
depended upon the lack of
sophistication to bully the
hapless purchaser into the
belief that he or she had no
recourse other than to see a
home lost.
In an off camera moment,
Wallace emphasized the heart
of the matter, the disparity in
sophistication between the
poor, minority purchasers and
the massive financial
institution, by homely refer -
ence to what are supposed to be
stereotypical dietary staples of
at least the more recently
arrived members of the two
minority communities preyed
upon by the conditioner

whose essential defense was:
"A deal's a deal. They knew
what they were doing."
A poor choice of words by
which to emphasize the
controlling disparity? Perhaps.
But, a "racist comment," as
alleges your quoted student,
Mr. Linzie? Hardly. Indeed, it
is not Mr. Wallace who should
issue "a national apology." It
is Mr. Linzie. Or are we to
ignore context - and allow
comments to be excised much

like your movie page
advertisements treat the true,
full comments of a reviewer?
Are we to ignore what Mr.
Wallace was up to in San
Diego - the in effect, and in
fact, championing of those
who had been "had" against
those who had "had" them, and
confident of the relative
impotence, were going to go
right on taking away not the
conditioner, not the furniture,
but whole homes from people

who had not realized they were
"agreeing" to such a "deal?"
It strikes me that Mike
Wallace, when one judges (as
one should, when arrogating an
estimate of an other) a life as
opposed to a 10-second excerpt,
is precisely the kind of citizen
that Michigan hopes to
produce, as it goes about its
haphazard attemptli "educate."
-Lawrence Kelly
University alumnus
April 16

UCAR to unwelcome speaker Mike Wallace

To the Daily:
Once again the University
has shown its hypocrisy with
the invitation of Mike Wallace
as the 1987 commencement
speaker. Just two months ago
on our campus a congressional
hearing on racism was held
where President Shapiro stated
"Every incident of racism or
bigotry - whether blatant or
otherwise - undermines our
aspirations and diminishes the
ideals of our community. Each
such incident is a couse for
grief and dismay for us all."
UCAR and others ask what
better reason to be called a
hypocrite than to invite Mike
Wallace as the commencement
speaker.
It is utterly outrageous that
Mike Wallace or the admin -
istration would attempt to
trivialize the significance of
Wallace's overtly racist
comments by suggesting that
they were simply jokes in poor
taste. Does this mean that the
administration endorses
"discrete" racism? . The
comments were that Black and
Latino people who had been
defrauded in a real estate
scheme probably could not read
the leases over their
watermelons and tacos.,
Wallace's comments reflect the
same type of malignant racist
attitudes that have been demon-
strated in various forms on this
campus over the past few
months - and, just as those
aspects of racism were not
tolerated, this should not be
either.
To allow Wallace to speak,
after his racist comments have
resurfaced, would be to send a
dangerous signal and message
to the sudents on this campus.
It would, in fact, suggest that
racism is not serious; hurtful
racist stereotypes can be funny
(if you are not the target); and
one who promotes and
espouses such bigoted
stereotypes is still deserving of

encourage U of M graduates to
model themselves after? Let's
hope not.
It is hypocritical for the
University to diligently pursue
disciplinary proceedings against
the two racist student disc
jockeys, Mike Gonzalez and
Ted Sevransky, while at the
same time playing host to
another racist broadcaster with
a lot more power and influence
than our two local amateurs.
We had hoped we would be
able to proudly attend this
year's graduation and call it U
of M's anti-Apartheid, anti-
racist commencement, an event
which would make an
important symbolic statement
against racism by honoring
Nelson Mandela. The choice of
Wallace as a speaker will mar
the event.
President Shapiro has
suggested that we not focus on
Wallace's faults and mistakes
but on his assets and

contributions. This suggestion
trivializes the malicious
character of Wallace's remarks
and his unrepentant tone to thiA
day. In addition, as the owner
of extensive property in Haiti,
Wallace is one of the white
Americans contributing to the
oppression this destitute and
predominantly Black country.
We invite all students who
support the anti-racist struggle
at Michigan to join us at a
rally before graduation to
protest Wallace's presence on
campus. We will meet at 11:00
a.m. at Elvell Field, corner of
Hoover and S. Division to pass
out literature and make a
symbolic statement during the
ceremony. Be there. We cannot
make racists feel welcome here,
be they racist student disc
jockeys, anonymous assailants,
or so-called liberal journalists.'
-Barbary Ransby
UCAR
April 21

Toys won' t stop racist jokes

To the Daily:
Saturday's New York Times
carried a large article about our
University. I have sent a copy
to Professor Nick Steneck,
who will no doubt want it for
his course on the history of the
University. If anyone else
wants-a copy, I'll gladly give
you one. Just stop by my
office. You might want to take
it home to your parents - in
case they missed it.
The headline reads "Ethnic
jokes in Campus Computer
Prompt Debate." The story is
about what the Times calls "a
collection of ethnic, racist, and
other jokes offensive to'
specific groups, all put into a
computer by students at the
University of Michigan." Fun
and the First Amendment.
Indulged Sickness.
The Vice-President for Gim -
mickry, Mr. Duderstadt, says
t1... ntz n s L''.1 ........- C.

electronic stuff, and promises
more.
There are rumors that next
fall, when you return, all of th4
classrooms in Mason Hall will
be equipped with electric trains
for you to play with. If you
have your parents' permission,
you can play with the trains
that have Black porters and red-
caps to wait on you.
If we spent the computer-
games and electric trains
money on education, we might
learn - maybe - why w4
shouldn't be indulging in
racism and other socially and
personally destructive
prejudices. But the Vice-
President for Gimmickry says
he doesn't want teachers;
teaching isn't innovative -
and he wants innovative
approaches to education.
And your tuition is going
up six to ten percent for flexl

Reconsideration:

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