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November 24, 1987 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1987-11-24

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I

OPINION

Page 4

Tuesday, November 24, 1987

The Michigan Daily

---- - ------

I

1

LETTERS

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

4

'Epton's anti-U.S. tirade out of place

Vol. XCVIII, No.54

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.
Protest CIA tomorrow

W HILE THE STUDENTS have an
interest in having potential employ-
ers recruit on campus, there must be
some moral standards for organiza-
tions who avail themselves of uni-
versity facilities. The CIA, as a ter-
rorist organization, could not meet
any such standards, and should not
be allowed to recruit on campus.
Students should therefore protest its
attempts to do so on Wednesday, in
the Student Activities Building, at
the office of Career Planning and
Placement.
The CIA's status as a pariah can
be seen from the fact that it is re-
cruiting tomorrow, when most of
the students will be gone. It has
good reasons to be camera-shy. The
CIA's list of crimes, committed in
the course of a never-ending effort
to impose the U.S. government's
will on the rest of the world by
force, violence, and corruption, is
too long to print in this space.
People who think that the CIA's
primary function is to gather intelli-
gence should think again. What in-
telligence the CIA gathers is for
the purpose of action - often
covert and barbaric, as when the
CIA helped overthrow the elected
government of Chile, and then pro-
vided the military dictatorship with

thousands of names of political ac-
tivists, many of whom were subse-
quently tortured and murdered by
the U.S.-backed junta.
The CIA's institutional racism
can be seen from its collaboration
with the South African government
in terrorist attacks on Angola and
Mozambique. And most recently the
CIA helped organize and finance a
car bombing in Beirut that killed 80
people and wounded 200 more.
Organizations like the CIA dis-
grace this nation and foster anti-
American sentiment throughout the
world. Even on the basis of its own
internal rules, the CIA should not
be allowed to recruit on campus,
since it explicitly excludes lesbians
and gay men from employment.
The University community
should be proud of the fact that the
CIA has had trouble recruiting on
campus, as a result of persistent
protest over the last three years.
Since the agency avoids any
publicity that inevitably brings its
crimes to light, it cancelled its re-
cruitment efforts last year, rather
than face continued demonstrations.
This shows that public protest can
be effective, especially against an
adversary that has so much to hide
as the CIA.

To the Daily:
Last night, November 22, at
Rackham auditorium, a crowd
who had gathered for the sole
purpose to hear recently re-
leased Soviet dissident, Natan
Scharansky, speak of his or-
deal, was instead made subject
to hear the gross and insulting
remarks of a Mr. Jeff Epton, an
Ann Arbor City Councilmem-
ber (D-Third ward), who
chose to pervert the evening's
affair into an anti-U.S. rally.
Clad in corduroys and an open
at the top oxford jersey, rolled
at the sleeves for that dignified
look, Epton transgressed all
borders of good taste by
preaching his malicious, empty
rhetoric so inherent to his
liberal line of thinking.
Beginning by boasting about
his unwillingness to defend his
own country at time of war,
Mr. Epton then proceeded to
cite examples ranging from the
United States' invasion of
Grenada to the homeless as acts
of blatant violations of human
rights.
There is nothing wrong with
disagreeing with the United
States' foreign and domestic
policies. Here in the United
States, as opposed to in
oppressive societies such as the
Soviet Union, the right to
dissent is recognized as a right
of the people.
But there is a proper time and
place to make such opinions,
however ludicrous they may
be, made known. The crowd
last night came to hear about
one man's struggle against
Soviet oppression and his de-
termination to exercise his in-
alienable rights, not a one-sided
and distorted ranting condemn-
ing the United States for its
alleged abuses of human rights.
Epton went on to assert that
the United States maintains an
atrocious record of human
rights suppression comparable
to that of the Soviet Union.
This is a disgusting affront to
every decent U.S. citizen. How
can Epton claim with a sane
mind that the United States is
no better than a nation that
consistently and in a deter-
mined effort subjects its citi-
zens to cruel, inhuman and de-
grading treatment, arbitrary ar-
rests, and other minor infrac-

tions, and denies them the ba-
sic human rights of life, lib-
erty, security and privacy of
person?
If Epton had so eloquently
discoursed his opposition
against the State in the Soviet
Union, he would have been
shot. Send me to Siberia if I'm
wrong, but the last time I
looked around the government
here was not sending its citi-
zens off to prison or "insane
asylums" for treacherous of-
fenses against the state such as
teaching your children how to
read, or hanging banners from
your window. It's a funny
thing, isn't it, that you don't
hear about too many people

wanting, let alone being denied
such a desire, to emigrate to
the Soviet Union.
Despite my fervent abhor-
rence to Mr. Epton's argu-
ments, I cannot condemn his
having those opinions. We live
in a pluralistic society where
opposing views are accepted. I
cannot even take issue with
Mr. Epton's being able to ex-
press those views in public.
Mr. Epton's actions, however,
were disgraceful. To a predom-
inantly Jewish crowd that can
painfully appreciate Mr. Natan
Scharansky's struggle against
oppression and discrimination,
it is shameful to regard the
United States as morally equal

with the Soviet Union, a na-
tion which chooses to deny the
rights of and continually op-
press the indigenous Jewish
portion as well as the rest of
its population.
If Mr. Epton feels so
compelled to express his
offensive opinions he can have
the good taste to express them
through proper channels, such
as in a debate format, instead of
taking the opportunity to
offend and disgust a crowd that
had gathered to hear a speech
about the struggle for Soviet
Jewry.
-Amy Herrup
November 23

4

Radicals charge

racism'

too much

Support Scharansky

NATAN SCHARANSKY embodies the
spirit of the unrelenting political ac-
tivist. After spending nine years in a
Soviet labor camp for refusing to
abandon his human rights goals, the
Soviet Union finally released him to
Israel after worldwide protest to the
Kremlin. Sunday night he came to
Rackham Auditorium urging every-
one to keep pressing for free emigra-
tion and the establishment of true hu-
man rights in the U.S.S.R.
At present, there are 382,000 Jews
in Russia who have formally re-
quested permission to emigrate. So-
viet citizens must elicit permission
from their government before they
can settle abroad, or even travel out-
side the U.S.S.R. In a move to fur-
ther aggravate this restriction, Gor-
bachev's bureaucrats made a law in
January limiting emigration to only
the Soviets who have relatives
abroad. This act, taken in the heyday
of glasnost, restricts the possibility of
emigration to less than ten percent of
Jews, and makes it almost impossible
for other Soviets without foreign
connections to ever leave.
. With Gorbachev's arrival in Wash-
iiigton on December 7, vital human
rights issues will come up. As Scha-

ransky pointed out though, the
avoidance of nuclear war is the most
important matter facing the world to-
day, and quotas on emigration
shouldn't be tied to multi-lateral mis-
sile reductions. At the same time,
work should continue towards miti-
gating rights abuses and promote
freedom for all Soviet citizens.
Scharansky has consumed himself
with this struggle even after his re-
lease. He is currently travelling to the
United States urging everyone to
come to Washington on December 6
to let Gorbachev know United States
citizens are not fooled on emigration
and human rights questions. This
protest, estimated to attract over
100,000 people from all back-
grounds, will demand true human
rights for all people within Soviet
borders.
As the United States and the So-
viet Union hopefully conclude the
important arms control treaty next
month, there will also be high level
talks occurring on other matters, in-
cluding human rights violations.
When Gorbachev peruses translated
United States newspapers in Wash-
ington, he will surely notice the justi-
fied and unrelenting demands of those
who came to greet him.

To the Daily:
A peculiar error has grown
endemic to American
Academia, to pertinaciously
aver the truth of a proposition,
which assent is unwarranted by
reasonamerely because it is
consonant with the mawkish
dribblings of the mountebanks
of two-bit radical human
sophistry. A recrudescence of
this fell fever has recently ap-
peared on this editorial page. I
refer to the numerous letters
that have been printed in re-
sponse to Mr. Lawrence
Hamann's letter "Funky Black
Bitch isn't racist" (Daily,
11/3/87).
To scribe such an epithet
undeniably bespeaks a certain
lack of civility, but indeed lit-
tle civility should be expected
from one who employs a re-
stroom wall as a billboard. But
this epithet is - patently to
the open-minded -
demonstrably to others - not
racist.
"Racism" denotes a prejudice
against a particular race. Con-
sequently, to use a word in a
racist manner is to use the
word in such a way as to
evince prejudice. (The reader is
left to his own imagining to
construct racist usages).
But "Black" as it appeared on
the restroom wall was not used
in a racist manner. "Black," as
Mr. Hamann has pointed out,
was used to describe a personal
attribute of some several indi-
o ppressed
America. The laws, what few
there are, are not enforced by
the government. Their interests
seem to lie with the big
corporations that own the land,
not the people who are work-
ing off of it.
I was wondering how these
laws could be enforced? Who
could have enough power to
carry this out? My answer,
surprisingly enough, was me.
My government is supposed to
represent me. I intend to see
that it does. A voice must be
given for all the workers whose
cries have grown hoarse from
being ignored. I think the time
has come for some action to
replace the apathy of U.S.citi-
zens. Some people, some chil-
dren, are dying. Thank God
they are not yours.
-Amy Lynn Emrich
November 21

To the Daily:
I am sorry Noah Finkel was
so shaken by the words of
Mona Rishmawi and Mazen
Qutby, two Palestinian lawyers
speaking in the Lawyer's Club
lounge last Wednesday, when
they said that the Israeli gov-
ernment commits "crimes ag-
ainst humanity." Finkel im-
mediately considered the use of
the term a slap in the face to
"all of the students at the Uni-
versity who lost relatives in
the Holocaust."
However, during the talk, the
Palestinians drew no overt par-
allels to the atrocities the Jews
faced in Europe. The person
quickest to evoke a connection

between the facts of Israeli oc-
cupation and Nazi Germany
was Noah Finkel himself.
It is impossible to "belittle
the suffering of the victims of
the Holocaust" and to accuse
two eloquent Palestinian hu-
man rights activists of doing
so is unfair. The entire tone of
Finkel's editorial, however,
appears to belittle the suffering
of Palestinians. It is thus a
slap in the face of students,
such as myself, whose families
lost homes, lives and liveli-
hoods in the wake of Israel's
creation. No one has a
monopoly on suffering.
-Jamal E-Hindi
November 16

vidual. That black is an at-
tribute belonging to other
individuals of her race is irrele-
vant. "Black" is no more racist'
than is "blond," unless it is
used to disparage one by at-
tributing to him a stereotyped
fault based on his race.
True sympathy for the vic-
tims of racism is better served
by the univocal usage of the

term "racist" than by cavils and
tawdry ululations - like cry-
ing wolf - of "Racist!
Racist!" The squeaky hinge
may get greased for a time, but
in the long run it is discarded.
Likewise, obstreperous
ejaculations- win' few friends
and even fewer debates.
-Timothy D. Byrne
.November 16

'Crimes against humanity'

Don t ignore nurses

Illegal,

aliens

To the Daily:
I am responding to the
recent lack of publicity
concerning Cesar Chavez's
speaking tour.
I work for $3.90 an hour,
six hours a week at a library. I
copy documents sent to m y
department, I answer the tele-
phone, and occasionally work
the cash register. The rest of
my time is spent going to
school so I can learn a skill
which will enable me to make
a lot of money. Every once in
a while I stumble across some
bit of reality from the outside
world. My God, as a student, is
to analyze it and thank God it
didn't happen to me, and so I
do.
I thank God that I don't
have to work twelve hours a
day for 40 cents an hour. I
thank God I don't have to go
home to a small shack infested
with mice and no hot water. I
thank God that I have the right
to learn to read, write, and
question. I especially thank
God that I don't have to watch
my children starve because
there is no work left to be done
in the fields.
When I first learned of the
horrendous conditions that mi-
grant workers must live with I
thought, how could this be
true? This is America. Every-
one here is entitled to certain
rights. This is the land of op-
portunity. My naive vision of
the American dream went

To the Daily:
I know this may seem trivial
to most, but I was quite upset
with the neglect of the writer
of ("A Walk Through Old
Main," Daily, 11/11/87). She
neglected the people who are
the heart of the hospital by not
interviewing any of them, by
forgetting that their feet are the
ones that are doing t h e
majority of echoing through
"Old Main." She also did not
realize that these people are the
ones who help the patients be
brave.
Lixe the heart, these people
assist the patients to become as
healthy as possible by
supplying nourishment, med-

icine and care. And like a
person without a heart, a
hospital could not function
without nurses.
Nurses are trivalized by most
because society has a problem
with power. We tend to notice
doctors, but not the nurses. I
will bet if you asked most
patients at the hospital who
takes care of you, they would
rattle off some doctors name.
Yet, the nurses at the hospital,
like a heart pumping, take care
of us all day and all night every
day of the year, supplying our
needs for health.
-David Fiske
November 13

The Daily welcomes letters from its
readers. Bringing in letters on personal
computer disk is the fastest way to publish
a letter in the Daily. Readers who can not
bring their letters in on disk should include
their phone numbers for verification.Call
747-2814 for details,

4

Stop deputization

AT THE END of October, the State
senate voted 26-6 to allow the Uni-
yersity to deputize its public safety
pfficers and possibly arm them with
guns. Since then, students have
mnobilized to oppose the creation of
g campus police force that is not ac-
countable to them. Those efforts
should increase until University Di-
rector of Public Safety Leo Heatley
gives up on the idea.
Along these lines, the efforts of
AM-- T -- T%1-_/-fl /T1 A _

zation bill that passed the State
Senate.
State Senator Lana Pollack said,
"the very nature of the University is
independence, and that's a good
reason not to have a police force."
Previous editorials in the Daily
agreed with Pollack and recalled
actions by campus safety that have
not been conducive to the atmo-
sphere of free expression and in-
quiry so essential to a University.

Ever consider a career in
murder, torture, rape,
and the overthrow of
sovereign governments?

I

IA W A;

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