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January 19, 1988 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-01-19

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PINION
Page 4 Tuesday, January 19, 1988 The Michigan Daily

4

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Homophobia persists at

'U'

l ,

Vol. XCVIII, No.75

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.
* * * *
R~ikT 1z inv.enS1t1Vrn

AT THE LAST MEETING of the
[university Board of Regents, Re-
gent Deane Baker (R-Ann Arbor)
again proved himself bigoted and
intolerant of homosexuality.
Baker's statements are far beyond
the usual indifference that the ad-
m:istration expresses for student
concerns and detail a genuine hatred
of an entire sector of society.
x During the meeting on Friday,
Baker said that he knew, from con-
fidential sources, that gays on cam-
pus were using the bathrooms at
=Mason Hall for sexual encounters
and called for an investigation.
Baker took pains to emphasize the
Sllegality of the alleged activity un-
'ler state laws as grounds for the
investigation.
For a regent to call for an investi-
gation of homosexuality is not only
dffensive and irrelevant to the
"community at large, but is a direct
atitack on the privacy and autonomy
pf the students and faculty of the
University. This incident alone
proves Baker has his own righteous
iorality that he desires to impose
.'-n the students, with no respect for
the basic freedom to choose.
Blatant insensitivity to student in-
terests is nothing new for Regent
Baker. He has labeled anti-apartheid
protestors "anti-American" and he
sought to abolish student legal ser-
vices. Baker has also made numer-
ous attempts to pass the code of
non-academic conduct which he
would use to punish student
protests and censor student opin-
ions he cannot tolerate.
The only thing Baker accom-
plishes with his outburst is to in-
crease the climate of anti-gay preju-
dice on campus. If the regents truly
wanted to improve the University,

111 .7 11LILlL V ./
they would not have voted to keep
"sexual orientation" off the Univer-
sity's statement on discrimination.
The only reason for which Baker
was willing to drop his investiga-
tion into "homosexual conduct" was
Regent James Waters' (D-
Muskegon) proposal to also look
into instances of racism and sexism
on campus. Baker's contempt for
these concerns seemed to overrule
his pressing desire for an investiga-
tion, as he was willing to scrap the
entire idea rather than risk exposing
the institutionalized racism and
sexism of the University, Baker is
not ignorant; he knows who he dis-
likes and deliberately infuriates the
people whom he deems morally
unacceptable.
Students should begin working
this summer to expose Deane
Baker's record before the upcoming
1988 election when Baker's term
runs out. Baker's ideology is unre-
flective of the state as a whole and
the interests of the University.
Baker was elected in 1972 and re-
elected in 1980 because of the party
ticket voting which almost invari-
ably decides regent races. Both
1972 and 1980 were good years for
Republicans.
Regental elections should be non-
partisan as school board elections
are now. This would force voters to
look at the candidates individually
and evaluate their merits. Judged on
this basis, Regent Baker would un-
doubtedly come up short.
Deane Baker, with his bigoted
and homophobic morality, is repre-
sentative of no one. He is not
qualified to represent either students
or the voters of the state of Michi-
gan.

By LaGROC
By a unanimous decision of the
University Board of Regents the words
"Sexual Orientation" will not be included
into the Non-Discrimination Bylaw 14.06.
This action in itself proves and reiterates
the reality of homophobia and heterosexist
ideals controlling this University. All the
objections raised at the meeting were those
previously and conclusively refuted by
LaGROC's supporters, letters, and legal
aid. None of these answers were even
mentioned.
Regent Roach objected that "external
third parties" such as ROTC would have
to leave campus if the amendment was
passed since they discriminate on the basis
of sexual orientation. Yet, R O T C
discriminates on the basis of sex, age, and
handicap, which are all included in the
present 14.06, but still operates on
campus.
Regent Brown said the amendment
should not be adopted because there is no
parallel state law, and 14.06 is constructed
to present legislation. However, Regent
LaGroc is the Lesbian and Gay Rights
Organizing Committee.

Waters pointed out that height and weight
are included in state mandates but are not
in the bylaw. In addition LaGROC and the
Michigan Department of Civil Rights
have repeatedly asserted- that it is time the
University take a leadership stance on this
issue which has been too long neglected.
But the central point of discussion was
not our proposal nor the violence and
blatant discrimination (which was never
mentioned by the Regents). Rather it was
Dean Baker's request for an investigation
into "reports of homosexual activity in the
men's rest room in Mason Hall and
elsewhere in University Buildings,
especially the Student Union." His-
comments interrupted the discussion of
bylaw 14.06 by equating homosexual
sexual activity with the lesbian and gay
community's fight for Civil Rights.
LaGROC has long asserted that we are
more than what we do do in bed, yet
apparently the Regents' homophobia does
not permit them to accept gays as people.
All the speeches, letters, and discussion
have not changed these people's mind to
view us as human beings. In fact, none of
:the Regents mentioned the words "gay" or
"lesbian" once. This after yesterday's
public comments section when we
specifically said we prefer to be called gay
men and lesbians. We are people who

happen to love people of the same sex and
have jobs, children, classes, basketball
tickets, and favorite TV shows.
Baker's assertion of our "criminality"
under Michigan law is true. Anal sex, oral
sex, and mutual masturbation between
same sex couples is illegal. But few
realize that anal sex, oral sex, and mutual
masturbation are also illegal for
heterosexual couples, even . within
marriage. In fact, the University Statutes
make premarital sex in University housing
illegal, regardless of sexual orientation.
So, many individuals on this campus are
not convicted criminals. Including
perhaps, Dean Baker himself.
But for now if you wonder why there are
guards or cameras in public rest rooms
you will know why.
Sex is not obscene. The real obscenity
is the restriction of our right to love,
emotionally and sexually, whoever we, as
consenting adults, choose to love, without
the imposition of the University or the
courts. It is also obscene that the
University administration continues to
deny us protection of our civil rights and
refuses to respond to us as people. People
proud of who we are, our history, our
culture, those we love, and our tenacity in
our struggle to end anti-gay and lesbian
bigotry.

t..

LETTERS:

Student misrepresented at protest

4

p Firing non-students will decrease minority representation:
Less dvesi at
" a
ECENTLY THE UNIVERSITY has the importance of community in-
exploited a racist incident on Uni- volvement. The University has
versity-subsidized WCBN-FM to conveniently ignored this provision
fire all of the station's non-student in WCBN's constitution by con-
staff. Although the administration centrating solely on student in-
denies the connection between the volvement. Furthermore, the fund-
racist incident and the firings, the ing of WCBN is not 100 percent
timing and means it has used are University money. Thousands of
worthy of condemnation. dollars are raised each year by non-
On December 5th, WCBN disc students from the community for
jockey Chris Daley aired a song the station.
called "Run, Nigger, Run" without Considering the potential cultural
any explanation. It appears that this and monetary contributions of the
was an honest mistake by Daley, community, the students who direct
who should have critically de- the radio station should have the
scribed the historical context in freedom to employ non-students.
which the song arose. The pro- That is good experience for the stu-
gramming staff suspended Daley dents and should.be honored as- part
two days after the incident and the of their rights to organize WCBN as
disc jockey wrote a formal apology they see fit. The fact that the Uni-
:to the administration. versity probably has the legal right
Airing the song without explan- to fire the non-students does not
ation is racist. The song was mean the University is right to do
recorded in the '20s and features the so. That decision should be left
lyrics from the title. Without an ex- with the students. Certainly the
planation, no listener would under- University could try to persuade the
stand that the song might actually radio station toward its point of
describe the attempts of slaves to view instead of firing people with
escape. nine days notice. It is unlikely MSA
Daley is at least guilty of lacking or other student organizations-
vigilance. WCBN disc jockeys would be pleased to hear that non-
should receive training in the im- students were displacing students in
'portance of considering the diver- student-run institutions. The Uni-
sity of their audience and the Uni- versity should have tried a battle of
versity community, and should al- public opinion before it used this
ways keep in mind the feelings of racist incident to take over the radio
their listeners. station.
The University administration s The University's action to take
action - to force WCBN to fire the over WCBN-FM is just another
non-students within two weeks - round in the battle against the code
removes three out of four of the on camnus The nattern iss icken-

To the Daily:
I attended the speech of the
Honorable Zvi Brosh, Israeli
Consul, on January January 12
at the Michigan Union. I was
aware that groups favoring the
"Palestinian" position were
planning to hold a demonstra-
tion to protest the Israeli poli-
cies in the occupied territories.
Along with approximately ten
others, I intended to distribute
leaflets defending Israel's posi-
tion, and to show support of
the legitimacy of the State of
Israel. I was somewhat sur-
prised to find that the demon-
stration was not simply in
protest of violence and Israeli
policies in the occupied
territories (which is a legiti-
mate protest), but was instead a
P.L.O. rally. I remain per-
plexed as to why anyone
claiming to seek peace would
attempt to disrupt a speaker
such as Mr. Brosh, whose
scheduled topic was "The Peace
Process." Nevertheless, I and
the group of which I was a part
felt it imperative to show our
support of Mr. Brosh's efforts,
and of the existence of the
State of Israel. We stood near
the sidewalk, away. from the
protestors. Amid shouts by the
pro-"Palestinian" protestors of
"Death to Israel," "Jews go
back to Europe," and "Hitler
was a saint," we sang Am
Yisrael Chai ("The nation of
Israel lives") in expression of
our unity with Jews in the
Holy Landwand abroad who
consider Israel to be their
homeland.
Various members of ° the
news media (including the
Daily) attempted to find out
our views and the motivation,
for our presence. Whenever a
media representative ap-
proached, numerous protestors
surrounded us, blocking televi-
sion cameras and reporters with
various anti-Israel placards and
flags. Representatives of the
Daily were able to speak with
us briefly, and took pictures as
well. The photograph that the
Daily chose to print included
myself, another member of my
group, and many P.L.O. sup-
porters that had surrounded us.
Unfortunately, the Daily la-
belled everyone in the photo-
graph as "pro-Palestinians,"
thus making it appear as if I
was protesting against Israel.
Because I was present to sup-
port Israel, and because I was
grouped with P.L.O. sympa-
thizers, I regard the photograph

the anti-Israel and anti-Ameri-
can P.L.O.: it is a terrorist or-
ganization in nature and in
history. I believe the way to
peace is through reasonable
dialogue and cooperation -
not through the bombing of

Hornback attacks Daily's

To the Daily:
When I was a child, the
Hombacks had a silly bulldog
who would bark ferociously
and race toward the front door
every time he heard the word
"chow." His intent, I suppose,
was to protect us all from this
dangerous menace.
There was a chow in the
neighborhood, but I never saw
him near our house, and I never
knew anyone to be menaced by
him. But Kim thought - if
you can call what Kim did
thinking - differently. I kept
poor Kim busy all day some-
times. I would interrupt his
naps by whispering "chow" in
his ear, or say the terrible word
to him just when he had man-
aged to get up the stairs to the
second floor.
The editors of the Daily have
imitated Kim inaheir response
to President Fleming's "code."
Monday's editorial and news
coverage were loud, thought-
less, and irrelevant barks. If
Mr. Fleming had proposed
Morse code - or codeine -
the Daily would have responded
in the same way.
Harold Shapiros's code and
Mr. Fleming's are very differ-
ent - as anyone should expect
theme to be. The focus of the
former was on political
"misconduct" and criminal be-
havior; the focus of the latter is
on morally offensive conduct
and dangerous criminal behav-
ior - and it specifies, careful,
the acts of misbehavior to
which it is addressed.
Further, the Fleming pro-
posal provides for a thoroughly

reasonable kind of punishment
for offenses, beginning with
simple - and sincere, one
presumes - public apology.
It also provides for hearings by
peers of the accused: by "panels
established [to] contain repre-
sentatives of the race, gender,
and status of both the victim
and the accused. Panels might
be constituted solely of stu-
dents or some combination of
faculty, students, and adminis-
trators."
The Daily accuses President
Fleming of stealth and secrecy
in his preparation of this new
proposal. Yet he has released
it to us all prior to submitting
it to the regents, and prior even
to proposing its implementa-
tion. He has asked us to look
at a draft to see if we think it a
"viable idea." As I read the
Daily's report of Mr. Flem-

schoolbuses and airplanes nor
the murder of Olympic athletes
or worshippers in synagogues.
I believe in democracy, I be-
lieve in peace, and I believe in
the legitimate Jewish nation in
the Holy Land: I believe in Is-

rael.
I sincerely hope that this
clarifies any errors or miscon-
ceptions.
-Eric S. Bronstein
January 12
ode coverage
ing's development of this doc-
ument, I can see no' way he
could have been more open
about it unless he had notified
the Daily that he was thinking
about the idea, or perhaps
given the editors his old yellow
note-pads.
Let's be reasonable. And
let's try to be a community -
a thoughtful community, dedi-
cated to our-own decency and
the decency of the world in
which we live. We can't afford
either prejudice or violence.
My family's dog was certainly
prejudiced against that chow -
but since Kim was a house-dog
we never had any violence. Or
maybe it was the fact that the
chow was a watch-dog that
saved us from violence..
-,--Bert G. Hornback
Professor of English
January 12

Memo still holds true

To the Daily:
After an entire semester of
reading the Daily, we- could
never quite sum up our opinion.
about this moderatley unre-
spectable, no, make that thor-
oughly despicable, rag. W e
were, however, shocked to find
in an article entitled "Fleming
against free Daily" (Daily,
1/14/88), that over 17 years
ago a man did succeed in pro-
viding the world with an in-
sightful, possibly divinely in-
spired, description of your
publication, the "Michigan
Pravda." In the prophetic and
immortal words of the es-
teemed Robben Fleming:

"College newspapers' every-
where have always been, and
probably always will be, a
thorn. They are' inaccurate, bi-
ased, often indpoor taste, in-
flammatory and usually staffed
by people who are considerably
more radical than the student
body." Who might that apply
to? Possibly a group of malad-
justed militant Marxists that
propagandize from a certain
student publications building
in a particular midwestern uni-
versity town? Well, just a
thought.
-Glenn R. Gayer
Mark H. Weintraub
January 14

Zinn

,vNOnNSl

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