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February 05, 1988 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-02-05

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4

OPINION
Page 4 Friday, February 5, 1988 The Michigan Daily
M

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCVIII, No. 88 420 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:
Hypocrisy of
To the Daily: of the blue-eyed airline captain
Sandra Steingraber's essay had on her after a harrowing
"White 'people profit from flight to Europe several years
racism" (Daily, 2/1/88) brings ago. She goes on to admit that
to light another issue that is after a similar experience on a
always relevant on college flight to the Sudan a year later,
campuses-that of ideo- the presence of the pilot evoked
logical/academic snobism. the thought: "f---ing Arab."
Steingraber tells us of the The moral? "No white
calming effect that the presence American should presume they
Support through apathy

I

-

Defiling Indian names

SUPERBOWL FEVER IS OVER and
the Washington Redskins have
-emerged victorious over the Denver
1broncos. But the Broncos are not
tie only losers. The Washington
'edskins, along with hundreds of
.Other sport teams, are trampling the
:ignity and heritage of American
Indians by using derogatory
'ferences to Indians in their team
4ames.
Sport teams with names referring
:.p Indians are very common. The
Kansas City Chiefs, the Cleveland
E2dians, the Atlanta Braves, the St.
John Redmen, the Central Michigan
University Chippewas, and the
.astern Michigan University
fIurons are just a sampling of the
-many teams who exploit references
'o Indians.
y ,
On most of these do not have
*merican Indians on the roster,
medicating the name was adopted to
-ive the team a competitive or war-
like image designed to intimidate
ether teams or build up team spirit.
In the context of sports, especially
football where violence and brute
frce are a part of the game, these
references to American Indians
-tereotype them as thugs bent on
smashing all opponents.
American Indians are further
stereotyped as barbarians. For
example, the Cleveland Indians are
a baseball team with a picture of a
snarling Native American head on
their helmets; the Native American
is wearing a feather, and his face is
painted with war stripes - the
popular image of an American
Indian. The team mascots of the
Kansas City Chiefs constitute
another derogatory example that
reinforces the barbaric and violent
image of Native Americans.
Congress should end funding

Names such as "Redskins" or
"Redmen" amount to nothing but
racial slurs against- Native
Americans. The terms were
originally coined by European
settlers to refer to Native Americans
in a derogatory manner. Pejorative
nicknames were also used to de-
scribe Blacks, Asians, Latinos, and
other minorities. Unfortunately,
these degrading names are taken for
granted - a sad commentary on the
origins of our society and history.
Recently, the Minneapolis School
Board took the first step in fighting
these attacks upon American
Indians. Under pressure from local
Native Americans the school
changed their name from the
Indians to the Lakers. There are
several Native American groups,
such as the Fighting American
Indian Racism (FAIR) and
American Indian Movement (AIM),
working to make other teams
change their and fighting the racist
exploitation of the Native
Americans people.
Native Americans have faced a
long history of exploitation and
labelling by the white European
settlers. From the beginning,
colonists forcibly drove Native
Americans from their lands. The
genocide of American Indians and
their culture continues even today as
mining companies hungry for
uranium are trying to drive Native
Indians from Big Mountain.
American Indians have been
exploited many times: using their
name for sport teams is just a small
(and long) part of - this trend.
Though it may be hard for some
people to imagine a world without
the Washington "Redskins," teams
which degrade Native Americans
should change their names.
to colleges that discriminate:

To the Daily:
It is unfortunate that despite
the support shown at the MLK
day march, there is a large
portion of the student body
which misinterpreted some of
that day's activities particularly
the student blockade of the
"Fishbowl." It is a popular
misconception that the
blockade was intended to
enforce the announced class
boycott by preventing students
from attending classes. That
was not the intention or the
result of the blockade. Yes, the
main entrance was blocked, but
that didn't stop anyone who
wanted to go to class from
going. If you wanted to go to
class, no one stopped you. But
if you were set on going
through the blockade, then we
have a problem.
You see, all the blockade
was supposed to do was make
you think. For one day out of
the year, you couldn't pretend
that racism didn't exist. Did
you feel uncomfortable? Why?'
Was it because you had to walk
an extra 20 yards to your class,
or because no matter what you
did you were making a choice.
Does the decision to go to
class make you a racist? Of
course not. That is what
makes institutional racism so
vile. You don't have to be a
racist or even conscious o f
what you're doing to support
it. No matter how much you
try to avoid it, apathy and ig-
norance are votes for the status
quo.
So if you are angry because
you were forced to make a

choice, I'm sorry. But I
thought you came here to
prepare for reality, not hide
from it. If you are angry
because you weren't allowed to
go- through the blockade,
remember that ffeeling.
Walking around the blockade
could have been a statement of
any one of several positions,
but there is only one- way to
interpret a direct attempt to go
through the blockade. Apathy
is your right, aggression is
not, and there are those who
will take a stand, and they will
not be run over.
To those who helped with
the MLK day activities, thank
you. To those who felt they
were unjustly harassed, I add
my apologies to. those already
issued by The United Coalition
Against Racism. And to those
who are just angry because
they couldn't stay neutral, I
have a reminder. When the
system is wrong and you don't
try to change it, you have made
a decision to support it. That is
your right, but never let
ignorance and apathy choose
your path and then say "I didn't
do anything." The National
Holiday in Remembrance of
Martin Luther King, Jr. is not
just a tribute to a great man. It
is a reminder that while the
dream lives on, so does the
struggle. And if you never
decide in your mind where you
stand, then you have already
chosen sides, whether you like
it or not.
-Eric Williams
January 25

progressi
have escaped the taint of for a while
racism." Let's examine her Ann Arbors
reasoning. pilot, and B
Steingraber tells us that she all as much
is "progressive, Palestinian- admiring "p
sympathizing and college-ed- are of "react
ucated." Therefore, all white Furtherm
Americans are racist. Wait a ucation ha
minute-I think something is anyone fro
still missing. Oh yeah, now I racism." Cot
remember. Since a deal! Thatn
"progressive," college-educated versed in ot
individual is the most moral which aloes n
type of white American there you a bette
is, and one of those (Sandra there are ple
Steingraber) harbors racist college-edu
attitudes, then anyone of a who put
lesser or equal moral stature champion a
(i.e. any other white person) they are sup
also has such racist thoughts. The point
I am reminded of a can be jerks
progressive" friend of mine Sandra Stei
who loves to talk about the is that the
plight of the homeless. One liberal andc
night an Ann Arbor street the local Ian;
person fell asleep on my front and reacti(
porch. It was a bit late to be struggle bet
walking home, so my friend nor the stru
decided to spend the night on and good. T
the couch. When she awoke the sides lies ini
next morning to find the street they are m
person still there, she ran into that they ar
the basement and hid. The fallible of a
man's appearances were enough
to cause her to lose her
"progressive" attitudes, at least

It seems that the
street person, Arab
lack American are
victims of the self-
rogressives" as they
ionary forces."
ore, a college ed-
s never protected
om the "taint of
lege educated? Big
means you're well
ther people's ideas,
not magically make
r person. It seems
nty of "progressive
cated individuals"
the ideas they
head of the people
posed to help.
t is not that leftists
s, I leave that up to
ngraber. The point
struggle between
conservative, or in
nguage, progressive
onary, is not the
ween good and evil,
uggle between evil
The danger on both
those who feel that
orally infallible, or
e the least morally
al.
-Peter Shanahan
February 1

ves

Steiner elitist

,, not racist

4

To the Daily:
I laughed my way through the
opinion letter titled: "UCAR:
Dean should apologize." Cer-
tainly racism exists on the
campus of the University of
Michigan, as it exists on every
other campus, in every church,
in every school. And certainly
fighting racism and estab-
lishing equality among the
races is an admirable cause.
But the anti-racist flame has
turned this campus upside-
down in a witch-hunt, and of-
ten their arguments are extreme
to the point of lunacy. Need we
pick our words so carefully as
to eliminate any mention of
race whatsoever? Need we cover
our tracks so thoroughly, like
erasing footprints in the snow?
If we treated the races equally
in our speech, I believe the
UCAR would be on our backs
for denying the Black race its
uniqueness and individuality!
The attack on Dean Steiner
contains an unfair accusation of
"inexcusably racist comments,"
pushing the witch-hunt to its
absolute limit.
Mentioning that he felt the
University should not compro-
mise its standards was hardly a
racist comment. There are very
rigid standards and requirements
the University has set for its
students, including outstanding
academic and personal achieve-
ments. Qualified students, in.
the overwhelming majority,

come from privileged back-
grounds. This is the same for
any elitist institution. It is this
very standard of excellence
which sends superior students,
Black and white, from all over
the country, flocking to our
admissions office. (Members of
the UCAR who are students at
our esteemed institution, did
you choose to attend because of
the school's temperate climate?
it's unique affordability? or its
reputation?) While it is an
unfortunate fact that the pro-
portion of students coming
from privileged backgrounds is
much higher for white students
than for Black students, this
inequality is deeply imbedded
in the American social struc-
ture. It is here the battle needs
to be fought, and the respon-
sibility should not be laid on
the University of Michigan or
those who make its decisions.
(I might also add that the
proportion of underprivileged
white students is also greatly
underrepresented on this cam-
pus. I don't hear anyone yel-
ling on their behalf.
Dean Steiner's comments
were not racist. They were eli-
tist. And why not? The Uni-
versity of Michigan is an
elitist school. Hence the T-
shirt, "Harvard - the Mich-
igan of the East."
-Heidi Tolliver
January 13

Abortion is necessary option

_r, __

Close unfair loopholes

LAST WEEK'S PASSAGE in the U.S.
:Senate of the Civil Rights Restoration
Act of 1987 is one of the most sig-
.nificant pieces of civil rights legisla-
tion in this decade.
The bill would deny federal funds
to colleges and universities that dis-
criminate on the basis of race, sex,
age, or handicap in any of their pro-
grams.
This comes in the wake of a 1984
Supreme Court decision, Grove City
College vs. Bell, which held that the
previous federal law banning dis-
crimination in colleges and universi-
ties receiving federal aid applies only
to the specific program receiving aid,
not to the entire institution.The cur-
rent ruling allows discrimination in
any program not dependent on federal
funds.
Members of Congress were out-
raged by this ruling that restricted the
government's ability to enforce anti-
discrimination laws. Their fear was
justified since the Reagan administra-
tion immediately capitalized on this
loophole by interpreting the ruling
broadly and by relaxing enforcement
of civil rights laws. So the Senate bill
restores Congress' original intent of
brandening federall aws against dis-

Nevertheless, the House needs to
exclude the Danforth amendment,
presently in the Senate bill, from the
final version of the act. The amend-
ment says that colleges, universities,
and hospitals do not risk losing fed-
eral aid if they refuse to provide
abortions.
The Danforth amendment would
allow a college or university to deny a
woman her legal right to an abortion,
even if the same institution ordinarily
provided other medical services. This
goes against the intent of Title IX,
which stipulates that schools receiv-
ing federal aid may not discriminate
against women in need of abortions
and must, under the institution's
health plan, cover abortion and other
pregnancy-related matters.
If the House is to pass a civil rights
bill, the bill must not contain anything
resembling the Danforth amendment.
Yet without the rider, the Civil Rights
Restoration Act of 1987 should be
passed.
At the moment, the White House is
sending veto signals. If the Reagan
administration engages in such a
foolish action, Congress should begin
now marshalling the votes needed to

To the Daily:
Seeing the Pro-Choice and
Pro-Life rallies on 1/22, I felt
immediately the great strength
of conviction on the part of
both sides. However, some
personal experiencesvand my
sincere wish that all women be
able to enjoy freedom from
unnecessary trauma ensured
that I not advocate abortion,
but hope that it may remain an
option for those whose well-
being were to depend upon it.
Making abortion illegal
seems to me to be just another
method by which women are
degraded in our society.
Pressuring them to suffer for
their fecundity is discriminat-
ing and is unjust. Being raped
at any age is emotionally
difficult; but it is more painful
when a woman must give up
her chosen lifestyle in order to
care for a baby she does not
want (and so will not treat it
kindly), cannot afford, or is too
young to raise, only because
she became pregnant against
her will? Does it really appear
to be unfair, in such a case,
that a woman be able t o
dislodge herself from a
situation so painful and un-
deserved?
I am of course not alone in
having some very personal
evidence of the. possible
benefits of abortion. One of
my best friends became
pregnant when she was
seventeen, and she was not
ready to have a child,being
ready to enter college; therefore
she decided along with her
boyfriend to have an abortion,
using her own saved-up money
to pay for it. She was
unfortunate enough to have

own flesh and blood, after
wasting a year of her short
youth.
I should think that a man
would be rather unhappy were
he told that what was to
happen inside of his body
would not be, in some cases,
under his own control; that he
would have to give up a huge
part of his life in order to pay
for something he did not have a
choice to refuse.
-Rebecca McNeill
.January 24

4

Zinn

HAROLD MARCUSE
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ARTisT%, FWNDIION Of
MARCUSE &VOE AND
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PATISTrS RENtDITION OF
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COMNTATIOJ WITH4 PUBLIC~
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