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February 11, 1988 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-02-11

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4

Page 2 -The Michigan Daily-Thursday, February 11, 1988
Former mayor recounts challenges to Blacks

IN BRIEF

(ConddftoPap 1)
Wheelers decided to make Ann Arbor
their permanent hbme, "but only on
tIe condition that we were going to
change the situation in the commu-
nity."
The first obstacle the Wheelers
faced was purchasing a house. Tradi-
tionally Blacks had only lived in
small, well-defined areas in town.
But the Wheelers chose a house on
Eighth Street in a mostly white
neighborhood.
"We went through more crap,"
Wheeler said. "If you wanted to move
Out of those... ghettos, you were in
trouble."
'Ann Arbor banks were reluctant to
extend loans to Blacks who wanted to
move into white neighborhoods. But
the Wheelers were persistent and
eventually got a loan from a bank,
outside Ann Arbor. In 1944, the
Wheelers moved with their three
daughters into the house on Eighth
$treet, where they still live.
"WE WERE the only Black
family for blocks around and so our
kids obviously went to all-white
schools," Wheeler said. "At that
point we started to get serious about
what the hell was wrong with this
town."
In an effort to become closer to
the non-University Blacks in the
4y, Wheeler joined an all-Black
softball team in 1949. "I became
one of the folks' and that was very
important because I was then a part
of the community and not just some
University pimp," says Wheeler.
In 1962, Emma Wheeler became
the president of the Ann Arbor chap-
ter of the National Association for
the Advancement of Colored People

(NAACP), a capacity she served for
16 years.
When the chapter was originally
founded, no more than 100 of the
900 Blacks who were eligible to vote
in Ann Arbor were registered, so the
NAACP initiated voter registration
drives.
IN THE EARLY 1960S the
NAACP and the Congress for Racial
Equity staged weekly protests at City
Hall to demonstrate the need for fair
housing. In 1965 the city council
passed one of the first fair housing
laws in the state.
"Open housing was a major thrust
for our organization," Emma said. "I
think that was a partial accomplish-
ment."
Walter Hill, director of the Ann
Arbor Community Center since
1961, recalled the- moral support
Wheeler offered to other Black fami-
lies: "He would sit up with families
all night sometimes, with the lights
on, just to make them feel comfort-
able and safe from attack in their own
neighborhood."
During the spring of 1970,
Wheeler participated in the Black
Action Movement (BAM) strike that
crippled the University for 11 days.
Class attendance among all Univer-
sity units dropped as low as 25 per-
cent as both students and faculty
protested the administration's lack of
commitment to minority students,
particularly Blacks.
ONE RESULT of the BAM
strike was a pledge from the
administration to raise the percentage
of Black students to 10 percent. That
goal has still not been met.
"I can see the things that go on at
the University right now," Wheeler

said. "I can see with the student
protests a lot of the causes being
similar to those of the 11-day BAM
strike of 1970. I can also see a lot of
the University's responses being
similar to what they were 18 years
ago."
Wheeler explained his solution to
the University's low Black en-
rollment: "You've got to create an
environment within the University,
and I mean a true environment, not a
bullshit environment, in which Black
students can develop. Black students
have to see a committed Black fac-
ulty."
In 1975, in a city with a ten per-
cent Black population, Wheeler was
elected mayor.
He served until 1977, when he
won re-election over his opponent by
one vote. But because of a contro-
versy over some of the votes, a new
election was scheduled for April of
1978. He lost by 282 votes.
THOSE THREE YEARS are
not among Wheeler's most memo-
rable. Many of his ideas were
thwarted by a city council dominated
by Republicans, he said.
"That was one non-enjoyable ex-
perience," Wheeler said. "I don't have
any regrets though. I had three years
in which I was able to attempt to do

a lot of things, and I was able to get Compiledfrom Associated Press reports
a few things done."
State Senator Lana Pollack (D- Meese agrees to close PLO office
Ann Arbor), chair of the Ann Arbor
Democratic party during Wheeler's WASHINGTON - The Justice Department will close the Palestine
campaign, said, "I saw him as some- Liberation Organization's office in New York despite reservations from
one who had been fighting forever for some State Department officials, congressional and other sources said
what he thought was right and as yesterday.
someone who was going to continue Attorney General Edwin Meese III has concluded that legislation
fighting... I think he really was re- adopted by Congress last December to close the mission was binding
sponsible for opening up this com- even though its status under international law is unclear, the sources said.
munity." Rep. Dan Mica (R-Fla.) co-author of the measure in the House with
In January of 1987, the city hon- Rep. Jack Kemp, said he called Meese last Friday to check on reports the
ored Al Wheeler by renaming Sum- closing would be delayed at the behest of the State Department. "He as-
mit Park to Wheeler Park. But sured me there would be no attempt to delay the closing of the PLO... As
Wheeler is modest about it: "It's an far as I am concerned the matter is closed. The attorney general will obey
honor for dead people." the law."
TODAY Al Wheeler spends his S African forces reinstate
time keeping up on national and in-
ternational affairs. He is an advocate Manow as homeland leader
of improved public health care for y
pregnant mothers and children as a MMABATHO, South Africa - South African forces in armored
solution to the nation's education trucks and helicopters entered the independent Bophuthatswana homeland
problem. yesterday and restored its president to power hours after his ouster in a
"I'm really concerned that we look homeland army coup.
at this whole educational approach... "I am back in control... thanks to the South African army," President
You've got to start where the prob- Lucas Mangope said on Bophuthatswana television.
lem starts," he said. "The problem Mangope had spent the day held captive in a dressing room of the
ought to be attacked in the poverty national sports stadium and was rescued within 15 hours of the 2 a.m.
ridden urban ghettos." overthrow.
Looking back, Wheeler sums up Bophuthatswana is one of four nominally independent Black home-
his and Emma's accomplishments lands inside South Africa. South Africa is the only nation that recognizes
rather simply: "We made this com- them as independent.
munity look at itself." Bophuthatswana, with foreign investment, platinum mining and the

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Hopeful RAs apply for
100 open positions

C / Q pa-i

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STREET°

I

(oCtnued from Page 1)
Minority peer advisors go
through a similar hiring process but
those interested in applying for
positions of resident directors,
computer trainers, and head librarians
must meet different prerequisites.
Head librarians, for example, must
be graduate students in the School of
Information and Library Studies.
The University moved to this
hiring process three years ago. Pre-
viously, any person who wished to
work as an RA had to apply to each
residence hall separately. Parnes said
this new system not only saves
time, but also gives the applicant a
better sense of what to expect if he
or she does become an RA.
"THE EXPERIENCE of be-
ing hired should be educational, and
it should orient (RAs) to the training
process," said Parnes.
Current South Quad RA Nicole
Yakatan thinks the selection process
is very successful. "It gives
(applicants) a clear view and is fairly
indicative of how people will do as
RAs." Some people, she added, real-
ize that the job of an RA is not right
for them.

In Alice Lloyd, home of the Pilot
Program, "the resident fellows -
equivalent to an RA in other halls
- must be graduate students who
are qualified to teach college com-
position courses as well as hold an
appointment in their respective de-
partments," said Alice Lloyd Build-
ing Director Mark Kaplan. Lloyd is
also unique because volunteer
sophomore advisors, SAs, assist the
RFs with programing.
RAs and MPAs receive room and
board as well as use of a Macintosh
computer and a refrigerator. RDs re-
ceive about $2048 in addition to
room and board. In order to be an
RA, a person must have lived on a
college campus for four terms, com-
pleted 48 credit hours, and have an
overall grade point average of 2.5.
The selection process is presently
going on, and the applicants have
attended the first of the two semi-
nars. The second class will be held
either on Saturday, February 13 or
on Tuesday, February 16.

-4

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I

Sun City gambling resort, has been considered the showpiece of South
Africa's 10 homelands, which are home to about half of South Africa's 26
million Blacks.
Auto sales will decline in 1988
SAN FRANCISCO- About a half a million fewer cars and trucks
will be sold this year, but the new president of the National Auto Dealers
Association says he welcomes the challenge of change.
"The days of traders who just delivered cars are numbered. Dealers and
their employees... must be in tune with consumer buying habits. They
must be skilled in dealing with all types of consumers, and they must be
able to deliver personal service," incoming NADA President Jimmy
Payton said Tuesday in a closing address to the 20,000-member group.
Americans bought 14.9 million cars and light trucks in 1987, down
from a record 16.3 million in 1986.
USSR improves human rights
WASHINGTON - The Soviet government gave its people greater
freedom and showed more tolerance towards dissenters in 1987 but with
an all-powerful secret police still unchecked, there has been no "dawn of
democracy" in the USSR, the State Department said yesterday.
That finding was contained in the Department's annual report on
human rights around the world, which concluded that while there were
positive changes in South Korea, North Korea was the most serious
rights violator anywhere.
While asserting that a majority of Soviet political prisoners remained
in jail last year, "there was some relaxation of totalitarian controls," it
said, adding that some political prisoners were released.
The report said that the Soviets also announced moves to end the
"truly barbaric practice" of sending dissidents to psychiatric hospitals.
EXTRAS
A yuppie conflict of interest
SAN FRANCISCO - The eelskin used for making. popular handbags
may be confounding users of bank machines and credit cards by
scrambling magnetic codes, experts said.
"We've had dozens of calls from banks and individuals complaining
that (automated teller machine) cards and credit cards are sick," said John
McCosker, director of San Francisco's Steinhart Aquarium and a leading
fish scientist.
Handbags and wallets are made of hagfish, also known as the slime
eel, but marketed and eelskin accessories, may be causing the problem he
said yesterday.
"It seems to be a major Yuppie problem," joked McCosker. "People
interested in eelskin fashions and credit-card lifestyles are having wide-
wide-spread difficulties."
McCosker believes the mettalic residue left over from the tanning
process performed in Korea, where most of the wallets and purses are
made, may be causing the problem.
Or it could be caused "by the colliodal goo" that exudes from the
glands of the fish, said McCosker, who winced as he lifted a dead slime
fish from a bar of alcohol.
If you see news happen, call 76-DAILY.
r.

Researcher
questions

cause of AIDS
WASHINGTON (AP) - A re-
h D akeTMsearcher who says federal experts are
Ehe aDi fference.wrong about the cause of AIDS but
are embarrassed to admit error will
receive the first public airing of his
views next week before a presidential
E E/ YUcommisson.
MORi R OWDr. Peter Duesberg, a respected
virus researcher at the University of
California, Berkeley, will appear be-
fore the Presidential Commission on
Y.4 the HIV Epidemic at a hearing on
75 Feb. 20 in New York.
It will be the first time, he said,
10CT EHLR6YtL for the federal government to ac-
,88 AnnYHArbor, Mich. knowledge his suggestion.

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0 he Michigan But-ig
Vol. XCVIII-No. 92
The Michigan Daily (ISSN 0745-967) is published Monday
through Friday during the fall and winter terms by students at the
University of Michigan. Subscription rates: January through April
- $15 in Ann Arbor, $22 outside the city. 1988 spring, summer,
and fall term rates not yet available.
The Michigan Daily is a member of The Associated Press and the
National Student News Service.
Editor in Chief........REBECCA BLUMENSTEIN Todd Shanker, Lauren Shapiro, Chuck Skarsaune, Mark
Managing Editor ..............MARTHA SEVETSON Swartz, Marc S. Taras.
NewsEditor....................EVE BECKER Photo Editors............KAREN HANDELMN
City Editor...........................MELISSA BIRKS AO N MUNSON
Features Editor.........................ELIZABETH ATKINS
University Editor............KERY MURAKAMI PHOTO STAFF: Alexandra Brez, Jessica Greene, Ellen
NEWS STAFF: Vicki Bauer, Day Cohen, Hampton Levy, Robin Loznak, David Lubliner, Danny Stiebel, Lisa
Dellinger, Ken Dintzer. Sheala Durant, Heather Enrich, Wax.
Steve Knopper, Kristine LaLonde, Michael Lustig, Alyssa Weekend Editors......................STEPHEN GREGORY
Lustigrnan, Andrew Mills, Peter Mooney, Lisa Pollak, Jim ALAN PAUL
Poniewozik, Micah Schnit, Melissa Ramsdell, David WEEKENA STAFF: Fred Zinn.
Schwartz, Steve Tuch, Ryan Tutak, Rose Mary Wunmel. WEEKlN SaFs:nr .
Opinion Page Editors.............JEFFREY RUTHERFORD Display Sales Manager............. ...ANNE
CALE SOUTHWORTH KUBEKtDspa SlsMaae
OPINION STAFF: Muzamil A ed, Sarah Babb, Assistant Display Sales Manager.KAREN BROWN
Rosemary Chinnock, MollyDISPLAY SALES STAFF: David Bauman, Gail Belenson,
Roer hinc . Mollhy Daggett, Noah Finkel, Jim Lauren Berman, Sherri Blansky, Pam Bullock, Jeff Chen,
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Steve Sednnuk, Mark Wisbrot, Mark Williams. HMatt Lane, Heather MacLachlan, Jodi Manchik, Eddy Meng,
Sports Editors...... ...............JEFF RUSH Jackie Miller, Shelly Pleva, Debbie Retzky, Jim Ryan, Laura
Associate Sports Editors.........JULIE HOLLMAN Schlanger, Michelle Slavik, Mary Snyder, Marie Soma,
AD)AM SCHEMER Cassie Vogel, Bruc Weiss.
ADAM SCHRAGER NATIONALS: Valerie Breir
PETE STEINERT LAYOUT: Heather Barbar,.
DOUG VOLAN TEARDOWN- TarForto. ,
SPORTS STAFF. Adam Benson. SteveBw lern ~ . _-- - -

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