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February 12, 1988 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-02-12

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OPINION

Page 4I

Friday, February 12, 1988

The Michigan Daily

Edite nd managedbtetai y a
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Praying for understanding

Vol. XCVIII, No. 93

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.
UCAR isn't Race Police'

C ONTRARY TO WHAT Chuck
Moss asserts in his column "U-M
Race Police: Where Will They
Stop?" (Detroit News 1/27/88),
anti-racism activists are not taking
over the University. Relying on
extremism, inaccuracies, and
misleading innuendoes, Moss failed
to assess the complex tensions
present in the University
community with regard to racism.
Moss, a free-lance writer from
Birmingham, focused his column
around the United Coalition Against
Racism (UCAR); rather than all the
students involved in the events sur-
rounding the Martin Luther King
holiday. Moss credits U C A R
"sincerity in their cause," but im-
maturely criticizes their tactics as
too violent and unbecoming of a
student organization that follows the
teachings of Martin Luther King Jr.
Moss wrongly accuses UCAR of
using "fascist tactics" the same as
"Hitler's storm troopers and Stalin-
ist Reds." He claims that sit-ins and
argumentative speech are capable of
taking over the University and he
implies that the non-violent, un-
armed efforts of student groups
such as UCAR are akin with a reign
of terror and genocidal atrocities.
Moss does not understand fas-
cism, the nature of student groups,
or the teachings of King. He totally.
disregards fact and indicates that
most of his information came from
secondary sources and not from
actual exposure. His absence from
campus protests and UCAR activi-
ties explains his ignorance about the
role of student movements.
Fascism requires power and
Moss fails to recognize that the
University has much more power
than any student organization.
UCAR's stated goals and actions
have absolutely no relation to those
of Stalin, Hitler, or Mussolini;
rather, they aspire to democratize
the University.
Contrary to what Moss thinks,
UCAR and the Black Action
Movement (BAM) III are not the
same and have different member-
ships. Moss considers the agendas
and funding of these two groups
identical.
In reality, the Trotter House,

which serves the entire minority
community, received the $150, 000
that Moss claims went to UCAR. In
addition, the Black Student Union,
a group autonomous and often po-
litically divergent from UCAR, re-
ceived the $35,000 that Moss at-
tributed to UCAR.
UCAR not only conducts sit-ins,
they also organize educational ac-
tivities and advise the Office of Mi-
nority Affairs. As Moss has been
conspicuously absent from UCAR
meetings this term it is interesting
that he thinks he knows about all of
UCAR's activities.
Moss indicates his ignorance by
assuming that an elite educational
institution should necessarily main-
tain the status quo or be a funda-
mentally white school. This way of
thinking is archaic and racist and
disregards the intellectual contribu-
tions of minorities -despite their
disadvantaged position in white so-
ciety. ,
The editors of the Detroit News
told the Daily that Moss's column
was run without even a prior read-
ing. It is a shame that such an erro-
neous and uninformed column was
ever printed and its publication re-
flects poorly on the News.
Blaming the students for the
problems of racism at the Univer-
sity ignores the power dynamics
involved in the solution. If the ad-
ministration were serious about
fighting racism, they would in-
crease minority recruitment
immediately and create programs
such as a mandatory class on diver-
sity. Attacking an anti-racist student
movement for presenting alternate
educational events and forcing peo-
ple to consider racism as a serious
problem defiles those seeking to
raise consciousness and minority
representation rather than the real
culprit: the administration.
Moss is obviously misinformed
and paranoid. His column ignores
the power relations involved in the
solutions. He is invited to shirk his
apathy and participate, attend meet-
ings, and get involved. Those with
access to the media have a great re-
sponsibility to be as informed and
accurate as possible, and Chuck
Moss failed miserably.

By Mary Glover
Final part of a three-part series
The facilities at the Detroit House of
Corrections (DeCoHo) are deteriorating
steadily due to the large numbers of
women who live there. The bathrooms are
filthy and staph-infested. The mold and
mildew is so bad you can smell it at the
front door in the summer. Housekeeping
and maintenance is poor because we are
not even given minimal cleaning supplies.
The kitchens are not clean and mice run
free. Rats live under housing units and
modular trailers. The men next door who
cook our food do "things" to it, we hear,
like urinating, defecating and ejaculating
into it. Maggots and vermin, including
birds have been found in our lunch. We
recently went through a bout with no heat
or hot water for several days and we were
forced to sleep in our clothes. The modular
units that were supposed to be temporary
over ten years ago have been used to house
women in large groups under foul
conditions. Everyone lives together
"barracks-style" over vermin. One woman
broke her leg when she fell through the
decayed floor boards. A friend of mine
brought me a baggie of moss and
mushrooms she had picked off her wall
next to her bed in one of the "mods" and
asked me what she could do. Her
grievances were denied, and the grievance
procedure that is theoretically designed to
assist us is usually an exercise in futility.
It is used as a means by the administration
to further oppress the class of women.
Policy and procedure governing the
handling of our mail and incoming
Mary Glover is currently serving three life
sentences in Huron Valley Women's
Correctional facility.nShe is enrolled in the
college of LSA and received a Hopwood
award this year for an essay. Along with
another woman she gained the right to
attend college through a civil rights suit
against the State of Michigan.

property demolishes our statutory rights.
Frequently our mail simply disappears.
Visitors are too often harassed a n d
humiliated. Living conditions have not
changed that much from DeHoCo the
longer this sewer exists. The entire
situation is deplorable. The warden calls
this prison "cushy." I wonder if the
average person would believe this if they
had to spend a week or two locked up
inside, let alone a life sentence.
My life sentence has been a constant
struggle to survive from more than just
abuse and the degradation of living in a
prison. It has been an education in itself to
learn the ways of "inmate culture." So
many hundreds of women in "pressure-
cooker" situations day in and day out, year
after year inevitably creates turmoil and
stress the general public would not even
believe. I have seen situations in here
beyond the imagination. So many
multiple personalities adapt in so many
different ways that in and of itself this is
hard to deal with. Living with "building
tenders" or inmate police is difficult
because you are constantly watch from
everywhere. Life under the microscope is
rough. Privacy is impossible.
Disparity in sentencing haunts me.
Your entire life depends on the philosophy
of the sentencing judge. Deterrence,
incapacitation, prevention, treatment --
whichever of these objectives is deemed
the prime goal of criminal law will be
reflected in the way the judge uses his or
her power to sentence. In a small county,
or in a highly publicized case, severe
punishment which shocks the conscience
is given with blanket approval of the
community as the norm, aside from
tailoring the sentence to the crime and the
offender. The politics of the system strike
with forceful vengeance, and the woman
finds herself serving a life sentence. In a
larger city or before a less biased judge,
she may have been given years instead of
letters.
Examples of sentencing disparity are
painfully remembered by women lifers.
For years we have sat in this "dive" and

watched women come and go whO
committed fare more serious crimes iii
actuality than we have. I remember a
women who served 6 months for the
murder of her eight-month old baby
daughter, while I am serving my 12th yeat
and did not "pull the trigger." Recent
statistics from the Department of
Corrections have shown the average time
served for homicide is approximately three
years for female offenders, many of whom
were violently abused women who ha
been incest victims. Yet in this state there
are over 50 women serving life, many o
whom are first offenders with absolutely
no prior record of any kind. Most were
involved as "situational offenders."
Once the required numbers of years are
served a "routine" Parole Board hearing is
held. Parole for a lifer is a distant dream
The harsh and dogmatic discipline of the
prison, combined with the Parole Board's
expectation that you "walk on water (that
I was told to do at my first hearing) serves
to keep you locked inside forever, until
they carry you out on a stretcher dead.
Hence, the lifer's constant search for a le-
gal escape route.
Above it all, I have learned human lifc
is truly sacred. Justice becomes "just-us"
because we were too poor to ever have a
chance. You don't see Andy William's ex-
wife Claudine serving life - she did three
days in the county jail and got out fot
"good behavior" after she killed her
boyfriend with a rifle in a first-degree
murder. Money an venue save the rich
the poor get prison. Locking women u
and throwing away the key is manifest
injustice. In a society that claims to be
truly democratic, there needs to be built-in
"safeguards" to insure these ultimate
cruelties do not occur. One of my teachers
says the world will not change much if all
prisoners everywhere were freed today. He
does not advocate release of the criminally
insane or believe in the death penalty1
Neither do I. Women lifers are united i
the struggle to be released, and in the fighi
for equality and justice for all. We pray we
will be heard, as we pray for freedom and
understanding.

A fat look at Iowa caucuses

Rambling disjointed reminisces from a
cynical, road weary, white line fever suf-
fering fatman following three days on the
campaign trail in Iowa....
Who are these fellers and will one of
them really be the next President? Your
favorite fatman is going to cut through the
crapola and bring this whole thing down
to earth. Let's put it all in perspective.
FAT
AL
Throw out the mailings you might have
received and forget about what they told
you on the fancy TV news last night.
These here candy-dates are just folk too.
So how would they be if they lived in my
neighborhood? What would they be like to
live by?
Well, Robert Dole would be the mean-
spirited nasty old neighbor who calls the
cops when you have a beer-crazed high
school party and tells your rents because
it's the "right thing to do." He'd tell your
dad, "He's a bright kid but if you askme,
he needs some discipline." Dole would
never once buy a raffle ticket from you,
even though you were his next door
neighbor. This guy would definitely suffer
some serious eggin' on devil's night.
Paul Simon would be the nerdy neigh-
bor you made jokes about. Come on, y'all
know the type. He should be sort of hum-
ble but he's not because he's a smarty-
pants who thinks he knows everything
about everything. He'd bring you a bag of
dog crap and say "I believe you left this on
my lawn."
George Bush is the overly polite feller
who drives a Cadillac, plays golf at the

club, and invites you to his Christmas
party every year. You'd never go but he'd
always invite you. As a fleshy fifteen year
old, I would have stolen cases of beer off
Bush's porch.
Michael Dukakis would the be the good
PTA papa. A real nice feller that you
never got to know and always forgot his
name.
Jesse Jackson would be the neighbor-
hood kid's favorite guy. The one who
plays football with you and invites you
over in the summer for a Bar-B-Q.
Bruce Babbitt would be the guy I'd leave
my key with. Friendly, sturdy, and reli-
able.
Pierre "not Pete" duPont would be my
landlord.
.ePat Robertson wouldn't live in my
neighborhood. No way, no how..
Gary Hart put on a pathetic show. Man,
he was so bad that I almost felt embar-
rassed to have taken the time to rag on
him in this here column of mine. He
spokeat Stuart Anderson's Cattle Man
restaurant, a cheesy suburban restau-
rant/pickup bar. The candidate was over an
hour late and the press' contempt grew by
the minute. Only the 85 cent Budweisers
kept my disgust from boiling over into
some type of ugly scene. After an 11 hour
drive, three hours of sleep, and a lunch of
popcorn, string cheese, and beef jerky, I
was more than a little edgy waiting around
for a sleazy two bit politician in a sleazy
two bit bar where good ol' media boys and
girls outnumbered Hart supporters by two
to one. When Hart finally showed, he
looked and sounded like crapola. Obvi-
ously, the guy was justa hangin' on to
show he could hang on. While he jab-
bered, Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild"
played soft, like my favorite K-Tel sound-
track. Somebody forgot to turn off the
jukebox. Man, a heavily pathetic scene.
"Let the people decide!" he bellowed. They
did....

Wherever I moseyed my way to some
ol' event, the secret service followed md
'round, carefully eyeing my every move.
As if I were some kinda dangerous felon.
It only got worse after I asked one of them
agent fellers "Hey, boy, I guess a big part
of your job is just sorta pickin' the
potential troublemakers outta the crowd.'
Heh-heh-heh....Paul Simon's hair looks
just like Ronald Reagan's. We don't need
another president with plastic hair.....
Pat Robertson got 25 per cent of the
vote in the Iowa caucus. Begeebers, that is
some scary thought. I'm not sure who's
scarier - Robertson or his flock, who
tell you that God told Pat to run and that
"we all have a hotline to God." Shoot, I
think I got disconnected a long time ago.
Fact is, I've been reading me some Siggy
Freud and I think that ol'iPat is. hearin
his Id and getting a little confused.
Hmmm....
There were 4,000 journalists in Des
Moines last week. Just think on that for a
speck. The city was just crawling with
shady, egghead-looking media types. It'
kinda funny but I figured something right
interesting out looking at all those fancy
media folk. The TV fellers look more like
politicians than print journalists. They got
right slick hair, shiny suits, and toothy
grins. The newspaper folk are unshaven, a
little rumpled, and wearing sweaters 'stead
of suits...
Just when I was losing it, turning twc
more shades of cynical, I arrived in Victor
Iowa. I'd like to thank the good o1' folk o
Victor for restoring my faith in the whole
shebang. These people brought us back
down to earth, talking simple, and giving
us hot coffee, sweet cookies, and warm
invitations to stay at their farmhouses. As
we left, one lady said, "Now don't drive all
the way back to Michigan. Stop for some
bacon and eggs." Now, that's my kind of
lady.

Remove Arizona's

Mecham

LAST FRIDAY, THE STATE of Ari-
zona restored faith in the account-
ability of government as the state's
House of Representatives voted to
impeach its governor, Evan
Mecham. The.impeachment, similar
to an indictment, will legally re-
move the governor from office if
two-thirds of the thirty state sena-
tors vote to convict Mecham of
"high crimes, misdemeanors, or
malfeasance in office."
Mecham's tenure of slightly more
than a year has been mired in con-
troversy since its first day.
Mecham's insensitive views on mi-
norities have resulted in boycotts of
conventions and cancelled perfor-
mances in the state, national con-
demnations of his administration,
and a successful campaign to hold a
recall election.

legal means of expulsion for the
governor.
A special prosecutor for Arizona's
House of Representatives accused
Mecham of using $80,000 of the
governor's protocol fund" to sup-
port his auto dealership. The prose-
cutor also held that Mecham failed
to reveal a $350,000 private loan
for his gubernatorial campaign and
hindered investigation of an alleged
death threat to a state official.
The 46-14 vote of impeachment
temporarily removes the governor
from office pending a final vote by
the state Senate. Officials predict
that Mecham will be out-of-office
for at least twenty days before the
Senate can review and vote on the
matter.
A U.S. governor has not been
impeached and convicted since
1929 when the Oklahoma Senate

LETTERS:

Silence is tantamount to approval

T_ &L_ V%- !I-.-

a...««:«. Ft.:n e feert nisin net

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