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March 11, 1988 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-03-11

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4

.e 40OPINION
Friday, March 11, 1988 The Michigan Daily
Doctor and pacifist speaks about warfare
Charlie Clements, a graduate of the they take some risk in publishing it. the American people that the commies are C: You have to choose death far too of- we can find ways to link these issues with
s J.S. Air Force Academy, flew more than Some people have been taken in and out to get us in Central American we can't ten. . .the circumstances of having few the lives of people here. And that is what
,50 combat missions in Vietnam before interrogated because they have had copies win the war." So there has been a much medicines because they were considered is very important. Those of us who
becoming disillusioned with U.S. in- of it. I once went into a bank to cash a more sophisticated propaganda effort, contraband. In one case of an elderly man, understand these linkages have an obliga-
rolvement there. He later became a physi- traveller's cheque and the clerk showed me largely run through the Office of Public ten cents of medicine a day - a diuretic tion to help other understand and make
clan and a Quaker and, with "a commit- a copy of the book wrapped in gift wrap- Diplomacy in the State Department, aimed which helps get rid of fluids - would them.
ment both to heal and to witness," trav- ping paper to conceal its cover and she at the American public - a policy of dis- probably have saved his life. But given the
elled to rebel-controlled areas of El Sal- said, "we come in every night and use the information, limited budget I had and the fact that he D: What are these linkages?
,ydor in 1982. bank xerox machine to make copies for In the summer of 1982, the State De- was elderly, I had to explain to him that C: The fact that more young black men
: His book Witness to War was published other people." The book wasn't intended at partment and the President [Reagan] certi- he was going to be allowed to slowly die, will kill each other this year in our inner
yo years later, and the documentaryfilm all for a Salvadoran audience. It's a little fied to the American Congress that there to slowly drown, because we couldn't af- cities than died in any year of Vietnam is
4ade about his experiences won an bit embarrassing because it's a very was a drop in the human rights violations ford the medicine. These kind of choices very much linked to a two trillion dollar
Academy Award in 1986. A commercial grngo-written book. and that the Salvadoran military was re- went on constantly.aiRyaohemsends
I~m adaptation, starring Richard Gere is D: You've said that your outrage specting civilians. At the same time, White phosphorous is a chemical natinalhefiit thtnes aus they'undseto
rrrently being planned. Clements spoke over Nixon's betrayal of the pub- search and destroy operations were being weapon that burns at about 200 degrees address these issues because they're being
this week on campus about human rights lic trust about Vietnam catalyzed mounted against [the area I was living in], centigrade and penetrates deep tissue, melts directed toward an illusive pursuit of na-
bt El Salvador. He spoke with Sandra your transformation from a mili- and civilians were being killed daily as fat and connective tissue and smolders tional security. Those of us who under-
dteingraber last Sunday. tary officer to a pacifist. How that area was declared a free-fire zone, long after initial trauma. Treating wounds tracts of our cities have more of a chance
Naily: Your testimonies about would youhcompare thed levelof meaning that anything was a legitimate like that and treating people who have of our iis have ye of a chance
daily: Yu etmne bu deceit in the Nixon Administra- entrue rnfr esn of dying in his first year of life than an
>.S.-abetted atrocities in El Sal- tion regarding Vietnam and Rea- target. D: What kinds of activities should infant born in Costa Rica or Cuba must
ioador are so startling in part be- gan Administration claims about D: Did you ever find that your we be doing as students and fac- help other Americans understand this.
diuse of who you are. How do you what we are doing in El Salvador? commitment to bear witness came ulty here at the University? I
think your position in American C: I think there is a very strong parallel into conflict with your physi- C: Your sister university relationship cts difficult for Blacks who have to get
siciety has affected the reception in that deception is being used to foster cian's commitment to heal? [between University of El Salvador and the child care and who are worried about we -
Clementsyo nESalvador Witn the policy. A prominnt lesson leared by C: It's very difficult to be a civilian in University of Michigan] is very important the Americans who are going to die first
War has been translated and become a best- our government is that America doesn't the midst of a conflict as compared to be- because both the university as an institu- in Central America are going to come out
War has a n deal of abest- tolerate her sons coming home in body ing a combatant. A combatant has a tion and student organizations have been of the minority tracts because 40 per cent
tnce there b ause aigreat American sa - bags. And low intensity conflict, as this weapon and a purpose that is very other- under severe attack by the military since of our combat-ready forces today are-Black
y war in Central America is called, is the directed in a conflict. Certainly I found they basically destroyed and closed the and Hispanic, greater than at any time
Ing these things -.-and a physician and a response. It means that we'll provide the that my emotions wanted to overrule my University of El Salvador in 1980. I think during the Vietnam era draft. We can make
Quaker and a graduate of the Air Force training, the logistics, the intelligence and commitment to non-violence. Watching that people visiting El Salvador is very these connections, and it's a luxury to
Academy. Many Salvadorans have said control. And they'll provide the dying. civilians be bombed and napalmed, pulling important too. Delegations going there make them. We're not caught up in a
these things and they have fallen on deaf We'll do everything we can to keep out white phosphorus out of the flesh of and establishing sister city relationships, struggle to survive as many people are in
ears. My background has had a very im- American boys from coming back in body children that had been badly burned or see- material aid campaigns, and bringing Sal- t u that' an imt obli-
portant part in the acceptance of my mes- bags because that's what finallydre the yP- - tis country. Sth's a iportan bi
sageboth in El Salvador and in the U.S. agsecause tt a n y ing civilians who had been tortured - vadorans here to speak - as you have gation that many people have.
American people to say no. there were times I wanted to pick up a done with the rector of the university -
D: Is your book freely circulating So one difference of this strategy is that weapon and fire at those aircraft coming these are very important activities. A dance benefit to raise money for
n El Salvador? the American public is looked at as a tar- over low enough that I could see the pi- Whatever each one of us does - material aid to send to the University of El
C: It's only sold in one bookstore, and get of low intensity conflict. And there are lots. whether it's in this country in a teaching Salvador will be held this Sunday in the
Sandra Steingraber is a member of the numerous quotes by U.S. State Depart- D: How is medicine transformed position or or whether it's making a U-Club at 8 p.m.
Opinion Page staff. ment officials that "if we can't convince in a revolutionary situation? commitment like I did in El Salvador -
.1

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCVIII No. 108 420 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:

Is PIRGIM necessary on campus?

;+

A

'new apartheid

IMAGINE A COUNTRY with the
world's highest rate of re-incar-
ceration of its prison population. In
the last ten years, the number of
citizens who are imprisoned has
doubled. Only ten per cent of this
country's inhabitants are Black, yet
more than half of all Black males
will be arrested and imprisoned
before they reach their thirtieth
birthday. Further, non-white prison
admissions have increased by more
than 90 per cent over the last 60
years.
Among women prisoners in this
imaginary country, the incarceration
rate has nearly tripled over the last
ten years. Of these women, 72 per
cent are non-white, and most are
poor, unemployed, unmarried
mothers. Two-thirds have been
victims of child abuse, spouse
abuse, and incest and almost half
were arrested for theft or larceny.
One of every ten people in this
country does not get enough to eat
every month, and a disproportionate
number of the hungry become pris-
oners. Ironically white-collar crime
causes a loss of 200 billion dollars
to this country's economy - as
compared to 11 billion through
street crime.
Government aid to poor families
has not increased since 1969, and
twenty per cent of this nation's
children now live in poverty. This
same government - largely run by
rich, white males - has diverted
billions of dollars away from public
services such as education, child
care and medical services. Yet
money is made available to finance
tens of thousands of new prison
cells at an annual operating cost of
$20,000-$30,000 per prisoner -
more than it costs to send someone
to the country's best university for a
year.
or.l.. r ..... s . to + .U as. T ~4+% ~+

rotting away behind the bars just
down the road. Nonetheless, ac-
cording the National Council on
Crime and Delinquency, the bald
truth is that our prison statistics are
evidence of a "new apartheid" here
at home.
Fortunately, students and faculty
at the University have a rare op-
portunity to enlighten themselves
about the local prisons when the
Coalition for a New Domestic Pol-
icy presents a teach-in this weekend
called, "The War at Home." Their
agenda is diverse and hard-hitting.
Workshops focusing on communi-
ties, crime, and the criminal justice
system will feature the perspectives
of social workers, government rep-
resentatives, attorneys, professors,
mothers of slain teenagers, and the
Common Ground Theatre troupe.
Michigan prisoner Mary Glover
fought for years for the right to
"rehabilitate" herself by taking ex-
tension courses at the University of
Michigan. Her first-person essays
about the horrors of prison life won
a Hopwood Award this year and
have captured our attention. We
now need a social, political, and
economic analysis of our prison
system in order to understand how
such horrific conditions are created
and maintained and for whose
benefit.
The Coalition for a New Domes-
tic Policy should be commended for
their efforts to bring us to such an
analysis. If we do not wish to live
in a society which imprisons mil-
lions of people under inhumane
conditions and produces a growing
number of psychologically damaged
ex-prisoners, and if we do not wish
to live in society divided into a
white affluent class and a poor,
non-white underclass which rotates
in and out of prison at a tremendous
c--.1 Anr1 rnnnin re nd funa o

To the Daily:
Well, it's time to discuss
PIRGIM and its affiliate MSA
again. Here it is the first week
in March and I haven't seen
hide nor hair of my
expeditiously processed PIR-
GIM refund. What is it about
the people at PIRGIM/MSA
that they are so slow in serving
the public interest? They have
been aware of my (and many
other people's) desire for a
refund since late November
when we CRISPed and hap-
pened upon the refund box.
To give them the benefit of
the doubt, I will assume that
processing would not begin
until January 1, 1988.
However, it has been two
months since that time period.
The way I see it, at 6 percent
annual interest PIRGIM/MSA
has earned 1 percent on every
student's contribution.
(MSA/PIRGIM please pay
attention, the math gets a little
tricky here. Hang on, here we
go!) 1% of my $.75 fee is .75
cents, (.01 X $.75 = $.0075).
Rounding to the nearest cent
implies that MSA/PIRGIM
owes any student who requests
a refund $.76. ($.75 principle
+ $.01 interest) The interest
adds up as well. Assume
28,000 students at U-M. (A
conservative estimate.) At
$.75 the initial MSA/PIRGIM

intake is $21,000. The interest
on this capital is $210. Let's
see, at $.40 per processed
refund, PIRGIM can process
525 (210/.4) refunds with
money that is yours. Or, if
MSA decides to hold on to the
$210, then your representatives
are stealing money from you.
Either way, we lose.
It must seem to the average
student that complaining about,
one penny is somewhat petty. I
agree. However, the penny or
the initial 75 cents for that
Support S
To the Daily:
On February 17, Nelson
McEwan, a Black custodian,
was physically assaulted at the
Undergraduate Library by his
white supervisor, Jim Boyd.
Boyd already had a history of
making racist remarks against
Black workers.
Later that day Nelson McE-
wan contacted the union, the
Black Law Students Alliance
(BLSA), and filed a report for
the assault. He was treated and
released from Catherine
MacAuley hospital for result-
ing injuries.
On his next regular shift,
McEwan contacted his union
steward. During the course of
his grievance hearing, Boyd's

matter is not the issue. The
principle that no group should
have control over our money is
the issue. Would any member
of PIRGIM/MSA feel her/his
rights were violated if they had
to donate $.75 to Contra Aid
which they could then get
refunded by filling out a form
at any polling place? I tend to
think this action would cause
many a rally on the Diag.
Many students feel the same
way about PIRGIM.
MSA/PIRGIM, get on the
tudentiworker,
co-supervisor, Tim Block
claimed to have fired McEwan!
Block also acted in an ex-
tremely hostile and threatening
manner towards Aris Maria, the
union steward. In violation of
the contract, Block refused to
give either McEwan or Maria
the reason for his termination.
At a Disciplinary Review
Conference held on February
25, McEwan was told he was
suspended for four days without
pay. The trumped-up reason
given by management was
"insubordination". But the at-
tacks did not stop here.
Upon returning to work,
Aris Maria was informed by
her supervisor that she had
been terminated pending a Dis-
ciplinary Review Conference.
After changing the reasons
several times for her termina-
tion, management postponed
making a final decision on her
case. As with McEwan, the
ridiculous charges and the at-
tempt at firing are in blatant
violation of the contract.
These attacks are the culmi-
nation of a systematic pattern
of racism, harassment, abuse,

ball. I would hate for the delay
to last much longer or students
might feel that MSA/PIRGIM
does not ever plan to repay the
"refundable" $.75fee.
In closing, I would like to
borrow and slightly alter one of
PIRGIM's =clever quotes to
express my opinion on that
organization; "Not Efficient,
Not Necessary, Not Here!"
-Tom Krause
March 1
struggle
and dishonesty against workers
under the thumb of Plant
Building Services management.
Harassment of Black workers,
as well as unfair suspensions,
abuse of the grievance proce-
dure, unjust discipline, denial
of sick time, and speed-up are
rampant in Plant Building Ser-
vices. UCAR condemns these
attacks and stands in solidarity
with workers fighting back.
Now is the time for students
to support the struggles of
workers at the university who
are risking their jobs fighting
)acism and other attacks on the
job. We must not allow our-
selves to fall for the adminis-
tration's game of dividing stu-
dents from campus workers in
order to keep us weak and inef-
fective. The history of the
1970 BAM strike shows us
how powerful an alliance of
students and workers can be.
Join UCAR in supporting
campus workers.
-Paul Green
UCAR Worker
Outreach Committee
March 3

.1

Tired of irresponsibilty

I

To the Daily:
This little ditty goes out to
Alexia Ridley, in recognition
of her letter "Letter
misrepresents UCAR" (Daily,
3/1/88). When I was young and
would hear something blatantly
wrong, my first instinct was to
let loose an wallop...when I
got older, I realized you could
do a lot more damage
developing your vocabulary
rather than your forearm. But
I'll tell you this, Ms. Ridley,
your letter criticizing Eddie
Pont (Daily, 2/8 /8 8 )
powerfully conjured that primal
urge.
I think your argument was
built upon a fallacy of the
worst kind-the inane assertion

organizations today. Frankly, I
am tired of such
irresponsibility. Perhaps it's
time for a little serious
individual reflection and action.
I think UCAR
misunderstands what makes
their appeal especially moving,
for it has little to do with racial
strife for the people at large.
We listen and care as a result of
our own experiences of
alienation, which are varied.
Therefore, it is not a minority
appeal, but a human one, and
the only authentic one. Who is
Eddie Pont to criticize? Who
are you, Alexia Ridley, to
assess levels of human aware-
ness, awarding merit to few?

I

Daily Opinion Page letter policy
Due to the volume of mail, the Daily cannot print
all the letters and columns it receives, although an
effort is made to print the majority of materia on a
wide range of views. The ail cuts letters and
columns for snace in both the editorial process and in

i

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