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March 17, 1988 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-03-17

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Page 4 Thursday, March 17, 1988 The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol XCVIII No. 112 420 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.
Save the Sharpsville Six


should examine values

"at dawn. Six people known as the
-Sharpsville Six are scheduled to be
executed. A multitude of interna-
tional organizations and govern-
ments are supporting clemency for
the Six, but Pretoria is indifferent to
the pleas. This case demonstrates the
lack of morality and concern for hu-
man life pervading the Pretoria gov-
The Six: Majalefa Reginald Sefatsa
(age 33), Oupa Moses Diniso (age
31), Reid Malebo Mokoena (age
25), Theresa Ramashamole (age 27),
Dama Joshaua Khumalo (age 27),
and Francis Don Mokgesi (age 31),
are being executed for having
"common purpose" with the
murderers of a South African offi-
The Six were part of a crowd of
bystanders during the September 3,
1984 murder of Deputy Mayor K. J.
Dlamini, of Lekoa. Dlamini was
necklaced, a technique entailing
burning victim's to death by placing
gasoline-filled tires around their
necks. Necklacing, in South Africa,
symbolically identifies the victim as
a conspirator with the Pretoria gov-
No court ever proved that the
Sharpsville Six actually committed
the act of murder. As their judge
concludes in his 121 page decision,
"the individual acts of each of the six
accused; convicted of murder,
manifested an active association with
the acts of the mob, which caused
the death of the deceased. These ac-
cused shared a common purpose
with a crowd, to kill the deceased
and each of them [were therefore
found guilty] in respect of his
4-death." In other words, the Six did
:riot physically carry out the killing,
but are "murderers" by association.
South African law does not require
k proof that one actually commit mur-
'der, but only that one be present at a
::killing. The Six have hence been
::convicted of murder in the first de-
tgree. With this reasoning, Pretoria
Scould justify the imprisonment of
nany South African Blacks.
Outrage in the international com-
*: munity has come from the United
Nations, West Germany, and to the
'surprise of many, the United States
F and Great Britain. President Reagan
-made a statement which includes a
clemency plea for the Six, as well as
w m
Norie a an
Noriega is losing friends in the Rea-
gan administration. Ever since Nor-
.iega's alleged involvement in drug
.;trafficking and other ethically ques-
tionable activities became public, the
,Reagan administration has tried to
distance itself from the failing
regime. However, considering the
P close ties between the United States
and Panama in the past, it is unlikely
that the new revelations come as a
shock to the administration.

Most of the information about
Panama's leadership comes from
p J6se Bland6n, a former Panamanian
w official, presently testifying in a
r Florida drug case. He claims that
Noriega has been heavily involved in
* drug trafficking, in addition to other
, extracurricular activities such as
mpli. ---nn nr ctpalnu fernl

a damnation of apartheid. Reagan
falls short, however, of issuing any
sanctions or economic penalties
against the South African govern-
In December the United Nations
Security Council unanimously en-
dorsed clemency for the Sharpsville
Six. The resolution, however, also
did not contain sanctions because of
objections by the U.S. and British
The government of South Africa
completely disregards human rights.
The cruelty and inhumanity of
apartheid need not be explained.
Nonetheless, South Africa's presi-
dent, P.W. Botha, has stated sev-
eral times that apartheid will never
. Botha's actions reflect his beliefs.
According to the South African
Consulate in Chicago, Botha will not
exercise his power to grant a stay of
execution, even in light of the over-
whelming international protest.
The South African government is
ambivalent to international outrage.
It is clear that Pretoria will not dis-
mantle their system of racial subju-
gation and oligarchical rule. Gov-
ernments claiming to oppose the
system of apartheid should move
swiftly and firmly toward a complete
economic boycott of South Africa.
The long-standing U.S.-UK policy
of constructive engagement is not
What can students and local resi-
dents do? The American Committee
on Africa is urging concerned per-
sons the send telegrams and telex
messages to Botha urging clemency
for the Sharpsville Six. Please let the
South African government know that
their heinous crimes are not going
An eleventh-hour appeal on behalf
of the Six is before the South
African Supreme Court. As of press
time last night, the outcome of the
appeal was unknown. The Pretoria
government may get away with
murdering six more innocent people,
however every nation and every
person must pull together to end
brutal wrath of apartheid.
Write to P.W. Botha on
behalf of the Sharpsville Six:
President P.W. Botha
State President Office
Private Bag X213
Pretoria, 0001 S.A.
ally no longer
Arturo Delvalle. Delvalle himself
was removed earlier this month by
The CIA has always had a good
working relationship with the dicta-
tor. The late CIA director, William
Casey, met several times with Nor-
iega. It is unlikely that the CIA, with
its "sophisticated" intelligence net-
work, could have been left in the
dark as to what Noriega was up to.
It is also unlikely that the CIA
would provide classified intelligence

reports to General Noriega unless it
had extensive background informa-
tion on him. According to Bland6n,
the CIA sent intelligence reports to
Noriega on U.S. Senators and other
officials visiting Panama without the
knowledge of the visitors. Noriega
was also contracted by Oliver North
and the CIA to be a link in the illegal

By Henryk Skolimowski
this is the last part of a two-part series
It is often lamented that too much im-
portance is attached to traditional humani-
ties whereas computer illiteracy is ram-
pant. I want to suggest that this lament is
spurious and unjustified, for the opposite
seems to be the truth. In this university,
every student is somewhat literate in the
use of computers whereas the rampant il-
literacy of the role of values in one's own
life is hardly perceived or acknowledged.
The ethical literacy goes beyond the fash-
ionable belief that everyone, is entitled to
his/her values - for such a stand is noth-
ing but moral relativism - an expression
of moral illiteracy. In his book The Clos-
ing of the American Mind, Allan Bloom
has incisively shown how moral rela-
tivism and moral nihilism are undermin-
ing the very fabric of this society and the
integrity of the American mind. In this
university we are perpetuating this moral
What I am saying is the following:
yes, there is institutional racism built into
the structure of this university; there is
institutional sexism; but they are built
into the structure in a subtle way - in the
very foundations of values on which this
University stands and which this univer-
sity perpetuates - whether consciously or
The edifice of knowledge and learning,
which this university represents is
impressive in many ways - partly be-
cause it penetrates almost every aspect of
our thinking and our existence. Yet this
edifice is not value free. On the contrary,
it is based on specific values. In turn it
perpetuates specific values. In what way?
The world that is in the focus of attention
Skolimowski is a Prof. of Philosophy in
the College of Engineering.

is that of matter. The mind that is culti-
vated and enshrined is that of clinical ob-
jectivity. The attributes of knowledge that
are most valued are efficiency and control.
Everything else is less important - if
important at all. Through this very model
we exclude other views and other values.
In the world in which there is only
physical matter and the laws of manipula-
tion, the most important aspect of our be-
havior is the manipulation of this matter,
as well as the manipulation of the other
stuff of the world, including other human
beings. Everything becomes an object of
Since there are no higher values recog-
nized or promoted, manipulation and the
power trip become ultimate values. All
very logical and almost natural. In this
scheme the rampant individualism not
only is not discouraged but finds its
apotheosis: you only live once, and you
fulfill your destiny through power and
manipulation. In this pseudo-objective
scheme, there is no place for compassion,
for brotherhood, for solidarity - for if
you are smart, you should dominate. Since
the people of color are weak, because of
their historical circumstance, or whatever,
they deserve their fate. It is too bad but we
cannot help them - but the objective
world is made for the strong.
Such is the logic and such are the ar-
guments - following neatly from the
whole structure we have set up. We can
now see that racism and sexism are built
into the structure of our universities and
other social institutions. For this reason
the cosmetic operations will not help
much. Hiring two or three people of color
is good action, as I said, but still on the
level of symptoms, that is as long as the
whole value structure is kept intact and is
allowed to generate its imperatives which
are fundamentally divisive, competitive,
pitting us against each other.
What I am saying (secondly) is that we
have to examine the whole value structure

in earnest. The systematic reflection on
values must include courses offered to
students on various levels of the curricu-
lum. How many new courses have we
created concerning the use of computers
during the last five years? Many! Is ethics
so pitifully unimportant that it does not
deserve a large-scale University course? By
this I mean not only a course in the his-
tory of ethics offered by the Philosophy
Department but one that examines values
relevant for our times. In this intercon-
nected world, we are a part of all human-
ity. If we create and perpetuate values and
structures that are divisive if not vicious,
their fruit will come back to haunt us with
vengeance. A viable and cooperative ethics
is a matter of our survival - both spiri-
tual and economic.
We need to reflect on these great ideals
of humanity which have sustained
magnificently many societies in the past:
cooperation, compassion, solidarity,
reverence. It is simply an unexamined bull
to claim that without competition we
would all atrophy and nothing of impor-
tance would be created. The greatest
achievements of human kind were created
not through competition but through acts
of compassion and love. We can, if we so
wish, create an ethics based on the win-
win principle. It will not be easy. But if
we have the will to examine our founda-
tions and to pursue our noblest aspira-
tions, it can be done. Where are the
administrators with wisdom and courage
who would realize all the tinkering with
technology does not exhaust the scope of
our destiny and does not solve our funda-
mental problems? Where are the adminis-
trators who can see that we do not live by
calculus alone, and that we need to re-ex-
amine our values - for so much depends
on them? The business of the University
is continuous examination. Unexamined
life is not worth living. Unexamined val-
ues are not worth having.



Davis symbol of Black liberation

To the Daily:
Born and raised on
Birmingham's Dynamite Hill
- so named because of the
number of Black homes
bombed there - Angela Davis
quickly learned of the brutal
racism which oppressed her
family and people. Her parents
were active in the anti-racist
struggle. Davis knew the
families of the four Black
children killed in the 1963
bombing of a Birmingham
church. Despite the racist edu-
cational system, Davis grad-
uated magna cum laud from
Brandeis University and pur-
sued graduate studies in Eur-
ope. As the civil rights move-
ment accelerated in the mid-
sixties, however, Davis left
Europe to join the struggle.
She was one of the original
central staff members of the
SNCC (Student Non-violent
Coordinating Committee)
chapter in Los Angeles.
As a radical scholar,
intellectual, and political orga-
nizer, Davis was extremely
vocal in condemning the Viet
Nam War. Her active involve-
ment in the Black Liberation
movement and her fierce ad-
vocacy for prison reform led to
her harassment by state
authorities in California (led by
then-governor Ronald Reagen).
She was eventually framed on
murder and kidnapping charges.
Wilhite qualified
To the Daily:
For the information of read-
ers of the outrageous article
("Alumni still want Bo-Fi-
nalist Wilhite's ability ques-
tioned," Daily, 3/3/88) con-
cerning the Athletic Director-
ship: Clayton Wilhite was one
of several scholar athletes who
took a lot of political science

Davis spent months in solitary
confinement - she was haras-
sed and under surveillance 24
hours a day. A mass movement
of international scope, how-
ever, led to courtroom victories
as Davis became a symbol of
Black Liberation.
Since she began teaching in
the late 1960s, Davis has
refused the apolitical academic
status which most university
professors assume. In addition
to her political activism, her

teaching and writing have
focused on political oppres-
sion, particularly racism and
sexism. Davis is now teaching
at San Francisco State Uni-
versity and has published her
latest book, Women, Race, and
Class. As part of the United
Coalition Against Racism's
efforts to educate the commun-
ity and combat institutional
racism, we are bringing An-
gela Davis to speak this com-
ing weekend. A symbol and a

leader from the sixties, Angela
Davis continues to challenge
the oppressive racist and sexist
structures of society, to orga-
nize, to resist. Davis will be
speaking on Racism and Sex-
ism in the Eighties this
Saturday, March 19 at 7:00 pm
at Rackham Auditorium.
-Brett Stockdill,
United Coalition
Against Racism
March 15, 1988

West Bank and Gaza

not Palestinian


To the Daily:
I do strongly believe Israel
must get rid of its occupied
territories. There is no way
they can hold on to them much
longer without m a s s i v e
bloodshed on both sides.
Besides that, I think it is
harmful for Israel's intention to
be a Jewish homeland; a n
Islamic population exceeding
the Jewish one would make
democracy impossible. But
surely one can't be serious
about demanding an instant
unconditional establishment of
a "Palestinian homeland."
That would put Israel in the
same situation it was in in '67,
a nation some few dozen miles
wide with hostile neighbors on
all sides. Would the PLO, if it
were accepted as the voice of
Palestinians, accept a homeland

forbidden to militarize by the
UN? There is much talk of
how "moderate" today's PLO
is, how willing it is to sit
down and talk. The PLO is
still headed by Yasser Arafat, a
man who was only a few.years
ago encouraging terrorist
bombings and shooting Israeli
civilians. Maybe he h a s
mellowed in his middle age,
but that does not change the
horrible things the PLO so
recently was still participating
Also, what is this about
Israel "confiscating their
country?" Funny, but I don't
recall the West Bank and Gaza
being a Palestinian state in
1967 or any time before that
since Biblical times. Israel
seized the land from Jordan in
1967 if you recall, a n d

Palestinian leaders often point
out that they are not Jordanians
and do not want to be part of
Jordan again. Before that, the
whole region was a British
The end result is this: The
occupied territories threaten to
destroy Israel slowly from
within if they are kept. If they
are given up, the occupied
territories become a fantastic
beachhead for another all-out
Arab-Israeli war. Some would
call it a Catch-22. In the
meantime, the Palestinians
aren't doing much to further
their new image as pacifists
rather than the terrorists they
took pride in being for so long.
There is no simple solution to
this situation, Mr. Jamil, and
being misinformed only
complicates the situation.
-Steven Koppelman
January 28




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