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January 14, 1988 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-01-14

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4

OPINION
Thursday, January 14, 1988

Page 4

The Michigan Daily

Edite a bt a nest Michig an i
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Fleming agains

THE~ UNIVERSITY OIL MICHIGAN
lL0CNTS'C ommumicATiON

Vol. XCVIII, No. 72

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

ITEM FOR INFORMATION

Mv 'en

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.
Fleming is historically weak on racism and discrimination:
Lack of credentials

INTERIM PRESIDENT Robben
Fleming claims that his code of
non-academic conduct is necessary
to fight anti-gay, sexist and racist
bigotry. The truth, however, is that
Fleming's code is designed to pit
minority, female and gay students,
faculty and workers against stu-
dents, faculty and workers who are
fighting for civil liberties. Histori-
cally, Fleming's own lack of cre-
dentials in the fight against bigotry,
undermines his thinly veiled power
grab on the part of University ad-
ministrators.
Fleming's history as a previous
president of the University is
painfully clear on the issues of big-
otry.
.In 1970, it took nine days of a
student boycott of class and other
general disruptions in University
life before Fleming managed to end
the Black Action Movement by
agreeing to most of its demands.
.Fleming's 1970 promise of 10
percent Black enrollment in the
1973-1974 school year went unful-
filled.
*Further, in 1973 the Department
of Health Education and Welfare
condemned the University's hiring
practices with regards to women
and minorities. In a May, 1973 let-
ter to Fleming, HEW officials
threatened the University with harsh
1conomic sanctions if they contin-
ued to fall short of the goals im-
posed on them in 1970.
.Fleming actually started today's
current code controversy by disci-
plining demonstrators from the
3AM action of 1970 and setting up
. general set of rules for non-aca-
demic life.
*Fleming repeatedly and publicly
attempted to deny the Gay Libera-
tion Front space to hold a con-
sciousness-raising conference in
1970 citing the illegality of homo-
sexuality and the potential of lost
state and alumni donations to the
University.

.Fleming opposed taking
University investments out of com-
panies that operated in South
Africa. At least one critic pointed to
his position on the board of direc-
tors of Chrysler as a conflict of in-
terest that might explain his siding
with the corporations involved in
South Africa.
.When the Office of Student Ser-
vices refused to allow corporations
with offices in South Africa to re-
cruit employees on University
premises, Fleming had the regents
overturn the decision. At the time,
Fleming did not believe it possible
to "force the view of one side. I
would prefer to see each individual
make his own decision." (Daily,
2/20/71)
*Fleming refused to cancel
classes on Martin Luther King's
birthday and did not even endorse
the teach-ins surrounding the na-
tional holiday. He called it
"difficult" and inconvenient to pro-
fessors.
If Fleming had clearly exhausted
alternatives to the code and had
demonstrated leadership in fighting
discrimination against gays, women
and ethnic-and national minorities in
the past, his currently proposed
code restricting bigoted speech
would have deserved a serious
hearing.
Writers in the Daily have
called for Fleming's resignation
(Daily 4/4/1970) on grounds which
are no less true today: use of vio-
lence, racist behavior, disciplining
of non-academic conduct, and sti-
fling dissent.
Fleming's record and his inaction
on Dr. King's birthday and Dean
Steiner's racist remarks show that
the administration desires to control
students rather than fight racism.
The code would be used to destroy
the First Amendment and maintain
the institutional racism associated
with the current administration.

Subect The Daily
You have repeatedly asked that we discuss the Daily and iilAt might
be done about it. We have devoted a good deal of time to discussion of this
topic among the Dcecutive Officers without very conclusive results. Never-
theless, I can tell you the nature of our thinking.
In the first place, one has to recognize that this is both-a historic
problem and one that is in no way unique with u;. Not long ago Bob Warner
told me.of a new thesis-on the presidency of Dr. Rtuthven that he thought I might
find of interest. In reading it, I-discovered his.battles with the DlaJy. I
have already sent to you the pages that relate to that subject..
Nor is there anything unique to our campus about the paper. College
newspapers everywhere have always been, and probably always will be, a
thorn. They are inaccurate, biased, often in poor taste, inflammatory and
usually staffed by people who are considerably more radical than the student
body. In most of thesecharacteristics they find their parallel in commercial
newspapers. Perhaps this is the reason theDailyis so vigorously defended
by the public press anytime any effort is made"to dbsomething about it."
Whenever the possibilities for "doing something abouttbe Daily" are
discussed three suggestions usually come to the fore. They are:
1. Dsassociate the Daily from the University and make it wholly
independent. The trouble with this solution is that it is not readily apparent what
making it independent means. We do not subsidize it now. It operates out of
-abuilding constructed with the profits from the newspaper, the acnuateAd th,
humor magazine.+It makes enough on advertising to survive.
We could charge the Daily rent for the space it occupies in the building,
but this would probably seem inequitable to both students and faculty in view
of the way the construction was financed. We could withdraw the potential for
subscriptions purchased by departments out of funds available to them, but
there is no reason to believe that this would change the result. Wisconsin did
both things this past year, an the paper is worse then ever and"surviving
nicely on advertising revenue.
A further danger In pressing the gaily into totally independent status,
University President Robben Fleming's views on th
freedom of the press and the applicability of the Fir

t free Daily
-2-
whatever that means, is that we may then simply find ourselves with an
underground newspaper which -:much worse.
2. Appoint a professional editor to preside over the Daily. If such an
editor were given genuine power we would precipitate. a major fight, not only
with the Daily. but probably with the entire press of the State on the grounds
that we were censoring the paper.' If he did not have power, it is hard to see
what useful function he could fulfill. Schools which have tried this approach
have no experience weknow of which suggests any success. The jo~is a
thankless one, and few people of worth are willing to consider it.
3. Replace the present Board of Student Publications with a Board
which will exercise more power. It may be that the nature of the Board ought
to be changed, but it is an illusion to suppose that such a Board will stop
the present difficulties. The same question of cenporship will arise, and
there is simply no basis for thinking tha; the Board will exercise effective
control.
If none of these alternatives offer any chance of success, what can we
do? Two possibilities occur to uas:
1. Start publishing our own weekly newspaper this fall so that we at
least get accurate information out to the University community on key questions.
Some other schools have tried this, and it appears to meet with at least some
success. It would cost us some money twe will have figures at the Regents.
meeting>, but we could do it. and we believe it would Wa positive step.

2. See whether we could establishftor'the Daily *an ombusman concept
like the one reported in the Louisville Courier in a recent issue of Time;. Hart
Wright has made qome further inquiries into this and will have more information
on it. The Time excerpt is attached.
We have arranged to have Hart Wright and Martin Hirschman, the current
editr, meet with theRigents for a discussion of the problems of the: aily.on
Thursday afternoon right after lunch.
A.W. Fleming
President'
July 8, 1970
Le Amendment were codified by him in this memo for
st the July 8, 1970 regents meeting.

Fat chance for forced apology

"Forced apology."
That is what old man Fleming wants to
dole out as punishment under his "this is
not a code" proposal. That made me throw
back my fat head and let forth a
championous chuckle. Step back from
your outrage (for just a lickety split) and
think about that phrase - "forced
apology."

FAT
AL

Distribute Needles

What a bucket of bullshit.
A forced apology means about as much
as a four year old's "polite" utterings. I
remember when, as a chubby cherubic, I'd
'aholler, "ma, give me some a'that buffalo
steak." And ma'd smack my head and
bellow, "say please fatso." This demand
was always followed by a sincere "please."
I figger that's about the equivalent on the
sincerity meter of a "forced apology."
And this is what the administration
boys offer up as a solution to racist and
other discriminations.
Man, it's pathetic.
But let's back up for a second and give
Pops Fleming the benefit of the doubt.
I'm agonna sniff me some smelling salts
(it's a good. buzz .anyhow, heh-heh-heh)
clear my head, and try to take an objective
look at this here code. Hmmm, I wonder,
who's to decide if a forced apology is in
order. The dean, huh? Well, I'm in LSA
so my dean is...let's see... none other
than.....Peter "This is not Wayne State"
Steiner.
Man, this is only getting more pathetic.
Of course, Dean Steiner understands my
bellowings about forced apologies. That
good ol' boy knows where I'm coming
from. He himself refused UCAR's
demands for an apology. Well, let's slow
down, pop a Pabst, and ponder this here
dilemma. Alright, the way I figger it,

Steiner made a racist statement, was found
guilty by a jury of his non-peers, and
refused to cough up a forced apology.
Hmm, I'm just a country boy but if I read
the "a code by any other name is still a
code" right, then Steiner ought to
be...suspended for a term. Heh-heh-heh.
See ya later, Pete.
Hey, y'all, wake up and smell the bacon
lard frying on the fire. The inmates are
running the asylum around here. In fact,
it's not bacon lard that's frying, it's
student's butts. Who opened the cages?
Who let Fleming out of the nursing home
anyhow? Go crawl back under your reac-
tionary rock, Robben.
The administration is a bunch of honky
bags o' wind. There I said it, I said it.
Honky, honky, honky. Call me a racist.
Come on and try to force an apology you
pathetic, myopic foolish old men.
Heh-heh-heh....
Yo Fat Al,
Over break, I had the wonderful
opportunity run my skinny bones about,
and ponder a few things which I had
learned during the semester. A guy named
Dr. T... taught me how bad the Soviet
Union is, and how we need to win the
Cold War. Then there was ol'Dr H..., he
told me about afew things called Liberal-
ism, Equality, and Democracy.
Then there was a Dr L... who told me
something about a Constitution,
something about changes... no, I think it
was Amendments, and how some people
called "Founders" wanted to maintain a
distinction between Private and Public
Life. They wanted something called the
State or Government to stay the hell out
of our Private Lives. Hmmm. Dr L... also
reminded us of a Founder named Mr H....
Mr J..., who was in favor of those
Amendments, thought that Mr H... was a
Monarchist, and Dr L... said he was. Mr
H... was in favor of something called the
Code... no, I think it was the Alien' and
Sedition Acts. Dr L... told us it was a
Good Thing that those nasty Alien and
Sedition Acts were repealed as soon as Mr
J... became president.

Well, that's a lot of information to be
bouncing about my brain. In fact, I almost
felt that I required some sort of review or
something so that I could keep all this
stuff I learned straight. I know that
simulations, like Dr T... uses in a class he
teaches from time to time, is an excellent
way to learn. You know what, Fat Al?
Somebody must be wicked smart, because
when I got back to ol' A2'd, it was like
my mind had been read.
Now there's someone who has been
pulled out of the history book named King
F.... This King decided that he could do
anything he wanted to his subjects, certain
citizens of AA2'd. Things such as
Procedures, Equality, Democracy, or
Amendments were to be scrupulously
avoided at all costs. King F... decided that
his word was law, that what he says goes,
and that he would see to it that those who
disobey His Word will be Seriously Pun-
ished. I am concerned because last
semester, Dr T... said that the Soviet
Union was bad because citizens have no
Freedom, no Democracy, and the Evil
Empire could invade people's Private
Lives. Fat Al, my question is when will
this ugly game stop? I think I understand
now what Drs T..., H..., and L... were
trying to teach me....
One stylistic note before I go. Back
when there wasn't a protected right of free
speech, and Sedition was in vogue, writers
were forced to abbreviate the names of
Important People like this: King F....
They did it because they weren't sure if
they were going to get Seriously
Punished, and they generally preferred not
to be. I suggest that you take up this
styli, Fat Al, if you know what's good for
you. All of you. In the mean time, I wish
that King F... would take a 'lude.
Yours Truly,
Skinny Paul.
Ah, you old bag o' bones. You've got
sucha way with words. But y'all know I'mn
not scared of that nasty old fascist, King
FLEMING.

THE ASSOCIATION FOR Drug
Abuse Prevention and Treatment
has recently decided to distribute
free, sterilized hypodermic needles
to intravenous drug users in New
York City, in an effort to check the
spread of AIDS. This action will
constitute an extremely important
and necessary act of civil
isobedience.
- New York is one of eleven states
that prohibit the possession of
hypodermic needles except in
authorized cases. The distribution
has been opposed by the city's
special narcotics prosecutor,
;Sterling Johnson Jr., who contends
that free needles encourage drug
~abuse.
This position is untenable. It as-
sumes that the availability of syr-
inges is a cause of drug addiction:
by this false logic, making them
more available would exacerbate
substance abuse. Banning their
distribution also implies that a law
restricting their use helps eliminate
intravenous drug use-.
If the availability of hypodermic
syringes actually caused addiction,
It would seem logical to suppose
that those with the most access to

The State of New York must take
a lesson from the past: the rationale
behind Prohibition is similar to the
rationale behind the banning of
hypodermic syringes, and the
respective results have been equally
disastrous. Heroin users of the
1980s and alcohol users of the
1920s are alike in not being deterred
by legal technicalities: such laws
succeed only in driving the practice
underground, thereby making it
more difficult to regulate.
In the case of the Prohibition of
the 1920s, however, the result was
an era of corrupt politicians and
officials and the birth of a truly
powerful organized crime network.
The result of the "Prohibition" on
hypodermic syringes has been far
more dangerous: intravenous drug
users now account for 34 percent of
New York city's AIDS cases.
Further, there is direct evidence
that the ban on syringes leads to
increased incidence of AIDS among
drug users. According to the New
York Times, a government
crackdown on the availability of
drug paraphernalia has caused
AIDS to reach epidemic proportions
in Edinburgh, Scotland, where
AIDS was virtually unheard of three

LETTERS
Daily protects noise, egging, painting

To the Daily:
As a member of the progres-
sive University community, I
was dismayed to the max about
President Fleming's unilateral,
repressive, authoritarian, drac-
onian, bigoted, fascist, homo-
phobic, racist, sexist (Did I
forget anything?) implemen-
tation of the totalitarian code.
How can an old codger with
only 60 or so years of life ex-
perience, whose appointment
and promotion are based solely

of personal expression include
some, if not all, of my own
personal favorites: spray paint-
ing, egg throwing, trampling
innocent security guards on my
way to illegally disrupt CIA
interviews, and screaming
chaotically at the top if my
lungs to interrupt the speeches
of respectable invited guests.
I am a disciple of the Michi-
gan Daily editorial staff. It re-
ally cracks me up the way you
slander our enemies, i.e. all

were out in the real world, I
might be arrested for my felo-
nious, though of course politi-
cally justified, forms of
expression. Here at the U of
M though, I need not trifle
myself with such trivialities as
the law. I know that you agree
with me when I say that
obedience to the law is a real
bummer, and somehow detracts
from the college experience.
In addition to being total-

itarian, authoritarian, etc.,
Fleming's code might actually
provide the real victims of
racist attacks some recourse
against their attackers. The
Daily would definitely not
want that to happen. I really
want to thank you at the Daily
for safeguarding my right to be
above the law. GO DAILY!
NO CODE! ANARCHY!
-Edward Krause
January 12

I
a

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