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March 24, 1988 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-03-24

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I

OPINION
Page 4 Thursday, March 24, 1988 The Michigan Daily

e m bt a n Michig an
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Jesse Jackson for

Vol. XCVIII, No. 117

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.
AReinforcing civil rights

THE REAGAN YEARS have been
ektremely trying for the civil rights
movement. However, progressives
achieved a small victory this week
when Congress overrode President
Meagan's veto of the Civil Rights
Restoration Act (CRRA).
The present administration has
successfully advocated judicial re-
strictions of the scope of anti-dis-
crimination provisions under civil
rights laws. In Grove City College
v. Bell (1984), the administration
actively supported the Supreme
Court's ruling that civil rights laws
apply only to federally funded pro-
grams, not the institutions which
house them. The CRRA, on the
other hand, broadens this interpre-
tation to include both the programs
and their larger institutions.
There is an immediate implication
to this revision. The University of
Michigan receives federal funding
for Guaranteed Student Loans and
scientific research. According to the
CRRA, the entire University, in-
cluding the Regents and adminis-
trators, will be held to the letter of
the civil rights laws.
There has been considerable op-
position to the CRRA, though the
President's veto was easily over-
tirned in Congress. Conservative
rgligious groups spoke against the
bill because they believe it impinges
on the right of federally supported
private schools to exclude such
people as atheists and homosexual
males and lesbians from their staffs.
Various construction groups also
opposed the CPPA on the grounds
that it might require federally
funded construction projects, al-
ready in progress, to become
handicap-accessible. These
"reasons" for opposition are
provincial and discriminatory at
best.
The common rationale for the
opposition is that the CRRA inordi-

nately increases federal power. Op-
ponents of the bill are correct in as-
serting it broadens federal power-
it holds more government-spon-
sored institutions responsible for
upholding anti-discrimination pro-
visions. It is ironic that the Repub-
lican Party, which advocates a
powerful line-item veto for the
president, and supports executive
authority to employ US troops in
Central America, has voted over-
whelmingly against the CRRA be-
cause it increases federal jurisdic-
tion in the realm of civil rights.
Further, the CRRA culminates a
four year effort by civil rights lob-
byists to rectify the damage of past
administration policies. In addition,
the Act broadens the original scope
of anti-discrimination policy to
protect gay males and lesbians,
handicapped individuals, and peo-
ple of color.
Before the congressional over-
ride, Vice-President George Bush
called CRRA "imperfect" because
of its wording. Although he claims
to support principles of the civil
rights movement in his campaign
platform, Bush compromised his
"morals" by supporting Reagan's
veto of the bill. Bush was so con-
cerned with securing Reagan's
constituents, he obediently followed
the administration's word. This ob-
sequiousness exemplifies Bush's
lack of conviction to uphold indi-
vidual minority rights.
The CRRA is a major victory.
However, presidential/legislative
disputes over the important issue of
fundamental rights of minority
groups, more than twenty years af-
ter the Civil Rights Act of 1965, are
disgraceful. The Reagan adminis-
tration and other opposition groups
must look past the paranoid delu-
sion of an overly powerful Federal
Government, and recognize the
need to be fair to all citizens.

By Liz Gottlieb
There are times when the obvious is all
but invisible. The current debate among
presidential contenders seems to be one
such time. The federal budget deficit,
driven to record heights by the Reagan
administration, is one of the most serious
problems facing the nation today, yet the
candidates debate as though it were not
there. The one exception among the re-
maining candidates, Jesse Jackson, is vir-
tually ignored, first because he is Black,
and the media knows that Black people
needn't be taken seriously as presidential
candidates; and also because what he has to
say may not fit in well with the view of
the world that the media would like us to
have.
Jackson has proposed as a way of reduc-
ing the deficit the seemingly unremarkable
approach of simply reversing the bud-
getary changes that brought about the
massive deficit in the first place: that is,
removing Reagan's tax breaks to the rich,
and undoing his massive military build-
up. Such common sense doesn't fit well
with the "painful choices" that the media
would like to see us make about deficit
reduction. These "painful choices" usually
involve cutting back further in areas like
education, health care, child care, and
housing assistance or increasing taxes on
middle and lower income people. The me-
dia does not want us to notice that those at
the top end of the, income scale are sitting
around with enormous windfalls from the
Reagan tax cuts that have reduced their tax
rate by almost two thirds. We also are not
supposed to ask questions about the dou-
bling of the military budget to 300 billion
dollars, questions such as "do such mas-
sive expenditures really serve our inter-
ests?" In order to avoid such troubling is-
sues, the media has decided that Jackson
need not be treated seriously as a presiden-
tial candidate, and that we needn't bother
any of the other candidates with difficult
questions about the deficit. No doubt it's
better. that they surprise us with the
People interested in helping get out the
vote for the Jackson campaign should call
Dean Baker and Liz Gottlieb at 663-2774.

"painful choices" to be faced after the
election.
The majority of citizens, who are not in
the same income class as the owners of
the media, might want to hear more about
the painful choices now, when we may
have some input into what happens. To
begin with, there are already deficit reduc-
tion schedules written into the law for the
next five years. This means that education,
health care, child care, and all other areas
of social spending .il1 be cut, unless
taxes are raised, or cuts are made else-
where. It's a safe bet that our white candi-
dates will not meet the deficit reduction
schedules by restoring taxes on the rich or
cutting military spending as Jackson has
promised. While history is full of exam-
ples of politicians who have promised to
tax the rich and cut back the military, and
not carried through once in office, it would
be almost impossible to find people who
have done the opposite. Therefore unless
these deficit reduction schedules are re-
moved (which none of the candidates claim
they want to do), any promises for in-
creased funding for social programs can
not be kept.
In 1980 a presidential candidate was
elected who promised to raise military
spending, cut taxes, and balance the bud-
get. While the first two promises were
kept, due to Reagan's inability to change
the laws of arithmetic, instead of balanc-
ing the budget he gave us the largest
deficits we've ever seen. As we go into the
current election we have a crop of candi-
dates who show a similar disrespect for the
laws of arithmetic. In particular, among
the Democratic contenders we have near
unanimity that spending on health care,
child care, housing, education, and other
categories of social spending should be
increased. On the other hand, we hear vir-
tually no discussion of cuts elsewhere in
the budget, or new taxes that will allow
for funding these programs at the same
time the deficit is reduced. These candi-
dates are either deceiving us when they
make these commitments, or they have
not yet mastered arithmetic.
The one exception among the Demo-

President
cratic candidates is Jesse Jackson, who has
said quite clearly where such funding
would come from. He has called for undo-
ing the Reagan tax cuts for the rich and
large corporations, as well as undoing
Reagan's massive military build-up. It is
remarkable that the media has chosen ig-
nore the nonsensical nature of the other
candidates' promises.
While Jackson may be the only candi-
date who is prepared to carry through on
increased funding for social programs,
anyone who has read the papers has been
told thousands of times that a Black can-
not be elected president. Before anyone al-
lows the media to sucker them into
believing that a vote for Jackson is a
wasted vote, however, there are several
points that should be considered. First, the
media has a good track record of being
wrong about election results. Jackson
continues to be at or near the top in presi-
dential polls, and in state after state. Pri-
mary voters refuse to be as racist as the
media claims they are, as Jackson has
continually done better than expected (on
the basis of votes per dollar of campaign
expenditure, he is demolishing his com-
petitors). Second, what really matters is
not the identity of the individual in office,
but the policies they pursue. Widespread
support for Jackson will make it morej
difficult for any president to make the sort
of cuts in'social spending, or tax increases
directed at the poor and middle class, that
they might otherwise be inclined to enact.,
We must decide how we can best build a
movement to oppose such right-wing
measures, not how to appropriately handi-
cap the primary. Finally we have to ask
whether we are going to allow racists or
sexists who make an election
"unwinnable" for women or Blacks dictate
how we are going to vote. As an objective
matter, it makes no difference if people
don't vote for Black or women candidates
because they are themselves racist or sex-
ist, or because they think other people are.
The effect on the election is identical. {
What we are asking then is quite simple.
We are asking people to have the courage
to vote their convictions.

LETTERS:

Bill in congress makes good'TA s

4

Photo by LESLIE BOORSTEIN
Ann Arbor police officers stand guard in front of Neo-Nazis as an anti-racist protestor
charges the line.
Police protect Nazis

To The Daily:
The Teaching Assistant Bill
before the House of Represen-
tatives, if passed, will provide
better teaching for the Univer-
sity of Michigan. This bill
will end the hiring of assistants
on just the basis of their intel-
ligence in a given field. It will
force the University to look at
the ability of the applicant to
teach the class.
The University is infamous
for its non-English speaking
assistants. As a freshman at the
University, I know that doing
well in a particular class
depends greatly on how the
teaching assistant can teach the
material. Classes found at this
institution are demanding and
challenging enough without
the added burden of translating
lectures and homework assign-
ments. Many of the assistants
are unable to write English
words on the board due to their
lack of knowledge of the En-
glish language.
One problem is the lack of
available teaching assistants on
the campus. This type of job is
not exactly a major priority in
a long list of job opportuni-
ties, but it is important to the
University and its students. By
raising the salaries of the
assistants, more applicants
would be available, therefore
there would be a larger number
from which to choose. If a
college is unable to afford an
increase in salaries, larger
classes with teachers of the
best quality could offer a
solution.
Included in a teaching assis-
tant job, besides the obvious
part of teaching the class, is
the ability to communicate
with the students. Students find
their major difficulties with

deals of money to receive a
quality education. This money
should not be going towards
assistants that are not capable
of teaching. Since hiring
assistants is inevitable, why
not spend it on qualified and
capable teachers?
It is true that the assistants
who have been hired in the past
are qualified in terms of their
knowledge in a particular field.
The problem- is that knowing
what to teach and teaching it

are two different objectives.
Clear, concise statements must
be made during the class period
for students to understand the
material. All questions must be
answered clearly enough so that
a student can solve the prob-
lems by themselves.
The bill before the House of
Representatives will require all
universities to make specific
requirements in hiring teaching
assistants. These requirements
will include passing perfor-

mance tests on English. This
test will allow universities to
hire only the assistants that are
capable of teaching. The days
of frustration and confusion
over classes will be put to the
past. Only assistants who are
qualified will be hired.
Considering the amount of
money students put toward
their education, it is only fair
for them to get the best teach-
ing possible.
-Karen Davis
March 21

Anti-Nazis deserve commendation for protest

I

To the Daily:
If a tree falls in the forest,
and there is no one there to
hear it, does it make a sound?
If neo-nazis rally in downtown
Ann Arbor on a Saturday after-
noon, and no one counters their
spewing of hatred against reli-
gious minorities, people of
color, lesbians, gay men, and
all who denounce bigotry, will
the neo-nazis achieve anything

significant? I submit that the
answer to each question is
"yes". .
Right met might in Ann
Arbor this past Saturday as the
Ann Arbor police came down
hard on the anti-nazis, injuring
many and arresting four at the
scene, including a friend of
mine. Those arrested were
charged with felonious assault
for allegedly throwing rocks

ANN ARBOR POLICE presence at
the Neo-Nazi demonstration last
weekend was engineered in such a
way as to make violence the only
possible outcome. The police un-
fairly singled out anti-racist demon-
strators before the Nazis appeared
and brutalized protesters once the
rally began.
The Nazis were allowed t o
protest, armed with clubs, and pro-
tected by helmets and shields.
However, the counter-demonstra-
tors were searched, corralled off on
the side, and harassed by the police.
Some of the anti-Nazi demonstra-
tors were even forced to remove the
sticks from their picket signs.
The police aided the cause of

forces must face to openly protest
racism.
Moreover, Nazis were allowed to
drag and beat the anti-racist
protestors then the police proceeded
to slam the students into the con-
crete, tear out their hair, beat them,
and, finally, carted four of them off
to jail without arresting a single
Nazi. One of the protestors was ar-
rested and beaten by the police after
the protest had ended and he was
walking away.
Finally, as no permit was needed
for the Nazi demonstration, citizens
had no way to voice non-violent
opposition and more importantly,
the attempts which anti-Nazi
protestors made were thwarted by
the nolice. The nolice used excel-

and bottles at the neo-nazis and
the police.
I do not question the right of
neo-nazis, or anyone else, to
make public political state-
ments. I do not advocate the
use of violence by anyone, ex-
cept in self-defense. I do, how-
ever, advocate challenging ha-
tred and racism on all fronts.
And I am glad that the anti-
nazis too, a stand on Saturday.
I stand with them. Where do
you stand?
-J. Michael McLeod
March 21
Fat Al would like to hear from
you. To let Al know what you
think about his column, the
U', or life in general, send a
letter to him, c/o the Daily's
Opinion page, 420 Maynard
St, 48109. He's waiting.

4

US doesn't have a free market

To the Daily:
I noticed an interesting in-
version in the column
"Department teaches status
quo" (Daily, 3/15/88). The ar-
ticle begins by stating,
"Mainstream theory will read-
ily show that racial or sexual
discrimination cannot persist in
a free market." In the next
paragraph, I found, "While
economics tells us that dis-
crimination basedsonhrace or
gender cannot persist on the
market, women still earn on
average only about 70 percent
of what men earn..." Notice
la,... "*l .. t f .t , a n- t anna a

use the United States as an ex-
ample of a free market is a
poorly disguised attack on the
theory of free market eco-
nomics is irresponsible.
That differences in wages due
to race or gender still exist is a
result of the "lack" of a free
market.
k -Eric Sutherland
March 15

A

Daily Opinion Page letter policy
Due to the volume of mail, the Daily cannot print
all the letters and columns it receives, although an
hffrt ma eto nrinit themaiorityo nf material on a

a

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