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March 25, 1988 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-03-25

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4

OPINION
Page 4 Friday, March 25, 1988 The Michigan Daily

GIb Stdpigan atI
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCVIII, No. 118420 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.

Vote for Je
Q F ALL THE CANDIDATES for
President, only one has created a
coalition of people who care about civil
rights, human rights, peace, and
economic justice. Only Jesse Jackson
dares to speak out in favor of the vast
majority of the population which the
media absurdly labels "special
interests."
"It's a poor campaign with a rich
message," said Jackson after winning
more votes than any other candidate on
Super Tuesday. His competitors each
outspent him by a margin of more than
10 to 1.
Jackson has the ability to frame the
most pressing issues of social justice in
away that unites the interests of the
middle class with the poor and disen-
franchised (whom he is registering to
vote in record numbers). Jackson is
right to accuse President Reagan of
being -the real radical in giving a wink
and a nod to multi-national
corporations, merger maniacs, CIA-
supported drug cartels and other
dealers of death who amass wealth at
the expense of all of us.
Economic violence
"Economic violence" is Jackson's
central message. The brutality inflicted
on family farmers, workers, women,
and minorities is as real as the kinds of
random street violence the media regu-
larly reports on.
. Random violence and economic op-
pression are profoundly related. Jack-
son is the only candidate with an
analysis to explain the connection
between bankrupt farmers committing
suicide and. unemployed youths
emptying guns into each other on the
streets of our cities.
On war and peace, Jackson stands
above his rivals. Dukakis has called for
increased funding for our "neglected
conventional military forces" - this,
after the largest peacetime military ex-
pansion in our history.
End Honduran violence
Wednesday night he spoke the simple
truth that no other candidate is honest
enough to admit for fear of being la-
beled "soft on Communism." "Three
million Sandinistas," he said, "are not a
threat to our security... We have the
power to end that war right now."
Jackson has been the most consistent
of all Democrats in calling for a
reversal of the overall rightward drift
under the Reagan administration. He

sse

Jackson

has called for increasing the minimum
wage, supported comparable worth and
comprehensive day care.
Return to social spending
Unlike other candidates who make
empty promises to restore social
spending, only Jackson has been ex-
plicit on where the money is going to
come from: namely from taxing the in-
come of the rich and by slashing the
bloated military budget.
Positions such as these have at-
tracted millions of supporters to
Jackson's campaign. He averaged
more than 20 percent of the white vote
in Northern, States, with 28 percent in
Maine, the whitest state in the country.
A recent Time/Newsweek joint poll
showed that he would do as well as
Gore against Bush in the general
election.
Yet seemingly no agglomeration of
facts has yet been able to shake the
media from their persistent message:
Jackson is not white, therefore he can't
win. Even though Jackson gets more
white votes than his opponents receive
Black votes, and in numerous cases so
far this election year, more white votes
than his white competitors, he is still
labeled the "Black" candidate.
Media double standard
Wednesday's television coverage of
Jackson's Ann Arbor appearance was
typical. Despite the fact that the
majority of the 6000 people in
attendance where white, Channel 7
chose only four Blacks for interviews.
Jackson's candidacy is not without
its flaws. For example, his emphasis
on increasing Coast Guard patrols to
prevent drugs from entering the
country is misplaced.
His now notorious "Hymietown"
remark was regrettable. But he has
apologized repeatedly, and there is no
evidence to doubt his sincerity. (This in
sharp contrast to Dean Steiner, who is
still unable to admit and therefore learn
from his mistake.)
In describing the situation of the
working poor Wednesday night, he
spoke eloquently of the uninsured
hospital workers, who for minimum
wages, mop the floors and empty the
bedpans. "No job is beneath them, but
when they get sick, they can't even lie
in one of the beds that they've made."
Jackson deserves your vote
tomorrow in the Michigan Democratic
caucuses.

Police br
By Nancy Johnston
This is an open letter to the University
community. I have been out of touch with
the activist current of the University
community for the past year or so, I must
admit. But when some of my housemates
told me about the Nazi/KKK rally on Sat-
urday, I agreed to join them pretty quickly.
While I find individual acts of racism,
sexism, anti-semitism and other discrimi-
natory ideologies intolerable, it was a se-
rious concern to me that groups advocat-
ing the violent enforcement of these ide-
ologies were planning to rally here. My
intention in going to the protest was, by
my presence and the presence of all the
other people there, to show that these
ideas and the groups that perpetuated them
were unwelcome in our community.
I didn't get there until about 2pm and
was under the impression that the rally had
not begun (I found out later that the Nazi
group had come out earlier and been pelted
with rocks and bricks but had been pro-
tected from further violence by the Ann
Arbor police force). In fact, when I got
there, several people said the group hadn't
even arrived yet, and while the mood was
certainly angry, it didn't feel violent.
I would have thought with all the alle-
gations against the police in the past year
or two, they would have learned to handle
these situations more judiciously. In fact,
I must admit that when hearing a lot of
Nancy Johnston is a LSA senior.;

*utaliZe protesters
accusations of police brutality in the past, whether they were throwing things or:
I thought that the police, placed in a fusing to move. If you have never ha
stressful situation, had just overreacted to billy club shoved against you repeate
people who were breaking the law. I never with a large amount of force, let me e
found thought that the overreaction was plain that it feels a lot more like being1
justified at all, but I did at least think the than being shoved. It is rather painful a
police were capable of figuring out who makes it very difficult to keep your b
was the cause of a disturbance. ance and move. Every time I regainedr
And after Saturday's display, what do I balance and tried to move away, I w
think? I am convinced not only their shoved off my feet again. At one poi
overreaction excessive, unjustified and de- after about 10 feet of this ridiculous
spicable but they also direct this overreac- sault, I was crowded up against a bunch
tive offense against people who aren't people and couldn't move any further. A
even involved faced this virtual wall of police, immo
As the Nazis came out (as I now know, lized, I said "Is this necessary? I'm try,
for the second time) I was towards the to move!" The cop closest to me, who
"non-violent" side of the crowd with the snarl on his face definitely heard a
UCAR and others who seemed to be there shoved me again.
to peacefully protest. I noticed some of the The majority of the protest, as I sE
friends I came with were standing closer to before, was non-violent. I was disa
where the Nazi's were to come out. Again, pointed, to be honest, that protesters ch
not being there earlier, I had no idea that to throw things. I don't think it was a
there was a minority of protesters who propriate because I strongly believec
were reacting violently towards this rally. presence, our counter-chants, and our sc
Please read the next sentence with the sar- darity were more productive. The non-v
casm I felt as I wrote it. I guess my step- lent methods were also much more inc
ping (unintentionally and unknowingly) sive of passers-by who wished to join
from the non-violent to the violent section opposition to this group and its ide
made the police's action justified. However, the indiscriminate violence
As the Nazis came out, people close to the police became the main show as th
my area - perhaps 20 feet away from me chased down and roughed up the protest
- began throwing things at them: rocks, By the confusion they caused, I can't 1
eggs, bottles. At least a dozen police ran lieve it helped them to find the ro
into my section yelling "Move back!" throwers, but then, I didn't feel that th
Fine. I and most others began to oblige. cared much who they went after. Th
But it obviously wasn't fast enough for certainly did not "keep the peace" in a
this mini-battalion. They began shoving way - only caused the destruction no
and pushing people away discriminate of by their offensive, unjustified actions.

4

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Provost analysis

flawed

Break Pretoria's

ban

TOMORROW THE Free South Africa
Coordinating Committee (FSACC) will
host a teach-in on Southern Africa.
Students should plan to attend to
counter the apartheid regime's total
press ban and FSACC has invited
some of the most informed people in
the country to help break the silence. A
strong show of support will help
pressure the media into expanding their
coverage.
Three years ago, when FSACC was
formed. It consistently drew hundreds
of people for to its meetings. Those
numbers have declined since an hon-
orary degree was granted to Nelson
Mandela and South Africa's media

crack down has covered up the extent
of the repression.
People are dying everyday in South
Africa opposing its brutal system of
apartheid. Students must take it upon
themselves to understand and evaluate
the issues and get involved in disas-
sembling apartheid.
The days events will take place from
12-5 in the Michigan Union. Speakers
include: Prexy Nesbitt, consultant to
the government of Mozambque, Rob
Jones, a researcher for the American
Committe on Africa, Suria Govender, a
visiting professor from South Africa,
and Mike Ermler from the Michigan
anti-apartheid commision. Call the
Union for further information.

By Concerned Faculty
On February 8, 1988, the University
Record published an "open letter" from
Provost James J. Duderstadt, comprising
nearly an entire page of that issue. Provost
Duderstadt's letter contains many fresh and
encouraging statements about his topic,
"Diversity, Excellence Compelling
Goals." We agree that "the ability of the
University to achieve excellence in teach-
ing, research and service will be deter-
mined increasingly by our capacity to
achieve and sustain a campus community
characterized by its racial, cultural and
ethnic diversity." We regard this state-
ment as a sharp departure from the now-
discredited view of Dean Peter Steiner,
which disparaged the idea of a large con-
centration of people of color at the Uni-
versity.
We also applaud Duderstadt's recogni-
tion of a distinction between "overt acts"
and the "more subtle institutional forms"
of racism, both of which are to be deplored
and aggressively fought. Moreover, we are
enthusiastic about his emphasis on our
need to become "more appreciative of
racial diversity," assuming that the point
of reference includes the histories, cultures
and perspectives of people of color and
people of non-Western descent. Finally,
we are glad that he calls attention to the
fact that, in spite of the "gains of the civil
rights' movement and the American belief
in meritocracy," there remain significant
"barriers to full participation in all facets
of our society" by people of color.
But a second reading of this statement
makes us wonder whether we are being
naively optimistic, projecting into
Provost Duderstadt's statement assump-
tions and an agenda that are not really
there. Such a possibility seems to be sug-
gested by a number of notable absences,
distortions and ambiguities.
First, Provost Duderstadt misrepresents
the origins of the new "diversity agenda"
when he writes that the "University" sim-
ply launched the perspective of "seeking to
link together diversity and excellence" last
spring. In fact, the most significant feature
of the new agenda is that it is not an
"initiative" but a reaction by the adminis-
tration to a massive upheaval led by Black
students that disrupted University life (in
our view, for the better), capturing the at-
tention of the national media.
Moreover, the early 1987 uprising
against racist events on campus itself drew
attention to the failure of the administra-
tion to live up to its commitments going
all the way back to 1970 (also elicited by
a student upheaval) or to take other
significant steps to change the composi-
tion of the University and rid its cultural
life of racism and ethnocentrism. In our
view, the lesson of this history is that the
administration only makes the types of

action of students who will no longer al-
low "business as usual."
In light of this, we find Provost Duder-
stadt's deletion of the origins of the "new
agenda" to be distressing. Indeed, one can
not hope to understand the full dynamic of
the situation unless one faces reality in all
its complexity. Provost Duderstadt's
gambit in this regard is about as helpful in
reaching this end as the purblind insistence
of the sixteenth century European invaders
of this continent that they were founding a
new territory on "uninhabited" land.
Provost Duderstadt's suggestion that the
administration came up with the diversity
agenda ex nihilo is made doubly
questionable when he concludes that we
must begin "setting aside confrontation
and empty rhetoric," and then claims that
the message of the civil rights movement
of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is to
"replace confrontation with co-operation."
This conclusion seems preposterous to
those of us who recall the history of Uni-
versity anti-racist movements-not to
mention those who vividly recall the
scenes of the Civil Rights movement with
its civil disobedience and mass arrests.
Even the latest promises and commit-
ments contained in Provost Duderstadt's
February 8th statement appear to be in re-
sponse to the student-initiated furor over
Dean Steiner's opinions!
A second distressing feature of the
statement is that Provost Duderstadt's
desiderata, "excellence and diversity," are
never clearly defined. The latter conflates a
huge number of categories. The former ar-
guably functions as a code word for schol-
arship largely derived from selective patri-
archal, European and Euro-American mod-
els-and the demand that people of color
and women conform to such class, gender
and race-biased models in large numbers is
both unrealistic and undesirable.
If Provost Duderstadt is sincere in his
view that it is "inappropriate and counter-
productive" to "transfer to oppressed mi-
norities the blame for their underrepresen-
tation in institutions such as our Univer-
sity," then he should not only call for
programs to "strengthen minority repre-
sentation," but he should also take major
steps to encourage efforts to re-examine
the underlying assumptions of
"excellence" that rendered such efforts
minimal and ephemeral in the past.
It is dangerous and misleading for
Provost Duderstadt to treat "excellence" as

if it were a category clear, obvious and
- universal, when, in fact, it is in the pre-
sent context a partisan category function-
ing to maintain extant social relations.
Some of us believe that there cannot be an
"excellent" scholar of "American history"'-
show is unable to discuss with subtlety
and skill the history of the indigenous
peoples on the continent; yet many
"excellent" universities, including our
own, provide no means or motivation for '
prospective scholars to obtain such
knowledge. Still, these institutions con-
sider themselves and their Ph.D.'s to be
"excellent." Such partisan models of
"excellence" are used when determining
new appointments and promotions.
This profound ambiguity about
"excellence" vitiates the utility of the goal
of "diversity," which conflates many cate-
gories. As we and others have argued
elsewhere (see, for example, the Daily,
Nov. 30 and Dec 1, 1987; and Ann Arbor
News, Nov. 25, 1987), the issue at the
University is much more precise than
"diversity." While there are different
theories about the origins of racism, a
general body of scholarship has shown
that racism is not just an attitudinal prob-
lem; rather, it is a complex of institu-
tionalrassumptions that sustain economic,
political, cultural, and social domination
in complex ways. No program to to elim-
inate racist practices can avoid a
confrontation with the material roots of
domination sustained by racism. Yet
Provost Duderstadt's remarks obscure pre-
cisely this crucial'aspect.
In sum, Provost Duderstadt's statement
is an attempt to capture many of the aims
and ideals that the University anti-racist
movement has generated-but we fear that
he has, perhaps unintentionally, subtlely
re-worked them into a framework that
militates against their achievement. To
insure that these ideals are not deflected,
eviscerated, or trivialized, we hold that
there is every reason for the University,
faculty and staff totally with the grass-
roots anti-racist movement. In its analy-,
sis, strategy, and perspectives, it is this
movement that stands in the tradition oft.
the authentic Civil Rights movement. Our
view is that faculty and administrators
sympathetic to the anti-racist movement
ought to base themselves forthrightely oh*
this heritage and join with grass-rooth
groups, such as UCAR, or reconstruct a
truly "excellent" University of Michigan. 16
4
r4

Find progessive jobs

STUDENTS INTERESTED in investi-
gating careers in social change should
attend tomorrow's Alternative Career
Fair in East Quad beginning at noon.
Most students rely on Career Plan-
ning and Placement for guidance and
researching potential career goals.
The Alternative Career Fair presents
several types of alternate career choices
and opportunities. Traditional jobs in
alternative settings: those commonly

benefit from such services.
Alternative jobs in traditional settings
such as bringing new skills to the tra-
ditional work place in order to improve
the work atmosphere. Finally, alterna-
tive jobs in alternative settings dedi-
cated to helping other people.
There will be specific workshops in
the fields of international and domestic
peace and justice, alternative law,
environmental issues, creative
avnrc-cnn n t i n ni n t . . .n aAio a

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