100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

January 15, 1988 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-01-15

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

OPINION

Page 4

Friday, January 15, 1988

The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCVIII, No. 73 420 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.

University

Blacks

unite

Steiner sh(
WHEN CONFRONTED yesterday by
students in the LSA building, LSA
Doan Peter Steiner removed any
doubts regarding the need for his
resignation by refusing to retract his
racially insensitive statements made
during Tuesday's press conference
and from the previous semester.
Answering questions to over 100
demonstrators, Steiner further iso-
lated himself from the students and
some faculty by failing to retract
repeated statements about the infer-
iority of Blacks and predominantly
Black colleges.
Students and faculty should not.
tolerate such remarks made on their
behalf by a high ranking University
official ultimately responsible for
nearly 18,000 students and the
hiring of faculty in LSA.
Beyond his failure to hire enough
minorities and .womnen, Steiner's
remarks in the past few months
reveal a disturbing pattern.
*"Our challenge is not to change
this University into another kind of
institution where minorities would
naturally flock in much greater
numbers. I need not remind you
that there are such institutions -
including Wayne State and Howard
University. Our challenge is not to
emulate them, but to make what is
the essential quality of the Univer-
sity of Michigan available to more
minorities."
-minutes of speech to LSA de-
partment heads and directors, Sept.
17, 1987
""Solving the problem of
underrepresentation of Blacks on
university faculties will require
many things, including a revolution
in Black's attitudes towards higher
education comparable to that among

-1 _

0

)UIGdresign
white women in the last two
decades."
LSA Fall Newsletter
*"Hiring faculty from Harvard or
Princeton is less risky than hiring
someone from a predominantly
Black institution." He stated that
predominantly Black institutions
may have less rigorous research re-
quirements and are taught by less
well-known professors.
- January 12, 1988 press
conference.
*"I am not sure what, but perhaps
something in the environment leads
Blacks...to be less willing to invest
the time in college."
-January.12, 1988 press con-
ference.
Steiner's inability to recognize his
own racist attitudes is illustrative of
the institutional racism pervading
the University. He responded to
calls for an apology yesterday by
saying, "This too shall pass." His
refusal to acknowledge that his re-
marks and record on Affirmative
Action have led to a crisis situation
attests to his lack of leadership:
Dean Steiner has demonstrated a
lack of understanding about the
qualifications of minority appli-
cants, in regard to both students and
faculty. He has also publicly
displayed his ignorance towards
people of color. Steiner was offered
a chance to retract his statements
and stubbornly refused to do so.
A person who has demonstrated
his insensitivity to racism and dis-
crimination cannot be expected to
satisfactorily implement the changes
this University needs. If the Uni-
versity is serious about fighting
raci'sm and working toward diver-
sity, it must begin with the resigna-
tion of Dean Steiner.

By Guy. Williams
Lack of unity among Blacks at the Uni-
versity of Michigan continues to threaten'
our struggle. If one does not believe a
struggle exists, listen to LSA Dean Peter
Steiner. He says "we are suffering from
an absence of role models." This is un-
true. He also states, "there is an absence
of a supportive value structure" in the
Black community. This is also untrue.
We must strive to protect and preserve
ourselves and our culture from the lies and
false images which are perpetuated on a
daily basis. I believe that as long as the
1700 or so Blacks at the University of.
Michigan are divided (Greeks, football
players, engineers, pre-med students, art
majors, etc.), we will continue to be vic-
tims at the hands of an institution that
does not have our best interests in mind.
Our history demonstrates that the ma-
nipulation of Black people began with the
deprivation of unity. The first act of our
kidnappers was to deprive us of our cul-
tural roots, ethnic identity, dignity and
confidence:. Our kidnappers realized the
importance of brother and sisterhood
(Ashe). Thus, we were divided and forced
into slave behaviors. When we lost our
culture, unity and knowledge of history,
we lost our ability to control ourselves. I
believe it is time we reflect on our new
found knowledge of history and recognize
the danger and threat that comes with a
lack of unity.
Peter Steiner claims we collectively
Guy Williams is a sophmore at the
School of Engineering.

suffer from our brothers and sisters
"attitudes," the "absence of a supportive
value structure and role models." I believe
we are suffering from the ubiquitous lies
and myths about Black people which are
perpetuated everyday by philosophies like
those which our Dean Peter Steiner es-
pouses.
The images (myths) created by such
statements reify a negative impression of
Blacks and justify the hatred between
Blacks and toward Blacks. How can a
member of a society that benefits from
over 400 years of exploiting the life,
blood, sweat and labor of 22 million
Afroamericans have the audacity to preach
about a correct value system to us? Dean
Peter Steiner should be learning about our
value system that is based upon preserving
our integrity and culture in spite of
exploitation, rapes, lynchings and
degradation. When Peter Steiner states: "it
is not a matter of assigning blame," he is
right. We know who is to blame.
When we reflect upon the history of the
united Black struggle, an interesting pat-
tern begins to emerge. We recognize this
pattern as the interjection of false Black
images by select literary and media
organizations into mainstream society to
discredit and pacify various Black move-
ments. The existing power structure at-
tempts to divide and enhance its control
over Blacks through these negative im-
ages. This unfortunate pattern has re-
peated itself in the University's response
to the Black (Afroamerican) Action
Movements at Michigan. Dean Peter
Steiner's lies are simply the latest exam-
ple of this shameful response and there-
fore, are not surprising.

But our inability to unify as a people is
very surprising and alarming. What would
happen if ALL BLACKS ON CAMPUS
unified to celebrate our culture and con-
tinued to demand the University make
changes in its policies and structure that
do not threaten our Afroamerican culture?
This institution would go through definite
changes which would enhance our cultural
survival and we would begin to realize our
full strength as members of this society.
Everyday we must fight to challenge and
overcome the bombardments of the nega-
tive images in the media, popular culture,
arts and science. I believe that if we are
divided, our strength will not provide us
with the power to overcome these negative
images and control our own lives. Divide
and conquer has ben the method used by
white supremacists to manipulate, control
and exploit whole countries around the
world.
The University of Michigan and its
leaders who benefit from a system uncon-
cerned with the importance of Black cul-
ture and its contributions cannot be relied
upon to fulfill the needs of our commu-
nity.
Lack of unity at the University leaves
us wide open for continued control and
manipulation. -We must fight harder for
our unity. By reflecting on our knowledge
of history and protecting, preserving and
promulgating our culture, I believe we can
finally gain access to most BLACK PEO-
PLE ON THIS CAMPUS who are sensi-
tive, aware and even curious. From this
bedrock of principle we can begin to rede-
fine our role as students, faculty, staff and
as a community here at the University of
Michigan.

4

4

4

LETTERS

White malesshouldfight injustice

4

Boycott Monday classes in solidarity against racism:
onor Dr. in

TODAY IS THE 58TH BIRTHDAY of
Black civil rights leader Martin
Luther King, Jr. and Monday is the
national holiday in his honor, the
only holiday honoring a person of
color. The significance of the day
extends beyond ponoring King's
life commitment to fighting bigotry
and discrimination; it is a day of
solidarity against racism and
injustice everywhere.
By the end of his life Dr. King's*
perspective was distinctly inter-
national: he was one of the first to
promote increased awareness of
Black suffering i.i South Africa.
King's activism included key
roles in the boycott in Montgomery
Alabama in 1957 and the 1963
March on Washington. King
received the Nobel Peace Prize in
1964 which greatly legitimized the
civil rights movement and his work
and stature acted as spurs to the
passage of the 1965 Voting Rights
Act.
In honor of Dr. King, there. will
be teach-ins, films, and speakers on
Monday. Students should use this
holiday to educate themselves
farther in the problems of racism
aid discrimination which plague the
United States and the University.
Many classes may treat these
issues, but few deal directly with
bigotry in the University
community. A few examples of the
events are as follows:
.*A candlelight memorial will be
held January 15 at 7:30 n.m. in the

7:30 p.m.
*On Monday, January 18, a unity
march will begin at 12:00 noon at
South University and Washtenaw
Avenues and proceed to' the Diag
where a rally will be held.. The
march will conclude with a memo-
rial service for Dr. King at the First
United Methodist Church at the
corner of State and Huron.
In the observance of the holiday
students should boycott classes and
attend the events.
In addition to educating people
about racism and cultural diversity,
a class boycott will send the Uni-
versity a message that racism will
no longer be tolerated.
University. President Robben
Fleming claims to be fighting
racism with his code of non-aca-
demic conduct. However, the code
would be controlled and used by the
white male power structure to
maintain the institutional nature of
racism at this University.
In 1964, King wrote Why We
Can' t Wait detailing his vision of a
world free of racism. Unfortu-
nately, the objectives eliminating the
ability to wait are no less true today
than they were in 1964. With piti-
fully small minority faculty, stu-
dent, and administration popula-
tions and administration inaction on
real Affirmative Action policies,
there is no time to wait.
The class boycott will demon-
strate to the administration that the

To the Daily:
So here it is 1988 and all
around me I see a struggling
movement of change and a
hopeful progression away from
ignorance, and as I see it,
moving potentially closer to a
world of "no-boundaries" be-
tween the sexes and races of the
world. Yet there is an impor-
tant element missing from the
many changers of our society,
an element that is crucial if
there is to be a wholistic
change in our community of
the world. I'm talking about
the conservative, white, mid-
dle-class male. It is he who
controls most of the activities,
property, assets and political
policies in our society. This
patriarchal system instigates
the development of oppression
at home, at the workplace, and
in relation to socialized stereo-
typical roles in our society.
The domination and subordina-
tion can be seen on all levels
and is repeatedly shunned by
the supposedly dominant
males. Sexism, racism, clas-
sism and homophobia are not
being addressed by these indi-
viduals and with it the respon-
sibility of change within the
structure is delayed, also per-
petuating the social bias and
false belief system within the
male structure itself. The mid-
dle class white male in our so-
ciety has a great responsibility
to himself and others not to be
entrenched in these false views
of the social structure around
him, and also to actively seek
new viewpoints and perspec-
tives regarding these sensitive
issues. The women's studies
department at the U of M offers
a complete and objective
overview into the problems
facing our contemporary soci-
ety and the possible directions
one can take to learn more
about these prevasive phenom-
ena in our environment.
It is very important for these
individuals to realize that there
is no change for the better
without action, and this means
action on all levels, including
the patriarchal, upwardly mo-
bile, white, middle class males
^F ^1.1.8tv:n.. ..c c-..n avn..

ing, that they are the dictators
of no people except them-
selves, and to embrace the long
awaited change of true equality
with open arms. It isn't that all
men are created equal, it is a
fact that all women and men,
of all races and creeds are quite
different; we are all possessors
of the same rights and that is
to be as different as we choose.
We must not forget this.
The possible directions for
change in our society come
from the people as a whole,
and there will be no cohesive
unity of change toward a uni-
fied society unless the people
who dispense the false socially
constructed roles realize that
they are the ones with most of
the power to alter the course of
humankind toward unification.
This may sound idealistic, yet
the movements of today could
be accepted at an alarmingly
increased rate if only the
participation of the white,
middle class males were in-

cluded. The movement toward
an understanding of the impor-
tance of the inevitable integra-
tion of these groups, and an
acceptance of their beliefs is.
important if there is to be any
real change for the better. This
change starts with being aware
of racial slurs, sexual innuen-
does, and an acceptance of all
races, creeds, colors, and be-
liefs. It is one thing to actively
go out and try to understand
one's environment and to inte-
grate into the various situa-
tions in our society, and to do
so without any feelings of
supremacy of dominance. An-
other way of change is to learn
and become a part of organiza-
tions of discussion groups.
There are many organized
events dealing with any of
these topics, and many more,
which can be accessed through
the U of M's Women's Studies
program facility in West Engi-
neering. The more swiftly we
can engage in a non-dualistic

society where everyone is seen
as unique, where an individual
is not judged by the color of
their skin, or their gender, but
by the content of their charac-
ter, where we can all take ac-
tion to improve the -environ-
ment that we must share, the
more completely we can
cohabitate on this planet. There
is no more room for bigotry
and racism, nor homophobia or
classism. We need to integrate
or we will be forced to make
our children, and our children's
children go through the same
thing we all have. It may never
stop unless we take action, and
it is within our grasp. The new
year is upon us again, and with
it there is always a hope for a
change for the better; we have
to at least try, together. I hope
those at the Daily who might
read this, and anyone else along
the way, will think about this.
-Joseph E. Steketee
January 2

4

University needs code for order

4

To the Daily:
. Relax. University Presi-
dent Robben Fleming's code of
non-academic conduct is hardly
tantamount to the imposition
of martial law in Ann Arbor.
As a long-time advocate for
a code of non-academic conduct
here at the University of
Michigan, I would reiterate that
a code gives the University few
powers that are beyond what it
already holds. Indeed, the
positive virtue of a code is that
it may safeguard uniform pro-
cedures that students can use to
protect themselves from mali-
cious persecution.
Unfortunately, I cannot
agree with President Fleming's
methodology. He would have
done better to convince stu-
dents that his proposal is in
their interest rather than simply
by asserting his authority to
implement a code. This is not
wholly justified even if the
Regental By-laws promote his
action. Nor was Fleming's ac-
tion cieirih1p ie nit. the fart

code that benefits students, the
MSA and its cronies have cho-
sen to stick to their old, worn-
out rhetoric.
Now there is an opportu-
nity for University President
Robben Fleming to show his
good intent and for MSA to
work effectively on students'
behalf. Fleming should pro-
vide a substantial period of
time to obtain suggestions on
how to improve specific ele-
ments of his proposal. To this
end, Fleming should also form
a group of students and faculty
to make suggestions in the
form of proposed amendments.
Such a group will be left un-

changed unless they can pro-
-pose amendments with
widespread support among stu-
dents and that are also tolerable
to the University administra-
tion. This is pragmatic .poli-
tics -- and it works.
Although I have not fin-
ished analyzing Fleming's pro-
posal, I would like to encour-
age the University community
to take advantage of this
opportunity to ensure that a
code of non-academic conduct,
if adopted, is fashioned to work
as fairly and effectively as pos-
sible.
- Mark R. Soble
Third-Year Law Student
January 10

4

I

Racism not dead

To the Daily:
I just flocked, er, transferred
to the University of Michigan
this semester, and, needless to
say, was somewhat distressed
possibly insulted by Dean
Steiner's remarks. However,
after giving his comments
some deen thanoht T decided he

stand in our way, but he can't
stop us.
-I'm still a second class:
citizen in his (Steiner's) eyes,
regardless of my accomplish-
ments.
Ultimately, I came to the:
University of Michigan to be
PAdnuew not innlteteref. hprr

Back to Top

© 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan