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December 07, 1988 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-12-07

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OPINION
Wednesday, December 7, 1988

Page 4

The Michigan Daily

4

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Protest lack of AIDS support

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor. MI 48109

Vol. ICNo.63 '*

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other
cartoons, signed articles, and itters do not necessarily represent the opinion
of the Daily.
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By the Aids Committee of
LaGROC
The AIDS crisis has reached epidemic
proportions in its seven years of existence,
and there has not been an institutional re-
sponse from the University of Michigan
or an adequate response from the U.S.
government. As of August 1988, 73,262
AIDS cases have been reported to the U.S.
Center for Disease Control (CDC). In the
United States alone 44,344 people have
died from AIDS. According to the CDC, 3
in every 1,000 college students are testing
positive for the HIV virus. Yet the Uni-
versity of Michigan has not responded, not
even with AIDS and safer sex education
for students and workers.
The lack of response at the University is
not much different from the federal gov-
ernment's inaction. The Reagan adminis-
tration has repeatedly attempted to cut the
already small sum allocated to national
AIDS research. The Federal Government is
refusing to release many drugs that have
been identified.as promising in fighting
AIDS and AIDS-related illnesses, while
thousands die. The Burroghs-Wellcome
company is charging $10,000 a year for
AZT, the one available drug that treats the
effects of AIDS. But it is not available to
the poor or uninsured. They either die
without even having access to the drug or
are forced to spend their entire savings.
The federal government, the drug industry,
and other institution must concentrate on
developing the most effective treatments,
regardless of the potential profits that
might ensue.
In plain terms the nations lack of re-
sponse to the AIDS crisis has been both
incredibly racist and homophobic. Since
64 percent of people with AIDS are either
gay or bisexual men, the government and
the medical community have for years
used homophobia, ignorance, and fear to
deny people adequate health care and treat-
ment. As for racism, roughly 39 percent
of people with AIDS are Black and Latino
The Aids Committee of LaGROC in-
cludes: Sue Baker, Andrea Densham,
Wendy Sharp, Julie Abbate, Judy Levy,
Joe Miessner, and Jonathan Payne.

people, who have been consistently ig-
nored and oppressed by the U.S. govern-
ment.
Currently in the Bronx, New York, 14
percent of all patients who have had blood
drawn in an emergency room test positive
for the AIDS antibodies. If 14 percent of
the wealthy, white patients who had blood
drawn in the U of M Hospital's emergency
room tested positive for antibodies to a
fatal disease, the government and U of M
would spend and research like we've never
seen.
The average mean survival time for a
Black person with AIDS is 8 months,
compared to 18-24 months for a white
AIDS patient. the reason is obvious; due

12:00 noon. We will rally on the Diag and
march to the hospital to demand:
1. Full disclosure of U-M research poli-
cies, services, treatments and budgets
concerning AIDS/HIV infection and
publish bi-annual progress reports.
2. Massive funding for AIDS research,
treatment and support services under the
control of health care workers, clients
and the communities most affected
(including the gay, Black and Latino
communities).
3. Construct or convert a suitable Univer-
sity facility to an AIDS treatment center
controlled by health care workers,
clients and the communities most af-
fected. We suggest the Medlnn.

4

'The University of Michigan must be a leader in the fight
against AIDS, but it is going to take organized pressure from the
community to ensure that they begin and continue the fight.'

4

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-----.,

to a lack of access to health care, many
members of the Black and Latino commu-
nities are diagnosed with AIDS later than
those who can afford regular health care
and medical treatment. People of color
also face the reality of inadequate or non-
existent follow-up medical treatment.
Of course this does not just effect the
U.S. Africa has been especially hard hit by
AIDS due to the lack of health care avail-
able to Africans. Many of these countries
lack the resources to fight AIDS, which
means the disease cannot be stopped un-
less they receive assistance from the U.S.
and other countries. The institutions of
research and higher education should be
leaders in coordinating this assistance.
The University of Michigan must be a
leader in the fight against AIDS, but it is
going to take organized pressure from the
community to ensure that they begin and
cottinue the fight. LaGROC (Lesbian and
Gay Rights Organizing Committee) is or-
ganizing students, workers, and staff in a
protest against the University administra-
tion and hospital on Wednesday, Dec. 7,

4. U-M take a leadership role in coordina-
tion of public health resources in higher
education institutions to combat AIDS
in Africa.
5. Stop discrimination against workers and
students with AIDS/HIV infection.
6. Complete health care benefits, fully
paid by the University, for all students
and workers, and'their dependents and
significant others, including those with
AIDS/HIV infection. Include Aerosol
Pentamadine and all other experimental
drugs as University-paid benefits.
7. Full disability leave for workers with
AIDS/HIV infection, at the worker's re-
quest.
8. Ensure adequate hospital staffing to
provide quality care and safety for pa-
tients and health care workers. Stop the
layoffs and speed-up which jeopardizes
this safety.
We encourage everyone con-
cerned about this crisis to unite
in the struggle to fight AIDS.
Rally on the Diag: Wednesday,
Dec. 7, 12:00 noon.

4

I,
ee
Greek segregation
THE WHITE Greek system is an insti- are eliminated from the process.
tation which perpetuates racial segre- On the other hand, the Black Greek
gation and goes virtually unchallenged system was instituted and continues
biy the majority of the student body or both as a means of supporting cultural
the administration. A racist incident in- identity and as a place where Blacks
volving Kappa Sigma fraternity and can help one another survive in an in-
§everal Asian American students is ex- different, if not overtly hostile envi-
ompplary of how an established system ronment.
fan both perpetuate an atmosphere In many respects the Black Greek
which is hostile to non-white students. system is a positive thing. The Black
When looked at from a societal per- circumstance on this campus and in the
spective, the white Greek system is in- country in general, is the result of an
deed not cause, but a symptom, of the oppressive, exclusionary society.
American tradition of white male Though the Black Greek system is not
dominance. Its members, who are pri- without its own problems, it does not
marily middle and upper middle class cause the same damage as the white
'white Americans, come from commu- Greek system does.
pities which have thrived, often from The University does not provide any
their inception, on slave labor, low- significant social alternatives for stu-
"age exploitation, and other dents, aside.from a few University
4xclusionary socio-economic policies groups which combine social activity
which allow whites exclusive job op- with housing such as the coops. The
portunities. white Greek system receives the tacit
The white Greek system does more support of the University through lack
tb nurture the attitudes its members of organized alternatives.
Dlave as eighteen year olds than it does When the University of Michigan
tp increase understanding about other handles the Greek system with the
qultures. This is one of the reasons the same kind of permissibility it does in-
gverage first year student harbors mis- tercollegiate athletics, students move to
conceptions and prejudices about peo- join this sanctioned institution with the
ale of color, promise of social acceptance and with
i The fact that the University sets bi- few questions as to its deeper, more
qsed standards which exclude people of insidious, ramifications.
eolor is not the fault of the white Greek Students are not inherently malicious,
system. However, the fraternal but when provided only traditional out-
'traditions" of maintaining the same lets in a racist society, their basic prej-
'type" of sisters and brothers only udices are never challenged.
tguys into the vicious circle of exclusion Despite the odds of a giant system
bry negation. For instance, if ninety- and a society which perpetuates
rine percent of a chapter's members institutional racism, students can make
have been privileged white students, to themselves aware of the context in
use that "type" of individual as the which the white Greek system exists
"standard" by which new members are and then decide if they wish to either
jydged, people of color, consequently, become or remain a part of it.

GoRESNAKES WIT} GEORGE. 61AI,(ES 'IITh 3IMWR16RT AND GORG Ol- PROU8t.Y 'THT TINGS ARE
Bob OLS;=- AND 6E Nv-tucAILL ANDtNMVESW 1Tk WE U. TMIS ShkXIR TIAN VWE ThCUGW[ 4
7ESE3A CON.MA)N__
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::.:..

Daily is a
worse
harasser
To the Daily:
When the Daily next decides
to take a stand against an ad
run in its paper, it should be
sure that it first reads the ad in
question.
When I first read the LSA
Student Government(LSA-SG)
sponsored ad entitled "Having
Problems With Your T.A.?," I
too thought it would be helpful
to students. Yet, after reading
the Daily's editorial
"Misguided Advice" (Daily
12/1/88), I've realized the
Daily was indeed correct.
The Daily was right to say,
"there is no course of action in
the ad for student who have
been harassed by an
administrator or the Depart-
ment of Public Safety." In fact,
I agree with the Daily's as-
sumption that, therefore, LSA-
SG must be in favor of ha-
rassment by administrators.
The Daily was also right to
assume that since "the Univer-
sity still harbors the likes of
LSA Dean Peter O. Steiner and
Regent Deane Baker, who have
promoted racism and homo-
phobia," LSA-SG must defi-
nitely support racism and ho-
mophobia. Does the word
"ridiculous" mean anything to

was connected with the admin-
istration's refusal to "create a
mandatory class on racism, re-
cruit minority faculty and stu-
dents in representative num-
bers, and pay women faculty
and staff members as much as
their male counterparts." If the
Daily would like to take its
usual pot-shots at the adminis-
tration, it should not be done
in the middle of an article
criticizing LSA-SG.
Finally, we should all thank
the Daily for its advice that
"telling the administration
about TA harassment of stu-
dents will...lead to a cover-up."
They are so right. In fact, the
next T.A. that harasses a stu-
dent will be publicly flogged
and tied to a tree in the Diag
where everyone can pelt him
with garbage and Play-doh.
Then, his name will appear on
an airplane banner which will
be flown over all home foot-
ball games. Also, the Daily
was right to say that if you
have academic problems (which
is what the top half of the ad is
about) be sure to run immedi-
ately to one of the "anti-sexist
student organizations."
Once again, it what seemed
to be like its usual attempt to
criticize anything about the
university, the Daily has
proved it can produce more
garbage than the students
could ever throw at a harasser.
-Brad Meltzer
December 1

tian and makes several allega-
tions regarding homosexuality
and the Bible which we would
like to address.
In response to Clarke's re-
quest for references, there are
many places in the Bible where
homosexuality is condemned
along with other behavior. For
example, when talking to
Moses the Lord says "Do not
lie with a man as one lies with
a woman; it is an abhorrence."
(Leviticus 18:22) Shortly
thereafter He says "You shall
not let your cattle mate with a
differential kind, you shall not
sow your field with two kinds
of seed, you shall not put on
cloth form a mixture of two
kinds of material." (Leviticus
19:19) For further reference,
Clarke can consult Leviticus
11:9-12 and 19:27-28.
Clarke is using his interpre-
tation of the Bible to reinforce
his own homophobia. He
claims to have "seen many
places where the Bible does
speak against homosexuality."
There is one major difficulty in
such a claim, however, and that
is the fact that the word
"homosexual" does not occur
in the Bible.
We would like to particularly
address Clarke's claim that
"God destroyed Sodom and
Gamorrah for their rampant
homosexuality." Literally
translated, Genesis 19 describes
the destruction of Sodom and
Gamorrah due to inhospitality

uses Biblical passages as tools
for reinforcing his vicious ho-
mophobic beliefs. The purpose
of LaGROC's request was that
any organization that openly
expresses hatred toward any in-
dividual should be derecog-
nized. Hatred is exactly what
Clarke's letter reeks of, along
with ignorance, insensitivity,
and unchrist-like behavior.
-Tracy Ore
Holly Borne
December 2
'Racism'
loses
meaning

4

To the Daily:
Will somebody please define
racism for me? I have seen the
word used so often that it has
practically lost its meaning.
When Tagar wrote "Stop Arab
Terrorism," I was told it was
racist because it implied that
all Arabs are terrorists.
Now, the Palestine Solidar-
ity Committee has put up a
board in the Diag that says,
"Israeli soldiers and settlers are
killing my people..." Does
that imply that all Israeli sol-
diers and settlers are killers, and
thus, is it racist? My brother
and sister-in-law live in Israel,
on the West Bank, and I hap-
pen to know that they are not
killers.

4

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