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September 14, 1988 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-09-14

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4

OPINION
Wednesday, September 14, 1988

The Mi

Page 4

i

Et a edbdta nivrstf Michigan l
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. IC No.5

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.
Watch your landlord

Two STUDENTS ARRIVE late from
out of town. Nowhere to stay. They
arrive to find that the apartment they
signed a lease for in February is com-
plete with soiled carpet, leaky pluming
and an armada of roaches. The students
ask the landlord if they can move in
right away. First, the management
company says "no' because cleaning
the apartment will take a week. But af-
ter prodding from the homeless stu-
dents, the management consents on the
condition that the students "wave" their
right to a clean apartment.
First time renting in Ann Arbor can
be a traumatic experience. But even af-
ter students have been victimized by
their landlord there is still some re-
course. In the example above, the stu-
dents hopefully have their apartment
cleaned and deduct the costs from their
first months rent.
Landlords are obligated to provide
clean, tenantable housing at the time of
possession. Failure to do so is either
ground for withholding rent until the
dwelling is cleaned or justification for
charging the landlord the cost of clean-
ing by deducting the amount from the
rent.
Security deposits are another piece in
the "rip-off the student game" played
by local landlords. Security deposits are
only supposed to be used for damage
not expected during the normal course

of living or unpaid rent or utility bills,
although landlords frequently charge
students for cleaning, late rent, violatior
of illegal lease contentions, and tenant
organizing under the label of a security
deposit.
All landlords are obligated to provide
the Tenant's Rights booklet. This
manual has sections written by the city,
landlord interests and tenants rights ad-
vocates and provides some basic infor-
mation about the city housing code and
tenants rights to proper housing and
maintenance.
Another common misperception of
new tenants is that landlords have the
right enter a students home whenever
they want. This is false. Once tenants
have made an agreement such as a lease
and moved in, the apartment it their
home and unauthorized entry consti-
tutes an invasion or privacy and tres-
passing. The landlord does have the
right to make repairs or show the
apartment, but these rights require ade-
quate notice.
Tenants need to realize that they have
a great deal of leverage over the quality
of their housing. To exercise the right
to fair housing people need to demand
that their landlords provide make the
repairs required by city housing and not
pay for services which are not pro-
vided.

Myth
By Daniel Axelrod
If you tell the more conservative folks
off campus that you don't like military re-
search on campus, they say, "what's
wrong with military research? Isn't it for
defense of freedom? What are you a com-
mie? Go back to Russia."
Likewise, some graduate students here,
particularly those from Third World coun-
tries, are also concerned with reality. They
do not assume for a minute that U.S. for-
eign policy has anything at all to do with
the defense of freedom. Many firmly be-
lieve, often from first-hand observation,
that U.S. foreign policy is racist, aggres-
sive, violent, reactionary, dangerous and
invariably in support of the super-wealthy
elites in their own countries.
I like both sides because they address the
right questions: What is foreign policy
about? What is it doing to the people of
the world? Who is it really protecting?
There is a clear difference of opinion here,
something worth discussing at a Univer-
sity.
In the higher astral plane of University
administrators and certain faculty philoso-
phers, however, it is almost impossible to
get to the heart of the matter. On the
campus, the issue of military research is
deliberately mutated to avoid talking about
militarism at all. Instead, all we hear
about is something called academic free-
dom. To these deep thinkers, academic
freedom means that tenured faculty mem-
bers can research anything they want in
their labs.
In actual fact, of course, that research
also better bring in government grant
money. If ittdoesn't bring in money, you
still have the right to think about
researching anything you please, but you
will probably lose your allocation of lab
space. After all, the salaries of university
research administrators come from some of
that grant money scraped off the top.
Academic freedom, in the deep thinkers'
definition, unfortunately, does not apply
to untenured faculty members, graduate
students, undergraduates, or non-academic
research staff. It does not apply to the
great majority of the University intellec-
tual community.
Assistant professors are the most op-
Axeirod is a Prof. of Physics and co-au-
thor of the book To Win a Nuclear War:
The Pentagon's Secret War Plans.

'On the campus, the issue of military research is deliberately
mutated to avoid talking about militarism at all. Instead, all we
hear about is something called academic freedom.'

of Freedom
pressed group around when it comes to To see this, let's step back
tree speech. I know from direct experience the purpose of the military i
that many politically interested but un- special purpose, and very di
tenured professors will not sign any con- say, the National Institutes o
troversial petitions simply for fear of re- U.S. military's sole purpos
tribution. threat or actual agent of vio
But the threat of retribution for opening coercion that backs up U.S.
your mouth can be much more explicit, icy. This is not unusual: it is
particularly if you take money from the every military in the world.
military. kid ourselves. The methods
Last year, Under Secretary of Defense the military are special; they
Donald Hicks, the man ultimately respon- not into curing diseases o
sible for external research funding by the knowledge or culture or beau
Pentagon, raised some eyebrows when he On the other hand, the mi

chigan Daily
and see what
s. It is a very
ifferent from,
f Health. They
e is to be the
olent physical
foreign pol-
the same foi
But let's no(
and goals of
are definitely|
or advancing
ty.
litary's meth-

said, "I am not particularly interested in
seeing department money going to some-
place where an individual is outspoken in
his rejection of department aims, even for
basic research.... It's a free country, but
freedom works both ways. They're free to
keep their mouths shut...and I'm also free
not to give the money.,,
In other words, the government only
supports military research consistent with
its immediate political objectives, and
only by people with compatible politics.
Researchers don't know for sure if there is
a political test for research topics and per-
sonnel or not. But they are sure of the in-
credible pressure to keep their mouths
shut, stay off the radio, and do research
only politically acceptable to the military
sponsor.
But it is argued, you don't have to take
money from the military if you don't like
it. You are free to take money from any
source you want. This argument is wrong
on two counts. First, in some depart-
ments, military research is the major
source of funds, particularly in the engi-
neering school. To not accept military
money as an assistant professor is to put
yourself at a gross disadvantage in the
competitive tenure game. You can't bring
in as much money as your colleagues - a
situation likely to bring on a severe case
of "insufficient quality" as diagnosed by
the tenure committee.
But second, and more important, you
can't take money from any source you
want. Your choices are limited in the most
political way imaginable.

ods invariably culminate in the threat or
use of violence and destruction, and the
goals are invariably highly political. Any
university that takes money from th4
military is a promoter of violence. And
any university that takes money exclu-
sively from the U.S. military and not
from the military of any other nations is,
in addition, choosing a political and mili-
tary side. It in fact becomes an exclusive
tool of that side. To pretend it is just
pushing back the frontiers of peaceful,
neutral knowledge is pure hypocrisy.
This is the second of a three part series.x

4

FBI off campus

A Delta rocket suspected
a "Star Wars" satellite on
pad In Cape Canaverat Air
tion.w

of carrying
the launch
Force Sta-

LAW SCHOOL DEAN Lee Bollinger
prudently postponed the FBI recruiting
session originally scheduled for today
at the law school. The law school
rightly prohibits recruitment by any
organization, group or firm which
discriminates on the basis of sex or
race. On these grounds alone, the
Federal Bureau of Investigation should
be prohibited from recruiting here.
Allowing the agency to recruit here
would make a mockery of the law
school's anti-discrimination policy.
The Bureau has a long history of
discriminatory recruitment. Four
percent of its agents are Black, four
percent Hispanic, and nine percent are
women. This summer, more than 300
Latino agents charged the Bureau with
discrimination in regard to promotion,
discipline, and assignment. Since the
suit was filed, the group's attorneys
have claimed-the plaintiffs have been
harassed, their files searched and their
phones tapped.
Black agent Donald Rochon has filed
charges against the FBI in what law
enforcement officials have described as
"one of the most troubling examples of
institutional racism in the FBI's recent
history.
The FBI has a history of spying on
and harassing organizations and
individuals dedicated to social and
political change. In the fifties and

sixties the bureau attempted to disrupt
the civil rights movement by spying on
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; in the
sixties and seventies, it harassed anti-
Vietnam War activists.
In recent years, the Bureau has
employed similar tactics directed
against people and organizations who
oppose administration policies in
Nicaragua and El Salvador. Members
of the Committee in Solidarity with the
People of El Salvador (CISPES), the
Sanctuary movement, the National
Committee Against Repressive
Legislation and National Lawyers
Guild, have been subject to harassment,
threats and illegal searches, mail
tampering, and burglaries.
Agent Frank Varelli infiltrated the
Dallas CISPES in 1981 and prepared
false literature to be distributed under
the CISPES name while supplying the
Salvadoran National Guard with
intelligence information.
The FBI is guilty of racial dis-
crimination in hiring, promotion and
assignment. It has consistently violated
the rights of the individuals it purports
to protect and broken the laws it
pretends to uphold. The law school
administration must not give legitimacy
to such illegitimate practices. The
University should uphold its own
policies against discrimination and
racism. The FBI must not-be allowed to
recruit on campus.

Economic violence abets racism

By Rollie Hudson
"Racism is everywhere, ...and the only
time I really need to say anything about it
is when I do not see it . ..and the first time
that happens I will tell you about it,"
wrote Tracy A. Gardner in Take Back the
Night. From this cynical, yet arguably
true, statement I find the need not for si-
lence but for reinforcement of the fact that
racism is far from dead. It is not a tired
issue, it is not last year's fad - to be re-
placed this year as if it were just another
sweater.
Attitudinal racism exists in Americans
because it is imbedded in our institutions.
The structure of the University itself is
not exempt from perpetuating racism.
Not only has it failed to meet promised
percentages of minority enrollment but its
hiring practices reflect a continued
insensitivity towards people of color.
LSA has no Asian professors, there are no
Black deans, and there is a scant 3 percent
overall Black faculty contingent across
campus. Also, most of the workers of
color at the University are the staff people
who clean the buildings at night, cook the
food for the predominantly white under-
graduates, and collect their garbage from
the hallways and loading docks. These
men and women are, predictably, all paid
at the lower end of the pay scale.
Of course, the problems of American
racism, economic and educational poverty
don't all begin at Michigan. From Watts,
to the Deep South, up through Detroit's
northern suburbs, to the cities on the East
Coast, America is primarily segregated.
This is no accident.
Jesse Jackson recently said that eco-
nomic violence is the worst kind of vio-
lence. Poignant, yet gross, examples of
economic violence are the economically
restrictive ones. For instance, there are
codes which tacitly maintain white-only
neighborhoods, police forces which pull
over any suspicious Blacks because of
"reasonable cause," or simply, high prices
which discriminate against people of color
inr.irert1

these tests test aptitude in a particular cul-
tural and educational environment. It is an
environment of Eurocentric (i.e. white)
culture and education. And it is one which
excludes those who come from communi-
ties where most of the grandparents were
forced to remain illiterate.
But what about the Blacks we have
here? Five to six percent Black enroll-
ment at Michigan is a convenient excep-
tion, not the rule. The rule is manifested
in the tens of millions of Blacks who are
physically, psychologically, and finan-
cially trapped in the ghettos -the third
world enclaves - of this nation. Statis-
tics tell a harder story than the presence of
token Black students like myself and the
1,800 or so others who attend classes here.
As Celia C. Peters said so well in an arti-
cle to the Daily on Sept. 8, "we are only

ten white males surrounding her she found
the courage and tenacity to strike him in
the face several times. His face bled! He
did not hit her however. He restrained
himself even after the initial surprise.
The air cooled for several minutes. But
then Bruce made the mistake of walking
by the angry woman. He did not address
her, he did not threaten her as he passed.
But she, so fueled by her hate which had
now risen to the surface in full, spun to-
wards him, struck him in the arm and be-
gan screaming at him.
Myself and another friend of mine - who
was Black - were standing close by
(neither of us knew Bruce before the party)
were surrounded also. My friend was even
whisked off of the porch by three or foul
white men, out of harms way. Bruce was
surrounded. Maybe a dozen white males

4
4

'From Watts, to the Deep South, up through Detroit's
northern suburbs, to the cities on the East Coast, America is
primarily segregated. This is no accident.'

exceptionally lucky."
This summer at a primarily white col-
lege party, I directly experienced the direct
race hatred which lurked in almost every-
one there. Incidentally, in relating the
following event I do not mean to imply
that racism exists only, that is exclu-
sively, in white people. Racism is a con-
dition or manifestation of exclusionary
ideas or actions which inhibit others based
on the color of their skin. It can be ad-
ministered on many different levels, from
international power relations to poor en-
rollment at universities to group relations
between individuals. Blacks or Native
Americans can be racist too. However,
and this is an important point, each inci-
dent must be interpreted within its appro-
priate CONTEXT.
A Black man, Bruce, whose voice was
not inflected with the proper intonations,
with the proper clues, with which to reas-
sure the people around him that he was

began holding him and telling him not to
hit her, which' he had never indicated he
was going to do. She was trying to drat
more blood from his face with her nails
and the white males were protecting her.
Imagine that! Consequently, I put myselr
between them in order that the tables
might be turned a bit. Thus we were both
surrounded by the white males and told to
leave the party. The party's host screamed
for everyone to go home. Yet when the
Black people left his indignation, oddly;
subsided. Aside from the real fear, it was
somewhat fascinating; the whites grouped
themselves instantly.
Later we were called the equivalent of
"niggers," we couldn't hear what exactly;
from a car which passed us repeatedly, oc-
cupied by people we recognized from the
party. And to add insult to injury, as they
say, we were rudely walked away from
when attempting to discuss the situation
with an initially curious white person later

_..

.:,:

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