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October 03, 1988 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-10-03

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Monday, October 3, 1988

The Michigan Daily

4

Storm shows Jamaican

link

to

US.

In the wake of Hurricane Gilbert, more
than one half million Jamaicans - one
third of the island's popualation -were
left homeless. Hilary Brown, a graduate
student in communications who grew up
in Jamaica, spoke recently with Opinion
co-editor Cale Southworth about the
longterm effects of the disaster. Brown
works with the Jamaican Hurricane Relief
Effort of Washtenaw County.

people - was destroyed. Just about every
industry has been totally wiped out.
Crops like sugar and coffee and bananas
are wiped out. Livestock has been totally
wiped out. Very bad damage to roads,
some areas have been totally cut off and
they have to airlift food....
The media do look at those sides of the
issue. A hurricane is probably the ideal
kind of news story. It's something that is
approaching and that you need to monitor.
If you tune into the radio to get minutely
reports. It suggests disaster. It's a really
original type of news story. But the point
is that once it has passed, what about what
happened after? I think that's important.
D: The first day the hurricane
hit, the New York Times did a
story on how many flights were
delayed and how many tourists
could not come home. But you
couldn't tell at all from the
article what the conditions were
in Jamaica. -
B: It was very frustrating for me as a
student on campus trying to get
information about what was going on.
Once it was clear that it would approach
the U.S. [Jamaica] was totally out of the
picture.... The focus was on what was
going on in Texas.
D: What does it mean that all
the agriculture and industry was
destroyed? How long will it take
the country to recover?
B: Well, they have been estimating
seven years, but I don't know if those
industries can go back to what they were
like.
The point is [the damage] has long term
implications in, terms of employment and
earnings. How are we going to build back
homes for 800,000 people if we're not
earning from these industries?
D: Most of Jamaica's economy
is closely tied to the United
States isn't it?

B: That's correct.
D: So, what do you think the
United States role should be in
their recovery?
B: That's an interesting question....
The point is that whenever we have
political unrest - and you are aware of
the armed socialist government we had
during the seventies - the United States
showed a significant interest in the kind of
activities that lead up to the 1980
elections. It was common knowledge that
there was the CIA in the country, that the
kind of media warfare that went on against
the socialist government - its clear that
the United States was involved.
[The U.S.] has armed troops down there
now who are helping to rebuild roads, and
we are grateful for that. And I think that in
some instances they have sent down
emergency medical units to deal with the
thousands of casualties. So we need all
the help we can get, but not necessarily all
from the U.S. because that probably
would have more implications along the
road.
D: Is the damage that the
hurricane did more severe for a
country like Jamaica than for a
more developed country like the
United States?
B: Clearly. The United States a
mainland with access while Jamaica is an
island completely surrounded by water and
without the resources to meet that kind of
devastation. Case in point: we have been
without electricity for two weeks. I am
sure that if Texas had been badly hit they
would not have been out of electricity for
two weeks. I call home and my sister is
catching water off the roof to boil.
Why have they been without water for
so long? It all comes back to being tied
to the U.S. - even our electricity, our
power company.
D: Power and water are
connected because you need

electricity to pump the water?
B: That's it.
D: If the electricity and water
are tied and the whole power
industry has been destroyed, then
is an effect of the hurricane to
decrease the Jamaican people's
control over their own
environment?
B: In a sense. That one mineral
industry that we have, the aluminum, is a
24-hour plant. So without electricity we
have been losing millions of dollars in the
last couple of weeks.
D: Who owns the bauxite
plants?
B: They're all owned by foriegn
companies. At one point, Alcan pulled out
and the Jamaican government took it over.
And then I don't know why Alcoa came
back and said they would do it again and
they [the government] just handed it back
to them. A lot of us were upset about
that. This was an opportunity....
D: This was Alcan or Alco?
B: Well because Alcan and Alcoa are so
close. Alcan is the Canadian company, so
it was Alcoa, the American one, that
pulled out. And then they took over and
made it a Jamaican company being run by
Jamaicans. I don't know what the
problem was. Renoylds pulled out
recently as well.
That is the way multinationals work -
if they find a cheaper place to mine or
cheaper labor, they just go there and pull
out. The point is that if we have an
opportunity to run our own industries then
we need to seize that.
D: If Alcoa owns the
companies, why does Jamaica lose
money from the hurricane's
damage?
B: Yes, we lose the money. Alcoa is
mining on our behalf; we have an
agreement with them, so we lose money
as well.

We don't have the material to do
everything for ourselves. The bauxite
industry is case in point. We mine the ore
and export it, but all of the value is added
when it changes into aluminum, so we
lose all that money.
And we turn around and buy the pots
and pans back from the companies in
Canada and the U.S. So .we -earn
marginally from our minerals because we
don't have the technology to manufacture
ourselves.
The situation is that there are poor
people in Jamaica especially in the rural
areas. The majority of the people who are
homeless, the 800,000, are the poor who
lived in unstable shacks with zinc roofs
and there was a lot of zinc flying. The
upper and middle class people, although
they lived on hillsides, are more able to
rebuild.
The point is that the situation is not
good. There was 40 percent illiteracy
before and maybe 29 percent
unemployment before the hurricane.
There are a lot of beggars in the streets of
Kingstown, a lot of children beggars
trying to earn money for school. There is
not enough money to send all the children
to school. I am not trying to say that we
are not trying to deal with our problems.
But the hurricane has been a major setback
for the next five to seven years.

.Daily: ' From reading the New
York Times, it seems that
Jam aica was the hardest hit.
Brown: That is true. Of the few
Spquntries in the Carribbean we seemn to
' have got the worst of it. The eye of the
hurricane passed right over the island.
Something like $8 billion dollars in
- damages... and a lot of damage to schools
and houses and hospitals. We have lost a
number of hotels and that's a real big
blow to our tourist industry, one of our
major foreign exchange earners.
Agriculture [which] is not only a big
earner, but also employs a whole lot of

1 qLI F4 V - d
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. IC, No.18 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.
Plan th1s Duderstadt

MSA on the Daily:

Unethical

journalism

A T HIS OWN inauguration this
Thursday, James Duderstadt will
present again his master plan: the
Michigan Mandate. Duderstadt has
proclaimed the mandate as a new effort
"aimed at changing this institution into
the pluralistic and multicultural
. : . ..g 3 ..... ...
community that will better respond to
the needs of the 21st Century." In spite
of its name, the document is a mandate
for nothing.
The Michigan Mandate stresses its
supposed commitment to increased
minority representation for the 21st
Century by highlighting the increasing
percentages of minorities in U.S.
society and by putting "$30 million a
year into minority student and faculty
recruitment and retention."
Whatever utopia the Mandate
envisions, University is becoming
more elitist and authoritarian, not
pluralistic and multicultural. Black
enrollment has not yet reached 10
percent as was promised 18 years ago.
The administration has not created a
mandatory class on racism.
Counseling for Hispanic students is
seriously lacking.
Graduation rates are significantly
lower for minorities than for whites.
According to the report Minority
Students at The University of Michigan

Scholastic Aptitude Test which even
the Educational Testing Service admits
is not an accurate indicator of a
students' ability to succeed. Numerous
studies have shown the SAT to be
racially, culturally and class biased in
the favor of a white, upper class
education. Again, the Michigan
Mandate offers no concrete solutions.
In spite of the Mandate's claims of
pluralism, the seven to twelve percent
increase in undergraduate tuition makes
Michigan even less accessible to people
of lower incomes. The ability to afford
a university education breaks on racial
lines to further marginalize minorities
from the educational future which
Duderstadt plans.
Throughout the plan, the idea of
diversity is linked to the distant future
of the 21st Century. The future for
students, however, is four years. For
the plan to place its $30 million dollar
emphasis on the 21st century is to
ignore the pressing needs of minorities
at Michigan who, given the status quo,
will have a tough time even making it
to graduation.
Duderstadt's Mandate states, "it
took several deplorable incidents of
racism on our campus to wake us up to
the reality that the challenge of diversity
is not simply successful affirmative
action programs..." This is a dishonest
revision of history: it was disruptive
student protests (now criminalized)
which forced the administration to take
action against such deplorable
incidents. The Mandate cannot explain
the reason for its own inception - as a
response to student protest - and it
provides no cure for the atmosphere in
which the racist acts occurred.

By Susan Overdorf
The Daily has fucked up yet again.
I want all readers of our illustrious
campus newspaper to think about what
they are reading in this publication. The
Daily is encouraging division within the
student movement by publishing rumors,
unjustified assertions, and boldface lies.
Perhaps the Daily should consider chang-
ing its style - maybe throwing in a few
facts.
First of all, let me point out that the
Daily doesn't report on itself. That means
very few readers have any idea what's hap-
pening within the staff. Many of the
same reporters who are so critical of MSA
are currently engaged in a power struggle
for control of the Daily. In fact, the editor
of the Summer Daily was forced out with
rumors of sexism and inappropriate
leadership. Of course, we don't learn any-
thing about the Daily's dirty laundry.
On the other hand, Mike Phillips, the
first Black MSA president in twenty years,
has been attacked repeatedly in the Daily.
No previous president has been written
about so unfairly. The Daily has only
five Black staffers.
What about these articles attacking
Phillips? Were they fairly written? Abso-
lutely not. The first article, which was
quoted again in the New Student Edition,
accused Mike of sexist behavior. The arti-
cle was written without giving Mike any
Susan Overdorf is Vice President of the
Michigan Student Assembly.

opportunity to comment. Furthermore, I
was not informed of accusations regarding
sexism when asked for my comments.
The article, therefore, was totally unbal-
anced, yet the Daily chose to print a quote
from the piece on the first page of a sec-
tion of the New Student Edition. In addi-
tion to the article's lack of balance, the
reporter did no research into the incidents
leading to accusations of sexism. Instead,
she simply gathered a variety of quotes
with no facts whatsoever. This style is
appropriate for the National Enquirer, not
an important University newspaper, par-
ticularly when a person's reputation is in-
volved. In my opinion, the Daily should
not print personal attacks, since they only
encourage more of them. Furthermore, the
Daily really ought to do some investiga-
tive reporting - maybe students would
like some background for these stories
about their student government.
Besides the unethical news reporting,
the Daily Opinion Page has failed to fol-
low its policy of researching the facts be-
fore printing rightsides (columns authored
by the readers-ed.). Unfortunately, be-'
cause of the staff's failure, MSA has again
been attacked, in unbelievably bold letters,
as a sexist organization. Although I don't
think MSA is perfectly without sexism,
as I stated in an earlier letter, I know that
the facts presented in Nikita Buckhoy and
Elizabeth Paige's editorial are incorrect. It
simply is not true that only one woman
was consulted regarding the douches -
OVER TWENTY WOMEN WERE
CONSULTED AND THE DOUCHES

WERE REMOVED WITHIN TWENTY-
FOUR HQURS.
The Editorial staff should immediately
print- a correction. In fact, they should
have printed one last week. Actually,
maybe they should have checked out the
facts before printing them. A novel idea:
accurate journalism. But hey, everybody
knows that anybody who slams MSA has
their facts right. The Opinion staff should
stop printing editorials that stem from this
false rightside.
Lastly, I'd like to talk about student
government here at the University. Of
course, we are a political institution, and
in that sense certainly deserve and even
welcome criticism, comments, and sug-
gestions. In fact, we give all students an
opportunity to speak each week at 9 p.m.
at our Tuesday night meetings. MSA,
however, does do a lot of good things.
Unfortunately, these successes don't seem
to get much coverage in the Daily. It is
simply unfair for the Daily to cover Tues-
day night meetings and personal accusa-
tions only. MSA, reps and officers work
many, many hours a week WITHOUT
PAY. There is a lot more to your student
government than personal disagreements
and Tuesday night debates. The Daily,
however,sdoesn't bother to look behind the
scenes, which is exactly why students
have such a misguided picture.
It's unfortunate that I have to expose the
failures of another student organization so
publicly, but since that's what's been done
to MSA over and over again, I just don't
feel too bad about it.

Le tters toc the e ditir

State not
responsible
for abortion
To the Daily:
Your editorial urging us to
"save abortion rights" showed a
certain lack of consistency.
Just as it is wrong to argue
against abortion on the basis of

ity for their actions. The fact
that I have the right to buy any
house on the market does not
give me the right to demand
that the state fund my mort-
gage.
When you refer to the "very
real horror of forced parent-
hood," there is a slight dose of
over-emotionalism involved.
Who, exactly, is forcing par-
enthood? There are extremely
dependable(and very inexpen-

such is an individual - not
sozietal -responsibility.
There is no "erosion of
women's reproductive rights"
involved in asking us to see
our own decisions through to
the end. Shawn Lewis deserves
control over her body. But I
expect her to find a way to pay
for it.
-Kirsten Mogbo
September 28

have just won the World Se-
ries, and their fans celebrate by
honking their car horns repeat-
edly. The they get together
with friends for impromptu
parties.
Ann Arbor, 1988: John Shea
writes "...New Yorkers are big
and brash like Darryl Straw-
berry, and the Detroiter are
quiet and full of fortitude, like
Darrel Evans." Shea goes on
to imagine an argument be-

I
a

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