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October 19, 1988 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-10-19

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Wednesday, October 19, 1988

7t. A cI* -n Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan,

toE1 milagro de Michigan?

Vol. IC, No.30

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.

eQue e
LAST WEEK, the federal appeals court
in Denver, Colorado, approved peti-
tioners' efforts to place a constitutional
amendment on the Nov. 8th ballot,
which would establish English as the
state's official language. This ruling
rejuvenates a controversy that was de-
bated in California two years ago.
In 1986, a similar amendment was
passed in California by an overwhelm-
ing majority of the electorate; this or-
dered the legislature to "take all steps
necessary to insure that the role of En-
glish as the common language of the
State... is preserved."
Proponents of "English only" claim
that a Spanish sub-culture will develop
in America because immigrants' chil-
dren do not have sufficient motivation
io master English since government
services are available to the immigrants
In their native language. But, this is
simply not true.
A survey conducted by the Rand
Corporation in 1985, revealed that
pore than 95 percent of first-generation
Mexican-Americans are proficient in
English and more than half of the sec-
bnd generation cannot even speak
Spanish. This rate of learning English
is historically consistent with other
immigrant groups entering the United
States, thus the fear of such a sub-cul-
lure is unfounded.
The support for English as the offi-
cial language comes from areas where
Hispanic populations have increased
significantly due to immigration. Police
and social service officials say that
ethnic tensions have been mounting in
such cities. These large "foreign"

esto?

communities are perceived as threaten-
ing because of their growing size and
concentration.
Laws establishing English as the of-
ficial language would be no help at all.
The State Personnel Board of Califor-
nia predicted that 2 million residents
would be denied access to state ser-
vices if the government wholly elimi-
nated bilingual access. Legislation was
proposed in 1987 which would require
welfare applications, driver's tests, and
student financial aid forms for state
universities to be printed only in En-
glish. Bilingual education would also
be significantly decreased in an effort
to push children into speaking English.
These measures would only limit im-
migrants in their efforts to compete so-
cially and economically, and enter the
American mainstream.
An amendment that makes English
the official language is an unfounded
reaction to a growing number of Span-
ish immigrants. As Jessica Fiske, di-
rector of the A.C.L.U. in Los Angeles
questioned, why should "the ability to
be protected by the state constitution...
be dependant upon proficiency in En-
glish?"
In order to eliminate poverty in the
Hispanic community, the government
should focus its attention on education
rather than a law that would exclude
and isolate Hispanics from society. The
Hispanic community needs access to
education and support, but the result of
an English-only amendment is dis-
criminatory rather than advantageous.
If the referendum passes in Colorado,
it would be the eighth state to have a
law which makes English the official
language.

By Anne M. Martinez
Dear President Duderstadt,
Allow me to offer my congratulations
as you assume your new position as Pres-
ident of the University. While you have
been celebrating your new position, I have
been attending conferences of great
significance to me, both personally and as
a member of the University community.
I'd like to share with you some of my
thoughts and experiences of the past few
weeks.
In your various celebratory speeches,
you have vaguely mentioned some of the
current and future "diversity" programs at
the University. You have frequently
brought to light the efforts to attract mi-
nority faculty to Michigan, mentioning
the numbers of new Black faculty, and
adding in dismay that efforts to attract
Latino faculty have failed miserably.
I started to think about my own career
here at Michigan, and started to think
about those professors who have served
me as role models and mentors, encourag-
ing me and inspiring me over the past few
years. I realized that my mentors and the
institution I attend have no relationship.
That is, the handful of professors who
have inspired me the most are at the Uni-
versity of Illinois-Chicago, Stanford, the
University of Minnesota, Texas A & M,
and the University of California-Berkeley.
It's interesting to note that I am Chicana,
and these professors are all Chicanos. And
it is troubling to me that the University of
Michigan does not have one single Chi-
cano professor.
This made me to think some more
about these role models, and how I've
come to know and respect them. The
primary contact I have with these people
is at the National Association for Chicano
Studies (NACS) Conference every April,
and the NACS Midwest Regional Confer-
ence which I attended this past weekend.
I've also had the opportunity to meet a
couple of inspiring Chicano educators
through their visits to Michigan as part of
the King/Chavez/Parks Program. While I
am happy to get to know these scholars
and their work, it seems to me a disgrace
that I see them once in a lifetime, or at
most once or twice a year.
We are thrown into this cycle of waiting
Anne M.dMartinez is a LSA senior in
Latino Studies.

for that King/Chavez/Parks Scholar who
happens to be Latino to come to Michi-
gan. And then we spend four or five days
with this person - and it's a bonus if
s/he happens to be in a field remotely re-
lated to your own. And after this scholar
leaves, there is a week or so of despair that
you are pretty much on your own again,
waiting till the next conference or visiting
scholar comes along.
Over the past few months, I have also
been frustrated by the fact that Minority
Student Services does not have a Hispanic
Representative. After attending the Mid-
west Voter Registration Education Pro-
ject's Hispanic Leadership Conference,
October 7-9, I am convinced that this
opening is due not only to the fact that the
search started three months late, but also
to the image Michigan has in the eyes of
many Latino leaders in the area. One
Latino who attended the dinner and show
you and Vice Provost Moody put on Oc-

this University can attract top-notch
Latino scholars if it really wants to. If
Michigan in willing to make a commit-
ment, as the University of Wisconsin has
recently done, to truly dedicate itself to a
curriculum and academic research in Latino
Studies, it can become the multicultural
setting you and I are both striving to
achieve. If Michigan is willing to expand
the Latino Studies Program beyond the
current half-Assistant Professor, who must
get tenure in another department; if
Michigan is willing to hire a full-time,
Full Professor for Latino Studies and a
handful of faculty with interdepartmental
appointments in Latino Studies and related
disciplines for 1989-90, then it will start
to emerge as a respectable institution
among NACS members and other Latino
scholarly association members. When
Michigan is ready to make conditions fi-
nancially, socially, and academically sup-
portive for Latino students, they will start

'[I]t is troubling to me that the University of Michigan does
not have one single Chicano professor.'

tober 5 at the Power Center, felt that
Latinos were included "as an afterthought."
And since I have yet to receive the invita-
tion Vice Provost Moody promised to ex-
tend to me for that event, I would have to
agree: Latinos are an afterthought.
I guess this all seems rather negative,
but I feel there is hope. I believe you and I
want the same thing. We want the
Michigan community to become a diverse
community. We want Michigan to be tle
kind of University where Latino students,
staff, and faculty will, well, "flock" as our
prominent Dean Steiner might put it. And
though there are certainly those among us
who would disagree, I am confident that
this bastion of higher education could only
improve with the increased participation of
Latinos.
And even though the NACS national
body passed a resolution in 1987, con-
demning the University of Michigan ad-
ministration for it's inaction in the face of,
the nationally publicized racist conditions,

to "flock" in. When Michigan is ready to
support research on the history, culture,
and socio-economic concerns of Latinos,
Latino leaders will look to it as the ex-
emplary institution we are trying to make
it. We'll call it El Milagro de Michigan--
The Michigan Miracle.
President Duderstadt, I implore you to
take the helm of this grand university and
turn away the FBI recruiters on the basis
of their discrimination against Latinos.
Honor the. Boycott of California table
grapes until the UFW strike is over. (How
can anyone take the King/Chkvez/Parks
Program seriously if we stand in direct
conflict with one of its namesakes by
having California grapes on tables across
this University?) Take the bold initiatives
that will demonstrate that Michigan is
ready to move beyond tokenism for
Latinos. Tell the University, the State, the
Nation, and the World that the University
of Michigan is ready for the 21st
Century... and do it now!

a

'} 4..

Mfo otb all
supreme
To the Daily:
In her column ("Maize and Blue
Patriotism," 10/6/88), Donna Iadi-
paolo maliciously contorts the
meaning of collegiate patriotism
into something evil and absurd.
Iadipaolo claims that spirited, pa-
triotic University students who en-
thusiastically rally behind the
Michigan Wolverines are blind and
naive. Why? Because Michigan
football is a forum for "racism, sex-
ism, elitism and classism."
Labelling Michigan football as
racist is so absurd it should not even
be argued. The author's main em-
phasis centers around Michigamua,
an honor society that allegedly de-
picts Native Americans in an offen-
sive manner. First, it is Iadipaolo's
personal opinion that Michigamua is
racist. Second, Michigamua in no
way represents the beliefs of the en-
tire Michigan football organization.
Characterizing Michigan football as
racist is a severe assertion and should
be substantiated with more plausible
;evridence.
S-The are no women on this year's,
t-fpotball roster. Iadipaolo is right: the
* organization must be sexist. As be-
f ore the Michigan football team is
inaccurately related to the male-
° dominated Michigamua honor soci-
R: qy. Michigamua is an all-male club
. by choice. The Michigan football
team is in a rather different situation.
I realize the author refuses to at-
lend football games, but she should
be clever enough to recognize the
absolute necessity of separating men
from women in the Big Ten compe-
tition.

elitism and classism.
Athletics are a plus, not a minus.
Football games bring spirit to the
University and make the students
more enthusiastic about being here.
Athletics made the school more at-
tractive.
Football games are a supreme so-
cial event which students will never
forget. Twenty years from now, stu-
dents will be following Michigan
football as if they were still in col-
lege. Indeed, the most visible and
stable link between an alumnus and
his school is through athletics.
Michigan athletics benefits this
campus tremendously, and showing
your loyalty to the Wolverines with
fervent patriotism does not make
you elitist, racist, sexist or classist.
-Niko Dounchis
October 5
Vote no on
Proposal A
To the Daily:
I am writing in response to Steve
Morrow's letter (10/17). Morrow
says he will vote "yes" for Proposal
A, which will cut off Medicaid
funding for abortions no matter what
the cause of pregnancy and no matter
how young the woman is.
Morrow claims that because preg-
nancy is preventable by abstinence,
he does not want to "pay for some-
one else's lack of discipline."
Well, as a matter of fact, Morrow
and all of us will be paying much
more if Medicaid funding for abor-
tions is cut off. We will be paying
for the births of those unwanted ba-
bies as well as for their care for 18
years if they need welfare. So by
voting "yes" for Proposal A, Mor-

incest be forced to miss school to
have a baby when she herself is still
a child? Why should a mother of
three, whose husband has left her, be
forced to endure a fourth pregnancy
while working full time to support
her children?
None of these women should have
to suffer like this. Medicaid funding
for abortion should not be cut off. I
urge everyone, in the name of fair-
ness, to VOTE NO ON PRO-
POSAL A on November 8.
-Jyotsna Sreenivasan
October 18

Chang
views

of rape

To the Daily:
October 24-28 is Assault Aware-
ness Week.
Why be aware? According to the
FBI, one out of three women will be
raped sometime in her life. Conse-
quently, something needs to be done
- someone's perceptions about rape
need to be changed. Logically, since
the man commits the crime, the
man's perceptions are what need
changing. Mainly, society needs to
teach men that rape is a crime of vi-
olence and that it will not be toler-
ated.
On the contrary, though, society
has been calling for a change in the
woman's attitudes. How often does
society dictate to women: "Don't
walk alone at night - you will be
vulnerable for an attack." Or, "Don't
wear high heels or long, slim skirts
- they are too difficult to run away
in." As a woman, I am angered that I
have to limit my freedoms to avoid
being a victim of rape.

But, until society effectively pun-
ishes men's "aggressive" behavior
toward women and rape as a barbaric
thing of the past, women should be-
come aware of the existing dangers
surrounding rape. In summary, be
aware that:
- rapes can occur day or night, in-
doors or outdoors, by someone
known or by a stranger.
- reacting to a potentially danger-
ous situation early, like crossing the
street or turning back can increase
your safety.
- SAFEWALK, organized by the
University of Michigan, is an alter-
native to walking alone at night.
- if an attack should occur, there
are effective ways to thwart it.
" learning self-defense is an op-
tion.
" rape is not the woman's fault.
" there are places to consult for
information, guidance, and support,
such as the Sexual Assault Preven-
tion and Awareness Center or the
Assault Crisis Center.
" by being aware, women do not
have to be afraid.
It would be nice to think that so-
ciety has created a world that makes
it safe for a woman to walk alone at
night. BE AWARE that this world
does not exist... yet.
-Sheila D. Turek
October 19
Israel
creates
refugees
To the Daily:
This letter is in response to that of

John Blow. I suggest that he take
his own advice and think more care-
fully.
In his letter he cites examples in
which his beloved Israel has rescued
refugees from all over the world. He
must realize that there would be no
Israeli state were it not for these
Jewish refugees. Israel has been
self-preserving, not self-sacrificing,
as Blow would like to believe. A
truly charitable country would not
discriminate against refugees of dif-
ferent persuasions, much less vic-
timize others.
Blow fails to mention the hundreds
of thousands of refugees which Israel
has created. Yes, contrary to popular
opinion Palestinians are people too.
They do not deserve the torment be-
stowed upon them in their own
homeland.
I would like to ask John Blow to
remove his blinders and see the
world as it really is.
-Deyar Jamil
October 19
Puerto Rico

bail hearing or bail for 16 months is
wrong. The issues surrounding the
fate of the "Puerto Rico-Hartford
15," however, are not necessarily
those which describe the reality of
the historical presence of the United
States in Puerto Rico.
It is a moot point to argue the
morality of how the Europeans col-
onized the Americas. No nation or
race has ever cornered the market on
morality. Whatever happened in the
past is simply in the past, and we
must strive to make the present an
improvement upon the past.
It is a gross exaggeration - if not
outright deception - for the edito-
rial to suggest that the United States
has merely occupied Puerto Rico and
turned it- into an impoverished vassal
state. Under the Spanish, Puerto
Rico was an impoverished, feudal
island fortress. It was economically
and socially no better off than any
other nation or island in the
Caribbean basin.
As of 1917, all Puerto Ricans are
Americans, free to migrate anywhere
in the United States and seek a better
future. The pro-independence move-
ment has never been more than a
small yet loud minority. At the very
least, a sizable plurality of Puerto
Ricans are happy to be Americans.
Of the three main political parties on
the island, the pro-statehood and the
pro-commonwealth parties account
for the majority of voters.
The loud minority should not
speak on behalf of the silent major-
ity. If the 40 percent of Puerto Ri-
cans who live on the mainland were
really pro-independence, then most
of these two million Puerto Ricans
would not live on the mainland.
-L.A. Valzquez-Rivera
October 5

0

1S

America

To the Daily:
In response to your editorial on
the political status of Puerto Rico
(10/4), I find myself amused and of-
fended. As a Puerto Rican, I find the
tone of the editorial to be propagan-
distic and consistent with the self-
admiration that many Ann Arbor
armchair liberals display on Saturday
mornings at the Farmer's Market.
Whatever one's political ideology
concerning the status of Puerto
Rico, I doubt anyone who believes
in the intrinsic value and importance
of the Bill of Rights would contest
that holding any individual without a

U.

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