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October 25, 1988 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-10-25

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Page 4

Tuesday, October 25, 1988



By MSA Minority Affairs
After seeing the Daily's unsigned
editorial concerning the way Pam Nadasen,
UCAR member and one of the few mi-
norities at the Daily, was treated, the Mi-
nority Affairs Committee feels compelled
to respond to what has been an extremely
negative trend at the Daily for quite some
time now. Before commenting on this in-
cident in particular, it is important to give
your readers a little bit of history to
understand just where we are coming from.
In the '86-'87 school year, Eugene Pak,
a Korean student here, was the "minority
beat" reporter at the Daily. His insight on
various minority issues was key in his
ability to report on major issues (such as
the formation of UCAR and BAM III)
without the bias of someone with abso-
lutely no understanding of the issues.
Reegardless, in the '87-'88 school year, he
was replaced by what would be a series of
white students. Why? Well, there were
various reasons given, but of the two ma-
jor reasons (from inside sources) both of
Co-signatories include Cornelius Delro
Harris, chair; Natasha Raymond, member;
John Feng, UMASC delegate; Radhika
Sharma, IPASC delegate; Julie Harris,
AKA delegate; Francis Matthews, BSU
delegate; Michael X. Hidalgo, SALSA
delegate; Grecia Souffront, member;
A'Lynne Boles, member; Joanna Su,

them proved equally disturbing.
One was that now that "minority beat"
was now a "cool" thing to do, a lot of the
white reporters wanted to "get in" on the
excitement. The result wound up being
reporting that was unabashedly sensational
and rarely reflected any truth. Some re-
porters were clearly perturbed at the lack of
"screaming, angry minorities" and went
out of their way to find ways to portray us
as such. This soon became apparent in
headlines like "BSU First Group to Break
Student Unity" and "Asians Express Anger
Through Art," all of which were extremely
The other reason was equally annoying.
You see, as minorities, we're biased. If we
ever write on any issues that even re-
motely concern minorities we're going to
be slanted. Hell yes, it'll be slanted.
Slanted towards the truth, as opposed to
attempting to make things out to be
something that they're not. As minorities,
we know all the stereotypes that abound
about us and, to the shock of many
majority students, most of them are false.
When those biases are not portrayed in the
articles, then it is assumed that the re-
porter is accused of biased reporting. The
hypocrisy is especially clear when you
consider the that white students are con-
stantly reporting on events and issues of
the white community, yet there is never
any question of whether or not the report-
ing is biased.
The effect of this kind of warped men-

lity was all too clear last year. The Daily
ever had been known as a place where
inorities could feel comfortable to work,
id, for the most part, during that year,
sere were only nine minority staff mem-
ers at the Daily. One minority there last
ear, an editor, when asked about the way
iinorities were treated at the Daily, could
ly respond, "There's just no excuse for
that happened."
In the aftermath of angry response to
ie Daily's coverage of minority issues,
zere was a concerted effort by some
embers of the Daily to rectify this by
ying to increase the numbers of minori-
es there. When the Minority Affairs
ommittee was asked to help with this,
ur response couldn't help but be nega-
ve. In light of the fact that the minorities
ready there generally weren't writing ar-
:les with any real relevance to the
inority community, we could only as-
me that the Daily was looking for some
rofessional babysitters, minorities who,
stead of being able to report on relevant
sues, would be limited to making sure
>thing offensive was written. The few
ho actually would get the opportunity to
rite, would be limited to "neutral" sto-
es. Perhaps on some new construction
ing done.
Sometime over the past summer, some
ople actually started to think about the


fallacy of believing that minorities were
unqualified due to bias. The result, as
some of you saw earlier this year, was the
Identity Section of the Daily's New Stu-
dent Edition, put together by a group of
minority AND majority students. Another
minority student joined staff and things
seemed to be on the up and up. Then,
about four weeks ago, a few editors and
reporters met with members of a variety of
minority groups to discuss further the
problems of the Daily and how they might
be solved. Again, a positive note, but
many make it clear that the true test of
how sincere the effort was would be seen
in how the Daily dealt with minorities and
minority issues in the future. Unfortu-
nately, the future was two weeks ago.
Theoretically, the change in the Daily's
ethics policy would allow minorities to
write on minority issues; however, some
of us were at the meeting where this deci-
sion was made. Long before the policy
was brought up, it was clear that the rea-

sons given for not allowing Nadasen to
write were weak excuses. This was exem-
plified by the fact that the reasons changed
as each subsequent one was exposed as
false. The ethics policy was only one in a
long list of excuses for not allowing her
to write the story. If something ever came
up again, it would be easily conceivable
that there could be another false reason
given to deny a minority reporter the right
to write about an issue that relates to mi-
nority students.
Our point is, this change is, at best,
cosmetic. The minority student who
joined in April, quit over the summer, ba-
sically out of exhaustion from dealing
with all the bs she had to deal with. "It's
not worth it." As long as there is an at-
mosphere of constant struggle to simply
maintain a sense of identity, what can be
expected? It is certainly not the way to at-
tract more minority students to the Daily..
About that editorial, nice try, Daily. Better
luck next time.

The Michigan Daily

Editor's notes: Daily reporters are traditionally rotated from their beats every one to
two terms to allow both themselves and o:her reporters the opportunity to cover other
facets of the University. It has never been Daily policy to prohibit minorities from re-
porting on minority issues. The Daily news policy now reads: Anyone can write for any
part of the Daily even if they are involved in political or anti-racist groups on campus in
any capacity. News reporters may not write about events in which they are actively
participating or organizing. Daily news can include quotes from people who work for the
Daily and are members of other organizations.

Anniversary of invasion

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. IC, No. 34

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.
British censorship

THE BRITISH government recently
banned radio and television interviews
with members of outlawed Protestant
and Roman Catholic paramilitary
groups in Northern Ireland. Britain has
decided to join the lot of the world's
repressive governments by employing
a favorite silencing tactic: press censor-
Although this ban still allows inter-
viewees to be quoted verbatim, the
censorship damages the affected
groups' ability to articulate their views
to the public. The Home Secretary ex-
plained to Parliament the reasoning be-
hind the ban, stating that these groups
"draw more support...from addressing
their views more directly to the
population at large than is possible
through the press."
The outlawed groups are trying to
win support for their political causes.
Censorship prevents them from ex-
pressing their ideas in the purest form
(broadcast interviews) to the public.
They risk losing supporters simply be-
cause they cannot appeal directly to
Censorship is also unfair to the
British radio and television stations. It
encroaches on their right and duty to
provide the public with a complete pic-
ture of what is happening in society.
No longer are they a free press.
Censorship is unfair to the British
public because it denies them the right

to receive the most direct and compre-
hensive information about the political
struggle in Northern Ireland. No longer
would one see the person behind the
words. Previously, broadcast inter-
views would end up being paraphrased
because television and radio are not the
appropriate mediums for complete
transcripts of interviews - newspa-
pers are. Those who do not read
newspapers would be denied the com-
plete picture.
Censorship insults the British people.
The government is telling them that
they are not capable of making intelli-
gent decisions. If these groups are as
dangerous as the government portrays
them to be, the people should be able to
figure this out without the condescend-
ing government steering them in the
"right" direction.
The government is setting a danger-
ous precedent with this law. It is
showing the people that it believes cen-
sorship to be a legitimate strategy for
governing. First, it bans broadcast in-
terviews for members of paramilitary
groups; next, it will be censoring other
forms of political dissent.
Government officials cite the broad-
cast of statements defending bombings
as the main reason for the ban. But if
these groups are denied the right to
freely express themselves through tele-
vision, they will continue to express
themselves through bombings.

By Mike Fischer
'We have been the object of the CIA
pyramid plan: at the base, propaganda
destabilization; in the middle, economic
destabilization; at the top, military desta-
bilization and terrorism. We have seen all
three aspects, and they continue to this
-Maurice Bishop, Prime Minister of
Grenada, June, 1983
'To suggest that we would invade Grenada
is preposterous and irresponsible.'
-Larry Speakes, Reagan's Press Secre-
tary, October 24, 1983
Five years ago today, 4200 U.S.
Marines invaded a Caribbean island whose
entire population could fit inside the U of
M Stadium. President Reagan claimed that
the invasion was necessary because
Grenada posed a significant military threat
to the United States. In truth, the invasion
stands as one of the more shameful mon-
uments in the long history of lies and de-
ceit that have characterized U.S. foreign
policy in the Caribbean and Latin Amer-
The most significant aspect of Grenada's
alleged "military threat" concerned an
airstrip the Grenadans were constructing
that Reagan claimed would provide the
Soviets with a "launching pad" from "our
backyard." Leaving aside by what right the
U.S. dares to designate over twenty
sovereign nations as its personal backyard,
Reagan's claims constitute an outright lie.
Independent investigations conducted af-
ter the invasion conclusively demonstrated
that the airstrip was far too small for the
kind of military maneuvers Reagan had in
mind. Furthermore, the airstrip was ap-
proved by the World Bank and underwrit-
ten by the British, not, as Reagan claimed,
Mike Fischer is the Ann Arbor
Coordinator of Solidarity and a member of
the Latin American Solidarity Committee

by the Cubans and Soviets. The airstrip
was what the Grenadans had always
claimed it was: the culmination of six
major studies written over twenty-five
years on how to build a landing strip big
enough to attract tourism.
It is no wonder, given such open distor-
tion, that the U.S. barred all reporters.
from the island until days after the inva-
sion - a move unprecedented in any pre-
vious war in which the U.S. had fought.
Otherwise they might have witnessed
events such as the "accidental" bombing of
a Grenadan hospital, in which eighteen
people were killed.
Or maybe they would have seen that the
Grenada "piled high with weapons" was
limited to six warehouses, one empty, one
filled with food, one with kitchen equip-
ment, and the other three between a quarter
and a half full of weapons as much as a
hundred years old. The "heavy military
equipment" Reagan insisted was a danger
to the United States consisted of four
The real danger posed by Grenada to the
United States was its shining example of
how a socialist economy could dramati-
cally improve the impoverished lives of
its people. When Maurice Bishop's New
Jewel Movement took power from the
corruption-infested Gairy regime in 1979,
unemployment stood at 49% overall and
70% for women. By 1983 it had been re-
duced to 12%. The number of homes with
drinkable'water had increased from 30% to
60%. The government had implemented
free health care and a free milk program. A
national housing repair program fixed the
houses of the poorest workers and peas-
ants. Free education had reduced illiteracy
to under 2%.
Invading Grenada - like trying to
destabilize Nicaragua or Cuba - was in-
tended to make sure that it could not pro-
ject an alternative model to Reagan's
vaunted Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI),
a series of programs passed right after the

invasion which were designed to further
the subjugation of Caribbean peoples to
the interests of U.S. capital. Jamaica, with
its "Reaganaut" puppet Edward Seaga, was
supposed to be the "showcase" country in
this program.
Since the introduction of CBI, economic
immiseration throughout the Caribbean
has attained startling proportions. Unem-
ployment rates have climbed to nearly
30% in Jamaica, Trinidad, Martinique,
Curacao, and the Dominican Republic.
Those still employed increasingly work in
finishing shops, making as little as $25 a
week under sweat-shop conditions to work
raw materials shipped from the U.S. into
finished condition for consumption in the
Meanwhile, unemployment in Grenada
has climbed back to the astounding levels,
reached under the Gairy regime.'Spared they
threat of a socialist Grenada success story,
the U.S. has forgotten the island it
claimed to rescue.
Living here in the heart of the imperial-d
ist beast, we have a responsibility to re- b
mind those who would forget - and cor-
rect those who would rewrite -- the his-
tory of the Grenada episode of what actu-
ally happened, and why: Until the U.S.
learns to stop thinking of the Caribbean as
its "backyard" and accepts the right of its
peoples to self-determination, every Cuba
and Grenada that arises to assert that right
will be ruthlessly crushed. The anniversary
of the Grenada invasion, much like the
anniversary marking Columbus' invasion
of the same region, is a day to mourn
those U.S. policies refusing Latin Ameri-
can peoples the right to stand up and assert
their freedom from U.S. exploitation. It is
also an opportunity for us to voice our
opposition to such outrages and to stand
in solidarity with our sisters and brothers
fighting for freedom from Puerto Rico to
Nicaragua and from Chile to El Salvador.



can help stop rape



.. f

-4 k


By Jeff Gauthier
This is the first of a four part series in
connection with the Sexual Assault Pre-
vention and Awareness Center's Sexual
Assault Awareness Week.
There are obvious limitations to the role
that men can and ought to play in
women's issues. If the women's commu-
nity is to develop a genuine consensus on
these issues, it is women and not men,
who must take the lead. This is not to
say, however, that men in their support,
indifference, or hostility to this process do
not play an important role. With regard to
rape, where men and their relation to
women are centrally at issue, this role be-
comes a critical one. But what action can
men take to stop rape?
In the first nlace. men can stop rape by

(90% on college campuses) of all rapes
involved men and women who know one
another. The home is the most common
site of the assault. And the rapist, far from
the denizen of the alleys, differs little in
psychological profile from the "average
This last statistic suggests a further role
for men in the struggle against rape. Is
rape reinforced by the stereotypical male
gender role of our culture? This may indi-
cate something problematic in that role
itself. Images abound in our literature,
folklore, and popular culture where the
stereotypes of the aggressive, dominant
male, and the yielding submissive female
are presented as norms to be emulated. It
is this social backdrop, this "rape culture,"
which molds the gender roles in question.
Although the average man is in no posi-
tion to directly affect the presentation of

and women.
Another area that must be examined is
behavior among men where attitudes of
aggression and dominance are nurtured
most. Each time a man laughs with other
men at a sexist joke, for example, he af-
firms his solidarity with those men
against women. That "knowing glance"
that a man shares with another man as a
woman walks by, builds a solidarity be-
tween the two of them on the basis of
their common attitudes about women.
This subtle and pervasive comraderie of
conquest, on which many of the closest of
heterosexual male friendships is based, is
not easily challenged.
Finally, men must break the sexism in
themselves. So long as a man feels enti-
tled to women as objects of his own plea-
sure, as less than fully human, so long as
he feels entitled to "stare down" women in

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