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November 02, 1988 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-11-02

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0

OPINION
Wednesday, November 2, 1988

3

Page 4

The Michigan Daily A.

$beLirigan a
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. IC, No.40 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.
Vote for Varner and
A b B
Anyone but Baker
ON NOVEMBER 8, two of the seats would support as a regent: the
on the University of Michigan's Board Governor's or the University's.
of Regents are up for election. The Lewand feels that he would bring a
Regents are the eight administrators, "fresh approach" to the University
elected by state voters, who make the since he has never been a student or
final decisions about University policy, member of the faculty. He believes that
confer degrees, allocate funds, and high tuition could be remedied by
appoint faculty; the people determine increased state funding for the school.
tlle institutional priorities of the Lewand is unsure of his position on the
University. code and uninformed in general.
Two Regents are elected by the Baker has also never attended the
voters of Michigan every two years. University in any other capacity than
This election, the Daily endorses Regent. The two-term incumbent is
Regent Nellie Varner (D-Detroit) for trying to win another eight year term to
reelection and encourages voters to the board.
choose either Ciff Taylor (R-East Baker has viciously attacked the gay
Lansing) or Tom Lewand (D- male and lesbian community. He has
Birmingham) as a vote against Regent said, "I know of instances of
Deane Baker (R-Ann Arbor). homosexual activity on campus which I
Vamer served one eight-year term on cannot and will not tolerate." He
the Board and previously was abused his position as regent to launch
University's first Affirmative Action "investigations" and has lobbied
director. Varner also received her against inclusion of sexual preference
Ph.D. from Michigan. in the University's anti-discrimination
To her credit, Varner has advocated bylaw.
University divestment from South Baker also opposed divestment from
Africa. However, Varner favored South Africa, claiming that students
Former President Robben Fleming's who advocated divestment were
limitations on student protest and she engaging in "gross and crass attempts
was the only regent absent from last to intimidate the Regents."
spring's meeting when the Further, Baker tried to prevent tuition
discriminatory acts policy was funding of the Michigan Student
discussed and approved. Assembly and succeeded in limiting the
East Lansing attorney Cliff Taylor scope of student legal services.
received one of the Republican On these grounds and others,
nominations at this fall's state con- numerous student groups, including
vention. Taylor wants to keep tuition the Daily, have called for Baker's
down and increase evening classes for resignation.
part-time students. He also hopes to Baker reportedly called former
raise money by "cutting fat" off the candidate for University president,
University's budget. Taylor graduated Vartan Gregorian, and explained his
from the University in 1964 and hopes opposition to Gregorian's appoint-
to use his ties with the Republican ment. Two days after this unilateral
party to lobby the legislature on the action, Gregorian removed his name
University's behalf. from the search committee's list.
The second Democrat, Tom Lewand, Considering Baker's name recog-
never attended the University. Lewand nition as an incumbent candidate and
maintains that his close relationship the strength of the republican ticket, a
with Governor James Blanchard will vote for no one is most likely a vote for
help him lobby for the University in Baker.
Lansing. He is the Governor's Vote for Nellie Vamer and one of the
personal lawyer and this raises the other two candidates to prevent Baker
question of whose interest Lewand from returning as Regent.

Anti-Semitism specifies Jews

By Karen Smith
As an English T.A., I feel compelled to
respond on a "linguistic level" to Sami W.
Tabsh's letter (Daily, 10/4/88). In this
letter, itself a response to an ACSI ad
quoting passages from the Koran as evi-
dence of Muslim Arab anti-Semitism,
Tabsh argues that Arabs cannot be anti-
Semitic because they are themselves
Semitic. To the extent that one cannot be
anti-self, Tabsh is correct; to say "anti-
Semitic Arab," and to mean it literally, is
to express a contradiction in terms.
Tabsh misses an important point, how-
ever, when he assumes that most of us use
this term literally, for most of us do not.
The word was in fact created in an effort to
avoid the literal. "Anti-Semitism" was
coined in 1879 by Wilhem Marr, "an anti-
Jewish spokesman in Germany," to de-
scribe a rising tide of discriminatory acts
and attitudes toward Jews at that time in
Europe. (Prager & Telushkin, Why the
Jews? , p.199) As a euphemism, the word
enabled thinkers to discuss the trend
"politely." That is, it enabled them to
promote hatred toward Jews without hav-
ing to pronounce the unpleasant words:
"hatred," "Jew." (Judenhass ) Needless to
say, "anti-Semitism" as a term is rooted in
anti-Semitism as a phenomenon. On that
basis alone, perhaps the word should be
changed
Tabsh, however, is clearly not concerned
with exposing the anti-Semitism in "anti-
Semitism." On the contrary, in an effort
to whitewash the anti-Jewish ideology
canonized in the Koran, and to argue by
extension that Arab anti-Zionism is en-
tirely free from such ideology, Tabsh tries
to expose what he sees as a Jewish, racist
conspiracy working through the usage of
the term "anti-Semitism." Indeed, to read
Tabsh's words, which I believe are charac-
teristic of much anti-Zionist rhetoric on
this campus, one could conclude that Eu-
ropean Jews actually invented the word
"anti-Semitism" (and perhaps the phe-
nomenon as well) in order to promote the
idea that Jews are a (superior) race. As a
Jew, I feel compelled to respond to the
Karen Smith is an English teaching as-
sistant.

dangerous implications of Tabsh' s
"linguistic" analysis.
Jews are not a race; we have never con-
sidered ourselves such, although many of
our enemies have. Jewish Law recognizes
conversion; thus, a sincere person of any
race may become a Jew. If we are an insu-
lar, sometimes xenophobic, community,
it is in response to a history of persecu-
tion. For centuries we have lived under
systems of religious apartheid in both the
Christian and Muslim worlds. In Europe
we have been periodically pushed into
ghettos and allowed to interact with mem-
bers of the dominant culture only when it
became economically convenient for them.
In Muslim countries we, along with

founding of Israel is what many anti-
Zionists conveniently forget. The passages .
from the Koran quoted by the ACSI,
which clearly condemn - indeed sanction
violence against - Jews, may remind usr
of the reality. (Incidentally, I have no,{
connections with the ASCI, or, for that
matter, any other "Jewish group").
I do not mean to say that all anti-Zion-
ists are anti-Jewish, and I certainly do not,
mean to trivialize or excuse U.S-supported,
Israeli military excesses in Lebanon in
1982, and in the West Bank and Gaza strip
today. But I am very tired of seeing anti- &
Semitism trivialized and excused in such
pathetic arguments as the one I have crir
tiqued here. At the pro-Palestinian lectures

#Q
'The myth that Jewish identity is based on racial unity is prop- ,
agated by anti-Zionists today as it was in the 1930s by Nazi
anti-Zionists to discredit as racist the Jews' return to Israel.'

Christians, have been at times relegated to
the subservient status of the dhimmi,
subject to special taxes. In both worlds, it
has often been a capital crime for a Jew to
convert a non-Jew to Judaism. This
history of anti-Semitism is responsible for
modes of behavior in the Jewish
community that many outside of it are
quick to label "racism." But, while it is
difficult in this secular era to pinpoint
what makes a Jew a Jew, I believe most of
us would name such factors as religious
belief and practice, a shared cultural her-
itage, and/or an ethics of survival, free-
dom, and justice that comes out of our
own experience of persecution, rather than
Semitic blood. We are a people, not a
race.
The myth that Jewish' identity is based
on racial unity is propagated by anti-
Zionists today as it was in the 1930s by
Nazi anti-Zionists to discredit as racist the
Jews' return to Israel. Tabsh's acceptance
of this myth indicates that he subscribes
to the popular notion that the founding of
Israel was another instance of European
racist imperialism, and that it alone created
anti-Jewish feeling in the Arab countries.
That Arab anti-Semitism predates the

I have attended, I have been stunned to
hear the old patterns rehashed by seem
ingly "progressive" and educated peoples
Jewish conspiracy, Jews as a race and as
racists, Jewish money controlling the
world, Jews as false victims - or as vir-
tual "Christkillers" posing as victims (the
Palestinians are the guiltless Christ fig.,,
ures in this analogy). Meanwhile, old
fashioned Jew-hating marches on: the
Nazis come to town, a man on the street
calls me a yid, walls are adorned with, -
swastikas of all political persuasions
(some are preceded with "Zionism is" ),
and the acronym JAP is a staple in the
campus vocabulary.
Anti-Semitism has become not only
acceptable but politically correct on this
campus. We need to address this phe-r
nomenon squarely-- to stop measuring and
then dismissing Jewish oppression with
theories of race and class, to stop defining- .4
it simply as superficial prejudice. Anti-,.
Semitism is a distinct, systematic ideol-
ogy in its own right and needs to be ad-
dressed as such. Anti-Semitism kills. And
it is allowed to reach the point of murder
precisely because we ignore or deny its
day-to-day presence.

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,t

Pictures of

time, you listen to your own
words and put dignity of every

Myth of Black rapist

human being first.
homeless -Beth
Octo
insensitive Vntp fr

Supina
ber 18

IN AN ATTEMPT to discredit Michael
Dukakis, the Bush campaign is using
tactics which are blatantly, racist. In
anti -Dukakis commercials, Bush's
campaign uses a photograph of a Black
man accused of raping a white woman
while on furlough. These commercials
perpetuate the myth of the Black rapist,
which has been historically used to
justify overt racism and lynching.
According to information gathered by
the Sexual Assault Prevention and
Awareness Center, Black men and men
of color are no more likely to rape than
white men. In fact, white men rape
Black women twice as often as Black
men rape white women. In over 90%
of rape cases, the rapist and victim are
of the same race and socio-economic
class. However, rape by Black men is
five times more likely to be reported
than rape by white men. Of rape cases
thdt go to court, when the accused is a
man of color, the case is more likely to
end in conviction and the sentence is
usually more severe. Of 455 men exe-
cuted for rape between 1930 and 1967,
405 of them were Black.
The myth of the Black rapist emerged
during the Reconstruction period fol-
lowing the Civil War, created by white

The white community attempted to
cover-up the murder of Till under the
guise of protecting white womanhood.
Not only do lynchings of Black men
continue today,although less fre-
quently,but the myth of the Black
rapist continues as a justification of
these lynchings. The Bush campaign
perpetuates this myth, by using a Black
man as the subject of the anti-furlough
commercials - fostering the "lynch a
Black man" mentality. It preys upon
the unjustified and socialized fears of
white women and men who have been
taught to fear Black men.
The media contributes to this racist
myth by only mentioning the race of
the alleged perpetrator of a crime when
the person is Black. Rarely does one
read that the possible assailant is
"white." It is also rare that composite
sketches of white men appear in news-
papers, like those of two Black men.
that appeared in the Daily (10/28/88).
Especially when white men are known
by the victims, or belong to the middle
or upper class, they have greater power
to bring suit against these publications
and their pictures never appear. Such
was the case with Griffith Neal, the
student accused of raping a woman last
year.

To the Daily:
Last Friday, the main article
of your Weekend section was
about the homeless. ("The
Shelter at 420 West Huron,"
Daily, 10/14) It did an excel-
lent job of informing people
about that problem in our own
backyard we find so easy to ig-
nore. However, articles such as
this usually call for a bit more
sensitivity, particularly con-
cerning the photography. I'm
sure there were some people
who were more than happy to
help with the story and get
their pictures plastered all over
the newspaper. Still, are all
those people allowing you to
declare their homelessness to
the city? What about their dig-
nity? Isn't it embarrassing
enough "walking around the
streets and campus. People
laugh and mock. "? It's won-
derful that you went to the
shelter to truly understand what
it is to be homeless, but in
that time did you ever walk
past an old newspaper seeing a
picture of yourself with the
homeless stamped underneath?
What would it be like to see
something like that? The arti-
cle itself states the difficulty

TV V l J %.J
regents
important
To the Daily:
The president, vice presidents
and deans of this University are
not publicly elected.
But the people who appoint
them are elected. The U-M
Regents, who have the ulti-
mate say on every major policy
decision made by this Univer-
sity, are accountable to all the
voters and taxpayers of Michi-
gan. Two Regents will be
elected on November 8 for an
eight year term - twice as
long as the President of the
United States.
Will tuition keep getting in-
creased 10 percent per year?
Will there be continued efforts
to recruit qualified minority
students to U-M? Its up to the
Regents to decide.
These people affect our lives
- they set tuition and class
size limitations and faculty
salaries. They decide which
classrooms get renovated and
when.
It's important that students,

votes count. This year, 6, 731 drunken stupor on
new students registered to vote night without a date
in Ann Arbor. In 1980, one -A i
U-M Regent won an upset O
victory with a winning margin
of just 6,000 votes. X h h
-Zachary Kittrie Which
October 31 witch i4
Attire is no hich?
licence for To the Daily:
Wow, quite an e4
harassment hadthere Afew th
bit skewed though.
To the Daily: signed (understanc
To the three sexual harassers tonal entitled, "In
of Saturday night: Witches," the auth
Approximately 9:30 on think reasonably o
Saturday, Oct. 29, you three areas. He/She sure
guys sexually harassed my "religious" people I
friend and I while we were asking that certai
walking between South Quad traditionally used 1
and West Quad, not quite half Halloween be left+
of a block. Your actions of children's classroom
disrespect and physical abuse notice that these p
are not to be excused just concerned only with
because you were drunk. As that contained the
you pushed each other into us They were not out
and made crude suggestions, such occurrences
you happened to ask if we the school system.
would "do it" with you while p
referring to the fact that we their children n
would because of the way we teaching contrary to
were dressed. they are giving ther
My friend and I were dressed also, isn't witchcr
up in nice, moderate dresses on religious belief tha
our way to a party. Our attire ship (as the editor
does not give your three guys quently divulged), t
an excuse to sexually harass us one's life to a be
nor does it give you reason to than him/hersel
have rape on the brain, books, and other el

a Saturday
e.
nonymous
ctober 31

sk

S p.
;ditonial you ,~
kings were a,
iIn the u-'
dably!) edi-
n Praise of
or failed to
rn a couple
made those
n elements'
to celebrate
out of their
ms. One will
arents were
h the classes
ir children:.
to stop all
throughout
Isn't it the "4
insist that
ot receive
o that which
,m at home?
aft in fact a'
at has wor-'
rial so elo-
he giving of
ing greater*
f, "holy"
ements that"-

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