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November 17, 1988 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-11-17

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Page 4 Tiursday, November 17, 1988

The Michigan Daily


E 3ibah i t yianU
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Fasting for



420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Vol. IC, No. 51

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.

Asian issu
N OVEMBER is Asian American ]
Awareness Month. This month will
highlight the concerns of Asian stu-
dents and myths surrounding them.
Asian issues have been largely ig-
nored by the administration and the
University community. Asians' status
as a minority is ambiguous because the
percentage of Asians in the University
exceeds the percentage in the popula-
The administration does not regard
Asians as an underrepresented mi- +
nority. Many Asian student groups feel
that their representation is not adequate
because the distribution of Asians1
among various schools is not represen-
The administration seems unclear if
Asians "count" as a minority or not.
The large Asian population is included
when the administration boasts of
"15.4 percent minority enrollment," but
the University does not designate any
scholarships for Asians and the "Target
of Opportunity" funds, designed to at-
tract minority faculty, have been denied
to Asians.
The administration's attitude, that
Asians are not a "needy" minority, is
part of a prevailing misconception that
Asians as a group do not have needs or
problems. This has been called the
"Myth of the Model Minority."
This myth holds that Asians as a
group are economically secure and ed-
ucationally superior. It leads to racist
articles such as the one in Time last
year titled "Are they taking over our
colleges?" Asians are told they
'shouldn't mind the stereotypes im-
posed on them because they are
"positive" stereotypes.
The success stereotype ignores a
large portion of the Asian American
Tagar s rea
MONDAY, Tagar - a right-wing,
"pro-Israel" student activist group -
constructed a wooden Israeli school
"bus on the Diag. On the side of the bus
'Tagar painted a racist statement: "STOP
The bus symbolizes an attack last
month on the West Bank which re-
sulted in the deaths of four Israeli citi-
Although, later that day, Tagar
changed the racist statement to "STOP
ALL TERRORISM," the damage has
been done.
Branding an entire people as terror-
ists identifies race as responsible for
individuals' actions. This is equivalent
:to white supremacists putting up a bill-
board stating "STOP BLACK RAPE."
aTagar's statement charged 160 million
people with terrorism.
This is not a political statement but a
racial one. Arabs aresnot a political en-
tity, such as a state or political
The statement "STOP ISRAELI
TERRORISM" on the pro-Palestinian
shanty is political since it criticizes a
government's policy of oppression.
Publicly stating this is an attack on a
state's policies, and therefore justi-
fiable. By the same token, a statement

es ignored
population which is poor and disad-
vantaged. The majority of recent Asian
immigrants are refugees who now live
in Chinatowns and other ghettos across
the country. These people are not pro-
vided with financial aid and are gener-
ally not part of Affirmative Action pro-
grams because of the national percep-
tion that Asians are doing well.
Recently, several Asian students
were called "chinks" at a Kappa Sigma
party. The incident was disturbing but
the response to it was even more in-
dicative of the trivialization of Asian
issues on this campus. Several Asian
student groups told the Daily that they
believe that the fraternity did not expect
them to respond because Asians are
perceived as politically inactive and are
not expected to be vocal.
This is only one of the many inci-
dents which occur frequently on this
campus. Asian women particularly
must contend with sexual harassment
because of their portrayal in American
film as geisha girls and prostitutes.
Other issues which Asian student
groups hope to address are: the need
for a Center for Asian American stud-
ies, Asian faculty in the liberal arts, and
a Korean language program, the lack of
counseling services and minority pro-
grams designed specifically for Asians,
the varying concerns of the different
ethnic groups included in the term
"Asians," stereotypes in American so-
ciety and the historical oppression of
Asians in this country.
Asian American Awareness Month is
an important step toward the prioritiza-
tion of Asian issues at the University.
The University community needs to
recognize that Asians are a "needy"
minority and at the same time address
their individual concerns in programs
targeted for minorities in general.
it message
anti-Semitic. deserving public
The stereotype of Arabs as terrorists
is common. For example, just last year
the Federal Bureau of Investigation and
the Immigration and Naturalization
Services arrested eight Palestinians,
charging them under the McClarren-
Walter Act - which expels non-U.S.
citizens for "espousing world
These Palestinians were shackled and
placed in solitary confinement because
the government declared them terror-
ists. All charges against them were
eventually thrown out of federal court.
These government actions perpetuate
the myth that Arabs are dangerous.
Several Arab and anti-racist groups
presented a resolution asking the
Michigan Student Assembly to con-
demn Tagar, to withdraw recognition
of the group, and to demand that Tagar
offer a public apology. MSA tabled the
resolution presented by these groups
until next week, giving Tagar a chance
to respond.
Passage of this resolution would be a
positive step for MSA in its fight for
student rights and against racism. Stu-
*dent funds should not assist organiza-
tions which use racist slogans.

By Mark R. Greer
Today, over 2500 University of Michi-
gan students will sacrifice their dinner and
donate the cost of the meal to ameliorate
world hunger. Such an act of compassion
for the poor not only runs counter to the
widespread view of college students as
callous careerists unconcerned about any-
thing other than themselves, but also
merits praise from the University com-
munity as a whole.
The students' fast is intended to directly
help hungry, in many cases starving, peo-
ple, both here and abroad. The students
have donated the materials cost of the
foregone dinner, approximately $1.50 per
meal in the instance of dormitory resi-

should make us call into question the
common perception of today's college
student as unconcerned about for the poor,
a view widely conveyed through the media
and even through institutions within the
University. Just open any of those maga-
zines directed at a college audience (e.g.
College Man, College Woman, etc.,)
which feature hardly anything but articles
on successful undergraduate entrepreneurs
and how to land a well-paying career.
They'll leave you with the impression that
today's college student devotes her time
and energy primarily to various acquisi-
tive, self-indulgent ends. The University
devotes much of its counselling and guid-
ance literature to helping students to select
(actually directing them into) the "right"
career or a "good" professional school,

'Although common conceptions of today's college student
would lead us to believe otherwise, the students have expressed
their solidarity with the hungry of the world, and have extended
a helping hand to them.'

ricula has yet to smother their conscious-
The students' making this contribution
to fight world hunger also contrasts
markedly with the domestic and foreign
policies of our own government. Cutting
nutrition programs for poor children,
slashing funding for housing programs for
the indigent and promulgating a general
attitude of meanness toward the poor, our
government has significantly contributed
to the recent swelling of hunger and
neediness in the U.S. Indeed, the number
of families with children living below the
official poverty line has increased 35%
since 1981, and homelessness has in-
creased sharply over this period as well.
Our government's war against the poor
doesn't stop at our own borders. Perhaps
the stingiest foreign aid donor in the de-
veloped world, the U.S. government
spends only two-tenths of one percent of
our country's gross national product
(output) on foreign aid. And thirty-seven
percent of this amount consists of militar
aid, while most of the economic portioI
of this assistance goes to certain countries
allied to the U.S. where hunger is not a
pressing problem, primarily Israel and
Furthermore, our government often
takes more, direct action to ensure that
many poor countries stay poor, when it
slaps trade embargoes against them (e.g.
Vietnam, Kampuchea, North Korea, Cuba
and Nicaragua). When the U.S.'s allies gd
along with embargoing these, countries,
crises of hunger often result, due to these
countries' inability to obtain the capital
needed to build their agricultural sectors
An excellent example of this happened in
Vietnam last summer, when near famine
conditions struck after thirteen years of a#
American-initiated economic em-
U.S.-sponsored wars in the Third World
add to hunger there as well. Malnutrition
in Nicaragua and Angola, resulting fronx
the Contra War and the U.S.-backed South
African incursion into Angola, respect
tively, are just two instances of this.
The students' participation in today's
fast deserves praise. WHE-AC calls upon
the University community to join us in
applauding their efforts.

dents, to the World Hunger Education-Ac-
tion Committee (WHE-AC.) One half of
the money raised will be spent on pro-
grams to alleviate hunger in the Ann Ar-
bor-Detroit area, such as funding soup
kitchens and homeless shelters, and one
half will be donated to Oxfam America, an
agency sponsoring projects for agricultural
self-sufficiency throughout the Third
World. Thus, over $3750 will be spent on
hunger relief projects as a result of the
students sacrificing their meals.
Although common conceptions of to-
day's college student would lead us to be-
lieve otherwise, the students have ex-
pressed their solidarity with the hungry of
the .world, and have extended a helping
hand to them. By fasting for one meal,
students concretely experience the pain
that the overwhelming majority of the
human race experiences everyday. Their
making this sacrifice so that others can eat
Mark Greer is a graduate student and
member of the World Hunger Education-
Action Committee.

leaving one the impression that that to-
day's college student cares (or at least
should care) only about his economic self-
interest. Perhaps many of our mainstream
institutions misconstrue what college stu-
dents really find worthwhile.
The willingness of so many students to
participate in this hunger relief effort also
offers reassuring testimony to the
underlying strength of the spirit of
humanitarianism, given that these same
students face the most backward, brutal
ideologies in many of the social science
courses they attend every day. Each year,
thousands of University undergraduates
take economics courses which claim that
any measure likely to improve the plight
of the poor causes "inefficiencies and dis-
tortions." Even worse, they take political
science courses extolling "ethically neu-
tral" foreign policy analysis (i.e. no atroc-
ity against foreigners is immoral.) It is
both striking and reassuring that students
are exposed to courses such as these, and
still give up a meal to help the poor, here
and abroad. Obviously, the students' cur-

.. .. ..

To the Daily:
In the recent flurry of letters
and articles concerning your
editorial equating Zionism with
racism, a simple distinction
critical to understanding the is-
sues at hand has been blurred or
obscured. To attack the policy
of the current Israeli govern-
ment regarding the West Bank
is not, in and of itself, anti-
Semitic. There are many Jews
in the country, active partici-
pants in the religious and cul-
tural life of the Jewish com-
munity, who vocally dissent
from this policy.
However, to oppose the
existence of a Jewish state, to
argue that any Jewish state (the
question of its borders aside) is
by definition illegitimate, is
unequivocally anti-Jewish, that
is, anti-Semitic. For to take
such a position is to deny to
Jews what one would accord to
every other people in the
world. Those who seek to de-
legitimize the Jewish state,
who portray it as the embodi-
ment of evil and inhumanity,
are quite willing to allow other
peoples a state of their own -
the French, the Italians, the
Bulgarians, etc. - but not the
Jews. This kind of double
standard is blatantly discrim-
inatory. Or, in the language of
current campus discourse, it is
Much to my sorrow, your
recent editorial equating Zion-
ism with racism not only em-
braces this currently fashion-
able kind of double standard but

bigoted churchpeople identified
Jews with Satan and the An-
tichrist; in the modern period,
right-wing nationalists
throughout Europe associate
Jews with, quite amazingly,
both revolutionary bolshevism
and exploitive capitalism. Your
editorial stand in this tradition
of bigotry and intolerance.
(That there may be some Jew-
ish students involved in the
formulation of your editorial
policy is irrelevant. There are
always persons of Jewish ori-
gin willing to disaffiliate
themselves from their group
and adopt the viewpoint of cir-
cles in the larger society they
wish to find favor with.)
-Todd M. Endleman
Prof. of History
November 10
Give peace
a chance
To the Daily:
Along with many other
University students, I spent
this past year as a junior abroad
in Jerusalem. During this vast
and indescribable experience I
learned a tremendous amount
about the political situation,
the histories, the cultures, the
peoples and the people. It is
fascinating, complex and over-
whelming scene.
To those who insist that
Palestinians are simply Arabs
or Jordanians and do not war-
rant independent nationhood, I
respond that Palestinians have
a national consciousness, and
that it is for no one else but
them to decide whether they are
a nation. As the nation that
they are, they have suffered
horrible neglect by other Arab

fear - fear that forges a real;
need for unity and strength, fear
that causes hatred and violence.
The Jewish mind - set is
not so different. The original
and primary reason for the ef-
fort to establish a state for the
Jewish nation was to provide a
refuge for Eastern European
Jews who were, and still are,
living in fear for their lives.
Soon Western Europe got in
on the action as well. Jews
have been wandering around the
globe for two millenniums
trying to find a place that they
could live safely and freely, but
place after place has proven it-
self terrifying and oppressive.
Jews now have a place in
which they may live freely as
Jews and where any Jew perse-
cuted anywhere in the world
may seek refuge. They want it
and they need it: they are afraid.
The University has a lot of
activists with a lot to say
about world issues, and that is
great; I would only increase
that, but I think that the cam-
pus activists have handled this
issue poorly - just as the
world's powers have. Each
year groups representing
"sides" in the Palestinian -
Israeli conflict pull out their
best political weapons: flags,
justifications, twisted versions

of history and hatred of the en
emy, and start throwing
proverbial rocks or shooting
proverbial bullets at one an-,
other. This kind of peace ac4
tivism does not exactly help
world affairs.
I have a plea: I am asking
the activists on this campus;
the people who are truly on a
quest to find peace for the
Middle East, the people who
want to see Palestinians and
Jews stop killing each other, to
try a new approach this year.
Let us stop working against
each other. Let us start works-
ing together to conquer our
fears and ourhde-personalized
and bigoted hatreds of each
other. Let us really be at the
forefront of the peace move-
ment like we try to pride our-
selves on being. Let us show
the world how to do it. Let us
show them thatdthrowing,
shooting, burning, bombing
and censoring are not the
means to a peaceful end, but
that talking, listening and
honest soul - searching are.
Anyone who is interested in
joining Salaam - Shalom, the
Arab - Jewish peace project
please meet at 7 p.m. on Sun-
day in the fishbowl. Everyone
is welcome. -Libby Adler
September 30

Is everyone



AN OCTOBER 24 article in the Uni-
versity Record warns that the Nichols
Arboretum is "not a park." This "look
but don't touch" attitude is misguided.
It prohibits everything from traying to
picnicing while holding students and
other visitors responsible for any dam-
age to the Arb.
The University is rightly concerned
for the welfare of the Arb; people
should not be removing trees or litter-
ing. Concern, however, should not be
translated into moronic rules against

River is more of a long-term threat than
any surface damage inflicted by pic-
nickers. But neither of these groups has
chosen to take on the city or other up-
stream polluters ahead of the student
population. The position articulated in
the Record is aimed at visitors: "If vis-
itors think of the Arb as a living mu-
seum in which they own stock, they'll
instinctively know how to adjust their
Students already have a stake in the
Arb and they want to be able to choose

Il / I III (,Eta &F... BA(CEg' AT SAE
00 NATIONAL~. . . I

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