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November 22, 1988 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-11-22

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OPINION
Tuesday, November 22, 1988

Page 4

The Michigan Daily

6

re irbiwgAn A &d
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Open doors to students

Vol. Ic, No. 54

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.

r

Appeal for simplicity

SOCIAL SECURITY officials recently
proposed restrictions to their current
informal appeals process. The plan
Would curtail the number of cases ap-
pealed by people denied Social Secu-
rity, Medicare and welfare. The agency
loses more than half of its appeals and
is. burdened with a large backlog of
oases.
1This plan directly contradicts the
971 -Supreme Court ruling on
Richardson v. Perales, stating that
Congress thought the Social Security
appeals procedure "should be under-
standable to the layman claimant" by
placing "an emphasis upon the informal
rather than the formal." The intent was
io make it possible to appeal without
hiring a lawyer because the appellants
usually cannot afford counsel. They are
most often the elderly, the sick, the
disabled and the poor. Those that can
afford a lawyer would not so desper-
ately need to apply for the monetary
aid.
The motivation behind the change in
the appeals process was not only that
too many people were appealing, but
that the agency was losing more than
half of the appeals cases. They are,
however, overlooking the real reason
Why the system is flawed - most of
these people should not be denied So-
cial Security services in the first place.
The agency already needlessly harasses
these people by forcing them to go
through the appeals process. Now, it
wants to completely deny them access
to appeal the decisions of the agency
unless they can afford a lawyer or they
possess necessary legal knowledge.
The effect of this plan is similar to
that of Social Darwinism. The rules
would create a survival-of-the-fittest
environment for those who appeal So-
cial Security decisions. In this case, the
,fittest are those who are intellectually or
firnancially able to meet the require-
ments necessary to appeal. Natural se-
lection will weed out the rest, leaving
them to die or barely exist.
Although Social Security officials are

taking the heat, the blame should fall
on the shoulders of the Reagan and
Bush administrations. It is no coinci-
dence that this plan was introduced
shortly after the election. The White
House traditionally waits until after
presidential elections to announce con-
troversial policies which could hurt the
President or, in this case, the pseudo-
President, in the election. This plan can
be interpreted as the culmination of the
Reagan administration's attempts to
make Social Security cuts and a fore-
warning that Bush will continue along
this path.
The new plan is only part of a larger
problem - Reagan's policy of cutting
the national deficit by cutting Social
Security. He has been trying to indem-
nify the budget with social service cuts
so he can maintain excessive military
spending and tax breaks that are worth
$50,000 a year to each of the richest
million families in the country.
This proposal reveals the administra-
tion's duplicity about social security. A
month before presidential elections, the
Reagan administration approved a
twenty percent cost-of-living adjust-
ment to benefits, but has once again
started to incrementally reduce welfare
expenditures. This draft proposal is in-
dicative of Reagan's "let the rich get
richer and the poor get poorer" agenda.
Many of his cuts will not be realized
until Social Security withers away
years from now and deprives future
generations of their right to receive this
aid that they have been funding
throughout their working years.
The elderly should not have to suffer
from callous Reagan policies regarding
Social Security which move towards
reducing an already insufficient Social
Security program. The government
should be moving in the opposite di-
rection. The later years in life should be
enjoyed by everyone. The government
should return to the original intent of
Social Security - supplying benefits
on a no-needs basis; no need to show
need to receive benefits.

By Puerto Rican Solidarity
Organization, SALSA, Puerto
Rican Association, LANAMA,
HLSA
Last Friday, November 11, approxi-
mately 50 minority students, representa-
tives of the Socially Active Latino Stu-
dents Association (SALSA), Puerto Rican
Association, Puerto Rican Solidarity Or-
ganization, University of Michigan Asian
Student Coalition, Hispanic Law Student
Association, and other groups were denied
rights of access to President Duderstadt's
office in the Fleming Administration
Building by newly-deputized campus
security officers Leo Heatley and Robert
Pifer. Our only intention was to arrange a
meeting with President Duderstadt to dis-
cuss the shortcomings of the Annual Re-
port of the Office of Minority Affairs, and
to issue our demands in person, showing
by our numbers that we have much sup-
port from the minority student commu-
nity.
Friday, November 11, we felt more like
we were in Johannesberg, South Africa
than in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We were
met at the door by non-uniformed security
agents who quickly shut off the elevators
in the building, and who then proceeded to
block us from entering a stairwell leading
to the offices of administrators.
We in the Latin community condemn
this blatant conspiracy to deny us our
constitutional right of free expression.
This reprehensible incident bears witness
for several reasons:
1) A number of students were locked in
a stairwell against their will and at risk to
their lives, not to mention this was a
serious violation of Fire Code regulations
by "safety" officers supposedly trained to
protect students.
2) This is yet another example of the
university's unofficial "closed door" pol-
icy, where students in reality have no re-
course in disputing claims that this is a
"free" or "open" institution. As taxpaying
Michigan citizens or tuition-paying stu-
dents, we have every single right to go to
the office of the President of this univer-
sity to air our grievances at whatever time
we choose. The Fleming Building is sup-
posed to be a public building, with public

access, not a fortress where administrators
can hide from responsibilities.
3) What kind of example does this ac-
tion set for those who wish to take leader-
ship positions, as this university so prides
itself as preparing students for? Certainly
one can imply that, as a student and
henceforth as a citizen, one is disempow-
ered to the point where he/she must al-
ways acquiesce to police authority and the
system without question, regardless of
whether or not one has a legitimate
grievance.
The fact that nearly ten percent of the
Latino student community publicly
protested the Office of Minority Affairs
report is significant. There are many other
Latino students and minority organizations
who agree with SALSA that the report
should be recalled, but who could not at-

at the present time will cause further re-
sentment and impede opportunities for fu-
ture Latino representation in American
society. Will Latinos of the future find it
necessary to shut this university down, as
the Black Action Movement did in 1970,
to make our demands known, or get the
University administration to act on them?
The goal of a culturally diversified stu-
dent body is certainly laudable, but with
out minority student support the concept
of "diversity" is meaningless. To be fac
with locked doors at this time gives
Latino students the impression that the
University administration has something
to hide. Using campus security officers in
the same manner as last Friday forces
confrontation, and does not foster a cli
mate of trust and cooperation between
students and administrators. This unfortu-

'Will Latinos of the future find it necessary to shut this uni-
versity down, as the Black Action Movement did in 1970, to
make our demands known, or get the University administration
to act on them?'

tend the rally to voice their opposition. If
ten percent of the white students on this
campus got off their apathetic behinds to
protest detrimental University actions,
there would be turmoil on this campus
since thousands would participate.
Numbers and statistics are deceptive and
have a way of concealing the real situa-
tion. For instance, to increase Latino stu-
dent enrollment at the University of
Michigan by twenty percent is relatively
simple, just recruit 50-100 more Latino
students. Another real problem is retention
of Latino students, and since there is a
lack of support services for Latinos, it is
not difficult to see why this is the case.
We Latinos are skeptical of a university
administration that promised, over 15
years ago, to increase Black student en-
rollment to reflect the percentage of Blacks
in the population, and which has not even
remotely come close. Speaking from the
perspective of the fastest growing minor-
ity group in the United States, we feel that
ignoring or downplaying Latino concerns

nate incident and resulting bad feeling
could have been prevented simply by al-
lowing us our right of access to the Presi-
dent's office to arrange a meeting. Presi-
dent Duderstadt has repeatedly said he is
always willing to meet with students re-
garding matters of importance. Either he
does not regard our concerns as important,
or he is not always willing to meet with
students. Clearly, the actions of Univer-
sity safety personnel are contrary to the
words of President Duderstadt. We are ins
sulted by the lack of sensitivity displayed
on the part of the administration and cam,
pus security.
Many hispanics are familiar with or in-
timately acquainted with the struggle to
improve their circumstances in life. Many
hispanics and other minorities who attend
the University of Michigan are here
against incredible odds, we deserve respect
and encouragement when we notice mis-
takes and try to correct them, not police
repression and intimidation tactics.

I

.............**:**::::
Letters... to.the...editor..
.. . . . .

I

Student input at last

'THE SEARCH is on for the new direc-
tor of the Residential College but this
time the finalist's names are not kept
secret and the students have input in the
selection.
Although the final decision will be
made by the LSA Executive Commit-
tee, chaired by Dean Peter Steiner, the
decision is supposed to be made based
on the recommendation of a stu-
dent/faculty search committee, com-
posed of nine faculty and three stu-
dents. The students were elected by a
vote of the RC students last spring.
In addition to the students and faculty
on the search committee, the six final-
ists will each speak at "town meetings"
within the RC and then respond to
questions from the floor. All faculty
and students of the RC will be given
evaluation sheets to give their com-
ients to the search committee.

This attempt to democratize the Uni-
versity is positive. After the problems
with the secret search for the University
President, the RC search is being run
much more fairly and will truly respect
the wishes of the students and faculty
of the RC. But it would be better for
the RC and its students if their voices
were not mere suggestions but direct
votes for their top administrator in a
true democracy. Since true democracy
is not currently the method of choosing
administrators at the University, this
process is still a positive step to include
the voices of students. The RC wants a
director that will have the support of
the whole community; this type of se-
lection process will help to ensure that'
outcome.
Good luck to the RC students and
faculty to choose the best person for
the job as they see fit.

Daily
stance
one-sided
To the Daily:
It is not surprising to see
that the Daily supports the
resolution before MSA con-
demning Tagar's bus and in
particular the use of the slogan,
"Stop Arab Terrorism." This
blatant attempt to ride rough-
shod over the right to free
speech of those who take a po-
sition contrary to the Daily
editorial staff, in this case a
position in support of Israel, is
but another example of the
Daily's one-sided protection of
the right to free speech.
Supporters of the Palestinian
cause have a right to the public
expression of their views, re-
gardless of who those views
may offend. As an American
Jew, I feel the notion of
"Israeli terrorism" is offensive
and deceptive; it represents but
one more attack from those
who reject the very concept of
a Jewish state. Regardless of
the inherently racist undertones
which this view carries, I do
not question anyone's right to
make that statement. The right
to free speech is, in fact, one of
the free institutions which is
our country's glory.
In the same light, Tagar has
an equal right to put up the
bus, which stands in part as a
symbol against the war of ter-
ror which has been waged
against Israel not only by the
Palestinians, but by the Arab
states (with the exception of
Egypt since the Camp David
A ^^-.A.N 'r rnnr -- . L I .n

read "Stop Syrian, Iraqi,
Libyan, Saudi, al Fatah,
PFLP, DFLP, Islamic Jihad,
Abu Nidal Terrorism against
Israel," but somehow the mes-
sage would have been lost in a
way that it is not lost by "Stop
Arab Terrorism." Tagar did, in
fact, change the slogan because
it offended local Arab students,
but the fact remains that virtu-
ally the en'tire Arab world is
united by its desire to destroy
Israel. Thus the slogan accu-
rately depicts the position
which many support, in oppo-
sition to the war which the
Arab states have waged against
Israel.
Though the use of the term
"Arab" in the slogan can be
interpreted in two ways, as the
collection of Arab states (and
organizations like the PLO)
which are collectively known
as the "Arab world," or as a
reference to Arabs as an ethnic
group, it is clear that Tagar's
slogan is directed against the
former, the collection of Arab
states and organizations. It
would be not only racist but
absurd and nonsensical to
charge that all Arabs are terror-
ists, but it is neither absurd nor
racist to charge that almost all
Arab states are engaged in a
war of terror against Israel. To
deny Tagar or any group the
right to express such senti-
ments is illegal and un-Ameri-
can.
-Harry Nelson
November 18
Inaccurate
news
coveragye

to demand an apology from
Tagar for "an allegedly racist
act." The Daily also refers to
Tagar as a "pro-Israel group."
The true facts are quite
different than those presented
by the Daily. There were 50 to
60 members of the Palestinian
Solidarity Committee and other
Arabic and Muslim groups
present, but there were also
representatives from many
other anti-racist groups, such
as the United Coalition
,Against Racism (UCAR), the
Latin American Solidarity
Committee (LASC), the Free
South Africa Coordinating
Committee (FSACC), People
Organized for Women, Equality
and Rights (POWER), and the
Lesbian and Gay Rights Orga-
nizing Committee (LAGROC).
Tagar is not a pro-Israel group;
it is a group which supports
the extreme right-wing in Is-
rael.
Aside from the misleading
scenario presented in the news
article, the Daily also fails to
point out why this incident is
particularly significant. Most
of the previous racist incidents,
such as putting racist flyers
under Black students' doors,
were done anonymously.
Tagar, however, was proud to
label all Arabs as terrorists.
Having individuals such as
members of Tagar on campus
is frightening. It is not
surprising that the Daily chose
not to mention the number of
anti-racist groups opposed to
Tagar's actions and that the
Daily chose to belittle the
charges of racism, given the
manner in which the Daily has
covered news this semester.
-Julie Murray

of the tragic deaths of an Israeli
woman and her three childrert
in a fire bombing carried out
one day before recent Israeli
elections.
The bus had written on it;
"Stop Arab Terrorism." Asso-
ciating an ethnic group with
terrorism is an act of racismt
and should be condemned in no
uncertain terms by all people
on this campus who oppose
discrimination of all types
against any group. In addition,
I would like to bring up a few
points regarding the incident to
which the bus was dedicated.
A number of Palestinians
have been arrested by Israeli
occupation authorities for al-
legedly bombing the bus.
There has been no trial of them
to date. These, like all prison-
ers, are innocent unless they
are proven in court of law,
with due process, to be guilty.
Furthermore, even if confes-
sions are extracted by Israeli
authorities, they are invalid as
Israel routinely uses force, tor-
ture, and/or intimidation (take
your pick) in gaining confes-
sions from its Palestinian
prisoners. Without really
knowing, then, who is respon-
sible for the murders, those
who erected the bus have de-
famed the character of Arabs by
referring to them as terrorists
and assuming their respon-
sibility for the murders.
The political environment in
Israel is one that does not lend
itself to simple analyses.
Groups wanting to express a
particular perspective should do
so responsibly and represent
situations accurately. Tagar
should publicly apologize for
its offensive statement.

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