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January 25, 1989 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-01-25

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The Michigan Daily:

Page 4

Wednesday, January 25, 1989


By Herb Hall and
Anne Martinez
On January 16, 1989 the University, the
nation, and the world celebrated the birth
of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In addition,
many members of the University ac-
knowledged Diversity Day. The King hol-
iday, as most of us know, was a salute to
the man, his struggle and his vision of
unity. For African Americans and Latinos
at the University, it was a renewal of our
declaration of unity. As the so called
"diversity" at this university, we have no
need for Diversity Day. The vision of
unity, for us, is not limited to one day.
At the University, King's birthday "jes
grew" into the Martin Luther King
(hyphen) Diversity Day anomaly. Why
was there a need to amend King's Day?
Was the fear that students would demand a
C6sar Chavez Day or a Malcolm X Day
the motivation for turning MLK Day into
Diversity Day? If so, Diversity Day be-
came a way in which to reduce the birth-
day of this great African American to
something less than his agenda of unity.
The student leaders designed an agenda to
keep Duderstadt from diluting this day and
reducing its intent to, perhaps, a fashion-
4ble event. On January 16, Happy Birth-
Jay was the ticket!
The celebration of King's birthday is the
sruggle for unity. The glory of this day is
Herb Hall is a Rackham graduate stu-
ent. Anne Martinez is a LSA senior.

. 16:
greater than the idea of Diversity Day.
Unity is not the administration's agenda.
Unity belongs to students, gay males, the
homeless, alumnae, workers, faculty, les-
bian females, non-students, males, greeks,
females, alumni, and other participants.
Any one of these people is a minority; and
any two are representative of diversity.
Diversity is not pretentious, but the idea
of a diversity day, of pretending to actually
suspend sexism, racism, and homophobia,
or pretending to include ethnic minority
scholars and artists for a day is preten-
tious. Was the administration's observance
a commitment to the idea of diversity, or
to the day? We believe a commitment to
the idea of diversity would enhance the
university's future; a commitment to the
day only, however, encourages selective
amnesia tomorrow.
Diversity Day was created to include
ethnic minorities and themes of diversity
otherwise excluded from the University's
agenda on a day-to-day basis. Would a
more appropriate name be Inclusion Day?
By Inclusion Day, we mean to indicate a
day during which Latinos, African Ameri-
cans, and other ethnic minority groups are
included in this agenda. The University
was no more or less diverse on January 16
than on any other day. The day was obvi-
ously meant to appear inclusive from the
way in which ethnic minorities, from
elsewhere, were invited to temporarily fill
the ethnic void on campus. On Inclusion
Day, did ethnic minorities, long excluded
from American history, culture, text-


books, lectures, and daily conversation, (at
last) gain due recognition? The illusion of
Inclusion Day is over. Inclusion Day and
its observers are gone. For us, it's busi-
ness as usual, meaning the struggle
against sexism, homophobia, and racism.
Who are these groups that are represen-
tative of this diversity, and how are we to
identity their presence? The ethnic
"minorities" the University "discovered"
are: the Native Americans, the Hispanics,
the blacks [sic] and the Asians. The Uni-
versity is not exegetic in how it chooses
to identify these groups.


until 1989 that the administration is ready
to acknowledge those who precluded the
University? We believe the administrative
observance was designed to enhance noth-
ing but its own image. Are we in fact ob-
serving these peoples - ethnic minorities
- as some sort of bizarre discovery? It
seems strange, suddenly being discovered
by the University and being dubbed
"diversity". Thousands of years of dis-
parate histories reduced to "diversity".
On January 16, the people who were
united brought something with them. An
understanding, at least, of what the real

'Why was there a need to amend King's Day? Was the fear
that students would demand a C6sar Chivez Day or a Malcolm
X Day the motivation for turning MLK Day into Diversity

racism, intolerance, and ignorance will be
replaced by the fever of unity. Again,
unity is not an administrative agend 9
unity is students' activity.
What are we to think of Inclusion Day,
now that it's over? What are we to think
of the University, now that the Latino and
African American scholars and artists have
left and returned to their homes? Now that
the campus has observed diversity, what
can we expect the University to know
about us, about Latinos and African.
Americans? Can we expect to be identified
by the administration as we identify our-
selves? Can we expect to be acknowledged
for our histories, our struggles, our
uniqueness from centuries past through
today? Can we expect to come across "The
Chicano Movement" and "African Ameri-
can women and gender politics" in thb
next course guide that comes out? Can we
expect even one single Latino faculty hire?
Can we expect African American staff ins,
positions other than custodian? Can we
celebrate ethnic diversity in the Fleming
Building or only in Building Operations?
Inclusion Day should not be the only
measurement for the presence of Latino or
African American scholars. The "U-M'
scholar-for-a-day" must be a supplement,
not a substitution for a vibrant, ethnically
heterogeneous faculty, staff, and student
community. We should never again have
to ask "Who are the African Americans?"
We should never again have to ask "Where
are the Latinos?"

Who are today's Latinos and African
Americans? The African Americans today
are descendents of twenty African inden-
tured servants in Jamestown, Virginia,
circa 1600, and other African freepersons
and slaves, who followed them into
America's slavocracy. Today's Chicanos
are the descendents of the Mexicans who
were already present and settled in Califor-
nia by the time Anglos fell upon Ply-
mouth Rock. Are today's African Ameri-
cans and Latinos, the descendents of these
early Americans, to be the beneficiaries of
Inclusion Day and its observance? Is it not

intent of this day was about. We can even
say that perhaps for this one day the racist
marched along side its object of racism.
People, all of us brought to this campus
from elsewhere, are the carriers of a selec-
tive bias. If not diagnosed and addressed,
this bias can grow into racism; for exam-
ple, and become institutionalized. The
virus of racism, intolerance, and ignorance
thrives at the University. Duderstadt pre-
scribed Inclusion Day - as if all the
members of the University's diverse
community were suffering from the
identical social disease. The virus of


beirb T~xtwn4~ .liI
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

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420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Vol. IC, No.82.

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.

Fraternity rush:
Don't buy the hype

FRATERNITY RUSH, the biannual
plague, is here again. Campus is
strewn with flyers encouraging would-
be frat men to come along and "become
a part of the picture," and to understand
that "membership has its privileges."
The kind of exclusivity represented in
slogans like these is exactly the kind of
exclusivity fraternities promote.
Though American institutions like fra-
ternities believe in exclusivity, and as-
pire to it, it is critical to examine their
existence based on who they exclude,
and why.
Like the college campuses where they
'are found, fraternities have a history of
white male supremacy. They were
designed by and for white men.
Women are now admitted to histori-
cally male colleges, and sororities -
originally called fraternities for women
now exist. Some people of color are
now admitted to historically white col-
leges and fraternities. Yet change on
individual levels has little to do with the
institutionalized exclusion fraternities
.and colleges practice.
Until World War Two, the charter of
one fraternity stated that a requirement
for membership was "men of full
Aryan blood". As a result of Hitler's
use of the word Aryan, and the impli-
cations he attached to it, the charter was
amended to read "white Christian
men." And in the fifties, when
fraternities first came under scrutiny for
being racist institutions, the charter was
again amended to read "men in keeping
with the traditions of the fraternity." In
keeping with the tradition of full Aryan
The kind of evolution this particular
charter underwent is exemplary of the
evolution of fraternities, and the stan-
- -- .e

tional change is going to occur, these
standards must be replaced with stan-
dards inclusive of all people, not ex-
clusive of virtually all people.
Fraternities, through their exclusiv-
ity, establish networks which are ina-
cessible to women and people of color.
Because frat men go on to become
"leaders" these networks continue.
Those in the know benefit, while ev-
eryone else is marginalized. It comes
as no surprise that 95 percent of the
people in Congress are fraternity
It is no coincidence that at a time
when the University is taking increas-
ing control in the lives of students, and
becoming increasingly restrictive, frats
are thriving. Because they are "off
campus" frats are not under the juris-
diction of the student harassment pol-
icy. Music and demonstrations on the
Diag are allowed for one hour a day,
yet fraternities can pollute and litter the
community with screaming parties and
plastic beer cups until dawn. Commu-
nity awareness attempts like spray
painted slogans on sidewalks or
shanties on the Diag are called
'eyesores' and washed away and torn
down while offensive frat advertise-
ments - like "Get A Heart On"-
hang from trees and stick to benches,
rails, bark, walls, sidewalks, chalk-
boards, bulletin boards, kiosks, doors.
It is not possible to walk across the
Diag and avoid the rush signs, yet ev-
ery day people ignore the significance
of the shanties.
Like the University, fraternities ex-
clude more people than they include.
Both institutions choose to do so be-
cause they believe in the classist notion
that exclusivity implies higher quality.
Yet they still want us to helieve that

In defense
of Farley
To the Daily:
As graduate students of soci-
ology and economics who have
been associated with Professor
Ren Farley through courses,
dissertation committees and as
trainees at the Population
Studies Center, we find that the
accusations of racism and sex-
ism printed in the Michigan
Daily in December are incon-
gruous with our knowledge of
Dr. Farley as a researcher,
teacher and individual.
Professor Farley has spent
most of hiscareer examining
aspects of race and gender; in
so doing he has helped bring
the study of these issues into
the mainstream of sociological
inquiry. Students have benefit-
ted from his enduring interest
by having courses offered in
which race and gender differen-
tials are discussed dispassion-
ately and objectively. In our
experience, no racist or sexist
remarks or incidences have ever
been attributed to Professor
Farley. We find the manner in
which he was publicly ma-
ligned in the Daily not only
inappropriate, but damaging to
the pursuit of scholarly re-
search and teaching in these ar-
We wish to express our sup-
port and appreciation for Pro-
fessor Farley, and hope that
this incident does not drive him
from the kind of effort which
produced his excellent recent
book, co-authored with Walter
Allen, The Color Line and the
Quality of Life. Anyone read-
ing this book would be forced
to question the validity of the
accusations against Dr. Farley.
It is especially saddening to us,
living in a society in which
racism and sexism continueto
have a strong foothold, that a
man who has devoted his career
to focusing our attention on
these areas through his careful
scientific research, should be
the ill-chosen target of this at-
-29 Population
Studies Center Graduate
students January 12

the instigation of coup at-
tempts across the African con-
tinent, it is incredible that the
Opinion Page staff can still
find it in them to declare the
United States the aggressor in
this most recent clash between
American and Libyan aircraft.
The assertion that the United
States was somehow preparing
to attack Libya's disputed
"pharmaceutical" plant is in-
sulting, and absurd. The en-
gagement between the Libyan
and American aircraft came
some 70 miles north of Libya's
coast, in international airspace,
and over 500 miles from the
Libyan chemical weapons plant
at Rabta. Above and beyond
this the American aircraft in-
volved in the clash were not
even equipped with an air-to-
ground capability. More amaz-
ing still is the suggestion by
the Opinion Page staff that the
two Libyan jets were unarmed.
It is clearly evident, even to
apprentice aero-engineers such
as ourselves, that the plane de-
picted in the photographs
printed by the Daily is a MiG-
23 Flogger armed with two air-
to-air missiles on its under-
wing pylons, and another two
on fuselage hardpoints. This is
supposed to be a newspaper,
not a vehicle for advancing it
staff's political agenda
irrespective of the facts.
Aerial encounters occur be-
tween U.S. and Soviet-Bloc
aircraft all the time, and with-
out incident. But there are cer-
tain rules that are understood
and followed. Of course we'll
shoot down a pair of Libyan
jets that ignore five warnings
to keep their distance. As for
the alleged "pharmaceutical"
plant, that is a separate issue.
We will only add that both
American and British intelli-
gence agencies have indepen-
dently verified that Quadafi in-
tends to use the plant for
chemical weapons production.
There is a difference between
being critical of certain U.S.
policies, and being anti-estab-
lishment to the point of blind-
ness. There is a difference be-
tween being liberal, and being
stupid. Our compliments to
the Daily's News staff for
sticking to the facts.
-John Blow
Aa..r e ..n

opinion on misconceptions.
Particularly upsetting was the
caption under the photographs
taken from the American
fighter planes. The caption
read, "Is this evidence of
Libyan terrorism? Draw your
own conclusions. The State
Department did." This imma-
ture attitude is something I
might expect to find in a scan-
dal sheet at the grocery store.
This is not the type of
journalism that should be en-
couraged at the University.
The inference in the caption
is that the pictures are blurry.
Of course the pictures are
blurry. These photographs were
taken from real fighter planes
engaged in real combat. We
cannot expect photographic
documentation produced under
such circumstances to be as
clear and breathtaking as the
film Top Gun.
In spite of the crudity of the
pictures, the average person can
see that a jet aircraft is the
subject, and that there are cer-
tain objects hanging from the
wings. I do not claim to be an
expert on Soviet-built
weapons, but I can guess that
these objects are missiles de-
signed for air-to-air combat.
Expanding on this point, the
American planes were ap-
proached by the Libyans in a
hostile manner. The Libyans
maneuvered their planes as if
they were attacking. Our pilots
were forced to respond in self-
defense. This situation is anal-
ogous to pointing a gun at
someone and switching the
safety off, which would inar-
guably be considered by a sane
person as a threatening move,
and would most definitely
cause that individual to act in
his own best interest.
The point here is that there
is no reason to believe that the
downing of those Libyan
fighters had anything to do
with terrorism. The Daily, in
fact, tried to create a new issue
out of a story that apparently
was not exciting enough to
begin with. The smug, smar-
tass caption under the pictures
was clear evidence to me that
the author did not put a great
deal of thought into this edito-
rial. It served very well as an
insult to my intelligence. I
would exnect a newsnaner from

frustrated and angry because the,
posters are put up in areas n'ot
designed for advertisement. II
see posters on benches, on the
sidewalks, on the shanties, on
wastebaskets, on the signs of
buildings such as the Graduate
Library, and taped onto they
outside wall of the Natural Re-
sources building in the form of
a fraternity symbol.
I also find posters on they
handrails of the bridge by
CCRB, on the handrails of the
Graduate Library, on light
poles, taped to the back of'
trees, on the doors of Mason;
Hall, and in the bathrooms of~
Residence Halls, even after no-
tification by Housing that the'
fraternities cannot post in the
bathrooms. Nor do I forget the
31 large signs tied to the trees,
of the Diag.
Try this: sit in the Diag forO
one minute and look at one
tree. Are trees created to have
ropes all over them?
The posters, large and smaffi
are unattractive and disturbing.
to me. They usually end up on
the ground as litter. Being
posted in non-designated areas
makes them litter anyway. The
advertisements look like gar-
bage and ruin the appearance of
I wish that people would;
post advertisements and notices
for any organization where
posters are supposed to be
posted: on kiosks and bulletin
boards. I also wish that when
rush is complete, represen-
tatives of the fraternities would
take down all of their posters a
and save them or dispose ofO
them properly. I wish for a
clean campus.
-Keith Vahlbusch
January 17

The Daily Opinion
page is actively seek-
ing women and mi-
norities who are in-
terested in writing
editorials or doing
investigative work.
Tha , i rv;ir.r,.s.o


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