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January 31, 1989 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-01-31

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OPINION
Tuesday, January 31, 1989

Page 4

The Michigan Doily'

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Steiner and others reject recommendation to hire Black female scholar:
0
Academitc Diversity

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Vol. IC, No.86

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.
Alled with apartheid

IN HIS first week of shaping the U.S.
Foreign policy agenda, President Bush
krinounced that military aid and diplo-
nnatic support to The National Union
for the Total Independence of Angola
(UNITA) - the "contras" of Angola
I-. will continue unabated through his
administration. UNITA leader Jonas
Savimbi, affectionately called a
'freedom fighter" by the right, was a
familiar guest in the Reagan White
House. George Bush is rolling out the
same bloody red carpet.
UNITA is a proxy army that owes its
existence and sustenance to the United
States and South Africa. It was created
in 1975, when Angola won indepen-
dence from Portugal, to be a channel
for U.S. and South African aggression
against the popularly elected govern-
rrient of Angola. As the Angolan repre-
sentative to the United Nations stated,
4 UNITA was created from outside An-
gola, and is able to survive only be-
cause of the oxygen it receives from
Ireign forces."
"The U.S. has justified its aggression
aainst Angola by citing the presence
bf 50,000 Cuban troops in Angola.
Doublespeak at its best, the U.S. gov-
prnment has once again confused the
response with the cause. South African
U.S. aggression came first; the
;cuban troops, invited by the Angolan
;government, came second.
The aim of U.S. - South African ag-
gression has been to destroy the An-
golan economy. UNITA has tried to do
'this by using terrorist tactics against
rural villages and farms to force people
Doff their land. The economy has been
#hurt, resulting in a tremendous in-
crease in human suffering. The New
'York Times, in a conservative estimate,
-reports that there are at least 20,000
:civilian amputees - innocent vic-
tims- of UNITA land mines.
South Africa's terrorism against
Angola is not only designed to destabi-

lize Angola, but seeks to preserve
apartheid as well.The African National
Congress (ANC), which was banned
by the South African government, has
several training bases in Angola. As
Black liberation forces across southern
Africa have joined together, the United
States and South Africa have sought to
destroy them. Terrorism directed
against the ANC and Angola is one ex-
ample.
In addition, the strategy for main-
taining white domination over the
Black majority includes crippling the
economies of the frontline states
(Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe,
Angola) thus keeping them dependent
on South Africa. This dependency de-
ters some countries from showing soli-
darity with or support for the Black
liberation struggle within South Africa.
In United Nations resolution 435,
the resolution for Namibian indepen-
dence, South Africa tied its pullout
from Namibia to the removal of Cuban
troops from Angola. South Africa also
agreed to end all aid to UNITA.This
has major implications for the United
States, which already supplies over $15
million dollars in covert military aid to
UNITA annually. Taking up where
South Africa leaves off, the United
States and Israel (who has funnelled
arms to UNITA) will inevitably
increase their aid to UNITA.
For all of Bush's talk about a
"kinder, gentler nation," the ugly truth'
is that he is committed to imposing the
will of the United States by force and
violence on smaller nations. The
struggle in Angola has always been for
independence and self-determination.
The South African government
naturally sees Angolan independence as
a threat to white minority rule. Bush's
continued collaboration with South
Africa against Angolan independence
is, unfortunately, an all-too-clear
example of this administration's
foreign policy agenda.

Co-signed: Barbara Ransby, United
Coalition Against Racism; Sharon Hol-
land, Women of Color Constituency
Group, Women's Studies Program;
Michael Wilson, Black Medical Associa-
tion; Tracy Ore, Rackham Student Gov-
ernment; Jocelyn Sargent, Minority Orga-
nization of Rackham; Pam Kisch, People
Organized for Women, Equality and
Rights; Delro Harris, Minority Affairs
Committee of MSA; Kathy Yang, Asian
American Association; Daxa Patel, Indian
and Pakistani American Students Council;
Pedro Bonilla, Puerto Rican Solidarity
Organization; Pam Nadasen, Free South
Africa Coordinating Committee; Kathryn
Savoie, Latin American Solidarity Com-
mittee; Roderick Linzie, Sociologists of
Color; Susan Rhee, University of Michi-
gan Asian Student Coalition; Tracye
Matthews, Black Student Union.
The Department of Sociology and the
Women's Studies Program have been in-
volved in an arduous 18 month selection
process to identify a candidate for a joint
faculty position at the University. When
the two units finally agreed recently upon
a senior Black female scholar, widely re-
spected in her field, the LSA Executive
committee, chaired by Dean Steiner, in its
infinite wisdom, opted to summarily reject
that recommendation. This rejection was
made in spite of the fact that the candidate
is currently a respected member of the fac-
ulty at an institution ranked higher in so-
ciology than UM, has a prestigious grant
for training minority graduate students
which she would have brought with her to
Michigan, is widely published, gave two
well received lectures in Ann Arbor, and is
tenured in her current position.
Since it is crystal clear to us, and to two
committees of her peers, that this candi-
date was more than qualified for the vacant
position, coupled with the sad fact that
last year there was only one tenured Black
female faculty in all of LSA, we find this
unusual decision on the part of Dean
Steiner's committee, difficult to swallow.
This decision is also incongruent with the
President's publicity campaign around the
importance of cultural diversity, and his
own personal pledge to do everything
possible to realize that goal. Quite
frankly, this type of incident makes the
promises from the current administration
ring quite hollow. We feel this incident is
yet another example of the "unintentional"
and often unnoticed institutional racism
and sexism that Duderstadt has promised

to diligently uproot. He can begin digging
at the doorsteps of the LSA administra-
tion.
For the following reasons we call upon
the President to intervene and advise the
Executive Committee to reconsider its ill-
informed decision.
1. The search committees involved la-
bored long and hard to select the candidate
recommended. They compared her with
other possible candidates, read her work
extensively and tapped their own knowl-
edge of her field of research to make their
decision. In essence she was fully and
fairly evaluated by a panel of her peers, all
of whom deemed her desirable as a col-
league. The LSA Executive Committee,
many of whom are not even trained in the
social sciences, overrode that decision with

are inconsistent with the University's
pledge to do all possible to recruit and
keep quality minority scholars. Moreover,
because of confidentiality concerns and the
desire of rejected candidates to avoid
embarrassment, we fear that many more
cases like this have occurred tacitly.
6. There are so few Black senior-level
faculty to work with graduate students and
provide support and role models for in-
coming junior minority faculty, this
rejection hits even harder.
7. Other minority faculty who may be
rethinking their continued tenure at the
University, are likely to be further alien-
ated by the callous maltreatment of this
applicant It sends a sad message about
how the University intends to handle mi-

'S

6

'This decision is also incongruent with the President's pub-
licity campaign around the importance of cultural diversity,
and his own personal pledge to do everything possible to real-
ize that goal.'

much less evidence at their disposal and
after much less intensive deliberation.
This is not only an unusual move on the
part of LSA, but reflects a great deal of
arrogance and short sightedness.
2. The decision seems to dismiss the
years of hard work by a female minority
scholar as low quality because it does not
conform to their obviously questionable
(since qualified colleagues have disagreed)
criteria.
3. It is also our understanding that the
single Black member of the recently
desegregated Executive Committee did not
participate in the decision or the vote re-
garding this candidate, because he is a
member of the Sociology Department.
4. Since it is rare for LSA to override
the decision of search committees, we are
highly suspect of the conscious and un-
conscious bias implicit in this case.
5. We know that there are other similar
cases in which minority candidates,
deemed qualified by many of their col-
leagues have been rejected by the Univer-
sity at various levels , two Black candi-
dates in economics and one Asian candi-
date in English. Again, these occurrences

nority faculty issues in the future.
8. It is ironic that a decision by two of
the units with some demonstrable success
in recruiting minorities has been overrid-
den by the LSA Executive Committee, a
group which has been charged with dis-
crimination in the past and has only re-
cently added a Black faculty member to its
roster.
9. Finally, this decision calls into ques-
tion whether the leadership of LSA has
learned anything from last years charges of
longstanding racism.
All of these concerns and issues lead us
to the very disturbing conclusion that we
have encountered yet another example of
institutional racism at the University. As
students concerned with this issue and as
potential benefactors or victims of how
the University resolves this and similar
issues, we demand that Duderstadt make
good on his promise to combat racism at
Michigan in all its forms, and to hold all
university units accountable in this regard.
He can start by intervening in this case
and calling upon the LSA Executive
Committee to publicly explain its seem-
ingly arbitrary actions and to consider a
thorough re-evaluation of this case.

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The above map shows the countries which make up southern Africa.
Daily Opinion Page letter policy
Due to the volume of mail, the Daily cannot print all the letters and
columns it receives. although an effort is made to print the majority of the

Daily
distorts
issue
To the Daily:
In addition to containing
several blantant falsehoods, the
editorial "Ethiopians Ex-
ploited" (Daily, 1/23/89) criti-
cized the motives of the
fundraiser which occured the
Tuesday prior. As the
coordinators of that project, we
feel compelled to respond.
The Daily used the Ethiopian
Jews as pawns in their on-go-
ing attack on Israel. It
manupulated a humanitarian
issue to suit its political
agenda
Israel was established 42
years ago as a haven for perse-
cuted Jews all over the world.
When she opens her gates for
Ethiopian Jews she is doing
her main task - helping Jews
who suffer merely for being
Jews.
The American Association
for Ethiopian Jews (AAEJ) is
not attempting to bring about
an "end to the Ethiopian
tragedy" by a "transfer of a
fraction of Ethiopia's popula-
tion to another part of the
world" as the Daily, not sub-
tly, insinuates Their concern
is for the Jews who live as a
persectued people in the land of
Ethiopia.
Today 10-15,000 Jews re-
main in Ethiopia. They are
nrnominantlv cnmmunity of

co-signator of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights
of the United Nations, how-
ever, Ethiopia is obligated to
abide by the clause "permitting
and assisting the unification of
families separated by migra-
tion."
Ethiopia is currently at war
with rebels in the northern
provinces of Tigre and Eritrea.
Fighting often carries over into
neighboring Gondar, putting
the Jews of Gondar in a precar-
ious position. They become
endangered not only by the war
but by the preventing of emer-
gency food deliveries along the
one main road to Northern
Gondar.
Currently about 18,000 Jews
of Ethiopian descent reside in
Israel. The majority of them
have relatives remaining in
Ethiopia. Parents are separated
from children, brother form
sister, husband from wife.
While the immigrants, many
of whom are orphans, struggle
to learn how to use electricity
and indoor plumbing, they
have to cope with the separa-
tion from their families. It is
virtually impossible to know
of their relatives' whereabouts
or well-being.
The Jewish community in
Ethiopia needs our help. Those
who participated in the meal
sacrifice or donated their time
or money should be com-
mended
-Jeff Levin
Melissa Silverman
Sue Aronowitz
Ta.u.., Id

"Praise for the PLO" (Daily,
1/12/89), written a hostile anti-
Israel article.
A careful analysis of clauses
in the editorial reveals bitter
anti-Israel sentiment support-
ing violence and Israel's over-
throw. Paragraph one: "In a
concession to Secretary of
State George Shultz's
newspeak...," paints the recent
PLO statements as a political
maneuver to gain U.S. favor,
not action directed at coming to
terms with demands which will
lead towards peace, either those
of the U.S. or Israel. In the
second paragraph the PLO is
further "commended for their
political pragmatism," by the
editors. Further in the third and
fourth paragraphs the PLO's
recent actions of accepting
U.N. resolutions 242 and 338
and renouncing terrorism are
referred to:
"Nonetheless, in a classic
example of victim blaming,
they (PLO) are now asked to
give up even more...sacrificing
many of the PLO's fundamen-
tal objectives..."
The first clause shows ed-
itorial contention over the
"sacrifices" the PLO has made.
The second unequivocally
demonstrates editorial resolve
in Israel's destruction. By
defining Arafat's recent state-
ments, which many have con-
sidered a move towards peace,
as a compromise of a
"fundamental objective," the
Daily has aligned itself with
the most extreme and hostile
anti-Israel forces.

parties' including Israel 'to ex-
ist in peace and security' and
'totally and absolutely re=
nounces terrorism."
Salah Khalaf: "'The U.S.
can stop now (with negotia-
tions) if they think we (th
PLO) will cease attacks on Is-
raeli military targets.
(Arafat's second-in-command).
The Daily here boldly tries
to slam Israeli politics (which
have been hollering about PLQ
ideological inconsistencies) by
first showing us how Yasser
Arafat wants peace, which well
he might, and then promising
Israel continued assault throughi
Khalaf.
To the extent that this edito-
rial reveals hostility towards
Israel's U.N.-affirmed right to
exist it should be considered
reprehensible. The manner in
which it does this and other
things is, however, neither re-
sponsible nor honest and cer-
tainly not in the spirit of
peace.
-Yariv Houvras
January 17
Unethical
editorial
To The Daily:
In a recent editorial, you ac-
cused the genuinely
humanitarian act of bringing
Ethiopian Jews to Israel as be-
ing a disguise to oppress
Palestinians. Regardless of
your vies on the Palestinian
issue, it was totally unethical
to cite the Ethiopian Jew pro-
iar. n -axi arf %_n1,A

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