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February 02, 1989 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-02-02

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OPINION

Page 4

Thursday, February 2, 1989

The Michigan Doily

,b £iribgjn &tilg
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. IC, No. 88 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.
rteCBS coverage
,.Protestcoverage

THIS FRIDAY the University wel-
comes CBS News to campus. CBS has
chosen the University as the site of a
live broadcast on "collegiate issues."
However, the visit should be recog-
nized for what it is: a propaganda coup
for the University administration.
Our esteemed president will be happy
to have positive press coverage of the
University. This will be an excellent
chance for him to plug his adored
"Michigan Mandate." In recent years,
Michigan has suffered serious blows to
its national image through student
protests of racist and sexist University
policies and the administration's inade-
quate response to these issues. CBS is
here to revive Michigan's sagging im-
age.
CBS, like other mainstream media, is
not an objective news source. It is
owned and run by corporate America
and that bias is reflected in its news
coverage. Asked about CBS news, the
watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy
in Media (FAIR) said: "CBS, with rare
exception, frames the news in a fashion
duly obedient to White House and State
Department descriptions of the political
terrain. Sourcing depends largely on
official ("friendly") sources, with the
dissenting view neglected. What is fo-
cused upon is also revealing - for ex-
ample, the murder of one polish priest,
Popieluszko, has the newsworthiness
over tens of murders of Latin American
priests."
CBS' coverage of the University will
not differ significantly from its cover-
age of other stories. Content and
sources will be manipulated to let those
in power come out looking good.
Sources have been picked on their
ability to support the University's
image and the content of the program
will shy away from issues sensitive to
the University, such as institutionalized
racism. Issues CBS will cover include

personal testimonies about the
existence of racism, stress, alcohol
abuse, safe sex, and "our generation."
However, CBS' commitment to ex-
amining an issue such as racism in
earnest is suspect at best. While the
other issues to be discussed are rele-
vant to the students' lives they are not
the ones that students have been
organizing around on this campus in
recent years.
The panel which is supposed to be
representative of different student
voices on campus will include Mark
Salinger, Editor in Chief of the Michi-
gan Review (the right wing monthly
funded by Ford Motor Corp.) and
football star John Kolesar, a full schol-
arship football player.
Students on the panel will respond to
a pre-set agenda. CBS has decided that
it knows better than the student body
what is important to students. More-
over, the broadcast will be from a
locked room. This control over content
and environment demonstrates CBS'
wish to homogenize powerful campus
issues. By de-emphasizing grass roots
organizing of students in response to
the University's institutional racism,
CBS' coverage will attempt to improve
the University's image.
The stage will be set with the actors
CBS and the administration have cho-
sen; the administration will write the
script and CBS will produce. CBS will
naturally interview president Duder-
stadt and athletic director Bo
Schembechler, but no one from
Concerned Faculty or Faculty Against
Institutional Racism. If CBS wanted to
cover the real issues, it would turn to
the students and activist organizations
in an open and unadultered atmosphere
and ask.

Honor
By Kimberly Smith and
Cathy Cohen
February is the month that those outside
the Black community celebrate Black
History. However, as Black students, it is
our responsibility to celebrate our
history year-round, every year. To
celebrate Black History is to recognize our
history as a history of resistance and
struggle against the forces that have
sought to exploit and oppress us.
To celebrate Black History is to
understand Frederick Douglas' and
Sojouner Truth's vision of an America
free from racism and sexism and realize
that this goal is yet to be achieved. To
celebrate Black History is to believe as
Ella Baker believed "that no man [or
woman] is free until all men [and women]
are free." It is to honor Martin Luther
King Jr.,who fought for economic as well
as social justice, and to honor Malcolm X
whose words empowered Black youth to
challenge racism. To celebrate Black
History is to honor our parents, our
grandparents, great-grandparents and so on
for their efforts to liberate our generation
and future generations from the
enslavement of racism.
The only way to honor them and to
celebrate Black History is to continue the
struggle.
The fight against racist oppression and
exploitation is at a critical point, and our
generation is the key variable. We must be
the impetus and guiding force for change.
Change takes place whether or not we
consciously take part in guiding it. Each
year, larger and larger percentages of
Blacks and other people of color are
enslaved by chains of economic
deprivation. As you read this letter, the
gains of past struggles are being rolled
back through quiet, seemingly
unimportant Supreme Court decisions on
Civil Rights issues, and access to jobs and
education is continually decreasing for
people of color. These are the changes that
take place when we sit idle.
However when we struggle to guide the
direction of change, we can force the
Kimberly Smith and Cathy Cohen are
members of the United Coalition Against
Racism.

Black I
change to be toward social and economic
justice, rather than racial and economic
disparity. When five Black high school
students, the Little Rock Five, stood up
for their right to attend an illegally
segregated public school in Arkansas in
1955, it forced a change toward racial
equality and equal educational access.
When Black students decided to sit down at
segregated lunch counters until they were
served or arrested, it forced a change toward
social justice. When Black and white
students set up Voter Registration
Campaigns and Freedom Schools to
challenge Mississippi racism in the

History
the struggle for access to education. It is
our aim to make "Education a Right not a
Privilege." We believe that this is the type
of change that can have tremendous
positive impact upon the lives of people
of color, now and in future generations.
Education determines the quality of our
lives. Yet access to education is
determined through "black box" methods
evaluated by boardrooms full of rich white
men (and a few tokens). Thus the lives of
generations of people of color are
determined by a privileged group of
individuals who, throughout history, have
fought to keep Blacks and other people of

a0

'When we demand education as our right , we echo the rev-
olutionary demand made by our brothers and sisters since the
days of slavery, and we honor their efforts to bring about this
change.

1960's, it forced charge toward political
empowerment for Blacks. History has
shown us that we have the power to guide
the course of change through struggle.
When we demand education as our right,
we echo the revolutionary demand made by
our brothers and sisters since the days of
slavery, and we honor their efforts to bring
about this change. It is by continuing the
-struggle that we truly celebrate Black
History and honor those who have
struggled before us.
The United Coalition Against Racism
and the Ella Baker-Nelson Mandela Center
for Anti-racist Education are continuing

color underprivileged socially and
economically.
The university system, by
systematically excluding certain groups, is
one of the key ways this society maintains
the status quo, with white men in top
level positions and people of color
disproportionately in the lowest paid,
lowest prestige positions. Thus, when we,
as people of color, come together today to
demand education as our right, we are
demanding a radical change in an
institution of oppression that has
maintained a pyramid of racial disparity for
200 years. Join us and continue the
struggle.

Throughout Black History
Month we will be sponsoring
several events geared at
increasing our understanding of
the political issues that impact
upon the Black community. This
is an attempt to further the
dialogue on these issues and raise
our consciousness to levels of
political action. On Saturday,
Feb. 11 we will host a Black
History Month Forum on "Issues
Confronting the Black
Community." Discussion topics
include: the war on drugs, the
Black family, "Mississippi
Burning", educational access and
the struggle for Southern Africa.
This event will be held in the

Michigan Union Anderson room
from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. On
Thursday, Feb. 16 students from
an alternative high school in the
South Bronx, NY will present a
video oral history project on the
Civil Rights Movement in the
Michigan Union Anderson room at
6 p.m. Beginning Feb. 6- Feb.
24, the Baker-Mandela Center will
house a photo exhibit on Racism
and the Law: The Scottsboro
Case. In addition, UCAR meets
every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the
month at 6:00 in the Michigan
Union, and the Baker-Mandela
Center in open Mon-Fri 10:00 -
3:00pm. and is located in Rm #3
East Engineering building.

10

I

Letters to the editor...

Is mandate rhetoric?

THE LSA Executive Committee's re-
jection of a Black woman candidate for
a senior position at the University is a
clear confirmation that President Dud-
erstadt's pledge to substantially in-
crease the number of minority faculty at
the University is, like the rest of the
Michigan Mandate, merely empty
rhetoric.
The much-publicized Mandate
promises, as "Objective 1," to
"Substantially increase the number of
tenure-track faculty in each underrepre-
sented minority group over the next
five years." It is a necessary and
commendable goal, especially con-
sidering the University's miserable
track record on minority recruitment
and retention. Last year, only 3.1 per-
cent of LSA faculty was Black, and
there was only one Black woman
tenured professor. Two Black profes-
sors in the Department of Sociology,
Aldon Morris and Walter Allen, are
leaving this year.
The conspicuous lack of minority
faculty at the University confines stu-
dents to an education - represented
almost exclusively through the eyes of
white people - which provides a very
limited and elite perspective of the
world. Recruitment of minority stu-
dents can not be effective if there are
virtually no people of color in leader-
ship positions at the University.
Assuming that Duderstadt's Mandate
is more than an attempt to improve the
University's image, the opening of a
joint senior faculty position in the So-
ciology Department and Women's

a place to which minorities would nat-
urally flock" - the Executive Commit-
tee attempted to justify its highly un-
usual overruling of the search commit-
tees' recommendation with the excuse
that her researching activities had de-
clined. Associate Dean John Cross has
stated that the only regret he has about
the search process and decision was the
"very unfortunate imposition on Chuck
Vest's time..."
Steiner, Cross and Vest are three se-
nior administrators who, according to
the Mandate itself, are responsible for
carrying out its stated objectives. But
apparently, these men do not take the
Mandate seriously. Their role in the fi-
nal decision to prevent a qualified
Black woman from joining the
University faculty calls into question
the administration's purported
commitment to fulfilling the Mandate's
The Executive Committee claims its
decision was based on the candidate's
failure to meet the standard criteria.
Evaluations from both search commit-
tees indicate that this is untrue.
Because of the Executive Commit-
tee's irresponsibility, both the Director
of the Women's Studies Program and
the chair of the Sociology Department
are calling for a reconsideration of the
decision. Traditional standards, created
and used primarily by white men,
however, are problematic in them-
selves. Criteria historically used to
evaluate white, male candidates should
not necessarily be applied to women
and minorities. The University must
develop an alternative set of criteria,
and the Executive Committee must not
be allowed to use the current

No home
court
advantage
To the Daily:
My wife and I have been at
Illinois for the last eight
losses. Sure Michigan should
have lost some of them, but
the home court advantage
helped Illinois win the rest.
Michigan does not have that
advantage. The recent Indiana
game is a good example of
how the fans are taken out of
the game at Michigan. Let me
explain - Michigan went on
an eighteen to seven run
against Indiana, to take the
lead. The crowd was going wild
during the following time out,

but the cheering was drowned
out and stopped by the 1000-
plus-watts amplification of a
guitar player, joined by a
"Buddy Rich" type drummer
and then the cheer leaders, all
doing the "HOKE POKE." The
crowd just cannot compete.
Our number one fan tries to get
the crowd back in the game by
running ar und the arena trying
to get the wave going, but the
ushers stop this. The guitar,
drums, and dance are great, but
should be done at Hill Audito-
rium.
Now let me give you the
same situation at Illinois. Illi-
nois goes on a run, the crowd
goes wild, the band sustains
this with the Budweiser song,
the cheer leaders get on two
levels and run around the arena
raising their hands to get the
wave going and each group is

lead by an Illinois flag, the
ushers do not stop this, but
help by getting the fans out of
the way. 1 -
That, my friends, is a home
court advantage.
- Cliff Morris
1/25/89
Steiner
defended
To the Daily:
Jonathan Scott's brief, unin-
formed, and sophomoric attacks
on the research of Dean Peter
Steiner and Associate Dean
John Cross would be unworthy
of response were it not for their

extremity. We feel compelled
to point out that Professors
Steiner and Cross have both
been formally and informally
reviewed on many occasions by
their colleagues and the chairs
of the Department of Eco-
nomics, and never has their
competence in economic re-
search been doubted. Both are
superb economists who deserve
their high reputation in the
discipline and of whom we,
their colleagues, are extremely
proud.
-Harvey E. Brazer
Edward M. Gramlich
Saul H. Hymans
Richard C. Porter

Frank P.

Stafford
2/1/89

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