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February 22, 1989 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-02-22

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S

Pag I r-OPINION
Page 4 Wednesday, February 22, 1989

The Michigan Daily

40

e il4afn aiftj
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. IC, No. 102 Ann Arbor, M 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.

Anti- Semitism

calls false

f

Engineered image

PRESIDENT JAMES Duderstadt's ap-
pointment of Walter Harrison as the
executive director of University rela-
tidtis consultant demonstrates, once
again, the University's distorted em-
phasis on its image. Duderstadt con-
tracted Harrison a week ago Monday
and he is scheduled to assume his post
on April 24. In addition, Duderstadt
upgraded the position to give it "high
management priority." Duderstadt is
commercializing the University's image
to make his anti-student policies appear,
more appealing.
Harrison, president of a New
Hampshire university consulting firm,
has already shown his talent for deceit
and coverup tactics. He was instru-
mental in the writing of Duderstadt's
Michigan Mandate, a plan which
promises everything by the 21st Cen-
tury and delivers nothing.
The Michigan Mandate proclaims-
"diversity," "pluralism," and a "multi-
cultural University." This slick prose
goes unchecked while the University
prints lies about Latino students in the
srport from the Office of the President,
One Year Later.
Unchecked still while University ad-
missions rely on the class, cultural, and
gender biased SAT for selecting its
White male students. The ETS (the
company which makes and administers
the SAT) says that the SAT does not
predict a student's ability to succeed in
college, but, rather, their parents' in-
come. Likewise, the State of New
York no longer uses the test for college
admissions because it discriminates
against women.
And the Michigan Mandate promises
checks on racist and sexist harassment
while providing harassment policies
which only apply to students not to
faculty and administrators.
In an equally devistating propaganda
coup, Harrison persuaded CBS News

to broadcast from the Ann Arbor cam-
pus. This gave the administration a
chance to put its own image on national
TV.
In the process, CBS excluded cam-
pus activists from all but 30 seconds of
a two hour program, and even this spot
was taken badly out of context. The
people who brought national attention
to Michigan over racist incidents
(including some by the administraiton)
were excluded in favor of random and
reactionary students such as Mark Se-
lenger of the Michigan Review who put
forth the idea that racism is rare and
isolated on campus.
CBS naturally gave ample time to
Duderstadt and other administrators
and students who were paid by the
University such as a football player on
a full academic scholarship. This,
while the real issues such as a Black
woman professor being denied a posi-
tion at the behest of LSA Dean Peter
Steiner, were overlooked.
Keith Molin, acting Univeristy
Communications Director, said of the
appointment of a public relations di-
rector, "[Duderstadt] sees it as a way of
telling our story." Accurate.
Duderstadt chooses to hire a commu-
nications director to create the image he
wants, to tell his story, rather than
simply talking to the students.
A public relations director is anti-
thetical to the idea of direct and equal
communications. PR people create im-
ages, they don't listen to the way
things are.
Harrison has already proven his
ability to apologize for the administra-
tion. The University needs democracy:
student participation and administration
accountability. A public relations di-
rector is further commercialization of
the University at the cost of the issue
and to the students.

By Rashid Taher, Paul de
Rooij, Hilary Shadroui and
Hala Jardaneh
Hardly a week goes by without a new
brutal repressive technique used by the Is-
raeli army; barely a day goes by without
more Palestinians being killed. It is difficult
to remain silent when confronted with this
situation. Yet the few who have spoken out
against this unacceptable situation havebeen
met by a barrage of accusations of anti-
Semitism.
The supporters of Israel would like us to
accept that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.
The current insistence on this claim is a use-
ful ruse to deflect criticism by labeling the
opposition to Israeli occupation of the West
Bank and Gaza as anti-Semitic. Opposition
to the criminal na-
ture of Israeli occu-
pation and con-
demnation of Is-
rael's refusal to
negotiate with the
legitimate leaders ofn
the Palestinian - ;
people is not an anti-
Semitic stance..
The origin of the
problems in Israel s f m r
stem from current
political Zionism,
i.e., the ideology
justifying an exclu-
sive state for Jews.
Zionism cannotr
accept boundaries,Y
and it cannot recog-
nize the rights of the
Palestinians be- A Palestinian family
cause in so doing it would call into question
the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and
parts of what is Israel today. Opposition to
political Zionism is therefore consistent with
the search for an equitable solution for both
Palestinians and Israelis, and cannot be
equated with anti-Semitism.
A simple example should clarify ourpoint.
We could condemn the violence of the South
African army against the Black population,
and we could equivalently condemn apart-
heid, i.e., the ideology justifying an exclu-
Rashid Taher, Hilary Shadroui and Hala
Jardaneh are members of the Palestinian
Solidarity Committee. Paul de Rooij is a
graduate student in economics.

sive state for whites. It would clearly be
ridiculous if the supporters of South Africa
attempted to label this opposition as "anti-
white."
The supporters of Israel have stifled crit-
icism and debate by accusing their foes of
anti-Semitism. Some of those disturbed by
the current situation have been placed on the
defensive, and they have had to prove their
"non-anti-Semitic" credentials. This is
wrong. The burden of proof for their human-
ity lies with those denying the humanity of
the victims of oppression. It is time to turn
around the accusing finger and demand an
explanation for some of the disturbing as-
pects of the Israeli state.
According to the New York Times many
Israelis think of Arabs as less than human,
and they refer to Palestinians with the deni-
grating term of Araboushim (a term of abuse,

punishment and put under curfew or herded
into camps, and people are teargassed to
death, and prisoners have their bones bro-
ken, and houses of suspects are demolished,
and the announced policy of the government
is one of random beatings, shoot-on-sight
orders, and wholesale terror?
Last year, during the 50th anniversary of
Kristallnacht, many historic newsclips about
that pogrom were broadcast. Those scenes
are remarkably similar to the nightly Cana-
dian news footage from the occupied territo-
ries. The lesson to be drawn from history is
that one should not stand by in silence when
this type of savagery occurs. But Israel's
apologists seem not to have learned this les-
son that they so often proclaim.
In Against the Crime of Silence Russell
said, "It is the attempt to create empires that
produces war crimes because, as the Nazis
also reminded us, em-
pires are founded on a
self-righteous and
deep-rooted belief in
racial superiority and
God-given mission."
These words are still
appropriate today. In
its zeal to expand its
borders beyond those
recognized by U.N.
resolution 242, the
state of Israel has jus-
tified ever greater
o atrocities. Members of
4 the Likud and Labor
parties are now openly
debating the "transfer
a option," that obscene
euphemism for the
mass expulsion of the
house. population by means
of mass terror. This "option" cannot be im-
plemented short of a genocide. What are Is-
rael's apologists doing to avert this calam-
ity?
History should not be repeated; our voices
must be raised now to avert further tribula-
tion for the Palestinians and Israelis. Debate
and open dialogues have never been more
necessary than at this most ominous junc-
ture. It is time to move beyond recrimination
and find equitable and just solutions. How-
ever, the onus to change the tone of the
debate lies with the apologists of Israeli
brutality; thus far they have only "killed the
messenger;" it is time for them to deal with
the presented facts.

stands on the remains of their demolished
comparable to "nigger" or "kike"-
Chomsky, Zeta, July 1988). According to
Israel Shahak, an Israeli human rights activ-
ist, "The Hebrew press invented, or re-in-
vented, using Hebrew characters, a German
word, Arabrein, which means in German,
'clean of Arabs,' from the German word
employedby the Nazis,Judenrein, 'clean of
Jews."' As Bertrand Russell said "once one
believes colonial peoples to be untermen-
schen one has destroyed the basis of all
civilized codes of conduct."
Israel's apologists object to the compar-
ison of the Israeli army with Nazis. But what
other comparison can be made when an
entire population is subjected to collective

i -

BAKER
MANDELA nou
CENTER Invitation to an, pen, ouse

Tell your professors:
Support mandatory class

ON MONDAY, MARCH 6, the faculty
of the college of LSA will have their
first chance to openly debate the pro-
posed mandatory course on racism.
After more than a year of intensive stu-
dent and faculty organizing, the debate
could be settled in less than two weeks.
Students need to realize their role in
the final stages of this process by dis-
cussing the issue with their professors,
and urging them to attend the meeting
in support of the proposed require-
ment.
Where will be two proposals dis-
cgssed at the meeting: the first from the
st dent and faculty groups who origi-
nally designed the proposal, the second
an abridged proposal from the LSA
Executive Committee.
It is important to support the original
proposal for a number of reasons.
Fist, the proposal represents one of
thg early demands of a student
mpvement which in the last few years
has managed to bring the University to
confront its internalized hypocrisies.
Supporting the original plan honors the
work and organization involved in the
development of the requirement, and
pays tribute to the power of student
organizing on campus.
For the Executive Committee to put
it&~ own proposal on the floor this late
in the process calls into question the
members' commitment to real change
on campus. This is consistent with the
University's decision to support the
cancellation of classes on Martin Luther

As a first time, experimental class
and requirement, a mandatory course
on racism needs to be carefully moni-
tored by concerned and qualified peo-
ple of different backgrounds and roles.
Recognizing this, the original creators
of the proposal included provision for a
student/staff overseeing committee.
Under the Executive Committee's
counter-proposal, the course would be
administered by the Executive Com-
mittee itself, which has a dismal track
record of racist decisions in recent
years. This is not the kind of oversight
the course needs.
In addition to this oversight, the Ex-
ecutive Committee has diluted the
mandatory inclusion of a critical dis-
cussion of racism in the United States
today, an historical analysis of the
struggles of people of color against
racism, and an examination of the cul-
tural achievements of people of color.
These elements are vital to building a
real understanding of racism in our so-
ciety, and how it can be overcome.
The University has an opportunity to
set a major national precedent about the
future of our educational system. In the
world of image, posterity and face, the
mandatory course on racism represents
a crucial injection of reality.
The administrations's proposed
"diversity course" does not include the
complex concepts of racism and cul-
tural understanding necessary to ac-
knowledge the depth of the problems
our society still encounters.
Students and faculty should attend

By Rajel Patel
The United Coalition Against Racism is
pleased to invite you to the open house for
the Ella Baker-Nelson Mandela Center for
Anti-racist Education on Wednesday,
February 22, at 6 pm. The creation of the
Center represents some of the positive en-
ergy that has come out of the anti-racist
student struggle here at the University.
The Baker-Mandela Center is an
alternative educational center which deals
with the issues and concerns facing the
Black and Third World communities not
only in the United States but around the
world. It also deals with the histories of
people of color and their accomplishments
which characteristically are neglected in
the traditional learning institutions of this
country. The philosophy of the Center is
based on the belief that all of us have
something to teach as well as something
to learn - which is often in contradiction
to the traditional model of learning held by
people in this country. The Center was
created also as a link between students of
color and their respective communities.
The Center was named after two people
who have dedicated their whole lives to the-
struggles for equality and justice for all
people. Nelson Mandela has spent the last
25 years of his life in prison for his
participation in the struggle against the
apartheid regime. Few people, however,
have heard of Ella Baker even though she
was an integral part of the Civil Rights
Rajal Patel is a member of the United
Coalition Against Racism

struggles in this country. She provides an
excellent example of how the history of
people of color and women in this country
is distorted and forgotten.
Ella Baker was an organizer for the
NAACP and the YWCA and she was one
of the founders for SCLC (Southern
Christian Leadership Conference) and
SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating
Committee). She holds special importance
to us as she believed and encouraged
young people to take up the struggle,

project seeks to document the struggles of
Black women in the Washtenaw county
area by doing oral histories. Although oral
histories are not recognized as an impor-
tant mode of learning in institutions of
higher education in this country, we have
chosen them since they represent the
traditional way of passing information
within the Black community. There is a
video project documenting the history of
racism on campuses throughout the coun-
try.

0

'Ella Baker provides an excellent example of how the history
of people of color and women in this country is distorted and
forgotten.'

knowing that they were an integral part of
the movement for social change. She be-
lieved strongly in grassroots leadership and
participatory democracy. The philosophies
of both of these leaders have been the'
foundations for the philosophy of the
Center.
The Center serves as a resource center,
housing a growing collection of books,
pamphlets, journals, videos, etc. dealing
with the issues affecting Third World
communities. Since part of our
philosophy is that knowledge is power,
we seek to empower these marginalized
communities.
Secondly, the Center is involved in
several different projects. One of them is a
Black Women's Oral History Project. This

Currently the Center is hosting a photo
exhibition on "Racism and the Law:
The Scottsboro Case." This case docu-
ments the racism in the court system
which wrongfully convicted 9 Black men
for rape, even after one of the woman
originally accusing them came out and
said the story was fabricated. The Baker-
Mandela Center also hosts a weekly brown
bag every Friday on topics concerning the
Third World communities.
All members of the University and sur-
rounding local communities are invited to
the Open House from 6-8 pm tonight,
room 3 East Engineering Building. Please
join us tonight or visit the Center Monday
thru Friday 10-3 pm.

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Kittrip

Kittrie for his treatment of mi-
norities. Belcher listed fourteen

attacks and name calling on
Belcher rather than examining

formation to him rather than to
appropriate MSA liaisons to

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