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March 29, 1989 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-03-29

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E

OPINION

'The Michigan Dailyv

Wednesday, March 29, 1989

Page 4

4

Pbr £kbljau Bailj
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynar d St

Affirm

multiracial heritage

Vol. IC, No. 122

Ann Arbor MI 4$109

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All oti ar
cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion
of the Daily.

By Karen Downing
This campus is in the midst of change.
We have been devoting the last year trying
to make our campus a more diverse and
comfortable place for people of all races.
We have hosted programs celebrating
Black heritage, Asian awareness, Women
of Color, etc. All of these wonderful pro-
grams have helped raise awareness of the
wealth of culture and knowledge that
comes with being a diverse community.
These programs help people of color to
share their culture and be proud of their
heritage.
There is one group of people that, thus
far, has not become vocal on this diverse
campus. Ironically, this group is perhaps
the most truly diverse group of people
found in our society; our numbers are
growing, yet we remain silent because
even today we are considered shameful by
many, and best left unrecognized.
We are the products of people who have
ventured across the racial lines: we are
people of multiracial heritage. We come in
all shapes and shades. You may not
recognize us, because our skin color usu-
ally "tags" us by others who are trained to
think "Black OR white OR Asian OR
Hispanic OR Native American OR..." We
belong to two or more racial groups, yet
do not quite identify with any one group.
We are not celebrated by a special day or
week, instead we are often greeted with
averted eyes or humiliating questions such
as "what are you?"
Karen Downing is a Master's student in
the School of Information and Library
Studies.

There is not even a way to describe our-
selves which is not offensive or true. The
numerous forms we are asked to fill out at
this University ask us to choose between
being a) Black, b) white, c) Asian, d) His-
panic, e) Native American, or the dreaded
f) Other. What is "Other"? "Other" means
nothing to someone who is half Black and
half white. "Other" means you are again
silenced; you don't count of you don't fit
in categories a through e. When we are re-
ferred to at all, we are called "mulatto"

choose?
Make no mistake with the "double"
problems that conic with being biracial or
multiracial come many advantages. Be-
cause we are scarred, we are compassion-
ate. We can usually relate to all races and
ethnic groups with this compassion. We
are used to being multi-cultural; it is
natural to us.
Soon there will be many more of us.
The increase in interracial marriages
proves that we will be growing in num-

'We belong to two or more racial groups, yet do not quite
identify with any one group. We are not celebrated by a special
day or week, instead we are often greeted with averted eyes or
humiliating questions such as "what are you?"'

(derived from the Latin word for "mule" -
very complimentary) or "mixed" (as if we
are mixed-up or shaken - also very com-
plimentary).
And then there is the racism we catch
from both sides of the fence. I have sat
through more humiliating situations with
white acquaintances (who were not aware
of my Black heritage) making heartless
comments about "those Blacks" only to
have to tell them how hurtful they have
been. The comments are painful enough
when strangers make them, but when
people I look up to or admire say these
things, it eats me up. Similarly, I have
had Black acquaintances insist that I am
not "really" Black. So which group should
I identify with most? Why do I have to

bers. We are the future, and the future will
be more diverse than ever.
Anyone who is interested in discussing
issues that are relevant to being multira-
cial or involved in an interracial partner-
ship is welcome to attend a workshop on
Friday, March 31 at 12 noon-1:30pm in
the Wolverine Room at the Michigan
Union. All students, staff, and faculty are
welcome to attend. We will discuss issues
such as "passing," positive self image,
how others view you, instilling a positive
identity in our multiracial children, etc.
We will kick off a monthly discussion
group at the workshop. Refreshments will
be served. Please join us! For more infor-
mation, please contact Karen Downing
(764-4449).

_SusanMieleas
A mother mourns the death of her son, killed by contras in northern Nicaragua.
Stop U.S. aid to terrorists

Duderstadt lends University name to Jewish National Fund:
inner funds discrimination

WHILE CENTRAL American leaders
M have recently made significant progress
ntowards peace in the region, the United
States government has been busy
working on an aid package that under-
mines this peace process. The Bush
Administration reached a tentative ac-
cord with Congress last week for a $45
million aid package to the contras. The
agreement provides money for food,
clothing, medical supplies, and other
so-called "humanitarian" or "non-
lethal" aid to maintain in operation an
army responsible for the kidnapping,
torture and deaths of over 25,000
Nicaraguan citizens.
Beyond the fact that "humanitarian
aid" to a military force is a contradic-
tion in terms, this move illustrates the
Bush administration's inability to move
beyond the miserable Central American
foreign policy established by Ronald
Reagan, to define a coherent and con-
structive regional policy. The Reagan
administration succeeded in setting the
terms of the debate in Central Amenca
- the goal being to topple the Sandin-
istas - the only question has been
what tactics would best accomplish this
goal.
Bush, unable to forge a more posi-
tive foreign policy, has continued
support for a contra force discredited
for both its brutality and military
incompetence. The only new aspect of
Bush's approach is the propaganda
about a "bipartisan consensus," as
Democrats now eagerly jump on the
contra aid bandwagon without so much
as a murmur of dissent. In
spearheading this "compromise"
package which lends undeserved
legitimacy to a terrorist force, the
Democrats reveal themselves to be no
better than their Republican
counterparts. As Democrats now move
to close ranks with the Republicans,

they expose the reality beneath this
"bipartisan consensus" - the one-
party system that reigns in this country.
The proposed aid package, which
would maintain the contras in their
Honduran camps until February 1990,
violates the spirit of the accord recently
reached by the Central American
leaders in Tesoro Beach, El Salvador,
which included a plan to dismantle the
Nicaraguan contra force. And U.S.
pressure on Honduras to obtain its
compliance in allowing the contras to
remain within its borders are a blatant
denial of that nation's sovereignty.
The Bush administration claims that
it is necessary to support the contras to
keep pressure on the Sandinistas to
ensure that free and democratic
elections are held. Of course, what
Bush and Congress really want is to
maintain the contras in fighting
condition so that they will be prepared
when the outcome of the 1990
Nicaraguan election is not to their
liking. After all, the United States has
refused to recognize the legitimacy of
the Sandinistas, elected in 1984
elections deemed by all international
observers (except the U.S. State
Department) to be among the fairest
elections ever held in this hemisphere.
If the Bush administration and
Congress are interested in peace and
democracy in Central America they
should take the following steps: stop
all aid to the contras (except for peace-
ful repatriation); comply with the
World Court ruling that the United
States pay war reparations and end the
illegal trade embargo against
Nicaragua; support the process of
peaceful negotiations among the Cen-
tral American leaders; and normalize
diplomatic relations with the elected
government of Nicaragua.

By Eric Jackson

On Sunday, April 9, there will be a
$150 per plate fundraiser for the Jewish
National Fund at Ann Arbor's Campus
Inn. The honored guest is to be Carl
Pursell. Among the luminous sponsors
are pizza baron Tom Monaghan, our
county's premier polluter Charles Gelman,
Ann Arbor Mayor Jernigan, Eastern
Michigan University's acting president
Roy Wilbanks, Judge Kenneth Bronson,
and not the least, the University of
Michigan's own President James
Duderstadt. The invitation lists Wilbanks

Israel, its main work was the purchase of
land for Jewish settlers in Palestine.
By Israeli law, all land confiscated from
Palestinians who fled the 1948 fighting
was placed in the hands of the Jewish
National Fund. It came to pass that over
90 percent of Israeli land was in the fund's
hands. In 1959, a change in Israeli law
transferred most of the fund's land to other
Israeli institutions. However, according to
its president, the fund presently
administers over 17 percent of Israeli land.
Some of the fund's land is used for
parks. However, the better part of it is

Fund. They also build military outposts.
For example, in recent years they have
confiscated land from Druise peasants on
the Golan Heights to build army bases.
The invitation to the April 9 event boasts
of the fund's work building mitzpim, or
hilltop outposts, as well as roads to
service and connect them. A dollar for the
Jewish National Fund is a dollar for war
and oppression.
For public relations purposes, the stock
in trade of the Jewish National Fund is its
"plant a tree in Israel" appeal. Yes, they do
plant trees. Generally these trees are
planted where once there stood Arab
villages. This serves in the psychological
war against the displaced Palestinians,
whose ancestral hometowns have been
erased from the face of the earth, and thus
who are shown that there is nothing for
them to return to. This also serves to
destroy evidence which would tend to
negate the claim that the Israelis have
built upon "a land with no people for a
people with no land." It also puts a
benevolent green mask on the horror of
dispossession.

'By its size and "Jews only" rental policy, the Jewish National
Fund is one of our planet's principal discriminatory land-
lords.'

and Duderstadt in their university roles.
I think that it is inappropriate for a
university president to lend the name of
his or her institution, or for that matter,
his or her personal name, to the efforts of
the Jewish National Fund. While I am
sure that this position will get me accused
of anti-Semitism, it has nothing to do
with being against Jews.
The Jewish National Fund was founded
in 1901 at the Fifth Zionist Congress.
Prior to the establishment of the state of
Eric Jackson is a resident of Ypsilanti
and an EMU alumnus.

rented to Jews only on 49-year leases. By
its size and "Jews only" rental policy, the
Jewish National Fund is one of our
planet's principal discriminatory landlords.
Were there a "White National Fund" that
owned 17 percent of the land in the United
States and refused to rent to non-whites,
the Honorable Judge Bronson would be
hard pressed to uphold such practices if
they came before his court. Dr. Duderstadt
and Dr. Wilbanks would be ridden off of
their campuses on rails for lending their
names to such an enterprise.
Of course, discriminatory landlording is
not the only work of the Jewish National

When the Jewish National Fund
conducts a fundraiser, the opportunity
should be taken to protest its activities.
When public officials lend their names to
such activities, they should be criticized.
When the names of our universities are
used for such activities, everybody who
believes in human rights should cry foul.

4

Letters to the editor

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Ab
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UCAR's
conference
discriminated
To the Daily:
In Corey Dolgon's column,
"Vote far-right out of MSA,"
(Daily, 3/21/89), a defense is
made of The United Coalition
Against Racism's (UCAR) de-
cision to close some of its
conferences to whites.
UCAR should not have
closed the conferences to
'majorities.' Dolgon said, in
UCAR's defense, "Do sorori-
ties discriminate because they
don't permit male members?
Does the Engineering Honors

live together (generally) and
have parties together, etc. An
honor society selects people
who excel in a specific field.
But UCAR is an 'anti-racist'
activist group, and as such,
they should not have discrimi-
nated on the basis of race.
Some people have said that
"only some conferences were
closed," or "other groups dis-
criminate unofficially." Both of
these are cop-outs.
Even if only one conference
was closed, it's still wrong.
And even if it made no practi-
cal difference that they were
closed, 'anti-racist' groups are
extremely fond of symbolic
gestures. What did this one
signify?
Also, even if other groups

Zionist
paradox
To the Daily:
On March 20, an interesting
letter appeared on your editorial
page ("Let both sides be heard,"
3/20), signed by Nabil Khoury
and Hana Salah. The letter dis-
cussed the authors' feelings on
the latest debate on campus -
Zionism vs. Anti-Jewishism.
The authors' arguments expose
many questions which need to
be answered.
The authors defined Zionism
as "the expression of Jewish
national consciousness." I will
go one step further and add that

It is valid to argue that
Zionism's implementation has
flaws. This, however, does not
mean that Zionism is
"inherently racist and discrimi-
natory." This only means that
the Israeli government is not
perfect in its policy making.
There is a clear distinction be-
tween Zionism, the dream for
the Jewish conscious-
ness/homeland, and Israeli pol-
icy. The Middle-East debate on
campus should remain within
the issues - it should not rely
on cheap shots based on
ethnicity and heritage. Only
then can true intellectual debate
flourish and survive.

1 L

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Al

-Alan J. Woronoff
March 23

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