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April 03, 1989 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-04-03

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E

OPINION
The Michigan Daily Monday, April 3, 1989 Pae4

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. IC, No. 125 Ann Arbor MI 48109
Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All ott ar
cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion
of the Daily.
To vote or not to vote?
All registered voters are eligable to vote in today's city elections. However, when
the influences of powerful elitist institutions and stuctural-inequities in the United
States are considered, the effectiveness of representing the concerns of people
through bi-partisan politics is questionable. Yet, exercising the right to vote can
serve as a small step towards political empowerment.

k4

I,

Vote agains
T:ERE ARE several good reasons why
University students should vote against
Ann Arbor mayoral incumbent Gerald
Jermigan.
Jernigan has not supported low income
housing. He seem much more concerned
with the building of parking structures
than he is with legislation which would
require developers to allot a certain per-
centage of new construction to low
income housing.
He has opposed a citizens' review board
for the police, which would help facilitate
more accurate investigations of criminal,
and often racist, acts committed by the
Ann Arbor police. Currently, when
eyewitnesses to police brutality come
st wrd: vo
ANN MARIE Coleman is running unop-
posed in the first ward. She receives our
enthusiastic support and endorsement. Her
commitment to people, and especially to
women and people of color, is outstand-
ing.
With councilmember Larry Hunter,
Coleman implemented a program of
sensitivity training for the police depart-

-t Jernigan
forth to complain, they are entitled to
nothing better than an internal police
investigation. Jemaigan has been the most
adamant, on city council in insisting that
the police can do no wrong, and refuses to
take the issue of police brutality seriously.
Ray Clevenger, Jernigan's Democratic
opponent, has unfortunately opposed the
Headlee Amendment waiver, which would
allow minor property taxes to increase in
order to help resolve the problem of the
city budget deficit. He has also made some
unfortunate remarks opposing halfway
houses, which attempt to ease the re-
integration of prisoners into the
community, in general. Nonetheless it is
well past time for the end of the current
administration. -
te COlemanl
ment. Because of her concern for
maintaining low income housing in Ann
Arbor, Coleman has proposed a housing
commission for low income citizens in
which members would own all or part of
the building they lived in.
Coleman's commitment to people also
makes it clear that she will protect the so-
cial services sector of the city budget as
the city continues to face a budget crisis.

CkUALTvC5 UJWNQi5 WOUL A ID OV T &0 JA AEP E ' T,

I~LL f5EF ?T TOE
TE HAD VVQN. tTS5

UCAR does not support amended class provosal
Changes violate proposal's intent

2nd ward: vote Levine

IN THE Second Ward, both incumbent
Republican Terry Martin and Democratic
chollenger Jesse Levine have made
opposition to increasing property taxes a
centerpiece of their campaigns.
But that is one of the few similarities of
th ,two. Martin is likely the most conser-
vaoive member of city council. Levine, a
LS&kA senior, is more liberal.
For example, Martin stands against even
considering mandatory recycling, though
there is a consensus in the city that such a
I hrd w ar:
In the Third Ward, Nelson Meade is the
better candidate as between him and Donna
Richter. Meade was president of the
Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation
Commission for 14 years, and added five
major new parks during his tenure. To his
credit, he has supported the Headlee
amendment waiver (unfortunately his fel-
low Democrats Kolb, Spayth, and Cle-
venger do not) which would allow the city'
to raise property taxes by more than the
rate of inflation. Although other measures
that have been proposed to close the
deficit, such as a proposed parking ticket
amnesty and sale of some city real estate,
would provide some short term revenue,
Meade is correct when he says that an in-
crease in property taxes beyond inflation
will be necessary to close the gap.
He supports mandatory recycling and is
willing to consider legislation requiring
developers to set aside a percentage of new
housing for low income units. However,
4th ward
In the Fourth Ward, Democrat Christo-
pher Kolb is the clear choice over incum-
bent Jerry Schleicher. Kolb, a graduate of
the University's School of Natural Re-
sources, is well-prepared to address the
city's landfill crisis. He also supports a
civilian review board for the police and
opposes the deputization of campus secu-
rity officers.
Unlike his opponent, Kolb has sup-
5th ward:
Vera Spayth, the Democratic contender
for the fifth ward, is the candidate most
likely to support a progressive agenda.
Snavth has cearly shown her commitment

program is needed to lessen the burden on
the city's overflowing landfill. Her only
alternatives are a inevitably 'ineffective
voluntary recycling program and a high-
tech incinerator, which could only work in
the too-distant future.
Levine on the other hand, understands
the need for a mandatory recycling pro-
gram, for environmental reasons, and be-
cause the program could bring a grant
from the state which would be helpful in
solving the city's budget crisis.
vote Meade
he does not support a citizen review board
for the police, and this is disturbing.
Perhaps the major difference between
Meade and his Republican opponent is
that he would vote more often with the
Democratic caucus, and if nothing else,
this would probably mean fewer cuts in
human services as the city tries to narrow
its budget deficit of $1.6 million.
However, if we are to be realistic as to
what a Democratic city council would of-
fer Ann Arbor, it is unfortunate that the
Democratic party does not offer a clear al-
ternative to the Republicans' support for
whatever business, and especially real es-
tate interests, dictate. Especially with re-
gard to such crucial issues as homeless-
ness, the increasing gentrification of Ann
Arbor, and a rational development policy,
the best we can hope for is that a Demo-
cratic city council will be more responsive
to popular pressure for progressive poli-
cies.
vote Koib
ported the proposed privacy ordinance,
which limits landlords' ability to make
unwanted, intrusive entries on tenants'
premises. This ordinance is essential to
protecting tenants rights. It is also sup-
ported by the other Democratic candidates
and some of the Republicans; Schleicher's
opposition to this ordinance is truly inex-
cusable.
vote Spayth
taken in sacrificing the needs of the poor
to .the business community's apparently
insatiable appetite for parking structures.

.By the United Coalition
Against Racism
In the Fall of '87, in -the midst of an
upsurge of racist violence, the United
Coalition Against Racism (UCAR) de-
manded that the University adopt a
graduation requirement on race and racism.
UCAR students worked with members of
Concerned Faculty, Faculty Against Insti-
tutional Racism (FAIR), as well as faculty
at large for over a year to create the pro-
posal that was presented to the LSA fac-
ulty on February 6th. This proposal
specifically outlined the format this
requirement should take in ordet'to teach
students about how and why racism and
other forms of oppression still exist, and
to guarantee the input of faculty and stu-
dents of color.;
Unfortunately, this* proposal is no
longer on the written agenda for April's
faculty meeting. On March 7, this group
of faculty decided by a slim margin to
change important guidelines in tie origi-
nal proposal - changes that go against
the spirit of the original student demand.
This amended proposal has now been sub-
stituted for the original proposal that was
created out of the student struggles on this
campus.
One of the original requirements was for
a seven faculty-two student committee to
oversee the course. This committee was to
include one faculty member from the
Center of Afro-American and African
Studies, Latino Studies and American
Culture and Women's Studies programs;
two current or past teachers of the course;

'On March 7, this group of faculty decided by a slim margin to
change important guidelines in the original proposal - changes
that go against the spirit of the original student demand.'

two students from the Baker-Mandela
Center and the Michigan Student Assem-
bly; and two faculty at large.
Though an oversight board remains, the
new proposal empowers Dean Steiner (the
LSA Dean and very individual that anti-
racist forces have repeatedly struggles
against) to appoint faculty from whichever
department he chooses. This amendment
continues the cycle of institutional racism
on the administrative level, as the Dean
can bypass faculty of color and women
faculty to be on this committee. Theo-
retically, this oversight board could be
composed entirely of white men with little
or no history of studying or struggling

the origin and persistence of racism, anal-
ysis of other forms of oppression, expo-
sure to the experiences of people of color
in this country through literature of other
means, and. discussion of how to best ef-
fect change. Most importantly, UCAR
believes it is essential for this requirement
to have the interdisciplinary focus few ex-
isting courses have.
People of color have been marginalized
in almost every aspect of the University
experience and society at large. One goal
of the original proposals was not only to
challenge the University's racist structure
and practices, but to revise the way in
which courses and requirements are

against racism.
The amended proposal also allows cur-
rent courses that fulfill three of the six
criteria stated in the proposal to satisfy
this graduation requirement. Although it
can be debated which three of the six
criteria are the more important, we feel it
is vital that the course adhere to all six.
These criteria include a critical analysis of
the concept of race, description of histori-
cal and contemporary forms of racism in
this country, competing explanations of

administered. Rather than .employing the
institutional structure which perpetuates
racism, UCAR feels that the course must
be rooted in the faculty and student -com-
munities most affected by racism, and
should be informed by 'the collective
ex'periences and insights of those commu-
nities as well.
Though we applaud the sincerity of the
efforts made by this group of faculty.to
push this proposal forward, we can not
support the amended proposal.

Stop relocation of- the Navajo

By Jeffrey L. Takacs
'Congress shall make no law respecting
an establishment of religion or prohibiting
the free exercise thereof;' (First Amend-
ment to the United States Constitution.)
'In our traditional tongue, there is no
word for relocation. To relocate is to move
away and disappear.: (Pauline Whitesinger,
Navajo elder.)
Land is at the center of Navajo religion
and life. Traditional Navajos practice their
religion as their ancestors have for cen-
turies by performing ceremonies and mak-
ing prayer offerings at sacred places where
they are able to communicate with the
Creator. When a Navajo child is born, his
or her umbilical cord is buried near .the
home, creating a sacred and lifelong bond
between the child and the land. The bury-
ing of the umbilical cord symbolizes the
transition from nourishment by one's nat-
ural mother to Mother Earth.
The bond between each individual and
Mother Earth is nurtured through life as
knowledge of sacred offering places is
passed on from generation to generation.
These offering places include springs,
young trees, rocks, hills, burial sites, and
areas where ceremonial herbs are gathered.

trying to settle what was' presented to
them as an intertribunal land dispute,
(which Hope Elders deny, but the Bureau
of Indian Affairs - B.I.A. - insists is dan-
gerous) ordered some 13,000 Navajo Indi-
ans to move off their ancestral homelands
in the Big Mountain' area of Arizona. To
force them to comply with the relocation
order, Congress authorized the partitioning
of the Navajo-Hopi Joint Use Area (part of
the Navajo and Hopi Reservation in Ari-
zona) and a 90% reduction in livestock,
the mainstay of Navajo life and culture.
Court orders stopped all construction and
mandated a barbed wire fence dividing the
land formerly shared by the two tribes.
Now attorneys representing 45 of the es-
timated 250 remaining Navajo have filed
suit to block any further relocation. It just
so happens that the 'relocatees' live on top
of 19 billion tons of coal - a resource that
Peabody Coal and other mineral compa-
nies seek to control and develop.
This is not the first time that the
Navajo have been at the mercy of energy
corporations and the federal government.
Before 1960, the Kerr McGee corporation
opened 42 uranium mines and 7 uranium
mills on Navajo lands. Radiation levels at
one mine, the Shiprock, were 90 times

Because the Navajo. religion is so
closely tied to the land, governmental ac-
tion which forces the Navajo people from
their land violates their right to religious
freedom as guaranteed by the Free Exercise
clause of the First Amendment to the
Constitution.
Forced relocation completely denies the
Navajo's right to practice their religion.
*Moreover, because there are several other
solutions which would resolve the land
dispute without requiring forced relocation,
the Relocation Act is unconstitutional.
To protect the right of traditional
Navajo's to practice their religion, attor-
neys from across the country have joined
.together to prepare a class action lawsuit
based on the legal protections of the First
Amendment, the Religious Freedom Act
of 1978, federal treaties and international
human rights laws.
The 'In Defense of Sacred' Lands' law-
suit, known as Jenny Many Beads v.
United States of America, was filed in
federal district court in Washington, D.C.,
in Jan. 1988. Since then, the lawsuit was
transferred to the federal courts in Arizona.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the
Navajos who wish to remain on their an-

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