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April 04, 1989 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-04-04

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Tuesday, April 4, 1989

The Michigan Daily

4

Stand, remember and resist

igil

for

victims

of

racist

violence

By Nikita Buckhoy and
Kimberly Springer
April 4th marks the anniversary of the
assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.,
one of the most notable figures in U.S.
history. Some may ask, "Why a vigil for
a murder that occurred more than two
decades ago?"
April 4th has been chosen as both the
national and international Day of Action
Against Racism and Apartheid. At this
time of year our minds are usually filled
with fantasies of fun in the sun. But on
this day we are encouraged to remember
and honor the people of color who's beat-
ings and deaths serve as examples of the
brutality exacted against our people. We
must vow to learn about and never forget
our foreparents who waged battles before
us, for our benefit; and those who have
been silenced by repression and/or mur-
dered as a result of their commitment to
justice, and equality. We seek not only to
honor activists or people who are well
Nikita Buckhoy and Kimberly Springer are
members of the United Coalition Against
Racism.

known like Martin Luther King, Emmett
Till, and Malcolm X; but also to call at-
tention to the deaths of Eleanor Bumpers,
Vincent Chin, Michael Griffith and the
survival of Tawana Brawley.
Historically, millions of people of color
have been killed, beaten and dehumanized
at the hands of racists and fascists in, for
example, many African nations, the U.S.,
and Chile. Many of us have encountered
racist violence in our daily lives, as the
death of Mulugeta Seraw illustrates.
Seraw, an Ethiopian man, was beaten to
death right outside his home in Oregon,
by White Pride skinheads. Fannie Lou
Hamer of the Mississippi Freedom
Democratic Party and the Student Non-
Violent Co-ordinating Committee;
Chaney, Schwerner and Goodman, SNCC
and Congress Of Racial Equality student
organizers; for example, encountered racist
violence as a result of committing them-
selves to a set of principles which include
liberation of their people from domination
and exploitation. Chaney, Schwerner and
Goodman were murdered by southern law
enforcement officers and their KKK allies.
Our foreparents saw this violence as en-
demic in the system they challenged and
sought to change as they played their roles
in the struggles for civil rights, economic

equality and justice. This violence contin-
ues today, on an hourly basis, from mo-
ment to moment, as you read this article.
It is imperative for us to understand that
individual acts of violence committed by
the police, homophobes, skinheads, sex-
ists, and racists, have historically been and
are presently condoned by a system of
economic, social and political domination
of people of color. The comprehension of
these dynamics should inform our analy-
sis, and play a significant role in, and be
expressed our campus, community and
national organizing.
Not only is it an act of violence for a
skinhead to assault a person of color on
the streets of Ann Arbor, it is also an act
of violence for auto plants to close local
factories and move production to the
Philippines. The violence comes from
both exploitation of U. S. workers as well
as the removal of people's livelihood. The
fact that Filipino workers are paid signifi-
cantly less illustrates the true motivations
behind this practice; to exploit Third
World people by forcing them to work
under horrible conditions and for low
wages.
The United Coalition Against Racism
in conjunction with more than 20 campus

and community groups, will come to-
gether to pay our respects to the victims
and survivor's of racist violence.
We seek not only to honor and voice
our outrage and sadness for those who
have been murdered, but also for those
who have and continue to survive; nu-
merous progressive activists of the 60s
and 70s, Palestinians on the West Bank
and in Gaza, supporters of the Allende

Please join the Black Student Union,
United Coalition Against Racism,
University of Michigan Asian Student
Coalition, Free South Africa Coordinating
Committee, Minority Organization of
Rackham, Black Law Student Assoc.,
NAACP, Black Medical Assoc., and Black
Greek Assoc., among others at this Vigil
for Victims of Racist Violence. The vigil
will be held on the Diag, at 8 p.m., Tues-

4

'Our foreparents saw this violence as endemic in the system they
challenged and sought to change as they played their roles in the
struggles for civil rights, economic equality and justice.'

4

government in Chile, Jews after the
Holocaust; and those like Nelson Mandela
who have been silenced yet remain sym-
bols of long term, unwavering commit-
ment. Paying our respects, yes; but not
our last respects, for this is not a funeral;
nor is it the only action we must take if
we truly want society in which racism,
sexism and economic oppression no
longer exist.

day, April 4.
This year we must stand together to re-
member Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death
and all the others who have been and con-
tinue to be victims of racism and bigotry.
At the same time, we must seize the
legacy of the progressive struggle and
reaffirm our commitment to continue the
struggle against racist violence and other
forms of oppression.

4

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. IC, No. 126 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.
Ignorance and violence

A case in admissions at the University:

Where's ti
By Kathleen Mattic
This is a letter for my student con-
stituency, but especially President Duder-
stadt and the Admissions Board Officers.
I'm an LSA Junior here at the Univer-
sity of Michigan. I'm very proud of that. I
am also a Black female, and am proud of
that as well. I consider myself to have
been extremely fortunate, to find out about
this sort of place. It had been successfully
hidden from me for must of my life. I had
always know that there must be a way out
and that there was more to life for me than
unemployment, sprinkled with occasional
dead-end jobs. I can happily put all that
despair behind me now, for I know that I
am on my way. I realize that it won't be
easy, and these past three years indeed have
not been easy, but I do have the opportu-
nity now, the one that my father was de-
nied in the 1940s in rural Mississippi.
I've taken what I've learned, and I've
tried to spread it around. I've encouraged
my brother to think about college. That
was not easy however, even though he
sees me doing it, the idea is so very for-
Kathleen Mattic is a junior in the College
of Literature, Science, and Arts.

ie Michigan
eign to his everyday life. No one in his 1
neighborhood is planning, or even consid-
ering such a bold move. His school hasn't t
encouraged him in that direction. The day-t
to-day pressures he faces are quite different.
He doesn't have the money to dress like
his peers, and worries about not being t
cool. He doesn't drive the type of car the
kids in his neighborhood drive. If you cant
imagine being a teenager, and how it feelst
not to be in. According to my mother, t
some of his friends deal drugs. I believe 1
that he is trying hard to resist dealing or
using them. My question is how long will t
he be able to if he stays locked in that
world.;
He was finally convinced. I took him to
the Commemoration of a Dream opening
service at the Monroe Trotter House this 1
past January. I told him about the flag on
the moon, and how NASA is just bursting
with U of M alumni. My brother worked t
hard. He hasn't had a grade below a B in
the past three semesters, and he's taking
the most challenging math and science-
courses available at Truman High School.
His ACT and SAT scores were highly
competitive. He applied here. I told him to

Mandate?
be as honest as possible in his essay, I
said that they would understand. He wrote
that "I'm trying very hard to make some-
thing out of my life." His rejection letter
arrived Friday.
Needless to say, I am worried. I haven't
talked to him yet, but I sit and try to think
about what to say to him. Surely I'll be as
encouraging as possible. What was he.
thinking Friday night as he walked past>
the drug dealers driving new jeeps with
handfuls of money, and him with hiss-
rejection letter in his hand. The University
told him that they had at least four appli-
cants for each available spot, and thus he*
had to be rejected. What I really want to
say to you, Mr. President, and the Admis-
sions Board Officers, is this: that when
someone writes to a university which
brags on its commitment to diversity say-
ing that "there's a good possibility that I
could drown in society's evils,. but I'm
trying real hard to make something out of
my life, and would like the privilege of
obtaining an education from your fine in-
stitution, to use as a step towards making
a better life for myself," then please think
very carefully about how you respond to
him.

THIS WEEKEND, racist fliers were
placed on kiosks and shanties on the
Diag and the recently rebuilt anti-
apartheid shanties were once again torn
down. These acts demonstrate all too
clearly that racism on this campus does
not just exist on an institutional level
but continues to be manifested in the
violent acts of individuals.
On Saturday morning the Free South
Africa Coordinating Committee
(FSACC) rebuilt the shanties, which
have been repeatedly vandalized over
the last three years. By Sunday morn-
ing the shanties were destroyed. Mem-
bers of FSACC reported seeing
"hashbashers" violating the shanties,
and it is probable that the riots after
Saturday's Michigan basketball game
contributed to the destruction.
The shanties are a symbol of the in-
stitutionalized racism which oppresses
people of color in South Africa and
their destruction indicates, at the very
least, an appalling disregard for this re-
ality.
The distribution of the fliers was an
:overtly racist act. The fliers included
'statements such as calling for "white
pride" by celebrating "cool white
presidents,,all the kids we know are
our own..." and exhorting people to
bring "your handgun and shoot the first
five moolies you see who look like
they might ask for money."
In February "Nigger bitch don't slam
doors" was written on a student's door
in Stockwell and similar fliers were
distributed last year. These actions un-
derscore the racist climate which exists
at this university and the degree to
which the university's refusal to ad-
dress issues of institutionalized racism
exacerbates that climate.
Both direct racist actions and the de-
struction of symbols of the struggles of

people of color contribute to an envi-
ronment which is hostile and inhos-
pitable to people of color. Even if the
administration increases minority en-
rollment and minority faculty repre-
sentation, replaces racist admission
standards, and changes the curriculum
to include issues critical to the lives of
people of color, this will not be a
school which people of color will wish
to attend unless the overt acts of racism
end.
Shanties are destroyed and racist acts
are perpetrated because the majority of
the student population are ignorant and
unconcerned about the experiences and
struggles of people of color. They are
ignorant because the University rein-
forces eurocentric beliefs which ex-
clude the experiences of people of
color. This weekend's events demon-
strate the need for education around the
issues of racism.
It is clear that this education cannot
be overseen solely by the administra-
tors of this university. While the ad-
ministration has responded to the fliers,
in the past they have trivialized racist
actions.
Provost Vest, then Engineering
Dean, condoned the destruction of a
shanty by several engineering societies
on the grounds that it was "just a
I rank.".
It is vital to implement a graduation
requirement on racism such as the one
outlined in the original proposal put
forth by Professor Peter Railton. The
class must be overseen by people who
have expertise in and sensitivity to the
issues of race and racism rather than
people involved in the administration.
If President Duderstadt is serious
about his commitment to increase mi-
nority enrollment he will condemn
these racist acts and call for the original
graduation requirement on racism.

4

Letters.tothe.edito
I

Reader
responds to
letter
To the Daily:
I feel compelled to respond
to Randy Schwartz's column of
Monday March 13. Among all
nations there have been those.
willing to dissociate them-
selves from their own coun-
trypeople and slander their own
people. The Jews have been no
exception to this. But all too
often these same Jews who
once reviled their own have
themselves come to suffer the
consequences of the same anti-
Jewish malice which they em-
braced.
The following instance is a
case in point. In 1949 an Is-
raeli immigration official found
himself being asked to smug-
gle out a group of Iraqi Jewish
refugees then in hiding in Iran.
Like the Jews of Germany, the
Jews of Iraq had been success-
ful, prominent contributors to
their country's welfare. Like
the Jews of Germany they had
felt secure, and safely integrated
into their society. And like
Randy Schwartz, this particular
group of Iraqi Jews had actively

its victims. What mattered was
that they were Jews.
The Israeli immigration
officer expressed his doubt that
these Jews, Jews who had so
actively maligned and even
persecuted their Jewish coun-
trypeople would ever accept an
offer to emigrate to Israel. The
reply of the Iranian Jewish
businessperson who had hid
and provided for them was
revealing: "The fact is that
they're fleeing here. And who
do they come to for help? Their
Arab friends? The local
communists? No! They come
to their Jewish brothers, who
hide them and provide for their
needs. So you see, my son, if
you can get them out of here,
they will kiss your hands.
Because only in Israel can they
be communists to their hearts'
content."
I hope you never need a place
of refuge Randy Schwartz. I
hope you never find yourself
hunted and hiding in fear for
your life, hounded because you
are a Jew. But if you ever are,
there will be one nation will-
ing to forget all of the misgiv-
ings of the past, and welcome
you in with open arms: Israel.
- Laura Cibul
March 14
Wh erP frnm

cide where we are headed. Now.
is the time when we must take
a stand and determine our own
destiny. Now is the time when
we must decide where we are
going: chaos or community?
Once again, the hideous
beast of racism has reared its
ugly head on this campus. This
weekend, fliers were posted on
campus declaring the month of
April as "White Pride Time.
Among the events planned are
"a celebration of Archie
Bunker's birthday on April 16"
and "a declaration of April 23rd
as Bernhard Goetz Day," whites
are reminded "to carry their
handguns and shoot the first
five moolies they see who look
like they might ask them for
money."
Some may say that the flier
was only an "April Fool's"
joke. There is nothing funny
about a direct threat to lives of
any group of human beings.
There is nothing funny about
the evil in a person(s) heart
which would allow for such
hatred to spew forth from its
murky depths.
It must be made clear that
Black students do not ask for
special privileges or benefits
not afforded to every student on
campus; we demand that we be
treated with the same dignity

by whose blood this country
was built. It continues with
Fredrick Douglass, Harriet
Tubman, W.E.B DuBois,
Booker T. Washington, Mary
McLeod Bethune, Marcus Gar-
vey, Ella Baker, Medgar Evers,
Dr. King, Malcolm X, and
countless others.
We must never forget where
we come from and how much
sacrifice has been made for us
to get here. As Malcolm X
said, "So when you select
heroes about which Black peo-
ple ought to be taught, let
them be Black heroes who have
died fighting for the benefit of
Black people."
It is easy to submit to
one's mind that we have expe-
rienced another "isolated inci-
dent;" an act of a select indi-
vidual(s). Do not be fooled by
such a generalization. Do not
be lulled into complacency. It
is obvious that there is so
much work to be done on this
campus. It is crystal clear that
the forces which would defeat
us are still alive and kicking.
Black students unite! It may
not be easy for us to fight, but
if it were, it would not be
called a struggle. When you
fight to see this University
opened up to more Black stu-
--,..... .... _ _ ... . ll -

Editor's note: In the editorial
"Remember" (Daily 3/30/89) the term
"Judaicize" was used in reference to
Zionist colonization policies in Pales-
tine. Cite the Koenig Report (1976) for
the usage of the word "Judaicize."
Koenig was the Northern District
Commissioner of the Ministry of Inte-

rior. Also, according to Israel Shahak
- an Israeli human rights activist -
"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 employed by the Nazis,
Judenrein.

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