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April 05, 1989 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-04-05

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4

OPINION

Page 4
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. IC, No. 127 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.
aw School bo co

Wednesday, April 5, 1989

The Michigan Daily

4

Open letter to

Duderstadt

To President Duderstadt:
On April 9, the Jewish National Fund
(JNF)will be holding a dinner to award
Rep. Carl Pursell the Tree of Life for his
public service. The Jewish National Fund
is a discriminatory organization which
leases expropriated Palestinian land in Is-
rael to Jews. You, .as president of the
University of Michigan, have accepted the
position of Honorary Chair for the dinner
despite the JNF's violation of Palestinian
human rights.
Much of the land that the JNF leases
was confiscated from Palestinians by the
Israeli government in its efforts to "clear"
the land for Jewish settlements. In this
process, over 300 Palestinian villages
were completely razed and their residents
were forced to flee for refuge. Over this
stolen land, the JNF has been planting
trees to solidify Israel's control of the ter-
ritory in hopes that the world will quickly

forget the land's former owners. Recently,
the Israeli government has given the JNF
land seized from the Druze population of
the occupied Syrian Golan Heights; as
with all of its land, the JNF is leasing it
these lands exclusively to Jews. The JNF
has also helped establish military
outposts used by Israeli soldiers to main-
tain Israel's iron fist over the Palestinian
people in the Occupied Territories.
Since the JNF's discriminatory policies
regularly violate Palestinian human rights,
President Duderstadt should withdraw as
Honorary Chair of the dinner. The Tree of
Life to be awarded is a reference to trees
the JNF uses to secure Palestinian lands
for Jewish Israeli settlers. To the JNF, the
tree may symbolize life; to Palestinians it
represents disinheritance from their home-
land. It is not a symbol or an award a rep-
resentative from the University of Michi-
gan should endorse - which is precisely

what your presence accomplishes there.
You represent our University, and your
name appears without explanation
alongside that of the University on the
JNF invitation to the dinner. We call upon 4
you to be consistent with your promises
of a nondiscriminatory University by
resigning as the Honorary Chair of a
dinner symbolizing the stealing of
Palestinian land, and the subsequent forced
separation of Palestinians from their
homeland.
-Palestine Solidarity Committee
General Union of Palestinian Students
Palestine Aid Society
Palestine Democratic Youth Organization
El-Birah Palestine Society
Arab Student League
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
Muslim Student Association
*Latin American Solidarity Committee
Lesbian and Gay Rights Organizing Committee
Free South Africa Coordinating Committee
Student Organizations United for Peace
People Organized for Women, Equality and Rights
United Coalition Against Racism

ITHE UNIVERSITY of Michigan Law
School currently employs four tenured
woman professors, one of whom is
also the Law School's only Black
tenured professor. With about 37
tenured white men, the percentage of
women is less than 10 percent, and
people of color make up less than three
p-rcent of the tenured faculty.
To draw attention to the severe un-
der-representation of faculty who are
women, people of color, or openly
lesbian or gay in law schools, a group
of 35 schools have organized a national
boycott of law classes for Thursday.
Locally, the boycott is being spon-
sored by the Black Law Students Al-
liance, Hispanic Law Students Associ-
ation, Asian American Law Students
Association, National Lawyers Guild
and Women Law Students Association.
Aptly titled, "Unequal Treatment
Under the Law: Racism, Classism,
Homophobia in America's Law
Schools," the event highlights the irony
of an educational industry which claims
to teach and promote justice while
:excluding a majority of U.S. citizens
from its ranks.
The discrimination prevalent in the
nation's universities is especially ap-
parent in the more advanced colleges:
law schools, medical schools, business
schools. Law school statistics are in
themselves a worthy introduction to
our lopsided justice system.
Instead of attending classes, law stu-

dents should write letters to their pro-
fessors, explaining the nature of the
problem and why it must be addressed.
Students who must attend should wear
a black armband to show solidarity,
and tell their teachers and classmates
that business as usual cannot go on
while the problem goes unaddressed.
The University has been inundated
with Michigan Mandate rhetoric,
heralding the course of the University
towards a "diverse" future. But Presi-
dent Duderstadt has repeatedly stressed
the need for long-term, gradual goal
shaping rather than immediate action,
in an attempt to slow the progressive
movement of activist students on cam-
pus. In adopting such a strategy, the
administration denies the potential for
progress now. Change is a frightening
thing for people in power. This can be
overcome, however, if it can be made
clear that the political price of main-
taining the status quo exceeds the
benefits of planned delay. For this
reason statements such as the national
law school boycott are important means
of improving the climate for change.
If you're a law school student, con-
sider joining the boycott or taking up
the issue in class. The more reluctant
your professor and classmates are to
discuss racism, classism, sexism, ho-
mophobia and other forms of discrimi-
nation at the University, the more ur-
gent the need for that discussion.

4

4

4

Daily building attacked

ON THE MORNING of March 31, the
day after an editorial entitled "Remem-
ber" was printed to commemorate the
anniversary of Palestinian Land Day,
vandals broke into the Student Pub-
ications Building and spray-painted
"Long Live Israel," "Jew Haters Will
Pay," and "PLO Daily" on the walls.
Coming two weeks after the torching
of the shanty which symbolizes the
wretched living conditions of most
Palestinians, the violent act of spray-
painting should surprise no one.
Israeli violence and suppression of
Palestinian rights reverberate here in
Ann Arbor. The threat of violence
contributes to the current climate of
intimidation and hatred at the
University. The individuals or groups
responsible for this act could only. be
inspired by the desire to limit debate on
the issue of Palestine/Israel. Acts of
intimidation and terror, and illegitimate

accusations of anti-Semitism, are
designed to restrict discourse and
President Duderstadt has exacerbated
the problem by expressing concern for
only one side of the debate. When the
Daily was accused of anti-Semitism
because of its anti-Israel editorials,
Duderstadt saw fit to write, "A call to
reason, tolerance and civility" in the
University Record, as well as a letter to
the Daily expressing his "concern," and
warning the Daily to be more
"sensitive," and not to print material
which could be interpreted as offen-
sive. Where is Duderstadt's concern
for tolerance and civility now? He has
made no statement in response to the
destruction of the shanty or threats to
the Daily.
The possibility of a constructive fo-
rum around this issue is held hostage
by these attacks. Until a truly free and
open debate is realized, this process
will remain severely hampered.

I'
A Palestinian family (left) stands beside the remains of its home, destroyed as punishment-for participation in the intifada. Th
Israeli army destroys houses (right) in the West Bank. Over 300 Palestinian villages have been razed.
Lettersto the ditor..::::::4
;1 +:... ..J..

t t t ! -
t_ ' -- te

-
Kittrie
wrongly
acquitted
To the Daily:
The report by the MSA
Ethics Committee regarding
Zach Kittrie is flawed in sev-
eral respects. The committee
was charged with deciding
whether Kittrie had violated
MSA ethics rules and whether
he had undermined minorities
associated with MSA. I had
previously issued a report to
Student Body President, Mike
Phillips, denoting eight inci-
dents in which there was sub-
stantial evidence to implicate
Kittrie.
The report by the Ethics
Committee found that the evi-
dence which I presented was
wrong in two cases, and that
there was an ethics violation in
another case. The Committee
did find the information gener-
ally correct in five of them, but
that there were no ethics viola-
tions in these cases. The report
by the Ethics Committee cited
testimony from only one mi-
nority; I believe that the com-
mittee would have come to a
different conclusion if the
members had taken testimony
from more of the minorities
involved.
In the two cases in which the
committee found that the in-
formation which I had pre-
sented was false, the committee
based its decision on testimony
from white administrators.
They did not take testimony
from the minorities involved,

had embezzled $70,000 from
MSA. The committee did not
consider this an ethics viola-
tion. Finally, in the only case
in which the Ethics Committee
reported that it did hear testi-
mony from a minority, Kittrie
was alleged to have acted as
spokesperson. The person re-
ported to the committee that
the facts which I had stated
were true, and that I had missed
some incidents which would
have supported the charges of
racism. The committee reported
that further inquiry may be
warranted on this issue, but
that it did not support the
charge of an ethics violation.
The people mentioned in the
previous paragraph were unde-
niably undermined. Even ex-
cluding the two cases that al-
legedly contained falsified facts
(although we have to ask why
the committee did not take tes-
timony form the minorities
involved), we are still left with
a scenario in which Kittrie
undermined nine persons, six
of whom are minorities. This
figure only reflects the number
of people involved and not the
number of incidents. Given
that only about 20 percent of
MSA members are minorities,
the probability that at least six
out of the nine people would
be minorities is about three in
one thousand.
On the positive side, I can
state that the problems with
Kittrie seem to have ended ever
since the investigation began.
Unfortunately, other members
of MSA whose treatment of
minorities is much worse than
Kittrie's have become more
nrnn. nant

ton, D.C., I've often wondered
whether or not students from a
predominantly white middle
class institution possessed any
political consciousness for
protest, demonstration or any
spirit for politically motivated
riotous behavior. The victory
celebration on the night of
April 3, 1989 - or should I
say riot - settled any doubts
or suspicions I might have had.
At Howard our riotous spirit
was always motivated by some
pressing social issue that af-
fected our university life, as
was seen several months ago
when students demanded the
resignation of Atwater from the
Board of Trustees; however, at
this university the victory riot
was clearly unnecessary, fool-
ish, and lacked sincere social
motivation.
A colleague of mine com-
mented that the police could do
nothing, but if the ethnic char-
acteristics of the students in-
volved had been darker (ie.,
Black, Hispanic, Arab, etc.)
than the normative standard for
American beauty, baby let me
tell you, they'd have thrown
tear gas, smoke bombs, and
any other bomb they could
think of. It's funny how things
work. Middle-class white
American students have no
problem celebrating and rioting
when students of African de-
scent are shooting basketballs
for their university, but they
are passive and nonreactive
when they are needed to sup-
port social causes and
strengthen racial relations and
issues of "diversity," (there's
that word again) that affect our
common academic exnerience.

Groups

condemn
vandalism
To the Daily:
Although we condemn recent
anti-Jewish statements that
have appeared on the Daily
Opinion page, we condemn the
vandalization of the Michigan
Daily offices. This criminal act
is a step backward for stopping
anti-Semitism and all other
forms of racism and dis-
crimination. Free discussion
must be maintained. Problems
are not resolved by vandalism
and actions such as the de-
facement of the Daily building
are not to be tolerated.
-Hillel,
Involved in Michigan Polit-
ical Action Committee
(IMPAC),
Progressive Zionist Caucus,
Tagar,
United Students for Israel
March 31

on you University of Michigan
for tolerating it.
-Mark Wilson
April 4

f

Due to the volume of mail,
the Daily cannot print all
the letters and cnlmns it

4

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