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September 14, 1989 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-09-14

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Page 4

OPINION
-Thursday, September 14, 1989-

The Michigan Daily

-
64
b~~

dbr £kitiau iailg
Edited and managed by students at The C-liversity of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. C. NO. 7 Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Don't

believe

the hype

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All oter
cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion
of the Daily.
4~
1$98: THE U.S. occupies Puerto ports went to the United States, often
lkico and Cuba. 1903: The U.S. from U.S.-controlled companies. The
RicoandCub. 193: he .S. population at large grew poorer- and
engineers the creation of Panama hungrier- as the ancestral lands on
from Colombia, reserving the right which they had grown maize and beans
t'o intervene in Panamanian affairs were illegally seized and planted in
henever it feels that its interests bananas, coffee, cane, and cotton for
are threatened. U.S. multinationals.
On September 15, 1821-168 years 1954: CIA-directed coup in
ago tomorrow- the Central American Guatemala. 1965: U.S. Marines in-
republics declared independence from vade Santo Domingo.1973: CIA-di-
Spain. But since the start of this cen- rected coup in Chile.
tury, a day once marked with pride by The Cuban Revolution of 1959
all Latin Americans has assumed an in- marked a watershed in Latin American
creasingly ambivalent character. The history. For the first time, a Latino
rhetoric of freedom and liberty population successfully defied
notwithstanding, the Americas' self- Washington's insistence that U.S. in-
determination has always been subject terests were the hemisphere's interests.
to U.S. interests and considerations. In the ensuing twenty years, the U.S.
1905: U.S. marines land in worked harder than ever to prevent a
Honduras. 1906-1909: U.S. marines "second Cuba," brutally intervening to
occupy Cuba. 1908: U.S. troops oc- smash popular rebellions in Argentina,
cupy Panama. 1909: U.S. troops Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, El Salvador,
overthrow the Zelaya government Guatemala, Honduras, Guyana,
ims Nicaragua. They occupy Jamaica, and Nicaragua.
Nicaragua from 1912 to 1925 and But the U.S. would not give up the
again from 1926 to 1933. economic advantages that accompanied
,General Smedley Butler led the its domination, and was unwilling to
mrrines into Nicaragua in 1909 to pro- accept a definition of democracy in
teCt a gold mine there partially owned which Latin American peoples chose
by then-Secretary of State Philander C. any alternative to U.S. domination.
Knox. As Butler wrote later, reflecting Independence for Latin America con-
oi the mission: "During that period I tinued to be a useful fiction: invoked
spent most of my time being a high- when it accorded with U.S. desires, it
class muscle man for Big Business, for was dispensed with when it didn't.
Wall Street and for the bankers. In Hence Washington's efforts to destroy
short, I was a racketeer for capital- Nicaragua (declared illegal by the
isn...I helped purify Nicaragua for the World Court) and Grenada because
international house of Brown Brothers they dared to develop socio-economic
in 1909-1912. I brought light to the interests outside the U.S. sphere.
Dpminican Republic for American
sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Tomorrow is a day to remember the
Honduras "right" for American fruit peoples of Latin America who have
companies in 1903." ventured to take U.S. rhetoric seriously
1914-1934: U.S. marines occupy and proudly proclaim that they have a
Haiti. 1916-1924: U.S. marines oc- right to determine their own destinies
H aiti. 19161924:gU.S. marines93 and chart their own futures. It is a day
cupy Santo Domingo. 1917-1923: for those of us in the U.S. to commit
U.S. marines occupy Cuba. 1918: ourselves to struggling against the
U.S. marines occupy Panama. government here and fighting with
1924: U.S. marines occupy those peoples elsewhere in the hemi-
Honduras. sphere who would have us remember
These policies spawned political sys- that the word - and resources -
tems dominated by small elites, power- designated by the term "America" are
ful armies, and a distorted economic claimed by many lands other than the
structure in which 80 per cent of all ex- U.S.

By Kimberly Smith and David
Maurasse
The University of Michigan has set out
to make its students, the state and the
country believe that it has a major com-
mitment to achieving racial equality and
"diversity" on this campus. This afternoon
at the University Regents meeting the
United Coalition Against Racism
(U.C.A.R.) will give its State of the
University address which is intended to
show the president and the Regents that
we "DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE".
If the University is sincerely committed
to promoting racial equality and deterring
racial hostility on this campus, why
would it write a racial harassment policy
which is so vague and so legally flawed
that it was destined to fail in court? If the
University is committed to increasing stu-
dent of color enrollment, why are there
fewer new Black first year students this
year than last? If the University is so
committed to increasing and retaining
Black and other people of color faculty,
then why are Walter Allen, Ali Mazrui,
Aldon Morris and other Black former
University professors teaching at other
universities? Why is there a top notch
Black woman professor, who had a strong

interest in teaching at the University,
working at another university? And why
does the University's record regarding fac-
ulty of color seem so much like a revolv-
ing door through which the few newly
hired faculty of color disappear to other
universities after a one or two year stay? If
the University wants to be a leader in
promoting racial equality, how could a
precedent setting decision regarding a
Mandatory Course on Racism be vetoed
by a group of majority white men? (Not
to mention how could the university have
a faculty of majority white men?) If the
University wants to be a leader then why
do they insist upon referring to Martin

And finally if the University is commit-
ted to racial equality and racial unity on
campus why have there been no improve-
ments in the areas of student of color re-
tention, racial and sexual harassment of
workers, and racial harassment in the
classroom?
Maybe the President and the Regents
will have some answers to some of these
questions, or maybe they should fire that
expensive public relations firm they've
hired to polish up their image and set out
to make substantial rather than superficial
change.
UCAR is committed to looking past
"the hype" and continuing to fight against

'UCAR is committed to looking past "the hype" and
continuing to fight against institutional racism on
campus and in the surrounding community.'

Luther King Jr. Day as Diversity Day, and
why do they refuse to give workers the day
off? If the University truly wants to be ac-
cessible to students from all different
backgrounds, why did the regents again
raise the tuition a whopping 12 percent,
thus making the University increasingly
more inaccessible to the majority of peo-
ple of color?

institutional racism on campus and in the
surrounding community.
Join us at the Regents meeting at 4:00
today and at our MASS MEETING at
7:00. Both are in the Anderson Room of
the Michigan Union.
Kimberly Smith and David Maurasse are
members of the United Coalition Against
Racism.

Welcome

to

McUniversity

Anonymous
I'd like to welcome incoming students.
The Administration has had its chance to
brainwash you, so it's time yo" heard the
real scoop on the Inivrsity.
You might think you have entered the
hallowed halls of an institution dedicated
to teaching you deep ways of thinking
about and dealing with life.
The unfortunate reality is that the
University is dedicated to research, not
teaching. Undergraduates figure primarily
as revenue enhancers, not as minds to be
introduced to an exciting world of thought.
The University is a giant corporation, a
kind of McUniversity, whose aim it is to
process you into a finished product for the
labor market, in hopes that you will one
day be able to make large donations to the
University. Your intellectual development
while here will be fostered only to the ex-
tent that it is cost effective for the
University.
If you are an undergraduate, you will
generally find yourself crammed into mass
courses with discussion sections taught by
overworked TAs who usually have no in-
stitutional incentive to teach well.
In most departments, TAs are rewarded
for how well they do in graduate work, not
for how well they teach. (TAs are graduate
students who are usually working toward a
Ph.D.)
TAs want to teach well, but doing so is
very difficult given the sizeable graduate
work load. Moreover, TAs are now being
pressured to finish their doctorates much
faster than ever before.
Not long ago, the Administration passed
the 10-L-..a le which says that graduate
students can teach only 10 terms. Given

that TAing is the main form of financial
aid for many graduate students, this means
that these students will have to get their
Ph.D. work finished in five years or their
aid will be cut.
This might sound like plenty of time,
but it is not. The economics department
has had the shortest average time for com-
pleting a Ph.D. But it still took students
in that department more than six years on
average to finish their doctorate.
Since they are being forced to finish
their degrees so rapidly, TAs must devote
most of their time to getting their graduate
work done and as little time as possible to
teaching.
A similar plight affects professors.

writing. 4
Students are blissfully ignorant of their'
weaknesses, even students who have been.
here for years. It seems that few have ever"
been required to confront or improve oni
their writing or reasoning.
Helping students improve their skills
first requires that they be made aware of a
need to improve. Because that need has
never been pointed out to many of them'
before, the usual reaction is hostility to
the TA, not increased effort.
A single TA can do little to solve this'
problem. A coordinated effort between"
teachers of various departments would be*
needed to address this problem.

'The unfortunate reality is that the University is
dedicated to research, not teaching.'

Tenure and prestige depend on research and
publication, not on teaching. The result
has been the lecture course format in
which professors have little or no direct
contact with students.
Because it is so hard to teach well in the
current environment, TAs are under con-
siderable pressure to overlook student
weaknesses and keep students happy by
handing out higher grades than are war-
ranted.
Of the approximately 250 students I
have TAed, a majority wrote poorly, had
considerable difficulty grasping abstract
ideas, and even more difficulty thinking
critically.
Of course, if students were perfect they
would not need to be students. The real
problem is that it is very difficult to get
students to improve their thinking and

Moreover, dealing with the problem l
would require TAs to devote much more
time to teaching. Time, unfortunately, is
not what most TAs have.
Much can be done to improve the situa-
tion. If the size of classes and discussion
sections were cut, there would be more'
time to help students individually, and
students would be less reluctant to seek .
help.
Students should be encouraged to take
more intensive courses designed to im-
prove reasoning and writing, such as ele-
mentary logic and advanced argumentative
writing.
A concerted effort should be made across
departments to insure that grades are not
inflated and problems with fundamental
skills are not ignored.

I r

Chile remembered

THIS WEEK marks the anniversary of
the 1973 military coup in Chile which
ousted the democratically elected gov-
ernmen of Salvador Allende and in-
stalled General Augusto Pinochet in
power.
The coup came about because of the
political polarization of Chilean society,
polarization exacerbated by the U. S.
government and the CIA in order 'to
tiestroy Allende's socialist government.
Then U.S. President Richard Nixon
set the tone of U.S. relations to Allende
by saying that he 'would make the
Chilean economy "scream." Proposed
redistribution policies in Chile threat-
ened U.S. companies there, including
Anaconda, Kennecott, and ITT.
The CIA initially bribed legislators
from the centrist Christian Democrat
party to refuse to confirm Allende as
president. When this failed the CIA
supported kidnapping army general
Rend Schneider, who was pro-U.S., to
rovoke a coup. The attempt failed
when Schneider was killed by his ab-
ductors.
After Allende took power the CIA
cbntinued their efforts to oust his gov-

On September 11, 1973, the Chilean
armed forces conducted their coup.
They murdered President Allende in the
presidential palace. Immediately fol-
lowing the coup, they rounded up and
executed thousands of teachers,
priests, union organizers, leaders and
students.
To this day, systematic torture and ,
detention without trial remain the norm
for all those opposed to Chile's military
dictatorship. The CIA continues to be
involved in Chilean affairs, paying the
expenses of junta spokespersons who
travel the world over justifying the se-
vere government repression of political
dissidents.
The Chilean coup is but one example
of U.S. violations the principle of self-
determination. The histories of Latin
America, Asia and Africa contain nu-
merous examples of U.S. intervention
in support of U.S. economic interests.
This process currently operates in
Nicaragua, where the U.S. government
spends millions in order to fund op-
position to the democratically elected
government. The Bush administration

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