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September 18, 1989 - Image 7

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-09-18

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OPINION

f .. . a
* 1

Page 7 Monday, September 18, 1989 The Michigan Dairy

w

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. C, No. 8 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.
Duderstadt's rhetoric
is the (broken) record

The

USING UNIVERSITY Board of
Regents' Bylaw 2.01 President
Duderstadt Friday bypassed a regental
vote and signed into law an interim'
anti-discrimination and harassment
policy for students at the University.
Though this renegade and nearly un-
precedented move seems to be
Duderstadt's attempt to prove he is a
man of action, committed to fighting
racism and other forms of discrimina-
tion, the reality is a near-worthless
policy, more control over students and
no commitment from the administration
to fight institutional racism.
Apparently frightened that it might
violate an individual's "fundamental
right" to free speech, the administration
has now provided a policy so narrow
that it won't really punish any act of
intimidation or harassment not already
punishable under existing state and
federal legislation.
Though the new, interim policy is as
narrow as the old one was vague, there
are significant similarities between the
two.
The administration's new policy still
does not apply to faculty and adminis-
trators. As individuals, students are ac-
countable to a standard of behavior
separate from and unequal to that ap-
plied to faculty and administrators. In
spite of this, the administration still
claims it is committed to combatting all
forms of harassment and creating an
environment of "civility and tolerance"
for all members of the University
community.
The exemption of faculty and admin-
istrators from any policy furthers the
distance between students and the
"authorities" at the University. There is
no logical reason for conduct deemed

unacceptable by students to be accept-
able for faculty or administrators.
Rather than create an atmosphere which
encourages mutual respect and demo-
cratic process, the administration has
decided it will act as the "police" of the
students while remaining unaccount-
able for its own actions.
Though claiming to care about stu-
dent input, the administration has yet to
work seriously with those students
who have proven a consistent commit-
ment to making the University accessi-
ble to women, people of color and gay
men and lesbians. As these are the
groups most often targeted by harass-
ing and intimidating behavior, it seems
only logical that the administration
would choose to work specifically with
them to end harassment and intimida-
tion.
Speaking at the public comment ses-
sion of September's Board of Regents
meeting, Duderstadt implored the audi-
ence to "judge us by our record, not
our rhetoric."
Here's a partial record:
*Decline in Black student
enrollment
*No Chicana or Chicano LSA
faculty
*Double digit tuition increases
*No administrative support of a
graduation requirement on race
and racism
'Denial of tenured position to
aqualified Black woman
professorno increase in
retention of faculty of color.
Like its predecessor, the Michigan
Mandate, the Dude's new policy is little
more than a nice idea. The real record
is little more than a lot of rhetoric

By Barbara Ehrenr
You may not have notic(
50,000 American coal miner
strike for four months this s
summer. The ten-state strike h,
the unprecedented mass appl
nonviolent civil disobedience
struggle: thousands of miners
.members have been arrested for
blocking mine entrances. Tr
been called in; they have ever
instances, fired upon strikers.
It is possible to read the p
some diligence and completel:
coal miners' strike. Meanwhile,
I read gave front-page coverage
updates of the Soviet coal mine
do not grudge a bit of this cove
brave miners of Siberia; there'
of them (100,000) and they inha
that has until recently fancie
"dictatorship of the proletariat
the Russian strike gave us an id
decent labor coverage might be
American media were to atter
workers' demands were present
thetically; the larger ramificati
strike were duly analyzed; and
strike leaders were profiled in
ing, human-interest fashion.
The eclipse of the American c
reflects the media's usual prefere
bor insurgency in foreign-ide
munist, societies - a prefere
ningly illustrated by the ecstatic
granted Solidarity in 1981, ju
American flight controllers w
ground under the heel of capi
also reflects an entirely local phe
the disappearance of the America

Silenced Majority
eich
ed it, but hard for me to tell what is going on any- or "red-neck" as class slurs. Middle class
s were on more in the ever-so-arch, pun-happy leftists are by no means immune from this
spring and "discourse" of the postmodern professori- prejudice, and suffer immensely from their
as featured ate isupposed rejection at the hands of the
ication of So it is possible for a middle class per- working class...
to a labor son today to read the papers, watch televi-
and family sion, even got to college, without suspect-
peacefully ing that America has any inhabitants other Even deeper than the stereotype of the
oops have than white-collar operatives and, of course, hard-hat bigot lies the middle class suspi:
n, in some the annoyingly persistent "black under- cion that the working class is dumb, inar
class."The producers of public affairs talk ticulate, and mindlessly loyal to archac_
apers with shows do not blush to serve up four up- values. In the entertainment media, for e.-
y miss the per-income professionals (all, incidentally, ample, the working class is usually a set
the papers white, male, and conservative) to ponder ting for macho exhibitionism (fron-
e and daily the minimum wage or the possible need Saturday Night Fever to, in camoo
rs' strike. I for health insurance. Never, needless to Working Girl) pf mental impairment
rage to the
were more
obit a place 'Only the homeless disturb the middle class's contemplation of:
d itself a .-
." In fact, itself and its self-images - which is to say, the poor can get atZ
ea of what tention only by going outdoors and literally lying down in the
like if the path of their betters.'
mpt it: the

ed sympa-
ons of the
individual
an appeal-
oal miners
-nce for la-
ally, com-
nce stun-
coverage
ust as the
ere being
tal. But it
,nomenon:
in working

say, an uninsured breadwinner or an actual
recipient of the minimum wage. Working'
class people are likely to cross the screen
only as witnesses to crimes or sports
events, never as commentators or - even
when their own lives are under discussion
- as "experts."
Most contemporary fiction shows a
similar narrowness. A typical "quality"
novel of recent vintage will explore the re-
lationships and reveries of people who live
in large houses and employ at least one
servant to manage all those details of daily
living that are extraneous to the plot. E.L.
Doctorow has observed that when a novel
featuring other sorts of people - poor or
working class - does come along, it is
usually judged to be "political" in intent,
meaning that it does not qualify as "art."
The disappearance of the working class
reflects and reinforces - the long-
standing culturalinsularity of the profes-
sional middle class... Compared to say a
decade ago, the classes are less likely to
mix in college (with the decline of finan-
cial aid), in residential neighborhoods
(with the gluttonous rise in real estate
prices), or even in the malls (with the now
almost universal segmentation of the retail
industry into upscale and downscale com-
ponents). Only the homeless disturb the
middle class's contemplation of itself and
its self-images - which is to say, the
poor can get attention only by going out-
doors and literally lying down in the path.
of their betters.
In the absence of real contact or com-
munication, stereotypes march on unchal-
lenged, prejudices easily substitute for
knowledge. The most intractable stereo-
type is of the working class (which is, in
imagination, only white) as a collection of
reactionaries and bigots - as reflected, for'
example, in the use of the terms "hard-hat"

. a
(Married, With Children). Mainstream sd
ciologists have reinforced this prejudic:_
.with their emphasis on working clas
"parochialism," as for example, in tltig
quote from a 1976 beginning sociology -
textbook: "Their limited education, readin
habits and associations isolate the lowera
class...and this ignorance, together with
their class position, makes them suspt-
cious of [the] middle and upper-class
'experts' and 'do-gooders..."...
Finally there is a level of prejudie-
which grows out of middle class moralism _1
about matters of taste. All privileged
classes seek to differentiate themselves
from the less-privileged through the ways:
they dress, eat, entertain themselves and so.
on; and tend to see their own choices in
these matters as inherently wiser, better-
and more aesthetically inspired. In middle
class stereotype, the white working class,
for example, is addicted to cigarettes,
Budweiser, polyester, and network televi- a
sion. (In part this is true, and it is true 'Ift
part because Bud is cheaper than Dts
Equis and polyester is cheaper than linen,
Furthermore, in the middle class view, .
polyester, etc., is "tacky" - a common
code word for "lower class." Health con-
cerns, plus a certain reverence for the,
"natural" in matters of food and fibre, in-
fuse these middle class prejudices with a
high-minded tone of moral indignation.
This parochialism afflicts many people
in the middle class left - sometimes even
those who most loudly trumpet marxist
rhetoric - as well as middle class liberals, '
conservatives, and so forth. It does not
make those who suffer from it bad people. I
It does not invalidate them as social ac&'
tivists or agents of change. But it does de-
prive them. The one clear price of being;
cut off from the majority is, for the time. 'l
being, only ignorance.
Reprinted with permission from the
September, 1989 edition of 2er *a
Magazine.
1
a4

Old war with a new face
PROPONENTS OF democracy in vices. By keeping the Nicaraguan gov-
Nicaragua should not be relieved by the ernment and economy in a constant
Bush Administration's decision not to staempted to erode the Nicaraguan pub-
pursue direct funding of the lic's overwhelming support for the
Nicaraguan opposition. The adminis- Sandinistas.
tration last week announced it would But despite severe cutbacks in
not ask congress to approve $3 million ground-breaking social programs,
for the opposition through the National which had greatly improved living
Endowment for Democracy (NED), conditions for the majority of the peo-
because stiff opposition to a change in ,ort forty ofernent
the law regulating the NED was con- .ple, public support for the government
he a reglting liablithe NEDwa n remains. This leaves the Bush admin-
sidered a potical h a ministration istration grasping at straws: as it be-
voic d its intenion t instrati comes increasingly clear that the elec-
nancial support from the United States tiook plae inbr1984 - will bhe an
reach the opposition coalition, if neces-
sary through European intermediaries. open, the opposition 'still seems inca-'
But why is the president (and much pable of generating the support it needs
f to win. Efforts to discredit the elections
of congress) committed to providing have repeatedly failed, and support for
direct aid in next year s Nicaraguan the contra war has further decreased.
elections? Federal law in this country And so the Bush administration has
forbids foreign goverments from fi- fallen back on a plan to win the election
nancing political campaigns, and yet the old fashioned way: to buy it.
this standard is not upheld in the coun- Whether the support comes through
tries the United States attempts to iflu- the NED and Congress, or is channeled
ence. History is dotted with examples through third parties, the tactic remains
of direct U.S. intervention in foreign the same - a violation of the basic
elections - from Chile to Australia, htos
Panama to the Philippines; the record' nght to self-determination and self-
makes clear that the sovereignty of governance.
less-powerful nations takes a back seat The administration has put a new
to the economic and political interests face on an old war, portraying the
of the United States. The current overt funding of opposition parties in
strategy in Nicaragua is a change in Nicaragua as a kinder, gentler approach
style, not content. to the "problem" of the Sandinistas. It
In fact, the United States has already is a characterization which deserves our
made a direct contribution to the politi- condemnation. The American public
cal process in Nicaragua - enforcing always opposed the contra war, and the
an embargo which has crippled the same opposition should hinder new at-
Nicaraguan economy, and funding a tempts by the administration to under-
war which has forced the Sandinista mine the success and support gained by
government to divert resources from the revolutionary government in
literacy, health and other social ser- Nicaragua.
Opinion Page Letter Policy

class - from the media, from intellectual
concern, or more generally, form the mind
of the American middle class...
In academia, the decline of the working
class has been, if anything, even more
complete. As a friend explained to me,
-peaking of his academic colleagues,
"class is out of style." In their rush to
shake off Marxist orthodoxy, many aca-
demic intellectuals have simply dropped
class as a relevant category. Gender is still
of some interest, though I must admit it is

I

LUtters to themedmitoer

.... . . . . . . .
Y

,#
,

Domino's
Boycott
justified
To the Daily:
I'm writing in response to
the letter (Brian Cook, et al
9/15/89) regarding the
Domino's boycott. Cook al-
leges that my opinion piece
(9/7/89), which outlined rea-
sons for the boycott, was fac-
tually inaccurate. Unfor-
tunately, he failed to mention
specific points of error,
probably indicating that he
himself is not familiar with the
issues.
There is one point to which I
will respond. Cook claims that
Tom Monaghan has a right to
spend his money however he
chooses. That is not what is at
issue in a boycott. Boycotts
have traditionally been a form
of consumer power and grass-

corporate giants conduct busi-
ness. In this case, however, it's
refreshing to see the impact the
boycott has had. Only two
short months after the
Coalition to Boycott Domino's
Pizza launched its boycott,
franchise owners are reporting a
drop in sales and Monaghan
has announced plans to sell
(due in part to pressure brought
on by the franchisees, whom
his views are hurting). This
ought to send a message to
whomever buys Domino's
pizza. The boycott will con-
tinue until we see a marked
change in the use of Domino's
profits.
-Phillis Engelbert
September 17-
Get the
facts, take
MD ,I 1

lion acres will be razed."
According to records compiled
by the U.S. Forest Service,
there are only 482.5 million
acres of commercial forest land
in the entire U.S. and only 70
million acres in the Pacific
Coast, not all of which is rain-
forest and about half of which
is owned by the federal gov-
ernment. Mark Hatfield is in-
deed a powerful senator if he
can open up 1.2. billion acres
of rainforest when only a frac-
tion of that actually exists. I
suspect much of the rest of the
article was inaccurate, though
not to the degree as noted in
this example.
For students interested in
learning more about the forest
management situation in the
United States, I invite them to
sign up for Natural Resources
452, which I will be teaching
next semester. We will address
both environmentalist and util-
itarian views of forest man-

day," certainly got the facq
mixed up. You were doing fine,*
until paragraph two on pa e-'
two. Unfortunately, all of tie'
figures and issues you cited are
not the ones affecting ,ha4
UMPNC negotiations with the
University Hospital. Instea4l
they are the issues that th
house officers (the interns, row
idents, etc.) are trying to neo-
tiate. The union representing, 7
the house officers opened talks;
with the University on-
September 14; the UMPN(,C
representing the registered:
nurses, resumed their talks:
with the University n
September 15.
The UMPNC is made up Af
over 1300 RNs, and evod.;
though overtime is one of tfee;
main issues facing boDh.g
unions, it is the house offices
who want the cap of an -
hour work week and 24 hu -1
days. The registered nurses dq I

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