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November 27, 1989 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-11-27

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OPINIO

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Monday, November 27, 1989

The Michigan Daily.

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. C, No. 57 Ann Arbor, Ml 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.
From the Pentagon to President Duderstadt:
Gay Lesbian Rights

w

IN 1987 THE Pentagon commissioned
a study to determine whether lesbians
~and gay men could be trusted with
classified information. The report,
eventually released 10 months ago, got
out of hand: it urged the U.S. military
to end discriminatory practices against
lesbians and gay men. Now,.to further
the insult of placing the moral fiber of
4esbians and gay men under suspicion,
the military has rejected the study,
Claiming it exceeded its mandate.
The military's homophobia is not
surprising; the military institution has
long been a bastion for the extreme
manifestation of conformity and dis-
crimination. Unable to directly influ-
ence the massive military institution,
,those concerned with the human rights
,of lesbians and gay men turn instead to
their immediate environment - the
'University. .
:While our university environment is
more safe and comfortable than the
iiilitary, the University as an institution
has yet to recognize and addres the
inen deserve as a group. The Univer-
sity does not guarantee lesbians and
gay men that they will be protected if
they are discriminated against or as-
iaulted.
: The University discriminatory policy
is written in Regents Bylaw 14.06,
.Which proclaims the University's
:Sommitment to an equal society for all
; persons "regardless of race, sex, color,
~religion, creed, national origin or
ancestry, age, marital status, handicap,
Qr Vietnam-era veteran status." "Sexual
oprientation," which would encompass
the gay and bisexual community, is
,dxcluded as one of these categories.
Bylaw 14.06 sets University policy.
People falling under the protected head-
ings are supposedly assured that the
University will take action if they are
discriminated against, and that they will
naot be discriminated against by the
University itself. The prospective stu-
Wassermrani
SURE-t4E MDE81-
CONTrIUItOKS lb _
U.S. Nt4Wots
NE DWVOSI1ED.
NOI4IY iN 'tI(R z
ACCOVHTh,..

dent who sees this bylaw printed in the
front of the application has reason to
believe the University will provide a
safe and comfortable environment.
The lesbian or gay student, or
prospective student, is not guaranteed
protection. The social circumstances
that affect their lives go unrecognized
by the University.
Lesbians and gay men live under an
oppressive level of societal discrimina-
tion. As long as basic human rights and
dignities are denied by individuals and
institutions - as in the case of the of-
fensive study commissioned by the
Pentagon - strong efforts are needed
to provide for these rights. Including
"sexual orientation" as a protected cate-
gory would set into motion this much
need change.
Gay and lesbian students and their
supporters have been lobbying for a
change in the bylaw for years, but the
University administration has still
failed to act. The responsibility to in-
~clude lesbias ad gay men as a pro-
tion - with President Duderstadt, and
with the Regents.
The University is in a position to
make an impact in an area undergoing a
crucial stage of development. This
month Massachusetts became the sec-
ond state to recognize lesbian and gay
rights. Such institutional changes can
and will affect societal attitudes.
The concluding sentence of Bylaw
14.06 states: "It shall exert its leader-
ship for the achievement of this goal (a
diverse community) by all the parties
with which the University transacts
business, which it recognizes, or with
which students or employees of the
University are involved."
With such a large range of people
and institutions falling under this bylaw
the University, by committing itself to
protecting lesbians and gay men, could
begin to meet its responsibility to create
a positive change.

Panama's Coup Attempt:
Bush's go
By Eric Jackson
Amidst all the charges and counter-
charges about what the United States did
or didn't do to aid the Panamanian gener-
als' recent coup attempt, little attention
has been given to the political ideologies
and plans of the plotters themselves. Con-
sequently, as Washington continues its re-
lentless demonization of Noriega, neither
the Bush Administration's strategists nor
the general U.S. public have any way of
seeing past Noriega himself to take a close
look at what forces or constituencies his
potential successors might choose to rep-
resent.
In their radio broadcasts, the rebels pro-
claimed loyalty to the provisional presi-
dent - hand-picked by Noriega following
his annulment of the May Presidential
elections - Francisco Rodriguez. They
did not consult or endorse the U.S. politi-
cians of choice associated with Guillermo
Endara and other leaders of the U.S.-
backed, Chamber of Commerce-led civil-
ian opposition. The coup leaders stressed
their independence from the United States
and their intention to maintain Panama-.
nian sovereignty.
The Panamanian Defense Forces are
highly nationalistic, and contain a leftist
element identified with the "Torrijos lives"
faction -named after former Panamanian
strongman and fiercely independent nation-
alist Omar Torrijos of the Democratic
Revolutionary Party (PRD).

als remain veiled
This nationalism has historically been But U.S. infringements on that
exacerbated and strengthened by repeated sovereignty - and how that complicates
U.S. intervention in Panama's affairs and the Panamanian political dynamic - is
continual U.S. support for a small corn- apparently irrelevant to most U.S. law-6
prador elite - currently represented by makers. Many congressional Democrats
Endara and his supporters. The Army quite who had fought against contra aid were all
rightly sees this elite as consistently plac- too willing to sacrifice their supposed re-
'Leaders of this pro-U.S. elite complained bitterly about
Bush's failure to intervene militarily; that they should see the
U.S. Army and not Panamanians themselves as Panama's pri-
mary agent of change speaks volumes about their loyalties and
intentions.'

ing U.S. interests before those of the peo-
ple of Panama, whom the Army purports
to champion. Leaders of this pro-U.S.
elite complained bitterly about Bush's
failure to intervene militarily; that they
should see the U.S. Army and not Pana-
manians themselves as Panama's primary
agent of change speaks volumes about
their loyalties and intentions, and helps
explain the Army's contempt for their pol-
itics.
So while the shade of the rebels' ideol-
ogy may not be entirely clear, it seems
that their coup was not the coup that Bush
wanted; Panama under Moises Giroldi, the
coup leader, would not have been Panama
under George Bush. This helps explain
Bush's tepid support for the coup: without
doing enough to make a real difference, he
nonetheless did enough to highlight his
Administration's contempt for Panama's
sovereignty-.

spect for the principles of self-determina-
tion and anti-intervention as, in discussion
over the failed coup, they castigated the
Bush Administration for not using mili-
tary force there.
In this context, one can begin to an-
swer the question asked in an article that
Agenda ran a few days before the coup as
to why a country like Cuba would support
a disreputable figure such as Noriega. It*
should be no surpnise to anyone that, de-
spite their considerably more progressive
political systems, both Cuba and
Nicaragua chose to support Noreiga during
this current crisis.
For small Latin American countries
which have had to fight U.S. military,
economic and diplomatic moves to depose
their governments, the sins of gringo in-
terference far surpass any of the allegeci
sins of Noriega.

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SUT IT W~S
S1P~4DA* -
-'I
~ '~ -,

Blonder
bunders
To the Daily:
To a 3rd-year player on the
Men's Soccer Club, "varsity
Status Unfeasible for Campus
Soccer Clubs," (Daily,
11/14/89) strikes me as being
contradictory to the very by-
line ("Blonder's Ponders): the
author writes without first pon-
dering. Steve Blonder sweep-
ingly states the "painful obvi-
ousness" of the lack of re-
sources to support two (men's
and women's) new varsity
teams. Why does he fail to
support his statements with
data: it's easy enough to find.
Hey, Steve check the 10/30
Daily for a breakdown of ath-
letic department sports expendi-
tures. Your wrote the article in
which it's found. Note also
that fielding both meris and
women's teams would be only
slightly more expensive than
the cheapest of existing pro-
grams: women's varsity golf.
Now our club's wish is not
to take advantage of women's
golf or any other varsity sport',
anymore than it is to steal
funds from, as Blonder puts it,
"the French Club and geology
outings." We'd rather not com-
pete with these organizations at
all. Our goal is for the Univer-
sity to follow the leads of
Michigan State, the University
of Detroit, Western Michigan,
Central Michigan, Eastern
Michigan, Albion, Adrian,
Concordia College, and many
other Michigan schools already
sponsoring varsity soccer
teams.
Finally, Blonder answers the
question, "What makes soccer
deserving of varsity status?"
with a blunt, "Nothing in my
book." Let me fill in its pages
a bit. Soccer is the world's
most popular, and is this coun-
try's fastest growing, sport. In
1987, twice as many Michigan
high-schoolers played soccer as
five years before. The Univer-
"Top" 25" U.S anuniversit
without a varsity soccer pro-
gram. Soccer is an Olympic
sport, and in 1994, the World
Cup, viewed by over two bil-
lion people, is comning to the
U.S.-possibly to Ann Arbor.
Todd Neff
November 16
Socceer will

ity here in the U.S. In fact, our
country will be hosting the
1994 World Cup soccer tour-
nament.
The reason that soccer is not
a varsity sport at the Univer-
sity of Michigan has nothing
to do with the game or the
players. It has to do with a few
obstinate individuals who are
not aware of the sport's popu-
larity or competitiveness
among American colleges.
.Nearly all other major Amer-
socceuer gas, and fewhave
nate enough tofin hwere.f Tae
Indiana University, for exam-
ple. A few thousand students
regularly pay to watch their
team play. By 1994, the num-
ber of spectators may very well
double or triple.
Concerning 'this statement
that your writer made about
switching schools in order to
play ("Blonder's Ponders,"
11/14/89), nice attitude
Would you'ask the same of any
other minority whose rights
were trampled on? I certainly
hop nt
op o-Piercarlo Romano
November 16
Don't place
sanct ions
on protest
To the Daily:l'
I am writing to express my
grave concern over the plans
for a "Free Speech Board" to
impose censorship on members
of the University community.
As a University employee and
alumnus, and as a former
member of the Board of Gover-
nors of the Michigan Colle-
giate Coalition and former
Chair of Michigan Student's
Assembly's Campus Gover-
nance Committee, I wish to
express the gravest reservations
about any University action
which would tend to limit
speech. .
violent then the appropriate le-
gal sanctions fr such behavior
may be applie. Ifspeech,
however is not criminal, and
does not create a clear and pre-
sent danger, then it is, as is
should remain, sacrosanct and
protected absolutely by the
First Amendment.
The University of Michigan
developed a positive reputation

tolerance which would permit
such a thing to happen once
again, not even in the name of
protecting controversial speak-
ers from protest. Disruptive
behavior is annoying and frus-
trating. But if it violates no
law, then we must defend it ab-
solutely if we are to remain a
community of free thought and
intellectual inquiry.
-Henry E. Hardy
November 15
Germans
are victims
of bigotry
To the Daily:
Elie Wiesel's ethnic hate-
piece, "I Fear What Lies Be-
hind the Wall," which appeared
in the New York Times, is not
the only example of vicious
anti-Teutonic prejudice to have
fouled America in the past
week. Our government and the
national press have repeated the
same accusations daily. "It's
dangerous," they all say,' "to let
Germans unite." As a commu-
nity concerned with racial and
ethnic justice, we should be
alarmed at such bigot4-
If someone said, in public,
that it could be or might be
dangerous to let Jews get to-
gether, Mr. Wiesel, would join
decent-minded people in
protest. If someone suggested
that it would be unwise to let
Blacks unite, or Catholics, we
would condemn such bigotry.
Here at Michigan we most cer-
tainly would not tolerate it.
But Germans? We are free, it
seems, to discriminate against
Germans, to subject them to
shameless and, in Mr. Wiesel's
case, open and deliberate preju-
dice. And Germans are sup-
posed to keep their mouths
shut and their heads down.
I am not a German-but I
protest, in the name of human
decency and civil rights,
against such ethnic vilification
as Mr. Wiesel and others prac-
teIurge others, inldn
Germans like President Duder-
stadt to join me.
-Bert G. Hornback
November 17

GraduaRtion
To the Daily:
sity. If students in the past had
acted as mature adults at their
graduation instad of like ju-
decision wouldn't hae been
I recied my MPH in May,@
1985 and the graduation exer-
cise was a circus. I was embar-
rassed to have my friends and
relatives there as champagne
was showered over everyone.
Beach balls were thrown around
during the prayers and ad-
dresses, and protesting students
marched with banners around
the stadium.
My daughter attended last
year's ceremony i:1 ipport of a
friend and reported ihat people
walked in and out during the
ceremony. Clusters carried on
conversations without regard to
what the speakers were saying
and again a carnival atmosphere
reigned.
If there are those who want
to attend a circus, let them find
one that is appropriate, but not
at our graduation ceremonies.
The small ceremonies will re-
turn dignity to this occasion.
My son graduated from the
University of Michigan Engi-
neering College in 1987. He
chose not to attend the farce in
the stadium. Instead we at-
tended the College of Engineer-
ing graduation. The students4
conduc ted themselves as adults
and I was proud to see my son
walk across the stage for his
hard-earned diploma.
Yes, it is too bad that a uni-
versity of this stature has to
ban commencement ceremonies
due to the behavior of some of
th estudent who have spoile
reinstate a general commence-*
menceremodny ut all the
they are adults and can behave
as adults.
* -L. Siebert
November 15

AND liliY g~v
OF It4~IST

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