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January 19, 1990 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-01-19
Note:
This is a tabloid page

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.



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Vindicating
Visionaries
Look: It's going to be a chal- learning ri
lenge to spend a lot of time this of us. And
year criticizing what may seem to ideas abou
you like just about everything you and numb
come across in black and white - just whatI
and expect you to believe me. those corr
Why should you? Chances are politicians
I'll be caught in the wrong on the use simila
very same crimes I like to criticize rest assure
other people for. our new-f
For example: I make it a habit to ogy for go
jump on bosses, politicians, Trust m
presidents, P.R. people and so on
for manipulating facts and ideas to Some p
make us think what they're doing more ope
is right. In the process, though, I manipulat
use some of the very same tactics. than other
Why? Because jumbling things admire th
around a little to get a point across The Jeri
turns out to be a pretty effective for examp
tactic. Guess where I learnedthat? to the poi
Thousands of people spent the editorial c
last 10 years adapting these age- Desmond
old techniques to a new, hybrid African ac
form compatible with '80s technol- Nobel Pe
ogy, '80s style -'80s culture. At Christmas
the forefront of the new develop- took the o
ments, of course, were the gov- painfullyc
ernments and universities who matory pa
make it their business to lead us Israeli gov
through just these sorts of policies a
changes. And who put them to the tional par
test? The media: newspaper The Po

editors, writers, pho-
tographers, film
directors - people
like that.
That's where I
come in.
Because I was
ght along with the rest
now I have all these
ut how to choose figures
ers and quotes to show
I want. But unlike all
upt and self-interested
s and power brokers who
r techniques,
ed I'll be using .
ound technol-
od, not bad.
ne.
EN
eople are
;n about their
hive tactics
rs, and I
em for it. hil
usalem Post,
le, got straight Coh
nt in a recent

blinded by emotions over the
oppression of his own African
people, remarked that the Bishop
lacked (among other things) the
"historical imagination" to fully
understand the Israeli situation.
The Post, stuck in the unenviable
position of defending the indefen-
sible every day, makes no bones
about the necessity to incorporate
a little "imagination" into a
difficult argument.
Closer to home, our own
university's President James
Duderstadt is not as
forthright.
Last term Jim was
catching some flak for
the apparent discrep-
ancy between the stuff
of the Michigan
Mandate - the words
he used to describe a
vision of the
n University's future -
and the stuff of reality
on campus, specifically
that African-American
enrollment is still lower than it was
in 1976, and that the number of
first-year African-Americans
dropped from last year.
Like the Post, Jim called for a
little imagination, he just didn't
admit it: "Anybody who denies
we've made progress has got their
head in the sand," he told the
Daily. This was an extension of a
line he wrote last April: "I strongly
believe we will achieve our goals

only if we keep our eyes firmly
focused on the prize ahead and
resist calls for an immediate
reactive stance on every issue that
arises."
Always on the cutting edge, Jim
has developed a useful alternative
to the concept of the historical
imagination, and the logical next
step - the visionary vindication.
In other words: Look, with a
future as bright as ours is, why
waste all this time and energy
criticizing what we're doing today?
With a simple manipulation -
demanding to be judged not on
the present but on the future -

NOW

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January 1s,199o

151

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