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February 15, 1990 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-02-15

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

Page 4 -The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 15, 1990
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420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

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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.


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Financial aid cuts prove Bush's rhetoric is hollow

"I want to be the education presi-
- Presidential candidate
George Bush, 1988
In his proposed federal budget for
the upcoming fiscal year, President Bush
fell far short of the promises he made to
improve education during his election
campaign and State of the Union ad-
His $1.3 trillion budget for the nation
includes $24.6 bil-
lion for education.
The $500 million
increase is slightly,
less than half theT
increase needed to
keepup with the rate
of inflation. So in
real terms, the "edu-
cation president" is
cutting federal
funds for education.
It is true that state
and local govern-
ments have to take
much of the respon-
sibility for educa-
tion funding, and it
is also true, as Bush
said, that "real im-
provement in our
schools is not sim- Mr.
ply a matter of
spending more, it's a matter of expect-
ing more."
But the federal government does have
to lay out financial aid for disadvan-
taged students who want to attend the
nation's colleges and universities. In-
stead of recognizing this need, Bush
proposed a budget which would kill the
State Student Incentive Grant program
and cut funding for the Perkins Student
Loans and the Stafford Loan program.
And though Bush did propose to in-
crease Pell Grant funding, his proposal

falls short of the level needed to keep up
with inflation.
It is ironic that the self-proclaimed
"education President" fails to provide
adequate funding to assure that educa-
tion is a right, and not a privilege of the
rich. By cutting funding for financial
aid, Bush would limit the number of
students who can afford a college edu-
University Government Relations
Officer Tom Butts said Bush's pro-
posed cuts would
result in a $4.8 mil-
lion reduction in
available financial
aid for University of
Michigan students.
If financial aid is di-
minished, economi-
cally disadvantaged
students will be shut
off from higher edu-
cation. Financial aid
cuts will create a lack
of motivation for
poor high school
students, who know
they have no way to
pay for college.
Bush's budget
also contains a new
tax law that would
lucation? deduct social secu-
rity taxes from pay-
checks students receive from universi-
ties. The proposal would result in a loss
of $1.5 million from students' pay-
checks, making it more difficult to pay
for a college education.
Instead of cutting financial aid, the
Bush administration should move to-
ward an ideal of making it possible for
everyone to get a college education,
regardless of their ability to pay. Until
education is available to everyone,
Bush's fantasy of being the "education
President" will be just that - a fantasy.


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Noble aims, misguided efforts

By Carey Brian Meadors
According the United Coalition
Against Racism, "the dictionary was writ-
ten by racists." They maintain that racism
must be seen in the context of a power
structure, and is defined by the pain it
causes. Since whites dominate the struc-
ture, racism can only flow in one direc-
tion, from whites toward minorities.
Webster's New World Dictionary ob-
jectively defines racism as "... the practice
of racial discrimination." In other words,
making judgments because of race is
Unfortunately for UCAR, their defini-
tion collapses under scrutiny. Slurs
against blacks are racist because the slurs
are backed by a power structure, according
to UCAR. In strict keeping with UCAR's
definition, hurling slurs at a deaf person
would not be racist, since no pain is in-
flicted. Similarly, as long as blacks do not
hear racist language, it does not matter
that such language has been used, again
because it caused no harm.
UCAR does not like to acknowledge
that their definition allows such abuse,
although it does. The definition is reac-
tionary; it does not take an objective view
of racism. In fact, the slur is racist in it-
This is not merely a matter of seman-
tics. Rather than attacking the root of
racism - racist individuals - UCAR be-
comes fixated on "institutionalized
racism." Rather than recognizing individu-
als' actions or attitudes as racist, UCAR
Meadors is a junior in Nuclear Engineer-

charges the establishment as a whole with
racism, thus unfairly implicating its non-
racist members. To change an institution,
one must change the leaders' attitudes.
UCAR is aware of this. It supposedly
seeks to convince individuals, through the
programs it sponsors, that racism is
wrong. In this way, it hopes to transform

Such inflexibility pre/ents the aboli-
tion of racism. Their McCarthyistic tactics
and belligerent attitudes have made the U-
M student wary of anti-racism campaigns.
Compensation for slavery that comes in
the form of special privileges - aid based'
on race rather than need, affirmative ac-
tion, and. a unidirectional definition of

UCAR's goal of eliminating racism is laudable, but its
focus is too narrow to be effective.


society. The hypocrisy lies in UCAR's
rhetoric - it attacks entire institutions,
not those individuals who control them.
For instance, UCAR provides simple
answers to complex problems. Why aren't
there more people of color at the Univer-
sity? Is it due to poor inner-city educa-
tional systems, drugs, economic hardship,
and a lack of middle class values among
the historically poor? No, that's too com-
plex. The U-M Admissions Committee
must be racist.
UCAR has extended this charge to the
lottery, the United States Constitution
(14th Amendment and all), all whites, and
the American Civil Liberties Union. The
ACLU has been attacked by UCAR for its
advocacy of an all-encompassing First
Amendment, and because it has defended
the Ku Klux Klan. These charges exem-
plify UCAR's habit of forcing all contro-
versy into the mold of racism.
What UCAR ignores is the ACLU's
defense of the right, not the group.
Thomas Jefferson once said, "If we are so
sure we are right, shouldn't we let some-
one say we are wrong?" Rather than con-
fronting and discrediting racist thought,
UCAR seeks to censor it.

racism - is in itself racist, because it fa,
vors one race at the expense of another.
Whites alive today are not responsible
for the crimes of their ancestors. Enforc-
ing quotas will not end the scourge of
racism, because they attack the visible,
symptoms, not the cause. Sadly, this idea
continues to elude UCAR; last year MSA
allocated $19,000 for a UCAR-backed mi-
nority conference which barred whites
from some events. Such antagonistic dis-
plays do not diminish racism on the U-M
This isn't the only lack of unity per-
petuated by the United Coalition Against
Racism. UCAR has been woefully lacking
in its support for Chinese, Japanese, Jews,
and American Indians - minority groups
frequently defend by the ACLU. I have yet
to hear a statement from UCAR disap,
proving of Louis Farrakhan's gross anti-
UCAR's goal of eliminating racism is,
laudable, but its focus is too narrow to be
effective. Open dialogue, equal treatment,
and fighting the real causes of inequality
are more effective weapons than censor-
ship, quotas, and symptom-bashing.

Bush should recognize change in East Europe

Don't support a Zone of Reproductive Freedom

party of the Soviet Union voted to give
up its monopoly power in favor of a
multi-party system. At the same time,
there are serious threats to the Soviet
Union's territorial boundaries in Ar-
menia, Azerbaijan, and most recently in
Tadzhikistan. Eastern Europe has al-
ready broken from the Warsaw Pact,
and the Pentagon has conceded that
there is no threat to the Persian Gulf
from the Soviet Union.
The Bush administration's reaction
to these major shifts in international al-
liances and the traditional East-West
balance of power has been almost
nonexistent. Just hours after the Presi-
dent congratulated Gorbachev for hav-
ing moved towards a pluralist system,
he addressed soldiers at Fort Irwin
who were about to fight in a mock
staging of World War III.
Bush's presence at such a hawkish
media event sent an adversarial mes-
sage to the Soviet Union at a time when
it was discussing time-tables with East
European nations for a complete Soviet
pull-out. Some Soviet troops have al-
ready been withdrawn from Eastern
Europe, even though firm agreements
have not yet been reached.
President Bush's unwillingness to
acknowledge that the political climate in
Europe has changed is clearly reflected
ii his recently-proposed national bud-
get, which included only an insignifi-
cant decrease in defense spending and a
proposed $900 million hike in Strategic

Defense Initiative spending to almost
$5 billion.
In explaining continued high de-
fense and SDI spending last week,
Bush resorted to the weak argument
that SDI might be needed to protect the
U.S. from Iran, Libya or even nar-
cotics gangsters. Bush's unwillingness
to make defense cuts is in part a result
of the lack of precedent for these cir-
cumstances in Europe in the 40-year
history of the Cold War. Inertia and a
reflexive obedience to our military in-
dustrial complex seem to be keeping
Bush from a new understanding of the
United States' defense needs.
While responding to questions on
Monday, Bush was evasive regarding
the mission of U.S. troops in Europe,
and spoke of them as being a
"stabilizing factor." Defense Secretary
Richard Cheney was far more blunt in
an earlier statement, when he said the
Soviet Union was the only nation in the
world still capable of destroying the
But the communist block has virtu-
ally disintegrated, and even the Soviet
Union is adopting pluralist systems. As
political ideology ceases to be a divi-
sive force, President Bush has been
presented an opportunity to transform
the Cold War era of distrust into a pe-
riod of peace and fruitful economic in-
teraction. Congress should not allow
him to continue running mind-boggling
deficits to fund the defense budget
when prospects of war are so remote.

To the Daily:
I would like to respond to the letter by
Sarah Schweitzer (2/13/90) and the front
page Daily piece on a bill to outlaw anti-
abortion activities ("Bill thwarts anti-abor-
tion activists," 2/13/90). The narrow cov-
erage demonstrates again the Daily's bias
in favor of pro-abortion activities.
It is important to understand that the
abortion issue is not a religious versus
feminist issue. The decision to end the life
of an unborn child concerns the issue of
whether it is right or wrong to take life.
If the issue had not become so politi-
cized over the years, people would admit
that no mother decides on an abortion be-
cause she thinks there is a non-existence,
non-living "thing" inside her. She has dis-
covered life in the womb (by the 21st day
of pregnancy the baby's heart begins to
beat) and she wants to end that life.
Ninety-five percent of abortions in the US
are for the following reasons: teenage
pregnancy, economics, and inconvenience;
fewer than five percent are because of rape,
incest, or endangered health of the mother.
Over one-and-a-half million unborn chil-
dren die from abortion every year.
Pro-abortion activists talk about the
"choice" that every woman has not to be
pregnant, and they are right. But choice
comes before pregnancy. As humans we
learn that certain actions have conse-
quences. If we overeat, obesity is a result;
if we abuse alcohol or illegal drugs, there
are consequences; andif we have sex with-
out using birth control devices, there are
The pro-abortion camp argues that a
woman has the right to take care of her

What a society we live in.
Those who see abortion as the taking
of life are often treated as religious fanatics
who should not impose religious belief on
others. But is it religious belief that tells
us that the taking of life is wrong?
I remind voters that the Zone of Repro-
ductive Freedom Bill, if passed, will not
"protect" Ann Arbor from the Supreme
Court as asserted in Schweitzer's letter.
The Supreme Court has the last word on
constitutional issues.
Sue Hulett
Visiting Research Scholar
for the Center for Russian and
East European Studies

chance to get an education who normally'
couldn't afford it. Now the whole system
is a farce. Athletes can use college as a,
training period for professional sports and
use a university for their own selfish and
monetary gain!
If you can't make the grade point, kick
them off campus. When Harlan Hatcher
was in Ann Arbor, I thought he was sup-:
posed to be the most respected person on
Rod Robert
University alumnus,
class of 1970
Daily misrepresents
Hellenic organization
To the Daily:
The article that appeared in the Daily
regarding the formation of the University
of Michigan Hellenic Students' Organiza-
tion (2/7/90) greatly misrepresented the
purpose of our organization. Our organiza-
tion was not formed to counter-weight
other organizations' influence in the Uni-
versity, but rather to acknowledge our her-a
itage and relate to the culture of modern
We will attempt to achieve these goals
b., Pv.n :- . th uwni--r,.tlttA. t r

No free rides for
college athletes
To the Daily:
I was reading Sports Illustrated the
other day and came over a quote of Bo
Schembechler's that he didn't want college
presidents to have too much control over
athletics. Now what is that supposed to
mean? For example, who is in control in
East Lansing?
From reading newspapers, magazines,
and watching TV, we could get the im-
pression that many athletic departments
get by general university rules for stu-
dents. Athletes can skip class, go on trips,
and get out of class legally, get into col-

- aJ -

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