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February 21, 1990 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-02-21

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Page 4- The Michigan Daily -Wednesday, February 21, 1990

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420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109


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Unsig ned 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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Civil Rights

Congress must undo damage of Supreme Court

Court, blatantly hostile toward the civil
rights movement, has taken it upon it-
self to gradually undo the anti-discrim-
ination and anti-prejudice legislation of
the 1960s. Under the pretense of judi-
cial restraint, the conservative court
dealt a serious blow to employment-
rights laws in three cases this summer.
If not rectified by Congress through the
Civil Rights Act of 1990, these deci-
sions will only make employees more
vulnerable to discrimination and big-
otry in the workplace.
The first damage delivered by the
court all but overturned a unanimous
decision made in 1971. This decision
had outlawed unnecessary regulations
which kept minorities and women from
being hired or promoted. One such
discriminatory regulation deemed un-
constitutional was the requirement of a
high-school diploma for promotion to
upper-level positions in which a high-
s4ool education was completely un-
This prerequisite had the effect of
keeping minorities and women in low-
paying jobs despite their qualifications
far higher positions. Thanks to Rehn-
quist and four other justices, the burden
isnow back on employees to prove that
these discriminatory practices are in
fact unnecessary.
In an equally ludicrous decision by

the same five justices, it was deter-
mined that employees can only sue
their employers for bigoted action per-
petrated before the making of a con-
tract, not for events which transpire
after agreements are made. Needless to
say, this decision, if unchallenged by
Congress, will be devastating to em-
ployees who are discriminated against
after signing a contract.
The Reagan era ushered in members
of the Supreme Court who are deter-
mined to dismantle the Civil Rights Act
of 1964. And with three of the liberal
Justices being more than 80 years old,
it is probable that the leadership of the
Supreme Court will be joined by more
like-minded regressives within the span
of George Bush's term in office.
Because of this, it is imperative that
Congress works to undo the Court's
damage by passing the Civil Rights Act
of 1990. This Act would make clear
that no action of the Supreme Court
will allow harassment or discrimination
to be legalized within the work place.
Supreme Court justices virtually
have the most secure jobs in the coun-
try. Unfortunately, this is not the case
for the vast majority of minorities and
women in the work force, who by the
year 2000 will comprise 91 percent of
the jobs in this country. If the Supreme
Court insists upon turning its back on
this growing population, Congress
must take the lead in speaking up.

(('i CT's A LL.


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'O 4p eLA l. IO 6'J(, T4 5LTU


Daily aims to divide Black students,

SThe wrong man
angler's campaign slogan is offensive to women

By Francis Matthews
and David Maurrasse
The new Daily Opinion Page editors
have laid out their plans to carry out a
weekly forum where an issue is introduced
and people are solicited for responses. For
the first "issue" the Daily had originally
planned to ask the question of whether
UCAR is fighting racism in the correct
way. They sought out representatives from
various organizations to give their opinion
on the issue; one of these organizations
was the Black Student Union.
For 6000 years, white civilization has
waged war on people of the Afrikan dias-
pora in several forms, including the media
in this technological age. The destruction
of Black people today, from economics to
culture, has been a continuation of the op-
pressive history of slavery - developing a
dominant empire by oppressing Black
people and maintaining it by keeping
Black people from concentrating on fight-
ing back.
Pitting UCAR and BSU against each
other in the Daily is a much less blatant
form of today's war against Afrikans and
other people of color, but the results are
the same. An example in recent history
was the FBI's successful attempt to de-
stroy the Black Panther Party by creating
and sensationalizing differences between
them and other groups such as US (a
Black organization based in Oakland). The
two groups eventually came to gun fight-
ing over the passing of nasty notes written
by FBI informants.
The media has always presented a dis-
torted view of the Black community -
from happy slaves to today's version of
the Black community being made up of
gangs, criminals, and drug addicts, who
Matthews is president of the Black
Student Union. Maurrasse is a steering
committee member of the United Coali-
tion Against Racism.,

have brought all their problems onto
themselves. One media focus is on the
marketing and distribution of drugs to the
Black community, neglecting the fact that
most of the drugs, not to mention the
guns, are brought in and consumed by
white communities. This is all instigated
by the worship of the almighty "green pa-
pered drug" (the dollar bill). Also consider
the constant intrusion of the white media
in exacerbating certain differences between
Blacks such as Afrikans and Afrikan
Americans, men and women, light-skinned
and dark-skinned, and Bloods and Crips
(gangs in L.A.), and the BSU and UCAR.
Although the BSU and UCAR do have
different agendas, within them is a com-
mon goal; the improvement of the situa-
tion and the self-determination of Black
people. The aim of the Daily's forum, in
effect, was to force Black students to
choose between one group of the other. In
this "tool of power," students of color are
forced to make a "choice of struggles,"
with the white power structure determin-

ing the criteria for that choice. Because of
this, UCAR and BSU have not partici-
pated in this Opinion Page forum and will
never settle our differences through the
Opinion Page.
UCAR, in itself, is not an issue nor is
BSU. What we work around are issues
the concerns of students of color on the
campus and in our communities.
Although we may have some differences
in approach, we can take care of them
among ourselves. It is not the place of the
Daily, nor any other group, hostile to the
development and self-determination of
people of color, to decide whether people
of color organizations should have a pub-
lic debate or not.
Thus, it is certainly not the Daily's
place to determine the future of the Black
community on campus. Let it be under-
stood that a divided and unconscious Black
people cannot successfully change the sit-'
uation, but united and vigilant, we stand


"Just think what the right man could
- Campaign slogan of Michigan
gubernatorial candidate John Engler
The campaign slogan introduced last
week by Republican gubernatorial
candidate John Engler is an insensitive
and sexist message to the voters of
Michigan, 52 percent of whom are
Engler, the state senate majority
leader and leading candidate to oppose
incumbent Gov. James Blanchard in
November, has come under attack by
women's groups upset with his cam-
paign message. Much criticism has also
come from Michigan Lt. Gov. Martha
Griffiths, who said his campaign is an
insult to every woman in the state. "It's
the same old Engler," Griffiths said.
"In his political world, there are no
The "man" who Engler is promot-
ing, namely himself, can hardly be
seen as a serious threat to Blanchard.

Engler has been accused throughout his
career of being a generally boring
speaker and an uninspiring political
figure. He is hardly the kind of leader
the fragmented Republican party in
Michigan can rally around in their quest
for the governor's seat. Nonetheless,
he is raising a huge sum of money for
his impending campaign, and his "Just
think what the right man..." television
commercials have already begun to ap-
Engler's campaign should be seen
for what it is: sexist. This is an uncar-
ing and callous message to give women
in this state, especially since women
have historically been excluded from
the powerful world of politics. Carol
Norris, the executive director of the
Michigan Democratic Party, said this
will be a "major issue among women
and the population as a whole" come
the November elections.
Engler's insensitivity and sexism
should not be forgotten; the people of
Michigan should consider, when they
vote, what the right person could do.

Editor's response
In pursuing an IssuesForum on the methods employed by UCAR, the Daily sought
only to provide a forum for debate which was already taking place on campus. The.
Daily did not set out to stir up criticism, it aimed only to provide its readers with
arguments both for and against UCAR's methods.
Issues Editor Laura Sankey and I were concerned that an IssuesForum dealing with
UCAR's effectiveness might upset anti-racist activists on campus. Before continuing,
we asked several people what they thought of such an IssuesForum. One of the people
we spoke with was Francis Matthews, who encouraged us to continue with the project.
The Daily approached one individual in BSU about writing an article, but contrary to,
Matthews' and Maurrasse's assertion, we never solicited an article from BSU as a
When Matthews later submitted the above letter, I told him we only decided to
proceed with the IssuesForum after hearing his positive response, and assured him that:
we had decided to abandon the idea anyway. K0
The Daily sought only to provide a forum for debate, not to divide or alienate4
anyone. The Daily is not planning to do an IssuesForum on UCAR's effectiveness in the:
-David Schwartz;
Opinion Page Editoi

Former MAC chair apologizes, criticizes Daily



No Styrofoam in university food services

Hello Marriott, hello landfills.
Since the takeover of the Union food
service by Marriott Corporation, there
have been more changes in the food ser-
vice that could ever have been predicted
by an unsuspecting college population.
Food workers have a mandatory
"uniform" to wear, Sugar 'n' spice sells
frozen yogurt instead of ice cream.
And instead of the innocuous waxed-
paper cups that once bore the IMUnion
slogan, Marriott has replaced the beverage
cups with Styrofoam.
Bad move, Marriott.

Styrofoam, the trade name of
polystyrene foam, a non-biodegradable
plastic, contains millions of air bubbles,
which keep the cups light...
But once thrown away, there is no way
to recycle Styrofoam as there are ways to
recycle aluminum, glass, and paper prod-
The only place Styrofoam ends up is
landfills, where it sits for approximately
400-500 years before finally leaving.
- Indiana Daily Student
Indiana University
January 31

By C. Delro Harris
A number of weeks ago, I, along with
another prominent Black student leader,
was contacted about a proposed IssuesFo-
rum dealing with the student organization
known as the United Coalition Against
Racism. At that time, we were asked
whether or not the topic would be
"kosher." At the time, we both were fairly
enthusiastic about the article and, although
we both declined to write anything against
the organization, we gave our support for
As human beings, we all make mis-
takes. That was one of them. In the end,
we both came to the conclusion that it
was a bad idea, and expressed this to the
Opinion Page editor. That Issues Forum
never appeared. Naturally, one is inclined
to ask why the change in heart. I'm about
to explain.
First, and foremost, one must look at
intentions. A number of minority organi-
zations have legitimate problems with
Harris is former chair of the Minority
Affairs Commission.

UCAR. However, it is generally acknowl-
edged that UCAR has been the major anti-
racist group on campus. In our frustration
over certain aspects of the group, we had
initially supported the Issues Forum as a
way to "get them," which is unwise, at
best, immature and childish at worse.
If there is legitimate concern about a
group, then the way to achieve better rela-
tions is not to come out ripping at each
other's throats in the media, but to create a
dialogue between the groups and make an
effort to gain a better understanding of
where each group is coming from. Criti-
cism is one thing, but to debate over the
existence of an organization makes no
sense. Hiding behind the IssuesForum
would've only helped to polarize people
and cut off what communication there is.
Secondly, history does come into play.
While there have been a number of
changes, the Michigan Daily does not
have a history of being a friend to minor-
ity student organizations. My first year as
Minority Affairs Commission chair, I lis-
tened in on a conversation between a
Michigan Student Assembly officer and an

Opinion Page editor as they planned on
manipulating information in hopes of get-,
ting UCAR and the NAACP to start fight-
ing. My second year I angrily listened to
the current Opinion page editor tell minor-,
ity students that they were lucky to see
anything concerning minorities in print
because we were "in the minority."
And this year, I'm aware of at least two
articles that were submitted as opinion
that were edited not for reasons of space
but for what had been deemed as "factual
inaccuracies" (in someone's opinion) and
confusion over why certain paragraphs
were written. Outside of that, misleading
headlines in numerous articles, bad report
ing, and other incidents have, in effect,
misrepresented the minority community.
For two minority student leaders to
play into all this was irresponsible, but
also, for the Daily to target an organiza-
tion like that was also irresponsible.
Hopefully, this sort of situation will be
avoided in the future, but only time will

fight anti-Semitism
To the Daily:
We connernedstudents of the Tniver-

and prejudice to join us in our quest for a
more enlightened campus.
With this goal in mind, members of

spiracies and Jewish exploitative power.
These are traditional anti-Semitic themes.
His words speak for themselves.

Abortion 'Zone'
would be dangerous

punishable with a $5 fine, it will not pre-
vent doctors that administer abortion;
from having their licenses revoked. Thus,
there wonid still he a strong- diincentive


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