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March 23, 1990 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-03-23

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

Page 4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 23, 1990

EYJle Lidiirn &dIly
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.

South Africa
New budget exploits Black majority

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pressure on the South African regime,
and the funds available to the govern-
ment are increasingly limited. How-
4 ever, the government's ability to dis-
tribute these funds in a grossly unfair
and racist way continues, only sur-
passed by the empty and malicious
rhetoric which is used to justify this.
Last week's South African budget
was hailed as the start of a new eco-
nomic way of thinking, to match the
new-style politics of President F.W. de
Klerk. Finance minister Barend du
Plessis talked of the need to provide the
greatest possible provision to help the
"less privileged" - his own
euphemism for the exploited Black
majority. Not surprisingly, the eco-
nomic changes advocated are as cos-
metic as the political ones espoused by
de Klerk.
The budget focused on the 17.6 per-
cent increase in expenditure on Black
education; with inflation running at 14
percent, the real increase is obviously
marginal - its impact in reducing the
vast differences in spending between
white and Black education is even more
marginal. Total spending on white edu-
cation continues to exceed total spend-
ing on Black --- despite the fact that
Blacks outnumber whites by more than
5 to 1.
The philosophy underlying the in-
crease is even more insidious. A two-
tiered educational system is envisioned,
where the white minority pay for their
own, higher level of education, and the
state provides a lower level for Blacks.
Not only does such a policy neatly
side-step the demands for a desegre-
gated school-system, it allows the
fagade of social-spending to obscure
the continued institutionalized racism.
Du Plessis claims he is shifting the
burden of social spending onto the rich
white minority. However, it is clear
that any money whites may have to
spend on education will come from

wage-packets bulging from tax de-
creases. The budget has given 4 billion
rand away in tax cuts, including a
phased decrease in the top income-tax
bracket from 44 to 40 percent. Need-
less to say, the beneficiaries from these
cuts are almost exclusively white.
As world attention focuses on
apartheid, and pressurizes the govern-
ment which continues to im-plement it,
Pretoria is finding a neat solution: it
merely divests itself of power, and
transfers the burden of maintaining
inequality to a particularly perverse
form of capitalism.
As government-owned industries
are sold off one by one, their profits
move out of the hands of the white
governing elite, and into the hands of
the white business elite. Such a transfer
comes not as a result of an application
of the "tried and true economic princi-
ples" that du Plessis claims; it is a last,
determined effort to cling to privilege,
and split the unity of Black opposition,
particularly the African National
Congress and the Communist.Party -
long standing allies in the fight against
white repression.
As the people of Namibia celebrate
their deliverance from the brutality of
military rule, this has not signalled an
end to the violence of the South African
security forces. Rather, the violence is
being turned against the growing agita-
tion within its own borders. Much of
the "peace dividend" from the with-
drawal of troops has gone to fund an
increase in police expenditure of 16
percent, allegedly due to an escalation
of Black crime in the townships.
Township violence is due to the frus-
trations of a disempowered Black
population, living in slums and consis-
tently subjected to police brutality.
The lessons of last week are simple.
Not only must apartheid fall, an unjust
capitalism, supervised by enlarged in-
ternal security forces, must not be al-
lowed to replace it.

1 f
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Retai~nMedical School's OSAMA.@
By Holly Gilmer and contacts and familiarize themselves with continuing the office at all. It is alarming
Joe Downing the school. to us that discontinuation of the OSAMA

Many changes are currently taking
place at the University of Michigan Medi-
cal School with regards to the Office of
Student and Minority Affairs (OSAMA),
of which we feel the University commu-
nity should be made aware.
Dr. Margaret Woodbury, Assistant
Dean of Student and Minority Affairs, has
taken permanent leave, resulting in a very
transitional state for this office. Drs. Carol
Kauffman and Tom Landefield have been
named interim contact persons/advisors
until a permanent decision is made about
the future of the office and the Dean's po-
OSAMA and the Dean's position were
conceived to give minority medical stu-
dents a voice on campus and have existed
since the 1970s to provide support for mi-
nority students. In addition, it has played a
central role in recruitment, retention, and
academic guidance of minority medical
students that is not being fulfilled by any
other office.
Dr. Woodbury was integral to this role,
not only because of her personal commit-
ment but also because of her position as
Dean, which made her a powerful advocate
for students who had academic problems,
as well as those who excelled.
OSAMA was responsible for programs
such as the post-baccalaureate program, for
students who had not been accepted into
the Medical School. Upon completion the
program, nearly all of these students were
then accepted. For medical students,
OSAMA provided a pre-matriculation pro-
gram which was given the summer before
the first year of medical school as an op-
portunity for accepted minority students to
get an introduction to medical school
course work as well as to make faculty
Gilmer and Downing are members of the
Black Medical Association. BMA en-
dorses this viewpoint.

Prior to this year, OSAMA ran the is even being considered as a rational op-

Student Skills Office which was deeply
involved, along with Dr. Woodbury, in
monitoring individual students' academic
progress and need for academic support.
OSAMA also maintained contacts with
the other minority organizations on cam-
pus and with the medical school alumni,
without which there is a certain isolation
felt by minority student organizations.
Minority medical students have had ex-
periences ranging from complete satisfac-

We are also concerned as to whether or
not the current amount of funding for the
office will be maintained, especially if it
is integrated into another already existing
office. Finally, we have doubts that any
strong program of student recruitment can
possibly be established without a base of
operation and with the office in its current
state of transition and disorganization.
The Black Medical Association and the

We are concerned about the fact that an executive
committee of faculty is being organized to investigate
the feasibility of continuing the office at all. It is
alarming to us that discontinuation of the OSAMA is
even being considered as a rational option.

tion to total disillusionment with the
University, but all have benefitted from
the presence of OSAMA and the availabil-
ity of the Assistant Dean for Student and
Minority Affairs.
In view of the obvious importance of
OSAMA to the medical school, we are
concerned about changes being considered
by Dr. Thomas Shope, Dean of Academic
Affairs, who is currently overseeing the
office. These include:
the replacement of the Deanship
with a minority advocate who would not
be a Dean, not necessarily be a doctor, and
not sit on the Academic Review Board.
the integration of OSAMA into the
Office of Student Affairs, which would ad-
ditionally dilute the capability of the office
to assist students in its previous capacity.
reduction in staffing of the office
which is already understaffed.
We are concerned about the fact that an
executive committee of faculty is being
organized to investigate the feasibility of

Latin-American Native American Medical
Association have generated a list of rec=
ommendations for support services the of-
fice should provide which has been sub-
mitted to Dr. Shope. Maintaining the of-
fice of the Dean of Student and Minority
Affairs is the most important of these to
our organization. However, we wonder to
what extent we will be involved when the
capacity of the office is established.
There is a paucity of Black faculty at
the medical school, and with the loss of
Dr. Woodbury, there are no longer any
ethnic minorities in administrative posi-
tions. If the office of Assistant Dean for
Student and Minority Affairs is elimi-
nated, the medical school administration
will be without appropriate minority rep-
resentation. In our view, this is a direct
contradiction to the goals of President
Duderstadt's Michigan Mandate, and as
such is a situation which bears closer
scrutiny by concerned parties both within
and outside of the medical school.

Bush should not include Israeli citj in Baker plan

is in disarray and the President of the
United States is not helping to stabilize
the situation.
Last week, the fragile coalition gov-
ernment in Israel dominated by the
conservative Likud Party and Prime
Minister Yitzhak Shamir split from the
* more moderate Labor Party and its
leader, Shimon Peres. The reason for
the dispute involves the plan proposed
by U.S. Secretary of State James
Baker which would allow for elections
for Palestinian representation from the
occupied territories. For the most part,
Labor favors the plan while Likud re-
jects it.
However, the situation was made
even worse in the wake of President
Bush's statement that East Jerusalem is
an occupied territory and is subject to
the terms of Baker's plans. This state-
ment is erroneous, to say the least, and
it is one issue upon which all Israelis
agree. Jerusalem should not be called
into question in this volatile situation,
especially by a meddling Bush. It is the
center of Jewish political and spiritual

life in Israel and its status should not be
As Labor and Likud members jock-
ey to form a new government, one
must hope that anew government will
move in the direction of peace by al-
lowing free elections for all Palestinians
in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israel
should also open a dialogue with the
Palestinians as well - an issue which
has been a fierce point of debate for
quite a while. But in the wake of the
government splitting up, the peace pro-
cess and election proposal are now
bound to be delayed indefinitely while
Israeli politicians form a new coalition.
Bush cannot be criticized enough for
his insensitive disregard for Israelis in
his attempt to involve himself in this
inner-Israeli dispute. While it is hoped
that a new government that is respon-
sive to the rights and needs of Pales-
tinians will emerge quickly and that
elections and negotiations follow soon
after, it is also necessary that President
Bush concentrate on pressing domestic
issues and leave his two cents at home.

Wear blue jeans to support gay rights

By Allison Van Norman and
Pat Bach
Ah, yes... Spring... a time for flowers,
warm weather, and Gay Awareness Week.
That's right, Gay Awareness Week. This
year's festivities begin on Monday, March
26, with a rally at noon on the diag, and
Blue Jeans Day. Wear blue jeans if you
support gay rights.
So you don't own blue jeans? Wear
black jeans, or a denim skirt or jacket. But
be prepared to defend your decision.
There's a good chance people will ask you
questions like "did you know today is Blue
Jeans Day?" or "gross, do you support
those people?" or even "BLUE JEANS!
Van Norman and Bach are members of the
Lesbian and Gay Men's Rights Orga-
nizing Committee. LaGR OC endorsees
this viewpoint.

Are you a queer?"
You don't want to support gay rights?
So don't wear blue jeans. Oh, I see. You
don't want to support gay rights, but you
want the full possibilities of your stylish
collegiate wardrobe on Monday, Levis and
I guess you'll have to make a decision.
On Blue Jeans Day, many of you will be
confronted with dilemmas similar to those
faced by gay people every day. No, no. We
don't have any more trouble than you usu-
ally do with "stone-washed or regular?"
Those of you who wear blue jeans on
Monday are like the lesbians, gay men,
and bisexuals who are "out of the closet."
Many people will treat you like they al-
ways do, but some might be angry, or re-
ject your actions. There will be some of
you who will not wear blue jeans (even
though you support gay rights) because

you fear what people will say or think,;
just like the gay people and bisexuals who
are in the closet.
Every day, many of us must deny who
we are, and pretend to be something we're
not to protect ourselves from negative
consequences. We feel the same anger you
do at being forced to choose between two
unappealing alternatives. Yet while you
may be denied a small part of your cloth-
ing selection for one day, gay people and
bisexuals are often forced to deny integral0
parts of their lives every day.
So on Monday, as you agonize over
whether or not to put on those sweats that
haven't been washed in six weeks (since
the mudwrestling tournament), takel a
moment to reflect on what it means fora
lesbian, gay man, or bisexual to come opt
of the closet, and remember that it's a de-
cision we make every day.
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personal decisions.
It seems that much of the time and
money spent on this issue could be better
used to solve problems that actually are
problems. By getting out and voting "no"
on April 2nd, maybe we can force the cify
to address the real issues in our commu-
nity and not some politically advantageous
straw man. Ron Randall*
LSA senior

WNELD... 'e
To A0 T





Daily falsely names Jewish people rather than examining the
racism explicit in political Zionism itself.
CO-SpOnSOrS Of tape Mike Fischer


To the Daily:
We are deeply concerned about the
Daily's erroneous statement (3/22/90) that
the Palestine Solidarity Committee co-
sponsored the Steve Cokely tape, "A Dis-
encenn n nitia 2:7 :n cm" h m i

Rashid Taher
members, Palestinian
Solidarity Committee

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