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March 30, 1990 - Image 18

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-03-30
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S .

Duderstadt's disingenuous drivel

President Jim is at it again.
In a letter to the Daily last
week - reprinted in this week's
University Record (with that most-
stern portrait of the Man Himself)
- Duderstadt has presented an
even more insulting and
condescending attitude toward
students than that to which we've
become accustomed in the last
two years. The audacity with
which he contradicts himself -
openly and proudly - is an
embarrassment to the people of
this University.
A few weeks ago, the Black
Student Union sponsored a talk
by Steve Cokely, a Black
politician who has been roundly
criticized as anti-Semitic by some
Jewish groups. I won't get into
the merits of those charges here.
Suffice it to say that Cokely's
visit, along with Minister Louis
Farrakhan's speech at Msu,
opened up a new dialogue
between some Black and Jewish
groups. Not all of it was pretty,
but some of it was productive.
The President, as has been his
practice, decided to interject
some vague but dangerous
rhetoric into the debate once it
was substantially cooled.
Parts of his argument - in
isolation - made perfect sense.
But these were the passages
which he most directly
contradicted himself.
"Of course, we often bring
strong emotions to political and
intellectual debate," he wrote,
"and this may make it difficult at

times to treat opponents
respectfully or to make our case
through reasoned argument and
with rigorous intellectual
Reading that
passage, the average
student might think
Jim was advocating
reasoned argument and
rigorous intellectual
integrity, since that is
what he said.
Guess again.
When it came to,
the substance of the
debate, this was the P
most specific he got:Phi
"I commend those
students and faculty bol

But it gets worse.
Duderstadt released draft 6.0 of
the infamous Michigan Mandate
last week. The new version
reveals the patronizing
view the President
maintains not just of
students as a whole, but
of the people of color
and women the
Mandate professes to
deal with.
The Mandate states:
"...America can no
longer afford to waste
the human potential,
cultural richness and
leadership represented
II by minorities and


who have denounced
the recent anti-Semitic talk and
remarks reportedly made by a
visiting speaker. I join them in
condemning this expression of
religious prejudice and
No mention of Cokely or BSU,
not to mention the specifics of the
"anti-Semitic talk and remarks
reportedly made..." Our esteemed
academic has disclaimed himself
out of the argument.
Revealingly, he also said, "It
may be easier to ignore messages
of hate or lies presented as the
truth, but I think we are obliged
to denounce hatred and expose
So, where is the denunciation,
and what is he exposing? Poor Jim
plays it so safe he never even
names the objects of his criticism,
or "exposes" their alleged crimes.


But who is AmericaThe
"minorities and women" to which
he refers far outnumber the elite
core of which he is a part. Is he
suggesting that they have spent
the last 400 years wasting their
own human potential, cultural
richness and leadership?
Throughout the Mandate, "we"
are discussing how we will make
"our" University better for
"them" (with "them" represented
by the magic word, diversity).
This elite attitude helps explain
the most insidious - if most
veiled - argument in his treatise:
"But why," Jim wonders, "are
we and other universities
experiencing [unspecified]
incidents of group conflict,
prejudice and hostility? At least
part of the reason is that we are
becoming more diverse."

Could the President possibly be
suggesting that "incidents of
group conflict, prejudice and
hostility" are new features on the
U.S.-American campus landscape?
Or in this society?
Worse than the suggestion that
these conflicts would never have
arisen if "we" had not had the
benevolence to bring "them" into
our University, is the tacit
accusation that Black students
have brought these problems with
Like rats at a garden party,
If the letter had arisen out of an
incident of white racist behavior
(which it may or may not have,
but in the President's eyes at
least...) the argument would be
more defensible - whites faced
with integration have historically
had violent defensive reactions.
But within a concealed attack on
Black students' alleged racism,
the claim is indefensible. Blacks
(especially those at this
university) have had no shortage
of contact with their white
We all know how seriously he
takes student input (though for
some reason he wouldn't return
my phone call...). This is
reiterated in the new version of
the Mandate.
In a tiny section on what
students can do to help achieve
Diversity, the President
commands: "Demonstrate
responsibility and leadership
rather than negativity or

"Take an active role in creating
diversity by volunteering in
community outreach programs, by
tutoring, by forming and
participating in multi-cultural
activities on this campus, and by
working with each other in a spirit
of mutual respect and
There is no mention of what
has been and continues to be the
most effective means of achieving
change on campus - the political
organization, protest and struggle
of students.
Why were there more Black
students on campus 14 years ago
than there are today?
Student protest.
Why were there twice as many
Black graduate students on
campus in 1975 than there are
Student struggle.
And how has the administration
been dragged kicking and
screaming into the celebration of
Martin Luther King Day? into
beginning to recruit more Black
students (only a handful, of
course, and most of those as
transfer students)? and into hiring
more Black faculty (almost 4
percent now - enough for
students to average one Black
faculty teacher in four years of
school here)?
Student organization.
Among the many obstacles
which students face in the pursuit
of a better university, Jim
Duderstadt's disingenuous drivel
has earned him a prominent

young singer, and partly due to
Franklin's own desire to be all
things to all people.
When she moved to the
Ertegun brothers' Atlantic
Records, a jazz and R & B label,
Franklin was taken under the
wing of producer Jerry Wexler;
Wexler had been having some
success with the Southern Soul
sound; records licensed from the
Memphis Stax/Volt label by Otis
Redding, Sam and Dave and
Booker T. & the M.G.s had been
big hits, and Wilson Pickett had
been recording tight funky
sessions in Muscle Shoals,
Alabama. Through a mixture of
coincidence, intuition on the part
of Wexler, and happy accident,
Franklin was sent down to
Muscle Shoals to record her first
Atlantic album. There's a lot of
legend stuff about those sessions:
how Franklin pissed off all the
musicians, how Franklin's
husband constantly interfered
during recording,but most
intriguingly, how Franklin had
had a huge row with her band and
her husband just before recording
"I Never Loved a Man (the Way I
Love You)." One can sense the
extra pressure and barely
suppressed pain in her excellent
piano playing. And then there's
the voice.
In song, this is a woman who
doesn't take any nonsense; she's
plain about her love and desire,
but she knows that her man is a
good-for-nothing, "a liar and a

thief." Suddenly, millions of
miles away from Detroit in a
simple studio in the Deep South
with a white band, Franklin's
voice is filled with both the
particular frustrations of that day
and the liberated timbre of her
gospel singing. It was at these
sessions that she cut "Respect."
It was as if the power of Sam
Cooke, Little Willie John, Bobby.
"Blue" Bland and Etta James had
been compressed into one
awesome larynx. In Muscle
Shoals, Franklin had a new
degree of artistic autonomy and
developed a special working
relationship with her producers
Arif Mardin and Tom Dowd, as
well as the fine songwriters and
the studio band. The album I
Never Loveda Man (the Way That I
Love You) and its superb follow-
up Lady Soul(an oblique allusion
to spiritual precursor "Lady Day"
Billie Holliday?) showcased
Franklin's incredible vocal range.
Further albums and more mega
hits in the shape of "Chain of
Fools," "Baby I Love You" and
"Natural Woman" consolidated
her position as the foremost
female singer of the era.
This was her historic moment
and though there were many
great recordings after this ,
Franklin's presence was never
quite as potent. It was as if the
assassination of Dr. King and the
subsequent confusion within the
Civil Rights movement was eerily
echoed in Franklin's own career.
Her finest song "I Say a Little
Prayer" reveals her trying to
come to terms with tradition and

her own identity as a successful
Black woman engaged with a
troubled world. There could have
been more great records, but her
career waned as she tried to keep
pace with changing pop fashions.
Limp efforts to grasp the hippie
market were embarrassing. It has
been Franklin's willfully bad
career moves which have plagued
her career throughout the '70s
and '80s. Too many times she has
wanted to please all the people all
the time; there's a desire to be a
cabaret singer, a Streisand, and a
modern dance pop singer (with
terrible fashion sense). And then
sometimes, she just wants to be
the gospel singer of her roots.
Though the sublime "Angel"
(penned by sister Carolyn who
died recently), "Think" in The
Blues Brothers,the Luther
Vandross-produced "Jump to It,"
"Who's Zoomin' Who?" and
collaborations with Annie Lennox
and George Michael have all
been pleasing , what one really
yearns for in Franklin's music is
the real Aretha singing with the
range she once had, about her
inner demons. Instead of trying to
be Tina Turner, Franklin should
discard her present dress
designers, stop doing duets with
young pop stars or wrinkled
Rolling Stones, and sing about
what's going on in her strange
head. I mean, even Elvis
recorded some dark confessionals
in the decadent years.
by Nabeel Zuberi

:.; .
3.", t

. '; ' ,
.;- .


Aretha's respect stands the test ot time




There comes a time in every
young man's life when he must
forsake conventional societal
norms. He must forget all that his
parents and teachers have taught
him. He must rely solely on
He must attend a Grateful
Dead concert.
Last week I heard that little
bird calling me. I've never been a
huge fan of the Dead. Of course I
enjoy their standards - Casey
Jones, Sugar Magnolia, and
especially Ripple - but, I'm
hardly what you'd call a
Deadhead. In fact I may have
avoided really listening to the
Dead over the years for fear of

being called a Faux Deadhead.
Still, when I heard the Dead
were playing in nearby Hamilton,
Ontario (that's in Canada in case

Windshield wipers slapping
time, the ride to Hamilton was
uneventful, a bad omen. There's
a rule of the road: plans get

your geography is a
little weak)
something deep
inside of me told me
this was my turn to
go, like my own
biological Dead
clock ticking louder
and louder.
I assembled a

screwed up. No
journey by car ever
goes smoothly, it
just doesn't
t happen.
Arriving at the
sold-out Hamilton
Coliseum we began
our search for
tickets. There were

Like The Rolling Stones' Angie,
you can't say we never tried. We
thought of every tactic to get into
the show. Every exit was sealed,
every doorway blocked. We tried
to pose as media, security,
paramedics, and even Jerry
Garcia's personal valets, but those
Canucks could not be outwitted.
Experts had told me that plenty
of extra tickets would be
circulating outside the stadium,
but much to our dismay the only
tickets we ended up purchasing
that evening were $6.00 general
admission to the adjoining cinema
complex to see Tom Hanks'
latest opus Joe vs. The Volcano.

At this point mere mortals may
have just headed back towards
Ann Arbor, content having seen
the movie.
We are not mere mortals
though, we are college seniors.
We have the freedom to do more
than other people. And freedom's
just another word for nothing left
to lose or nothing better to do. So
with this bohemian attitude in
tuck we headed East towards
Niagara Falls.
Actually that preceding account
takes some liberty, romanticizing
our trip to the falls. After the
movie I noticed that some of the
steel belt from my left rear steel
belted radial were wearing trough

"That girlstole my song!"
- Otis Redding on Aretha
Franklin's "Respect"
If music annals can be believed,
this was the phrase out of
Redding's mouth when he heard
Franklin's classic version of his
original tune over 20 years ago.
Soulful as he was, Redding knew
when he had been beaten at his
own game and nobody beat him
better than the Queen of Soul
Today, "Respect" has joined
the legion of '60s songs featured
in films (Mystic Pizza) while
another Franklin masterpiece is
the focus of an ad for jeans.
Despite this blatant
commercialization, Franklin's
repertoire stands the test of time
like few other artists in the history
of gospel, rock or soul and she
remains revered by most people
who believe in the ability of
music to speak to the spirit.
"She's timeless, really," says

Rhonda Williams, a member of
the U-M Gospel Chorale. "All
through her life she's been on the
charts. Everybody loves her and
that's something that is hard to
achieve. I respect and admire her
for that." While Williams says her
favorite Franklin song is probably
"(You Make Me Feel) Like a
Natural Woman," it is the singer's
overall approach which is so
"I like her because her singing
style is very homey," Williams
says. "It's something that, as a
Black person, I can relate to."
With all the references to home, it
seems that may be the place that
houses not only the heart but
(the) soul as well.
"She was always in the
mainstream. Her old stuff is great,
her new stuff is great too, but her
old stuff hits home a little bit
more," says University Masters of
Voice student Lee Melvin who
contends that audiences at
Franklin's Saturday night show

will be anxiously awaiting her
long-standing classic. "I do like
'Respect' even though it's an old
one.... I think everybody's looking
for that song." Melvin gets right
to the point when describing
Franklin's appeal. "That's why I
like Aretha, she can wail," he
It is Franklin's Baptist
background that inspires all this
energy, says Stephen Newby, a
teaching assistant in the School of
Music whose musical upbringing
is similar to Franklin's. "My
background being gospel as well,
I think I connect with Aretha on
that. Our fathers are both
pastors.... Because her roots are so
strong, I think that's why they call
her the Queen of Soul. The soul
houses the spirit."
It's obvious this soulful singer
commands respect. Baby, she's
still got it.
by Kristin Palm

WC44 welcorr
/ v
Saturday, April 2
Hill Auditoria
David Bromi
Shawn Col
Duck's Breath Myst
John Prin
Cris Williamson &
O.J. Anders
Tickets available at Michigan Uni
all Ticketmaster outlets. A MajorE

merry band of cohorts, and with
neither tickets nor a concrete idea
of where exactly Hamilton was,
we loaded in the station wagon
and set off to meet our destinies.

others bundled in clusters around
the stadium asking anyone if they
had "one miracle ticket." We
needed four tickets, or in other
words "four divine intervention




March jq0,99o

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