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October 17, 1990 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-10-17

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Page 4--The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 17, 1990
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109


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Editor in Chief

Opinion Editor


T1INKt ' M T

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.
From the Daily
Jerusalem killings
Israeli action continues a long-standing policy
LAST MONDAY'S MASSACRE OF mainstream media in the United States,
Palestinian civilians in Jerusalem has was still presenting this as fact.
been the subject of great speculation The Israeli government, not the
and conjecture, heated debates at the Jewish religious zealots seeking to
United Nations, and enormous intema- construct a Third Temple, is responsi-
tional outrage. The incident resulted in ble for the killings of unarmed Pales-
the deaths of at least 24 Palestinians tinians by instigating the violence, and
and the injury of more than 300 others. then shooting Palestinians who reacted
Hundreds more were rounded up and by throwing rocks. Israel has shown
detained in Israeli prisons, without time and again that it reacts to rock
charge. throwing by indiscriminately shooting
Eleven Israelis were reported any Palestinian unfortunate enough to
wounded, none seriously. be in the vicinity.
The Israeli government's official According to the Israeli League for
explanation for the violence the mom- Human and Civil Rights, there were no
ing of Oct. 8 was simple: hostilities confrontations in the Temple Mount
were initiated - and in fact premedi- area until Israeli police surrounded
tated - by Palestinian youth and di- women praying on the upper tier of the
rected at peaceful Jewish worshippers. plaza and fired tear gas at them without
The attack, they say, was planned in provocation.
collusion with Saddam Hussein and In fact, some Israeli sources are
other nefarious characters and was a claiming that undercover Israeli agents
clever ploy intended to shift the focus were among the Jewish protesters, and
of world attention from events in the they helped Israeli troops initiate the
Gulf to the streets of the occupied terri- killings. Regardless, the massacre of
tories. innocent Palestinians by Israeli troops
While much of the U.S. press has - who were later defended by Israeli
done an effective job of reinforcing the leaders - shows Israel's neglect for
government's story and obfuscating Palestinian human rights.
some very important facts, Israel's Clearly, the misinformation released
own Hebrew Press and other sources by the Israeli government following the
in the country have been far more hon- klgs is just that - misinformation
est and forthright about the role the Is- If Israeli officials were confident in
raeli government played in last week's their version of the story, there would
killings. be no reason for them to be hostile to a
An Israeli military analyst wrote UN delegation investing the causes of
Oct. 10 in the Israeli daily Ha'aretz that the violence.
the Israeli government's statement con-
cerning the violence could not be sub- The events of Oct. 8, then, do not
stantiated, and not a shred of evidence represent some "aberration" from nor-
exists that the hostilities were either mal Israeli government behavior. They
provoked by the Palestinians or rather provide stark confirmation of a
planned from abroad. consistent, concerted state policy to
Even an Israeli government spokes- oppress Palestinians. As controversy
person, when pressed to present proof continues to swirl around how to re-
of a "premeditated Palestinian holy spond to last week's tragedy, the media
war," could provide no such evidence and politicians alike would do well to
to substantiate the government's claim. remember how broad and long-stand-
Yet the government, and much of the ing the scope of that tragedy actually is.
'Matter of dignity
It's time for Michigan to enact 'living will' laws
IT'S "A MATTER OF DIGNITY." THIS document void simply by indicating the
is how Michigan State Rep. Perry desire to do so.
Bullard (D-Ann Arbor) describes the Research conducted by Rep.
right to decide one's own destiny. Bullard's office has shown that 88 per-
In general, an ill person in the state cent or more of Michigan adults would
of Michigan has that right. But what support a living will law. Beyond that,
happens if the ill person is incapable of living will legislation has been en-
making a decision on matters of treat- dorsed by the American Association of
ment, nutrition, and hydration? Retired Persons, the Michigan Medical
In 41 states, there is a legal provi- Society, and the Michigan Bar Asso-
sion for so-called "living wills." These ciation.
documents allow people to delineate Living wills apply not only to the
specific guidelines for their medical elderly, but to the young as well.
care, should they ever become termi- Karen Ann Quinlan, a resident of New
nally ill or be in a state where they Jersey in her twenties, was kept alive
could not rationally make decisions in a permanent vegetative state, against
about theirown care. Twoother states the will of her parents. They eventually
allow individuals to appoint a medical won the right to end treatment, after a
trustee, who would be responsible for long, bitter legal battle.
decisions on care if they lose their abil- Nancy Cruzan was in her twenties
ity to make such choices themselves. and rendered helpless by an auto acci-
However, Michigan has failed to legit- dent. She has been kept alive for seven
imize living wills. years because the Supreme Court could

Currently pending in Lansing is not find compelling evidence that
House Bill 4174, the Michigan Medical Cruzan would have chosen to die. De-
Self-Determination Act, which would spite this, even if a living will doesn't
provide a legal basis for these docu- exist, the right of the terminally ill or
ments. The bill would specifically rec- those in a permanent vegetative state to
ognize the right of any person in the die should not be withheld.
state to elect certain types of medical Legislators in Lansing, in a failure
treatment, entirely voluntarily, without to respect the desires of their con-
bias to the type of treatment to be pro- stituents, have elected not to support
vided. living wills since they were first dis-
For example, a person could specify cussed in the 1970s. Perhaps with the
maximum relief from pain, no artificial widespread acceptance of these docu-
nutrition and hydration, or any measure ments elsewhere in the country, these
to prolong life. The proposed law puts legislators will finally take this long
no limit on the right of any individual overdue action.
to choose how he or she will be Michigan should follow the lead of
treated. Also, the bill states that the the majority of the nation, respect pub-
living will is revokable at any time, lic opinion, and help preserve the dig-
meaning the individual has the right to nity of those for whom dignity may be
change his or her mind and declare the all that remains.

- - ----

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Faculty vote deserves cautious praise

By Ellen Poteet
A former faculty member of Dillard
University, founded in 1930 in New Or-
leans as a Black institution of higher
learning, once described to me the memo-
rable day after the Brown v. Board of Edu-
cation decision in 1954.
All classes that morning were cancelled
for a general school assembly. As my
friend reported it, the hall was filled with
the voices of students, faculty, and staff
raised to a high pitch of excitement and
exultation. The president of the university
then stood up to speak.
The celebration, he announced, was not
yet ready to be convened. The decision
handed down by the Supreme Court was
momentous, but now the struggle of
Blacks for equal education had to be waged
harder than ever. Indeed, that struggle
might be entering a very difficult stage for
the condemnation of de jure segregation
in public education left untouched the de
facto segregation permeating almost every
level of the lives of Blacks at home, work,
in the cities, and in the schools.
In a similar manner, the vote by the
LSA Faculty for a diversity requirement is
an important juncture in debates about cur-
riculum content and reform. But whether
that vote marks a step forward or a mere
re-wording of the status quo will depend
upon the evolution of the requirement in
the semesters ahead.
The Universitydis a community where
racism and discrimination have a harsh day
to day reality. The racist flyers distributed
in the pendaflexes of law school students
Poteet is a graduate student in History.

are evidence, if any more were needed, that
students cannot turn to the University as a
haven from the inequities of the outside
Therefore, student and faculty involve-
ment in restructuring present courses and
creating new ones for the diversity re-
quirement needs to recognize the intercon-
nection between a University education
and the social inequality and prejudice'
manifested on this campus.
From the Daily's report of the LSA
Faculty's Oct. 8 meeting, it appears that

amazement that no faculty members had
sought to use that course as a basis of ex-
perience for deciding which classes were
eligible for fulfilling the requirement and
by what criteria.
The Faculty Proposal, as amended, has
struck off a sub-committee of review and
oversight whose members would have in-
cluded individuals participating in UC299.0
The Curriculum Committee now is to de'
cide what courses are part of the diversity
The passing of the Faculty Proposal is

Whether (the LSA Faculty's) vote marks a step
forward or a mere re-wording of the status quo will
depend upon the evolution of the requirement in the
semesters ahead.

there was a high degree of self-congratula-
tion by faculty and administration: with
this vote, the University had proven itself
in the vanguard of higher education. The
debate over a mandatory course on racism,
however, occurred at the instigation of
students of color on this campus through
the demands of UCAR set forth in 1987.
The Faculty Proposal has strayed a
long way both from those original de-
mands and from the comments of students
of color at the LSA public forum on the
The students of color supporting the
requirement specifically called for a con-
sideration of the issues of racism and of al-
ternative cultural perspectives in the
United States. Further, a student presently
enrolled in UC299 expressed frustrated

to be supported, but not uncritically. Un-
less serious discussion begins in consulta-
tion with students and faculty of color
about integrating the requirement with the
rest of the curriculum, the University will
have, in fact, voted to retreat from the
As one speaker at the public forum de-
dared, any required course, no matter how
perfectly devised, remains an affront to the
students of color on this campus if unaG-
companied by substantive change through-
out the University in the battle against
The celebration may lie ahead, but, as
the president of Dillard warned, let's not
hold it too soon. We still have a struggle
before us.


Racist flier was protected by First Amendment

By Stephen Henderson
Law School Dean Lee Bollinger has
come under heavy political fire for his de-
cision in the matter of the racist flier inci-
dent of three weeks ago.
The Michigan Student Assembly has
passed two resolutions condemning the in-
cident and called for a full investigation.
According to MSA Rackham Rep. Corey
Dolgon, the perpetrators of this act are not
protected under the First Amendment be-
cause "racist speech isn't free speech."
While Bollinger's decision to refuse
further investigations into the incident
may not be the most diplomatic, it is the
most practical. The reality of the situation
is that he has no power to levy any sort of
sanctions against the perpetrators of this
The flier that was distributed, while be-
ing blatantly racist and offensive, is not in
violation of the University's discrimina-
tory harassment policy, or, for that matter,
the First Amendment.
The University's harassment policy is
based on the Supreme Court's interpreta-
Henderson, an LSA junior, is an associ-
ate Opinion editor of the Daily.

tion of the notion of "fighting words."
This states that speech meant only as in-
sult and intended to incite another to vio-
lence is not protected by the First
However, also included in this interpre-
tation is the stipulation that this speech
must take place between two individuals,
and must be, in fact, speech. The flier that

Daily and the University community to
point out how inappropriate and fallacious
the flier was.
Some have referred to a local law pro-
hibiting "ethnic intimidation" as a possi-
ble recourse for action against this inci-
dent. But once again, First. Amendment
protection must be guaranteed.
Dean Bollinger is exactly right in his

The flier that was distributed, while being blatantly
racist and offensive, is not in violation of the
University's discriminatory harassment policy, or, for
that matter, the First Amendment.

was distributed was not aimed at any par-
ticular individual, and was not in the form
of the spoken word.
Thus, this particular incident was a per-
fectly legal form of expression. Just be-
cause something is offensive and inappro-
priate - as the flier most blatantly was
- doesn't mean that it can be excluded
from First Amendment protections.
The only appropriate responses to the
incident are actions taken by MSA, the

decision not to investigate this incident.
He has condemned the flier, but he realizes
that neither the University's policy on dis-
crimination and harassment nor the laws
of this country prohibit this sort of ex-
A concerted effort on the part of the
University community to express disdain
for the content of the flier, but to also rec-
ognize the Constitutional provisions that
protect this action, will result in the only
justified end of this incident.ti

Daily neglects to cover North Campus events

To the Daily:
I want to voice my displeasure at the
Daily for failing to report news about
North Campus. First of all, the North-
wood bus route was changed Oct. 8. Last
Mnndav neonle were nretty nnfned tn see

about 1:00 and students were told to get
away from the building. About 200 stu-
dents stood around the North Campus
Diag for at least a half hour. There was
even a fire engine that pulled up next to
the Dow. But not a single thing was said

l .. .... ___


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