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September 17, 1990 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-09-17

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Page 4- The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 17, 1990
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

Editor in Chief

Opinion Editor

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.
lil / F-NI the Dag@ilyE
Applications discriminate against Blacks
THE CURRENT RISE IN CENSOR- of Americans. Because hip hop is an
ship has only helped to elucidate why African American form of art, it ex-
artists are opposed to the legal curbing presses, both lyrically and rhythmi-
of individuals' right to express cally, the experiences of members of
themselves. Freedom of expression that history, including their hopes, their
and speech became explicit rights in fears, their history, and yes, even their
order to allow voices other than that of prejudices. This form of art can never
the dominant culture to be heard. How- be fully understood by white America.
ever, the latest wave of censoring the However, instead of recognizing
arts has shown that politicians have, that rap is a different form of expres-
whether knowingly or not, used their sion, the would-be censors - who are
power to stifle minority cultures of members of the dominant culture -
American society. say the United States is threatenedby
the views expressed in rap and the
The censorship that is occurring in ways in which they are expressed.
the music industry is perhaps the most Unfortunately, because it is not a part
obvious example of this point. While of their culture, it is easier for them to
many groups such as Guns N' Roses focus solely on the "obscene" and
and The Red Hot Chili Peppers have misogynist nature of rap music.
come under attack for being obscene, The irony is that by censoring acts
sexist, or (in the case of GnR) racist, such as 2 Live Crew, the "protectors of
only rap - a form of music expressive morality" are implying that the misogy-
of African-American culture - has nist views expressed by this group
been banned in certain areas of the (and others) are views or ideologies
United States. that are uncommon or even alien to the
Groups like Public Enemy and rest of American society. Sadly, this
NWA both experienced de facto cen- and worse forms of sexism are not
sorship in the past. Police in many lo- only prevalent, but widely held beliefs.
calities refused to give NWA members Still, Black artists and musicians
the standard amount of protection dur- tend to bear the brunt of censorship
ing performances due to the group's more than their white counterparts. No
anti-police lyrics. In recent months, one has yet brought legal action against
members of rap groups 2 Live Crew Andrew Dice Clay, for example, for
and Kid N' Play were arrested for al- his performances.
legedly obscene performances. Even if This is not to suggest, however, that
censorship in general were not an is- Clay and other offensive performers
sue, the fact that a predominance of should be included in the censorship
certain kinds of music - that which net. All artists, whatever their culture,
expresses a non-dominant culture - is should be free to pursue their music -
being censored, is a problem that must or painting, or writing, or film making
be addressed. ' - absent of government interference.
Rap musicians are most likely being Still, the fact that Black artists are
attacked not simply because they are targeted more forcefully than their
Black, but rather because the culture white counterparts is a glaring example
from which they draw their inspirations of the discriminatory dangers of cen-
and influences is foreign to the majority sorship.
Parental consent
Becky Bell's case should serve as a reminder
TWO YEARS AGO ON SEPTEMBER In order to obtain a judicial bypass,
16, 1988, Becky Bell, a 17 year old a female minor must present her case
high school student died from a before a judge who determines whether
botched illegal abortion. She lived in she is mature enough to have an
Indiana, a state where parental consent abortion. The paradox that arises
is required to obtain a legal abortion. presents a possible case in which a
This law requires any woman under the female minor can be found to be too
age of 18 to get permission from a immature to choose an abortion yet
parent before allowing them have an mature enough to carry a pregnancy to
abortion. term. This leaves young women in the
Becky came from a close family, but State of Indiana and in other states with
felt unable to tell them about her preg- parental consent laws with little few
nancy for fear of disappointing her options.
parents. A significant number of the female
Statistics show that 50% of the first-year students at this University are
teenagers in this country grow up in under the age of 18. Thus, the parental
dysfunctional families, where children consent law passed last Wednesday by
are often unable to approach their the Michigan State Legislature has a
parents on matters such as this. Unlike possible effect on this campus.
many of these children who risk Tonight at 7:30, p.m. on the Diag,
rejection and possibly even violence by the parents of Becky Bell will speak at
telling parents about plans for an a candlelight vigil for their daughter,
abortion, Becky was in no such marking the two year anniversary of
danger. her needless death. Mr. Bell has given
Yet she refused to tell them, even as up his work so that he and his wife

she lay dying in her hospital bed. Karen can dedicate their lives to
"When restrictive abortion laws are educating the public about the true
passed and enforced, young women nature of parental consent laws. The
are injured, their lives often shattered. Bells did not even know that a parental
Some will die." (Eleanor Smeal- Fund consent law existed in Indiana when
for the Feminist Majority) their daughter died. By sharing their
In a state where a female minor tragic story, the Bells hope to inform
must gain consent for an abortion either people about the dangers of these laws
from a parent or from a "judicial and possibly prevent the deaths of
bypass," Becky was forced to obtain other young women.
an illegal abortion. Because the judicial All students are encouraged to attend
system in Indiana is not likely to grant the vigil and to fight against the
a judicial bypass - only about twelve parental consent legislation in
are given each year in that state - Michigan. This law can only lead to
Becky did not attempt to obtain one. more tragedies like that of Becky Bell.

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MSA sacrifices student interest in its budget *

By Stephanie Simon
and Tony Barkow
The recently released internal budget for
the Michigan Student Assembly contains
an inequity that will prove severely detri-
mental to the students of the University of
Michigan. The budget of the External Re-
lations Committee (ERC) has been cut for
the second consecutive year, with this
year's budget being reduced by almost one-
third, from $4200 to only $3000.
The External Relations Committee is
the voice and representative of U-M stu-
dents to the local, state, and federal gov-
ernments. The ERC represents and lobbies
for students in issues such as financial aid,
students' rights, and quality of education.
This includes, but is not limited to,
federal and state education allocations and
student opposition to tuition increases.
These are the purposes of student govern-
ment and of MSA: to represent you, the
students, in these areas.
Lobbying is expensive and far more ef-
fective when University populations band
together through participation in lobbying
organizations. One university might not
influence policy, but the united calls of all
state-schools in Michigan, as represented
by the Michigan Collegiate Coalition
(MCC), or the hundreds of schools across
Simon is an LSA junior and Chair of the
Michigan Student Assembly External
Relations Committee. Barkow, a senior
in LSA, is the vice-Chair.

the nation represented by the United States
Student Association [USSA] will certainly
affect the votes of our representatives.
It is with this thought in mind that the
ERC participates in MCC and USSA con-
ferences each year.
This summer, the ERC needed approx-
imately $1000 to represent the students of
the University. The ERC needed $800 to
attend the United States Student Associa-
tion (USSA) conference, in order to repre-
sent students at the federal level, and $200
to attend the Michigan Collegiate Coali-
tion conference, in order to represent stu-
dents at the state level.

but MSA President Jennifer Van Valey
and the MSA Summer Assembly did not
find this to be a priority. Instead, $1000
was allocated to the Palestinian Solidarity
Committee's (PSC) infamous "fact-find-
ing" mission. It seems that the concerns
of the PSC outweighed financial and edu-
cational needs of the entire student body.
If the ERC is not able to attend these
conferences, it has no power to determine
the priorities of these organizations. If we
have no influence on their policy, these
lobbying organizations will not represent
the students at the University of Michi-
gan. With this, we would lose our most

Even without massive cuts in its funding, the ERC
lacked sufficient funds to attend the USSA *
conference. With further budget reductions, it will be
impossible to attend either conference, leaving the
ERC unable to represent students' concerns during the
regular school year.

The platforms for both of these organi-
zations are set at these conferences.
Even without massive cuts in its fund-
ing, the ERC lacked sufficient funds to
attend the USSA conference. With further
budget reductions, it will be impossible to
attend either conference, leaving the ERC
unable to represent students' concerns dur-
ing the regular school year.
The ERC needed only $800 to repre-
sent student concerns at the federal level,

effective tools to influence the decisions of
our government.
What are the priorities of student gov-
ernment? What are the priorities of MSA
and of MSA President Van Valey? We 1
urge you to attend the next MSA meeting
on Tuesday, September 18 at seven p.m.,
when this budget will be debated. Voice
your concern to the Assembly during con-
stituent time; make your elected represen*
tatives accountable to you.


Rackham too small Group self-


To the Daily:
Catherine MacKinnon's talk (9/13/90)
was a fitting introduction to the Univer-
sity. I don't mean the content of the talk,
which was no doubt extremely provoca-
It was a good introduction to the bu-
reaucracy of the University, because as
usual the event's schedulers did not antici-
pate the overflow crowd at the Rackham
I planned my afternoon to go to the
talk only to have to leave right away be-
cause there was no possible way to hear
the talk, even in the hallways and door-
ways where many people were crowding.
Meanwhile I noticed a larger auditorium in
Rackham empty.
I wish I could say this was just a mis-
take, but I've been here six years and I
have gone to only one Rackham event that
met in a room large enough for its audi-
ence. That one event was a panel of schol-
ars on China.
Since none of the scholars were that
well-known to the public at-large it
seemed that this event was well-scheduled.
However, I don't know who the come-
dian was that thought Liu Binyan, one of
China's most noted dissidents, would draw
a crowd smaller than the Rackham amp-
itheater. The Political Science Department
alone probably filled that itty-bitty place.
For that matter I don't know why no-
tables like Stephen J. Gould, Noam
Chomsky, Ralph Nader and Clifford
Geertz were at Rackham also. It's gotten
so that when I know there is a big name
speaker that is too big, I don't even try to


To the Daily:
I just wanted to thank you for includ-
ing the article entitled "ACT-UP members
protest anti-gay event" in the Daily
(9/11/90) Although it was written in an
unbiased manner, it did a world of justice
to Jeff Muir's article in the September is-
sue of the Michigan Review.
Your article succeeded in exemplifying
the point Mr. Muir made, that ACT-UP
Ann Arbor is an organization (and I use
that term very loosely) that "is only inter-
ested in operating within a system which
allows it to espouse, uninterrupted and un-
challaenged, its particular views." In
burning a copy of the Michigan Review,
ACT-UP predictable reacted as they so
often do, "with hostility toward anyone
who questions any of its credenda."
Please continue to give ACT-UP the
publicity it so craves because this will
only contribute to its own deterioration.
Besides, ever since you took the funnies
out of your paper, I've needed a good
Jeff Luther
Engineering junior
ACT-UP 'Acts up'
To the Daily:
I read with horror the story in Wednes-
day's edition about Act-UP intimidating a
group of bigots out of a meeting. Granted,
bigotry is evil, but theaConstitution guar-
entees everyone the right to free assembly.

Tell our
readers what
you think.
Write to the
Daily at 420
Street, or
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