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October 04, 1991 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-10-04

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Friday, October 4, 1991

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

ANDREW K. GOTTESMAN
Editor in Chief
STEPHEN HENDERSON
Opinion Editor

TEEK_______
Hi Teek.
Hello? It's me, Dad...
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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.

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by Thomas Keenan
Son, I want you to know mother and I are very proud of
you... You've matured into a responsible adult.
b
Good. Because we're cutting you off financially
as of midnight tonight, E.S.T.
a 7

Week of awareness
'Investing In Ability Week' gives students a new perspective

N ext week is "Investing In Ability Week," during
which the University will be holding work-
shops and activities allowing students to realize
what it is like to be handicapped. The exercises
conducted in the workshops will allow others to
recognize what handicapped people experience,
and will teach them to not take their health for
granted.
Butone must rememberthathandicapped people
are not just some nameless and faceless minority in
the world. They are fellow students, friends, family
and loved ones. They are people who, as a result of
nature, are faced with greater difficulties than
others, but should by no means be treated as lesser
people.
A particularly interactive exercise will take
ploce on Tuesday, Oct. 8, between noon to 4 p.m.,
when students can try out a wheelchair at locations
all over campus.
While the University's actions are commend-
atle, its attention to the handicapped community,
shpuld not be limited to five days. Workshops may
draw some attention to this concern, but temporary
events can only do so much.
There are changes that the University can make
thit would permanently improve the environment
on campus for the handicapped. Many buildings

on campus are not accessible for people with
handicaps. They have entrances with stairs, or
simply are multi-story buildings without elevators.
It is inexcusable that some community members
are only able to enter a fraction of the number
buildings others can.
Furthermore, the University - in its aim to
diversify its community and boast a campus of
equal representation - should try to get more
handicapped people - students, staff and faculty
-in the classroom and traveling along the campus
halls and walkways. The increased visibility of
people with physical disabilites will help dispel
any myths or prejudices about them, considering
the disabled are as equally competent in performing
everyday tasks at the University as the non-
handicapped.
A simple week of workshops, however well-
meaning, will not offer the necessary attention
needed to face the daily challenges the handicapped
community confronts. The University would set a
laudable example to other public institutions by
making permanent changes necessary to make our
university community more integrated in every
way. An environment friendly to the handicapped
will produce a community equally friendly and
tolerant.

We have faith in you, and from now on we want you to enjoy
all the privileges and rights of a full-fledged adult. How does
that make you feel, son?
Privileges? Rights?
Gosh, dad, I'm flattered...
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MSA reps. respond to Daily

Animal testing
GM crosses the line of environmental responsibility

uoponents of animal research defend such ex-
1 perinentation as a necessary method to protect
human lives from disease or hazardous products.
Bt when lives are mercilessly slaughtered for
non- medical reasons - when computer-gener-
ated models orother methods of data-gathering are
equally accurate - researchers clearly cross the
line dividing environmental responsibility and
mhral irresponsibility.
During the past decade, the General Motors
Corporation killed 19,000 animals to gather data
on their automobiles' safety. This is not justifiable
and should not be allowed to continue. Stirred by
the recent surge of protest at GM dealerships
arbund the country, the corporation issued a
stotement defending its actions. A spokesperson
argued that the animals used were mostly mice and
rats who were never in pain thanks to effective
anesthesia.
The notion that this approach is humanitarian is
insulting. While animal testing may have been
necessary years ago, modem technology has ad-
vanced to the point where animal research need
orily be used for the most extreme and delicate
cases. The accuracy of modem computer engi-!
noering and programming makes animal testing in
this situation unnecessary.
Aside from mice and rats, GM also uses former

pet-dogs from pounds. Apes have been strapped
into seats and sent careening into planned and
observed accidents. The corporation claims dum-
mies would not yield the same statistical results as
live specimen for their chest injury tests and tests
on pollutants' effects on lungs.
While no other American car company experi-
ments on animals, they suffer the guilt of accom-
plices. GM has made their research data available
to Ford and Chrysler, both of whom use the data
liberally. While GM needs to stop this line of
research, the other two corporations should agree
notto use information derived from animal research.
We, as the planet's most intelligent species,
tend to believe that our domination of the food
chain entitles us to dictate the fate of all creatures
of smaller intellect. When considering animal ex-
-perimentation as a method of scientific inquiry, we
need to consider the level of terror and pain animals
suffer when placed in the strange and dangerous
environments.
Humans can rationalize; animals cannot. In
some circumstances, we can certainly justify ani-
mal testing. The quests to find cures to cancer or
AIDS, or to improve the care of medical patients
are pressing enough to allow animal experimen-
tation. General Motors' cruel and out-dated
methods, however, do not fall into this category.

To the Daily:
I would like to thank the,
Daily for condemning my
alleged inaction on the Student
Rights Commission (SRC),
since such criticism is an
infallible indicator of rational
behavior ("SRC: MSA Com-
mission should lead students," ;
Daily, Oct. 1, 1991). As usual,
however, the Daily has gotten
its facts wrong. The SRC's sub-
commission on the tear-gassing
incident is anything but
inactive.
In fact, the sub-commission
has met three times, talked to
and is gathering information
from the police, spoken to the
University Administration,
spoken to City Council
members, met the the Civil
Liberties Board, discussed the
incident with the head of the
Michigan ACLU and held a
general meeting to interview
witnesses of the incident.
The Daily, of course, is not
ignorant of these activities.
Indeed, the subcommission has
written two previous letters to
the editor of this fine paper, as
well as advertised the general
meeting in it. Furthermore, I
requested that the Daily
reporters appear at the first
subcommission meeting and
was assured one would appear
- but to my dismay, the press
never appeared. Daily reporters
and members of the editorial
staff have also been constantly

informed of the
subcommission's progress by
their presence at MSA meet-
ings (where the subcommission
weekly reports to the assembly)
and at two subcommission
meetings.
Yet, the Daily falsley
accused the subcommission of
never even meeting. Such
knowingly false reporting
verges on the edge of libel.
Michael Warren
SRC Chair
Daily acted
irresponsibly
To the Daily:
I am outraged that the Daily
would publish an editorial so
filled with absolute falsehoods
and untruths, as it did in its
SRC editorial on Oct. 1. The
Daily claims that Michael
Warren, the SRC Chair, has
"demonstrated no less than
political ineptitude" in handling
the response to the South
University incident, waiting
weeks to do anything of
substance. It further claims that
Michael Warren has done
absolutely nothing except
organize "an investigative.
subcommittee which has yet to
meet."
Nothing could be further
from the truth. Michael Warren
announced at the meeting on

Sept. 17th, that he was forming
sub-commissions on the issues
of the S. University riot, the
noisy party ordinance, and the
speech code. This fact cannot be
disputed. It was publicly stated
at the meeting and is in subse-
quent copies of the minutes.
Mike Warren's announcement of
the sub-commission was also
made in his Commission report,
which was attached to the Sept.
17th agenda. The agenda is
always given to a Daily reporter,
when he or she asks for it. For
the Daily to suggest, as it did,
that Mike Warren waited weeks
to take action is , indeed,
remarkable.
Furthermore, for the Daily to
say that the riot subcommission
has not met is even more
unbelievable. On the 19th, the
investigative sub-commission
met. I know this because I was
there, and I have a copy of the
minutes of the meeting to prove
that it took place. The second
meeting took place on the 26th. I
was not present, but several of
my acquaintances were. Daily
reporters were there, too, and
asked quite a few questions.
How in good conscience could
the Daily editors say the sub-
commission had not met when
its new reporters were at the
meeting?
Brian Kight
MSA Representative from
Engineering

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New Valdez settlement not harsh enough

t he Exxon Valdez accident, which resulted in
10 million gallons of crude oil pouring into
Pfince William Sound in Alaska, killing thousands
of sea otters, birds, and other animals, and forever
d4maging one ofthe last pristine places in America,
h4s finally been settled out of court - again. The
Federal Government has agreed to accept Exxon's
guilty pleas and a settlement for $1.025 Billion.
This figure is only $25 million more than last
spring's settlement, which was rejected by Federal
Judge H. Russel Holland. Holland said the initial
fipe was inadequate and might lead other oil
companies to view the fine as an acceptable cost of
doing business.
The government and Exxon worked for more
than six months to redraft the agreement, returning
with a settlement that many still see to be grossly
iradequate. The increase of $25 million amounts
to only two days' profit for Exxon, a company that
made $5.01 billion in 1990. The profit was made,
ir large part, due to the dramatic increase in oil
piices during the war in the Persian Gulf. The same
oil company that insisted it was not gouging cus-
tomers is certainly gouging the environment and
the inhabitants of Prince William Sound, instead.
Furthermore, the fines and criminal penalties
of the settlement will be paid out over 10 years.

Considering the great wealth generated by the
Exxon Company, this penalty is little more than a
slap on the wrist.
If Exxon is to be truly held responsible for its
actions, this settlement must be rejected by Judge
Holland. It is necessary to ensure that justice is
served, even if it means dragging out the incident
for longer than Exxon would like. Without a re-
settlement that severely punishes Exxon, other oil
companies will see oil spills as a necessary evil in
business, and will not take steps to prevent them.
One way that oil spills like that of the Exxon
Valdez could be avoided is with Federal legislation
that requires double-hulled tankers. While double-
hulled tankers cost more money to build, the re-
enforcement reduces the chances of similarly
devastating oil spills.
This legislation, which has been languishing in
committee for years, has been blocked by the
powerful shipping and oil industry. Preventable oil
spills have occurred in places ranging from from
Texas and California to Central Park in New York
City. Perhaps the lesson to be learned from the
disastrous Exxon Valdez oil spill is that Congress
places a higher priority on ensuring that all Ameri-
cans enjoy cheap gas, rather than focussing on a
cleaner environment.

Speaker
misquoted
To the Daily:
This letter is in response to an
article appearing in the Monday,
Sept. 30 issue of the Daily
("Speaker calls Spike Lee the
'wrong thing,"'). To prevent
misunderstanding and
misinterpretation of the concept of
"racism," the speaker, Itabira
Njeri, did provide a definition of
racism which is prescribed by the
attainment of power, political,
economic and social, and the use of
that power to oppress others.
Evidently, African Americans
do not have that power, and thus,
cannot be racist. The author of the
article, however, omitted this
necessary clause from the article,
where theauthor quotes Njeri as
follows: "The worst thing a Black
person could become is a racist..."
The effect of this omission is
to ignore and misrepresent the
context in which the statement
was made, and to effectively
place all the responsibility of
oppression on those being
oppressed.
Njeri did also attempt to
clarify the concept of internalized
oppression, and the idea again
that African Americans cannot be
racist; they can however, be
bigots.
There is a significant differ-
ence. The article in question,
however, does not even attempt to
make the distinction, and thus,
becomes mildly suggestive of
misconceptions borne of misun-
derstanding and ignorance.
Mieri.:nraftr. al.. not-.

and students over parties. Ann
Arbor needs some real crime
(gang wars, drive-bys, crack,
prostitution, murder, etc) so that
the cops have something to do
besides harass harmless students
trying to have a good time.
Perhaps we could offer the
bloods, crips, or latin kings some
kind of tax abatement to set up
shop in Ann Arbor. Or maybe a
more palatable alternative would
be to open a 24-hour donut shop
on campus so that cops could
hang out somewhere and not
spend all of their valuable time
handing out noise violations.
I bet students would be happy
to make a donation to the bagel
factory if they would stay open 24
hours for this purpose and have
"Show your police I.D., get a free
fragel" promotions.
Bob Juneja
LSA senior
Don't slam
the president!
To the Daily:
I am writing in response to the
editorial by Joan Lowenstein, "PC
isn't just a sign of the 90 s"
(Daily, Oct. 1, 1991). I think
Lowenstein unfairly attacked
President George Bush.
Did Bush's "politically correct
background of wealthy relatives,
all-male schools and discrimina-
tory clubs" REALLY get him
"where he is today?"
I feel Lowenstein fails to
consider that "those in politically
powerful positions" are there
because of their diligent work,

very fortunate to have the
freedoms of speech and expres-
sion.
However, I believe changes in
society are more likely through
constructive, not destructive
means. Thus, destructively
criticizing Bush prevents us from
noticing anything positive done
by our leaders. Perhaps this is
why Lowenstein saw Bush's talk
about the denial of free speech as
"ironic."
Perhaps I should also mention
that if Lowenstein is so unhappy
with our president, why doesn't
she take action? Action speaks
louder than words, I think is the
old cliche.

Lisa Rigg
LSA sophomore

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