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October 10, 1991 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-10-10

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Thursday, October 10, 1991
Ott fiiit rgan&U1l1

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

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.
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T uesday night, the U.S. Senate agreed to delay
the vote on the confirmation of Judge Clarence
Thomas to the Supreme Court. In doing so, the
Senate has exercised its only appropriate option in
light of the recent allegations of sexual harass-
Thomas has been accused of sexual harassment
by Anita F. Hill, a Professor of Law at the Univer-
sity of Oklahoma and a former aid to Thomas. This
accusation is a serious one, and if true, represents
a valid reason for denying Judge Thomas a seat on
the nation's highest court.
Hill says that Thomas asked her for a date on
several occasions while she was working under
him at the Education Department and at the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission. After she
rejected his offers, Thomas allegedly told Hill
details about his sexual practices, and described
scenes from pornographic movies which he had
If Judge Thomas did behave in such a manner,
he is guilty of sexual harassment. Although there
h.ave been no accusations of physical contact,
sexual harassment can occur in purely verbal forms,
particularly when the victim is a subordinate of the
Delaying the Thomas vote is a necessary step if
the male-dominated Senate is to maintain a mini-

mal amount of sympathy for women's issues.
Unfortunately, the Senate saw fit to extend the
confirmation process only at the last moment be-
fore Tuesday's scheduled vote. Moreover, many
members of the Senate displayed utter disregard
for victims of sexual harassment by immediately
dismissing Hill's charges as false. Sen. John
Danforth (R-Missouri) called the allegations
"garbage." Other Senators accused Thomas' op-
ponents of creating an "October surprise" to block
the nomination.
The testimony of Anita Hill is in no way an
"October surprise." Early on, the Senate Judiciary
Committee was aware of F.B.I. investigations into
the incident. Members of the committee chose to
brush the incident aside.
The Senate must now complete a full inquiry
into the allegations - before voting on Thomas's
nomination. I f Judge Thomas has no respect for the
rights of women, he is obviously in no position to
rule on the validity of cases that concern women
such as Roe v. Wade. Moreover, if he has no
respect for the laws of this country, he should not
be a judge on any court.
By fully investigating the claims of Anita Hill
and Clarence Thomas, the Senate will be boosting
its own credibility and upholding the sanctity of
the Supreme Court.

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Investigate the Senatetoo

Doing the right thing

textbooks must present a more
History in American school systems seldom
encompasses viewpoints outside the main-
stream European tradition. Elementary school
history often seems to be limited to the study of
Christopher Columbus and George Washington's
cherry tree. To address this problem, educators
must create a curriculum that calls for a multi-
cultural approach to history.
Four years ago, California's Board of Educa-
tion challenged publishers to design anew series of
history and social studies textbooks that would
incorporate racially and culturally diverse view-
points. This prompted the Houghton Mifflin Pub-
lishing Company to explore United States and
world history with a less one-sided approach. The
vesulting texts, currently circulating throughout
a V.S. cities-notably in California-have caused
much controversy this school year. It is a welcome
change that more textbooks are including the im-
portantcontributions of minorities in theirversions
of history.
Critics claim the texts trivialize and distort the
history of minority races and ethnic groups. They
maintain certaincultures are notequally represented
in the texts.
Admittedly, the texts are not flawless, but they
contain a more accurate depiction of history than
most textbooks on the market today. No rational
explanation exists as to why history lessons have
been consistently biased in the classroom. Why do

accurate picture of history
we continue to study European-centered history
when by the 21st century a majority of the United
States population will be a compilation of the
different "ethnic minorities."
Ethnic diversity among students in the schools
is increasing. States and individual schools should
respond to this trend by using textbooks that take
a broader view of history. While European history
is relevant, it should not dominate the history
curriculum at the expense of other racial and ethnic
Children need not be sheltered from informa-
tion, even if it means informing them ofthe wrongs
committed by their European ancestors. It should
not be a secret that Native Americans were assas-
sinated and assimilated into the lifestyles of New
World "founders." Likewise, the harsh and inhu-
mane treatment of slaves imported from Africa
ought to be common knowledge to any young
student of history. Schools must stop censoring
historical facts that deserve extensive recognition.
History has always been a field subject to in-
terpretation. But it is necessary to understand all
cultural, ethnic, and racial aspects of the past. To
fail to do so is to present an abridged an inaccurate
version of history.
School systems must make an effort to enhance
their students' education beyond the Cliff Notes
version of the past by discussing all racial and
ethnic groups.

Like flies to a dung heap, the
United States Senate seems drawn
to impropriety. At present, the na-
tion is focused on a charge of sexual
harassment on the part of Judge
The charge Brad
is made by
Professor Bernatek
Anita Hill
and must
no w be
dealt with
How -
ever, no
one's opin-
ion of the Thomas nomination and
the charges levied against him, the
Senate Judiciary Committee's
handling of the entire affair must be
drawn into question as well. In
particular, the Democratic opposi-
tion on the committee has much to
Until National Public Radio
made the allegation public, Hill
wanted the report to remain private
Bernatek is an LSA senior and a
mem ber of the Daily's Opinion
staff. His column appears every
other Thursday.

and the Senate Judiciary Commit-
tee proceeded accordingly. Con-
sidering that the report was sup-
posed to remain confidential, a
member of the committee, certainly
someone opposing the Thomas
nomination, leaked that report to
the news media and dragged Hill in
whether or not she wanted to be.
The way in which the opposi-
tion to the Thomas nomination has
used Hill amounts to little more
than harassment itself and belittles
the very charge she is making. As
the opposition continues to make a
bigger and bigger stink over the
allegations, I do not think that they
are doing it out of some duty to
justice; instead it seems as though
they are using the situation to their
own political ends. Call it politics,
but that does not change the fact
that it is a betrayal of a confidence
and that it drags an unwilling par-
ticipant into the scum-dredging
battles on Capitol Hill.
Now that Hill's charges have
been involuntarily made public, so
close to the confirmation vote,
Clarence Thomas must answer to
the allegations before the Senate
and Hill will have to prove her
charges are true. Hopefully, the next
week will prove kind to both
Clarence Thomas and Professor
He has been on the firing line for

longer than any other Supreme Court
nominee and she will be exposed to
the most vicious vultures that the
Senate, both Republicans and
Democrats, can dredge up.
After these charges have been
dealt with, the Senate Judiciary
Committee should turn its investi-
gation inward and deal with the
problems within.
Unless there are more complex
political dealings than those we are
already aware of, then the Senate
Judiciary Committee has its own
charges to answer. According to,
Hill she did not want the charges to
be made public and she must be
taken at her word. Somehow, they
press was leaked this confidential
information and it was certainly
leaked for political motives.
The charge has been manipu-
lated to the advantage of the
Democratic opposition. They found
the charge so important that they
dismissed it during the hearings and
did not make it public but insidiously
decided to do so shortly before the
vote. The case against the Senate
Judiciary is at least as strong as that
against Thomas.
They havebroken their own rules
of confidentiality and the Senate
itself had better pursue these alle-
gations against their own as vigor-
ously as they are wont to do so
against others.

Pete Wilson

SRC sells out student interests

California Governor insensitive
he forces working to end discrimination in the
workplace were dealt a serious defeat by Cali- ;
formia Gov. Pete Wilson. Late last week, Wilson
vetoed state legislation that would have forbid job
discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. +
Thelegislation wouldnothave radically changed +
tie character of discrimination laws in California,
lout it would have merely extended the same pro- +
ttction already afforded to women and racial mi-
norities to gay men and lesbians.
Z Wilson claims that adequate protection for ho-
mosexuals already exists. In reality, the only re-
course for a homosexual claiming job discrimina- 1
tion is to take the complaint to court. This is seldom
fruitful and usually involves a large commitment
ef time and resources.
P Without a clear statement within the law pro-
fAibiting such discrimination, the court's ability to
Mlake sound judgments is substantially limited.
The only way to ensure that homosexuals receive
eLlual protection under the law is to explicitly
include them in job discrimination laws along with
fninorities and women.
In the past, homosexuals were more apt to
conceal their sexual orientation due to societal
pressures and as a result were less willing to file
complaints. Today homosexuals are less willing to

to homosexual issues
forfeit their right to choose their own lifestyles -
and as a result society has been forced to recognize
their existence.
Instead of providing gay men and lesbians with
equal protection under the law, Wilson and his
cohorts have taken a giant step backward. While
Wilson does not intend to rescind standing laws
concerning homosexuals, vetoing employment
discrimination laws reveals his anti-gay bias and
actively hurts the gay community.
His actions prove that Wilson accepts - and
indeed supports - the relegation of homosexuals
to the status of second-class citizens.
Happy birthday, Review!
The continuing rivalry between the Daily and
The Michigan Review is no mystery.
The Daily is often the object of understand-
ably immature jibes in the Review's ever-
popular "Serpent's Tooth" section. And it is a
treasured rarity when the Daily and the Review
come down on the same side of a political issue.
Nonetheless, it is with great joy that we at
the Daily wish the Review and its staff a happy
10th anniversary. The perpetuation of any stu-
dent publication is truly a reason to celebrate!

by Corey Dolgon
Last year, The Michigan
Student Assembly's (MSA)
Students Rights Commission
(SRC) organized students to
protest the deputizing and arming
of campus police. Many criticized
our tactics as too militant. But we
had watched the administration's
growing fetish for "order" at all
costs. The regents had already
disbanded the University Council
(which gave students power to
participate in policy-making),
instituted free speech and protest
guidelines, limited access to the
Diag for demonstrations and the
union for student functions, and
created their own police force.
The SRC felt an urgency to
take action.-
Recently, a Daily editorial
propagated the myth that last
year's SRC rushed to militant
actions and never sat down to talk
with administrators. This is
untrue. Many members talked to
administrators about deputization,
U-Council, etc.
Still, officials refused to
negotiate, and for months we
talked to Regents at public
comments imploring them to
reconsider recent policies - all to
no avail. We realized that only
direct confrontation could force
negotiation. Direct action and
mass protests were our last
resorts, not our first instincts.
Despite a sit-in, thousands of

the movement fizzled. Students
became distracted by exams and
disillusioned by the amount of
work and sacrifice necessary just
to ask for prudence and participa-
tion in University decisions.
This year, the University's
"obsession with order" is out of
control. It took only four weeks
for the University to participate in
the tear-gassing of its own
students, set up apartheid-like
checkpoints at the Union to harass
African-American students, send
University police rushing through
the Diag and Mason Hall with
guns flailing at unarmed suspects,
and begin "profiling" students -
badgering any Black woman
walking down State St. because
they thought a Black suspect may
have been with a woman. Last
year, President Duderstadt wrote
that University police were
necessary to address the "special
needs and values" of the campus
community. Now we know what
those "needs and values" are:
racial and sexual harassment,
violence to maintain "order,"
inept use of firearms, and an
overall fetish for "security" at the
risk of students' safety. Just
whom is being protected?
Mostly we feared that the new
Conservative MSA and SRC
would not respond appropriately
to administrative violence and
would accept student repression
in return for good relations with

subcommittee investigates to find
out whether or not students
"deserved"to be gassed, police
are out of control and the admin-
istration is clamping down even
Two weeks ago, current SRC
Chair Michael Warren was asked
what he was doing about recent
students rights violations. He
explained his subcommittee plan
(can you tell this guy's a law
student?) and said, "I'm sure
Corey Dolgon (last year's SRC
Chair) would already be protest-
ing." Damn straight, Mike!
No student deserves to be
hounded for I.D.s at union
checkpoints. No student deserves
to be harassed because they are a
Black woman or fit some kind of
"profile." And no student, even if
they drank too much and got a bit
rowdy, deserves to be tear-gassed.
But I'm not surprised that
Warren and MSA President James
Green haven't acted to protect
students rights. Last year, at a
meeting of the Student Relations
Commission, former President
Jennifer Van Valey, Black Greek
Association member Lester
Spence and I pressed Interim Vice
President for Student Affairs
Mary Ann Swain for information
on a South Quad incident where
Black students were randomly
Maced by city police. Before
Swain could answer, Green
exhorted, "Corey, who really


Nuts and Bolts
Amm CANPI1r>.


t +a MN "G Cxr A WAY

by Judd Winick
f o CopM 0. _



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