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October 16, 1991 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-10-16

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Wednesday, October 16,1991

(T e 41V ian4all
20 Maynard Street
Arbor, Michigan 48109 ANDREW GOTTESMAN
747-2814 Editor in Chief

4
Ann

gf ALL AG REHERE sA INP~IIJAL LAWA
g*E HNT~ECii~AN"

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Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

STEPHEN HENDERSON
Opinion Editor

I

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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9

heendless melodrama that hasplaguedClarence
Thomas' nomination to the Supreme Court is
over. The Senate, with a 52-48 vote, decided last
night to ignore overwhelming doubts about Tho-
mas' views and character and confirmed him as an
Associate Justice.
This decision was not a surprise. As the hear-
ings and debate played out over the past several
weeks, it became increasingly clear that President
Bush's nominee would have the majority of sena-
tors on his side. However, the predictability of the
vote does not excuse the fact that the decision
could be catastrophic - with the shock waves to
be felt for decades to come.
The focus in the past week-and-a-half has been
on allegations that Judge Thomas sexually ha-
rassed Anita Hill, a former co-worker at both the
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and
at the Department of Education. senators from
both sides of the aisle have publicly stated their
judgements on the credibility of Hill's testimony,
- and many have said that they made their final
decisions on Thomas' confirmation based on that
judgement.
Although the character of any person who is
being appointed to a post as important as Supreme
Court Justice must be an issue, character alone
4 must not be the deciding factor in making such a.
decision. Judge Thomas, in his testimony before
the Senate Judiciary Committee and in public,
provided plenty of other worthwhile reasons to
f vote against his nomination.
The questions that linger about Thomas' char-
V acter also exist with respect to his views on Consti-
tutional issues. Where was the impassioned Tho-
mas who ardently defended his character last Sat-
St urday morning when the committee was question-
ing him about his stand on a woman's right to
choose? Where was his determination when he
- was asked about freedom of expression and civil
rights?

-- - - - -- - - ..r . .,-- ---.. .. ...--- ..
. .. .

The fact that Thomas responded to these que-
ries with inadequate answers and cold indifference
is at the center of the problems that existed with his
nomination. How can the Senate show its confi-
dence in a man who, based on his testimony before
the committee, apparently has no views at all?
And what message does it send to women
across the United States when the one issue that
was consistently in the spotlight - Thomas' al-
leged sexual harassment of Hill - is ignored in the
Senate's final decision. Whether or not Hill's tes-
timony seemed believable, the courage she exhib-
ited in coming forward is trivialized by Thomas'
confirmation. Why would any woman, in light of
these events, risk what Hill did when it appears that
her concerns would be falling on deaf ears?
There is no one pair of shoulders on which to
place the blame for this fiasco. The President, the
Senate, the media, and the public are all culpable in
some form.
Had the Democratic leaders in the Senate put
one-half the effort into emphasizing the shortcom-
ings in Thomas' views that they had into his
character, he might not be an Associate Justice-
Designate today.
Had Bush ignored politics in the first place and
chosen a judge with incontrovertible qualifica-
tions, the events of the past weeks might never
have transpired.
But the fact remains that the events did tran-
spire. On whatever basis they made their deci-
sions, the senators confirmed Bush's nominee.
And all hope is not lost for Thomas. He has it
within his power to uphold mandates of courts
past, and to protect the fundamental rights that
citizens of the United States are privileged to
enjoy.
But for now America can only sit and wait for
time to tell us the answers to questions that Clarence
Thomas should have answered in the Senate cau-
cus room two weeks ago.

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-------------

More on students'

To the Daily:
Last year, Corey Dolgon
and the Student Rights Com-
mission (SRC) of the Michigan
Student Assembly (MSA)
utilized radical tactics to fight
the University's Speech Code
and the deputization of campus
security they failed miser-
ably All they accomplished
was the polarization of campus
and the alienation of the
administration against students'
concerns. Thanks, Corey.
This year, the SRC is taking
a dramatically different
approach. We are actually
investigating those incidents or
policies which threaten stu-
dents' liberties to formulate our
opinions about the necessity,
propriety, and legality of those
actionsand to formulate
effective responses. For
instance, finding out what
exactly happened on South
University the night of the
teargassing incident is vital to
presenting our concerns to the
Ann Arbor police andCity
Council. In fact, our investiga-
tion has uncovered major
discrepancies between the
police's official report and
student witnesses'. Armed with
these differences, the SRC will
present a credible student
response.
Instead of utilizing counter-
productive knee-jerk dema-
gogic protest techniques, we
wish to establish a constructive
working relationship with the
powers who effect student
rights. Only by presenting
professional and well-thought
criticisms and alternatives may
the SRC effect University and
governmental policy-making.
Yes, I sound like a lawyer, but
lawyers eliminated the uncon-

stitutional Speech Code, while
Dolgon's protests did nothing. I
prefer to get things done, not self-
aggrandizement.
Furthermore, contrary to
Dolgon's Daily piece entitled
"SRC sells out student interests"
(10/10/91), the SRC has been
very active this year. Subcommis-
sions are working on the South
University teargassing incident,
the speech code, the shanty
policy, The Union policy, and
Ann Arbor's noise ordinance.
Moreover, the SRC is taking a
hard look at campus security.
Dolgon, for all his complaining,
has not aided the SRC. In fact,
last year he resigned from the
MSA in the middle of his term;
and a couple of weeks ago he saw
and walked by the SRC's
Teargassing Subcommission
recruiting table at the Fishbowl.
Where is Dolgon? Meanwhile,
the Daily is hampering our efforts
through false opinions and absent
reporting. Where is the Daily?
Michael Warren
SRC Chair
To the Daily:
Jamie Green's response to my
criticism of MSA's Student
Rights Commission (SRC) is
simply a tortuous performance of
deflection and personal attack.
And, still, he sticks his foot in his
mouth.
He claims he replied, "Who
cares?"to talk of police threats to
'gas students', not to the macing
of students. I may have been
wrong, but Green misses the.
point. Both were atrocious
behavior. Instead of supporting
students, Jamie ingratiated
himself to Interim Vice President
for Student Services Mary Ann
Swain.
Green says I called him racist.

rights...
I never did. I said recent police
behavior was racist and the
SRC has not responded. Instead
of answering the charge, he
countered by 'promoting' me to
an 'upper class white' and said
my charges were insulting to
people of color. Maybe Green
assumes that all white people
are from privileged class
backgrounds like himself, but I
am not. Again, he misses the
point. Unlike Green, I never
intended to speak for anyone.
People of color have already
addressed these issues. I was
only pointing out harassment
and SRC inactivity.
Finally, Green says he's
working behind the scenes to
modify policies. But modifying
policies that are wrong doesn't
help students; it legitimizes bad
policies. This is how we get
sold out. Green says I'm living
in the sixties. I just hope
student rights didn't die in the
sixties!
Corey Dolgon
Rackham student
The Daily encourages
responses from its readers.
Letters should be 150 words
or less and include the
author's name, year in school
and phone number. They
should be mailed to: The
Michigan Daily, 420 Maynard
48109, or they can be sent via
MTS to: The Michigan Daily
Letters to the Editor. The
Daily does not alter the
content of the letters, but does
reserve the right to edit for
style and space consider-
ations. If you have questions
or comments, call Stephen
Henderson at 764-0552.

r .
t j'

Democrats

:S

Y5 Party should stop waiting for Cuomo and get a platform

M ario Cuomo is dithering again. The governor
' of New York - the apparent messiah of the
k Democratic Party - is toying with the idea of
running for President of the United States. He may
not even run, but is content to continually test the
waters without committing himself to the presi-
dentialcontest. And while the Democratic hierar-
chy sits on the edge of its seat, drooling at the
prospect of Cuomo's candidacy, someone.should
wake up and realize he is not the divine figure that
he has been portrayed to be.
Mario Cuomo is by no means a better qualified
candidate than the others who have announced
their intentions to capture the Oval Office. Each of
the six declared Democratic candidates has a clear
record on their stances on national issues. Senators
Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Bob Kerry (D-Neb.)
have a solid liberal record in the Senate. Governor
Bill Clinton of Arkansas has proven to be a can-do
politician in domestic and social issues. Mario
Cuomo, though extremely charismatic, has only a
state in economic despair to show for his recent
work.
The Democratic Party of this country should
wipe the slobber from its lips and deal with the
problem at hand: developing a progressive and
strong platform so it can challenge the Republi-

cans in the coming election. The Democratic Party
has offered little in the way of policy proposals,
outside of arguing against whatever the Republi-
cans propose. Democrats have too often pulled
their punches when arguing for needed social
programs, while the Republicans have walked all
over the opposition party with their cold-war poli-
tics.
George Bush, while being one of the most
domestically-blind presidents in recent history,
would win a presidential election by a landslide,
were it to be held today. The primary reason for the
President's upperhand, besides his political victory
in the Desert Storm, is that the Democrats have
failed to construct a sufficiently strong platform
from which to launch an offensive.
It doesn't have to be that way. The Democratic
Party must realize that simply saying Bush has
ignored his own country's needs, while true, is not
enough. They need to formulate some concrete
ideas for domestic reform. Simply saying "more
domestic spending" is not enough.
Cuomo is not the shining force that will save the
Democratic Party in 1992. There will be no mes-
siah. The Democrats can only win if they have the
courage to criticize boldly President Bush's bungled
domestic and foreign policies.

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f r om
Puerto- Rico deserves red

Peace activist

Israel should not imprison Abie
L ast week, Israeli peace activist Abie Nathan
was sentenced to his second prison term in two
years for having met with Palestine Liberation
Organization (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat. Israeli
law bars its citizens from having contact with
members of organizations that it brands as terrorist
groups. This law applies to all citizens of Israel
including those Palestinians living in East Jerusa-
lem. As a result, any Palestinian holding Israeli
citizenship who meets with the PLO can be ar-
rested and sent to prison for up to 18 months.
This law is specifically directed at private citi-
zens. It targets certain individuals like Arafat,
making it illegal for anyone to meet with them. The
law has resulted in the imprisonment of many
Israelis and Palestinians holding Israeli citizenship.
If the government of Israel refuses to meet with the

Nathan for talking with PLO
PLO, that is its decision to make. However, to
impose this ideology on private citizens is appalling.
A person should be able to speak with anyone
about anything without fear of being arrested. The
government of Israel is clearly trying to keep the
masses from engaging in politics that it disagrees
with. Maybe individuals can make progress where

by John Vandermeer
To many Puerto Ricans, Pedro
Albizu Campos is much like
George Washington is to Ameri-
cans. Campos, a Harvard-
educated lawyer (whose Magna
Cum Laude diploma was denied
simply because he was Black)
spent his life struggling for the
independence of Puerto Rico, for
which he suffered severe persecu-
tion and repression by the colonial
government of the United States.
In trying to accomplish what
George Washington did in this
country - to "convince" a
colonial power to leave - he
spent much of his later life
incarcerate. en the circum-
stances of .:,s. death are still
unclear due to the refusal of the
U.S. government to release his
prison medical records.
This year, celebrating his
100th birthday in light of demo-
cratic reforms throughout the
world, we're filled with the hope
that North Arericans will finally
take the example provided by
Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris
Yeltsin, Czech president Vaclav
Havel, and Polish leader Lech
Walesa seriously, and that
independence for Puerto Rico will
be as orderly and peaceful as that
for the Baltics. We are convinced
that the time has come for the
U.S. government to abide by the
rulings of the United Nations and
join the ranks of the world's
civilized countries in letting their
colonies go.
The United States occupied

tions, participated in electoral
politics, and engaged in other,
forms of protest against occupa-
tion that would be regarded as
legal in the United States.
The response of the American
forces was violent. One particu-
larly vicious response was the
massacre of Ponce, in which 20
people were killed and more than
150 wounded, when the police
opened fire on a peaceful demon-
stration in Puerto Rico's second
largest city.
The Nationalist Party and its
leadership were not involved in
terrorism or violence. In fact, they

remaining colonies. Moreover,
while Gorbachev grants indepen-
dence to the Baltic republics,
President Bush has not only been
unwilling to provide for the self-
determination of the Puerto Rican
people, he has gone even further
to promote the incorporation of
Puerto Rico as a state.
In these days when "democ-
racy is breaking out all over," we
can only hope that what we see in
the freedom of the East European
countries, the independence of the
Baltics, and the new relationship
between Russia and the other
republics of the former Soviet

We're filled with the hope that North
Americans will finally take the example
provided by Gorbachev, Yeltsin, Czech
president Vaclav Havel and Polish leader Lech
Walesa seriously, and that independence for
Puerto Rico will be as orderly and peaceful as
that for the Baltics.

0

governments are failing.
Abie Nathan is not plotting to overtl-
Israeli government nor is x clling national s
Nathan is simply mneeting and talking with-
one the Israeli government dislikes. The :
in the Middle East is des, grate. People

Me-
,:Ion
Abie

Nathan are taking an active role in trying to create
solutions. Arresting these private citizens is an
infririgment on their individual rights. What will
be next?

did precisely what the
Lithuanians, Latvians and
Estonians did in the late 1980s -
They asserted their right to self-
determination and independence.
The contemporary history of
the Baltic republics bears a
striking resemblance to that of
Puerto Rico. In both cases great
superpowers took possession of
their sovereign nations as war
booty. The people of the Baltic
republics denounced their illegal
occupation under the Nazi-Soviet

Union, will give inspiration to
American leaders. Will you
permit your leaders to continue to
use double standards in measuring
self-determination? Will you
somehow communicate to your
president concerning Puerto Rico,
as the Russian people communi-
cated to their leaders about the
Baltics, that a great country does
not have to maintain colonies in
the "new world order?"
No country remains occupied
forever and we do not believe
Rvlrt D;,- l n i nmt nnhnn, nn

Nuts and Bolts
RW E .

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THE cmmrz.. -A~'

~Ycxj SRE? LUMUS is THE
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by Judd Winick
TO HAur \ Q
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