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November 06, 1991 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-11-06

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Page 4 -The Michigan Daily- Wednesday, November 6, 1991

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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

CPS

01

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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Viewpoint
UAC's soapbox offers students
hen the University Activities Center (UAC)
announced it would bring the Rev. Al
Sharpton to campus to speak at a Student Soapbox
installment of its Viewpoint Lecture series, many
Jn the University community objected. Sharpton, a
controversial community activist from the New
York City metropolitan area, has been at the center
of racially-charged conflicts like last summer's
dispute between Hasidic Jews and Blacks in the
Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. His reputa-
tion preceding himself, Sharpton's opponents
claimed he sowed racial disunity and complained
that University money shouldn't fund such a
speaker.
Despite the objections,more than 1,000 students
filled the Power Center last week to hear Sharpton
and make up their own minds. There were no
sound-bytes or sensational quotes.
Sharpton, with his animated speech, came face-
to-face with an audience eager to challenge him on
his past activities and present viewpoints. Even
though the question and answer period at times
became confrontational, in the end the program
was a success because it contributed to the public
debate on Sharpton's issues and strategies.
Viewpoint organizers deserve credit for their

different perspectives
commitment to stimulating discussion on contro-
versial topics and important public figures.Whether
one agrees with Sharpton's politics or not, his
importance as a Black community leader cannot be
denied. Last week's forum revealed a Black-white
relationship and Black-Jewish relationship which
remains strained. However, better that this anger
and misunderstanding be aired in the form of
public debate rather than a chaotic street melee.
In sponsoring the Student Soapbox forums,
Viewpoint organizers are responsible for facilitating
an orderly exchange of ideas. Controversial
speakers such as Sharpton evoke passionate re-
sponses and the potential is great for the forums to
degenerate into petty shouting matches where the
participants talk past each other.
Next week, Viewpoint will continue with its
agenda when it sponsors a debate on the Arab-
Israeli conflict and the current peace process.
Doubtless, there will be those who attend with
designs of settling the dispute once and for all; this
attitude is unproductive and runs counter to the
idea behind the Viewpoint series. Instead, students
should approach the forums with open minds and
view it as a chance to be exposed o an array of
different opinions.

0

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Science Center
Closing Science Center hurts children, Michigan

Y oung students, introduced to science only
through dry textbooks and teacher-presented
slide shows, are likely to quickly lose interest and
disregard plans for further investigating a world of
scientific magic.
For a long time, the Detroit Science Center has
offered an exciting hands-on alternative to long
lists of dates, facts and formulas. Students from
across the state have come with groups of class-
mates on buses or on their own with friends to play
with lights and rocks and sound. In the process they
learned about physics and chemistry. They dis-
covered natural miracles of the Earth could be just
as much fun as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and
that science can be fascinating and worthy of
attention.
But, due to crippling economic times and cuts
in the State budget, the doors to the Detroit Science
Center are set to close permanently. This is a harsh

slap in the face to an education system who's
science program already lags far behind that of
other world nations.
Defenders of the budget-slashing Engler ad-
ministration have argued that the Science Center
was poorly run and could have made efforts to raise
money independently.
They cite the Detroit Institute of Arts, which
they say is managing to remain open due to the
efforts of those who work there, despite Engler's
cuts.
This notion is ridiculous. Michigan students
deserve a complete education. They deserve re-
sources, like the Science Center, to supplement
their education. They do not deserve a Governor
who campaigns on a commitment to education and
then later robs students of educational resources
that might motivate them to learn and breed ex-
citement about science.

Double standard?
To the Daily:
I noticed in a recent editorial
on Gene Roddenberry (10/28/91)
and a news article on Al Sharpton
(10/30/91) that there is a differ-
ence in the way the Daily refers to
different races. Specifically,
Black is capitalized while white is
not.
My initial reaction to this was
that it must be a misprint, because
the Daily would never lower itself
to such petty racism. I believe a
justification of this is in order.
Andrew Thackray
LSA sophomore
Editor's note:
The 'B' in "Black" is
capitalized because "Black" in
America denotes a historically-
defined cultural group. "Black"
is not a reference to skin color,
as the range of colors within the
various "races" clearly shows.
The term "white" points to
a wide range of cultural and
ethnic groups, which are
capitalized when referred to
directly, i.e. "Italian American."
Daily editorial erred
To the Daily:
If the Daily is going to
editorialize, it should do so on the
basis of knowledge pertinent to
the situation and not some
partisan attitude.
If you want to side with Sigma
Kappa regarding the conflict
about expanding their sorority
house then show some sound
reasoning for permitting it, not
inaccurate charges or recent
irrelevant judgements.
If the Daily genuinely consid-
ered the circumstances with the Pi
Kappa Phi fraternity on Lincoln
Street, it would admit that the
Sigma Kappa issue is entirely
different. The Daily would also
concedethat its charge thatthe
Oxford neighborhood residents
are obstructing group housing is
nonsense. The very fact that
Sigma Kappa has already estab-

lished itself in the neighborhood
testifies to that.
The issue is not whether the
sorority adhered to the zoning
codes. The real issue in this
situation is the impact that tripling
the current occupancy of that
property will have on the neigh-
borhood, functionally as wellgas
aesthetically.
The Daily's statement that
"the planning commission was
more concerned with the political
ramifications of its decision on
the future elections" is unin-
formed. Planning commission
members are appointed, and serve
without pay. The planning
commission has a responsibility
to evaluate appeals on a range of
concerns such as traffic flow,
public safety, fire fighting
accessibility, water supply,
sanitation, trash disposal, soil
drainage, and ecological damage,
not to mention the interests of
individuals faced by nationally
organized, financially strong self-
interest groups.
The planning commission has
indicated that on such terms the
expansion does not bode well for
the community and should be
denied. The burden of proof that
the situation is otherwise rests
with the appellant, not the city.
For the sorority to go on the
offensive and sue the city is a
"smoke screen" tactic. More
constructively, they could have
their legal counsel and architec-
tural professionals present
evidence providing that there is
no negative impact on the area
when all the city's concerns are
examined, or they could present a
strong case to show that Sigma
Kappa has no other alternative to
meet their housing needs.
However, Sigma Kappa is
characterizing this as an emo-
tional issue much like the Daily's
editorial.
If this case goes to court, I
hope the judge on the bench is
someone who considers facts
more than the editorial did.
Ralph Insinger
Assistant Professor of art

Daily does censor
To the Daily:
I am impressed by the creativ-
ity of your excuses for printing
Bradley Smith's egregious
advertisement (10/24/91). On the
one hand, you claim to have
printed it "due to an error." Yet,
conversely, you hid behind the
First Amendment's rights to free
speech and press.
You fail to acknowledge that,
in fact, you already have enforced
a censorship policy. Your editor,
Andrew Gottesman, claims that
"he would not print . . . a beer ad
with a woman holding a beer
bottle between her breasts." Nor
does the Daily print Playboy ads
because they offend women. As a
woman, I thank you profusely for
your concern and sensitivity
toward womankind. But as a Jew,
I am mortified that you could
print such an advertisement.
Is Smith's advertisement less
offensive than Playboy's? He
denies the horrors which millions
of European Jews, homosexuals,
Blacks, and Gypsies suffered.
Smith's ignorance and malice
cause the genocides which he
apparently advocates. By printing
this ad, the Daily sorely lacks
sensitivity and respect for
humankind.
If the Daily is genuinely
concerned about offending its
audience, then it must enforce
uniform, ethical standards. I
would much rather read a
degrading, sexist advertisement
than a genocidal editorial dis-
guised as an advertisement.
Dalia Hoffman
LSA senior

0

Abortion advice
Call Pursell to make difference in controversial choice vote

oday the U.S. House of Representatives will
vote on the Title X Pregnancy Counseling Act
that will reverse the May 1991 U.S. Supreme Court
ruling in Rust v. Sullivan, which affirmed the
government's right to regulate speech regarding
abortion in federally funded family planning clin-
ics.
These regulations were issued by the Department
of Health and Human Services in 1988 under Title
X of the Public Health Service Act, the single
largest source of federal support for family plan-
ning in the United States. Title X funds go to nearly
4,000 clinics across the nation, which together
serve more than 5 million women annually.
Under the regulations, programs receivingTitle
X funds were prohibited from counseling or re-
ferring their pregnant patients for abortion, but
must counsel and refer them for prenatal care to
protect the health of the "unborn child."
This requirement, which both limits and distorts
information, applies even ifthe patient specifically
requests information about or referral for abortion;
even if she is unaware of her range of legal options;
wand even if she has AIDS, heart disease, or another
condition that may be aggravated by continuing
the pregnancy. Regardless of her physical, social,
?r economic situation, workers in federally funded
#clinics are required to tell the patient, "we do not
believe abortion is an appropriate form of family
:planning."
Before Rust, the Supreme Court had declared
that the abortion right can be treated differently
when public funding is involved. They reasoned
that funding restrictions do not "directly" interfere
with the abortion choice. Women remain "free" to
choose to end their pregnancies. It is poverty that
stands in their way, not the government.
Rust carries this flawed and callous logic a step

further. These regulations create a dual system of
health care for women, with poor women receiving
incomplete and inferior services, contrary to the
intent of Congress.
Furthermore, the regulations violate the con-
stitutional guarantees of free speech and privacy
by discriminating against speech about the disfa-
vored abortion option and by frustrating women's
ability to obtain full information necessary fOr
reproductive choice.
Poor women and young women are especially
hurt by the gag rule. Twenty-nine percent of the
federally funded family planning program clients
are under 20, and 80 percent are poor.
There is much public disdain for the Rust v.
Sullivan ruling and much support for the Title X
Pregnancy Counseling Act. Sixty-nine percent of
Americans believe that the gag rule censors the
nation's health care system, and 63 percent agree
that it violates free speech. Seventy-eight percent
of Americans support legislation that would pro-
tect full discussion of reproductive options in fed-
erally-funded clinics.
Furthermore, 100 percent of the deans of the
U.S. Schools of Public Health oppose Title X
restrictions, and theAmerican Medical Association
strongly supports the Title X Pregnancy Counseling
Act.
Representative Carl Pursell is considered a
swing vote on the gag rule. Phone calls urging
Pursell to pass the Title X Pregnancy Counseling
Act with no weakening amendments can make the
difference. Pursell's number is 761-7727.
Rust v. Sullivan is the strongest challenge yet to
reproductive freedom in America. Passage of the
Title X Pregnancy Counseling Act is a step toward
preserving a fundamental right that is increasingly
uncertain.

*I

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D 1v shouldclarify politcy

by Ira Ungar
We would like to express our
outrage with the claims and
publication of the "Holocaust
revisionist" ad in the Daily (10/
24/91), which denied the Nazi
murder of millions of European'
Jews during World War II.
We also protest the Daily's
contradictory apologies and
defenses of the published adver-
tisement. Because we are the sons
and daughters of survivors of the
Holocaust, whose parents had
their loved ones, their extended
families and communities, and
their social world destroyed
around them, we grew up witness-
ing the continuing effects of the
Holocaust. For us it is more than a
piece of cerebral information; it is
in our bones.
If the Daily had a policy of
printing any paid advertisement,
then it would have a tenable free-
speech argument. But, in fact, the
Daily has clearly had a practice of
not printing any ad, refusing to
rw ~.. fn . ovm - :n . eta

by the Daily to be obscene and
offensive to Jewish and others'
sensibilities on campus. We
therefore object to President
Duderstadt's support of the Daily
in this incident.
We demand that the Daily say
what its policies are and enforce
them. We would prefer to have as
little to do as possible with the
psychological perversions of
Holocaust revisionists, but we felt
that sanity and justice called for
some response.
Anti-Semitism can appear
amidst "blameless" bureaucratic
processes in which no one accepts
responsibility. The fact that the
Holocaust happened challenges
the assumptions and direction of
our civilization, if only we can
look at it clearly. Although it was
the Jewish people who suffered
the Holocaust's genocide,
continuing conditions mean that
genocidal potential exists outside
of Nazi Germany, and threatens
the annihilation of humanity as a
whole.

from society and the theft of their
property, the separations and
murder of families, the witnesses
of death camps and slave labor
camps, and the physical evidence
of mass graves and mass cremato-
na and mass ovens, that people
can with any success deny these
facts.
To look at it is horrible;
"impossible" cruelties bring
attendant paincand moral dilem-
mas. But to deny it is a psycho-
logical perversion.
We believe that freedom of
speech is a fundamental guarantor
of a civil society. It is a freedom
yet to be fully understood and
exercised. We understand that
freedom of speech is not solely
for those whose opinions we
agree with, but is made specifi-
cally to protect those whose
opinions we hate. Our own
intellectual tradition as Jews is a
witness to the freedom of clashing
opinions and the richness that
comes from it. Revisionists'.
oninions are abhorrent and

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