The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 22, 1991 - Page 3
Affirmative action forum
Signites intense argument
Sarah Kocks, a Mott Children's Hospital patient, enjoys the goodies given to her by
members of an English 125 class as part of "Project Smile."
roup laments lack of
by Rob Patton
Daily Minority Issues Reporter
The Association of Black Professionals and
Administrators (ABPA) sent a letter this
week to the University executive officers to
voice its concern that a recent administrative
reorganization has left no African-American
executive officers at the Ann Arbor campus.
The University eliminated the position of
vice president for community relations earlier
this month along with the Office of Commu-
nity Relations, which served as a liaison be-
tween the University and surrounding com-
Henry Johnson, who held the post, had been
the University's sole Black executive officer
in Ann Arbor, though the chancellors of the
the Flint and Dearborn campuses are both
Black. Johnson has been transferred to a senior
consultant position in the University Alumni
In addition to expressing concern over the
lack of Blacks in higher level administrative
posts, the letter sought reassurances that the
University's commitment to its relationship
with communities in Detroit - which had
been a major part of the office's task - would
not be adversely affected by the shift. Further,
it suggested that the University release statis-
tics on minority students and professors more
"There's a void among the executive offi-
cers on campus. There's no African-American
voice or perspective at that level anymore,"
said John Woodford, executive editor of
Michigan Today and ABPA president. "We're
hoping there will be a restoration of that
University Director of Public Relations
Walter Harrison said the concerns expressed
in the letter will be addressed by the Univer-
sity. "I think some of their fears are mis-
placed, but it will definitely be helpful to
discuss this with them," he said. "We're cer-
tainly willing to sit down and talk."
Under the reorganization, community rela-
tions will now fall under the Office of Gov-
ernment Relations. Woodford said while he
understands that the reorganization may have
been necessary, the ABPA wants to be sure
this office will continue the commitment
made to Detroit by the Office of Community
"The fact is that there is consolidation and
restructuring. That's pretty much the state of
the University and of the nation today. We
don't automatically assume the effort will be
weakened," Woodford said. "But we want to
by Chastity Wilson
Daily Staff Reporter
Although "Affirmative Action: Re-
Examining the Status Quo," Consider
magazine's second annual Fall Forum,
was not the standing- room-only success
of last year's Forum, the panel of speakers
did present what students described as
"thought provoking" positions on the
Forum speakers included opponents of
affirmative action, Laurence Thomas, phi-
losophy professor at Syracuse University,
and Thomas Fleming, editor of Chroni-
cles magazine and an analyst at the Rock-
ford Institute, a conservative think tank.
Proponents included Rev. Charles
Stith, director of Organization For a New
Equality - a civil rights group - and
Edgar Dew, chair of the Michigan chapter
of theNational Conference of Black
At the start of the evening, each
speaker gave his own definition of
"affirmative action." Their opening
statements, like much of the dialogue that
followed, focused on affirmative action
for Blacks and said little about such pro-
grams for women and other minorities.
Rev. Stith quoted the Brown v. Board
of Education case of 1954 in an attempt to
show that affirmative action "is an effort
to make sure that we have equitable dis-
tribution of educational resources." He
also argued that affirmative action
"allows us to take advantage of one of
our greatest resources - diversity."
"Without an attempt to balance the
scales that have been weighted in favor of
white men, we will not see equality in
our times," he said.
Thomas offered criticism of affirma-
tive action, saying that "it perpetuates the
stereotypes of Blacks as second class citi-
zens." He pointed out that Blacks in high
positions are looked at as only holding
their positions as a result of affirmative
He argued that "residual racism" via
non-verbal behavior could not be over-
come by affirmative action.
"I would like for white people to ac-
knowledge how non-verbal behavior op-
erates ... you need not call me a nigger for
me to know that you think that."
Thomas also argued that until white
people "choose to be emotionally vulner-
able to those who have suffered," affir-
mative action will continue to stigmatize
One of Dew's main defenses of affir-
mative action was that "affirmative ac-
tion is a methodology to remedy the ills
of society, not by disparaging one group
over another, but by lifting one group to
make it as participatory as possible."
He challenged the idea that unquali-
fied minorities are displaced, calling it a
"myth and a guise" and above all, "bad
business practice." This kind of displace-
ment could not have stood over so long a
period of time, he added.
Fleming countered this statement by
asking the audience, if a qualified white
and a mediocre
minority applied for
the same position,
who would get the
job? In answer to his
own question he
said, "If you have to
ask, then you don't
live in the United
He criticized af-
firmative action for
being beneficial to
one group by taking
away benefits from
He also quoted
declines in educa-
differences in the
physical, mental, and
creative abilities of
chuckles and groans
from the audience. Thomas
While admitting that he saw nothing
wrong with trying to make up for the
suffering of African-Americans during
slavery, he asked, "What do we owe a per-
son who just got off a boat from Fiji?"
At the end of his presentation, Flem-
ing repeatedly stressed that if the spirit
of affirmative action was honorable, the
means were misguided because, "attempts
by the government to force people to
love, associate with, and hire people they
are not predisposed to like will only
make them more resistant, more hostile."
Questions and comments from the ba-
sically calm audience tended to weigh in
heavier on the side of pro-affirmative ac-
tion stances, although some opponents
voiced their opinions unabashedly.
The two sides of the debate met od
common ground in their criticism of F
Clarence Thomas ascension to the.
Supreme Court - mostly for his lack of
qualifications - the gubernatorial race of':
David Duke, and President George Bush's
signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1991.
Maggie Simpson speaks!
For the first time in her short,
suckling life, Maggie Simpson
removed her pacifier last night and
uttered her first gurgle - Moe!
(No, not Moeller, but the owner of
Homer's favorite watering hole.)
be sure that restructuring
don't mean cutting back."
What's happening in Ann Arbor today
Rose Bowl this year looks full of thorns
1492-1992: Parade celebrates Columbus' voyage, causes controversy
Adventist Christian Fellowship,
mass mtg. Topic: "The Compassion
Project." N. Campus Commons,
Boulevarde Rm, 7:30.
Caribbean Peoples Association, mtg.
Nikki Giovanni Lounge, Mosher Jor-
Alpha Phi Omega. Union, Kuenzel
Rm. Pledge mtg 6 p.m. Chapter meet-
ing, 7 p.m.
Student Alumni Council, member-
ship mtg. Alumni Center, 4 p.m.
Academic Affairs Commission. Guild
House, 5 p.m.
U-M Chess Club. Michigan League. 1
p.m. Call 994-5824 for info.
"Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka:
Prospects for Peace," Lakshman Gu-
nasekara. Guild House, 802 Monroe,
"Ontogeny of Communication in
Nonhuman Primates: Apparent
Dissimilarities With Human and
Avian Vocal Development," Chuck
Snowdon, 2011 MLB, 1 p.m.
'Cycles, Sequences, and Basin Dy-
namics in the Silurian Appalachian
Foreland Basin," Carlton Brett, Uni-
versity of Rochester. 1640 Chem, 4
"Polyarylether Ketone Homo- and
Block Copolymers," Dillip Mohanty,
Central Mich. Univ. 1706 Chem, noon.
"Taiwan and China: Temporary
Separation or Divorce?" Rev.
Michael Stainton. Center Room, N.
Campus Commons, 7:30-9:30.
"Recent Developments in Regula-
tion of Air Quality," William Rosen-
berg. SPH I Aud, 2 p.m.
"The Liar and Sorites Paradoxes: A
Unified Account," Jamie Tappenden,
University of Pittsburgh. 2408 Mason,
"Hindu Philosophy: Science or Spir-
ituality" Dr. Mahesh Mehta. MLB,
Lec Rm 1, 1:30.
and Fri. and Sat. 8 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.
Stop by 102 UGLi or call 936-1000.
Extended hours are 1 a.m. -3 a.m. at
the Angell Hall Computing Center or
Northwalk, North Campus safety
walking service. Sun-Thur 8 p.m.- 1:30
a.m. and Fri. and Sat. 8 p.m.-11:30
p.m. Stop by 2333 Bursley or call 763-
"The Ballad of Orin," film. Lorch
Hall Auditorium, 7 p.m., free.
U-M Ultimate Frisbee Team, Friday
practice. All skill levels welcome.
Oosterbaan Fieldhouse, 7-9.
U-M Ninjitsu Club, every Friday. Call
662-2306 for info. IM wrestling room,
U-M Shorin-Ryu Karate-Do Club,
practice. CCRB Martial Arts Rm,
U-M Women's Lacrosse Club. Friday
practice. Oosterbaan Field House, 9-
U-M Taekwondo Club. Friday work-
out. CCRB Small Gym, rm 1200, 6-8
Reform Shabbat Services at Milan
Prison. Hillel, 4:45.
"Travel Abroad on the Cheap,"
workshop. International Center, 3-
The Yawp literary magazine is accept-
ing manuscripts and artwork in 1210
U-M/OSU Blood Battle. Union, 12-8.
"Cancion de Concierto," Miguel An-
gel Guzman. Union, Pond Rm, 7:30.
Duplicate Bridge Game, every Fri-
day. Union, Tap Room, 7:15.
"Bright Lights, Big Show," Comedy
Company. Mendelssohn Theater, 8
Emerging Leaders Program Group
Leader applications due today at
SODC, 2202 Union.
Drum Circle, percussion and rhythms.
Guild House, 802 Monroe, 7:30.
"Bright Lights, Big Show," Comedy
Company. Mendelssohn Theater, 8
Puerto Rican Cultural Night. Union,
Pendleton Rm, 8:30-1:30.
Israeli Dancing, every Sunday. $2.
by Erin Einhorn
Daily Staff Reporter
After a smooth sail to victory,
the Wolverine football season will
culminate with the colorful festivi-
ties surrounding the Tournament of
Roses in Pasadena.
But this year, the Rose Bowl is
filled with controversy and anger.
When Robert Cheney, president
of the Pasadena Tournament of
Roses Association, selected this
year's parade theme, "Voyages of
Discovery," in honor of the quincen-
tennial anniversary of Christopher
Columbus' arrival in the New
World, he had no idea his door
would soon be mobbed with
"I thought about all the discov-
eries which have changed and im-
proved our lives over the centuries
and especially since Columbus took
his three tiny ships to sea exactly
500 years ago," Cheney said. "I
wanted to honor the pioneers who
have pushed the boundaries of sci-
ence, technology, the arts and educa-
He chose Crist6bal Colon, a di-
rect descendant of Christopher
Columbus, to serve as the tourna-
ment's Grand Marshall.
But members of the Native
American community say Colum-
bus represents the genocide of their
ancestors and that this selection was
"This is blatant disrespect," said
Helen Anderson, chair of the Cali-
fornia-based Alliance of Native
Americans. "The government is us-
ing our tax money to celebrate this
Anderson said that when
Columbus' men landed in the New
World they murdered and enslaved
the natives and spread disease among
"They were not even considered
human," said Sue Hill, president of
the Native American Student Asso-
ciation. "There were diaries that
prove that Columbus and-his men
thought the natives were animals.
They beat them and raped their
women ... they were total ogres."
Col6n said he would not partici-
pate in the parade unless Native
American demands were met. So, af-
ter weeks of discussion with irate
members of the Native American
community, Cheney selected
Congress member Ben Nighthorse
Campbell (D-Colo.) to serve as a
second Grand Marshall to represent
Nighthorse Campbell will ride
his own horse in the parade wearing
full regalia of a Cheyenne chief in
the spirit of his great-grandfather
Black Horse who fought against
Yet even the appointment of
Nighthorse Campbell, the highest
ranking Native American official in
the federal government, has caused
"This congressman is definitely
being used as a token," said Hill.
"They're just trying to pacify peo-
Anderson also suggested that
Nighthorse Campbell was not a
true-blood Native American and
was therefore not a good selection.
"He has not gone through the
proper protocol to represent Native
'This is blatant
- Helen Anderson
chair of the Alliance of
Americans," she said. "He would be
there merely to represent himself."
But Cheney called these criti-
cisms ridiculous. "The man is an
elected official to one of the highest
offices in the United States," said
Cheney. "He is one of 44 chiefs of
tribes. I'm not sure who she would
have had represent Native Ameri-
cans, but he's a figure Native Amer-
ican people can be very proud of."
Cheney said that the media and
people in the community have over-
"The Rose Parade does not zero
in on any one particular discovery,"
said Cheney. "One float and only
one float there will recognize the
sailing of Christopher Columbus ..
They made a point that they were,
concerned about a descendant of
Columbus being the grand marshall,
so I selected another one ...
"This is 500 years of history," he
continued. "In this country we can't
commemorate the 500th anniversary
of anything else. It was a discovery.
If you find something that does not
exist, that's a discovery. The Euro-:
pean community did, in fact, dis-
cover North and South America.
Granted there were people here, but
if we land on Mars and there are al-
ready people there, we'll still call
it a discovery."
But Hill disagreed and made an-
"It's the equivalent of Mexico
celebrating Cortez," Hill said.
"The evils that Cortez did are
known and Mexico wouldn't cele-;
brate him. Columbus was just as bad
and people need to know that."
The Alliance of Native Ameri-
cans is planning to protest the pa-
rade on Jan. 1. She said people need
to know the truth and realize what
this year should be about.
"This is not the year for celebra-
tion," Anderson said. "This is not
the year for parades. This is the year
to mourn the loss of all my ances-:
tors, the victims whose names have
not been mentioned to date."
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