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February 06, 1992 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-02-06

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Thursday, February 6, 1992
I'diiol in Chief


420 Maynard Street
Ann ArborMichigan 48109
764 - 0552

Opinion Editors

Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

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.
Judge Shelton betrays A2 residents


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Last Thursday, Circuit Court Judge Donald
Shelton presented a 13-page ruling, which
dismissed the case put forth by Ann Arbor City
Councilmember Kurt Zimmer (D-4th ward).
Zimmer accused the city of illegal redistricting. He
claims that the new ward boundaries drawn after
the 1990 census were a form of gerrymandering,
and thereby unconstitutional. The new boundaries,
according to Zimmer, makethreeofthefivevoting
wards predominantly Democratic-virtually guar-
anteeing the party at least a six to four majority on
the council.
Apparently, Judge Shelton did not reach the
same conclusion. Shelton ruled that the new ward
boundaries did not act to limit the chances of
Republican victories. In addition, Zimmer had no
reason to bring the suit since he was a Democrat
and the case, according to Shelton, dealt only with
the discrimination against Republicans. This is
curious logic.
Although a Democratic majority in the City
Council may be favorable, supporting illegal re-
districting to protect that majority is not accept-
able. Shelton, who has run for state representative
and once served as the mayor of Saline, has had a
long history as a loyal Democrat. It is absurd for
Shelton to criticize Zimmer's motives for party

reasons, while his own party history could make
him biased.
Judge Shelton's claim that there was no sub-
stantial evidence to prove that the new boundaries
promote discrimination is hard to believe. One of
the authors of the redistricting plans, Tom Wieder,
sent a memo to City Council Democrats. In the
memo, Wieder admitted that the primary reason
the districts were drawn as they were was to
promote a Democratic majority in the future.
Shelton and Wieder both say that Zimmer has to
prove discrimination towards "one identifiable
political group." Maybe Shelton should have spent
another year in law school. If district lines are
redrawn to guarantee Democratic victories in all
the wards - as Wieder has admitted - then the
Republican party (a very identifiable group) is
forced to accept an unfair handicap.
Zimmer does not have to be a Republican to
protest this gerrymandering; his party affiliation is
irrelevant. In fact, Zimmer probably took the case
to court because the proposed boundaries threaten
his membership to the Council. Whatever his rea-
sons, Zimmer's case should not have been thrown
out of court. In the long run, the residents of Ann
Arbor - the very people the Council represents -
will be hurt.


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Times up, let's see the files

FPresident Gerald Ford, the only surviving
F member of the Warren Commission, which
the committee responsible for investigating the
1964 assassination of President John Kennedy,
petitioned for legislation to open the remaining
classified CIA files concerning the assassination.
Rep. Louis Stokes (D-Ohio), who chaired the
House subcommittee's 1979 investigation of the
incident, has announced that he will introduce just
such a resolution. This is long overdue.
Many Americans are realizing that the secrecy
of this information only breeds speculation, both
reasonable and outlandish, about alternative theo-
ries of Kennedy's assassination.
Pages upon pages of material have been written
{ which suggest government conspiracies led by an
all-star cast of conspirators. Congressional inves-
tigations in the late 1970s examined a possible
linkage between the the assassination and the CIA-
Mafia link to kill Fidel Castro. The recent success
of the movie JFK has raised consciousness about
this issue.
This film, whether it is based on reality or not,
has increased pressures on all parties that may have
files on the assassination, to release information
regarding the investigation. Last Monday, the Dal-

las City Council, in a unanimous vote, ordered the
DallasPolice Department to release approximately
2,000 pages of previously unseen information re-
garding the deaths of President Kennedy and Lee
Harvey Oswald, the only suspect charged for the
This is not to say that the classified CIA files
hold some jewel of information which clearly
implicates the government and others in some
conspiracy. Many people, including Stokes and
Ford, believe that Oswald was the lone assassin,
despite the fact that the Stokes committee declared
that President Kennedy was most probably killed
as the result of a conspiracy. And even if con-
spiracy theorists are correct, any truly incriminat-
ing evidence must surely have been destroyed by
Additionally, we know little about how the the
United States waged the Cold War. Propaganda
and para-military operations on the part of Central
Intelligence affected millions of lives. These files
could shed some light.
The secret files do nothing but lend credence to
secret government conspiracy theories. If they are
untrue, then releasing the files may finally settle a
thirty-year-old issue.

Thanks, but no thanks
To the Daily:
I find it interesting that Mr.
Cohen ("Rape and women's self-
reliance," 1/23/92) criticizes the
paternalism of men who offer to
walk their friends home. Yet, he
himself admonishes women for
their legitimate fear of harassment
and stranger rape (yes, it happens,
although with less frequency than
acquaintance rape). According to
Mr. Cohen, if I ask a male friend
to walk me home I demonstrate
my paranoia, my weakness and
my ignorance of the risks of being
alone with any man. He advises
me to learn self-defense. Thanks,
Sara Ferguson
LSA junior
Not free speech
To The Daily:
I refuse to let your ex-editor in
chief hide behind the curtain of
free speech. What bullshit..
Gottesman neverahesitated to stop
the censoring of ads - like beer
ads for instance - which have
been deemed sexist under his
hypocritical administration. Only
now, when under attack, does he
scurry to the Bill of Rights in
hopes of seeking the moral high-
ground. If he wants to liken the
Daily to a street-corner, more
power to him. But actions speak
louder than words. So,
Gottesman's pathetic self-pity
won't cut it. Advocating for a
rational, thoughtfull policy will.
Jon Polish
LSA senior
Welcome back
To the Daily:
I may not always agree with
your editorial opinions, or your
coverage of "news" events around
campus, but I am glad to see that
you are still publishing Calvin
and Hobbes,-even after Bill
Watterson's nine-month sabbati-
cal. Thanks.
Dave Cortright
NCFD junior

To the Daily:
I was pleased to see that the
Daily sports department managed
to interview former Detroit Tiger
legendary baseball anouncer Ernie
However, I must say that when
given the opportunity to interview
someone as fascinating and
definitely opinionated as Mr.
Harwell, the Daily sports staff
should at least dignify the
interview by including at least one
or two (that is all I ask) questions
of substance, much less general
The cliche-like question,
"Who is the best baseball player
you have ever seen" and the third-

Ask better questions, get answers

Kappamen know brotherhood

grade-caliber question, "What
advice would you give to any
person who aspires to be a
broadcaster" have gotta go.
Come on, guys. You are
ruining a golden opportunity and
insulting our sports interest and
knowledge by trash questions'
such as these.
Ask the questions nobody else
has the nerve to ask, not questions
fit to be asked by a junior high
school journalist.
By the way, I know of what I
speak. I broadcast sports reports
on WCBN radio.
Evan Albert
LSA senior


To the Daily:
The reason I am writing this
letter is to answer the question
posed in the edit entitled, "Babes
and beer," (1/29/92).
I am a dedicated memeber of
Kappa Alpha Psi. Our organiza-
tion is indeed "a real fraternity."
In Kappa Alpha Psi we strive for
achievment in every field of
human endevour. The four
cardinal priorities in a
Kappaman's life are God, family,
school and brotherhood.
Unlike a lot of other fraterni-
ties here on campus, I feel that
our brotherhood is very visible in
Ann Arbor and its surrounding
comnmunities.Some of my
experiences in Kappa Alpha Psi
which show true brotherhood are:
our 4th annual talent show in
which we donated over $1,000 for
Ann Arbor high schools; our
reggae party at Rick's, in which
we donated a lot of the proceeds
to the New Bethel Homeless for
Thanksgiving; Leading Young
Black Man to Leadership
(LYBMTL), which is a once-a-
month tutoring program in which
myself and all of the 12 brothers
in our chapter tutor 7th and 8th
grade students from five of Ann
Arbor's middle schools; a bone

marrow drive for a three-year-old
child. We, as a fraternity, all
helped, not only by volunteering
our time, but also by donating
blood to see if we would be able
to help the child by one of us
being a match.
These are only a few examples
of what a fraternity is about. I feel
that this aspect of what a real
fraternity is all about has been lost
to organizations such as Theta
Delat Chi Fraterity.
I'm not trying to put down
Theta Delta Chi Fraternity, but I
feel that if you have to downplay
your organization and
simultaniously make other
fraternities look bad by giving
false impressions of what a
fraternity is supposedly all about,
then maybe you shouldn't be a
fraternity at all.
Damian Duff
LSA junior
Write the Daily
The Daily encourages its
readers to write. Letters should
be 150 words or less, and sent
to: The Michigan Daily, 420
Maynard, Ann Arbor, 481089,
or by MTS to: The Michigan
Daily, Letters to the Editor.

Gambling with Native Americans


ast week developer Jim Pappas met with
Detroit's Downtown Development Authority
(DDA) to gain support of a plan to allow for casino
gambling in Greektown. Because gambling is ille-
gal in Detroit, the DDA agreed to return land to the
Native Americans, which would allow for the legal
construction of a gambling casino.
Acknowledging this, Pappas proposal would
designate a Greektown site as an extension of a
federally recognized Native American reservation
of a Michigan tribe.
In order to build an off-reservation casino, one
of the seven federally recognized tribes would
have to sponsor the endeavor. It is no secret that the
city of Detroit is experiencing hard times. With a
huge budget deficit compounded by a steadily
shrinking tax base, large scale developments could
pump millions of dollars as well as hundreds of
jobs into the barren local economy. But that is no
justification for luring the NativeAmericans of the
state into a token offer of partnership under the
guise that it will benefit not only Detroit, but also
the sponsoring tribe.
It is disgusting that a people that have histori-
cally suffered so much at the hands of the U.S.
goverment must continue to be exploited for the
sake of profits. While a casino may bring millions
of dollars into downtown Detroit, it is unlikely that
the profits would ever go to the selected reserva-

tion. The possibility that members of the sponsor-
ing tribe will be able to work in the casino seems
highly unlikely considering that the nearest tribe is
more than100 miles away. Why then would any
tribe support such a plan that would likely give
back only nickel-and-dime profits?
The city of Detroit has attempted to legalize
gambling three times in the last eight years. Each
time the issue was placed on the ballot, it failed
Clearly, the citizens of Detroit do not want any
type of gambling in the city. For the procedure to
be allowed, it must meet the approval of the very
same Detroit voters that have already rejected it
through referendum. In addition to local approval,
the plan must meet the approval of the U.S. secre-
tary of the interior and Gov. John Engler.
Engler has surprisingly opposed expanding
Native American gaming beyond the seven exist-
ing sites. Even outside the civic objections to the
plan, the central issue of the immorality of this
decision can notbe overlooked. The NativeAmeri-
can people have already given up their land and
watched it be abused by the U.S. government.
To suggest that they will be allowed to reclaim
land that belonged to them in the first place is an
insult. Pappas and the DDA should find another
way to make money - a way that does not
marginalize another people.

... ......................................... ,. .,....:...........,... _.._.... ._.. ............... . ......:{v 5.... .....................

Breaking down the barriers of race

A few years ago, I went to the
Union to give blood. A Red Cross
nurse collected the relevant infor-
mation about me through a series of
routine tests and queries which she
recorded on an index card. Finally,
she asked if I would consent to

having my
blood tested for
certain rare
blood types
which vary ge-
netically by
"Sure," Ian-
swered. "But I
don't know
which types you

Elizabet h Cle

of the socially constructed category
of race.
"It's not that important," she
said, erasing her presumption from
the card. "These are very rare blood
Like many Americans, the Red
Cross nurse believes that racial cat-
egories are distinct; she fits herself
and others neatly and comfortably
into one of the boxes on the pre-
printed card.
Indeed, the nurse believes that
the thoughts and feelings which
make up our racial identities are so
tangible as to be actually mirrored
in our chromosomes.
But from where I stand, I see
that the wall which stands on the
color line is humanly, not biologi-
cally, constructed. This is not to say
that it isn't real. The deep cracks
and contradictions in the assump-
tions that make up the wall are
clearly visible to me, as are the
places where these aged and hard-
ened prejudices supporta social and
economic structure which is warped
and resistant to change.
Positioned as we are in the gaps

can challenge the construction of
that polarization.
Confronted by my seemingly
contradictory identities, the nurse
was forced to reassess her under-
standing of the features which de-
termine racial identity. Is itencoded
in our genes? In the way we look? Is
it what we believe about ourselves?
Or is it some combination of these
In that moment, she┬░ acknowl-
edged that the wall demarcating the
races is not solid, and that 'it is
forged every day in our thoughts
and activities.
When racial classifications are
understood as socially, not biologi-
cally, based concepts, it is clear that
systems of racialized injustice, be
they called apartheid or segrega-
tion, are not only immoral, but also
logically untenable. If many of us
see through to the fallacies which
undergird these systems, they can
not stand.
Like the idea of race as an abso-
lute category, many of the as-
sumptions we take for granted about
the social world only serve to jus-

should look for
in my blood. My father is Black and
my mother is white." .
Withoutblinking, she answered,
"Well, what do you consider your-
I looked at her to see if she was
joking. "Black," I answered. "But
whatdoes thathave to do with what's
genetically in my blood?"
Maybe she was afraid that I was
about to charge her with some civil

Nuts and Bolts
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by Judd Winick
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