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February 20, 1992 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-02-20

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Thursday, February 20,1992

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
764 - 0552

Editor in Chief
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.
::~~~.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... ..". . . . . . . ... 4.............
~~. 444..::'.1.. . ..... . ... . .. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .
Public hearings turn pnvate

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ATesterday's deputization hearings turned out to
be just what the protesters claimed they were:
a farce. The regents made no more than a token
effort to listen to students' views, and were all too
eager to dodge legitimate student concerns and
sneak away to a more private "public" hearing.
The trouble began when students opposed to a
r.Sentally deputized police force staged a protest
at the Michigan League, where yesterday's hear-
i1gs were to be held. The regents entered the
meeting to find protesters standing on tables, de-
mwanding to be heard, and stayed just long enough
to, make a "goodwill effort" to hold the public
hearings, which are mandated by law. Actually,
they made almost no effort to engage in dialogue
yith these students. When David Marable, chair of
tom Political Action Committee of the Black Stu-
4ent Union (BSU), asked the regents to meet and
;liscuss the issue, they turned their backs.
In reality, the regents had no intention of ever
listening to the public. As early as Tuesday after-
Apon, at least one administrator acknowledged the
regents' plans to move the hearings to the Alumni
Center if any disruptions took place. A few minutes
after the regents entered the League, Regent Phil
Power (D-AnnArbor) read his pre-prepared speech
announcing their reasons for leaving.
At the hearing, only those signed up to speak
and a few members 'of the press were allowed to
enter the Alumni Center. The rest of the students
were locked outside. What could be further from
the spirit of public hearings than to bar the public
from entrance? The whole point of apublic hearing
is to allow anyone who has an opinion about the
issue to speak.
The entire scheme of the hearings, as conceived
by the administration, was developed to downplay
student input. The idea of an advance sign-up list
was construed to silence any unruly students who
might show up. The list prevented people from
coming and denied many their opportunity to speak.
What took place inside the hearings was even
-more absurd. The regents rebutted the arguments
made by students who spoke against deputization.
Tiese students were denied the opportunity to
respond. When students said what the regents
wanted to hear, the regents remained silent. But



they should not have been participating in these
types of politics to begin with. The hearings were
designed to give the public the opportunity to
address the regents, not to give the regents the
opportunity to take cheap shots at their rivals.
Regent Deane Baker (R-Ann Arbor) belittled
the protesters, claiming that they were the same
people that protest every issue. In fact, those dem-
onstrating were a very diverse bunch and were
united in their opposition to deputization. That a
regent would lump together all students who have
ever been concerned about an issue displays his
contempt for student views.
Regent Paul Brown (R-Petoskey) twice referred
to a survey that indicated some 90 percent of
students polled were concerned about campus
safety. For some reason, he used this to help justify
deputization. The poll Brown should have quoted,
however, was the one takenjointly by the Daily, the
Michigan Review and Consider magazine, which
stated that 52 percent of students polled were
opposed to a deputized police force. Only 29.4
percent were in favor.
Most disturbing about the entire process was
that it made it all too clear that the regents have no
respect for student views. Despite a particular
regent's electorate, the people who will ultimately
be affected by the police are the people who live
here - students and the rest of the community.

Students beware
To the Daily:
It is time that the truth be told
about the Ann Arbor Committee I
to Defend Abortion and Repro-
ductive Rights (AACDARR). As
a pro-choice student on thisI
volatile campus, I can keep silent1
no longer.
Rallies on Jan. 22 were
interrupted by AACDARR, who I
pushed the protestors off the
Graduate Library steps, screamed
epithets, and prevented the rally
from proceeding for over half anI
You may wonder why thisj
display would disturb a pro-
choice woman like myself. I
should be glad that the "born-
again bigots" were silenced, you
might say. But I am outraged at
this violent and childish action.
This group throws a bad light on
the entire pro-choice community
and I resent it. It gives us the
image of aggressive, inflexible
trouble-makers who hunger for
the spotlight.
But there is a reason behind all
this bad publicity that must be
exposed. AACDARR is led by
members of the Revolutionary
Workers League (RWL). The
latter has warped the former to its

own agenda, never missing an
opportunity to espouse its violent
message of socialism and revolu-
tion. It follows the tenet of "by
whatever means necessary" and
that should terrify all of us. It has
been used too many times to
justify too much bloodshed.
The platform of AACDARR
may carry some planks that
appeal to pro-choice activists:
anti-racist, pro-gay, and pro-
working-class. But as a former
member of this group, I can tell
you, the RWL is pushing its own
political agenda through the voice
Its tactics are to join a group,
gain enough power to set the
group's course, then shift the
docket to match its own. It drives
out the original members with its
militancy and in essence destroys
the group from within. It advo-
cates militant action to fight the
injustices of the nation and to
bring down the government.
Make no mistake, it is the voice
of the RWL that you hear when
AACDARR is speaking.
Its platform was floating
around and the confusion was not
lost oh the students who had
gathered. One student remarked

is the RWL
that while it was good to have a
broad agenda, militant action
drives away wider support. Even
the pro-lifers saw that "their
slander is not a charitable way of
making their views known."
In short, this group is causing
grievous harm to those of us who
truly value our right to choose. It
makes us look like we are ready
to tear the head off of every pro-
lifer we see.
But we know that the way to
win against ignorance is educa-
tion. The way to beat the political
game that the lifers play is in
Congress, in state legislatures, in
the newspapers, and, yes, in the
streets. We cannot mar our
struggle with fists and brutality.
This is dirty pool that we must
rise above if our movement is
going to survive.
If you are pro-choice, find
another way to voice your
opinion. Get in touch with an
honest, non-violent organization
that has all its cards on the table.
The RWL has a hidden, aggres-
sive agenda that must be thrown
out in the cold where it belongs.
Claire Schwartz
LSA senior


... despite student protests

A message to a bratty Jeff Muir: grow up

he demonstrators made their position clear.
Scores of students filed into the Michigan
League Ballroom energized and eager to show the
campus what a fiasco the "public" hearings really
were. Representatives from the Black Student
Union (BSU), the Progressive People of Color
(PPC) and SHIT Happens (Students Halting Insti-
tutionalized Terrorism) crowded into the back of
the Ballroom. The students stood on and around
the regents' table and displayed their anger and
frustration. As promised, the demonstrators shut
the meeting down. There was really no alternative.
Had the regents followed the spirit of Public Act
120, maybe the hearings could have proceeded in
the Ballroom. Instead, the hearings were moved to
the Alumni Center, where University security
wiards locked the general public out. But the
regents circumvented the law while pretending the
process was sound. If it weren't for the coalition of
concerned students, the regents may have been
able to convince the student population that the
hearings were legitimate.
Students should be aware that the efforts to
fight deputization were not limited to chanting and
bull-horn addresses. Yesterday morning, Rackham
Rep. Jeff Hinte formally requested a court injunc-
tion asking forthe cancellationofthehearings. The
hearing process, Hinte claimed, violated the Free-
dom of Information Act (FOIA). Unfortunately,
the courts disagreed with Hinte and refused the
Even the current Student Rights Commission,
with its non-confrontational poise, tried to negoti-
ate with the administration and gain some conces-
sions. Despite Michael Warren's "high-level" meet-
ings with administrators, the administration didn't
give one inch.
Last week's chalk-in and anti-deputization
shanty were valiant attempts to educate University
students and gain support for a battle against a
powerful beuraucracy. The chalk washed away,
and the shanty was trashed.
Every avenue which students have taken has

been blocked by bureaucratic inertia or student
The demonstration, which began outside the
Michigan League at 3 p.m. yesterday, attracted
some 200 people - 195 more than the five stu-
dents who spoke in favor of deputization in the
privately-held public hearing. Clearly, the stagger-
ing difference in numbers had no effect on the
The movement against deputization should not
be solely a BSU cause. The issue concerns every
University student and faculty member. The area
surrounded by Rackham, the Modern Languages
Building, the Union and the League should have
been packed with University community mem-
The fiasco will continue this afternoon. Tomor-
row morning, after the culmination of less than
three hours of private hearings, the regents will,
most likely, vote to deputize a police force.
Democracy was thwarted last night. Students
who really care about the University and the Ann
Arbor community will make the regents aware of
their views before the deputization issue blows
away in the wind.

To the Daily:,
I want to express the disgust,
anger and sorrow I felt upon
reading the article pertaining to
the resignation of Amy Polk (2/5/
92). Polk cites in particular an
article published in The Michigan
Review by Jeff Muir entitled "Is
Amy Polk as dumb as she looks?"
as an example of the hostile
environment that led her to resign.
Muir's response to Polk's
resignation ("I would simply say I
think your emotional comments
tonight don't hold a lot of
weight.") inspired disgust first. It
is a bratty retort to a resignation
inspired by bratty behavior and a
bratty newspaper article.
Second, the content of Muir's

response reflects a belief far too
prevalent in our society. This is
what inspired anger and sorrow in
me. Muir's comment suggests that
"emotion" (yeah, stuff like anger,
sorrow, disgust...) somehow
reduces the legitimacy or authen-
ticity of one's words. In this
instance, I'd say the suggestion on
Muir's part smacks of sexism.
"Emotion" or "emotionality" are
states often associated with
women. The denigration of
"emotionality" goes hand in hand
with the denigration of women, in
which Muir obviously gladly
participates, considering he
glombed on so readily to the sort
of cliche that led him to wonder if
Polk was "as dumb as she looks."

I feel anger because this sort
of denigration continues to be
accepted and perpetuated. I feel
sorrow because the rift between
mind and body that relegates
"feeling" to a lesser place
continues to thrive. This attitude
is injurious not only to those it
targets (such as Polk has been by
Muir), but to those who partici-
pate in its continuation.
In short, Jeff Muir, please
grow up, stop being a brat, deal
with your fear of emotion and of
women and stop acting out your
arrested development in the
public sphere. Please heal.
Kingii Hinterland
Film Projection Service

the poor also suffer in Michigan


In his State of the Union Ad-
dress, George Bush announced
proudly that communism died this
year. Such a premature eulogy sug-
gests that the education president
needs to hit the political science
textbooks a little harder. It may be

that he could
overlook the ex-
isteTnce of a little
ccu itry like
Cutu, even if it is
right next door,
but it's remark-
able that hecould
also write a na-

i C
Elizabeth Cole

tive to that of their parents, the
president had some explaining to
do. So he fell back on the face-
saving boastof themanbadly beaten
in a fist fight. Yeah, we look bad,
but you shoulda seen the other guy.
The crumbling inner cities of
America tell another story, sug-
gesting that the decades-long
standoff with the Soviets may be
the first foreign war waged sub-
stantially on American soil. In what
were once thriving American cities,
the poor and the homeless now live
amid boarded-up and abandoned
businesses and homes. They bear
grim witness to the real cost of
decades of government policies
which privileged the production of
implements of destruction over that
of the goods necessary to assure the
well-being of its citizens and their
Several articles in the Detroit
Free Press last weekend documented
the analogous situation in the former
Soviet republics. The authors ar-
gued that there was the
government's safety net of price

in Michigan under John Engler.
In St. Petersburg, the new poor
stand in the wintery streets trying to
sell meager possessions to passers-
by. A poignant Free Press photo-
graph shows a woman offering her
brassieres for sale. In Moscow, hu-
miliated people scavenging for food
in a garbage dump refused to give
their names to reporters.
Surely, these Russians are the
brothers and sisters of those Detroit
residents who stand by the highway
holding signs that announce that
they are willing to work for food, or
who offer to clean the windshields
of motorists stopped in traffic in
hopes that they will be compen-
sated with a dollar or two.
The American news media treats
Russian poverty as a symptom of
the moral weakness ofthe people or
of the political bankruptcy of their
system of government without
casting a similarly judgemental eye
on the poverty and starvation in this
country. It serves as an accomplice
to the Bush administration's efforts
to divert national attention toforeign


IDeputization hearings will be held today from 4 to 5p.m. at the Michigan Union Ballroom.

Nuts and Bolts
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by Judd Winick

tion of China's stature out of the
historical record.
But the president is not an
uneducated man. He proclaimed
communism dead for the rhetorical
power of the announcement. The
"death" he spoke of referred to the
dramatic transformation of the po-
litical and economic systems of the
republics that were formerly the
Soviet Union, hailed by his admin-

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