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March 09, 1992 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1992-03-09

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Page 4 -The Michigan Daily- Monday, March 9, 1992
Ulbe Stdjigrn &dIl
MATI'lditor i e I) iNf


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420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor. Michigan 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.
'U' should invest in group relations

C' atia 'J .. -
/ tr t 1,/.


The Intergroup Relations and Conflict Program
is a small, innovative project founded four years
ago to promote understanding across lines of race,
ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation. It is cur-
rently negotiating with the University for increased
funding needed to expand its activities - now
concentrated primarily in residence halls - to
,include more of the University community. The
increase would be money well spent. The program
brings a creative and constructive approach to one
of the most urgent problems facing both the Uni-
versity and the nation.
The program works on the philosophy that a
heterogenous community can work only if the
tensions between the groups that compose it are
brought into the open and dealt with. To achieve
this, the program offers a mix of courses,
minicourses, community projects and "dialogues"
rap sessions between members of different
social groups. The program has held dialogues
between Blacks and whites, gays and straights, and
men and women, as well as others.
Its success in facilitating constructive dialogue
among its students is an improvement over past
University efforts to ease tension between groups
by sweeping it under the rug or, worse, forbidding
,it. The University's 1989 code forbidding offen-
sive speech, for example, only increased tension,
before a Michigan Supreme Court declared it un-
constitutional the same year. The Intergroup Rela-
tions and Conflict Program's experience has vali-
dated its emphasis on education and communica-
tion, as opposed to regulation of behavior.
This success is significant - meaningful
progress in facilitating understanding between

groups on campus has proved difficult to come by.
As it becomes increasingly diverse, the University
has also become more divided, especially along
lines of race and ethnicity. A program that shows
promise in its efforts to remedy this situation
should be given the resources it needs to grow.
Moreover, the program's approach is not only
successful, it is on the cutting edge of work in
constructively dealing with intergroup conflict.
The linking of classroom instruction, community
projects and informal dialogues is a unique one -
there is no program quite like it at any other school
in the country. It is not only promoting understand-
ing between student groups, it is advancing knowl-
edge in the-area of intergroup relations. At a univer-
sity dedicated to research, this is another reason to
encourage the growth of such a program.
However, the Intergroup Relations and Con-
flict Program is still fairly small in size and budget.
It is run out of a small room in the basement of
Alice Lloyd Hall, and the minicourses and dia-
logues are funded on a tentative, year-to-year ba-
sis. The program's staff is working to expand the
scope of its efforts - more University-wide dia-
logues, as well as dialogues in local high schools
and in the Greek system are in the works. But the
program needs increased funding on a long-term
basis to do it.
The administration regularly extols the ideal of
a multicultural community. It now has the chance
to put its money where its mouth is by providing
the resources to expand this innovative experiment
in communication between the University's atom-
ized social groups. It is an opportunity that should
not be passed up.



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Students react to controversial cartoon

Remember Holocaust horrors

One of the most important events taking place
this semester is the 13th annual Holocaust Confer-
ence, which commenced last week and will run
until Sunday, March 15. The conference, spon-
sored by the Hillel foundation, is designed to
educate people about the Holocaust, where the
Nazi party systematically murdered 12 million
people, six million of which were Jews.
There are a variety of informative events taking
-place this week that help explain the historical and
personal aspects of the Holocaust. Films, speakers,
and an interfaith service to educate the public
about its history fill the conference's agenda.
Tonight at Hillel there will be a short video
followed by a discussion that will explain the
theological issues confronting churches during the
Holocaust. Later there will be an open speaker
presentation where survivors of the Holocaust will
share their personal stories. It is important to hear
and remember the stories of Holocaust survivors.
Soon there will not be any survivors left to tell of
their personal traumas.
" The best way to guard against all prejudice,
including anti-Semitism, is to remember the past.
Unfortunately some people have already begun to

forget the events of the Holocaust. When the Berlin
Wall was taken down in 1989, people throughout
the world claimed that this would be a day to be
remembered in history. Yet few remembered that
in the same country, on the same day, Kristallnacht
took place. Also known as "the night of the broken
glass," this was the night when Jewish homes,
shops and synagogues were vandalized, material-
izing the undeniable level of hatred towards the
Jews in Nazi Germany. The dangerous implica-
tions of forgetting such an event are clear. This
history, while unsettling, helps people understand
and educate themselves about the possible future
of prejudice.
Robert Clary, another Holocaust survivor, will
speak this Wednesday night. Clary said he will
speak because there are people trying to deny what
he and millions others went through as victims of
the Holocaust.
All too often during times of economic strife,
people take out their frustrations by scapegoating
and targeting Jews and other minorities. Conse-
quently, the only way to prevent another event like
the Holocaust is to educate people about past
atrocities. The conference is a good place to begin.

To the Daily:
I am alarmed (actually
disgusted and offended) that the
Daily has taken part in the
Japanese-bashing current that has
been running in the national
media. I am referring to Greg
Stump's cartoon ( 2/6/92).
The cartoon showed four
children standing together playing
"pretend work." One child was
Asian. He was shown directing
the other children who were white
and Black and told one to be the
"lazy, illiterate worker" and
another child to be, "the ineffi-
cient overpaid executive ..." One
of the white children responds by'
saying, "Remind me never to
play 'pretend work' with Li again
What kind of message is
Stump trying to send to the
I remember cringing when I
first heard about Bush's plans to
talk with the Japanese govern-
ment leaders about trade regula-
tions. I cringed because I could
feel the Japanese-bashing coming
on. Then I hear about people
smashing Hondas, and then I saw
a picture of a man bashing a
Honda, and then I saw this
What are we supposed to get
from this cartoon? Are people
supposed to assume that all
Japanese-Americans are clones of
the Japanese government? Should
other Americans (i.e., non-Asian-
Americans) avoid socializing with
Asian-Americans? Apparently so,
according to Greg Stump's
"artistic" commentary. And these
kind of racist ideas which assume
that the color of one's skin and
the shape of one's eyes determine
who they are ("those Japs") and
what they think ("American
workers are lazy and illiterate")
lead to the horrible tragedies like
the Japanese-American intern-
ment, and demonstrate how alive
racism is today and on our
Jeanette Lim
To the Daily:
We were disappointed to find
the offensive cartoon printed in
the Daily (Greg Stump 216/92).In
it, an Asian boy is telling his
friends to play the roles of "lazy,
illiterate" American workers. A
white girl comments that she
never wants to "play 'pretend
work' with Li again." If the
cartoon was meant to satirize
Speaker of the Lower Diet
Yoshio.Sakurauchi's comments,
it fails in three regards.
First, the depiction of a

squinty-eyed, bowl-hair cut Asian
only adds to the perpetuation and
reinforcement of stereotypes.
Second, the artist's use of
"Li" demonstrates his ignorance
towards the diverse Asian
population, since "Li" is not even
a Japanese surname.
Third, by depicting an Asian
child in a seemingly American
setting, and without the slightest
resemblance to Sakurauchi, the
cartoon insinuates that all Asians
agree with the Speaker's com-
ments. This is clearly far from the
truth. We hope the Daily will
exercise better judgment in the
future whenprinting insensitive
Homer Sun
Al Wang, Tim Chu
Lambda Phi Epsilon Frater-
Eleven other members of the
fraternity also signed this letter.
To the Daily:
I am writing this letter to
express my digust with the
editorial page cartoon (Greg
Stump, 2/6192) which carried
blatant racist messages against
Asians and Asian Americans.
Mr. Stump, in his response to
an ignorant statement made by.
Japanese prime minister Kichi
Miyazawa about American
workers, generalized the belief
that all Asians, including Asian
Americans, are supporters of Mr.
Miyazawa's bigoted individual
Mr. Stump, through his racist
portrayal of an Asian-American
boy named "Li" (complete with
stereotypically slanted eyes),
conveyed the image that all
Asians and Asian Americans are
a group of people who look down
upon whites and African Ameri-
cans with a false sense of racial
It seems that Mr. Stump has
taken the first step toward racism
and bigotry by generalizing about
a race of people based on the
ignorant statement of a single
What Mr. Stump has appar-
ently forgotten is the fact that
Asian Americans were equally as
offended and insulted by Mr.
Miyazawa's statement as any
American of any race of
For years Asian Americans
have been consistently deprived
of the respect and recognition we
deserve as Americans because of
our skin color, and Mr. Stump's
cartoon provides clear evidence
of the existence of the same

bigotry and racism against Asian
Americans which victimized
Japanese Americans during'World
War II.
Regardless of Mr. Stump's true
intention (whatever it may have
been), the cartoon was offensive
to Asians and expecially to Asian
Americans. I think Mr. Stump
owes the Asian-American
community an apology.
Mike Kim
LSA junior
To the Daily:
Well, it looks like the Daily
has jumped on the media's Asian-
bashing bandwagon. The cartoon
that ran on the editorial page
(Greg Stump 2/6/92) was
insulting and offensive in so many
ways it is hard to know where to
First of all, the artist had
chosen to buy into familiar old
stereotypes and draw the Asian
character with slanted lines
instead of eyes.
What's next, Aunt Jemima as
an accurate portrayal of African
Secondly, while clearly
referring to the Japan trade wars,
the cartoonist chose to call his
character Li, a Chinese name. But,
as everyone knows, you can't tell
all them Orientals apart anyway.
The final straw is the fact that
the cartoonist chose to put the
sentiments of some Japanese
businessperson in the mouth of
what is clearly an Asian-American
child, as if the child's politics and
culture were somehow transferred
by blood.
Were the words of the white
child representative of Sweden or
Poland? Yet, it is assumed the
Asian-American child will always
think and act like the Japanese.
It is this kind of blurring of
Asian and Asian American that
enabled the government to
imprison thousands of Americans
who happened to be Japanese
without due process during WWII.
It is also this blurring that caused'
Vincent Chin, a Chinese Ameri-
can, to be beaten to death by a
group of out-of-work auto workers
in Detroit.
. This cartoon has only added to
the level of tension and fear in the
Asian-American community.
LeiLani Nishime
MSA Rackham representative
The Daily encourages responses
from its readers. Send letters to;
The Michigan Daily, 420
Maynard, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.
Or via MTS to: The Michigan
Daily, Letters to the Editor.

Unedited, uMnterrupted news

In recent years, the news media has come under
increasing criticism for failing to effectively focus
on campaign issues and candidates' stands on
them. Indeed, these criticisms are not unfounded.
During the 1968 presidential race, the average
length of a candidates' "sound bite' as reported in
the evening news was more than 42 seconds. By
the 1988 presidential campaign, that number had
fallen to 9.8 seconds. This is only one symptom of
;a media trend that downplays issues for the sake of
campaign melodrama. Apparently airing candi-
dates' long, drawn-out positions on issues doesn't
facilitate this.
While the media continues to focus more and
more on image and increasingly less on issues,
there exists one media outlet that provides unbi-
ased, comprehensive coverage of the campaign.
The Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network,
better known as C-SPAN, has provided unparal-
leled coverage of the campaign since the day it
began.The "Road to the White House" series gives
voters an opportunity to see the candidates in
action as they campaign around the country -
without commentary.
The C-SPAN cameras follow candidates to re-
ceptions, rallies, fund-raisers, restaurant visits and
other public relations gimmicks. At the event, C-
SPAN simply lets the tape roll. By watching, voters

get a glimpse of the candidate in raw form,
unfettered by image consultants and the evening
C-SPAN also broadcasts debates from around
the country, and seminars where analysts discuss
the campaign. These are shown numerous times
during the day to ensure that anybody who wants
to can have access to the information.
The value of this service cannot be underesti-
mated. By piping unedited, uninterrupted cam-
paign appearances into the homes of America, C-
SPAN provides voters with almost conversational
access to the candidates.
C-SPAN has been around for more than 15
years, first providing gavel-to-gavel coverage of
the U.S. House of Representatives. Later, C-SPAN
II began broadcasting from the U.S. Senate. The
network also has call-in shows that allow the
public to question public officials, and airs many
informative speeches and meetings. Additionally,
C-SPAN plans to broadcast both the Democratic
and Republican conventions in their entirety this
Other news outlets should follow C-SPAN's
lead and work to provide responsible, comprehen-
sive coverage of the campaign. But, in lieu of that
unlikely scenario, voters are encouraged to get in
touch with campaign 1992 by watching C-SPAN.

Honors Program benefits all University students

_ __

To The Daily:
Recently one of your lead
editorials ("Honors benefits only
a few," 2/12/92) claimed that the
procedure for admitting students
into the LSA Honors Program
"ignores most subjective criteria,"
and that the program "continues
to give tremendous weight to SAT
scores..." This is simply untrue.
Our most important criterion is
the high school record. We place
great weight on applicants'
essays, looking for thoughtful-

We fully agree that every
student here is entitled to a
"quality education," and Honors
math and science courses are
open to qualified students from
outside the program. But, Honors
is not just a collection of courses
and sections (there aren't many,
actually. Most "Honors" courses'
are regular upper-level courses or
involve extra work in regular
courses) and a counseling office:
we expect a special commitment
from our students and a willing-
nP~CC t in nrh~nini nnrlr

use them more.
We think it would be unfair to
deprive students who want this
rich intellectual experience of the
opportunity to take some of their
courses in the company of others
who are equally committed.
The place of the Honors
Program in LSA is certainly an
appropriate subject of debate,
especially in the context of the
present discussions about under-
graduate education. Such a debate
cannot be useful, however, unless
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