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March 16, 1992 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-03-16

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Monday, March 16, 1992
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420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
764 - 0552

Opinion Editors

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Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

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Unsigned editorials represent a inajority of the Daily's Editorial Board.
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.
.OtBrownDe.ocratic.p.I ary
Vte Brown, Democratic primary

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CA F 1C N S--X T - 5 T

Former California Gov. Jerry Brown's anti-
Washington message alone lacks the substance
to carry any candidate to the White House. But his
thoughtful positions on domestic policies across-
the-board offer the American people serious alter-
natives to the status quo. For this reason, the Daily
endorses Jerry Brown for the Democratic nomina-
tion for President of the United States.
Brown, more
than any of the
other contend-
ers, understands
what is wrong
with the system ,H
of government
in Washington.
His message of ¢-'
an "insurgentw
campaign to
take back
America" and
his commitment
to fight corrup-
tion in govern-
ment is a noble
Brown is more willing than Arkansas Gov. Bill
Clinton and former Massachusetts Sen. Paul
Tsongas to axe the nation's bloated defense bud-
get. He favors a 50-percent cut - some $150
billion, a bigger cut than his Democratic and Re-
publican opponents are willing to offer.
Brown's health care plan is by far the most
sweeping and comprehensive. He would have the
government cover all health care costs for all
Americans, while still allowing patients to choose
their own doctors..
While still lacking in specifics, Brown's pro-
posal has the potential to help more citizens than
Tsongas or Clinton's. His plan does not pander to
insurance companies or the American Medical
Association. Brown has not hesitated to display his
solidarity with AIDS victims and would commit
the necessary funds to research effective treat-
As governor of California, serving from 1974 to
1982, Brown demonstrated his commitment to the
environment. He passed landmark legislation that
encouraged alternative energy sources and he op-
posed nuclear power.

Concerning the economy, Brown's record is
mixed. He envisions expanding large-scale public
works projects to fight unemployment: He rightly
opposes a cut in the capital-gains tax. Clinton and
Tsongas each favor a cut in this tax to encourage
economic growth. But this tax exclusively aids
only the upper echelons of American society, and
it is doubtful that it would substantially encourage
investment in the economy.
Unfortunately, Brown plans to elliminate cur-
rent income, social security, corporate and other
taxes. He would replace them with a flat 13-
percent tax on gross income for all Americans, rich
and poor and a 13-percent value-added tax, similar
to a national sales tax. This regressive tax plan is
Though his desire to simplify the filing process
and eliminate loopholes in current tax law is well
intentioned, replacing the current system with a
regressive tax is a giant step backward. Fortu-
nately, it is highly unlikely that Brown could ever
get the measure through Congress.
The issue of electability, though not paramount
in choosing the Democratic nominee, is worth
considering. Often referred to as Gov. Moonbeam,
Brown and his campaign have suffered consider-
able ridicule. But, Brown surprised almost every-
one with his sucess in the primaries. He won the
primaries in Colorado and Nevada, as well as the
Maine caucus. He also had strong showings in
Washington and Utah. It should be noted that
Brown succeeded a staunch conservative in his
first race for governor of California- President
Ronald Reagan.
Clinton and Tsongas pose a considerable threat
to the progressive movement in the Democratic
party. Both support the death penalty in some
In fact, the Arkansas governor allowed for the
execution of a mentally-disabled 17-year-old crimi-
nal during the campaign. Clinton further revealed
his conservative tendencies by signing an Arkan-
sas bill requiring parental notification for abor-
tions for young women.
Admittedly, Clinton and Tsongas, with their
more conservative economic platforms, are front-
runners in the race. But if the Democrats plan on
ousting President George Bush in November, why
not do it with a truly progressive candidate?
That candidate is Jerry Brown.

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5.' funding for Jeffries wrong

To The Daily:
We find it abhorrent that the
University "sponsored" the
incredulous Leonard Jeffries to
speak. The University prides itself
on being "diverse" and pushes its
"multi-cultural" uirriculum. This
attitude is evident by Freshman
orientation "diversity" workshops,
a required course focusing on
minorities, and a strong belief in
Affirmative Action admission
Also, this year two prominant
and controversial Black speakers
have appeared at the University,
Angela Davis and the Reverand
Al Sharpton. Davis, an admitted
communist, ranted and raved
about the evil white man and his
quest to oppress minorities.
Sharpton, who is best known for
turning every incident into a racial
confrontation, preached the same

Leonard Jeffries is the last
straw. He is an admitted racist
who believes that Blacks are
genetically superior to all other
races. His "sun-people" and
"cave-people" theory is one of
the most ludicrous beliefs in the
scientific world.
What is the message? It would
be absurd to sponsor the leader of
a Neo-Nazi group to speak here.
What is the difference between a
Black racist and a white racist?
Apparently quite a bit since our
tuition dollars are being spent to
bring one kind of racist but not
another. It leads one to believe
that a Black racist socialist is in
charge of bringing speakers to the
Shawn Brown
LSA sophomore
Tim Pohanka
Engineering first-year

Dishonoring program
To the Daily:
Your editorial regarding the
Honors Program was a sad hodge-
podge of misinformation. The
portion of the Honors Program
you referred to is the freshman-
sophomore Honors Program (i.e.
honors sections of classes, Great
Books and counseling from the
illustrious Bert Hornback).
Admission to this program is
indeed partially based on one SAT
score, but it is also based on high
school grades and class difficulty.
Of course, we all know that high
school performance is really just a
function of one's socio-economic
background and not a function of
work effort and intelligence.
Admittance to the junior-senior
Honors Program is based on one's
performance in one's major during
the first two years, i.e. grades and
writing samples. But again,
according to your politically-
correct views, college perfor-
mance is a function of the wealth
of one's parents, and not work
effort and intelligence. You
should really do your homework
before you make broad generaliza-
tions about something on which
you have no knowledge.
Without the Honors Program
how would the University attract
bright students (both in-state and
out) who could have gone to more
prestigious schools?
The quality of one's education
is more often a function of the
quality of one's peers, not the
quality of the faculty.
Bob Juneja
LSA senior
The Daily encourages responses
from its readers. Letters should
not exceed 150 words. Send all
letters to. The Michgan Daily, 420
Maynard, Ann Arbor, MI1481 09.

Get serious about housing issue

To the Daily:
The Ann Arbor election
season is upon us again and, with
it more political posturing as the
City Council tries to obscure the
fact that it has failed to address
adequately this city's housing
crisis. On March 3, 1992,("City
approves housing funds,") the
Daily reported that the city
council "unanimously approved
the allocation of $870,000 in
federal funds for developing local
housing units." What the Daily
failed to report, however, was the
City Council had absolutely no
need, other than image control, to
have such a vote. The allocation
was not a new financial or moral
commitment to housing on the
city's part; it did not require
unanimous approval. The funds

were granted to the city by the
federal government through the
Comprehensive Housing
Affordability Strategy (CHAS).
By federal law, the monies could
only be used for low-income
housing - nothing else. In fact,
the City Council agreed to
commit funds to low-income
housing that were already legally
earmarked for that very purpose
- hardly a progressive step.
So, while City Council may
have become more sensitive and
ambitious about improving its
image on the housing issue, it has
yet to show the same sensitivity
and ambition toward actually
solving the problem..
Matthew C. Beata
Rackham graduate student

Do we need police for our police?

A sk a youngster what they want to be when they
grow up and you'll get a variety of responses:
firefighter, astronaut, teacher, and, more often than
not, police officer. Unfortunately, recent events
have shattered the bold, chivalrous image of law
enforcement officers of childhoods past, revealing
a police force besmirched by corruption and bru-
tality. One year ago, the public was shocked as it
viewed a videotape showing a group of Los Ange-
les police officers brutally beating Rodney King, a
motorist pulled over for speeding. This week those
officers are on trial.
However, this is not an isolated incident. Police
brutality runs rampant in forces across the country.
It results in declining public trust in the police and
costs police departments millions of dollars in
settlements of brutality cases.
A recent series of articles in the Detroit Free
Press makes clear that in Detroit, not only are a
disturbing number of police officers abusing their
power, but the police department often make light
of brutality charges and lets convicted officers
keep their jobs. This results in a police force more
dangerous than the society it proposes to be de-
The state of Michigan has paid $12.1 million

since 1985 to settle police brutality lawsuits. In
Detroit, an alarming one-fifth of the city's officers
were sued for misconduct between 1987 and 1990,
a figure which does not account for citizens who
are too scared to press charges.
Only about four percent of these officers are
disciplined, while nine percent actually receive
promotions despite their brutality convictions. Dis-
cipline in these cases most often results in mere
suspension. The only just punishment for a brutal-
ity conviction is termination. What has happened
to the system? Do we need police for our police?
Pose this question to police departments across
the country and they will point to their internal
affairs departments. These departments often dis-
count jury verdicts, saying that juries are too sym-
pathy-prone, and rely on their own investigations
which almost always acquit the officers in ques-
tion. What jury wouldn't be sympathetic to a man
beaten by the very person paid to protect him?
Sadly, our hopes are shattered by the despicable
behavior of many of the nation's police depart-
ments - including Detroit's, which often permit
officers of dubious character to stay on the payroll
and turn the Detroit police force into nothing more
than an army of badge-carrying thugs.

cordITY mus.t.a.soapoize for."v:..e
Hartford must aloalgiefor polkVie

by Daniel Holliman
Instead of the specious
apology offered for student
behavior during the recent
deputization violence (3/5/92)
Vice President for Student Affairs
Maureen Hartford should apolo-
gize for her own insensitivity to
student safety, as well as her
manipulative distortion of the
facts of Feb. 20.
In her letter, when she's not
opening racial wounds by venting
spleen about "violent people" or
"if" the University is going to
continue "valuing diversity" of
opinion, Ms. Hartford connotes
that Black students, as a result of
their disagreement with the
actions of the board of regents,
"lost control and became a mob
which turned violent."
As an eyewitness (who was
not protesting) who has reviewed
all video evidence of the incident,
I am astounded that Ms. Hartford
conveniently ignores specific
actions by the AnnArbor Police,
who were at fault by initiating and
exacerbating the conflict. Perhaps
this is because she was on the
inside of the Fleming building far
away from the action on the south
door that she claims to have
Further, I find it particularly
dishonest that she fails to mention
her own culpability in the
decision to indiscriminately open

innocent students caught between
protestors and Ann Arbor officers
who aggressively swung their
clubs at Black students attempt-
ing to enter the hearings.
Where is the compassion for
student injuries? Where is the
sophistication needed to discern
between dangerous actions of the
Revolutionary Workers League
members and legitimate actions

Contrary to all of our expecta-
tions of Ms. Hartford, she has
demonstrated a desire to push
aside "due process" while rushing
to emotional and premature
conclusions that have widened the
gap between Black students and
the administration.
The point lost in this madness
is that there is a history of
harassment and violence against

The point lost in this madness is that there is a
history of harassment and violence against
Black people by police that has never been

The presidential primaries are
tomorrow. Don't forget to vote.

of Black students - most of
whom were working to stop the
violence? Why is a group of
African-American students
immediately construed as a
"mob," while the considerably
more violent disturbances around
the 1989 NCAA Basketball
Championship was viewed as
harmless fun?
Several students have filed
brutality charges against Anne
Arbor Police. We should also
expect investigations by the city
Human Rights Commission and
the new University Committee on
Public Safety. Would it not have
been fair to have allowed our,
established grievance mecha-
nisms to proceed before passing
judgement or running to the press
tori nr , ne rn ,,,,,ctni,

Black people by police that has
never been resolved. In this sense,
the real issue is not "who depu-
tizes University police officers,"
but rather who will improve the
relationship between police (city
and university) and Black students
who have borne the brunt of
violence directed towards Univer-
sity students since the Black
Action Movements of the 70's
through last year's South Quad
Perhaps the politics of race and
harassment are different at a small
homogeneous university like
Washington State, where Hartford
is from. Until she is able to shed
the racial baggage that she has
brought to the University, her
deceptive approach to "student
nffir" i,, rntmm , t h

Nuts and Bolts

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by Judd Winick

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