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January 17, 1992 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-01-17

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Page 2-The Michigan Daily- Friday, January 17,1992

Continued from page 1
adding that events related to the
holiday began in November and will
continue through March.
Both Eastern Michigan Univer-
sity (EMU) and the University of
Montana have also expanded the
number of the issues they will
"The focus is not just Afro-
American," said Ray Carlisle, direc-
tor of Montana's Education Oppor-
tunity Program.
Monday, the university will
host} a lecture by Julian Bard, a civil
rights leader during the 1960s. The
topic of his speech will be "Civil
Rights Then and Now."
Susan Bairley, acting director of
Public Information at EMU, said a
presentation held Wednesday enti-
tled, "What Killed King?" posed
such questions as, "What was he do-

ing as a political theorist, revolu-
tionary, and humanist, that got him
"(The holiday) gets broader ev-
ery year in the kinds of things we in-
clude, for example, the social action
program." The number of days al-
lotted for the celebration has also
increased from past years.
EMU's Baha'i Student Organiza-
tion - a religious group whose goal
is the equality of all races and sexes
- will sponsor a panel discussion
on the topic of multi-cultural mar-
riage on Sunday. Events planned
Monday will center around the
theme, "A Call for Social Action,"
sponsored by the Black Student
Union, Hispanic Student Associa-
tion, and Native American Indian
Student Organization.
A wide range of social issues
will be covered, including family
and children services, cutbacks in
services to older adults, homeless-

ness, and mental health services.
At Virginia, Arizona State, and
the University of Arizona, this
year's celebration will be unique be-
cause of the number of student
groups involved in the planning,
school officials said.
All 14 college deans at the Uni-
versity of Arizona took part in a
candle-lighting ceremony on
Wednesday. Hargrove said they
were "shedding a light on having
open discussions and ongoing talks
on the contributions Dr. King
While most universities have
held events in honor of King since
his birthday became a national holi-
day in 1986, this is the first year
that Virginia Commonwealth Uni-
versity and the University of Mon-
tana have not held classes.
"We've never had it off before,
even though we're a state school,"
said DeeDee Hirsch, managing editor

of the Commonwealth Times, the
student newspaper. King Day is a
state holiday in Virginia.
Montana made King Day a state
holiday last year. Harry Fritz, a
professor of history, "championed
the cause," Carlisle said.
The state of Montana is 92 per-
cent white and 6 percent of the pop-
ulation is Native American, the
largest minority. Out of 10,800 stu-
dents enrolled at the university, 48
are African-American.
Michigan State, EMU, and Vir-
ginia will be in session Monday.
"Our rationale for having classes
is to continue to work for issues of
equity and equality, and you don't
necessarily do that by getting a day
off," Bairley said.
University representatives at
these schools said professors have
been encouraged to take their
students to events and talk about
King and the ideas he stood behind.

Continued from page 1
to Empowerment: Redefining Our
Symposium co-organizer Bunyan
Bryant, an associate professor of
natural resources, said, "All work-
shops will be outstanding. A lot of
work has gone into bringing these
nationally-reputed people ...
Students should really take advantage
of this opportunity."
Black Greek Association
President James Green agreed. "It's
very important to be educated about
the efforts of Dr. Martin Luther
King Jr., which exemplify the ef-
forts of all minorities," he said.
Green's fraternity, Alpha Phi
Alpha, will dedicate a plaque to King
during a workshop recapturing
King's life. King belonged to the
same fraternity.
Bryant said he especially looks

forward to a workshop titled,"The
Future of Detroit: A Development
Project," which will gather students
to help renovate the city of Detroit
in the summer.
"In the past, workshops have
been exciting and provocative with
no follow-up. Now we want to do
this," Bryant said.
"Now we can utilize the resources
of students across this country, espe-
cially students from the University
of Michigan. In the spirit of Martin
Luther King, Detroit in the summer
'92 is consistent," he said.
Bryant emphasized that the sym-
posium is not just for Blacks or
other students of color.
"I think the world is becoming
much smaller and ethnic groups are
becoming larger. If we're going to
live in a diverse nation, let alone a
diverse world, we have to understand
diversity," Bryant said.

Did you get it?*
CP&P mailed to all sophomores this week.
Check your mailbox for programs
designed especially for you.
...or pick up your copy today at CP&P.
The University of Michigan
Career Planning Plac ent
3200 Student Activities Building

Continued from page 1
Zuiiiga believes King saw this
too. To her, his dream of racial un-
derstanding requires remedying in-


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justice between the groups involved.
If this is true, the dream of brother-
hood, both on campus and nation-
ally, is not one easily met.
'I have a dream that my four lit-
tle children will one day live in a
land where they will be judged not
by the color of their skin, but by the
content of their character."
Laws and programs implemented
since 1963, designed to facilitate
equality between racial groups, have
not bridged the gap. The average
Black, Hispanic and Native Ameri-
can household still earns far less
than the average white one. The end
of legally-sanctioned discrimina-
tion has not meant the end of racial
injustice. Color still matters.
Lapious Williams, a deacon at
Gospel Truth Tabernacle Church in
Detroit, said the crux of the prob-
lem is that a change in a law cannot
change people's hearts.
"We've opened doors, but I don't
know if we've touched people's
moral fiber," he said.
In the debate over affirmative ac-
tion laws and civil rights bills, the
need to change attitudes, a pillar of
King's philosophy, has often been
forgotten. But even if everyone
agreed to judge their fellow humans
"by the content of their character,"
there is still uncertainty over what,
exactly, that means. There is a hot
debate over whether, in judging
character, one should take into ac-
count a person's environment.
Shelby Steele, a Black professor,
argues in The Content of our Char-
acters, that Blacks waste their en-
ergy by pointing fingers at outside
forces for their problem. Minori-
ties, Steele contends, should simply
do the most they can with what they
have and be judged by the same stan-
dards as everyone else.
Rackham student Colin Leach, a
member of the Baker-Mandela Cen-
ter for Anti-Racist Education,
called this a "misreading" of King's
message. "Implicit in Steele's in-
terpretation is that people's charac-
ter can't be assaulted by poverty and
racism," he said.
Like the issue of race relations,
the debate over equality of opportu-
Continued from page 1
the display to be an important re-
minder of last year's war.
Roger Hsia, an LSA junior, said,
"I guess if they hadn't done this, I
probably wouldn't have given (the
war) a great deal more thought in
terms of ... what did the Iraqis suf-

nity, over the content of character,
cannot be separated from deeply felt
attitudes and inequalities in Amer-
ica society.
"I have a dream that ... little
Black boys and little Black girls will
be able to join hands with little
white boys and white girls as sisters
and brothers."
"It's symbolic," Williams said.
"If you allow little kids to play,
they don't pick color. They just
play. Prejudice is instilled in you. If
you allow little kids to play to-
gether, they'll stay together."
However, many of the children
born since the civil rights era lived
in neighborhoods and went to
schools that were racially homoge-
neous, and were often socialized in
the racism of their parents. Still, the
experience of children who enter a
multicultural environment early
enough that they are not carrying
the baggage of prejudice inspires
"Our kids are friends irrespec-
tive of race," said Giannine Perigo,
principal of Carpenter elementary
School in Ann Arbor. Nearly half
of Carpenter's pupils are minorities.
"I don't think the kids even look at
the fact that there are colors."
"And when this happens, ... we
will be able to speed up the day
when all God's children ... will be
able to join hands and sing in the
words of the old Negro spiritiual
'Free at last. Free at last. Thank
God almighty we are free at last."'
Clearly, today, we are not free at
last. But some voices do suggest
that there is hope. William Cun-
ningham, director of Focus Hope, a
large Detroit-based organization
devoted to community service and
education, says he thinks Americans
are more aware of the problems they
face in 1992 than they were in 1963,
problems which are bringing Amer-
ica down, and which will force ac-
"Americans are beginning to see
that racism cannot be tolerated or
we will sink in the swamp of our
own moral mediocrity. We're so
much healthier today because we
know how sick we really are."
Another student, Linda Drach,
was appreciative of the reminder.
"I think this helped me remember
because I hadn't thought about it
nearly as much as I should think
about it," she said.
Saturday, the Rackham Student
Government, along with several
campus groups, will be sponsoring
a teach-in about the after-effects of
the Gulf war, from 10 a.m. to 6
p.m. in Angell Hall Auditorium C.



Sbe icrigran 4OailI
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