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November 17, 1992 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-11-17

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C

Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Tuesday, November 17, 1992

Editor ini Chief

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
764-0552

MATTHEW I). RENNIE
Opinion Editors
YAEL C'ITR()
GEFRIEY IEARI.LE
AMITAVA MAZUMDAR

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.
Pro-code propaganda is unethical

3 he Office of Student Affairs has con-
cocted a last-minute advertising campaign to
support its Statement of Student Rights and Re-
sponsibilities - on which students will have an
opportunity to vote in today's Michigan Student
Assembly election. In the last week alone, Student
Affairs has distributed more than 7,000 pro-code
fliers to students, taken out a $1,665 advertise-
ment in the Daily supporting the code, scheduled
five forums in residence halls the day of the
election, and even instructed residence hall staff to
tout the document at house meetings Monday
night.
That Student Affairs would engage itself in
such electioneering is a cynical oversight by a
code-hungry administration. That students are
paying the bill for such political posturing is even
more despicable.
In an electronic mail message dated Nov. 11,
Barbara Olender, a secretary in Student Affairs,
instructed five building directors to do what they
could to support the code.
"MSAelections are next week. As many of you
know the Statement of Students Rights and Re-
ponsibilities is on the ballot. In an effort to inform
$tudents about the many changes that have been
made to the policy the Office of Student Affairs
(is) distributing flyers for student mailboxes (one
flier per mailbox) explaining the need for a policy
:.. It is important for students to understand that
the current policy is very different from the draft
They were mailed this summer," she wrote.
Olender is a temporary secretary at Student
Affairs. According to Rory Mueller- an assistant
to Vice President for Student Affairs Maureen
Iartford - Olender was following her orders.
Documents from the Office of Student Affairs
indicate that at least 7,000 fliers were distributed.

T. Rose Roane, administrative assistant of resi-
dence hall education, said Olender contacted her
two weeks ago to discuss the fliers, and intended to
put out 5,500 fliers, one for each student mailbox.
Extra fliers were also printed for residence hall
display racks. Moreover, according to Roane,
Olender distributed posters announcing University
forums scheduled yesterday.
Rory Mueller claims that it is the Thursday
regents' meeting, not the MSA ballot that prompted
the forums and advertising.
"We're not doing anything ... because this hap-
pens to be on the same day as the MSA election,"
she said.
But according to the Daily business staff mem-
ber who handled the advertising request, "They
knew they wanted to run (the ad) Monday."
Olender tiled the ad request on Nov. 11, the
deadline for Monday's paper.
Mueller denies that such activities constitute
advertising in favor of the code. "We haven't gone
to any length to advertise," she said.
But why then, did Student Affairs take out a two-
page ad the day before the MSA ballot, rather than
later this week? Why did the office print thousands
of fliers? And why did Olender refer to the MSA
election in her memo to building directors?
The timing of these actions makes clear that the
administration is orchestrating a last minute blitz to.
avoid the political embarrassment which a rejec-
tion of the code would bring. Ironically, this ballot
is by no means binding. The administration will
likely ignore it altogether. But Student Affair's
desperate actions indicate that it is taking the refer-
endum quite seriously. Students should keep in
mind the tremendous value the administration is
placing on this vote, especially when it later tries to
ignore it.

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Sto uigslang Can 't have cake and eat it too
demeaning to women
To the Daily: The result is the rejection of
Te othe night I was at a Vatican Remais i the kigy nohigdsts ct -
sports practice at Mitchell Field, Ages," (11/ 5/92) unfairly singles dogmatic urges. In the midst come
where intramural football games out the Catholic Church. Indeed the inquisitions, crusades, holo-
were also being held. all religion remains in the Dark causts, ethnic cleansing, Jihads,
As I lined up to play, I heard Ages. The fundamental character- anti-abortionists and gay-bashers.
one man on a nearby field call istic of the Dark Ages is mysti- You point out that the Catholic
another "pussy" and "bitch," cism - the belief that the Church doesn't recognize homo-
followed by "stop being such a universe has qualities that are sexuals' rights. In fact, no mystic
fucking woman." unidentifiable through the senses can recognize any rights. They fail
Why did he choose to insult and incomprehensible through to recognize the nature of man -
names for women? Wh is he only non-sensual and senses, conscoe ssa aend reas
calling a man a woman such an non-reasonable way to alleged to survive and prosper.
incredible insult? knowledge is feeling. "God exists Since individual rights is a
How can we as women truly because I feel it." The Catholic moral concept based upon the
feel good about ourselves, our Church condemned Galileo objective identification of the
bodies, and our sexuality in a because its leaders felt that he nature of man and his relationship
society where women's sexual was wrong, just as they condemn to existence, and since mystics
body parts are degraded and their homosexuality and abortion to reject objectivity - mysticism is
slang names are used as insults this day. inherently incompatible with
- where terms for sexual acts What this amounts to is that individual rights.
performed on men are used to "existence is what I want it to be" The call for the Catholic
degrade other men? And how are - the total abdication of the Church to modernize - to accept
men supposed to respect women, senses as the means to perceiv- individual rights - is absurd. You
and respect women's and men's ing, of consciousness as the can't have your cake and eat it
sexuality? means to identifying, and of too.
Violence against women takes reason as the means to under- Chip Joyce
many iforms. This behavior is standing. LSA junior
hateful, sexist, misogynist and its
e ena u o heslvs Democracy, Zionismdend
they are raped, beaten, laughed at
or simply ignored. To the Daily: existence Israel is still the only
It is time that men who care Is Israel ademocracy? What country in the Middle East that
about women figure out ways not is Zionism? regularly holds free elections to
to tolerate such behavior in their -Israel has a multiparty- determine its leaders.
friends - for their own sake, and parliamenay government, the. As to what is Zionism, I am a
for the sake of women. members of which are elected by Zionist, I know a great deal of
This is not a call for censor- the population. All citizens of Zionists and the one thing that we
ship, it is a call for people to required age may vote - Arab, by and large agree on, is that
think, to talk to each other, to try Jew, male, female, Muslim and Zionism is a movement that
to understand, and to fight against Christian. In fact, Israel granted believes that the Jewish people
hatred and oppression. the right of Arab women to vote have a right to slf-determn ation
Eileen Nehme before any other country in the inorhmln- sal
Public Health graduate Middle East. ic Kase
student After almost 43 years of Mit A Kaser

6

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Military discourages women ...

istorically, U.S. military policies have had a
progressive impact on America's social
policy. President Harry Truman's 1947 executive
order mandated the integration of the armed forces,
and served as a catalyst to the emergence of the
civil rights movement. But today, the military is
lagging behind society as a whole, as it grapples
vWith the role of women in combat.
. As a result of the participation of women in the
Gulf War, where 37,000 women served and 13
vere killed, President George Bush formed the
"residential Commision on the Assignment of
Women in the Armed Forces. The commission
presented its conclusions to the president on Sun-
day. It voted on 20 propositions, the most impor-
tant of which dealt with including women in
armed combat. Among the results ofthe commision
are:
S'The Commission voted to recommend that
the Pentagon allow women to serve on most naval
essels. Career women officers need this reform,
since in many cases the only way for soldiers to
advance rank is to serve on combat vessels. How-
ever, the finding falls short by upholding the ban
on women serving in submarines and amphibious
ships.
In a surprise and unfortunate vote, the
Commision recommended to keep women from
flying aircraft in combat missions. Commisioner
Maxwell Thurmond, a general who was disturbed
tey the idea that women pilots could be shot down
end taken as prisoners of war, headed this deci-
sion. He further stated that combat missions are
"man's work and we don't need to subject women
to that."
But women are well aware of the dangers of
combat; they are willing to take the risks of war-

time to serve their country; and they are - as
trained pilots - as qualified as men.
The Commision voted overwhelmingly in
favor of preventing women from serving in ground
combat - even in some engineering and artillery
positions - because women supposedly do not
have the necessary physical strength, and would be
unfit for hand-to-hand combat with the enemy. But
if women can pass the physical requirements of
armed combat, there is no good reason why they
should be prevented from serving. As in the Navy,
denying women the opportunity serve in ground
combat restricts their promotion opportunities.
The Commission took some needed steps in
improving the status of women in the armed forces.
The Pentagon, however, cannot enforce equality
piecemeal. The Commission simply did not go far
enough to establish equal opportunity for career
women soldiers. Ground combat, fighter planes
and submarines remain male-only- albeit danger-
ous - clubs in the U.S. military.

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Grass is 'Greener' on the side ofjustice

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and continues to ban gays

The Pentagon's defiant refusal to reinstate
an openly gay soldier last week and the re-
bewed ambivalence of congressional leaders to
support a reversal of military policy is a slap in the
face to the homosexual population. President-
elect Bill Clinton has vowed to end the military's
almost 50-year-old ban on gays and lesbians in the
armed forces, yet Chair of the Senate Armed
service Committee Sam Nunn (D-Georgia), Sen-
ate Minority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kansas), and
Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-
Iaine) are all expressing hesitant concern over
dhe possibility of a Clinton executive order in
January. Clinton himself seems to have watered-
down his stance, now promising to convene a
committee of high-brass experts to establish the
mnost effective and appropriate policy.
The age-old ban on gays is an archaic vestige of

honorably discharged by the Navy last August after
he admitted his homosexuality on national televi-
sion. The salient reason behind. Meinhold's dis-
charge was his open recognition of his homosexu-
ality, even though he was commended as an exem-
plary sailor in the Navy. If Meinhold had never
openly acknowledged his sexuality, he would still
be serving in the armed forces and would not be part
of the supposed threat to the unity and cohesiveness
of the military.
The military is using a dramatic form of hyper-
bole to prop up its crumbling policy. The Pentagon
maintains that all of a sudden thousands of men will
kiss and hug each other in public, other soldiers will
see them, and violent fights will ensue. Gays on
submarines and naval vessels will seek out intimate
relationships in close quarters. Senior military of-
ficers may even resign in disgrace.

When motorist Malice Green
was dragged from his car and
beaten to death by two police
officers, five other officers
watched or took part in the crime.
All but one of the officers was
white. Like Green, one of the
backup officers was African
American.
How could this have hap-
pened? Are
Detroit police
officers so
hardened that
they see their
job as combat,
rather than Katherine
protection of Metres
the citizens? Or,
did their actions result from the
racist devaluation of a Black
man's life?
The causes of Green's beating
are clear in retrospect. Although
the two main officers involved in
the beating had repeated harass-
ment complaints filed against
them, no one bothered to fire
them. It happened because of
insufficient training and followup
to prevent police brutality. It
happened because people under
stress often revert to hatred, racial
stereotypes and unnecessary
force. At the moment of crisis, it
happened because of the unwill-
inrness nf the backupn officers to

solidarity - solidarity so strong
it overtook an African-American
officer as well.
Training and experience teach
police officers to rely on one
another in life-threatening
situations. They develop a loyalty
code which binds them together
against alleged criminals. Such
loyalty is essential for officers to
trust each other in dangerous
situations.
But when loyalty translates
into blind support for each other,
injustice soon follows. Blindly
loyal people willingly subordi-
nate their own judgment to
"group-think." As Green found
out, mob justice is no justice at
all.
Stopping the beating of Green
would have required breaking the
code of officer loyalty. An
individual act of heroism -
holding back one's fellow
officers - might well have
prevented the senseless death of
Green. But still no one objected.
The fundamental dichotomy -
"we're good, they're bad" -
proved too hard to overcome.
Unfortunately, this dynamic
can prevent individuals from
upholding their moral responsi-
bilities. If one of the officers was
inclined to dissent from the
behavior of the others, he mit~ht

anything, so why should you?
Right-minded but cowardly
individuals swallow their feelings
and go on their merry way. I'm
sure the backup officers who toed
the line gulped again when they
found out that their inaction
resulted in Green's death.
If I were one of them, I'd be
doing some serious soul-search-
ing. I'd be wondering why I didn't
hear an inner voice cry out at this
injustice. Or, if I had an inner
voice, I'd be asking myself why I
didn't act on my gut feeling that
this was wrong. Good intentions
are not enough. Intentions are
worthless without the courage to
act on them.
Sometimes it's hard to trust
yourself. Sometimes it's easier to
tell yourself the crowd must know
something you don't.
Standing together with the
force, these backup officers are
supported. They are represented
by an attorney working to show
that the officers were severely
bruised by the supposedly brutal
man they ended up killing. These
officers benefit from City Council
complacency about the police
brutality problem, instead of
action which would prevent such
an incident from ever happening
again.
In light of the factors outlined

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