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February 12, 1993 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-02-12

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Page 4 -The Michigan Daily- Friday, February 12, 1993

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THE Mif"IGAn DRILY 13

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420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed
by students at the
University of Michigan

Josii DuBow
Editor in Chief
YAEL M. CITRO
ERIN LIZA EINHORN
Opinion Editors

Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the Daily editorial board.
All other cartoons, signed articles and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.

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BLACK HISTORY MONTH
Embrace Black contributions in history
FTER THE WHIRLWIND of events and trib- and diversity for undergraduate students and the
utes to African Americans that took place University's Race or Ethnicity requirement
during the Martin Luther King Day cel- (ROE). These are beneficial for incoming stu-
ebrations, many on campus wondered why such dents, but the workshop is optional the courses
sensitivity could not be more prevalent 365 days offered to fulfill ROE are so broad that issues of
a year. MLKDay contained such a large number race and minority history are not given the
of events condensed on one day that it seemed attention they deserve.
almost impossible for students to participate in Also, the presence of minority professors on
all of them. That's why its disturbing that during campus is severely under-represented, particu-
February, the month recognized nationally as larly in the English and History departments. Of
Black History Month, such little attention has the 60 professors in the History department, only
been given to the holiday, seven are minority professors, while in the En-
The month should be a time to observe and glish department, 13 of the 100 professors are
celebrate the achievements of Black Americans minorities. Increasing the number of minority
in American history, but during its month-long professors in these two areas would bring a
spread of events, the Housing Division, the broader perspective to University courses.
Women of Color Task Force and the Associa- Manypeople argue that Black History Month
tion of Multicultural Unification are the only is an excuse to recognize African-American
groups sponsoring activities. The events sched- achievement for one month, only to return to
uled between Feb. 3 and Feb. 18 range from studying Eurocentric history the rest of the year.
dialogues on inter-racial dating, to films ad- It's true. Events likeBlackHistory Month should
dressing race issues. The residence halls are also not be needed to educate people on the impor-
sponsoring "special dinners." While these trib- tanceofminorities' contributions inhistory--it
utes are important, the University'slack of inter- should be inherent in all discussions of history.
est in promoting this celebration symbolizes its However, Black history has been ignored, re-
weak commitment toward achieving a greater written or forgotten. The University's goal should
understanding of multiculturalism. be to ensure the contributions of all people,
The University has made some efforts- the whatever race, arerecognized and appreciatedin
creation of an orientation workshop on racism history.
ASUAL EDUCATION
A2 schools should heed ACT UP's roposal

Perspectives
Black intellectuals rethink affirmative actions

N A STANDING-ROOM-ONLY Ann Arbor Board
of Education meeting, members of Ann
Arbor's Aids Coalition to Unleash Power
(ACT-UP) defended their proposal to revise the
AIDS curriculum in Ann Arbor's public schools.
But individuals who introduced themselves as
"conservative Chris-
tians" outnumbered-
ACT-UP's membersr
at the meeting. They
crawled from be
neath their collective .
rock to criticize the
proposal. Unless
ACT-UPrallies sup-
port for giving Ann
Arbor students im-
proved sexual educa-
tion,itmayfinditself
fighting a losing
battle.
Concealing their moral concerns in a daz-
zling barrage of statistics and scientific rhetoric,
the conservative Christians attacked the three
main points of ACT-UP's proposal.
First, one speaker argued that Ann Arbor
schools should only teach abstinence. He equated
the high number of teens having sex with a
morally debased sexual education "revolution."
Although ACT-UP concedes abstinence is the
best way to prevent sexually transmitted dis-
eases (STD's), teaching only abstinence will not
protect sexually active students. Abstinence can
be taught, but unfortunately it can not be en-
forced.
Another speaker objected to "the real goal" of
ACT-UP's proposal - ending homophobia. In
her eyes, any classroom discussion about homo-
sexuality would teach children that homosexu-
ality is an acceptable alternative lifestyle.
The goal of this provision, however, is to

increase understanding of homosexuals, not to
subversively "lure" students into homosexuality
as many of Ann Arbor's conservatives fear. Like
racism or sexism, homophobia can be curtailed
with increased openness and understanding.
ACT-UP's proposal would help Ann Arbor's
students achieve toler-
ance and help end
homophobia
Third, conservatives
worry about a provision
intheproposalthatwould
teach kindergarten stu-
dents about AIDS and
HIV. They seem to think
teaching students about
AIDS, sex and intrave-
anous drug use will lead
childrento develop these
behaviors earlier in
KRfSTOFFER GILETT ally life.
But ACT-UP asserts the intent of this provi-
sion is not to give kindergartners a full-blown
discussion on human sexuality. Rather, kinder-
gartners would be taught that just because a
person has AIDS does not mean they cannot be
hugged, touched or kissed. As the Centers for
Disease control states in its AIDS Prevention
Guide, "People who have AIDS should be treated
with compassion." It is never too early to learn
compassion.
Although ACT-UP's plan improves Ann
Arbor's sexual education program, the group
seems to have a tough fight ahead. Composed of
teens and twentysomethings, ACT-UPwill have
a difficult time promoting its proposal against
Ann Arbor's conservative parents and profes-
sionals who advocate an "abstinence or igno-
rance" approach. ACT-UP's proposal's needs
everyone's support. The future of Ann Arbor's
students may be at stake.

B.Cecilia Kirk
Young America 's Foundation
When my father was on a television
program with Malcolm X in 1964, Malcolm
told him that he had no quarrel with conser-
vatives, as the Black community's troubles
were being caused by liberals. In that in-
stance, he was referring to the licensing of
liquor stores in Black neighborhoods by
liberal politicians. Today, the liberal policy
on college campuses, which some Black
intellectuals criticize, is affirmative action
in admissions.
The quota system is the most controver-
sial outcome of affirmative action in col-
lege admissions because it allows only cer-
tain numbers of each racial group to be
admitted. As there are not sufficient num-
bers of qualified applicants in some minori-
ties to fill those quotas, and because appli-
cants of other racial groups with much
higher scores and grade points are rejected,
this policy has engendered numerous diffi-
culties. One such result is that, as the Wall
Street Journal reported, "colleges are offer-
ing unprecedented sums of academically
talented Blacks ... Many of the awards are
not based on need but on merit, causing
some colleges to question whether the trend
is diverting aid dollars from poorer stu-
dents." At Harvard, only 94 of the 172
Black students accepted this academic year
chose to attend, partly due to the large
financial grants they could receive
elsewhere.
In his new book Inside American Edu-
cation, Thomas Sowell, a prominent Black
scholar at the Hoover Institute, documents
the admissions figures: StanfordUniversity
"rejects a majority of those applicants who
scored between 700 and 800 on the verbal
SAT, while admitting more than a hundred
other students who score below 500 on the
same test." A main reason for non-aca-
demic acceptances is minority status. The

UCLA Undergraduate Admissions Report
for 1991 states thatits average SAT score is
950 for Blacks and Hispanics, 1150 for
Asians, and 1200 for whites; the average
high school GPA is 3.5 for accepted Black
and Hispanic students, and 3.9 for Asians
and whites.
In some cases, minority quota hurt other
minorities: Berkeley apologized to Asian
students fordiscriminatory admissionspoli-
cies and said it would raise the number of
students admitted strictly on the basis of
merit from 40 percent to 50 percent in 1991
- in other words, half the students would
be qualified to attend.
Colleges have long admitted preferen-
tial groups of people, especially children of
alumni, Sowell explains, and such "prefer-
ential admissions tend to lead to substan-
dard academic performance, whether those
admitted are privileged or under privileged.
What has been unique about students pref-
erentially admitted by race has been the
large numbers involved ... and the magni-
tude of the academic and social disasters
which have followed." Sowell particularly
blames administrations for being more con-
cerned with quotas than with the welfare of
minorities: as some race-based scholarships
are not need-based, minorities from lower-
income groups are notbenefiting from these
scholarships.
One of the most dramatic failures of the
policy is the high dropout rate: only 26
percent of Black students admitted to col-
lege graduate within six years. Minority
students accepted merely to fill quotas at
"prestigious" universities are mismatched
to universities for which they are inad-
equately prepared.
Those accepted to create "diversity" are
inclined to fail: after all, some of those
students' grades and test score are 75 per-
centwhiletheyarecompeting againstmerit-
accepted students ranked at 99 percent.
This causes them to feel inferior, even though

they might have succeeded at a college
where their scores corresponded with the
usual admissions requirements. In The Con-
tentof Our Character, Shelby Steel's analy-
sis of the psychological affects of affirna-
tive action reveals that it implies inferiority,
creating doubt among Black students about
whether they can achieve, and distrust by
white students of Black students' reaI
abilities.
Another lamentable result is increased
racism, caused by the greater focus upon
group membership and by resentment: the
number of campus racial incidents nation-
wide has significantly increased in the past
few years. The exaggerated racial emphasis
engenders a"politics of difference" in which
each person has an identity only by assert-
ing his group's rights against other groups';
quotas actually increase the violence and
lawsuits.
In December of 1990, Michael Will-
iams, then head of the Office ofCivil Rights
in the Departmentof Education, ordered the
barring of race-exclusive scholarships. He
believed them to be a violation of the 1964
Civil Rights Actbarring financial aid "based
solely on the race of the recipient." Al-
though Williams is Black himself, NAACP
Director Benjamin Hooks called him "in-
sensitive, callous and illogical," simply
because Williams has dissented from thq
supposedly uniform Black position on this
issue. Williams' order was later overruled,
however, and the quota mentality
perseveres.
Ironically, while the civil rights move-
ment intended to erase discrimination, the
policy which is practiced in its name contra-
dicts the purpose of equal opportunity -
causing many Black intellectuals to rethink
affirmative action. As Shelby Steele re-
marks, "By making Black the color and
preference (in reverse) that we set out to@
eradicate. Theold sin is reaffirmed in anew
guise."

- Israel justified in expulsion of 400 Palestinians

To the Daily:
I am writing in response to
the widespread criticism
directed at Israel for the
December expulsion of 400
Palestinians.
What irks me is that
people are judging Israel's
actions by the same standards
as they would treat actions by
the United States.
Expectations that Israel
should mimic the "high
morality" of the United States
are implausible. Many Arabs,
Palestinians and all members
of the Hamas movement seek
the destruction of Israel. The
immense antipathy and
subsequent threats directed
toward Israel call for extreme

disciplinary measures in order
to inhibit the actions of
Israel's enemies and ensure
the security of the country.
Even the United States has
had to take drastic judicial
measures to ensure its own
internal security in the past. In
last week's issue of "Con-
sider," it was cited that in
1940 Congress enacted the
Smith Act which made it a
crime to advocate "over-
throwing or destroying any
government of the United
States by force or violence."
This act was adopted due
to the potential dangers posed
by Nazis or Communists
within the United States. In
contrast to the United States,

Israel does not deal solely with
potential dangers, but com-
monly experiences attacks on
its people within its borders.
The danger faced by the
United States in 1940 was no
where near as constant or
impending as the danger
imposed by the Hamas
movement involving the
security of Israel.
Has the United States ever
experienced a threat this large
that we can actually judge
Israel's actions relative to wha4
we think we would do in their
situation given our "high
morality" as Americans?
Elaina Bluman
LSA senior

STICK 'EM UP
Gun search plan violates 4th Amendment

HE SLEEPER HAS AWAKENED!
Detroit Mayor Coleman Young finally
emerged from athree-monthhiatusbehind
the thick walls of the Manoogian Mansion. In a
rare interview with the Michigan Chronicle, the
Mayor made anironic and seemingly
unconstitutional proposal to curb city
violence by sealing off sections of
Detroit and randomly searching
passers-by for guns. Young, a life-
long opponent of gun control, has
made reactionary proposal to a seri-
ous problem.
Twelve years of Republican ad-
ministrations have allowed Detroit,
and other American cities, to slowly decay.
Detroit is now the poorest city in America.

Constitution, Young said he will consult with
lawyers and police officials to keep his proposal
legal. What the Mayor fails to realize is the
Constitution is not a loophole to be exploited.
Fortunately, Mayoral candidates Dennis Archer
and Sharon McPhail have denounced
Young's suggestions. Archer pointed
out that stopping cars to give sobriety
tests has already been rejected by the
courts. Is stopping cars to search for
guns any different?
The Coleman Young of old, who
swept into Detroit on a platform of
change and crime control, now finds
ng himself ostracized from the commu-
nity. Instead of enacting comprehensive crime
control, he appears only occasionally to state the

Jah Live,
Bob Marley!
To the Daily:
Thank you for paying
tribute to Bob Marley in the
proper way. It was really good
to see the picture and what
was said about Bob Marley to
honor his birthday (2/5/93). I
sometimes wonder if many of
the people that listen to Bob
Marley's music have at least a
small idea of the significance
of his life, work and the
message that is expressed
through his music.
I would like to thank you
for remembering his birthday-
and for expressing so well
what Bob Marley's life was
about, and for not just
portraying him as any
musician or a crazy Rastaman.

Daily irresponible in coverage of sexual assaults

To the Daily:
While I appreciate your
giving-visibility to the issue of
sexual assault on this campus
- through your numerous
articles and editorials this year
about rape, and through your
reporting of rapes that have
been reported to the police -
I am continually appalled and
enraged by your choice to
include information in these
articles that identifies the
survivor

damaging this is for a
survivor, not to mention how
dangerous?
When the report of my
assault was printed in a local
paper several years ago, the
same type of identifying
information was used. Not
only did it reveal my assault to
my family (who I had chosen
not to tell since I knew they
would only blame me) and to
my friends (some of whom
stnod by me. hut many of

against a wall, calling me a
bitch, and threatening to "cut
my lying throat" if I didn't
shut up.
I had already had my life
threatened and my dignity.
robbed from me when I was
raped. I was trying to heal and
get my life back together,
which believe me, is a daily'
sometimes even hourly,
struggle. The last thing I
needed was to be violated,
stalked and threatened once

I

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