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March 18, 1993 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-03-18

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Page 4- The Michigan Daily- Thursday, March 18, 1993

U bE £kbiguu &dIt 1

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

.f iII

Editor in Chief
Opinion Editor

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.

... . .___ _.. . _ __ _ _ __r
V -"
- ( ,
,,Y ,


'U' must support TAs with words--and action
QUIPPED WITH THEusual arsenal ofpoliti- of qualified TAs to enhance undergraduate edu-
cal rhetoric, the University administra- cation, but haven't acted on their words. In fact,
ion proved at Friday's Board of Regents negotiations between the University and TAs
meeting thatit doesn't necessarily practice what became so entrenched that TAs authorized their
itpreaches. The four-hourmeeting was an infor- union, the Graduate Employees Organization
mative and interesting discussion on the status (GEO), to enact a comprehensive strike that
end future of LSA undergraduate education. could have effectively shut down undergraduate
ButthevotesofconfidencePresidentDuderstadt education at the University.
and company seemed to give to undergraduate Although a strike is now unlikely, the
education and to the need for qualified teaching University's original contractofferwas so unrea-
assistants (TAs) was extremely ironic consider- sonable that every step of the bargaining process
ing how tedious the University has made con- involved struggling to maintain current contract
tract negotiations with the TA's union. Until benefits. Efforts to improve the contract - and
Monday, the University's bargaining team re- perhaps attain a living wage for TAs - were
fused to make reasonable concessions, twice sidetracked.
extending the negotiation deadline. Instead of The University put GEO in an extremely
focusing on teaching classes, TAs had to wony precarious position by threatening to force TAs
about working without a stable contract. to accept GradCare as the only available health
The regents' meeting -- held in the LSA care system. While TAs have been able to choose
building to show the administration's commit- from several health plans in the past, the Univer-
ment to undergraduate education -kicked off sity suggested eliminating all choices but one.
with thorough presentations by LSA Dean Edie This would have enabled the University to pro-
Goldenberg and Associate Dean of LSA Mike vide reduced benefits at an increased cost.
Martin. Both speakers seemed to understand the GradCare would have been an extremely un-
impact TAs can have on undergraduate educa- reasonable plan, and while it is positive that the
ion. In response to a question by Regent Nellie University withdrew the demand, GEO should
Varner (D-Detroit), Goldenberg said Univer- not have been faced with having to accept it.
sity studies show 30 percent of student credit GEO, which has proved flexible throughout the
hours in LSA are TA-generated, compared to entire negotiating process, has had to fold on
only 17 percent from lectures. perfectly reasonable requests. TAs will still be
Moreover, Martin commented, "I think we denied a wage increase that would bring salaries
want to avoid the perception that TA teaching is up to what the University'sown Office forFinari-
bad." He responded to the common complaint cial Aid estimates is required for survival.
that the quality of foreign TAs needs improve- It is bad enough that the University continues
ment by saying he believes the competency to stall TA contract negotiations. But next time
level of foreign and domestic TAs is now equal. University administrators sponsor undergradu-
All these comments clearly add up to the con- ate education seminars, they would be wise to
elusion that TA productivity and solid under- heed their own advice. Students need to know
graduate education go hand in hand. that the University cares about their education,
But the presentations seemed to fall on deaf and the University must show that actions speak
ears. Administrators preached the importance louder than words.
Engler'sfunding plan takes goodfirst step


Homosexualty is not a n:
Why is it that whenever someone wants people whose majority are bound together
to discuss the injustices committed against by similar physical features, language, cul-
the homosexual community, they almost ture and experience. In short, you are refer-
always use the entire Black race in America ring to a nation. The entire homosexual
as an example for -comparative degrada- community cannot attest to this fact.
lion? It's as if they are saying our whole race Black people have struggled in America
can identify with the discrimination and forbasic human rights for hundreds of years
struggle of gay and lesbian individuals sim- and still counting. Our fight did not begin a
ply because we are Black. This is not the decade or two ago with a march here and a
protest there. We have fought from the
motherland all the way to the other-land.
Homosexuals cannot claim they were forced
, from theirnative-landbecause they haveno
particular native country or homeland. To
O j my knowledge there isn't any such countr,
thatclaims homosexuality as their national-
Natosha Morris ity and there is no proof that they are the
descendants of a homosexual nation. Fur-
thermore,homosexuals today will never be
outright tortured, degraded and systemati-
case. cally dehumanized as a group to the extent
For all those people who do not know, African Americans have been, because the
let me be the first to tell you, "Sexual majority of the population in this country
orientation and race are not the same." You will not allow such psychopathology to be
don't have to own a PhD in this society to tolerated.
know this. So what bright scholar, when The Black race is not simply a blob of
revising the new category of "so called" colored mass without diversity, gender,
racial minorities, decided to place homo- beliefs, values and other intrinsic qualities
sexuals in the same group? And more im- characteristic of human beings. There are
portantly, who gave this person the idea that Black homosexuals just as there are Black
all Black people would not mind constantly people whoarerich,poor,Christians,Catho-
being compared with them? lics, married etc.. Don't insult us through
I repeat, "Sexual orientation and race dehumanization by reducing all our rich
are not the same." Black people were born diversity as a people into a colored term,
black. We cannot choose whether or not we "Blacks." An example of this same igno-
want to "Come outof the closet" and let the rance was prevalent with the Pussie Rd.
world know what we are; our phenotype sign issue on campus. Almost every person
manifestsitdaily.Weareavisibleminority. who wanted to show their sensitivity and
When you speak of the Black popula- awareness to the African American experi-
tion in America. you are referring to a ence made statements in their letters to the

Daily such as, "If this sign was offensive
towards Blacks, it would have never been
given this much attention." Well for all
thosepeople who do notknow, let mebe the
first totellyou,"There wereBlack 'women'
who were offended by the Pussie Rd. sign
African American people have been in
this country toodamn long tobe grouped up
and still considered outcasts and new jacks
to the game of struggle in America. It seems
that whenever a group wakes up and real-
izes they are oppressed in this society, they
suddenly want to align their struggle and
compare their sufferings with that of the
Black race. The only time these groups and
other so called minorities want to identify
with African Americans is when they need
to muster understanding and support for
their cause.
My point is, stop using the entire Black
race in America to compare with every
oppressed group in this country, namely
homosexuals. We are a race of people, not
a choice of lifestyle. Don't assume we can
relate to every individual because of our
racial experience. What society needs to do
is recognize that while both African Ameri-
our struggles are not one in the same. I was
born black.;I will die black. I will never be
able to hide and reveal my blackness at my
choosing. So for the last time, "Race and
sexual orientation are not thesame,"and for
the record, "Homosexuality is not a
Morris' column appears every other


IN A SURPRISINGLY progressive move this
weekend, Gov. John Engler revealed a plan
for school funding that attempts to address
some of the inequities inherent in Michigan's
school system. The plan calls for a guaranteed
minimumper-pupilspendingof$4,21 1inschool
districts that levy the state av--
erage of 34.6 mills in localI
property taxes.
ForEngler, whohasarecord-
of insensitivity toward
Michigan's education prob-
lent step. In the past, the gov- _
emor has concentrated solely
on pushing state-wide caps on
local property taxes that fund Engler
schools. While his new proposal is still not
perfect, it represents the beginning of a positive
transitionforMichigan schools. Under Engler's
current plan, schools would be able to get back
from the state some of the money they would
lose through tax cuts.
This plan is receiving strong criticism from
those in the wealthier school districts, who, as
usual, do not want to give up tax money to less-
affluent districts. However, it is precisely these
districts that need money most. Not only do
these schools lack "luxuries" such as science
equipment and swimming pools, they also lack
necessities such as rooms big enough to hold

their classes. These are the schools that operate
on a per-pupil budget of $2,790 - to use one
district's example - compared with the $8,749
in a substantially wealthier district.
The idea behind Engler's plan - that every
child should startout withthe same financialbase
in order to have the same chance ateducation -
is a good one. However, guaranteeing a mere
minimum in funding for each Michigan child
will not guarantee an equal base. Even after
relinquishing some of their funding to the poorer
districts, wealthier communities will still have
enough left over to fund their schools at a much
higher rate than that of poorer districts.
The only real solution to Michigan's school
inequities is tax-based sharing. Under this sys-
tem, the state would pool alleducation funds and
distribute them equally among the state's public
schools. This would truly ensure that each Michi-
gan child starts out with equal education oppor-
Govemor Engler should be commended forat
least attempting to address the problem of un-
equal funding in the state's schools. However,
his plan does not go far enough. It is true that in
politics, it is often necessary to take a more
moderate position in the interest of consensus-
building and getting things done. But Michigan's
children are too important to fall victim to "poli-
ticking." Engler's plan is a good first step, but
there is still a long way to go.

Love thy neighbor, regardless of sexual orientation

To the Daily:
If Christians are going to
expound on what and who is
sinful, I wish they would at
least heed the teachings of their
own doctrine. In "Sexuality
and the supreme being" (3/5/
93),a Christian student is quoted
as saying,"If you have sin, then
you cannot go to God because
He's sinless, holy." The Bible
teaches that all humans have
sin, and can be redeemed only
through the Grace of God.
We all have a sinful nature
through our partaking with
Adam andEvein the fruitof the
tree of knowledge of good and
evil. We all continue to be sin-
ful both in nature and in deed:
we wish ill on each other; we
seek to glorify ourselves rather
than seeking what is right. To
think that we can rid ourselves
of sin and then go to God is just
wrong, according to the Bible
andChristian tradition. Gay and
straight alike stand in constant
need of Grace; what matters is

not our particular sin but the fact
of separation from God. Sin is
the act or condition of trying to
be like God through one's own
ability, rather than accepting
one'sGod-given natureand fol-
lowing the guidance of thatLove
which is both God's essential
nature and greatest command-
In the discussion of sexual-
ity and religion, I am often sur-
prisedthat it isnever mentioned
that Jesus said that the law of
God could be summed up in the
single commandment to love
one another. This is only in-
voked when we wish to escape
the burdens of the old laws which
would require us to worship on
the seventh day of the week, not
mix fabrics, and so on intermi-
nably. When we become full of
ourselves and want to knock
someone else down to build our-
selves up, we gonot to the guid-
ance of divine Love but to the
law we reject when it suits us to
break it. It is an insult to what is

sacred to claim that it can only
berealizedin one's own kind of
My own belief is that no law
can tell us the way. What is holy
is beyond human understand-
ing, and words, however in-
spired they may be, are but the
echoes of understanding. I see
what is sacred in human possi-
bility manifested just as truly in
my homosexual and bisexual
friends as in my heterosexual
friends. I reject Christian doc-
trine, as do many other mem-
bers of this community, inde-
pendent of what degree of
homophobia they may be af-
flictedwith,butI wish that those
who accept that doctrine would
acknowledge that it does not
say "Love thy neighbor, unless
he's a sinner" or "Love thy
neighbor unless you find her
attitudes and lifestyle threaten-
ing." It says simply, "Love thy
Dan Sears
Rackham student

doctor's murder
must be
To the Daily:
The murder of Dr.
David Gunn at a Florida
abortion clinic is an appalling
travesty. Michael Griffin
should be brought to justice
'swiftly and prosecuted to the
fullest extent of the law..
As violence does not
mitigate violence, so will
vigilante murder not stop the
murder of the unborn. This
rash, heinous crime will more
than likely set back the work
of the pro-life movement
several years.
I would, however, caution
abortion-rights activists, and
especially the Daily, against
pinning this one heedless act
on the entire pro-life move-
ment. The Daily very subtly
did this in its headline, " Anti-
abortion protesters shoot
doctor outside Florida clinic"
(3/11/93). This carefully
placed plurality passes
judgment on all pro-lifers.
Likewise, anti-abortion
protesters should be wary of
their actions in public, as they
may be looked upon as
representatives of their
The bombing of clinics,
the spraying of chemicals, and
particularly senseless violent


Macomb County must
gag rule, permitting federally funded
clinics to openly discuss abortion, he
produced agreatachievement forthe pro-choice
movement and giant gains for women's rights.
Unfortunately, until local govenments agree to
comply with the new policy, such remarkable
gains will account forno great accomplishment.
But Michigan's Macomb County has embar-
rassed the entire state by refusing to resume
mentioning abortion as an option for pregnant
women in its federally funded clinics.

honor executive order
notmake thelaws ... it follows them. Instead, the
county continues to spend tax dollars to defend
clearly illegal laws and policies.
Despite the fact that the county refuses to
cooperate with Clinton's executive order, it has
requested $300,000 in federal funds. By honor-
ingthisrequest,the Clinton administration would
set a negative precedent for other counties to
expect the same. This would cause the executive
order to lose credibility and effectiveness.
Macomb County must stop considering itself
a special case that deserves an exception to an

Child and male rape survivors not always believed
To the Daily: abuse. custody of the child, and the
Natosha Morris's column Most of the children were other parent (who believed the
"Women born guilty of their not even allowed to testify child) to be allowed only
own rape" (3/4/93) does an because adult judges consid- limited visitation rights, or
excellent job of rebutting ered them incompetent even denied any access to the
many of the misconceptions witnesses; therefore, many of child at all.
surrounding women who are the original charges were Rape disturbs us all. We
victims of rape. However, Ms. dropped and one of the would prefer to believe that it
Morris's implication that men accused men has been allowed doesn't exist, or that perhaps
and children who have been to go free without ever facing the victim wasn't really a
raped are automatically trial. When children are victim and actually wanted it.
believed is simnlv not true. victims of incest, their families We would prefer to deny it or


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