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April 05, 1993 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-04-05

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Monday, April 5,1993

cbem irbigun rOaiI

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

Editor in Chief

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.

Y-_1 tE WTNh
.A, Co~~
/,- WY...

Avoid violent mob mentality; have fun tonight
OUSANDS OF PEOPLE turned out Saturday ity ensued as the snowball throwing picked up.
T toprotest and celebrate, creating one ofthe NORML recently beat the University in a battle
most memorable days on campus this for its First Amendment rights. But protestors
year. Despite the University's desperate efforts should have respected the Alliance's equal right
to stop it, the National Organization for the tofreespeechandprotest,ratherthanparticipat-
Reform of Marijuana ing inviolence forthe sake
Laws(NORML)'s annual of violence.
Hash Bash saw the Diag Though most of the
packed with all varieties 12,000 people on South
of people. Later, University following the
Michigan'sdramaticbas- game upheld the true spirit
ketball victory, securing of celebration by simply
the team's place in the cheering, the few who de-
championship game, sent fled the law by throwing
elated fans to celebrate on beer cans and breaking the
SouthUniversity Avenue. window of a hair salon,
Though the day lived gave a dangerous edge to
up to the spirited Univer- the evening. Some stu-
sity tradition, all was not dents actually ran to the
well. Minor incidents of celebration vocalizing
violence highlighted the their absurd intention of
dangers of mob mentality getting arrested. These ac-
and the stupidity of pro- tivities ruin the celebra-
voking trouble just for the sake of trouble. Use tion for everybody and give students a poor
ofteargasbythepolicewouldneverbejustified, image they don't deserve. Most importantly,
but with some students chanting "tear gas, tear they do not accomplish anything and are easily
gas" at the South University celebration, aren't avoided
they asking for unnecessary violence? These incidents of violence and vandalism
At HashBash, protest turned malicious when proved that a few people's actions can taint an
the Christian Military Alliance's Mark Cushman otherwise perfect event. Tonight's sure victory
and other religious fundamentalists began over North Carolina will certainly charge stu-
preaching that smoking marijuana was a sin. dents with excitement. But students should
The crowd circled the preachers and began avoid mob mentality, and concentrate on cel-
shouting and throwing snowballs. Mob mental- ebrating victory.
Students must adhere to Code but 'U'is exempt
thik hat htwere lookinfrcong uwry a ~ relasng couon ... p wita foit f
- Pic ' 'sident frStuden Afars Maureen Harord


Objective standard exists to judge morality


by Ernesto Garcia
LSA Junior
As the headline in a New York Times
editorial page (9/2/92) well-stated, the cur-
rent moral need is urgent to "let civility
reign in the homosexuality debate." "Ho-
mosexual 'sickness', homophobe, unnatu-
ral, mental disorders, unloving bigots" -
all of these labels are emotive, often unfair
or gross caricatures describing the two op-
posing viewpoints on the very sensitive
issue of homosexuality.
What is at issue here? In view of the
recent flurry of letters, editorials and ar-
ticles in publications like the Daily and the
Michigan Review that have dealt with ho-
mosexuality, the need is clear - we must
truly learn how to communicate in toler-
ance with each other. Distortions of differ-
ing viewpoints, personal attacks, and ste-
reotypes only serve to confuse the basic
points of contention. We need toclearaway
the generalizations and address the funda-
mental concern involved here: why do we
believe what we believe, and how are we to
act in light of this understanding?
Within the Judeo-Christian worldview,
according to biblical testimony, homosexu-
ality represents something contrary to the
divine, created order. The assertions which
try to deny this truth, such as Bucci and
Worden's restating of Gomes' arguments

("Abusing Religion Hurst Gays," 12/8/92)
or those of Rev. Christopher Atwood
("Sexuality and the Supreme Being," 3/5/
92) can and havebeen demonstratedtobein
serious error. In both the logical reasoning
and the content of their 'truth-claims,' they
fail to controvert the extensive scholarship
in support of the traditional, scriptural view
about homosexuality.
But this does not settle the issue. On the
other hand, for those individuals who reject
these biblical notions of right and wrong,
their worldview holds that there exists no
such divine, supernatural standard of mo-
rality under which acts such as homosexu-
ality fail to conform. We operate instead

question, "How should I act in light of this
knowledge?" Speaking in plain terms, if I
morally disagree with an act, I am not
necessarily being intolerant. Am I, for ex-
ample,being 'intolerant' ora 'bigot' against
a thief if I deem the act of stealing as
morally wrong? Or, am I recognizing that
there isan objective standard of morality, of
which stealing is a violation?
For the Christian, the act of homosexu-
ality, or for that matter, adultery orpremari-
tal sex, are seen as violating these same
"objective standards." Is this bigotry or is it
consistency with deeply-held religious be-
Which belief-system is the true standard

We need to clear away the generalizations and address
the fundamental concern involved here: why do we
believe what we believe, and how are we to act in light
of this understanding?

strictly under the moral code of true human
love. From this standpoint, we can affirm
fully the capability of the expression of
mutual, genuine love between two people,
whatever their gender.
However we must not confuse this basic
concern for truth with the independent con-
cern for tolerance. That is, we must not
confuse the rational question, "What is the
correct belief-system?" with the ethical

for morality? In every individual's attempt
to determine the correct answer to this ques-
tion, a self-evident ethical and moral re-
sponsibility must guide us. Regardless of
our basic disagreements conceming stan-
dards of right and wrong, we are morally
obligated to treat each other with the con-
cern and dignity which every person, no
matterwhatbelief-system they hold, rightly

ARTFORD HAS THE right idea: a balance
must be struck between the public's right
to know and a student's right to privacy.
Unfartunately, Hartford is "coming up with a
format" three months after the implementation
of the Code. Not only is this a tremendous blow
several students already accused under the un-
just Code-this lack of planning becomes even
more ridiculous. Section eight of the Code actu-
ally states that detailed expunged records will be
Ynaintained for public review. In its hastiness to
implement a code --any code- the University
completely abandoned foresight and sacrificed
student rights for an imaginary time clock.
When the University first drew up a conduct
code, records were not mentioned. But when
students and community leaders brought this to
the University's attention, an ambiguous section
about records was added to the policy.While this
was positive and extremely necessary, the Uni-
versity added the records clause to suit its own
needs, rather than the needs of the public or the
The Code guarantees the public the right to
review records, but specifies no time frame. In
addition, since University officials cannot be
tried under their own Code, there is no way to
stop them if they choose not to release public
information. As president of the campus chapter

of the American Civil Liberties Union David
Schwartz said, "withoutthe open records there's
no check on the administration."
Just last week, a graduate student -tempo-
rarily suspended for alleged verbal sexual ha-
rassment - was tried under the Code and the
records were not released. The student could
have been expelled from school and the public
would have no information and no mechanism
for checking the University under the system.
The University needs to immediately create
a system - such as a computer tracking pro-
gram - for keeping and releasing records of
Code transactions. Unfortunately, due to a com-
plete lack of planning, the University cannot
currently keep up with the number of cases
collecting on Code Judicial Advisor Mary Lou
Antieau's desk. The Office of Student Affairs
dug its own gra by engaging in a cozy alliance
with the University DepartmentofPublic Safety
(DPS). DPS, now forced to report all incidents
to Code officials, has sent a barrage of cases to
Antieau. As usual, the University was unpre-
pared and has no clue how to handle the backlog.
Until the University finds a method forquickly
releasing records, the fate of students could get
lost in Antieau's filing cabinet. Civil liberties
cannotbe sacrificed for convenience anylonger.
The University must make efforts to follow its
own rules and release Code records.

Rape a means of maintaining societal inequality

To the Daily:
In her Perspectives
column "Rapists, not women,
should stay home" (3/22/93),
Kim Yaged misses one of the,
more important insights of
recent feminist theory. She
writes, "Shanker's argument
seems to deny the entire
premise that rape is a crime
of violence, not sex." In fact,
this premise has been rejected
in much of contemporary
feminist thought, and for
good reason. When we
examine sexuality as it exists
in our society, we find (if we
are honest with ourselves)
that there is a significant
amount of truth to Catharine
MacKinnon's definition that
"sexuality is eroticized
dominance and submission."
Whether you believe that
sexuality is a social construct
or that there is a natural
sexuality which is distorted
by social forces, the fact
remains that as the situation
stands, sex feels powerful and
power feels sexy, and that
this is, at least to a large
extent, due to social pro-
cesses which shape our

sexuality. This means that the
statement, "It is a method of
empowering as opposed to a
result of sexual arousal ..."
1oesits cohesiveness. Rape
is a means of creating and
maintaining inequality of
power between men and
women and both a cause and
a result of sexual arousal. It
also means that responsibility
for it falls on everyone in
proportion to their power to
shape social interaction.
Rape does not occur in
isolation, but in a social
context. It is the extreme case
of a broader phenomenon of
eroticizing the powerlessness
of women. This extends from
the female stereotypes of
vanity and frailty which
Yaged rightly condemns,
through explicitly disrespect-
ful comments such as "you're
so sexy when you're mad," to
the extremes of rape and
wife-battering. She recog-
nizes this continuity in one
dimension: rapists are normal
guys. lit is we who have deep
respect for women who are
the deviants. However, this
means that rape and normal

sex have much in common -
far more than they would in a
more humane and equitable
While I dislike orthodoxy
in feminist theory as much as
anywhere else, I feel that
under the circumstances, each
member of our culture ought
to give MacKinnon's writings
on sexuality a sympathetic
reading, taking her view as
true and challenging our-
selves to understand our
sexuality in those terms. Then
go back and read it critically.
A woman should have the
right to go where she
chooses, when she chooses,
dressed as she chooses,
without the threat of rape, b-at
every woman who eroticizes
the idea of being swept off
her feet by someone power-
ful, as well as every. nan who
finds vulnerability on.
helplessness sexy in i
women, bears a share of the
responsibility for the fact that
in this country today a
woman does not have that
Dan Sears
Rackham student

No one observes
holidays that
don't exist
To the Daily:
In a recent letter I lamented
that "even on the campus of a
major American university,
which pulls out the stops for
Martin Luther King's
birthday, Presidents' Day goes
unnoticed." This line gener-
ated a response from
Phydariel Jones on March 16.
She was bothered that I
compared the two holidays,
suggesting Presidents' Day is
ignored because it is old.
Is she saying King's
Birthday will logically see its
demise too, and that we ought
to accept that? I didn't think
ideals came with expiration
dates. I thought holidays were
instituted so we would
remember the things they
commemorate, even if only
once a year.
Jones goes on to justify
celebration of the King
holiday, something I never
questioned. I asked why
Presidents' Day went unob-
served, not why King's
Birthday isn't equally treated.
Finally, she asks why
Canada doesn't have a Prime
Minister Day, and why St.
John the Baptist Day is not a
national holiday. My guess is
because, constitutionally, the
office of Prime Minister does
not exist. As well, the Prime
Minister is not Canada's head
of state. There was a move-
ment afoot to honor Sir John
MacDonald (the first P.M.)
on his January birthday, but I
don't know where the
proposal stands.

Welfare for state children is all chutes, no ladders

E WELFARE OF Michigan children is sub
Tstandard and slipping further into oblivion
according to an annual, state-by-state sur-
vey released last week. The study often factors,
conducted by two Washington-based research
institutes, ranks Michigan 40th in the nation in
categories ranging from infant mortality to per-
centage of high school graduates. Moreover,
Michigan lost ground in six of the ten categories
and has fallen four places in the last three years
in overall ranking. Clearly, the state is experi-
encing a painful decline in the well-being of its
children that must be reversed.
The study reports that the number of teens
who neither work nor attend school has m-
creased 46 percent, the number of births to
cysfi ac #.n..n tsar r.4 an ' .td namsan si ia n. .ntlw.m~

school quality, increase the availability of low-
income housing, create a health care system
accessible to everyone, and stimulate jobgrowth
to help the poor. The fact remains, however, that
all of these programs would require increased
state and federal spending, not a popular idea
given our current budget conflicts at both the
state and national level.
The state government has begun to address
the condition of today's youth. Two weeks ago,
Gov. John Engler unveiled his plan to provide
health insurance for all children under the age of
16 living in poverty. On the national level,
President Clinton has expressed support for a
national vaccination process in which all chil-
dren in the United States would receive vaccina-
t4.. a rn nr r.et'rlintnn'eiiniir,'asl health inec-

United States and United Nations ignore Bosnia

To the Daily:
Once again, the United
States and the United Nations
have shown the entire world
their selfish underside. How
far must people go to see that
America only fights for
material gains? Bosnia is a
pime example. While

children don't even know
where their mothers are.
We're all sitting around in
warm homes with plenty of
food while America and the
United Nations impose the
most ridiculous arms embargo
on the people of Bosnia who
are urgently in need of

least step back and let the
countries who want to help do
so. Or is America afraid of
reality? Why is it that
America only intervenes when
oil is at stake? Or land?
Unfortunately, human life
isn't an American priority! Or
is it Muslim human life?


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