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December 03, 1993 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-12-03

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, December 3, 1993

E atichtgatt tt 1

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

JOSH DUBOW
Editor in Chief
_ ANDREW LEVY
Editorial Page Editor

L

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the majority opinion of the Daily editorial board.
All other cartoons, articles and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.

rr
t .t
nan

Black male, 220 lbs. Not a football player

By EUGENE BOWEN
Something interesting happened
to me while CRISPing. After the
initial shock of discovering that
every class I wanted to take was
closed, I figured that nothing worse
could happen. Then I was
approached by one of the CRISP
typists, an elderly Caucasian woman
who asked for my autograph for her
grandsons.
Why would she want my
autograph? Does she know that I am
a Michigan Scholar? Does she know
that I tutor various high school and
college students? Does she know
that I'm a biomedical researcher?
Does she know that I overcame
various societal deterrents like drugs
and gangs to be accepted into a
school as prestigious as the
University of Michigan? I doubt she
knew anything about these, or any
other, accomplishments of my life.
She only knows what she sees.
What does she see, you ask?
Well, I'm a male, 6'1" and 220
pounds. Oh, I also happen to be
Black. So why would she want the
autograph of a tall, heavyset African
American man? Hmm...
I'm sure you realize why.
Without knowing, this woman
simply assumed that I was on the
football team because I happen to be
tall, big and Black. I was stunned
and very angry. However, I'm not
angry at her. I am angry at American
society in general which supports
such hurtful stereotypes and at my
race whose peoples seem to
mindlessly support these stereotypes.
I am angry at America, and more
specifically, the American media,
because it perpetuates a stereotypical
portrayal of Black male athletes in
college. Let me present for you a
Who's Who at the University. When
speaking of our best athletes, names
such as Ricky Powers, Juwan
Bowen is a first year LSA student and
a member of the Daily Opinion Staff

Howard and freshman Clarence
Thompson inevitably pop up. Why is
it that the "best" athletes at the
University (and in college campuses
nationwide) tend to be Black males?
Where are the African American
males who win the awards for class
valedictorian, best undergraduate
researcher, or Teaching Assistant of
the Year? How many Blacks who
win these types of awards do you
know?
Society doesn't mind publicizing
Black males who can do a
spectacular slam dunk or who can
run the most yardage. After all,
promotion of these accomplishments
simply supports the idea that all
Black males love strenuous physical
work and are "meant" to perform
feats of the body. This is the very
argument used by many slave
owners in defense of this ghastly
institution. The comparative lack of
publicity about Black males who
perform even greater feats of the
mind must be questioned.
Similarly, I am angered by what I
view as members of my race who are
ecstatic by the attention Black males
in sports receive. They seem to feel
that the media, in broadcasting
information on Black male sports
figures, is at least beginning to
recognize the achievements of Black
males.
Pardon me if I fail to sing the
praises of Black males who run the
fastest, jump the highest and throw
the farthest. Cheetahs run.
Kangaroos jump. What honor is
there in having members of your race
recognized for actions which mimic
those of wild animals?
Even more scary is how this over-
glorification of Black male athletes
influences Black teens. Now, thanks
to the examples of David Justice and
Charles Barkley, many poor Black
males are fighting hard to avoid the
pitfalls of the streets in order to
realize their dream of becoming...

professional sports figures. These
young men rarely idolize men such as
Dr. Charles Drew, George
Washington Carver, or James
Baldwin, men who changed the
world using their minds, not their
bodies alone.
I apologize if I seem overly hars@
Sports certainly have their place in
society, and those who strive for a
perfection of their bodies and achieve
their goals certainly deserve our
respect and admiration. And I don't
hate sports. (Except for baseball, and
I have a personal grudge with Justice
for stealing Halle Berry from me.) I
was sitting with my eyes glued to the
screen when the Bulls won their *
three-peat over the Suns, too.
Nevertheless, we must come to
recognize that in publicizing the feats
of Black male athletes over the feats
of African American scientists,
writers and researchers, we are
communicating to our Black male
children that to become a great
athlete is more important than to
become a great thinker.
Just imagine a generation of
Black males whose only dream is to
play professional sports, not to
become businessmen, medical
doctors, or theoretical
mathematicians. Unfortunately, this
idea is becoming more and more of a
reality. Young Black men who are
lucky enough to avoid being shot or
stabbed by other young Black men
are wasting their precious lives on 0
throwing, catching and running,
while not considering those less
illustrious careers that, in the long
run, give people, and their respective
races, their true claim to fame. Two
hundred years from now, the
basketball and football stars won't be
remembered. But the great teachers
and philosophers will be. How many
of them will be "brothas?" Not
many, I fear, for we are allowing the
NFL and the NBA to win too many
of them over.

Daily mocks
disabilities

on. Show a little class, and discuss V, police should put
the things in life that are really!P
important. a n ofobl
MARNI LYNN RAMT a
LSA sophomore ticket scalping

Surf's up at Sunset Beach

To the Daily:
I am writing in response to the
article, "Visually impaired students
strive to open others eyes (11/30/93)"
. The article is part of a week long
"Overcoming Obstacles" series, and I
feel The Daily made a mockery of
that theme. Ricky Bernstein, the
subject of the second half of the
article, is an exceptional University
student. Not only does he do
phenomenally in his classes, but he is
a part of numerous organizations that
are instrumental in making important
changes on this campus. Rick holds
an appointed position on the
University Multicultural Program
Board. Last winter he was elected to
the Hillel Governing Board. As a
member of the Hill Street Forum,
Rick was the creator of the Power of
One Series which honors individuals
with the power to make a difference
in the community. This past summer,
he was an exchange student in
London, England. In March, Rick
will be representing the University at
a special conference in Los Angeles,

Coursepack respons
To the Daily:
The recent letter entitled
"Coursepacks a ripoff; make them
yourself' presents an entirely
misleading view of the relationship
between printers and students. Jeff
Kirkey, a junior in LSA, had an
unfortunate experience at Michigan
Document Services. He felt he was
being cheated. However, the
conclusion that all coursepack
printers operate in the same manner
is unfair.
Many of the copystores who
prepare coursepacks charge as much
as 6o per page. That's the same
price that Mr. Kirkey or any other
student would pay if they went to
Kinko's and did it themselves.
Courses that have a large number of
students usually receive a lower price
per page.
The practice of charging a 960e
surcharge to "pay its court costs..."
is not a standard. Other copystores

To the Daily:
For many years the practice of
scalping football tickets has been
flourishing on the University campus.
Many of these scalpers sell their
tickets below established prices.
As a member of the President's
Club who must purchase at face
value end zone seats, I detest the
sight of 50-yard line tickets being 0
offered to University non-supporters.
This situation must be stopped. I
offer the following solution.
The laws regarding scalping must
be enforced. No one should be
allowed to sell a ticket above or
below the established price. Should
any individual buying a ticket from
anyone other than the University
want to turn in that particular ticket,@
that person should be given the right
to purchase those seat locations in
their own name. The University
should take back on consignment any
tickets and offer them for resale to
the public. The proceeds of this resale

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