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December 09, 1993 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-12-09

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, December 9, 1993

bE £r iguu nlgd

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

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.

/4
f/j }
(66
.,1d
The big 3aviolence, and misogyny ..

disguise real issue

: sell these guns
anal Rifle Asso-

white suburbta want
in the inner cities-i

tuse of violenc
of the outpour
ks and others
iminatory socii
"cause?" Simi

It is much easier to blame rap music for violence
ggy (and corruption of suburbia's "innocent" children).
dn't However, the true causes must be reasoned. Why is
fear there violence in the inner cities? Because, due to
d to inequitable educational opportunities and racism in
the the job market, many in the inner cities are forced to
sta, mug and steal, sell drugs and fight in order to survive.
rap So who are the people in the job market and in
rent educational institutions with the power and money to
gsta change this lack of hope in the inner cities? Many of
them are the same rich suburbanites who care nothing
(io- about people in the inner cities, but who are quick to
r to attack their culture as soon as suburban children
one taught the truths of inner city life.
ned NOW is not the first to attack rap music. However,
s to this attack on rap is but a small piece of a much larger
and pie. The sudden oppression of rap music comes as no
surprise to Dr. Robin Kelley, associate professor of
w- African American Studies at the University. It's no
e in different, he says, from the attacks on swing and
ing bebop in the thirties and rock n' roll in the sixties as
are causes of promiscuity and immorality. The attack on
ety. rap is not an attack on Black culture alone. It is also an
ple. attack on youth culture in general. "Prepare for an-
other attack on youth culture," Kelley warns. "This
less one will be worse than any of it's predecessors, like
the the attacks onbebop, swing, andcrock n'roll. This one
yids will be a cultural genocide."
rics Lies told by reporters such as Brokow and Couric
Jer- aren't helping. They're causing undue fear and panic
the to spread in an already ignorant society. We, as the
generation whose culture is now threatened by such
that people, must work now to stop and question these
hil- blind attacks on music coupled with feigned igno-
1g a rance of poverty, almost nonexistent educational op-
ten portunities and killer cops in the inner cities. But, the
ow first step must be to say to Brokow, Couric and all
ck? their lying, idiotic colleagues what we are now about
the to say. Shut the hell up.

parents in suburbia could have cared 1
iat was going on in the inner cities and in
f rap music, until their rich teenage k
f them white) started spewing some lyi
p killa' comin' straight from the und
"'ain't nothin' but a G thang," and "fuck
upper-middle class whites were afraid t
ent "Black" music would corrupt their c
)W played off those fears by interviewin
te teen who said his white friends who lis
isic now carry guns. Who is this kid, and h
d NOW pay him for that bunch of cro
iv didn't Brokow or Couric denounce

Usually I approach the topics that I
deal with in a pretty chill manner, be-
cause that's what
I am. But a couple
of pieces that I've
seen lately have
caused me to seri-
ously trip the fuck
out..
A few weeks t
ago, one of myI
friends called me AD *
about The Daily. I
asked her had she *n
seen my column
about Mitch Albom and she said that
she had, and that she liked it. She then
asked me if I had seen the article below
mine. I said that I had, but that I didn't
read it closely. She told me that I should
take a look at it. It was a piece on Rap
by Ian Lester entitled "Gangster Rap
No Longer What It Was." I thought it
would be pretty straightforward but
when I checked it out my mouth
dropped.
I didn't trip on the fact that he was
critiquing Rap. Rap as a musical form
is not perfect, and it is as susceptible to
criticism as Rock, European chamber
music, or Jazz. It wasn't even the fact
that Lester lumped Public Enemy with
NWA., calling them all "gangster rap-
pers." I'm used to that. It wasn't even
when Lester criticized Snoop for "yet
another shooting," as if he was in-
volved in more than one. It was one
critique in particular that tripped me
out: rap is misogynist. "The most up-
setting aspect of rap music is the con-
stant derision of women. By degrading
women, rap music attacks one of the
African American community's stron-
gest allies in the fight for economic and
social equality." I didn't see the signifi-
cance of this statement until my friend
pointed it out to me. Not only is all rap
music guilty of misogyny according to

Lester, it is guilty of attacking white
women. And this is the major reason
why it is "no longer what it was."
I've been here a while, and I've
seen some off the wall shit since I've
been here, but I don't think that I've
ever seen more heinous shit. White
women ?!? At first I thought it was me,
and that I must be the one with the
problem, then Lester continues. "The
ability to vote for Blacks would not
have been achieved as early had women
not helped in their cause after receiving
suffrage themselves. Nor would Afri-
can Americans have been successful in
the 60s fighting for their civil rights had
they not been backed by the rap-la-
beled 'bitches.' It serves no purpose
whatsoever to treat another oppressed
minority with such disrespect."
History lesson number one:
African Americans were finally
given the right they already HAD,
thanks to Reconstruction, in 1965. In
comparison, white women were given
the right to vote in 1919 (I may be off
here by a bit). So the reason why Afri-
can Americans RE-received the vote
"early "(49 YEARS early to be exact)
was because of white women? Not to
belittle their role, but according to
Fannie Lou Hamer, Susan B. Anthony
was down with working to get the
African in America (they weren't Afri-
can Americans back then), but then
changed her mind saying that if she
helped the African out, white men
wouldn't hook up women. Now this is
an individual case, and there undoubt-
edly were some white women who
helped Africans out. But Lester gives
them far too much credit. In fact, by
reading his comments, one would as-
sume that Fannie Lou Hamer (and Anna
Julia Cooper, and Coretta Scott King,
and Betty Shabazz) were actually not
Black at all, but white. I'm sorry to be
the one to tell you, but the African

American community isallmale. (Side
note, if there are more white women
than white men, how can white women
be a numerical minority? These are the
questions that I suppose we must an-
swer for ourselves.) At least according'
to the revisionist history posed by
Lester.
Another article written inNewsweek 0
entitled "When is Rap 2 Violent" sought
to do some of the same things as Lester's
piece, but to a wider audience. Rap is
no longer what it used to be, and with
Snoop, Tupac, and Flav incarcerated
(or about to be), we should start asking
ourselves when is it that the music
becomes more thanjust music. Rap "2"
violent huh? On a news program that I
checked out the other day I noticed that
of nine stories, seven of them dealt with
violent crimes and only two of them
occurred in Detroit. In the times we live
in, when a president bombs a country
because of an alleged attempt to take
out a previous president ("Damn Bill, If
didn't know you cared!" signed George
Bush), how the FUCK can we accuse
an ART FORM of being "2" violent.
Hell, I think Clinton ought to be nomi-
nated "King of the Drive-bys" but that's.
just me.
The most important reason that I
decided to write in the Daily was dia-
logue. As I said before, Rap IS NOT
perfect. SOME of Rap'is misogynist,
and SOME rappers may need to be
locked up for criminal acts. We can talk
about the particulars but I think that we
can all agree on that.
But if you are going to become part
of the dialogue, make sure that your
shitis straight. If you're going to come,.
come correct or don't come at all. Noth-
ing fucks up dialogue more than "un-
truths." ESPECIALLY when it's in
print.
Thanks for reading, and I hope your
vacation is fruitful. Peace.

cheer

celebrating only Christmas, U' excludes many

It is extremely difficult for any students walking
past the Michigan Union to not notice the large
Christmas wreath hanging over the main doors. If
those same students find their way inside the Union,
they are bombarded with a Christmas motif that
continues across the main floor. While the University's
efforts to decorate in a festive spirit is appreciated,
there is a lack of decoration that would symbolize
other important cultural holidays this time of year,
most obvious being Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.
Granted, a wreath is not directly symbolic of
any religious celebration. But it is unmistakably tied
to the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus
Christ. The origins of the traditional wreath and
Christmas tree may not have been related to any
certain religious celebration, however the associa-
.tions between Christmas, the holiday and Christmas,
the religious celebration are irreversibly entwined
today.
Decorating for religious holidays helps make
people aware of other celebrations. For instance,
posters explaining Kwanzaa in some campus resi-
dence halls last year made many people aware of a
cultural celebration that otherwise might have gone
unnoticed by much of the student population.
The University had several reasons for putting

up the decorations. For one thing, the Union, the
Michigan League and the North Campus Commons
are catering facilities and the decorations help attract
business. As well, many students are glad to see the
Union representing the Christmas spirit. It is not
suggested that the Union should remove it's display,
but it should be sensitive to all the major religions
celebrating at this time of year. At the North Campus
commons there is a small menorah and a few items
that explain the holiday's significance, but at no time
was there any prominent Hanukkah display on the
same scale as the Christmas decorations at the Union.
For a University made up of such a diverse popula-
tion, the large-scale emphasis of Christmas in the
University's most prominent student building shows
a lack of commitment to diversity. It is disappointing
that no one in the University felt it important to have
a more prominent display of a diversity of celebra-
tions. While running around hanging a menorah or
other religious symbols next to all the wreaths on
campus would be a mockery, avisible display of other
religions and cultures in the context of the Union's
Christmas celebration would be much appreciated.
You cannot please everyone, but equal decoration of
all world faiths represented on campus would please
the vast majority.

DPS deserves to be commended

By LISA MARGULUS
The National Association of
Town Watch recently extended a
national award to the University
Department of Public Safety (DPS),
North Campus Commons, and North
Campus Family Housing for their
organization of National Night Out
#3, held at the North Campus
Common this past August. The
University received this award for
population category of 30,000 to
99,999 people.
"This year's event (nationally)
was the largest ever involving 8,500
communities from all 50 states, U.S.
territories and military bases
worldwide. We extend our
congratulations for being selected
among the nation's best," said Matt
Peskin, National Project Coordinator.
Sponsored by local law
enforcement agencies and
community groups, National Night
Out observances serve to heighten
awareness of crime and drug abuse
Margulus is an LSA senior and a
public relations intern for DPS.

prevention programs by informing
community members about available
services such as transportation, 911
and SAPAC. The event helps
generate support for local anti-crime
efforts, strengthen neighborhood
spirit by neighbors getting to know
one another, encourage police and
community relations, and send a
message to criminals that
neighborhoods are oganized and
fighting back. Throughout the
country, people are encouraged to
turn on their porch lights and come
out to meet their neighbors and law
enforcement officers.
On August 3, approximately 500
people gathered on the North
Campus Common to join in the
festivities. Due to the large number
of young children in the North
Campus Family Housing area, the
University National Night Out
focused on crime prevention and
child safety. Keeping children
entertained while learning valuable
information, positively promoted
safety issues in a non-threatening
manner. Children saw a canine team

perform a mock drug search, and
they explored a smoke house to learn
about fire safety.
Over 100 area businesses,
corporations and University
departments joined forces to make
this event a grand success. They
contributed time, products and funds
so that attendees would not need to
pay for anything. Joint efforts
between businesses and the
University demonstrate that an all-
out community effort is needed to
fight crime.
The University was the largest
university and the only Big Ten
university that participated in
Natipnal Night Out this year. This
event is one of several crime
prevention programs run by DPS.
Educational presentations, motorist
assists for jump-starts and unlocks
(keys from within your car),
emergency escorts, blue light
telephones, and Safewalk/Northwalk
represent a few of numerous crime
prevention services available for
University community utilization.

,, 1 1 0. i
DSnTeg deoraios holdcoeow

By JULIE BECKER
It is December,. and the holiday
season - that once-a-year collective
madness-is in full swing. The ads are
on television, the lights are on State
street, and - lo and behold -wreaths
and other decorations adorn University
buildings.
What's wrong with this picture?
Nothing, say many. They see the
University's Christmas decorations as
a ,flfl f l .nntr~n.+..;nn .to .the - c fl

to take the entire community into ac-
count. For that reason, the holiday deco-
rations on public University property
must be taken down.
The University is a public school,
drawing its funds from the state of
Michigan and its students from all over
the country and the world. While deco-
rations such as wreaths and menorahs
have been designated "secular" by the
courts, and therefore legal for public
crhnlc hevnr-.tl.mhl-. of rml

pus. This may be true. However, it does
not justify the University's actions.
Being in the majority does not make
one person's religion more important
than any other. If we are to accept the
"majority rules" view of this issue, we
are only a small step away from accept-
ing it on other religious matters, break-
ing down the hard-won wall between
church and state.
This is not to suggest that holiday
Arerrntirnc e hruiA i hnnn- frnm

Police should leave
donut shops, stop
. . . - . ..

attention the receive is by way of a
156-word article shoved in a small
corner of the Daily. In other words,
these victims simply become

feel safe going out to her care at
twenty minutes pas midnight? Maybe
DPS and the AAPD officers need to ;
get their lazy butts out of the donut ;

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