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January 18, 1994 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-01-18

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 18, 1994

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor




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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.







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Official BSU statement on boycott

Editor's note: On Friday, the Daily
printed a statement from Black
Student Union Speaker Alethea
Gordon with regard to yesterday's
University symposium for Martin
Luther King Day. Below is the
BSU's official statement, explaining
their reasons for the boycott of the
University's symposium.
The Black Student Union of the
University of Michigan refuses to
support the 1994 Martin Luther
King, Jr. Symposium, sponsored by
the Office of the Vice Provost for
Academic and Multicultural
Affairs. We have been forced to
boycott these specific events due to
the unacceptable process in which
the symposium theme, programs
and panelists were determined.
Further, it is intolerable to members
of the Black Student Union that this
holiday be misappropriated to
provide propaganda for the
University's ineffectual
commitment to multiculturalism.
We say ineffective because in
the process of institutionalizing
multiculturalism into the University
agenda, the political significance of
the term has been manipulated to
support and sustain institutionalized
racism while appearing to be
politically correct. In this context,
multiculturalism becomes a
discussion in which the cultural,
historical, political and socio-
economic experiences of African
American, Latino, Native American
and Asian people are made
Homogenizing each culture into
a singular identity denies the
historical context out of which each
group has developed as well as the
contemporary existence of racial
oppression as the experience is
specific to each group.
African Americans, Native
Americans, Asian Americans and
Latinos were incorporated into this
society on a subordinate level, but
the process of incorporation was
different for each group,
manifesting in different
contemporary social, political, and
Make reviews more
readable, less
To the Daily:
I had to read Jon Altshul's film
review ("The Other Fab Five," 1/
13/94) twice before I had the
faintest idea of what he was talking
about. While I was hoping to read
an article about some good movies,
I instead found nearly two pages-of
unreadable vocabulary and
journalistic showing off.
Altshul talks about his favorite
films with cramped sentences like
"Its somewhat ambivalent critical
reception undermined the bipolar
chemistry..." and "these invariably
misanthropic, cynical pictures...."
Tell me, how many of your readers
do you think actually understand
what you are trying to say? And
how many people do you think can
stomach paragraph after paragraph
of "...moralistic reaction hardly
hafitk this enorinviv nnnnra

economic realities.
The depoliticized usage of the
term "multiculturalism" ignores
these differences and condemns any
critical analysis of each community
as an individual group, with
particular issues that must be
considered in bringing forth
The theme of this year's
symposium, "American culture, or
America the multicultural,"
employs the depoliticized usage of
the term multicultural, suggesting
that a perfunctory address of Latin
Americans, Native Americans,
Asian and African Americans
within the same discussion will
somehow be effective in improving
race relations.
Race tension stems from racial
oppression, economic injustice and
political marginalization of our
communities. Any discussion of
multiculturalism that does not
address issues of subjugation as
they relate to each community only
contributes to the maintenance of
Further, as the symposium is
conducted on the holiday
recognizing the birth of Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr., it should be
grounded in the community from
which he arose. The focus of this
year's symposium is an intolerable
shift in focus away from the
Movement for African
Independence in America or the
history of struggle that defines it.
Out of the tradition of past
symposiums, this year's events do
not seek to include commemoration
of African American people's
struggle to survive the African
Dr. King has said, "We must
come to see that the roots of racism
are very deep in our country and
there must be something positive
and massive in order to get rid of all
the effects of racism and the
tragedies of racial injustice. The
Black Action Movement of 1987
was a positive and massive
movement in which students at the
University demanded the
development of an anti-racist

education agenda at the University.
BAM III also demanded full
observance of the King holiday,
including cancellation of classes
and the closing of offices.
From this movement, the
position of Vice Provost was
established as well as the Office of
Minority Affairs (OMA). OMA *
sponsored their first symposium in
1989, reflective of the activism out
of which the office was created.
The theme: Empowerment and
Equity: A challenge of the King
Subsequent symposia were not
only opportunities for African
people in America to reaffirm
ourselves in our community and th*
righteousness of our cause, but also
occasion to recognize Native
American, Latino and Asian
nationalist issues around land,
economic independence and self-
The 1994 King Symposium does
not honor the history of activism
out of which the symposium was
created, nor does it seek to focus on
issues of social, political and s
economic empowerment urgent to
African American, Native
American, Latino and Asian
communities. The committee
refused to recognize the passing of
Ch$ Guevara. There was hardly any
incorporation of community
activists or grassroots organizers
into the four panels. The focus of
the symposium is academic and
limited to the University setting.
Therefor, as the BSU cannot
conscientiously support the
symposium events sponsored
specifically by the Office of
Academic and Multicultural
Initiatives (OAMI), we have
scheduled a day of events grounded
in the principles to which Dr. King
dedicated his life.
Firmly grounded in the spiritual,
political, economic and social
values of the Nguzo Saba (Seven
Principles), we remain conscious of
our commitment to African
independence and self-
determination. We say "pamoya
tutashinda," together we will win.

Complaints of royal(ty) injuStice at IU

It's that time of the year again,
when depressed students head to the
bookstore and plunk down a signifi-
cant chunk of their (or their parent's)
money for new textbooks.
As if the prices weren't discourag-
ing enough, a stroll down the aisles of
TIS, Aristotle's or the Indiana Uni-
versity (IU) Bookstore sheds light on
another disturbing aspect of textbook
sales-professors requiring student's
to buy books they have written for
their classes.
On the surface, this seems like a
logical practice. Professors often
structure their courses based on their
,nwn hnnkr which can result in hetter

class textbooks.
Neither the English department nor
the political science department has a
policy regarding royalty income.
Many professors say the amount
they make in royalties is hardly sig-
nificant, claiming the textbook mar-
ket, with its used book outlets, is
hardly profitable. Authors do not re-
ceive royalties for the sale of used
Thomas Bowers, associate pro-
fessor of business law, said he sees no
problem with collecting royalties from
books students are forced to buy.
"One of my colleagues calculated
hnw much he made ner hour for writ..

But they shouldn't be making
money from the sale of books their
students are forced to buy. Let the
royalties come in form sales at other
universities, but not from their own
students. Their payment came when
they wrote the tuition checks that pay
the professor's salaries.
IU needs a university wide policy
regarding this practice. Professors,
before being allowed to use their own
books for their classes, should make
an agreement to somehow return the
money to the students.
Murray Sperber, associate profes-
sor of English and American studies,
said he will male 125 in rovaltiesg

insistence upon detail rendered the
picture too engaging to dislike." I'm
not trying to say, "Use shorter
words," or, "Talk like a three-year-
old." I simply want a few good
articles that ordinary, intelligent
people can read.
Engineering sophomore
Swarthmore decision
confirms PC staying
To the Daily:
Whenever I think political
correctness has lost its academic
trendiness and might be on the way
out, I only need look to the
newspaper for reassurance. Now
Swarthmore College is paying for a
student accused of sexual
harassment to attend another
I am wholeheartedly behind any
movement to rid our nation's
camnuse of rinarnn. tniidnts

I always knew those guys
represented the entrenched
patriarchy. How does this hate
speech get on the screen?
Finally, the student shaved his
head revealing several scars that
make him look mean. While I too
am intimidated by bald people,
sending the offending student to
another school seems like an
expensive solution. Why not buy .
him a hat? Maybe the semester
away will give his hair time to grow
back in.
Despite the problem of expense,
however, the punishment for these
crimes is ideal: send the student to a
better school (Columbia University)
for free. The president of
Swarthmore concedes Columbia's
superiority by explaining that
education can turn the young man
around, just not a Swarthmore
I personally have begun to worry
about the superiority of Columbia,
though. If they are so much smarter,
why are they playing a part in
crr.r4 me- - +c .iin.. m




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