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January 10, 1994 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-01-10

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, January 10, 1994

US1E £iian ?OUiIQ

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

i
yW"i e**" DALY

JOSH Duiow
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.

" I. S-

,

V_

Black is not a synonym for anything

By STEN CARLSON
"He is Blaaack." The young man
spoke highly of his talented
teammate. Let us further scrutinize
this statement; perhaps we may
understand the motivation behind it.
This statement was given as a
description of a highly talented high
school running back. Superficially,
the statement seems harmless;
however, the insidious monster of
racism lurks below it. Out of
context, it is difficult to understand
the true meaning of the young
man's statement. The word Black is
used to describe a very fleet-footed
individual. It was left up to me to
know that "He is Blaaack" is a
metaphor for being fast. The fact
that an ethnic identity was used to
describe a physical attribute is very
upsetting.
Perhaps the young man was
simply describing the ethnic

identity of the individual. Although
this is plausible, it is unlikely. The
description would have been totally
out of context; the conversation was
on football, not racial issues.
Furthermore, does the fact that this
individual is Black have any shred
of relevance to the fact that he is an
excellent running back? Either way,
it is obvious that the man believed it
did; and that is very disturbing.
Why does this young man use
the word Black as a metaphor for
speed? The fact of the matter is that
he truly believes that the metaphor
is acceptable. Let us examine the
possibilities. One possibility is that
he has done numerous scientific
studies on the subject. Perhaps he
timed the foot speed of all African-
Americans and all European-
Americans and data proved that
African-Americans were indeed
faster. Or perhaps he has witnessed
his African-American teammates
beat all European-Americans in the

forty-yard dash. This scenario
seems to be the most plausible of
the two. However, the young man's
conclusions are taken out of
context, his sample is too narrow.
The young man does not realize that
he is looking at the top end of an
average. Of course the African-
Americans on the team are fast,
that's why they are on the team.
If, as in the first scenario, the
young man sampled all African-
Americans and all European
Americans, then his sample would
be broad enough. However he
simply assumes that African
Americans are fast because they are
African-American.
It is physiologically imp-, ,h le
for one group of the human ,p< ies
to be markedly faster, smarter,
quicker learners, higher jumpers,
better students than another. Such
beliefs are taken out of context, and
we must all remember that we are
all the same: human.

Carlson is an LSA junior.

Unsafe sex causes
HIV
To the Daily:
In a recent letter to the Daily,
Michael Martz said, in order to
prevent the spread of AIDS, "don't
commit the act of homosexuality."
For Martz and everyone else's
information, "the act of
homosexuality" is the act of
members of the same sex engaging
in sexual activity. There are many
forms of this "act" and not all of
them are dangerous. It is possible to
"commit the act of homosexuality"
on a nightly basis without being at
any risk for contracting HIV.
Furthermore, lesbians are
homosexuals, too, and they have
little or no chance of contracting
HIV if they are safe.
HIV is contracted during unsafe
sex, be it homosexual or
heterosexual. "The act of
homosexuality" doesn't cause
AIDS. "The act of stupidity," for
not practicing safe sex, does cause
AIDS.
Please understand this.
ERIC MILLEGAN
Music junior
Brokow and Couric
attack youth culture
To the Daily:
I'm writing in response to your
editorial "Easy Target" (12/9/93).
As an African American student I,
like others of my race, have many
times felt that the Daily has been
very apathetic dealing with minority
issues. This article showed that you
do indeed care about the news
media's unfair portrayals of Black
culture and youth culture in general.
You hit the nail on the head
when you showed how Brokow and

Couric are attacking youth culture.
Whoever wrote this editorial
deserves our utmost praise.
DEROHN MITCHELL
LSA sophomore
Don't condemn those
who try to help
To the Daily:
Several letters have been written
condemning the societal mentality
which blames the victim of rape
rather than her attacker. Inevitably,
the writers of letter and editorial
alike infer this "societal mentality"
from the remarks made by a local
law enforcement official in
response to the recent rape in the
South Quad.
Saying that the rape might have
been prevented had the victim been
with someone is scarcely a defense
of the rapist and a gloating over the
plight of the victim that it has been
made out to be. And yet, this
twisted reasoning is displayed
repeatedly in the recent letters to the
editor.
Wake up and see reality! Of
course it is sad that any woman
would be attacked anywhere - just
as it is sad that any car would be
stolen, or that a teenager would be
killed for his tennis shoes. For the
police to warn the populace to lock
up their homestand cars, not to wear
flashy jewelry or expensive clothes
in a bad neighborhood is not a
condemnation of the victim.
The real reflection on "societal
mentality" isn't the blatant
distortion of reality by a vocal few.
Instead, it is that we allow these
ridiculous assertions to go - for
the most part - unchallenged and
uncorrected.
JOHN SCHAUBLE
Engineering sophomore

Lay off the white
males
To the Daily:
Mr. Bowen decries the racism
that makes equal opportuinty and
affirmative action "necessary" in
his column ("Affermative Action
Remains Necessary" 12/8/93). He
whines about the "centuries" of
oppression that blacks suffered at
the hands of the evil white man, and
goes on to point out that these
monsters have maltreated everyone
from women to Latinos to the
American Indian.
For Mr. Bowen, justice consists
in oppressing the white male -let
the white male be enslaved for
centuries; let him be raped by
women; let him be killedby Indian
weapons and diseases. Only then
will the white male have a chance at
understanding racism.
How virtuous of Mr. Bowen.
I'm impressed that he as been able
to nobly refrain from all tinges of
racism in the wake of the brutal
atrocities that are still being
perpetrated on the rest of the world
by the white male. I wonder why he
fails to suggest the obvious solution
to the problem -a complete
extermination of the miserable
brood. Only then will the world be
able to exist in harmony; only then
will racism be dead.
Until that joyous day of
deliverance however, allow me to
applaud Mr. Bowen for having the
courage to exemplify the very
racism that he so santimoniusly
condems. It is rare, indeed, for
anyone to tightly embrace absurdity
just to make a point.
JOHN SCHAUBLE
Engineering sophomore
0

PSU alumni group discriminates

The Penn State Alumni Associa-
tion remembered to put the Nittany
Lion Shrine on credit cards it spon-
sors, but it did not think to offer joint
memberships to graduates involved
in same-sex relationships.
That oversight angered alumnus
Christopher P. Hannegan when he
saw that the application specified joint
membership in association as "a hus-

legally married husbands and wives
excludes people involved in same-
sex relationships. The association
must eliminate words that imply that
only heterosexual alumni are wel-
come.
A group that proudly takes advan-
tage of its alma mater's name, logo
and prestige must follow the same
nondiscriminatory policy Penn State

down by a phrase.
Part of the problem is the
association's lack of awareness of an
issue that has been kept in the dark.
John Black, associate executive di-
rector of the association, said he had
not heard a single complaint before
Hannegan's letter about the clause
and does not personally see a problem
with the current status.

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