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March 23, 1994 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-03-23

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 23, 1994

cIIE £d gnzDa

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

JESSIE HALLADAY
Editor in Chief
SAM GOODSTEIN
FuiNrT WAINESS
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of the Daily's editorial board.
All other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Excusded, nsexscTesese
'U' should end nonsense, release search documents

! M: S +
it is a message of freedom and of choice.'
-Geoffrey Feiger, speaking at the U on the right to die
CAN 2 ,-Z" Somr
- -TRY THE
a a
( Zgr
I ___________________________

T he University just doesn't get it.
After six years of court battles and nearly
half a million dollars in legal fees, it contin-
ues to remain as secretive as ever concern-
ing its 1988 search for President James J.
Duderstadt.
The University is withholding papers re-
lated to the search from the public. The
papers contain unedited minutes, lists of
candidates, rating sheets and other docu-
ments related to the search. It did turn over
the papers to The Ann Arbor News and the
Detroit Free Press earlier this week, as or-
dered by a local judge last month. But Uni-
versity officials yesterday denied a Free-
dom of Information Act (FOIA) request
from the Daily for the same documents,
citing the FOIA's much-abused privacy
clause.
The University says the evaluations con-
tain some embarrassing criticisms about
candidates and those who made candidate
recommendations. This is a legitimate con-
cern - but it does not exempt the papers
from public disclosure laws.
The state Legislature enacted the FOIA
in 1976 to guarantee public access to infor-
mation. It was intended to guard citizens
against squeamish public officials who
thought they could suppress information as
they pleased. Lest anyone forget, the Uni-
versity of Michigan receives tax dollars and
must abide by laws attached to those dollars.
The University invokes its role as a public

institution when it receives public funding
from the state of Michigan - but it conve-
niently ignores Michigan's "sunshine laws."
To act fairly, the University should sim-
ply release unadulterated information to
those who request it, rather than continuing
secret negotiations with the News and Free
Press urging them to "exercise restraint in
its use of the information." The two news-
papers will inevitably print the information
released, and not allowing other media out-
lets to peruse the information merely forces
the University into additional court battles.
Duderstadt continually expresses his frus-
tration with the ineffectiveness of the Uni-
versity to communicate with the outside
world. This is a perfect opportunity for the
administration to reverse its elusive ways.
By not performing its duty to public and
media outlets and releasing all documents,
the University again thwarts its attempts to
become a more open and free distributor of
information.
The University could put up another
groundless legal front, wasting thousands
of dollars in legal fees - and in the end, the
court could side with the public and order
the University to pay yet more money for
the plaintiffs' attorney fees.
Instead, the University should save time,
money and effort. It should stop wasting
students' tuition dollars, set aside its per-
sonal fears and conform to the law. It should
release the documents.

Pennsylvania law places unfair restrictions on women

This week in Pennsylvania, the most re-
strictive abortion law in the nation -
thus far - took effect. The law requires that
women seeking abortions hear a 10-minute
lecture on abortion by a doctor, wait 24
hours after doing so before undergoing the
procedure and, for those under 18, receive
the consent of a parent or judge. These
restrictions, taking effect after nearly six
years of court battles, are paternalistic, un-
fairly burdensome and represent a danger-
ous trend toward erosion of abortion rights.
First, the 10-minute "lecture." This re-
quirement is at best redundant, since clinics
customarily give information and counsel-
ing already to each woman who comes in for
an abortion. To legally mandate such a lec-
ture assumes complete irresponsibility on
the part of abortion clinics, as if they were
pseudo-medical facilities not capable of pro-
viding adequate information to their pa-
tients. This is insulting both to clinic staff
and to the women who seek their assistance.
Second, the 24-hour waiting period. In
implementing this law, the state of Pennsyl-
vania is saying that women who seek abor-
tions do so without thought, as though ter-
minating a pregnancy were a spur-of-the-
moment decision. This is a slap in the face to
the women who agonize over unwanted
pregnancies, weighing their options and fi-
nally arriving at a workable - if painful -
decision. To suggest that women are not
capable of making their own decisions, that
they must be given an extra day just to
"make sure," is both paternalistic and offen-
sive.
Aside from the ridiculous assumptions
made under this law, the reality is that a 24-
hour waiting period places an unfair burden
on many of the women who must adhere to
it. For some, it is only a minor inconve-
nience - a matter of driving the few miles
to a clinic twice instead of once. For others,
however - those who must travel long

distances to find an abortion provider, or who
must search for a baby-sitter for their children
so they can make the one-day trip-the extra
day can make the difference between the
ability to receive an abortion and the effective
denial of this fundamental right.
Finally, the parental consent provision.
Supporters of a parental consent require-
ment argue that minors, who often need
parental permission for something as mild
as a field trip, should have to receive con-
sent for such an important procedure as
abortion. They have a point - and in a
perfect world, where every parent-child re-
lationship is an understanding and loving
one, a parental consent law might even
make sense. Yet the sad reality is that too
many girls are justly afraid of going to their
parents with news of pregnancy - afraid of
violence, afraid of losing their "perfect-child"
image, afraid of, in some cases, confronting
the one responsible for the pregnancy. Al-
though the law makes provisions for these
cases, allowing girls to receive a judge's
consent in lieu of a parent's, this option too is
inadequate. The idea that a judge, after meet-
ing a girl for 15 minutes, is qualified to assess
her maturity and decision-making capability
is nearly as insulting to teenage girls as the 24-
hour waiting period is to all women.
These provisions, though just implemented
in Pennsylvania, are threatening throughout
the nation. In Michigan, a law requiring a 24-
hour waiting period has passed the Legisla-
ture, and is stalled in the state's court system.
The Supreme Court has, unfortunately, al-
ready ruled such restrictions constitutional
- it is left solely to legislators to protect the
right to abortion in their individual states.
Legislators must recognize this responsibil-
ity, and not let Pennsylvania be representa-
tive of abortion law in the United States.

Both sides need to
condemn violence
To the Daily:
The American Movement
for Israel (AMI) condemns
the Feb. 24 shooting of 48
Palestinians in Hebron just
as we condemn any act of
violence aimed at disrupting
the Peace Talks. We, the
Jewish and non-Jewish
supporters of Israel, stand by
the condemnation of this
incident by Israeli Prime
Minister, Yitzhak Rabin. In
his message to Baruch
Goldstein and others bent on
sabotaging the peace
process, Rabin stated "You
are not part of the national
democratic camp .. iYou are
not partners in the Zionist
enterprise." ,
Since the signing of the
Declaration of Principles on
Oct. 13, 1993, manifestations
of extremist protest, by Jews
and Arabs, have served to
derail the progress made by
the joint Israeli and
Palestinian negotiating
delegations. The progressive
forward-thinking elements
on both sides must forge
ahead on the road to peace
and avoid the stumbling
blocks of violent acts.
While Baruch Goldstein,
a member of Kach and an
Israeli extremist, does not
stand as a reflection of
mainstream pro-Israel
sentiment, neither does it
represent an isolated
incident. Since the signing of
the Peace Accord, violent acts
by extremist groups have also
served to hinder the progress
made between the PLO and
the Israeli government. Since
the October signing, at least
30 Israelis have been killed.
Incidents such as the ambush
and murder of four Israeli
soldiers by Hizbulah in early
February, the brutal shooting
of a pregnant woman, Zipora
Sasson, by Hamas on
February 18, and repeated
attacks on Israeli civilians by
Islamic Jihad and Fatah
Hawks, must cease. We feel
the words of Israel's chief
Rabbi, Meir Lau sum up our
positions best: "Just as to stab
someone in the back while
crying 'Allah hu-Akbar'
[Arabic for 'G-d is great'] is
a desecration of G-d's name,
neither is there any basis to
claim that this murder was
carried out in the name of the
Jewish religion."
The violent acts by fringe
groups on both sides do not
justify one another. The
negotiators of peace between
Israel and the Palestinians
must condemn all acts of
extremist violence as
obstacles to peace.
MELISSA GARTENBER
The American Movement for
Israel

I

nor Hill Street Forum
necessarily endorse the
positions of any of the many
speakers who appear in these
various forums, though both
are proud of Hillel's long
tradition of being a place
where all points of view can
be heard and debated.
Furthermore, the caption
under the photograph, in the
otherwise excellent coverage
of the event by the Daily,
suggested that the students
sitting next to Dr. Kevorkian
were "supporters." I am one
of those students. As the
member of the Hill Street
Forum committee, who
opened the program and
introduced Mr. Fieger, my
proximity to Dr. Kevorkian in
the photo was due to nothing
more than that seat having
been reserved for me in a
standing-room-only
auditorium.
RICHARD BERNSTEIN
LSA sophomore
A Greek Week apology
To the Daily:
On behalf of Greek Week
Steering Committee 1994, we
would like to apologize for
the comedic attempts of the
Mr. Greek Week emcee. To
say that the views expressed
by the guy in a purple tuxedo
and not necessarily those of
Greek Week is a gross
understatement. It is healthy
for the system to be able to
laugh at itself. However, we
must realize that perpetuating
stereotypes and bad-
mouthing individual houses
can~only hurt the Greek
system's morale, unity and
reputation. For those of you
who left early and missed the
apology given by the emcee,
we would hope that you
would accept ours. The
episode was ad lib, and
neither planned nor endorsed
by Greek Week Steering
Committee.
KATIE RICHARDS
ERIK PETERSON
LSA seniors
Take Back the Night
empowers women
To the Daily:
We are writing in
response to the Daily's
coverage thus far regarding
the Take Back the Night
March. As participants in the
decision regarding whether
or not the march should
remain women-only, it is
crucial to us that the reasons
for the compromise to
provide a two to three block
space for men to march be
accurately represented. All
four of us felt strongly that
the march should remain for
women only. The article on
March 7 did not properly
portray the ideas and
opinions involved in the

nmcess. This article cave the

regardless of their inclusion in
the march.
Our vision for the future
and our position is as
follows: We agree that the
Take Back the Night March
has become a response to
sexual assault and violence
against women. However,
these tragedies are on a
continuum of systematic
oppression. Rape and
domestic violence are at one
end of the continuum. Sexual
harassment, prostitution,
pornography, the
feminization of poverty and
discrimination against
lesbians, developmentally
disabled women and women
of color are also
representative of what the
Take Back the Night March
means to us. Empowerment
of women starts with women.
The fight against oppression
belongs to both women and
men. This is why the march
will begin with women and
end with all members of the
.Ann Arbor community. Men
do need to take responsibility
in the fight against sexual
assault and oppression of
women. Men who are
dedicated to this issue can
show support by creating
opportunities to become
involved in the struggle on a
daily basis, not just one night
a year.
In response to the "A wise
compromise" editorial (3/8/
94), we would like to clarify
that the Take Back the Night
march and rally is not only a
University event. It has been
part of the Ann Arbor
community for 14 years. It is
past time to recognize the
pervasiveness and tenacity of
violence against women. "The
University community was
awakened by a rude shock"
following the rape of a man
over spring break. As women
who work with survivors of
sexual assault, we understand
the devastating consequences
of rape regardless of the
gender of the survivor.
However, we are disturbed
that the fact that a woman is
raped every six minutes in
the United States was not
mentioned as cause for a
"rude shock" by the
University community. A
crucial step in abating sexual
assault is to change society's
acceptance of violence
against women. The Take
Back the Night march stands
as a symbol of our refusal to
accept rape, battering and all
forms of oppression against
women as a necessary part of
our daily lives.
KIRSTEN ACKLEY
ELAINE BARRINGTON
School of Social Work

Looking
for racism
- and4
finding it
I have recently become inter-
ested in the biases and stereotypes
of Blacks on television and in the
movies. As a Black man, I am
concerned with the false stereo-
types of me, based on my race,
that are being disseminated to oth-
ers, especially children who tend
to be more perceptive of such
things than adults.
Michele Wallace, a noted femi-
nist, social scientist and author,
provided me with my first such
example, and I've discovered
some others. Here are but a few;
Remember the women o
"Boyz N the Hood?" How many
were portrayed in a positive light?
According to Wallace, there are
two types of Black women in the
movie. There are those who are
"white-identified and drink
espresso (the Buppie version), or
who call their sons 'fat fucks' and
allow their children to run in the
streets while they offer blow jobs
in exchange for drugs (underclass
version)." Here, we learn that only
women who "act white" are
"good" women.
"BoyzNthe Hood" also teaches
that Black "boys who don't have
fathers fail. The boys who do have
fathers succeed." This is a slap in
the face of single, Black mothers4
like mine, who work hard to raise
their sons as best they can.
Television is no less guilty in
making stereotypical assertions
than movies are, as "Beverly Hills
90210" showed when the only
Black with a major part this sea-
son is a basketball player who
tries to bully Brandon into taking
his exams for him. Let's see -4
Black guy, basketball player,
bully, too dumb to take exams.
Hmm. See any racist stereotypes?
Perhaps the most shocking
racial stereotype I've seen was in
"Terminator II" when Jason
Conner's mother, a white female,
attacks the Black scientist who
developed the prototype for th
robot which was to eventually
destroy the world. She beats the
man who cringes on the floorwhile
his wife and son look on helpless.
It hurt to see a Black man beg and
cower while being beaten by a
smaller, white woman. It was as if
he were a slave cringing before
the "might" of whites.
As if this scene weren't baJ
enough, Conner then spits at him,
"You people are responsible for
the destruction of the world."
Imagine yourself as a young
child watching a white woman

yell at a Black man that "people
like him" are destroyingtheworld.
Imagine how you could interpret
such language. 4
Many would claim that I am
going too far, that I'm looking too
deep. If you look hard enough,
some say, you canfind something
that can be (mis)construed as rac-
ist or stereotyped or whatever.
My point exactly.
I'm not claiming that every
movie or TV show is a harbinger
of racist thought. Nevertheless,
we must acknowledge that unfair
stereotyping exists, and movies
and TV share the blame in legiti-
mizing the biased thinking many
of us have. Worse, the shows I've
describedabove (andl'm sure you
can think of others) teach children
that such bias is okay.
Racism is much deeper thai4
television or movies, but that
doesn't make prime time bias un-
important. Stereotypes have been
so deeply ingrained in the Ameri-
can society that after centuries of
slavery, sharecropping and subju-

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