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January 13, 1994 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-01-13

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 13, 1994

c E u t ttn

Sharp as Toast
I i. elc t C-Ift-A 910%tl tw i f L .t La C


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

Editor in Chief
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.

* EPCr T

Poo" ? "


Martn Luher ingDay nd fostbte

A few years ago, during my fresh-
man year (well, actually maybe more
than a few years
ago now that I
think about it) a,
large group of stu-
dents decided that a
in order to pay re-
spect to one of our
fallen elders, weI
would take a day T
off in remem-
brance of him. We
not only tried to
take the day off, we tried to make sure
that as many other students took the
day off as we could (I never thought
about this before, but if someone would
have told me before I came here that I
had to try to convince students to take
the day off, I would have rolled in
disbelief). In fact, we damn near shut
the university down suffering frostbite
en masse in the process.
There was a lot of power in that day,
and everything that we do now on the
third Monday of January goes back to
that day. Over the past few years as a
result of our actions we have been
graced with the presence of Honorable
Andrew Young, Molefi Asante, Faye
Wattleton, Maulana Karenga,
Gwendolyn Brooks, Dennis Archer Sr.,
Shirley Chisolm, and Alex Haley (right
before he passed away) -all dynamic
teachers in their own way. We dis-
cussed Martin Luther King's legacy
not as a dreamer, but as someone who
had been soberly awakened to
America's spiritual derangement. We
also sought to apply the legacy that he
left as it applied to the University of
Michigan. The Office of Minority Af-
fairs, the chief sponsor of the day's
activities, (also created as a result of
student struggle) would make sure that
dozens of kids from junior high and
high school would come from all parts
of Michigan to see the University (in
many cases for the first time), and the
programs offered on MLK Day. We all
looked forward to the beginning of the

term, if for no other reason than this
would give us a chance to see people,
and programs that we would never see
any other time.
How things change in only 5 years.
I first noticed it when I saw this
year's MLK Day poster. Nice work,
and one of the better posters they've
made. Usually there is a fairly compre-
hensive schedule of the day's events,
including names of participants. This
year though, there are only a couple of
names, and only a few panels listed. To
double check, I looked the booklet that
they usually pass out along with the
poster. Nothing in it either. Well this
isn't totally true. I found out that there
is a keynote speaker (Dr. Lester Monts'
uncle in fact), and although I never
heard of him, or read any of his works,
I can only assume that Dr. Monts felt
that his uncle was up to the task. We
also have a strong performance by the
Winans to end the ceremonies.
But what's in between? When I
look at the panel discussions, and I see
topics but no names, I wonder. I figure
there are two possible reasons. Either
they didn't have panelists by the time
the poster was finished, or they did
have panelists but they didn't want the
student population to know about who
they invited. If it was because of the
first choice, then OAMI (the replace-
ment for OMA) as an institution, and
Dr. Monts as an individual, have acted
randomly and unprofessionally espe-
cially given that there are fewer panels
being held on this MLK Day than on
any other previous day, and that they
have had months to organize the events.
If it was because they didn't want stu-
dents to know about them, I assume
that given Dr. Monts' own statements
(from what I understand Dr. Monts did
not want to invite any "politicians" or
"activists" to speak - so if King was
alive he wouldn't be invited) it wasn't
because they wanted to "surprise" us.
This, too, makes them random and
unprofessional at best. If their purpose
was to totally change the way that

MLK Day has been conducted in the
past, I don't have any problem with
that, as long as they make it plain that
this is what they plan to do. They have
not done this though, making me think
that there were some internal doubts
that they were doing what was right.
I believe strongly in cycles and I
don't think that this particular action
bodes well for any of us. Not African
American students, not European
American students, not Native Ameri-
can students, not any of us. We have
had too many spaces taken away from
us, to social spaces such as bars and
fraternity parties (this doesn't really
apply to me, but it still applies to a large
group of students) to physical spaces
such as the Union and the Diag, to
mental spaces such as the one occupied
by MLK Day. For those of you who are
interested in what MLK Day used to
be, stop by the OAMI (on the first floor
of the Fleming Building) and ask them
if they have any booklets describing
past events. I think you'll find a big
difference. OAMI owes its existence
(and Dr. Monts his job) to students, and
I sincerely hope for their sake that they
keep this in mind. In only five years
MLK Day has been changed from one
dedicated to alternatives, to a ceremony
touting the University's supposed
"multiculturalist" agenda. To those of
you who don't particularly care, I won't
say that you should care because that's
on you, but I will say that this event (or,
rather, this non-event) further exempli-
fies the fact that the cycle is on the
downswing. No doubt about it.
I remember a time when I braved
the cold, and suffered frostbite in my
toes (even when I wore socks!) gladly
in order to march,to the Diag, and then
pick between a panel on Indian land
rights, one on environmental equityr
and one on another aspect of justice, on.
MLK Day. However during this day, e
don't plan to do anything other than sit
in warmth, reminisce, and think about
what was, what is, and what should be.
And how we should get there.
tradition and leadership established
by Senator Vaughn.
The holiday, itself, allows us to
reflect upon the life and
accomplishments of King. As in past
years, we will be reminded of the
way things were, the way things are
today, and they way things could be.
However, in today's climate of
turmoil and uncertainty, it is
especially important that we
remember King's legacy in the days,
months, and years that lie ahead.
January 17 will allow us to come
together and rededicate ourselves to
the American ideals of freedom,
justice and opportunity for all. In the
words of King, "There is amazing
power in unity. Where there is true
unity, every effort to disunite only
serves to strengthen the unity."
It was also King who recognized
that "The New World is a world of
geographical togetherness. This
means that no individual or nation
can live alone. We must all learn to
live together." Through his
compassion for others, King paved
the way we must go if we are to
achieve harmony and stability in our
We, in the Department of Civil
Rights, pledge our continuing efforts
to~ fizlfu1ia the n'iilC fnrwhic

On the issues...h

Daily should get
facts strai t
To the Daily:
Since the Daily began the winter
term by offering new year's
resolutions to the University's
administration, I'd like to offer them
one in response: before leveling a
personal attack on someone, get your
facts right.
I am referring specifically to their
recommendation that the
University's general counsel, Elsa
Kircher Cole, be removed. They base
their recommendation on her alleged
role in developing the university's
position in three court cases: on
involving the 1987 presidential
search, one involving the 1988 policy
on discriminatory harassment, and
one on the 1990, 1992, and 1993
Hash Bashes.
Here are the facts ignored by the
Daily: both the student harassment
policy and the presidential search
cases involved events and policies
that occurred long before Cole's
arrival at the University in late
summer 1989. Litigation in both of
those matters was already underway
when she came to the University.
Within the first month that she was
nnnmmn. . t eir..+.. -nimeA..t, 1*ffn the

outside attorneys' fees were incurred.
In 1993 the Washtenaw County
Circuit Court finally recognized the
University's right to regulate speech
in that manner when it issued an
order saying that the University
could charge the event's organizers
clean-up and electricity costs and
limit amplification of speech to one
The Daily is entitled to its
opinions on University policies.
Clearly, the courts have ruled against
us on the first two cases. But before
they personally attack an individual,
they owe it to their readers and to the
individual involved to base that
attack on facts and not on their
personal whims. Writing editorials
(especially when one attacks an
individual) does not absolve a
journalist from the first rule of
journalism: get the facts right.
Vice President for
University Relations
King recognized
power of unity
To the Daily:
I consider it a distinct honor to
join others around the state in
rtanr nihkann a .1.0 n.anPCof a

I have composed this response in
reference to Mike Smith's recent letter
(1/12/94). Subsequently, it seems that
due to your lack of apparent knowl-
edge and/or ignorance, the letter failed
to demonstrate the truly racist and
"white-washed" attitudes of your Euro-
American counterparts . I was led to
question, "Has Martin's dream of equal-
ity and advancement of Africans in
America been met with understanding

numbers to take part in lectures, work-
shops, and/or the Black Student Union's
March and Rally... butitseemsthrough
the University's "de-colorization" of
Martin's Dream, AfricanAmerican stu-
dents have once again been left out.
Smith's analysis that "Now discern-
ible racism in the classroom, on cam-
pus etc. is basically gone ... in a liberal
University that is arguable interested in
our (African American students') wel-
fare..." stands subject to question. Un-

dents and organizations alike. In es-
sence, this policy, which regulates the
usage of Union facilities (such as the
Union Ballroom), as outlined severely
weakens organizations (predominantly
Black Greek Lettered Organizations
who use the Union facilities as loca-
tions for African student gatherings);
the re-assignment of the "Black
Lounges" in all residence halls now to
be referred to as "Multicultural
Lounges,", although primarily it was

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