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March 06, 1995 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-06

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-- The Michigan Daily - Monday, March 6, 1995

(Ttle ,nfirtthYgttn at7iv

JAMEs R. CHo

BENEATH THE PALIMPSEST

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

MICHAEL ROSENBERG
Editor in Chief
JULIE BECKER
JAMES NASH
Editorial Page Editors

As ian Americans and
the model minority myth

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.
CufCing
U' must step in to save campus broadcasting

A s Republicans in Congress gleefully
slash program after program, it is fast
becoming evident that federal budget cuts
will bleed down even to the University. Cam-
pus television and radio - WFUM-TV and
Michigan Radio (including WU0M, WFUM-
FM, and WUGR) - must prepare for the
unfortunate possibility of funding cuts. In a
presentation at the February Board of Re-
gents meeting, the stations informed the re-
gents how the loss of the Corporation for
Public Broadcasting (CPB) would destroy
public radio and television at the University.
Their presentation made one thing clear: If
CPB does get cut, the Board of Regents -
the licensee of Michigan Radio and WFUM-
TV - needs to supplement the missing fed-
eral funds in order to keep the stations alive.
In a more sensible political climate, the
responsibility would never fall to the Univer-
sity. The proposed federal cuts violate the
spirit of the laws passed in 1954 to establish
funding for public broadcasting. Ironically,
the CPB was formed to "insure the integrity"
of the federal funds. It acts as a clearinghouse
for public broadcasting money and makes
sure that the, funds remain separate from
other government spending and unaffected
by the programming that stations provide.
However, if CPB funding is cut - as is
likely - the regents must continue to support
the University's public broadcasting stations.
Michigan Radio and WFUM-TV provide a
valuable service to the University and its
surrounding communities. Both stations
collect a great deal of their own revenue: Law
requires that stations meet CPB funding 2 1/2
times over, and in the 1992 fiscal year the
ratio was 3.79 to 1. In other words, the
stations are about as self-supporting as they
could possibly be.

Some regents questioned why the stations
could not privatize and still remain "public."
This violates their non-commercial license,
which prohibits them from generating a cer-
tain amount of outside income (money from
the University, as their licensee, being from
the inside). Thus, legally they cannot be
commercial. Furthermore, these stations
could never compete in the commercial arena.
They carry controversial programs, as well
as programs that appeal to a relatively nar-
row audience - few sponsors would want to
spend their advertising dollars there. To com-
pete, the stations would have to change their
programming, which would defeat the idea
behind public broadcasting. WFUM-TV and
Michigan Radio will not last without at least
a partial compensation of CPB funds - and
legally cannot take too much from donors or
from underwriting corporations. Ultimately
the responsibility falls back to the Univer-
sity.
Once changes are made, the University
must behave as the government does con-
cerning public broadcasting: Hands-off. As
public stations, WFUM-TV and Michigan
Radio have the unique advantage of being
able to express a variety of uncensored opin-
ions. At the meeting, Regent Deane Baker
(R-Ann Arbor) asked how these stations will
carry the "University's message" if more
inside funding is granted, pointing out that
one of the stations recently presented an
editorial unfavorable to the University. This
concern is contrary to the idea of public
broadcasting. Though it may be tempting for
the University to use these stations as its own
voice, that practice is manipulative and con-
strictive. For the sake of the community, the
University must keep the stations afloat -
no strings attached.

Jason Wang grew up in Linden House,
an apartment complex for low-income
families in New York City. Jason, now a
student at the University, is the son of
immigrant parents from Taiwan. "I knew
what poverty was like. I found my parents
concerned about money in a different man-
ner - accumulating enough," he says.
"We're not well-off but we made the best
of what we had."
Jason is an anomaly. For many under-
privileged inner-city Asian American kids,
the first priority is not education. Other
factors predominate - poverty, drugs,
sex, gangs and survival. Some students
never consider the possibility of college.
Underprivileged Asian Americans,
unlike other minorities, face greater diffi-
culties because they aren't supposed to
exist. The affluence and success of Asian
Americans has long been the common
perception. (I use Asian Americans to
include those Asians who reside in the
United States but may not yet have their
citizenship.)
You always hear stories about Asian
American valedictorians vying for spots
at Ivy League schools. Poor Asian Ameri-
cans, however, go unheard and unrecog-
nized. They are swept under the rug and
fall through the cracks of government
policy. The government, including the
University, ignores the diversity within
the Asian American community by lump-
ing data about them together. By not dif-
ferentiating between the various groups,

the University continues to tout the latest
increases in minority enrollment without
recognizing the lack of diversity within
the community.
The University doesn't recruit Asian
Americans, even the underprivileged ones.
The Michigan Study, an as-yet-unpub-
lished survey of University minority stu-
dents who entered in 1990, shows that the
demographic diversity of Asian Ameri-
cans remains dismal - poor, inner-city
Asian Americans simply do not attend the
University. The study also shows that most
'Asian Americans on campus are not wor-
ried about finishing their higher education
because of financial constraints nor do
they need to work during their time on
campus to support themselves financially.
"Asian Americans at the University of
Michigan for the most part simply don't
come in with the financial burden others
face," said Edgar Ho, former chair of the
United Asian American Organizations.
Underprivileged Asian Americans face
a double whammy. Not only are they not
recruited by the University, but they are
the big losers of the "model minority" and
"over-representation" myths. It's an ac-
cess issue. The University does not have a
mandate to recognize the growing Asian
communities in the inner cities, but a stark
disparity exists within the Asian groups
not only in culture but in socioeconomic
status as well.
University administrators, however,
after much badgering from students, have

taken a step in the right direction in revers-
ing this trend. For the first time the Uni-
versity will provide financial support for a
deserving pre-college program that ex-
poses underprivileged Asian Americans
toy the advantages of pursuing a higher
education. It's called Project Lighthouse
and has existed with only minimal funding
at the University for three years. The pro-
gram shows the students that a college
education can be a reality.
On Friday, 46 Hmong students from
Pulaski Middle School in Detroit - which
offers an English-as-a-second-language
course - will visit campus for a tour as
well as educational programming. Many
Hmong came to the United States seeking
refuge in the face of oppression by the
Vietnamese government in the late '70s.
While poverty rates vary widely among
the different Asian American groups, the
Hmong consistently have the highest pov-
erty rate. "This program is designed to
help Asian Americans who are disadvan-
taged and disenfranchised with society.
We want to stress the importance of get-
ting a higher education," said Mike Chau,
one of the student leaders involved in
Project Lighthouse.
Poverty is a vicious cycle. Project Light-
house serves as a beacon guiding under-
privileged Asian Americans down a path
of opportunities often missing in their
lives. Asian American students are mi-
norities too. The diversity within our com-
munity needs to be recognized.

0
0

I

JIM LASSER

SHARP AS TOAST

A NEWTC

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3INGRICH FLM A REPUBLICAN PARTY MOTION
Starring 8
} },Jesse He
and Strom
WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT TO BRNG THESE
DINOSAURS BACK FROM THE DEAD?

PICTURE

NOTABLE QUOTABLE
"What Hamilton
said about
Jefferson was he
loved the masses
because he had
nothing to do
with them. I am
wondering If it's
the same for
Michigan."
- State Rep. Lingg
Brewer (D-Holt), on the
University's commitment
to the Jeffersonian ideal
of accessible education

Bob Dole,

Ims

m Thurmond

The rigt to strike
Executive order protects workers

0i

LETTERS

The Clinton administration recently
handed down an executive order deny-
ing federal government contracts to firms
that permanently replace striking workers.
This is a sound step toward creating an
America that is friendlier to its blue-collar
citizens.
The ability to fire workers for striking
gives undue power to management in labor
disputes. The practice is time-honored among
union busters, and it destroys any semblance
of equilibrium in American labor-manage-
ment relations. For generations, our nation's
leaders have paid lip service to the notion that
the ability to strike is a fundamental right.
However, if management is allowed to fire
individuals who strike, and replace them
with non-union personnel, then the right to
strike is essentially destroyed.
In 1994, Democrats in Congress attempted
to correct this injustice. The "striker replace-
ment" bill, which banned the hiring of per-
manent replacement workers, passed the
House. A majority of senators supported it. It
died, however, at the hands of a minority
filibuster, and the November elections bur-
ied the bill for the foreseeable future.
Given congressional intransigence, the
administration's action is laudable, if over-
due. There is a long tradition of attaching
conditions to federal contracts via executive
order. Perhaps the best examples of this are
the efforts of past presidents - from
Roosevelt to Nixon - to advance civil rights
How TO CONTACT THEM

by such actions. It would have been best for
legislators to have addressed this issue. Since
they will not, the president is right to act.
While the executive order will not bring
about the sweeping change that is needed -
it deals only with government contractors -
it will still impact labor relations in important
ways. It has been estimated that the president's
action will affect nearly all Fortune 500 com-
panies. The nation's major firms - the com-
panies that define the state of labor relations
in America - are heavily involved in gov-
ernment contracting. As a result, the impact
of this order will be widely felt.
This act should help stem the tide of anti-
labor politics in the United States. The sad
fact is that Americans increasingly see labor
as a roadblock to prosperity - in fact, it was
unions that brought prosperity to the work-
ing classes earlier in this century. Admit-
tedly, there are union excesses. Still, the
essential ability of workers to try to achieve
balance in the workplace must be preserved
and advanced - a prosperous middle class
helps everyone.
That is why this presidential action is so
important. The government must act to pre-
serve the integrity of all citizens' rights -
and workers should not be excluded from
these efforts. In many cases, the ability of
management to fire strikers and permanently
replace them all but destroys the right to
strike. The president is correct to intervene
and protect this right.

Writer alters
facts in letter
on Kiss-In
To the Daily:
Although I hesitate to use the
word "naive" when describing
John Yob ("Congress, 'U' should
not give approval to homosexual
activity" 3/1/95), his apparent
lack of AIDS education and un-
derexposure to homo- and bi-
sexuals does come to mind. He
incorrectly states "that it is ho-
mosexual and bisexual men who
- more than any other group
- are spreading the AIDS vi-
rus...." The fact that HIV spread
like wildfire first through the
gay community in the United
States says nothing of the fact
that it is predominately hetero-
sexual behavior which is respon-
sible for this epidemic in Af-
rica, southeast Asia, and yes,
now even the United States. Mr.
Yob consistently states in his
letter how "dangerous" educa-
tion regarding AIDS and homo-
sexuality is. But what is truly
dangerous and downright scary
are people like him who alter
the facts to support their "val-
ues" (or lack thereof).
John Yob also classifies two
males embracing and kissing as
"indecent exposure." Come on,
if this were the case hundreds of
straight couples wouldbe arrested
every year at the University.

University." I guess I can toler-
ate people like Mr. Yob at our
University because it is under-
informed people like him who
contribute to the wonderful di-
versity that is part of why the
University is so well respected.
Bill Malone
LSA junior
Kiss-In meant
to promote
tolerance
To the Daily:
We are writing in response
to Mr. John Yob's plead to both
Congress and the University in
Wednesday's paper. Mr. Yob
finds that the "Kiss-In" is a
"gross injustice to the U of M
reputation and heterosexual stu-
dents." The fact that he feels
that the sight of two people kiss-
ing and embracing is "indecent
exposure" is both tragic and
alarming. The point of the "Kiss-
In" is to provoke an enlightened
atmosphere both on campus and
in the wider community, and to
promote understanding and ac-
ceptance of the homosexual
community.
The goal of the "Kiss-In" is
to demonstrate that public dis-
plays of affection - whether
heterosexual or homosexual -
are normal behaviors. Our soci-
ety needs to recognize that ho-
mosexuals have just as much
right to display their emotions

to consider AIDS as a gay dis-
ease is not only appalling and
incorrect but completely out-
dated. AIDS is a reality that we
all must face. Rather than utiliz-
ing his own efforts to become
part of the solution, Mr. Yob is
exerting his energies to pinpoint
blame on an issue of which he is
totally unknowledgeable.
Finally, it is people like Mr.
Yob who "tarnish the dignified
and respected image" of our
University, not a group of people
who are doing their best to edu-
cate the community on becom-
ing more sensitive to gay, les-
bian and bisexual issues.
Karen Strobel
Rachel Lessem
Bridget Smith
Naomi Ornstein
LSA students
Columnist
misinterprets
gender issues
To the Daily:
I was both disappointed and
angry after reading James R.
Cho's article, "Agenda for
Women Heads Down the Wrong
Path," in the Feb. 27 edition of
the Daily. In the article, Cho
criticizes sex awareness in prac-
tices at the University. In par-
ticular, he disagrees with hiring
practices that actively seek out
women. Cho says, "Open all the

would happen. Hopefully, some
day men and women will be
viewed as entirely equal and
will be able to compete with
each other, simply as people, in
every arena. This aspect of
Cho's article, however, did not
bother me as much as his "ex-
planations" for the shortage of
women in so many areas of life,
and in particular, areas of the
University.
Cho argues that studies have
shown that men and women
consistently show differences
in their abilities, with men be-
ing better at certain mental skills
than women and vice versa. Yes,
this is true. However, it is very
possible that these differences
are socialized at an early age
and are not biological differ-
ences. This is a theory that Cho
ignores. Instead, he proceeds to
cite studies that not only en-
dorse a biological view of such
differences between the sexes,
but also those that actually pro-
claim a difference "in the brains
of men and women"! I believe
that Cho is attempting to fall
back on science to explain all
our social ills. This is exactly
the wrong attitude to have in a
society that still give little boys
trucks and guns to play with and
gives little girls dolls and kitchen
sets.
I realize Cho would see me
as an "ardent feminist," appar-
ently an evil thing, for writing
this letter. I am in fact a person

University Regent Deane Baker
(R- Ann Arbor)
AA C ("ho ,rh PH

University Regent Laurence B. Deitch
(D-Bloomfield Hills)

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