MLK DAY 1997-
CNN analyst talks about racial equality
The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 21, 1997 -5A
By Jeffrey Kosseff
Daly Staff Reporter
Urging a diverse audience of more
than 300 not to be "bystanders" in the
struggle for racial equality, CNN
political analyst Farai Chideya out-
lined inequalities in media coverage,
Vnomics and the criminal system.
a speech yesterday sponsored by
the Information Technology Division,
the School of Information and the
University Library system, Chideya
acknowledged that although the
United States has taken steps toward
equality, many more steps need to be
'1Equality is a process," Chideya said.
"Equality is not a one-step solution."
Chideya said the United States
must learn to function as a diverse
country, not as an assortment of
divided groups, because in the future
all groups will be minorities.
"This is a country which is increas-
ingly multiethnic and is not dealing
with multiethnicity," Chideya said.
"Over the next 50 years, we will reach a
point where there is no racial majority."
Although blacks are becoming
more accepted in the corporate world,
Chideya said the country must
become more integrated as jobs move
away from the manufacturing sector
and toward an information-technolo-
gy and service-dominated economy.
"Ninety-five percent of U.S. CEOs
are white males," Chideya said.
"There are deep problems in the fun-
damental issue of how race plays into
the economic issue of the country."
Chideya said one major step toward
equality would be equal education.
"We have not created equal educa-
tion opportunities for people early on
in school," Chideya said. "It will take
money and it will take effort."
Another racial issue that has
received media attention - affirma-
tive action - is one that Chideya said
has been distorted.
"When you start to consider the
facts instead of the rhetoric, you get a
different view," Chideya said.
Chideya encouraged people of all
races to take an active interest in the
future of the country by promoting
"All of us cannot afford to be
bystanders," Chideya said.
Her message was well-received by
many audience members.
"She was a very good speaker" said
Kinesiology sophomore Tumeka Harris.
"She targeted a lot of diverse areas."
Before joining CNN, Chideya was
a staff writer for MTV News and
Newsweek. In 1995, she wrote "Don't
Believe the Hype: Fighting Cultural
Misinformation About African-
Americans," a book that used govern-
ment statistics to respond to negative
media portrayals of blacks.
Students march in
memory of King
CNN Political Analyst Faral Chldeya speaks to a crowd of 300 in the Michigan
Union Ball Room yesterday. Chideya called equality an ongoing "process."
'U' can't produce
Bf Jonni Yachnin
Daily Staff Reporter
E4archers carried signs for their organi-
zations, flags from their countries and
chanted together in memory of Martin
Luther King Jr. at yesterday's Unity March.
"When students come out to march ...
they can see other people with the same
positions," said Black Student Union
speaker Jeanne Harris, an LSA senior. "I
think it will go well. Since it warmed up,
people are going to feel the need to mobi-
lose to 200 students attended the
arch, and Harris said not all of the
marchers were associated with BSU, which
sponsored the event.
Marchers met on the corner of South
University and South Forest avenues.
Police blocked' off the streets for the
march, which traveled up South
University Avenue to State Street and
then to the Diag.
Marchers chanted, "No justice, no peace"
"The people united will never be
"People don't have an excuse not to come
oqt," said LSA sophomore Rhapsody
Griffin, a member of Students in Stockwell
Transmitting Ethnic Relations. "(When) we
don't have classes you should come out and
,Griffin said she came to the march to
"carry (the spirit of) MLK and the things
that he embodied and embraced."
everal other student organizations
1nded the march.
"I am a Latina student and it's about time
I marched," said LSA senior Maria
Alejandra Perez. "I've always gone to
keynote speakers and this is my first
An extensive e-mail was sent to motivate
Latino/a students to come and carry their
native flags, Perez said.
"MLK Day is an important day. In the
past, Hispanics haven't had a big show-
ing - it's important to us, too," said
Oreste Prada, president of the Society of
Hispanic Professional Engineers and
Prada, an Engineering senior, said the
flags signify that Latino/a students come
from different places. "It's a big day for our
community and for everyone" he said.
Members of the United Asian American
Organization also attended the march.
"I'm here to help represent the Asian
Pacific American community. I think all
aspects of community should be represent-
ed," said UAAO Advocacy Chair Ponni
Perumalswami, an LSA junior. "Change
does need to be made."
Although the march was a first for
many students, seasoned marchers also
"(I'm here) because I always go on
marches on MLK Day. I've been to a lot
and if I'm in town I go (to a march),"
said Kate Zirbel, a graduate student.
"You have to do this - there's so many
students here. You think more people
would be doing it."
Both students and alums spoke to the
ralliers at the Diag, where they congregat-
ed after the march. "Dr. Martin Luther
King ... had an honorable dream' said
Richard Clay, who graduated in 1995.
By Carrie Luria
For the Daily
Thirty years after the civil rights
movement, black students and facul-
ty still face struggles in the universi-
ty setting, according to a sociology
Prof. Aldon Morris, chair of the
department of sociology at
Northwestern University, opened his
speech yesterday with the question,
"Could the University of Michigan, or
another predominantly white university,
produce a Martin Luther King?"
Morris, who is a former University
sociology professor, said the answer
is no. He argued that many "Kings"
never make it to universities because
standardized test scores stand in
"I contend that there is still a
deep-seeded belief of black inferior-
ity even though survey question-
naires reflect a belief in racial equal-
ity," Morris said.
LSA first-year student Kyra
Williams said test scores may not be the
best reflection of a student's ability to
succeed in college.
"I agree that standardized test scores
are not a good way to measure intellec-
tual ability," Williams said. "However, I
think that academic standards for col-
lege admissions should be the same for
all students except when the education-
al opportunities are unequal."
Morris said university officials are in
,the dangerous business ofjudging intel-
ligence, but that they lack the knowl-
edge of the African American experi-
"Most institutions have had only
about 30 years dealing with black stu-
dents and less time dealing with black
faculty and professors," Morris said.
"This contributes to the loss of the
black experience at universities."
Morris said the belief in black inferi-
ority has led people to under-estimate
black students' abilities, which then
affects their aspirations in life.
"The belief in black inferiority has
translated into money, power and lead-
ership for whites," Morris said.
Morris discussed the methods cur-
rently being utilized to bring more
black students into universities.
"When have you heard the argument
that we need more blacks in universities
because they are every bit as smart as
other students?" he asked.
Sociology Prof. Jim House said he,
thought the speech was constructive.
"I think it is important to speak about
the conflicts that are a part of our soci-
etal institution," said House, director of
the Survey Research Center.
Students met on the Diag yesterday after they marched from the corner
of South University and Forest avenues to the Graduate library.
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