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January 27, 1997 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-01-27

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4A The Michigan Daily - Monday, January 27, 1997

420 Maynard Street RONNIE GLASSBERG
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 Editor in Chief
Edited and managed by ADRIENNE JANNEY
students at the~< ZACHARY M. RAIMI
University of Michigan Editorial Page Editors
Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily s editorial board. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.


'I don't think this University could've been better served
than with the grace, dignity, warmth and integrity which
(Neal) brought to delicate matters of continuity.'
- Regent Phillip Power (D-Ann Arbor), complimenting
Homer Neal on his tenure as interim University president
YoU )10r CArY6 E(7 ANY
(S f



Reaching the

Students in city govt. will increase input
Students makeup a significant portion of act on them.
Ann Arbor's population, so they play a To fill the positions, the CGC will
large role in the city's diversity, culture and duct an applicant search through Feb. 4
economy. Student involvement in city poli- CGC has contacted many student grou
tics is limited comparatively - leaving a inform members of the new position
large section of the population without spur interest. Nagrant said the comm
proper representation. Students must estab- also plans to post flyers in high-trafficz
lish a voice within the encompassing com- around campus. The advertising is im
munity. tant to ensure that qualified candidate
And a couple of students have been selected. The student body must have i
doing that. This month, Michigan Student ligent and appropriate representation
Assembly Representative and Campus hence, the CGC must have a large nu
Governance Committee Chair Michael of applicants from which to pick to fin
Nagrant and LSA senior Andrew Wright most qualified students.
met with Mayor Ingrid Sheldon. The trio While the new positions may spa
addressed the lack of student involvement positive trend in local student involven
and representation and proposed solutions the city must make available more opp
to dissolve the problem. The student pair nities to allow students to participat
successfully secured voting positions for many facets of city politics. Sheldon sh
students on 11 city committees, task forces establish student seats on other city c
and advisory boards. mittees - making the city's work repr
The groups to receive student input tative of the wants of the entire commu
include the HIV/AIDS Task Force, the which includes the ever-changing stu
Domestic Violence Coordinating Board and sector. Students need to have represent
the Publie Advisory Committee for Parking proportionate to the pertinence of parti
Management. Given the importance to the issues. For example, students will oc
University community of the issues with only one chair on the DDA citizen cou
which these groups deal, this student access while the issues the group handles im
is an excellent means to obtain input - and students a great deal more than citizen


. The
ps to
ns to
s are
n -
d the
ark a
te in
s liv-

put it to good use.
For instance,

the Downtown

Development Authority is planning to
repair many of the city's downtown roads.
The construction will impact students
greatly - the University and the city must
make cooperative efforts to prevent con-
struction from making worse the city's
already horrible traffic and parking prob-
lerns. With a position on the DDA's citizen
council, students can express concerns and

ing further from the downtown area.
Students require additional positions to pro-
cure equal representation.
Ann Arbor's student population plays a
significant role in the city's economy and
industry. However, the students have not
had sufficient say in local decisions.
Formation of the new student positions has
set the city on the right path. Now the city
must not stray from the path Sheldon has
marked - students must continue to partic-

Good credit
House bills would help working families

T he Democratic majority will open the
89th session of the Michigan House
this week by introducing the Quality of Life
Act of 1997. The proposal would give fam-
ilies under financial duress tax credit -
allowing them more money to pay for
necessities, such as food and housing.
Moreover, it would help to prevent them
from falling into the safety net of welfare.
The act is an excellent measure to keep cit-
izdns independent and, in turn, save the
state money. The Legislature should adopt
the act.
Rep. John Freeman (D-Madison
Heights) plans to sponsor one of the act's
bills, which gives poor working families
who receive a federal earned income tax
credit an additional financial support
through state taxes. Under this legislation,
families could receive a state tax credit in
the amount of one quarter of the federal
earned income credit. If the federal govern-
ment supports independence for poor fami-
lie's, the state should make efforts to match
that support.
Families struggling to stay off public
assistance are in desperate need of whatev-
er financial help they can get. Tax time can
be particularly trying as families stretch
their resources to come up with money to
pay not only regular expenses, but also
taxes. For- example, a family may have to
decide between, paying to heat its home or
paying taxes - placing them between a
very real rock and hard place.
Additional support might keep families
out of debt and reduce the need for state
support programs, such as welfare. The bill
is an excellent measure to stop further

If the bill passes, the state will save
money in the long run. A family that
depends on welfare can cost the state thou-
sands of dollars, while tax credits would
account for only a fraction of that cost. If a
family gets stuck in a welfare rut, the finan-
cial consequences can initiate a self-perpet-
uating cycle. As a result, it will cost the
state even more over time than a slight
decrease in tax revenue.
Also included as part of the act are two
bills that Reps. Karen Willard (D-Algonac)
and Dennis Olshove (D-Warren) are spon-
soring. Olshove's bill would provide fami-
lies with dependent adults and sick children
an income tax refund of up to $2,400. It
would help ease the cost to families who do
not want to leave their loved ones at the
Willard's bill would grant tax exemption
to adults who are dependent on their fami-
lies for more than half of their support -
reducing the burden on the families. State-
sponsored health care and institutions also
cost a great deal more than the tax credits
would. Families with adult dependents
deserve help from the state, as their work
takes the place of expensive state-run insti-
The act is an excellent way to improve
the lives of working-class families. It pro-
vides them with the opportunity to get
ahead and allows the state to act as a cata-
lyst in their pursuit of financial solvency.
But it is also a savvy financial move on the
state's part. It behooves the Legislature to
pass the act as it not only saves money and
provides a partial solution to a social prob-
lem, but it raises the standard of living for a

In light of the recent holi-
day celebrating the life of
Martin Luther King Jr., it is
appropriate that the
University community and
each of us as individuals
reflect on the current status
of racism and other race-
related issues. A general
question we might ask our-
selves at this time is: Where
do we stand now relative to
where King left us in 1968?
The scope of this question
is larger than any one letter
can cover, perhaps larger
even than any one person can
attempt to comprehensively
evaluate. But to the extent
that America's race-related
"improvement" has necessar-
ily decelerated with the pass-
ing of one of the greatest
men history has known, per-
haps it is time now for us to
look for newdirections to
explore in ameliorating the
stresses of diversity.
After reading about MLK
Day events on campus in the
Daily, it occurred to me that
we spend a great deal of time
"fighting racism," accusing
others, pointing fingers.:
find I do this myself. The
truth is, this reaction has
become natural, something.
we have seen in history and
we do it now. Whether or not
this approach is "good" or
"bad," who can say? In any
case, 1 think we would all
agree that it does little to fos-
ter love among the races.
Maybe now it is time to
turn our focus inwards. It is
easy to accuse others of
racism, but what of our-
selves? Even more scary,
how about our own race, our
own people? Believe it or
not, white people do not have
a monopoly on racism in
America. Moreover, we can-
not continue to simplify race
relations in America as black
versus white anymore. In the
almost 30 years since King
passed away the face of
America has dramatically
changed. As minority groups
gradually grow larger and
larger, we must learn to look
at ourselves not only as vic-
tims but also as perpetrators.
Can we stop racism in our
own communities? It's a
daunting question but one we
must address nevertheless.
In short, at the dawn of
the 21 st century will King
look down on us with tears of
joy or of sorrow?
Daily misses
- . . ,.c .z

lic record, is exempt from
disclosure, if that is the rea-
son for denying all or a por-
tion of the request."
Roe doesn't
We are responding to the
Jan. 21 editorial "Anniversary
of Freedom." In responding,
we wanted to address two
central arguments in the the-
sis, mainly that a woman
really chooses to have an
abortion and that the govern-
ment has the authority to
decide such matters of life
and death.
We know three women
who have "chosen" abortions.
Their situations are not
unique. The first involved
two college students, a white
women who had become
pregnant through her black
boyfriend. Living in the
South, mixed marriages
aren't nearly as common as
in the Midwest. The woman's
family applied pressure for
her to have an abortion
because of the potential
"embarrassment of having a
mulatto child" while her
boyfriend "couldn't be both-
ered." Her child was subse-
quently aborted.
The second was an 18-
year-old high school student.
Her parents were just enter-
ing retirement and thought a
grandchild at this time would
be inconvenient. Once again,
external pressure was applied
and the child was aborted.
Finally, there was the sin-
gle mother who told her 16-
year-old daughter that the
child growing in her was
badly "deformed" to encour-
age her to have an abortion,
which she did. The daughter
later discovered her mother
had lied to her. So when you
write, "The anniversary of
Roe is an important date in
the struggle for women's
reproductive freedom," I have
to question if this decision
really took power away from
pregnant women and placed
it instead in the hands of par-
ents, boyfriends or others in
her life.
Second, the editorial
states "that a woman's body
is her own, and as the Court
said, she can do with it what
she chooses." The basis of
your argument is that the
highest authority in the land
is man's law. This a humanis-
tic idea that places man at the
center of the universe.
While we don't expect
you to agree, there is a higher
authority that man answers
to. The question to ask then,

We want to encourage the
Daily editorial staff and read-
ers to really think about what
you believe regarding this
subject. As an example, con-
sider Norma McCorvey, the
famous "Jane Roe" in the
landmark case. We can't
think of anyone more famil-
iar with the issue. She has
recently re-evaluated her
thoughts on the subject of
abortion rights and now
believes abortion takes a life.
Talking must
continue past
I am white and Jewish. I
supported the "Day Without
Diversity" and was very
excited by the prospect. I feel
that such a form of protest is
much needed and not seen
nearly enough in today's soci-
ety. I can understand Jennifer
Bucholz's ("Protest under-
mines diversity," 1/23/97)
reasons for writing the letter
that she did. I am assuming
that she is also white, but I
could be wrong in that
assumption. She mentioned
several other minority groups
in her letter and was upset
that they were not included in
the day. I agree that these
groups are stigmatized to
some degree, and some more
than others, but I also feel
that it is a very different situ-
ation for someone who can
hide their stigma than for
someone who cannot.
I cannot speak for a per-
son of color, but from the
conversations that I've had,
and the impressions that I
get, there are times when
people of color don't need or
want help from non-people-
of-color. The "Day Without
Diversity" asked non-people-
of-color to show their support
by engaging in discussions
about the problem. They did-
n't ask us to show support by
joining in the protest, they
asked for our support in
another manner. White peo-
ple have been telling people
of color what they can and
cannot do for too long. I feel
that it is wrong to tell a per-
son of color the "best" way to
protest. We, who do not wish
to be part of the problem, are
in a difficult position. If we
try to "help" then we easily
offend those who have not
asked for our help, especially
if we say, "this is the way it
should be." At the same time,
whether we are aware of it or
not, if we are not part of the
solution, then we are part of

promised land'
"I am convinced that you may kill
the dreamer but you cannot kill the
- Benjamin Hooks
Isat toward the front of Hill
Auditorium that day, just a name
less face in a sea of diversity. The audi-
torium was filled
with people of all
ages, races and
religions. We were
gathered to hear
Benjamin Hooks,
former director of
the National
Association for ~
the Advancement
of Colored People,
deliver the
University's ZACHARY
Martin Luther M. RAIMI
King Jr. Day
Symposium Keynote Address in
January 1995. 1 was covering the
speech for the Daily; I was a young
reporter then, yearning to see my
byline in print.
Before attending the event, I wa
perturbed; I didn't want to wake up
early on what should have been a day
off from school. But as it turned out,
the speech had a profound impact on
me. Looking back now, in the twilight
of my University career, the speech
was one of the most moving experi-
ences of undergraduate education. It
made me appreciate the purpose of
MLK Day and it made me more aware
of the rampant complacency regarding.
racial matters that hovers over much i
our community and nation.
Hooks' message was straightfor-'
ward: America has made significa~
progress in its quest for racial justic
and equality, but work remains. H'
spoke movingly about Martin Luthdr
King, calling him a "prophet." Hooks
marveled at the stunning simplicity
and beauty of King's dream, where ai
Americans are united. Hooks' words
were not cliched, his retelling ca
King's dream was not trivialized. 1It
was a powerful lecture.
At the conclusion of the speec,
audience members embraced and sang
the spiritual "We Shall Overcome
And goose bumps overcame me as ,
experienced and witnessed - albeit
on a small scale - what Martirr
Luther King envisioned: people of all
different backgrounds joining hands
and reveling in song.10
One of Hooks' driving premises was
the idea that Americans must not
become complacent or indifferent in.
the struggle for racial justice. Yes, he
said, we have made progress, but only
through hard work and the "kind of'
faith that Martin Luther King had" -
qualities we must never lose.
The University is on the right path in
this struggle. Last Monday, the
University again celebrated MLK Da
with a huge symposium of events. And,
its many programs aimed at increasing
diversity - including the Michigan
Mandate -are helping to shape a more
inclusive and dynamic community.
But, a protest on the Diag last
Tuesday reminds us that MLK Day is
not enough - people must pay atten-.
tion to diversity and racial equality,
throughout the year. Members of sev-
eral student groups joined together and
declared last Tuesday "A Day Without
Diversity." They wore gags and.
marched silently to symbolize the
complacency that grips this communi-
ty for most of the year.
Such indifference is even worse away,
from college campuses. I have wit-
nessed this first-hand in the communi-

ty in which I reside; friends and
acquaintances relay similar observa-
tions about their hometowns. Too many
Americans are out of touch and indif-
ferent to the struggle for racial justice.
And that's why Hooks' speech was.
so powerful: It was an eloquent plea
for all Americans to consciously work,
toward racial equality.
One only needs to take a step back to
see that the possibility of improving
racial relations exists at the University.
Like many public universities, the
University of Michigan is creating an
artificial community of learning an
living, where people of all different
backgrounds are mixed together and
asked to thrive. Within this social"
experiment, we can find ways to under-
stand each other better. With such a
dynamic community, we have the.
potential to study and discuss issues of
-racial equality and try to determine how
to keep the message of MLK Day,
prevalent throughout the year. Very few
other communities offer such promise.
After his speech, I asked Hooks wh
he speaks at universities and what he_
hopes college students gain from hi(
talks. He said he brings "the message:
of moving forward and to remind pea-
"lo., tp. m s stll - .+ *toha,... s nTf.AA


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