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March 23, 1998 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-03-23

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, February 23, 1998

UThe SIrbhigtau &dlg

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

.SOIY^ "ft .
-FACv ry.
fl R#

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

Ln/ess otherwise noted. unsigned edilorialsi ref//c the opinion of the majorit olf the Dat/v s editornal boarI1 .
A/ other articles, letters and croons do not necessarilv reflect the opinion af/The Michigan JIadvi
Movin' on up
State Senate approves larger allocation for 'U'

'There never has been a doubt in my mind since
I walked out of the picture in December that
'Titanic' and James Cameron would win.'
Entertaiunment Weekly movie critic and University alumnus Oi)wen
Glcihcritan, on his predictions for tonight's 70th Annual Acadenv Awards
14S. WIL4.Y, you MAY ACCW S .._,,...
SMiAR. 110 t UPT ~1MOWtT7
EVEN Acc & 'pANTrS . \
. FIR O UT rr 'U*"

I is tax time for the entire nation, but fil-
ing before April 15 isn't the financial
pressure facing Michigan's state govern-
ment. The annual budget is once again mak-
ing headlines. Last week, the state Senate
Appropriations Committee unanimously
approved a proposal that would increase
funding to state colleges and universities by
3 -percent. This increase is double the
amount that Gov. John Engler suggested in
his January budget proposal. While a 3-per-
cent increase is just barely equal to the rate
of'inflation - as marked by the somewhat-
faulty Consumer Price Index it is still
not enough to effectively run some of the
state's higher-education institutions, includ-
ing the University.
Engler's earlier proposal included subsi-
dies for community college and some uni-
versity employee pension plans, but the
Strnate Appropriations Committee found his
ntknbers unacceptable, mainly because there
was no increase in the base appropriation.
Under the committee's plan, the University
would receive $324 million, which should be
pleasing to University officials. This pro-
posed allocation is $32 million more than
Engler's plan and could help keep tuition
within reach for students. Additionally, con-
sidering the University's state-of-the-art
technology and varied programs, the funds
needed to run this institution are tremendous.
The Senate's proposed appropriation could
place some of the burden of the University's
finances on the state.
If the state claims to support its higher-
education institutions, then larger increases to
college and university appropriations should
be included in its budget. Judging by its

actions, the state Senate seems to believe that
post-secondary education affect more people
than those actually enrolled in colleges or uni-
versities. By increasing the allocations, legis-
lators are placing much-needed emphasis on
higher education. A well-educated citizenry
leads to a more effective workforce, which
then leads to higher salaries and higher tax
revenue for the state. Higher education does
not only help those attending classes but also
helps their families, colleagues and employ-
ers. Considering the prestige of the colleges
and universities in Michigan, the government
should support their survival and growth.
But by no means does this unanimously
supported proposal end in the Senate's
committee. Once a version of the bill is
approved by the Senate, it will then move
to the House Appropriations
Subcommittee on Higher Education, the
House Appropriations Committee and
finally, the House floor. This new proposal
has a long way to travel before actual
implementation, but it is imperative that
legislators allow it to proceed, increasing
the allocation's size along the way.
Institutions like the University need large
appropriations not only to keep tuition
rates as low as possible but also to main-
tain i.s high academic standards by
employing top professors, allocating
grants for research and supplying financial
aid to attract students. Engler proposed an
increase that would barely scratch the sur-
face of what it takes to run the University
it is now up to other elected officials to
fully support higher education and follow
the steps taken by the state Senate
Appropriations Committee.

Silent dialogue
ESPN forum could help race initiative

W hen one thinks of Sportscenter,
Game Day and the NBA, politicians
and the White House rarely come to mind.
Trying to revitalize a defunct race-division
dialogue, President Bill Clinton recently
announced a town hall meeting dealing
with racial issues to be broadcast on the
cable sports network ESPN in early April.
This is the latest step in Clinton's
attempts to broaden the participants in the
race dialogue - ESPN
was chosen because
researchers have found
that its primary audience
is largely white and male -
{ a group that is under-
represented in the race
dialogue. Clinton hopes to
discuss such issues as the
hiring of blacks and otherC
minorities to upper-level positions in the
sports industry, as well as stereotyping and
racism in and around sporting venues.
Some critics worry that broadcasting
such a debate on this network will trivialize
these important issues and perhaps even
reinforce racial stereotypes of athletes. But
racism in the sports industry makes the race
initiative particularly salient ESPN is a
good venue for this event.
In many ways, the sports world is a
microcosm of the country (in some ways, it
works better than general social interac-
tions). Athletes of all races and back-
grounds work closely together and are
forced to cooperate in order to win.
Winning in most sporting events means
overlooking racial stereotypes and treating
teammates as equals. Yet at the top of this

the issues of promoting minorities to man-
agement positions.
This new debate will hopefully re-ignite
Clinton's once-highly touted racial dialogue
initiative. In recent months, this agenda has
been lost in the shadow ofa potential military
action in the Middle East and sexual miscon-
duct allegations against the president.
The lack of interest in this initiative, how-
ever, is not entirely due to other surrounding
issues. The White House has not done a won-
derful job of advertising many discussions
that already have taken place in towns across
the country, and it has failed to promote
more discussion outside of the roundtable
context. What began with such vigor has
dwindled into a lifeless and unmet promise.
It truly is unfortunate that meetings led by
such notable scholars and politicians as John
Hope Franklin and former Sen. Bob Dole are
not given much lip service.
Airing a debate on race and racism on
ESPN is a good step in restarting the race
initiative program. The forum could reach
out to an audience that otherwise would not
participate in the race dialogue. The debate
should use the ills of the sports world as a
starting point for education and possible
problem solving, but it should branch out to
more everyday issues such as the dearth of
minorities in management positions in
other industries.
If nothing else, this debate will capture
the attention of a significant group of citi-
zens and generate interest in future debates.
Therefore, the White House must work dili-
gently to advertise upcoming discussions
and create diverse panels of experts for these
debates. A problem as great as racism takes
trp ianin.,-fnr t vnintarof ';itn

society does
not adhere to
biblical laws
The old and characteristi-
cally heterosexist arguments
of Edward Blum in his letter
"Letter misrepresents the
Bible"(3 13 98) need to be
addressed. He complains that
those who have tried to recon-
cile the Bible with homosexu-
ality have evaded the "origi-
nal" question. Blum cites
Leiticus 20:13. "If a man lies
with a man as one lies with a
woman, both of them have
done what is detestable." here
are some other citations from
the Bible - Exodus 21:2.
"When a man sells his daugh-
ter as a slave, she shall not go
out as the male slaves do'
Leviticus 19:27. "You shall
not round oh the temples or
mar the edges of your beard."
Leviticus 22:1. "If a priest
buys a slave as his property
for mone. the slae may eat
of it (holy thing " Why does-
n't Blum xx rite about howx all
"who shae are oing to hell'
W hy is slavery condemned
today if passages in Exodus
and Leviticus have rules for
the bondage, clearly endorsing
SUChI behav ior? *b all those
who follow each and eerv
rule in Leviticus, homosexual-
itv is wrong. But does that
mean in order to escape
"grave danger" we need to
reintroduce slavery and not
sha °e? The only thing that sets
homosexuality apart is the
persistent ignorance and disre-
spect of the Religious Right.
Anyone who claims that all
those laws are the truth about
how we should live our lives
needs to adjust themselves to a
society w here slavery has been
abolished and the tenants of
mutual respect are valued over
anything else.
the Bible contradicts itself
frequently. For almost all of
the 613 law s described in
Exodus, Leviticus and
Deuteronomy, there are
1ninte elsewxhere in the
Bible w here beha ior blatantly
breaks these laws. In such
cases, it is common for the
person w ho broke the rule to
suffer no condemnation from
the people or from God. In
certain instances, the God of
Israel is said to endorse mass
murder - including the mur-
der of women and children -
and even command it (see
accounts of the "holy wars" in
the Books of Joshua and
Judges). What happened to
that commandment "Thou
shalt not kill?"
I urge those who follow
the teachings of the Bible to
think for themselves and
attempt to find the truth not
verbatim from the text but in

I did mine myself with a
notepad and a pen and got
them all right. The Daily has
a whole staff that are suppos-
edly professionals. Also, on
page 4B of Sports Monday,
Berenzweig is the player and
Berenson is the coach. Spell
check doesn't catch every-
thing, guys.
Minority views
are not voiced
at the 'U'
I am writing this letter in
response to the many students
who have written in to the
Daily in order to bash the
National Day of Action. I per-
sonally participated in the day
of action, and I really do not
appreciate students' comments
that those who participated
were displaying their stupidi-
ty. On the contrar, I think
that all of these biting letters
and words of discouragemnt
speak louder to the problem
than any demonstration that
supporters of affirmative
action could have conic up
xwith. Perhaps the reason that
none of these "fellow" stu-
dents can relate to the day of
action and its purpose is that
they have never had to take a
stand and fight for something
as critical as their right to
higher education. The reason
that they have never had to
take a stand is because they
assume that because they look
a certain way or come from a
certain background. educa-
tional privileges not only are
available to them, but the
have a right to them.
I challenge all of the self-
centered "privileged" people
who have a problem with the
day of action to consider this:
Have you ever experienced
being the only one of your
race in a lecture hall of 300
people? How about having the
entire discussion section
respond in awe when you say
something intelligent in class,
and later have someone come
up to you and say "I've never
heard one of you people speak
so well." If you have never
had the pleasure of experienc-
ing anything like what was
just described, maybe you
should think long and hard
before you start to complain
about underrepresented peo-
ple making their voices heard
on a campus that constantly
strives to keep us mute.
Minorities are

fears about the parties inter-
ested in striking a blow to
affirmative action's progress.
While Ward Connerly was
insisting that he is fighting
against discrimination, I
watched the people in the
audience who nodded in
agreement with him. It came
to my attention that 95 per-
cent of those nodding and
vigorously clapping in sup-
port of Ward Connerly were
white. I realize that not all
people that oppose affirma-
tive action are white. But a
good measure of contempo-
rary public sentiment about
affirmative action can be
found in the defeat of
Houston's Proposition A in
the fall of 1997. With a 55-
percent vote, the ballot ques-
tion, which would have ended
the city's affirmative-action
program in hiring and con-
tracting, was defeated. It was
not surprising that the propo-
sition won the support of a
majority of whites, but was
opposed by 76 percent of
Mexican Americans and
more than 90 percent of
African Americans. But it is
noteworthy that poor whites
were split nearly evenly on
affirmative action in the
Houston referendum, while
71 percent of upper-income
whitesrvoted to abolish affir-
mative action.
The fact that whites are
leading the crusade against
affirmative action is very dis-
turbing. Why are whites
fighting so hard? Did they
decide that our society has
now become egalitarian and
is absent of racism and sex-
ism'? Do they have a grand
plan for justice for the disad-
vantaged that I am not aware
of? I guess I am wondering
more and more about whites
and others that are so vehe-
mently opposed to a program
that they know has provided
access for millions of minori-
ties and women.
I am very troubled as I
consider popular votes on
affirmative action such as
Proposition 209 and the pro-
posed referendum in
Michigan. People of color are
still minorities in most areas
(Houston excluded). Thus, we
don't have the power of the
electorate to continue pro-
grams like affirmative action
that attempt to provide access
to people of color. To be hon-
est, up until the recent attacks
against affirmative action, I
had faith that the Civil Rights
Movement had given the white
majority at least an ounce of
understanding and sympathy
for the continuing plight of
minorities in the United States.
Please don't think that I am
anti-white people - there are
many wonderful white people
in this world. In fact, some of
the people closest to my heart

Forget that old
set for an Oscar
SM v high school yearbook included
predictions that th editor wrote
about each graduating senior's fate 30
years later. For some, the prognostica
tion was simple and obv.ious still
shopping at Saks:' -president of the
Absolut Vodka company," "dead." Mine
was decidedly more
cryptic: "amazed by
his own greatness."
Yet how right
they were! To this
day, I can't beliee'
that I'm a columnist
for The Michigan
Daily ... although
that's probably not
what they were sug-
gesting. JOSHUA
Heading off to RICH
the University of
Michigan, however,
wxas definitely a
good step down the road that my high
school yearbook editor mapped out for
me. Judging by my maize and blue pre-
decessors, I now know that becoming a
Wolverine means greater things than the
opportunity to stand in long lines to pur-
chase overpriced textbooks or to gradu-
ate in a torrent of freezing rain.
As a Michigan alumnus, I could
achieve greatness in any number of dis-
ciplines: children's entertainment (like
Bob McGrath who left the University in
1954 and went on to star on "Sesame
Street"), baseball (Barry Larkin, who
graduated in 1986), medicine (Wilhan4
Mayo, 1883), retail (Charles Walgreen,
1958), World War I martyrdom (Raoul
Wallenberg, 1935), moonwalking (any
number of astronauts who graduated in
the 1950s and 1960), porkbarreling
(Richard Gephardt, 1965), or
U nabombing (Theodore Kaczynski,
1967). I even heard a rumor that "Papa
Doc" Duvalier of Haiti dictatorship
fame did a stint here at one point.
But I have little interest in winnin
the World Series, I'm not great with
kids, and I certainly don't want to be
responsible for the subjugation of the
entire population of a small Caribbean
nation, as appealing as those prospects
may sound.
Nope, my dream is to win an
Academy Award, and I've got the pedi-
gree to make it happen.
Sure, you can name all of Michigan's
H eisman Trophy winners. Harmon
Howard. Woodson. But you probably
didn't know that the University has
more Oscars to its name than Heismans
(or NCAA Division I basketball cham-
pionships, for that matter).
Over the years, five former Michigan
students have taken home statuettes
from the annual celebration of achieve-
ment in motion pictures; seven more
hiave headed to the Oscar ceremony with
high hopes, only to come home empty
handed. Others have written novels that
were adapted into lauded films, like
author Judith Guest (1959) whose novel
"Ordinary People" became a movie that
won best picture in 1980, or had charac-
ters based on them that struck Oscar
gold, like Clarence Darrow (1878), who
was the inspiration for the award-win-
ning "Inherit the Wind."
Overall, the total is 22 nominations
and five wins for the Maize and Blue -
an impressive record that is definitel
way out of Ohio State's league.
There have been the super-famous
Oscar nominees: Actor James Earl
Jones (1955) and writer Arthur Miller

(1938) - a former Michigan Daily
staffer to boot - have both been recog-
nized one time each. Unfortunately, nei-
ther has taken home theprize.
There have been the somewhat-
famous Oscar nominees: Actor Davi4
Paymer (1975) and director Lawrence
Kasdan (1972) have received multiple
nominations between them for their
respective work in films like "Mr.
Saturday Night" (1992) and "The Big
Chill" (1983). Neither man has won.
Therehaveebeenthe not-so-famous
Oscar nominees: Ruth Hussey (1934)
and fellow alum Martha Scott (1932)
were both nominated for their acting in
1940, and writer David Newman (1959)
was later recognized for writing 1967'
"Bonnie and Clyde." None of those
Wolverines got an Oscar either.
The few winners are a lucky lot who
should expect my admission to their
exclusive club any day now. John Briley
(1951) won for his original screenplay
for 1982's "Gandhi." Valentine Davies
(1930s) wrote an Oscar-winning origi-
nal story for "N iracle on 34th Street" in
1947. Actress Christine Lahti (1972
won an Academy Award for her 1995
live action short film "Lieberman in
Love." And writer Kurt Luedtke (1962)
won an Oscar for his adapted screenplay
for "Out of Africa" in 1985..
Perhaps the most interesting.
Michigan aiumnus to receive an

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