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April 14, 1999 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-04-14

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 14, 1999

cue 3iitjn ~utg

Knights of the faith, the war against emasculation

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, M1 48109
daily. letters@umich.edu
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
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.

Unfocused spotlight
AAPD's alcohol prevention plan is misguided

"Blessed are you when men hate you and
when they revile your name as evil."
- Luke 6:22
Something is not right here. There is
something wrong with our world. I
don't mean political-
ly, racially or social-
ly, although there are
still those things._
No, what I sense is
something different.
It starts in the
'50s. Life was sim-
ple, if not harsh,
repressive and limit-
ing. But simple
nonetheless. Men
worked, women
raised families. James
But it was more Miller
than that. Right or on
wrong, there was an
unwritten code; a
way of behaving. A
masculine feng shui, if you will. The best
way I can think to describe it was that men
had either style or balls. Some of the luck-
ier ones, Cary Grant for example, had
both. Others like John Wayne got by with
mostly the latter.
As a tribe, we no longer have these
traits, or even value them. It is possible
that since I observe a college population,
and we are still in our larval stage, that
things are different. No one can be expect-
ed to behave like a grown man since we
are not quite yet there.
The fact remains that there is a large
majority of males on this campus who are
either thin and flaccid, or characterless to
the point of vulgarity.
How many times have you seen a kid, a
month and a half due for a haircut, the

F or the past six months, the Ann Arbor
Police Department has joined the
University in a crackdown on underage
drinking. Underage drinking has been the
favored cause of the University in the wake
of a number of alcohol-related deaths,
including that of LSA first-year student
Courtney Cantor last November. While
these incidents were certainly tragic, the
campaign of the University and the AAPD
has been a misguided one. And the AAPD's
latest step is a particularly egregious one.
In recent months, the department has
been implementing a three-phase program
called Project Spotlight, designed to curb
underage drinking. The first phase was
publicizing the program; the second
involves teaching restaurant and bar
employees how to spot fake IDs. In the
third phase, undercover officers will pose
as employees at local restaurants and bars;
if minors are caught attempting to pur-
chase alcohol, they will be ticketed on the
The AAPD's rationale is that this tactic
will serve as a deterrent and place the
responsibility for underage drinkers on
minors who try to buy alcohol. But the
extent of this crackdown on underage
drinking has clearly gotten out of hand; the
new tactics are merely a witch hunt insti-
tuted to give the impression that the AAPD
is dealing with the problem.
It appears that both the AAPD and the
University believe that underage drinking

is a major problem on campus. But
University students are no more affected
by underage drinking than students at any
other university. Even if it were the case
that alcohol consumption by minors were a
major problem at the University, the ethi-
cally questionable methods of the AAPD
are not an effective way to handle the issue.
Using undercover officers to catch young
drinkers in a sting operation does not deal
with the root of the problem; it merely
treats the symptoms. The best way to pre-
vent drinking problems among young
adults is to stress responsibility and educa-
tion, not to foster suspicion and mistrust.
Underage drinking should not cause so
many problems at the University because
the state should lower the drinking age to
18. Many University students are legal
adults, old enough to vote, serve in the mil-
itary and even smoke cigarettes - yet no
one can legally drink alcohol until reaching
the age of 21.
If University students can be considered
adults in all other walks of life, then they
should be allowed to drink responsibly.
Lowering the drinking age would remove
the mystique attached to alcohol, an idea
which is largely responsible for many
drinking-related tragedies.
The AAPD must reconsider its methods
for dealing with underage alcohol use. Its
current tactics are unethical and may well
end up doing as much harm as good, by
violating individual rights.

famous dog mange beard, thrift store jack-
et or zipper-front hooded sweatshirt,
smoking an American Spirit looking like
he was waiting to get stuffed into a lock-
See, when feminism exploded in the
'60s, it gave women the chance to be
whatever and however they wanted, no
longer was there a set notion of how
women should be. In the wake of the rev-
olution the role of the traditional man
evaporated. What we lost in chauvinism
and sexism we also lost in style, manners
and strength.
The Tori Amos fan I mentioned two
paragraphs ago is the prime example of
this phenomenon. Our culture tells us that
anything masculine is either destructive or
a felony waiting to happen. So we get this
Maleness is bad, so our high schools
turn out these theater tech rejects, the bal-
ance of the sexes is thrown off.
But that can't be true, can it? I mean, if
it were, the dating scene of people under
thirty would be comically disastrous, date
rape and roofies would be sweeping our
campuses and divorce rates would be sky-
rocketing. Hmm.
The other guy we need to discuss is the
meatsack, a fellow you and I have discussed
many times before. The meatsack is on the
other side of the aforementioned poet. No
one taught either of them how to behave as a
man in the modern world. It's just that the
meatsack overreacted. He and the nine other
guys he lives with in PlayStation Land, have
a condemnable house, no cleaning supplies
and decorate the place with liquor promo-
tions items stolen from bars. They ply stupid
women with cheap drinks for sex, refuse to
keep company with small-breasted women
and regard studying and watching movies

without Wesley Snipes as "gay."
No one taught them how to act either,
but some of them seem to have caught the
idea that being a certain kind of male can
piss off lots of people and attract attention
to yourself. So they talk about "bitches"
and how they're "totally gonna hit that
shit" as if screwing the pudgy Ms. Low
Self-Esteem of the sorority house makes
them Alexander the Great.
In our time men are lost and confused.
What does that, leave us with? We have
two kinds of men, the castrati and the
cloven-hoofed beer swillers.
So what is it that I want? A nation of
Dean Martin worshippers in fake velvet
smoking jackets and Cherry Poppin'
Daddies CDs? No. Legions of "smack her
around and send the kid off to boarding
school" John Wayne disciples. No, not
that either.
There used to be a time when women
were walked home after dark. That's what
the knights of faith do. They do all the
things that associate professors of second-
rate colleges and terrible social commen-
tators have convinced us are sexist and
wrong. Knights of faith know how to date
without cliche and the Gandy Dancer, as
well as leaving out the keg beer and sex
with the unconscious thing.
Knights of faith behave like there is a
reason to be proud you were born a man,
without having to go on wildman retreats
or habitually screw co-eds to prove it.
Being a knight of faith means knowing
that, in the words of a great warrior
"There are rules about some things."
Maybe I am too old for this. Long live the
- This is James Miller'vfinal column.
He can be reached over e-mail at

,t to e Ao teIo a, a wi9 v £ e
-- EL V* M m~- Wiee

High penalties
U.S. should decriminalize medicinal marijuana

L ast September, Ann Arbor resident Renee
Emry, who suffers from multiple sclero-
sis, walked into the office of US. Rep. Bill
McCullum (R-Fla.) and proceeded to smoke
marijuana. Emry claimed the marijuana ciga-
rette was medicinal in purpose, but she was
arrested. Although Emry was clearly trying to
make a political statement, her actions
demonstrate the absurdity of anti-medicinal
marijuana laws. She hopes that her case will
be taken to the U.S. Supreme Court to force a
decision on whether or not the state can ban
marijuana even for medical reasons. Emry's
case isn't strong, but her point is. Marijuana
should be legalized for medicinal purposes.
Federal studies already show that marijua-
na has tremendous medical value. AIDS
patients can use marijuana to alleviate sick-
ness while increasing their appetite and avoid-
ing critical weight loss. People with cancer,
glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, anorexia or
arthritis can use marijuana as an accessible
and cheap means to avert their symptoms.
Marijuana's non-physically addictive proper-
ties make it an excellent drug for patients
overcoming other drug addictions.
Federal laws regulating marijuana's med-
ical use do not fit with the results of its stud-
ies. Currently, the penalty for possessing one
marijuana cigarette is as high as one year in
prison. Possessing a single plant could land a
person in jail for five years. But a 1990 survey
found that 54 percent of oncologists who
offered an opinion favored the controlled
availability of marijuana, and 44 percent had
already broken the law by suggesting at least
once that a patient obtain marijuana illegally.
Laws governing drugs should be based on
scientific evidence. The effects of alcohol are
continually being researched and the results
form the basis for new regulations regarding
the drug. But the government treats marijuana
as if it were as dangerous as heroin or cocaine.

benefit from using marijuana are needlessly
suffering or have been forced to seek illegal
means of purchasing the drug.
Marijuana is not a dangerous drug. It pro-
duces no physical addiction, and psychologi-
cal addiction develops slowly compared to
other drugs. Patients who would smoke mari-
juana solely for medical purposes would
never have to fear becoming addicts. Possibly
one of the most dangerous effects of marijua-
na is associated with the fact that it is smoked,
producing similar effects one would expect
from smoking tobacco. Decriminalization of
marijuana would allow the drug to be admin-
istered in a variety of ways that filter out the
carbon monoxide and other dangerous sub-
stances produced by smoking.
Emry's actions were obviously a staged
protest to bring the issue of medical marijuana
to the forefront. But Emry is not, by far, the
only American who thinks marijuana should
be available as a medical drug. According to
polls released by ABC News, Discovery News
and Family Research Councils, 69 to 74 per-
cent of Americans agreed with the statement,
'People who find that marijuana is effective
for their medical condition should be able to
use it legally." Since 1996, seven states and the
District of Columbia have received a majority
on ballot initiatives to legalize the use of mari-
juana for medical purposes - including
California, Alaska, Nevada, Washington,
Oregon, Arizona and Colorado. But these ini-
tiatives are in direct contrast with federal law,
which prohibits the sale, use and possession of
marijuana for any reason. Thousands of
patients in this country are suffering needless-
ly because they cannot legally obtain a drug
that could quickly alleviate their symptoms
with minimal dangers. Federal studies show
that marijuana could be a great benefit to the
medical world, and it's time the government
starts paying attention to its own research and

Rev. Jackson spreads message of diversity

I feel compelled to respond to Jeffrey
Kosseff's assessment of the Rev. Jesse
Jackson, Sr. as written in his viewpoint
("Leaders don't always practice what they
preach," 4/12/99).
As Jackson's niece, I am certain that there
is no other person at the University who
knows him better than I do, and I would like
to clarify a few of the claims that Kosseff
made about Jackson's character to perhaps
shed some light on who Jackson really is and
what, in my view, he really stands for.
I appreciate Kosseff's support of Jackson's
visit and the day's events, as made evident by
Kosseff's attendance at Hill Auditorium last
Friday. As this was largely a student organized
and student funded event, it was very impor-
tant that as many students as possible be pre-
sent at Hill to hear a powerful message from
the messenger who students themselves
requested several months ago. I am extremely
pleased that Kosseff enjoyed the message and
was able to take it to heart; indeed, that was the
goal of this celebration of diversity. Our next
step as a student body is to ensure that every-
one take Jackson's message and continue to
act on it, so that it will truly have meaning.
In all fairness, I would like to say that
Jackson is not an anti-semite, nor does he har-
bor a deep hatred for Jews, as Kosseff
claimed. I believe that it is unfortunate that
Kosseff says that as a Jew, he has been social-
ized to dislike Jackson. I do not believe that a
majority of Jewish people are socialized to
dislike Jackson, and I am pointing this out
only because the viewpoint seemed to imply

that this may be the case.
I understand how Kosseff has arrived at his
views. For centuries, America was over-
whelmed with negative racial comments (the
majority based on negative stereotypes) being
made by non-blacks against blacks that were
in every way intentional. Jackson made a mis-
take and has repented for it. He acknowledged
his mistake and has continued his life crusad-
ing for racial togetherness and the preserva-
tion of the equal rights of all of America's cit-
izens, and all people of the world. Kosseff has
done the right thing by embracing Jackson's
message even if he despises the messenger, as
he has admitted. I personally believe that it is
more important to Jackson that people come
together to at least act on his message, even if
they happen to dislike him.
I hope that in time, Kosseff will be able to
move on as black people in this country (and
members of any oppressed race for that mat-
ter) have, for the most part, learned to begin
the process of healing the wounds that they
suffered as a result of being held in captivity
for centuries in the slave system, from endur-
ing the Jim Crow era of segregation and for
experiencing both the subtle and, overt
instances of inequality that continue to persist
in many American institutions.
It is very true that "ideas about how society
should function must come from everyone,"
for our society would suffer greatly if this
were not the case. Although Kosseff concedes
that "we should not need idealogues such as
Jackson to come to campus to realize that we
each must fight to preserve diversity on cam-

pus" it must be clarified that Jackson came
here at the request of students, and because he
feels that God has determined his role in life
to be a messenger of racial harmony. Most
phenomenal about his visit was the fact that
students and student groups from every cor-
ner of this campus came together to make
Jackson's visit happen. Everyone involved
pooled their efforts to ensure that, given the
short amount of time in which this event was
organized, it could be a success. No single
individual, including ackson, is "perfect
enough to symbolize aJentire cause" but it
must be said that Jackson is definitely one of
the greatest leaders capable of rallying people
together to set them on the path towards mak-
ing substantial change.
As Jackson stated in his message, the
power to change comes from within you, the
individual. Jackson was invited to this campus
because a significant number of students felt
that apathy towards relevant issues on this
campus had set in deeply in the student body,
and the hope was that he could encourage all
of us, as students, to see the potential that we
all have to be leaders, to educate us on the his-
tory of the United States and how the dynam-
ics of race have played a part in shaping it, and
to remind us of our responsibility to the
democratic process. I believe that Jackson
gave an awesome message that has instilled in
many people the desire to keep hope for a bet-
ter America alive.
- Thisv iewpoint was written by
LSA junior Brenda Robinson, who can be
reached over e-mail at brendar@umich.edu.

Degeneres 's speech hurt gay rights cause

The crowd that showed up to see Ellen
Degeneres was largely made up of gay
men and lesbians, shown by the applause
she asked for. If this lecture was to have
any positive effect, the crowd that she
should be talking to is straight, she
acknowledged. But at the same time
charged $12.50 per ticket for the lecture.
Anyone willing to pay that price for a
half-hour lecture is already on gay and
lesbian activists' side.
So we should ask ourselves how we

would see 10,000-20,000 people instead
of the 5,000 in Hill Auditorium. And
although you might lose some intimacy,
you would gather more people who still
need convincing.
The second problem that Degeneres had
was that she said, "I am not an activist,"
but if she isn't, then why was she here? If
Ellen is going to help the gay and lesbian
movement she better be willing to go all
the way with it. Coming out on television
was a small step in a long process.

we were living in a utopia, there would be
no such thing as "too gay," but as we all
know, we are not living in a utopia. If we
were, there would have never needed to be
gay rights rallies, and we never would
have read news stories such as the one
about Matthew Shepard.
Then Ann Arbor disappointed us all by
asking some of the most ridiculous ques-
tions. The questions ranged from what
type of female sanitary products
Degeneres used to personal stories that


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