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February 07, 2000 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-02-07

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, February 7, 2000

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Racism doesn't always hide behind a white hood

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

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.

When the Ku Klux Klan makes its regu-
lar trek to Ann Arbor, I encourage my
peers to refrain from protesting. The Klan
members come to Ann Arbor because they
want to elicit that angry reaction from a group
of liberals. I doubt
they're here for the er
outstanding UMS con-
Ignoring the KKKh
would hurt them
more than protesting
them. The KKK is a
pathetic group withK
little power.
Acknowledging its
presence only vali-
dates its existence.
But not all groups Jeffrey
are worth ignoring. On Kosseff
Friday, the Center for S
Individual Rights
spoke at the Law New Style
School, switching
from its typical attacks on affirmative action
to anti-gender-equality rhetoric. CIR, which
filed two lawsuits against the University on
behalf of rejected white applicants, poses a far
greater danger to the country's race relations
than the KKK. CIR is trying to reverse all the
progress our country has made toward racial
equality since 1964, and it has succeeded in
CIR, like all affirmative action opponents,
promotes a racist agenda.
I don't like to casually toss around strong
words like "racist" and diminish their mean-
ing and power. But any attack against affir-

mative action is a direct step backward in time
- to an era of segregated schools, "colored"
water fountains and slavery.
Affirmative action opponents claim any
admissions system that uses race as one of
many factors is discriminatory. Maybe it is.
But what system within our society doesn't
discriminate based on race? Are all the other
racial inequalities and injustices simply coin-
Is it a coincidence that I've never been
pulled over in my car, but I don't know a black
person who can go a few months without the
police stopping them? New Jersey's police
chief even admitted to and defended racial
Is it a coincidence that minorities are
rarely seen on mainstream network television
Is it a coincidence that vast income gaps
separate races?
Is it a coincidence that the Senate Majority
Leader is an active supporter of a white
supremacist group? What about the Senate's
ranking member, who ran for president 50
years ago on the segregationist platform?
These are not coincidences. They are
injustices that date back to slavery. Even
though Abraham Lincoln won and Martin
Luther King Jr. spoke, we have not reached
equality. We're not even close.
While affirmative action is far from per-
fect, it's a start. I hope there will come a time
when we don't need it any more. But we
haven't reached that point yet.
I've fought my own internal battles over
affirmative action. Last semester, as I consid-
ered my summer plans, I saw many minority-

Embattled Athletic D
A midst the latest round of basketball
upheaval, news of University Athletic
Director Tom Goss' impending resignation hit
the surface. Goss' departure from his position
is the right decision by the administration,
whose pressure is forcing the decision. But as
athletic director, this is not the first time Goss
has felt tremendous pressure -his tenure has
been plagued from day one. Goss has made
some errors, such as the department's deficit
and the hike in price of student hockey tickets,
but those errors alone are not enough to let a
director go. They are mistakes that are magni-
fied when factored into the bigger picture:
Goss was terribly unfortunate to inherit a hurt-
ing department. He was handed a mess far
beyond the repair of almost anyone - himself
included. It was naive to think Goss and his
pledged "core values," would be a panacea to
an ailing department, He was unable to take
control - but who can play Superman to the
athletic department's sprawling metropolis?
After three years, Goss has not been suc-
cessful in resurrecting the basketball team or
the athletic department as a whole. Although
he will be leaving the department in shambles,
Goss should resign. But what will that really
solve - who could do differently? As the
press and the public scrutinize Goss, we have
to ask: How much can be expected from an
athletic director? Goss, like athletic directors at
the handful of schools with famed programs
such as Michigan's, are given an extremely
challenging mandate: Run a professional pro-
gram with amateur rules. Administration and
alumni alike demand a clean reputation with
champion teams - and why shouldn't they?
Yes, it's idealistic. But it's not impossible, and
the next athletic director must be acutely aware
of this pressure and be able to handle both the
business and public relations components of
the position with equal skill.
Goss did make the right decision early in

ept. must clean house
his tenure by firing ex-basketball coach Steve
Fisher. Much of the scandal associated with
the basketball team occurred before Goss took
over the department, and he seemed to be
cleansing the team's tarnished reputation. He
was unsuccessful applying these "core val-
ues," and as athletic director, Goss is ultimate-
ly, if not at times unfairly, responsible for
integrity and accountability of the entire
Perhaps whether Goss should or shouldn't
be forced to resign isn't the issue - he is
merely a symptom of a larger problem. It is
foolish to think his resignation fixes the com-
plex problems that plague the athletic depart-
ment. But University President Lee Bollinger
and the administration taking over aren't the
answer either. The administration has the right
to be skittish - Goss' tenure lasted only 29
months, making him the fourth athletic direc-
tor in the past decade. The administration and
the athletic department have clearly been
thorns in each other's side, struggling for
power when it is not clearly defined just how
much autonomy the athletic department
should have.
The athletic department is a downed,
wounded animal, but the administration
should not head in for the kill. It is not their
role to take it over. The administration's plate
is already full without a multi-billion dollar
organization to manage. The athletic depart-
ment needs dramatic action, but caution is
more important than speed. Replacing direc-
tors or coaches every few years repeatedly
lurches the department to an embarrassing
tailspin. But we need a new athletic director
who can handle a very unique and taxing
position -they will have to be someone truly
exceptional. For the sake of the University's
reputation and the world of college athletics,
the athletic department needs to start over, no
matter the cost.

only internships. That upset me. What if I'm
more qualified? I deserve that internship, and
they shouldn't judge me by the color of my
I had to step back and realize I'm judged
by the color of my skin every day. When
someone isn't afraid to ask me directions
because they think I'm a criminal. When a
professor doesn't assume I speak English as a
second language. When I can walk into a store
without the clerk following me.
Some narrow-minded and greedy people
call this white liberal guilt. I call it facing real-
ity. I am where I am because of both my per-
sonal ambition and my starting point in life,
which was higher than most people's starting
But I don't plan to make any personal sac-
rifices to solve the societal problem of
inequality. I still plan on drawing blood in the
professional world to get to the top. I'll feel a
lot better when I'm on top, however, to know
that everyone else had an equal chance to get
where I am. It's pretty easy to climb one flight
of stairs when everyone else has to climb 20.
But to ascend those 20 flights and still beat
everyone else is much more satisfying and
So I feel comfortable and justified in call-
ing affirmative action opponents racist.
They're either too selfish - or too ignorant
- to see the awful injustices and oppression
in our country. Affirmative action opponents,
much more than the KKK, have the danger-
ous potential of increasing the gap of racial
- Jeffrey Kosseff can be reached via
e-mail atjkosseftaumich.edu


Keeping watch

Despite advances free
n a victory for radio enthusiasts nation-
wide, the Federal Communications
Commission created new rules for the use of
pirate radio or Low Power FM radio last
month. LPFM radio works at a lower wattage
than FM radio stations and broadcasts over a
radius of about seven miles. The FCC will
only permit use of LPFM for non-commercial
uses. Previously, the FCC saw micro-radios as
a problem and frequently raided the homes of
pirate broadcasters and prosecuted them
under strict federal broadcasting laws.
The adoption of the new LFPM rules
allows many more Americans to broadcast
their opinions to a wide audience. Any law
or rule that broadens and strengthens the
scope of First Amendment rights ought to
be welcomed.
Legalizing LPFM will give more indi-
vidual citizens the opportunity to express
themselves. The Internet has become the
new medium for speaking and investigating
the world, but maintaining an Internet site
can be costly. LPFM provides a cheaper
alternative to the Internet. Even in light of
these types of promising developments, the
right to speak freely should never be taken
for granted. There have been and continue
to be government intrusions on citizens'
First Amendment rights in the name of
some sort of "greater good."
The clarification on the White House
guidelines for anti-drug program is a good
example of how censors attempt to protect
citizens from themselves. Last month, the
White House was forced to make changes

speech is still in peril
government used financial incentives to get
the major television networks to include
anti-drug messages in their shows and
sometimes even edited and revised scripts
before programs aired.
This type of government manipulation is
indefensible. Television should not be a
forum moderated by the federal govern-
ment. The thought of a bureaucrat censor-
ing the content of episodes of Seinfeld and
Friends ought to appall anyone who values
their First Amendment rights, regardless of
their stance on the value of the drug war.
Free speech is currently under fire in
Oregon in the name of "good taste."A contro-
versy arose when the video version of the
book the "Final Exit" by Derek Humphrey
was broadcast on public access television.
Humphrey founded the Hemlock Society, the
oldest and largest right-to-die organization.
The video was meant to bring awareness to
attempts by the federal government tocontin-
ue the prohibition of physician-assisted sui-
cide in Oregon.
Legalizing LPFM radio may not enable
individuals to reach listeners for miles and
miles, but it is still a victory for free speech
amid continual efforts to silence individuals
and causes. Grass roots censorship move-
ments like the one against the Hemlock
Society's broadcast or the effort to ban
Harry Potter from libraries will probably
never die off. It is equally unlikely that gov-
ernments will put an end to their own cen-
sorship efforts. Given that free speech will
always be under attack, any law protecting

NCAA rule prohibits
In light of all the bona fide mud-slinging
that is being directed towards Jamal Crawford,
a voice of reason needs to be heard on his
What I question is not whether he did
indeed violate an NCAA regulation, but more
importantly the legitimacy of an NCAA rule
that forbids the type of genuine kindness
Barry Henthorn extended to Crawford.
While acting as his mentor, Henthorn
ensured that Crawford both completed high
school and experienced higher education.
With alternatives like a life of crime and/or
meaningless employment awaiting a healthy
percentage of high school dropouts, it seems
wrong to punish Crawford for accepting aid
that facilitated a better and more enjoyable
With regards to his infamous Mercedes, if
Henthom can afford to buy him such a car.
who are the NCAA to say he can't. Don't let
scandal-loving journalists persuade you to
mistake Henthorn for a dirtball like Ed Martin
whose every action is inherently suspect.
Henthorn seems like a genuinely kind man
who helped an adolescent in need and I will
operate under that reasonable assumption until
I am informed otherwise.
Before you condemn Crawford in your
own mind, seriously question the legitimacy of
the NCAA regulation which is root of why he
is being condemned.
Non-students are
responsible for quiet
I am writing in response to Mark
Outslay's letter ("Fans disappoint at MSU
game" 2/3/00) which expresses his disap-
pointment in the Wolverine fans. While Ii
agree with Outslay that the MSU fans were
on average louder than Michigan fans in last
Tuesday's catastrophe, I disagree that the lack
of noise was the fault of the student section.
How can the students be blamed for the fact
that nearly the entire last 10 to 15 rows of the
arena were full of raucous MSU fans?
Allegedly it was supposed to be difficult
for MSU fans to get a ticket given the media
attention prior to the game about the ticket
situation. The real problem is not the student
section,hwhich I felt was loud for the majori-
ty of the game even though there wasn't
much to cheer about. The problem is that
alumni, parents and non-affiliated fans just
aren't rowdy.
Historically Michigan home games have
been on the quiet side. The "Big House" has
held over 111,000 fans - the "biggest crowd
to watch a football game anywhere." Yet the
"Swamp" at the University of Florida, which
holds only 83,000, is considered a much
tougher place to play than the Big House.
This is because our alumni that occupy sec-
tions 20-24 don't talk about anything except
their stock options during the game (I am
awr f the irnv tat I will be an almni

Gay' should not be
a derogatory word
I want to thank Ethan Johnson for recog-
nizing the problem with using the term
"gay" in reference to something negative in
his Feb. 2 column, "Time to get something
straight: It's not gay." Everyday I hear peo-
ple tossing this adjective around without
even a thought to the people they may be
offending. To be honest, I was surprised to
encounter such closed-mindedness in a
place full of young, well-informed people,
but sure enough I noticed it as soon as I
entered this school. I understand that the
majority of people who use these words do
not think about their actual meanings, but
that is not an excuse. Rather, it is part of the
problem. People do not give enough thought
to what they are saying or doing and how
those things will effect the people around
Homosexuality is not something to be
ashamed of, yet using gay asa synonym for
bad or stupid gives it a negative connota-
tion that it does not deserve. The same
thing could be said for the use of "retard-
ed" to imply stupid. I am neither gay nor
mentally retarded, yet I am still troubled by
the casual and thoughtless usage of these
As a member of the Straight/Gay
Alliance in high school, I saw first-hand how
detrimental the use of these words can be,
even if they are not meantto hurt anyone.
Coming out of the closet is a very hard deci-
sion, and living in an atmosphere in which
one does not feel safe to be openly gay can
cause immense emotional damage. Johnson
is correct when he says that if someone were
to use the word nigger in the same manner, it
would not be considered acceptable.
Society needs to stop looking for a
minority to pick on. One would think that
slavery and the Holocaust would teach us to
be more tolerant of others. Yet it seems that
instead of learning acceptance, we have just
found a newgroup to target. As young,
intelligent men and women we have a
responsibility to change these simple-mind-
ed views and create a tolerant society, free
of persecution and hate.
Off-campus housing

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neighborhoods demonstrate reprehensible
greed and not the faintest glimmer of cus-
tomer service. The already grim commuter
parking situation on campus makes living
farther away that much less attractive.
Meanwhile, most on-campus houses are so
old that the city does not require them to
meet the codes applied to new construction;
my last two houses have been examples of
exploitation of these loopholes by landlords.
The fact is that these houses and apart-@
ments are a gold mine to these landlords,
and students compete so fiercely for these
properties that they have no incentive to
cater to student needs. Any leasing compa-
ny that advertises itself as friendly, courte-
ous, responsive, or caring certainly need not
do so, because all their campus properties
will probably lease quickly anyway.
The University should make a commit-
ment to provide more conveniently-located,
affordable housing available to students or.
arrange with the city to rein in the uncon-
trolled greed of the owners of central cam-
pus area rental homes.
Don't blame frat for
others' actions .
I don't mean to sound heartless, but in
reference to "Delta Sig may face charges for
party" (2/2/00) I hope AAPD officers wrote
MIP's (minor in possession) violations for
the two teenage girls that were taken to the
hospital. I am tired of the fraternities taking
all the heat for every incident that occurs on
fraternity grounds - the blame should be
shared. The girls should be blamed fo0
drinking excessively enough to have neces-
sitated an ambulance because that takes
effortfor even the most inexperienced of
Secondly, the parents of the 17-year-old
high school student should be reprimanded
for either knowingly or unknowingly allow-T
ing their daughter to be in attendance at a
fraternity party. In their defense, I know
how easy it is to leave parents in the dark. I
do give the Delta Sig's credit for calling the
ambulance, as they knew they would endure
the consequences of the incident.
In closing, I would just like to reiterate
that I hope the two girls are punished along
with Delta Sigs. To the 17-year-old girl, just
because you can go to R-rated movies with-


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