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November 24, 1999 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-11-24

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 24, 1999

Ghbe Eikigau Batig

The abortion column -An apology to women and men

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

HEATHER KA\Ilss
Editor in Chief
JEFFREY KOSSEFF
DAVID WALLACE
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

The shoe must go on
Sneaker recycling program is responsible

Idedicate this column to all mothers and
the people w\ho support them, especial-
ly my own morn and gtrandma.
The most widely accepted reasons for
abortion are 1) to avoid hav ing a mentally
or physically dis-
abled child and 2) to
avoid having a child
of rape or incest.
Until recently. 1 -
wanted to accept '
these reasons like
everybody else. ItM,
took an argument
with a pro-choice
co-worker to change
my mind.
Begrudgingly, I
had to admit these Mike
reasons were not Lopez
legitimate. Are you
getting riled yet? I
must be one ice-cold,
heartless jerk to
make a 13-year-old girl, molested by her
uncle, carry a child to term. Believe me,
that's how I still think about it, too. It is
not a position I like to hold, but just
because I don't want to believe it, doesn't
make it false.
Let's say you have a child with severe
mental and physical disabilities. He or she
doesn't have any mental functions above
the level of an infant. Basically, the child
will be a baby for its whole life. If you
cared for the child for five years and then
decided you didn't need the hassle, is it
okay to kill the kid? I think most of us
would say no. Oh, there are a couple of
people out there who think that we should
kill everyone in mental hospitals, but the
vast majority of us are a good deal more
humane than that.

ow, change the story a bit. This
time. while ou or your v 1 ife is pregnant.
a test reveals that the child will have
mental problems and be an infant for the
rest o is or her life. Is it okay to have an
abortion? A lot of people would agree
that it is.
Indeed. a lot of people who disagree
with abortion as birth control would sym-
pathize with a person in this position and
allow this kind of abortion. Most would
say that an abortion in this case would be
better for the whole family. They would
avoid costly medical bills and so on and so
on. This is an abortion for convenience. It
is the same as killing the kid after a few
years of life. If you allow this type of
abortion, it would logically follow that
you should be allowed to kill your own
physically or mentally disabled child after
birth. I don't like to believe this, but it is
the truth. Both killings are killings for
convenience. Both killings "'relieve suiffer-
ing." Either both are right or both are
wrong.
Who's ready to kill everyone with
severe mental and physical disabilities?
I'm not. In the area of incest and rape,
things are a bit different. The argument
here is that a woman shouldn't have to
suffer the ongoing reminder of the rape
and raise a child forced upon her. I agree
with this. Most of us do. A woman should-
n't have to suffer rape and shouldn't be
forced to do anything against her will. I
really wrestled with this one, because it
would greatly anger and infuriate me if
my wife was raped. I'd be even more dis-
turbed if she became pregnant. I really
wanted to think that rape and incest were
good enough reasons to have an abortion.
A man and a woman get married. Two
months after the wedding, she is raped

and becomes pregnant by her attacker. The
husband and wife are hurt and angry, but
they hale the child. IHe raises and loves it
as his own. She cherishes it as the jewel of
her life. In return, the child loves its par-
ents and honors them for all its life.
One town away, a man and a woman
have been married for a year. She is raped
and becomes pregnant by her attacker.
She decides to have an abortion. Few of
us can fault this lady for having an abor-
tion. Most of us would understand and
want to care for her during the difficult
time. Still, although I could not fault this
lady, I would sincerely admire the people
who kept and raised the child. To me, that
is an incredible show of selflessness and
unconditional love. That is the kind of
stuff saints are made of. I could only wish
and pray to be as incredibly selfless and
caring as they are. This thought made me
realize that although aborting a child of
rape or incest is understandable, the high-
er good is served by keeping the child and
loving it. The crime thereby becomes an
opportunity for the victim to evolve into a
truly loving and generous person. Of
course, this can't be forced on any couple.
This must be their choice. We have to
choose to be loving, kind and selfless
people.
I don't fault the women who have
abortions for these reasons. It is very
understandable. Still, I'm not going to
encourage them to have an abortion or
fight for their right to do so. No one
should be encouraged to do something
like that. Such a choice should come
entirely from within. We can only support
and encourage the will toward love, kind-
ness and selflessness.
- Mike Lope: can be reached via
e-mail at manatlarge .frumich.edu.
[ENTATIVLY SPEAKN

A lthough the football game is over,
the University of Michigan and Ohio
State University can still make productive
use of their rivalry. Nike is sponsoring a
competition between the two universities
to collect worn-out sneakers for its Re-
use-a-Shoe recycling program. Shoes col-
lected from the contest will be converted
at a Nike-owned factory in Oregon into
synthetic sport facilities such as tracks,
basketball courts, soccer fields, gymnas-
tic mats and playgrounds. This is a
responsible program that utilizes private
funds to both recycle non-decomposable
material and provide high-quality recre-
ational facilities for underprivileged
neighborhoods.
The Re-use-a-Shoe program befits a
company affiliated with this University.
The granulated rubber used in sneaker
soles decomposes very slowly if left in a
landfill.
Nike's program, which accepts shoes
from all brands, has found many recy-
clable uses for various parts of the shoes.
The majority of this material goes
toward the production of sports facilities.
While Nike distributes their structures all
around the world, this program empha-
sizes replacing deteriorating, inner-city
facilities in America.
Nike's program has been growing
steadily since its inception in 1993, but to
date the University of Michigan and Ohio
State University are the only affiliated
colleges. The vast majority of the 2.1 mil-

lion sneakers Nike has collected in 1999
came via costly recycling fairs at the
company's distributors and defective mer-
chandise. Substantial support from the
University could give the program the
publicity it needs to expand to more cam-
puses. Last year, Ohio State won the first
of these competitions by collecting more
than 200 shoes, but it takes 10 times that
amount to make a basketball court.
Expanding to other colleges would
increase the effectiveness of Re-use-a-
Shoe - if the program proves viable in
Ann Arbor and Columbus, Ohio.
Students can show their support of
Nike's program through today by turning
in their worn-out shoes at a number of on-
campus locations including the Central
Campus Recreation Building, North
Campus Recreation Building and at every
Hill Residence Hall except Mosher-
Jordan and Stockwell.
Re-use-a-Shoe is another example of
how the rivalry with Ohio State can be
used constructively. Similar to the annual
blood-drive competition, this friendly
contest channels the rivalry between the
two schools away from destructive
endeavors while inspiring students to par-
ticipate in a good cause. Students are not
only given the opportunity to show-up
their rivals outside of the stadium, the
unique character of Nike's program also
allows them to slightly curb pollution
while benefitting people with safe, high-
quality sport facilities.

0

THOMAS KULJURGIS

,&-sIIv Y'I3 ~tom Atopr- A- TUCy"
----.'t, T.'. , A ''- G +

C,

Stellar turnout
Student government elections saw record voting

T here is no doubt this week began on
a high note for the newly elected
Michigan Student Assembly and LSA-
Student Government representatives.
After weeks of preparation, they should
be proud of their individual accomplish-
ments. And the University student com-
munity has something to congratulate
itself for, too - increased voter turnout.
The voter turnout in this election
noticeably increased. After the first day
students could vote, the totals already
surpassed those from last year. More than
4,071 students voted in this semester's
MSA elections, up from 2,249 votes last
fall. Also, more than 2,421 students voted
for LSA-SG elections, up from 1,127
votes last fall. Students and candidates
should be impressed by voter turnout that
increased by more than 1,000 students in
each election.
Hopefully, the increase in voter
turnout signals increased student activism
and attention to student issues across
campus. Despite the common myth, there
are prevalent issues for today's students.
Student government elections are one
way for students to speak out on these
issues. By voting in this year's elections,
students voiced their opinions on such
major matters as affirmative action and
tuition hikes. These issues affect stu-
dents' lives, and the increased voter
turnout is a sign that students are becom-
ing more involved with issues affecting
them.

We applaud MSA and LSA-SG for
their implementation of the online voting
system. While it is nice to think that the
increased voter turnout is due to
increased interest and awareness, there is
little doubt it relates to the ease of online.
voting.
Online voting has been available since
Winter 1997, but now it seems to be
catching on, with online votes almost
entirely replacing paper ones. With the
ease of tallying votes online, it may even
be a better alternative to paper ballots.
The high student response to online vot-
ing in this election means online voting
should be further emphasized in future
MSA and LSA-SG campaigns.
While students should be applauded
for their turnout in this election, they
need to continue the ┬░progress in the next
set of elections.
Voter turnout increased, but it is not
high enough. Only a fraction of students
voted in this election, and for students'
voices to be heard, even more need to
vote in the next election.
While the effect may seem small at
times, student government does play a
significant role in student affairs at the
University. By not voting, students hand
over their say in important matters to
University officials.
With the increased voter turnout in this
election, it looks as though students are
taking pa little more responsibility into
their own hands.

'Mighty whitey' and
other negative
stereotypes
TO THE DAILY:
I take issue with blanket statements
made by Aimee Bingham ("Drug testing
welfare recipients poses problems"
11/23/99). Her closing remarks "Racism
happens still. It happens all the time. We as
white people are not in any position to
judge: We have never been subjected to it'"
are based on outdated stereotypes. If she
feels guilt for leading a pampered and
privileged life, then so be it. Just don't lay
a guilt trip on me because of it.
Don't tell me I've never experienced
racism. While I was in junior high in the
late '60s and early '70s. I and others at my
school were beaten up by African American
men and women from out of town high
schools simply for being "honkey white
boys and girls." Try and tell Reginald
Denny he's never experienced racism. Try
and tell that to my friend whose father was
killed in broad daylight on the streets of
New York by a bullet in the face at point-
blank range simply because a gang initia-
tion called for killing a white man.
"White people" are quite a diverse
group. Like so many others, my ancestors
came to America as religious refugees, set-
tling in Massachusetts. They were farmers,
abolitionists and feminists. The white
woman sitting next you in class may come
from a southern family whose ancestors
kept slaves. and her father or mother may
have discriminated against minorities or
women in the workplace. You just can't
judge a person using group stereotyping.
Racism is not a problem for some of us
- it's a problem for all of us. The face of
racism (and sexism, homophobia and other
"isms") - along with the face of its victims
- is as diverse as the campus community.
And it may be the face that you see in the
mirror. Think about it. (With thanks to
Miles Davis for the term "Mighty Whitey.")
CHRIS GODWIN
RACKHAM STUDENT
Arab-American
Anti-Discrimination
Committee 'whines'
To THE DAILY:
Yet again, as if by knee-jerk compulsion,
the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination
Committee and its members have meddled
their way into campus news by reminding
all of us that the tragic crash of EgyptAir
Flight 990 should not be blamed on the
Egyptian pilots just because they were
Muslims ("EgyptAir crash coverage is
biased and speculative" 1/20/99).
While their intentions may very well be
regarded by some as being in accordance
with the pity-party politics of ethnic and
religious minority groups, these apologists

myself, it is disappointing to see people of
my faith discredit themselves, their cause
and ultimately their religion by making.
themselves famous to the world through
cowardly acts of terrorism. Is it so easy to
forget years of numerous plane hijackings,
the bombs, the shootings and the death
threats? Or the endless attacks on west
European and American embassies?
Meanwhile, members of the Arab Anti-
Discrimination committee sit back in their,
chairs, dumfounded, wondering why
Americans would have a negative image of
Arab Muslims.
With regard to the incident of flight 990,
there have been numerous confirmed
reports that the co-pilot, Gameel el-Batouty,
said a prayer in Arabic 12 times in a row fol-
lowing it with the words: "I have made my
decision." What could possibly provoke a
Catholic, Christian or Jew to repeat a prayer
a dozen times, if not the threat of inevitable,
knowing doom? Apparently, the Anti-Arab
Discrimination Committee suffers from a
case of selective memory. They seem to for-
get that Egypt houses groups like the Al-
Gama'a al-Islamiyya (The Islamic Group),
who have boasted to be behind hundreds of
deaths, countless terrorist attacks on
Egyptian tourists and even more suicide
bombings and threats against other Middle
Eastern countries.
Perhaps if Arab Muslims knew how to
further their causes in ways other than
through death and terrorism, the world
would be more reluctant to pass such quick
judgement on Arab Muslims as a whole.
Instead of whining about the terrible images
of Arab Muslims that are portrayed in soci-
ety, why doesn't the Arab-American Anti-
Discrimination Committee do something to
change that image? Maybe they could peti-
tion the governments of the middle east to
tolerate opposition without resorting to vio-
lence, to end the persecution of non-
Muslims and to set aside the grand dreams
of world conquest through nuclear destruc-
tion.
It is understood that the Arab-American
Anti-Discrimination Committee are apolo-
gists of Arab Muslims around the world. But
until they read the news and learn exactly
who it is that composes the largest terrorist
threat to American security, they would be
better off begging the leaders of those funda-

t~MEETS JrnA ONLY 'LgIM I-rrA UCfESS...
I.

try and even here on our own campus
believe it is okay to spread theirtrash wher-
ever they feel like it? I'm referring, of
course, to cigarette butts. Why is it that they
don't question the protocol they learned
when they simultaneously picked up this
nasty new habit?
These butts (here I refer to the cigarette
variety, not smokerstthemselves) litter our
lawns, Diag and streets. They line our
walkways like miniature marching mag-
gots. They seem to congregate mostly near
building entrances, where countless poor
souls take their "smoke breaks" from
studying.
What an attractive first impression of
our historic and beautiful campus build-
ings! Is tossing that burned-out filter on the
ground not littering? Can you legitimately
justify that chucking that butt out your car
window is any less of a crime than instead
dumping your kitchen garbage bags onto
the street? Smokers who litter: It's time to
change your dirty habits or at least stop lit-
tering.
SAM MILLER 0
ENGINEERING JUNIOR
Daily's theater
reviews are too harsh
TO THE DAILY:
I am writing with concern for the stu-
dent-run arts groups in the University
community. Why should it be that the
Daily's performing arts critics constantly
give MUSKET shows bad reviews?
"Sweet Charity" was eery well done; it
was not any more "leggy" than it should
have been, nor did it "stumble through the
production." The actors were very good
and Charity was very convincing.
Choreography and direction could not
have been much better, and it's true that
the set was not complicated, but it was
effective. Overall, I would say that "Sweet
Charity" was the best MUSKET produc-
tion I've seen yet - although one would
not think so from the Daily's review.
Every MUSKET production that I have
seen has been good, but it seems to be a

BRAM ELIAS
MICHIGAN STUDENT ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT
3909 MICHIGAN UNION
Akhm Ar~rnrr, PAI AQlOQJP2AQ

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