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September 06, 2000 - Image 30

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2B - New Student Edition - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 6, 2000

ACTION
Continued from Page 1B
usually almost exclusively non-
minority areas.
The consideration of a student's
curriculum will also be disadvanta-
geous to most minority applicants
as they tend to be from less affluent
areas where schools seldom have
many, if any, of the advanced place-
ment courses the University values
highly in its admissions decisions.
Alumni relationships favor non-
minority applicants as their parents
and other family members, on aver-
age, are far more likely to have
attended the University.
Standardized tests also often
work against minority applicants,
who are far less likely to have the
money for preparatory courses and
retests. Many minority students who
have high school curriculums that
are not as impressive as some non-
minority students" and whose SAT
or ACT scores are not as high are
just as intelligent and qualified to
attend the University. It has to be
recognized that these students have
been denied the educational oppor-
tunities available to other students
for their entire lives.
One of the main reasons children
tend to stay in the same socioeco-
nomic class as their parents is that
they are brought up in our sharply
segregated secondary education
system. The richest kids get the best
schools and the most opportunities
and the poorest kids get the poorest
schools and are shut out of almost
every educational opportunity avail-
able. Growing up in a poor neigh-
borhood and having no option but
attending a substandard school
should not disqualify an applicant.
The obstacles they have had to face
need to be recognized when deter-
mining if they have the capacity to
be successful at this university.
Critics of using race in admis-
sions decisions often point to states
such as Texas, where consideration
of race in college admissions has
been ended, but diversity has been
maintained to some extent, as proof
that race need not be considered by
colleges. Texas accomplishes this
by requiring that public universities
automatically accept applicants who
graduated in the top ten percent of
their high school class.
See ACTION, Page 9B

W.. He sc
recently found myself watching George
W. Bush (or W. as his homies like to call
him) give a speech to an NAACP conven-
tion, and after a few moments of laughter, I
realized something very interesting: Bush
has no deep feelings surrounding the issues
he talks about. Then it hit me that that is
exactly why he is doing so well - why he
will be elected President.
Listening to his oratory, I learned a
bunch of really important things about
American history and future social policy.
First, Bush said that slavery is one of the
biggest blemishes on our national identity.
Then he went on to say that American chil-
dren should be well educated and that they
should be healthy and their parents should
be able to keep them
that way.
Wow, George, that's
really radical think-
ing. I mean I've
always thought that
slavery was bad, but
the fact that you said ..: A F
it solidifies that idea
for me. And that part
about kids being
smart and healthy-I
mean that's the most Aaron
dynamic program I've
ever heard of. From Rich
what he said, I would
guess that Bush has
what it takes to sub-_
stitute teach for first
grade social studies ... well I don't want to
get too carried away.
I can see his speech writers before the
address: "Okay, we're talking to black
folks, let's say something about better
housing in inner cities ... hmmm, better
not. Let's say something about prison
inmate populations and capital punishment
... oh, yeah, forget that, too. Well, let's just
stick to slavery sucks."
Listening to the words he was saying I
was struck by how liberal he sounded. (I
was kind of expecting him to break into
song. "Brother, brother, there's far too
many of you dying ... Only love can con-
quer hate.") He seemed in favor of all mid-
dle class struggles from better pay for
workers to cheaper house prices to better
education for more people. I really don't
see why I should vote against him. He's a
really nice guy, right?
Well not so much. I have yet to see a real
firm belief come out of his mouth. Only a
few weeks left until the election and I don't

z real nowhere man

know what the man believes in, let alone
how he might act as the leader of the
nation. So far he has passed off rather
banal policy proposals as firm convictions.
He has started throwing out very few
ideas about legislation he would propose, '
but the reasons for proposing those laws
(other than wanting to be a really nice and
caring guy) remain hidden. I can't even
figure out what is so great about his guber-
natorial run in Texas. He passed a lot of
legislation that is rather mixed in terms of
effectiveness and has killed more people
f v
than Torquemada (but they, of course.
were truly guilty).
The idea of "compassionate conser-
vatism" that he talks so much about still
has no meaning for me. Is that something
like tough love, or more along the lines of
sadomasochism? It has to do with be being
nice, I guess. But kindness like that should
be a given in terms of legislation - not
part of a political message.
Take, for example, Al Gore. Say what
you will about his personality and his past
money raising, but at least he has a record
of legislation that has some sort of qualifi-
able goal. He is known to be Green, writ-
ing Earth in the Balance and advocating
the rights of natural resources to not be
raped by corporate investment. He believes
that the internal combustion engine is not
the most efficient form of transportation

(he is absolutely correct about this) and
that we should look into different energy
sources other than oil.
Knowing this small fact about Al Gore, I
could guess the sorts of legislation that he
might support. He might support so-called
energy taxes that make oil companies pay
for the materials they take out of the
ground. He might support not logging the
Pacific Northwest, for instance.
Bush's speeches all blend into one big
sea of okay. I have no idea of what he
would support other than soft money dona-

TOYIN
AKINMUSURU

t,
F :

r
U.

Ignorance is
bliss when using
a clay mold
T he first thing most new stuaents will do when th
hit the University is surgically graft themselves
others just like them, generally within the same socioe-
conomic demographic.
As you progress through school, you tend to stick
with those friends, latching on like a rabid pit bull and
never getting exposed to the rich diversity that is our
student population. The resulting ignorance about peo-
ple different from oneself is molded into a perception
of these others, different than they actually are.
Some would call it racism.
I'm not saying its necessarily all bad. For examnp
whenever I frown, people clear out of my way, an effef
that comes in pretty handy when heading for the keg or
bathroom at parties. Even better, I have observed that
bald black guys seem to attract more than their fair
share of white girls A Korean friend is automatically
thought of as smarter, and is therefore the de facto
leader of group projects.
On the flip side, try and remember the last time the
police were looking for a Caucasian male wearing blue
jeans and cap, between 20 and 40, 5 feet 8 inches and 6
feet 4 inches, weighing between 150 and 250 pounds?
Try finding that one guy at a Garth Brooks concert.
ridiculous as it sounds, I've heard of such generdT
searches for black men before.
How often have the police stopped you for no reason?
Do ladies automatically clutch their purses and men
automatically check their wallets when you step into the
elevator? How often do you- get stalked while walking
around a music store? How often are you the ontly one
of "your kind" in your classes?
Do dreadlocked white guys walk up to you and ask you
if you've got an extra blunt on you? Have you ever bee 1
confused for more than one celcbrity? I find it at the sab
time flattering and disturbing. I've been compared to Ving
Rhames, Nathan Morris from Bovz 11 Men, Malcolm-
Jamal Warner and Tiger Woods. Malcolm-Jamal Warner I
can see - but Tiger Woods'? Please.
Do you feel uncomfortable south of the Mason-Dixon
line'? Have people repeatedly assumed you were the
See TOYIN, Page 7B

Lions to political candidates, the death
penalty for convicts convicted in the sover-
eign state of Texas (the only place where
the justice system is infallible) and silly,
boyish grins.
When voting for a president it is impor-
tant to choose someone who has firm
beliefs in somethin:. Someone who is not
just a suit stuffed with his party's different
beliefs.
It troubles me that what Bush has done,
the reason why he is' so unstoppable, is that
he has painted the political canvas with a
thick coat of primer. but added no color
himself. lie leaves that for the American
people to fill in. paint by numbers, as it
were. This is not politics: this is Andy
Warhol misunderstood.
- Aaron Rich cai be reached via e-mnail
at arich(a: Umich.eclu.

Lutheran Campus
Ministry
Lord of Light Lutheran Church, ELCA
801 S. Forest at Hill Street
Phone: 668-7622

*illiE

The

'Real

Story: News like it is

*1

Sunday
Tuesday
Wednesday

Worship 10:00 am
Student Supper 5:00 pm
Grad Dinner and Discussion 7:00 pm
Vespers 7:00 pm Choir 7:30 pm

Students Always Welcome!
Activities Throughout the Week
John Rollefson, Campus Pastor David Berg, Intern Pastor

THREE
FLOORS
OF
STUFF
YOU
YUSIMPLY
CANNOT
LIVE
WITHOUT

New and Used Textbooks
Medical Books and Supplies
Law Books
Art and Drafting Supplies

School and Office Supplies
Greeting Cards
Calculators
In-store CLINIQUE Counter
Computer Supplies
Backpacks and Briefcases
U of M Sportswear
Art prints and Posters
Candy and Snacks
Fax Service
Special Orders

"[The major media are cor/pora-
tions 'selling' privileged audiences
to other businesses. It would hardly'
come as a surpise if the picture of
the world then )resent were to
reflect the perspectives and inter-
ests of the sellers. the buiers, and
the product. - Noamn ChomskY
J errv Falwell will never come to
Ann Arbor: neither will Pat
Robertson or Bob Jones ll. This
might be news to some and I hate to
be the one to break it, but any new
student who actually considered
continuing his/her education at a
different, more Godly institution
like, say, Liber-
ty University
in Lynchburg,
Va., has made
a very bad .
decision in
coming here.
I don't think
that's a particu-
larly bold state-
ment. As far as
politics and
culture go, Ann
Arbor doesn't Nick
have a whole Woomer
lot to offer con-
servatives -
it's reputation
for being a bas-
tion of "radi-
cal" politics and causes is reasonably
well deserved. After all, we have
some of the nation's most liberal
marijuana laws and the student anti-
sweatshop movement was virtually
born here.
But the best testament to Ann
Arbor's generally cuddly relationship
with the left is the wide array of left-
leaning ideological tabloids available
at various campus and area loca-
tions. The dad thing is that just about
everyone automatically writes them
off.
Both publishers/writers of these
papers and University students
share the blame for this. The people
who produce them too often get
caught up in themselves - filling

their publications with a heavy dose
of lame phrases, "anti-patriarchal"
spellings and Marxist-Leninist lingo
that most Americans have been con-
ditioned to dismiss as anachronistic
or worse. Students are partially at
fault because they assume that just
because something sounds stupid, it
is. Combine this with the fact that
people are just skeptical of news
that doesn't come from an "objec-
tive" source (much less a radical
one) and it isn't hard to see why this
stuff gets dismissed by most stu-
dents and Ann Arborites as cheap
propaganda.
The reality of the fact is that ideo-
logical newspapers have a lot to
offer. Case in point: "MIM Notes,"
the newsletter of the Maoist Interna-
tionalist Movement and easily the
most maligned paper in Ann Arbor.
In their freshman orientation issue
last year, the Michigan Review
called MIM Notes "Ann Arbor's best
unintentional humor magazine."
It's not hard to blame them - the
MIMers attack "u.S. imperialism,'
lament the oppression of "womvn.
and refer to the United States as the
"United Snakes of Amerikkka" (or
some mutation of that phrase). Sure,
MIM has stubbornly traded its pop-
ular credibility in favor of express-
ing hatred for first world
socialipolitical'economic policies
via the spellings of certain words,
but this should not automatically
discredit the actual substance of its
message.
Open'-minded readers willing to
sort through MIM Notes' silly
rhetoric are usually in for some com-
pelling ideas/arguments. Take the
May Ist edition of MIM Notes, for
example. There is a letter from a
prisoner from New Jersey explaining
how a 'company called "Depcore"
has privatized many of the correc-
tional facilities there. "[C]ats here
are making socks, mattress and some
office furniture all of which is being
sold for huge profits yet kaptive's
[sic] wages vary from SI.25 to S I.50
a day," he writes.
Is this actually true? Maybe,

"students are partiallj
they assume that just
sounds stupid, it is."
maybe not. But suppose it is. In that
case an ugly picture starts to unfold
- a pretty sinister relationship
between industry, lawmakers and
prison inmates. Companies support
politicians who pass laws that put
more people (who often end up
being poor minorities) in prison for
longer periods of time - the result
being a huge labor force that essen-
tially works for nothing.
Even if this particular writer is
lying through his teeth, it is highly
implausible that the hundreds of
other similar letters and articles pub-
lished in MIM Notes over the years
are also simply made up to promote
a radical agenda. Often the claims in
MIM Notes are footnoted and usual-
ly come from "respectable" indepen-
dent sources like the New York
Times and the United Nations. Cer-
tain empirical facts also appear to
support MIM's claims, for example,
why did Chevron give money to help
pass Proposition 21 - which makes
it easier for juveniles to be tried as
adults --in California? According
to many non-MIM-affiliated
activists, Chevron's support for Prop.
21 had something to do with the
money it saved by apparently having
inmates at San Quentin prison do
data processing for dirt-cheap
wages. Conventional media outlets
rarely (if ever) bring these types of
questions to the public's attention;
MIM Notes does this twice a month.
The real problem here isn't so
much popular skepticism towards the
so-called "alternative press," but the
collective assumption that conven-
tional media outlets like CNN, ABC
and Newsweek are simply "telling it
like it is." The fact of the matter is,
the mainstream media has a consis-
tent record of selective coverage,
applying double standards of proof
and putting grossly skewed spins on

Y at fault because
because something
situations where the United States or
her allies were clearly at fault (read
Chomsky's extensively footnote
"Necessary Illusions" for a thorough
explanation of just how deep this
goes).
"In "A People's History of the
United States," Howard Zinn records
the only comment made by Dan
Rather during the Gulf War in
response to a film of a British laser
bomb that killed civilians after it was
dropped on a market: "We can be
sure that Saddam Hussein will make
propaganda of these casualties."A
even more blatant example of maW
journalistic incompetence was the
uncritical coverage of a flimsily-sup-
ported account of invading Iraqi soi-
diers taking 312 newborn Kuwaiti
babies from their incubators, leaving
them on the cold floor to die. Public
support for Operation Desert Shield
surged as a result of this fabricate,
"atrocitv" that was only revealed
be bogus after bombing had alrea
commenced. People who monitor
these types of "mistakes" can pro-
vide hundreds of similar examples of
mainstream media pandering to cor-
porate and political interests.
The point is, Ann Arbor is fortu
nate to have a wide selection of ideo-
logical left-wing alternatives to the
mainstream media -- MIM Notes
The Agenda, The Weekly Worker.
etc. - most other cities do not
When read as supplements 0n
replacements) to conventional news
sources, these papers only have the
potential to enlighten people. As
ridiculous as they may sound on a
superficial level, they play a critical
role in the dissemination of all the
news.
-Nick Woomer- is the Associate
Lditorial page editorfor the Michigan
Daily. He can be reached via e-mai@
nwoomner(%nwnich.eda.

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