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February 06, 2001 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-02-06

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 6, 2001

L71 jE wtichtout, 143ativ

daily. letters@umich.edu

Enter the Manifesto: Organizational'politricks'

SINCE 1890

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.

T he so-called
democracy that is
the United States
bears the daunting reputa-
tion as having a diverse
population consisting of
countless ethnic groups
sprinkled across 50 states
of independence. We
have no official language
and we allow numerous religions, with rituals
and practices varying vastly from culture to
culture. On top of that, our society promotes
individuality while shunning it at the same
time. Taking these factors into consideration,
it should be no surprise that an unhealthy
level of prejudice, ethnocentrism, and general
misunderstanding will occur between differ-
ent people sharing the same mass of land.
For this reason, groups are established. No
matter your interest, orientation or obsession,
there are a number of people who identify
with you and would love nothing more than
to socialize with those whom they feel most
comfortable with, at the risk of social or
parental non-conformity or rejection. Where
am I going with this, you ask? Well, I am set-
ting the proverbial stage ...
It is the nature of men to fear, scorn, or
misinterpret what they fail to understand, and
so I have noticed this on repeated occasions
with groups on our campus -- namely the
black-oriented organizations. It has been
argued on behalf of the majority that these
collectives and events could be considered
racist, for no other reason than the fact that

they are geared towards minority groups that
have screamed oppression for so many years.
The groups that promote the uplifting,
achievement, and general harmony of blacks
in America are viewed as just another form
of self-inflicted separation that we have
strived for years to eliminate. This viewpoint
could not be more inaccurate.
The idea of embracing one's culture may
be foreign to Caucasians, simply because
they are and have been the majority in this
Nearly every ethnic group on campus has
an organization of sorts to claim based on
their cultural or religious backgrounds, be it
Indians, Asian groups or even the nationwide
Jewish organization Hillel. The black groups
are the ones primarily considered "racist,"
however, due to the fact that there exists the
most tension between Blacks and Caucasians.
The latter argue that if they were to create a
group promoting the uplifting of Whites on
this campus, then they would be considered
These groups exist for what should be
obvious reasons: Any group in any given
social situation that can be considered a
minority can be expected to come together.
Similar physical and behavioral traits, com-
mon interests and common customs, if not
comfortably alone, will bring people
Those of you who had a minority group at
your high school who you witnessed sitting
together at the same lunch table know exactly
what I mean. It certainly does not mean that

the given group will shun the majority, yet I
believe that this is how it is perceived. Cam-
pus minority groups like H.E.A.D.S., Sis-
ter2Sister and Black Uplift exist to offer
support, consolation and motivation to the
people in the communities that they represent
- there certainly exists no central hatred r
revolt against members of other cult
As far as black-oriented parties are con-
cerned, there is most certainly no one stop-
ping non-black individuals at the door for
lack of proper skin pigmentation, yet you will
see a sharp contrast between these parties and
your common frat party, hence the reason
that they even exist. Finally, to create a
"White Uplift" organization would not neces-
sarily be considered racist; it would simply
be deemed silly in a society in which whi s
ultimately possess the absolute power. .
Now I'm not saying that these groups
should represent every member as an individ-
ual, nor am I saying that the groups are
absolutely necessary for the advancement of
their members.
But what I do want to be understood is
that these groups have no malicious inten-
tions. No massive revolution is in the plans
and no campus marches are slated for the
near future. At least I hope not ... these da
classes are taking up way too much of my
time as it is. Knowledge.

Dustin J. Seibert's column runs every
other Tuesday. He can be reached via
e-mail at dseibert@umich.edu.

MSA candidates need
to follow residence
hall solicitation rules
The rights of students have been hurt by the
very organization that represents them, as
shown in the article, "Campaigning Amend-
ments defeated at MSA meeting," (1/31/01).
With the Michigan Student Assembly's
defeat of an amendment that reprimands candi-
dates for not following the University Housing
Community Living Standards solicitation poli-
cy, they disrespect the guidelines of the very
residents they represent. It is unwise to anger
student constituents by violating the rules of the
very people who put MSA in office.
I would not vote for a candidate that knocks
on my door at 1 a.m. to disturb either my sleep
or homework. This is the same as political can-
didates soliciting your parents' home at 1 a.m.
The residence halls are home for almost 10,000
Citizens would not vote for such a nuisance.
Student government is supposed to protect the
rights of its constituents and not ignore the rules
that promote their own bureaucracy. If MSA
wants support from the residence halls, it must
follow the standards of that community.
In addition, in Article II of the MSA Consti-
tution, MSA is to "enact campus-wide regula-
tions governing the conduct of its elections,
campaigns and related activity." By ignoring
the established housing policy of the residence
halls and not punishing people who break these
rules, MSA is violating its Constitution and
promise to the students. Students have already
shown their dislike for excessive campaigning
by posting "No Solicitation" signs on their
To continue to show that residents are
important to the MSA and the Michigan Com-
munity, the University-established housing pol-
icy should be respected by all.
LSA junior

4 U-Y ,'_ ~

? "Ssel
P ie EXE. E


Engineers know
'absolutely nothing'
about basketball
Upon reading Jeffrey Lev's uninformative
letter to the editor, ("Daily should remove
Goodstein's pencil, test sports skills," 2/2/00) I
have come to the conclusion that Engineering
students know absolutely nothing about basket-
ball. Somewhere along the line when reading
Raphael Goodstein's sports column, Lev dozed
off and made up his own version of what he
was saying.
Clearly Lev has shown that what he said
was accurate since he's resorted to the classic
"let's see you pick up a ball" retort.
I agree with Lev that the wins over Iowa
and Indiana were great but that still doesn't
make up for the fact that we are still sub .500.
By the way, don't use the Illinois game as an
example in the future.
Yeah, maybe we should've won that game
had the officiating been better, but that still
doesn't account for Blanchard and Robinson
hitting 44 of our 51 points, our 34 percent field
goal average and our 61 percent free throw
average. I don't know about you, but in Ann

Arbor, you can't win like that. Oh yeah, I
love how Lev has labeled Charlie Bell as a
loser. Granted he is from Michigan State, but I
do believe he has won more than anyone on
this Michigan team can attest to. He will
undoubtedly be in the NBA, so his comments
do have validity and since he is the one out
there playing against us and not you, then I will
take his opinion over yours any day.
It's nice to see that Lev is still rooting
Michigan, because I am too and there are
few of us out there, but by attacking a Daily
writer, who is there to express his opinion and
in this case, a very valid opinion, that shows
that Lev is just as frustrated as those "bandwag-
on jumpers" that he mentioned.
This team has a long way to go before it
gets back to the promise of yesteryear, but we
need to find someone to take us there and that
person isn't Brian Ellerbe, which, I do believe,
was Goodstein's point.
There is no arguing that this team doe 't
have talent. Queen is probably one of the
point guard potentials I've seen in a while and
Moore will be a great presence when he
improves on his post moves and the refs stop
dogging him. However, they won't get better
unless they have proper motivation and right
now, that isn't happening. JASON ROOVER
LSA junior

Three un-American ideas for a failing economy0

t appears the economy
r is ailing - rapidly.
. Bad economic news
seems to be popping up
every 15 minutes on the
cable news networks. Last
week, amidst what
appeared to be frantic
efforts by the Fed to cut
interest rates, Daimler-
Chrysler announced it
would cut 26,000 jobs while consumer confi-
dence hit its deepest slump in four years. Hope-
fully I'm just jumping to conclusions, because a
bad recession could have terrible human costs.
Consumer spending has played an impor-
tant role in the current economy - accounting
for two-thirds of it - even though real
incomes for most people didn't rise signifi-
cantly over the recent "economic boom." How
can consumer spending fuel a growing econo-
my when most consumers aren't making much
more than they were during the last recession?
They spent money they didn't have. Americans
have more debt now than they've ever had

risk by putting their money on the line, hoping
that there will eventually be some sort of return
on their investment. Meanwhile, they wait up at
night worrying about whether this investment
will pay off. Surely the poor capitalist should be
compensated for all this grief...
No. The "theory of risk" is an insult to all
working people because it assumes that a person
who works in a factory (for example) just comes
home from work, cracks open a Bud and flips
on Wheel of Fortune without a care in the
world. But in reality, working people usually
risk a whole lot more everyday when they're on
the job than even the most reckless investor.
If a person who earns his or her living doing
physical labor gets injured on the job and can't
work anymore then he or she risks being
plunged into a financial abyss. Generally speak-
ing, investors never put their entire livelihood on
the line in the same way that most workers do
every day when they're at work. Workers do not
have the luxury of having to decide whether to
invest in a particular venture or not. Most Amer-
icans work because they have to pay their mort-
gage, not to turn $250,000 into $1 million.

much, people tend to favor leisure time over
earning more money. Why is it that so many
highly paid American doctors spend more time
on the golf course than they do practicing medi-
cine while Cuban doctors who are paid the
equivalent of $15 a month are developing
dynamic new cancer treatments?
Time preference across classes
Apologists for capitalism like to espouse
the virtues of "rugged individualism," patience
and thriftiness; any individual who internalizes
these values is bound to succeed in the free
market system (and they say this while label-
ing socialism a "naive pipe dream"). This
way, the rich (who often save a good portion
of their earnings) can look on the poor (who
often spend money when they have it)
disdain. After all, if the poor just saved tI]
money for once they would soon escape
poverty. This type of thinking goes to the roots
of capitalist ideology: The reason the poor are
poor is that they lack proper discipline.
This excuse for tolerating poverty fails to
appreciate that the nature of being poor often
makes~ it nruudent tospndne mnv afa

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