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February 19, 2001 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-02-19

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, February 19, 2001

ue 3liibigun aiIlg

420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
daily. letters@9umich.edu

Hunting: Vasteful, cruel and definitely not a sport
EMILY ACHENBAJM DIAMON\ I:NTh RouG

All-

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890

GEOFFREY GAGNON
Editor in Chief
MICHAEL GRASS
NICHOLAS WOOMER
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.

eople call me para-
noid, abut this time,
baby6tting but tech-
nically along I'm definitely
being watched. Welcome
to taxiderm heaven: l a
two-story rogm roughly lhe
size of a co ege apartment,
I can't even count of the
number of animals cover-
ing the walk and balconies.
To my right, a chair made out *f multiple pairs
of antlers. There's a bear on t floor, another
bear in the loft; there are birds I cannot identify,
exotic hairy heads from countries I probably
cannot identify. Ice tongs cipped off with
hooves. Is that a beaver peerirg. over the fire-
place mantle, bird playfully glued into his
mouth? Nope, it's a wolverine. Go Blue.
So some people like to hunt.
The first time I entered this riom a year ago,
it took my breath away. Let's not forget that
"impressive" is not inherently a compliment; it
simply means an impression lwas made. The
feeling I was overwhelmed by was one of
waste. The kids, digging into furrpelts to find the
remote, do not pay attention.;] think I have
grown accustomed to the room jintil I trip over
a bear paw and am reminded it iA out of whack.
The room radiates something wri ng. As a friend
commented, "it's a cemetery."
Who am I to talk? I wear leather shoes but
not leather pants or coats; I qt fish but not
things with fur or wings. I ride horses and keep
dogs as pets. It is interesting than if one is not an
extremist, their view is somehow undermined.
The voice is deemed hypocritical by not being
fanatic. I am not an animal-rights fanatic. Can a
woman wearing mascara talk about feminism?

Is everything really so one-sided? I don't need
to wear a PETA team jersey to say hunting as
"sport" is disgusting and that those who hunt for
sport are horrendously misguided and cruel peo-
ple.
Unless you are reading this in the African
wilderness or lord-knows-where Kentucky,
there is no need for you to hunt. Animal prod-
ucts _ food, clothes, SUV interiors - are
brought to us by someone else in the form of
Kroger and Calvin Klein. We do not need to
fend for ourselves. Therefore, hunting becomes
"sport." "Sport" implies a couple of things to
me: That it requires skill, is competitive, and
fun. Flirting is a sport. Basketball is a sport.
Hunting is not, because it fails on all three
counts.
Patronizing eyebrows raise and smirk,
"hunting takes a lot of skill," as if that means
anything significant. I would like to point out
that walking in stilettos is a skill. Add some icy
patches, a boyfriend that walks really fast and
three Rolling Rocks and it's almost impossible
to carry off - unless you are skilled. Girls start
practicing at age 6, raiding mom's closet and
dressing up. Models get taught how to walk. But
no one expects a badge for being able to do it
just because it took effort and talent to learn
how. And things that require skill don't rest on a
higher plane than an undevelopable ability like,
oh, giving birth, because the latter doesn't
require practice.
Hunting is not competitive. As I write this
column, a moose is hovering above me. His
massive neck is firmly attached to a wooden
plaque. Now, it's not really a sport unless
there's a chance either guy could win. With a
nose the size of my skull and eyes the size of my
fist, the moose carcass could easily kill me if

there was an unfortunate tremor that would dis-
lodge him from the wall and send him careening
toward my head. A moose could kill me if he
was running and I didn't get out of the way in
time; a moose could kill me if he was walking
and I couldn't get my car out of the way in time.
The only way I could kill the moose is with a
gun. Add that I'm wearing camouflage and I've
destroyed parts of his habitat so he's easier to
find. And that I'm at a gamepark where he's
fenced in. Oh and that the moose doesn't get to
shoot back.
Sounds like playing Monopoly with my sis-
ter when she would rob the bank while I was up
getting a snack. Why do hunters look so tri-
umphant in photos? How hard was that really?
And what have you really won? Did you really
"dominate" something if you cheated?
This leaves us with fun. I don't know why
hunting is fun, but different folks, different
strokes, etc. Running, studying a lot and wak-
ing up early are things I abhor and other peo-
ple find fun, but at least the fit, the studious
and the bright-eyed are not getting off on
watching something bleed to death. I think it is
interesting that hunters who witness a fatal
accident often stop hunting; fishermen who
accidentally cast a hook into their own back
develop a disinterest in their "sport." I guess
it's not fun when they glimpse, even for a sec-
ond, at the unnecessary pain they cause - the
waste. I have yet to hear an intelligent argu-
ment supporting this non-sport, and I think
there's a reason for that.

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Emily Achenbaum's column runs every other
Monday. Give her feedback at
wwwmichigandailv.com/forum or
via email at emilysa @uinch.edu.

'Bringing the state Democratic Party into student
government politics is like diving into Lake Michigan in
the middle of February ... it's a bad idea all around.'
- Michigan Student Assembly Blue Party presidential candidate Matt Nolan
last week on the entry of the Democratic Party to assembly politics.

,)
.,

Marijuana should be
regulated, not banned
To THE DAILY:
Regarding the Feb. 15 article Medicinal
marijuana unlikely in Michian") on the
prospect of medical marijuana legislation in
Michigan, the plant has been used medicinally
for thousands of years. In 1999, a government-
commissioned Institute of Medicine nport con-
cluded that there are limited circunm;tances in
which smoking marijuana for medical uses is
recommended.
Marijuana is one of the most studed plants
around. Nonetheless, entrenched interests rid-
ing the drug war gravy train continue to claim
further research is needed.
Not only should medical majrana:be made
available, but adult recreational use should be
regulated as well. The reason for this is simple:
leaving the distribution of popular recseational
drugs in the hands of organized cime ppits chil-
dren at great risk. Illegal drug dealers cdn't ID
for age, but they do push profitable, addictive
drugs like heroin. Sensible regulation is desper-
ately needed to undermine the youth-oriented
black market and restrict access to drugs.
Marijuana is the most popular illicit drug.
Compared to legal alcohol, maijuana is rela-
tively harmless. Yet marijuana prohibition is
deadly. Although there is nothhng inherent in
marijuana that compels users to use herder
drugs, its black market status ptui; them in con-
tact with criminals who push Them. Current
drug policy is effectively a gateway po4 icy.
Replacing marijuana prohibition with regula-
tion would ultimately do a betterjob protecing
children than the failed drug war. As for med-
ical marijuana, doctors should decide wht is
best for patients, not drug warrio r.
tROBERT SHAVE
The letter writer is the program of-er
for the Washirton D.C-based
Lindesmith Center-Drug P' i cy Foundation.

WHERE AM I GOING TO
FINS A JOB ON CAMPUS
IF I CAN'T DRIVE THE
U of M BUSES ANYMORE?

I HEAR NIKE'S NEW
U of M SWEATSHOP IS
a** -~*~~

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4

Royal Shakespeare
Company tickets are
too expensive
To THE DAILY:
The upcoming Royal Shakespeare Compa-
ny visit to our University has been touted as
the greatest cultural event on this campus this
year.
Indeed, the authorities on such matters
inform us that sharing in the presence of such
a prestigious and accomplished theater troupe
is a regal experience. We, as students, should

feel grateful. Unfortunately, we, as students,
will never be able to behold for ourselves the
talent and beauty of this company's hard
work. For tickets to the tetralogy that will be
performed start at $108. The next level of
quality costs $162. The next is $216. The
highest, and best, is $250.
Can the University Musical Society
explain the purpose of bringing the Royal
Shakespeare Company to the University cam-
pus when ticket prices prohibit the vast major-
ity of the University conmunity from taking
part?
DEREK NEATHERY
RCsenior

As Law School trial ends, racial divisions still scar

VIEWPOINT
On Friday, attorneys represemiting the Uni-
versity, the intervening coalition and the Center
for Individual Rights - the organization that
has led the fight to end the use oftace-based col-
lege admissions - presented their closing argu-
ments to U.S. District Judge Benrard Friedman.
The trial, which started in January, has attracted
national attention and intense local interest.
On Jan. 24, the coalition of intervening;
defendants called John Hope FRanklin - ani
esteemed American historian and former chair
of the Advisory Board of
the President's Initiative
on Race - to testify on
the effects of racism and
segregation on American.
society during his life.k
Franklin, who worked
with then-lawyer Thur-
good Marshall 45 years
ago on the Brown v.
Board of Education case,
was able to contribute more than just his exten-
sive knowledge of American histcry to his testi-
mony; he himself has been the victim of many
episodes of racism. Franklin described the evo-
lution of racism and explained that there never
has been a precise formula for segregation. In

Franklin described how he had had to over-
come this sort of racism as he was educated at
various overwhelmingly white colleges, eventu-
ally receiving his doctorate from Harvard Uni-
versity.
After about three hours of Franklin's histori-
cal perspective, Friedman called for a short
recess. During the break, as attorneys and visi-
tors filed out of the courtroom, a black woman
and her lawyer walked in before the judge for a
quick and routine sentencing hearing. Two very
superficially different, but uniquely similar
people had just crossed paths in Friedman's
courtroom at that instance.
The woman had
embezzled $40,000 from
Comerica Bank. Crying
and pleading to the judge,
she begged for leniency
because she had lived a
hard life. The reason for
embezzling the money,
she told the judge, was to
pay for her two daughters'
college education. But this
was the fourth time the woman had been con-
victed of bank fraud. Friedman, as an adminis-
trator of justice, in a very stern voice, sentenced
her to a prison term and U.S. marshals led her
out of the court room in handcuffs. Emotional-
ly, her head down and eyes closed, the woman

that she had little choice but to embezzle the
money to make sure her daughters would bene-
fit from a college education.
Although she should not be exempt from the
consequences of her dishonest actions, her
struggle was, in a sense, the same fight that the
intervenors had led during the trial. While she
had made bad choices during her life, the racial
disparity present in American society drove her
to resorting to illegal means to provide a better
life for her children. The fundamental point
made by the intervenors was that this racial dis-
parity has led to deep socio-economic divisions
and reparations can only be made by ensuring
that minorities be given equal access to higher
education.
Moments later, Gutter v. Bollinger resumed
and Franklin and the intervening coalition con-
tinued to explore the theory of racism as it
affects its victims psychologically and emotion-
ally. What many people didn't notice is that
these effects had just materialized minutes earli-
er during the sentencing.
When the intervening coalition initially
requested"to become part of the Grutter v.
Bollinger, Friedman ruled against them. It took
an appeal and a ruling from the 6th Circuit
Court of Appeals to have their voices heard.
Without the presence of the 41 student inter-
venors, the case would not have achieved the
substance and importance that the trial will be

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