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February 13, 2003 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-02-13

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4A -The Michigan Daily -Thursday, February 13, 2003


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ANN ARBOR, M1,48109

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.

I think the
answer, is yes,
they can do
- CIA Director George Tenet, when asked if
North Korea possesses ballistic missiles
capable of reaching the West Coast, as
reported yesterday by CNN.

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The lion-hearted sacrifice of Jennifer Gratz
n anecdote whites threw a hissy-fit when judges tried to Or do they, perhaps, happen to have an
would work bus black children into their neighborhoods. insider's view of what it's like to be dark-
well here - And Atlanta only integrated its public schools skinned in this country? I'd say the last
perhaps a scandalous 32 years ago. Opponents of integration mea- one, but I'm just guessing.
tidbit about some poor sures may have calmed down nowadays, but Why do we continue to articulate this
white sap I know who they're still just as adamant, if more civil. debate in individual terms when it's about
got screwed by affir- Three decades of school integration does addressing a problem for which we are all
mative action. But I not hundreds of years of resistance erase and collectively culpable? Of course I never
don't have one. Which we should stop pretending that it has. Segre- enslaved anyone, never moved an entire fac-
- might surprise some of gation, woefully-underfunded inner-city tory away from a center city to the suburbs.
you, since just about everyone seems to know schools and racial prejudice still characterize Most whites have not individually decimated
someone who lost their place at some school minority lives in this country, and they will the tax bases of minority communities.
to some black dude from Detroit. continue to do so until we address them. But, because of my white skin, I have
In fact, if Jennifer Gratz had an admis- In the meantime, we need to create benefitted from the structures that years of
sions point for every time I've heard this opportunities where there are none. Affir- racism have wrought. And more significantly,
story, she'd have been accepted to the Uni- mative action does exactly that. It allows dark-skinned Americans have been disadvan-
versity several thousand times by now. minorities who have attended inadequate taged by the exact same forces that have pro-
Herein lies my problem with affirmative primary and secondary schools to get into vided me these benefits.
action's opponents. They don't seem to fully and benefit from schools like the Universi- We should be addressing the disparities,
appreciate the depth of this country's race ty. Most of all, it gives people who face especially in primary and secondary educa-
problems. And by arguing about the (exag- discrimination because of their skin color tion and by attacking the segregation that
gerated) extent to which whites are harmed an opportunity to take advantage of the breeds them. But just because these solutions
by affirmative action policies, they obscure resources the rest us too often assume we cast a wider net does not mean that we should
years of racism - both of the institutional- have earned the exclusive right to use. abandon affirmative action.
ized and subtle nature - that has disadvan- What especially puzzles me about the When blacks continue to receive the
taged scores of American minorities. If affirmative action debate is the extent to poorest education and the lowest pay.
dark-skinned Americans are not handicapped which whites appear to be ignoring minor- When racism continues to haunt our private
by economic inequalities, they still encounter ity voices/opinions. From the Bush admin selves, and when we continue to live in a
discrimination from potential employers, istration to this campus, minorities society so segregated that white children
shopkeepers, renters. overwhelmingly support affirmative can go years without coming into contact
We have done very little to ameliorate this action, yet most whites don't. You'd think with black children, it is absolutely impera-
situation. In fact, we have often done just the minorities' opinions on affirmative action tive that we find ways to give minorities
opposite. There are the obvious examples - would hold a bit more weight. (You'd be the same opportunities as whites. Doing so
slavery and Jim Crow. But even after those wrong, though.) requires that we sacrifice collectively.
years were long past, whites actively resisted So, what exactly are we thinking? Are
integration efforts wherever possible. minorities just a bunch of freeloaders Honkala can be reached at
mn.thej.170s, for example, suburban intent on securing free passes to college? jhonkala@umichedu.
Stephens'viewpoint about high-crme area, attend a school with a high 'ESeg' should lighten up,
dropout rate, have a lack of educated role mod-
reparations, not diversity els, etc. Earning a 4.0 at Andover is commend- 'G-Dub' no more direSpeCtfu
able, but all things considered, it is more L
TO THE DAILY: difficult to graduate with a 4.0 from Kettering. than pular DI uby
According to the University, the justifica- Lastly, Stephens, as well as many other
tion for affirmative action in higher education affirmative action supporters, fails to address
is diversity.eHowever,B in Binrianhher tview- the issue of the effect of affirmative action on To THE DAILY:
is diversr , ,Stephens' middle and upper class under-represented I almost giggled uncontrollably when I
point, Go forth and be equal won't narrow edu- minorities. While awarding point bonuses to read Eli Segall's whiney letter to the edi-
cation gap (2/12/03), he presents an argument underprivileged students is just, no logic exists tor (Litman's use of 'G-Dub' disrespectful to
that centers on reparations. For example, behind awarding 20 points to an under-repre- institution of U.S. presidency, 02/12/03).
Stephens implies that it is wrong for the gov- sented minority applicant who attends Andover Acknowledging that Segall was probably
einent to "play no part in rectifying the and has been presented with the same opportu- just having a bad day, he nevertheless
inequalities that it used to impose." Thisis not nities as his or her non-minority counterparts. If claims that the use of a nickname (G-Dub)
an argument for diversity, it is an argument for the student lives in Bloomfield Hills, it is is tantamount to acting "immature and
reparations, and irrelevant as the U.S. Supreme apparent that our country's past injustices have highly disrespectful" and that Joseph Lit-
Second, Stephens states that "getting a 4.0 not negatively affected his or her current man is disrespecting the institution of the
GPA at Andover High School in Bloomfield socioeconomic status or availability of opportu- American presidency when he doesn't call
Hills is much better than getting a 4.0 GPA at nites and thus affirmative action points should the president his name.
Kettering High School in Detroit" Is it? Sure, only be awarded to those applicants who have I won't respond to that guff but I will
Andovr offrs Advanced Placemnt clas grown up in significantly less ideal conditions, say that Segall probably would not have
butovaccofrd stdvacePlaephetpup las e Diversity and "leveling the playing field" been so annoyed if Litman had just played
but according to Stephens, pupils in Detroit for those who are truly disadvantaged should it safe and used the much more acceptable
have to conquer inferior schools and curicu-be the focus of affirmative action, but race "Dubya." I mean c'mon, everybody calls
lums and he fails to mention that the average should not be a factor in the admission system. him "Dubya!"
Detroit student is much more likely to come KYLE METEYER COLN SEALS
from a single-parent home, be poor, live in a LSA junior LSA senior
Presidential correspondence



The following came across my desk
Dear Georgey Worgey,
This is Osama. How are you? How
have you been? Sorry that I've been
incommunicado lately. After you and your
Cold Warrior buddies visited me in
Afghanistan, I needed a break from the
hectic grind, so I took some time off, trav-
eled, and saw some friends. In total, I was
in Bali, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
You wouldn't believe the great pictures I
got while abroad! Once I put them on my
computer, I'll be sure to e-mail you some.
Don't make fun, though; I packed the
wrong bathing suits for this trip and
wound up with the Speedos.
Even though I was gone, I still had some
time to read the paper and I saw what
you've been up to. I have to say, I'm a little
jealous and angry right now. You've been
spending all your time trying to bring down
Saddam when it's really me you should

just to please your dad? For oil? You never
give a straight answer.
And while I'm airing my grievances, I
have to say that it also hurts that you keep
ignoring me now, marginalizing my feelings.
All that sweet talk about "Don't worry,
baby, this will all be over soon and then we
can be together" won't work anymore. I
know that you were just using me - calling
me evil, pushing me away, making me the
bad guy - while John shred the Constitu-
tion, little by little. I know that you were
talking out of both sides of your mouth,
telling me all was well and then backstab-
bing me, letting Rummy say mean things
and plot my demise. (Why do you always let
him have his way? It's not fair. He's going
to get us into World War III, and when he
does, don't say I didn't warn you.)
But what hurts most of all is that you
aren't even taking care of your own backyard
these days. Get it together, man.
I can sort of understand why you've
intermittently used and ignored me to
advance your international agenda, but at
this point, I almost pity you because Amer-

worse off than you are the voters who'll
probably, despite it all, reelect you in 2004.
Although, I guess that's what they deserve
if they've allowed this to go on for so long.
But I can't stay mad at you, honey. Call
me sad or pathetic or whatever, but I'm the
Tina to your Ike. And that's why I'm back.
I hope that you're not mad that I told the
Muslim world to prepare to counter a U.S.
offensive in Iraq. I just missed your atten-
tion and wanted to remind you who your
real number one should be. I mean Sad-
dam? He's such a jerk. And don't give me
that "you don't know the things he says to
me in private" malarkey. I'm the guy' you
should be gunning for. I'm the reason you
got involved overseas in the first place, and
I'll be damned if you're going to use that to
go for some dictator guy who had only
seven working planes the last time you
went out with him. (OK, so that was your
dad, but there really isn't a difference.)
If not me, at least go for the North Kore-
an, Kim Jong II! He certainly seems more
dangerous to the United States. But that's
just me; you might have your own priorities.



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