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September 09, 2002 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-09-09

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4A -The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 9, 2002


U~be £idiftt a tIl


SINCE 1890

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

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.

Activists on the right
and the left trade
charges about whose
fault the tragedy was,
because there is no
event too solemn not to
be turned to short-term
political advantage."
- Yale Law Prof Stephen L. Carter in
yesterday's New York Times on
the United States' political climate
one year after Sept. 11, 2001.

Coming Ihorn~

the foof 6411 B o e?#



-The ARacoo n

N ome. covnf




Let's save the criticism for Sept. 12


n Friday, in a
swank restaurant
in Midtown Man-
hattan, about 60 mothers
shared a baby shower that
was sponsored by the
.v. Independent Women's
Forum. These women
were of different reli-
gions, ethnicities, ages
and economic means. Their unifying feature?
They were each one of the at least 102 women
who were pregnant when the Twin Towers fell
with their husbands inside.
It's now two days and counting to the most
tragically momentous one-year anniversary that
I will have seen in my lifetime; we're all talking
about it and we all have an opinion about how it
should be commemorated.
At the University of California at Berkeley,
the student government has decided that it will
leave God and patriotism out of the lexicon and
ceremony of the school's official Remembrance
Day. The decision has received a remarkable,
but not unexpected, amount of press. Coordina-
tors of the ceremony and dissenters against it
have found their 15 minutes.
Many self-proclaimed liberals (an easy
segue from a Berkeley paragraph) have already
set the wheels in motion for taking this anniver-
sary as a cue to revive the idea that, as for Sept.
11 - yes, it was horrible, yes it was a tragedy,
but let's face it people, we had it coming.
I would ask that anyone of this opinion take
a long, hard look at a photograph of the mothers
and infants at that baby shower in New York. I
would be both surprised and heartbroken to
watch that person come back still insisting that
mass murder can be taken as a form of con-

structive criticism.
The New York Times has recently pub-
lished a book, Portraits, which compiles the
1,900 "portraits of grief" that the paper ran until
Feb. 3, following the attacks of Sept. 11. The
Portraits of Grief series humanized these nearly
2,000 victims (more than 1,000 shy of the total
death toll) of the destruction of the World
Trade Center with photographs and anecdotes
- compelling, well written, heartrending. Not
exactly what you'd call light reading.
It is the kind of stories that these portraits
tell that should dominate our collective national
mindset two days from now. Wednesday will
not be a time for us to reexamine American for-
eign policy. We can and should reserve that
scrutiny for every other day of the year; it's
important, it's essential. But this Wednesday
needs to be a day dedicated to the grief of an
entire nation still reeling, to the grief of thou-
sands of families who lost loved ones, the grief
of thousands of friends who lost friends - to
the grief of the thousands of people who remain
devastated on a very personal and private level.
On Sept. 12 we can turn our attention to
analysis, to critique - but not to condemnation
of ourselves in the context of terror. In our
examination of the foibles of American foreign
policy, American cultural hegemony - whatev-
er nomenclature we want to apply - it will
never be appropriate (and never was to begin
with) to construct our criticism in the framework
of the death of 3,000 very innocent people.
Instead, on Sept. 12 we can step back and
look at the year with a certain measure of intro-
spection; on Sept. 12 we can analyze and criti-
cize how we as a national community responded
to a disaster. We can discuss and condemn our
approach to the war on Afghanistan. We can

wonder why we made such a mistake in writing
the Northern Alliance a blank check valued in
the currency of human lives.
In the frenzy of a first anniversary, the same
arguments are flying that characterized the
immediate aftermath of Sept. 11. The United
States, on some level deserved it. Americans are
guilty of something.
But the people who within the last week
have rehashed this unseemly epithet of disas-
ter also feel comfortable buying into the idea
that everything changed that morning. A year
later, it's time that we realized that it is the
second half of this perspective that is accu-
rate: The continuum has shifted. A lot more
variables have been added to the equation.
There's a lot to talk about and it's not just the
tactical moves of a presidential administra-
tion or the financial plays of the World Bank.
In the year since Sept. 11 we've learned a lot
about ourselves as a country: Between the
McCarthy-esque tendencies latent in our
nation's leadership, our shameful victimiza-
tion of Muslim- and Arab-Americans, and
the popularity of the truly heinous patriotic
country ballads plaguing the air waves,
there's a lot out there to criticize.
But nowhere is it OK to nod our heads and
whisper amongst ourselves that maybe the ter-
rorists had a point. We have a moral imperative
to constantly reevaluate the United States' role
on the world stage, but this imperative exists in
space - not within the framework of terror.
There's enough that has happened in the last
year in reaction to that day that is worthy of crit-
icism. Let's just save it for Sept. 12.
Johanna Hanink can be reached


Beware the whackos: SFL, BAMN
BY CHRIS MILLER agree with their opinions, this viewpoint isn't women and minorities. Recent graduate Jim
about that - it's about their methods. One of . Secreto, for example, was called a "white
As classes enter their second week and the things that is great about the University is Devil" for his efforts to publicize the
new students on campus start to figure out the wide range of opinions held on campus, true nature of BAMN. Like Students For
their routine and schedules, many of those and Students For Life has the right to express Life, BAMN often subscribes to the rhetoric
students begin to become involved with theirs. It is the way they express it that is the of classifying people either for them or
groups they first met at Festifall, in their resi- issue. Their antics on campus have offended against them. Through it's rhetoric, BAMN
dence halls, and around campus. and disgusted many. has severely damaged the advocacy of
However, as they begin to discover the In past years they have sponsored a dis- affirmative action on campus, ultimately
many opportunities they have to become play on the Diag comparing abortion to such doing far more harm than good to the cause
active in the University of Michigan commu- atrocities as the Holocaust and lynching of it claims to hold dear. BAMN's violations
nity, they should be warned: Watch out for black, using explicit and graphic photos to of campus traditions of mature dialogue and
the fascists. make their point. Last year, in addition, SFL discussion go beyond name calling though.
One of the proud traditions of Michigan is helped sponsor billboard trucks drive around It has often crashed events sponsored by
the fact that it has a huge number of organiza- the campus area with similar photos. Such other organizations, and in one case actually
tions available for students to participate in. behavior is can be described as only one infiltrated a competing minority group and
While the vast majority of student groups con- thing - a sick attempt to impose ideology overthrew its leadership in a coup d'etat.
duct themselves in an honest and respectable on others, having the net effect, intended or Rather than accomplishing good, BAMN
manner, there are a handful that do not. not, of arguing: "If you disagree with us, you has poisoned the well of debate at the Uni-
Indeed, on campus they are often not just as want to kill babies." SFL has every right, like versity.
much for the dirty methods they use as the any student group, to present and argue its So, freshmen, transfer, and graduate stu-
beliefs and activities they espouse. Perhaps viewpoints. However, in those types of dents, take care in selecting which groups
the most notorious offenders are Students For cases, they are not advocates, they are dema- you involve yourself in. Only a minute per-
Life and the Coalition to Defend Affirmative gogues. centage of groups of campus are like the
Action By Any Means Necessary. Through On the opposite end of the ideological ones I have described above; the vast majori-
their efforts on campus they have offended spectrum is the Coalition To Defend Affir- ty have all sorts of ways to become involved
countless students and faculty, and have mative Action By Any Means Necessary, here at the University and can help yourself
severely damaged the tradition of dialogue more commonly known on campus as and others learn about, advocate, and debate
and discussion at the University. They attack BAMN. BAMN can be described as fascist numerous causes. Just watch out for the ones
other students and student organizations, use for several reasons. that put style and headlines above substance.
propaganda methods descended from those of First, it specializes in the politics of vil- You, and the University activist tradition,
individuals like Benito Mussolini, and de- lianization. If anyone, whether they support deserve better.
intellectualize our great University. affirmative action or not, condemns or
Let me start with Students For Life. Now, expresses disapproval of BAMN, they are Miller is a member of the Daily's editorial board
let me emphasize that while I certainly dis- derided as racists attempting to smite down and can be reached at cemiller@umich.edu
Vegans attack Eminem; will I ever kiss a girl?

It wasn't a very wild week in entertainment. nant with her third child - supposedly the
Other than some crazy baby news and the product of a sexual union between herself and
obligatory Eminem bitchfest, there isn't husband Mark Consuelos. Personally, I think
much else worth mentioning. Of course, I can Regis impregnated her. It's all part of his,
always make stuff up. "Spread the seed of the Antichrist plan."
That sweet little candy treat Eminem was up Liza Minnelli and David Gest, the two
to no good again last week at the MTV Video creepiest humans alive, are adopting a 3-year-
Music Awards. He spent his time in front of the old kid. "The baby's a girl," Gest said. "Her
camera disrespecting, or "dissing," mousy, name's Serena," Minnelli continued. "She's
atmospheric rocker Moby. American," Gest stated. And finally, "She's
Apparently Moby pushed Christian," from
Eminem off a swin in the nlav- THE DAILY ATHENAEUM Minnelli. What?

of the country. Too bad, Lance. Guess you'll
have to be comforted by your legion of under-
age groupies ... Of course, I'm not saying he
has sex with little girls or anything. I have no
idea. For all I know he's a great guy that only
bones women his age. I just want to get in a
tussle with one of the guys from *NSYNC.
Sounds like a hell of a story for the grandkids
... if I were to ever get laid and have off-
spring. Sigh ...
Oh oh oh! "American Idol" is over! Justin
lost! Kelly won! And I could care less!


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