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October 03, 2002 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-10-03

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 3, 2002

OP/ED

GIbe £irb~wu i~rnjg

420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
letters@michigandaily.com

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

JON SCHWARTZ
Editor in Chief
JOHANNA HANINK
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.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
(McDermott) is
totally out of touch
with the most
fundamental tenet of
congressional
responsibilities"
House Majority Leader Dick Armey
in reference to U.S. House Representative
Jim McDermott, who along with David
Bonior recently traveled to Iraq and
spoke out against war, as reported
yesterday by The Associated Press.

~1~

!11
Poet Lac Q}&

JENNIFER GREENE JENN'S C(YRNER

~oF1X0

A

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ii

Insert label here:
BRENDA ABDELALL THE TOKEN GEM
o, where are you all about stereotypes. I guarantee that I ments; that's the spirit of democracy.
you from?" wouldn't get the same, "Oooooh, really?" That would probably explain why there
response from people if I told them I was are a growing number of Israeli Jews that
"Ann Arbor' Hispanic, black or mixed. Only when I say, have spoken out against the racist policies of
"No, I mean where "Arab" I get this shocking look as if to say, the Israeli government. There are organiza-
are you from-from." "There's no way you're an Arab." tions growing at an exponential rate that
s There's something to Certain classifications can be used against include groups such as, Jews for Peace in
be said about how every- an individual and lead for their entire argument Palestine and Israel, Courage to Refuse (a
:. one tries to label every- to be discredited. If someone came up to me and growing group of IDF soldiers that have peti-
thing. From clothing to started talking about Greenpeace and saving the tioned against occupation and oppression) and
personalities, from relationships to political environment and I later learned that he or she other such organizations that have come out
views, everyone needs to have a succinct term was a republican, I would laugh in his or her against the Israeli government. We surely
to attribute to people. This allows for us to com- face. The entire argument would be negated in can't call these individuals anti-Semitic.
partmentalize our minds and organize our my mind on the basis that I associate republi- There are certain labels that we throw
thoughts. That girl with the two-toned bag: cans with anti-environmental policies. around aimlessly. However, there is a line in
Probably a sorority chick. That dude in the On this campus, there are students that which cliched labels become bigoted and hate-
beret: Shady. That EECS kid: What a dork. have attempted to associate students that sup- ful nametags. To be labeled anti-Semitic is not
Either way, these methods of identifying port Palestine as anti-Semitic. This is obvious- a nonchalant label and it shouldn't be used
an individual lead us to stereotype and pass ly done with the goal of discrediting a casually. It is a serious charge that associates
judgments that are not only what our minds movement and the ideologies of those stu- the accused individual of being anti-Semitic
but also society have already formulated. dents. When I hear the word anti-Semitic, I and to be linked with a long history of hate. No
When people ask what I am, I wonder if it would immediately insert that individual in one who is seeking peace in Palestine by being
really makes a difference. So I say, "I'm the compartment of hate in my mind. That is critical of oppressive Israeli governmental
Arab." Would it make a difference if I said I the precise goal of those attempting to label policies, whether they be Jewish or not,
was Egyptian or Saudi Arabian? What if I said pro-Palestinian students: To immediately deserves to be labeled as "anti-Semitic".
I was Phoenician? We can even go so far as to associate the individual with hate and racism, All labels are harmful in one way or anoth-
say that I am a Semite (and yes, Arabs are thus nullifying and diminishing their views. er. No one likes to be called a nerd or shady.
Semites). Regardless of what I say, does it To be critical of the Israeli government is However, labels such as "anti-Semitic" are
really make you look at me differently? not to be anti-Semitic. That would mean especially harmful due to the implications that
Essentially, yes. These classifications being against the policies of America would are carried along with them. Let's use our ratio-
shape what we think of the individual and be anti-American. I once heard the analogy nale and not be quick to label others - espe-
how we perceive their thoughts and ideolo- that if being critical of Israel is to be anti- cially in attempts to stifle opinions.
gies. Stereotypes and generalizations emerge Semitic, then is being critical of apartheid
and we find ourselves classifying everything South Africa to be anti-white? Obviously Brenda Abdelall can be reached
around us. Being Arab-American, I could tell not. One can be critical of their govern- at babdelal@umich.edu.
An open letter to Paul Tagliabue
LUKE SMITH THERE IS NO I iN COLUMN

41

S

D ear NFL Com-
missioner Paul
Tagliabue,
It has been a long time
since we've chatted, my
old friend. What an excit-
ing time it is for the NFL!
We are on the verge of
seeing Emmitt Smith
make history and break
Walter Payton's rushing record. What a thrill.
Unfortunately, Paul, my excitement over
seeing Dallas' second favorite son (Roger
Staubach forever) about to eclipse a record of
nearly Ripkenian proportions is not the impe-
tus behind this letter. If it was, I would rave
about Emmitt's career and the former glory
of the Dallas Cowboys, long since gone from
the NFL stage. Soon, old friend, we will be
able to laugh about the St. Louis Rams, as we
do now over the Cowboys.
But, now I, you and the NFL (America's
greatest game) have nothing to smile about.
Accompanying this letter is a report I
believe you will find very interesting concern-
ing the NFL's employment policy regarding
white athletes at the wide receiver position. The
report, titled "White Wide-outs and the National
Football League: Historical brilliance, recent
failure - the white man's quest for respect at
the white wide receiver position," outlines in
detail a study I have been conducting on the
NFL practice for employing a diverse pair of
starting wide receivers in the NFL.
In order for the league to progress, it needs
to be diverse at the wide receiver positions. Too

often the wide receiver position is dominated by
black athletes. My study shows conclusively
that white wide receivers are being held to high-
er standards, despite decent to OK performance.
The study cites specific performances
from players like the Denver Broncos' Ed
McCaffery, who in a healthy stretch
between 1998-2000, averaged over 1,000
receiving yards and 26 touchdowns in the
same stretch. He is a fine example of a star-
tling success at the wide receiver position.
When given the opportunity, white ath-
letes at the wide receiver position have
done their jobs dutifully. However, with
poor performances, they are also pulled
quicker from lineups and benched. The tol-
erance for mediocre to sub-par perfor-
mances often gets top-tier talent like Steve
Tasker relegated to special teams duty.
Incidentally, Tasker thrived on special teams
and deserves a Sportscentury on ESPN. See
what you can do about that too, Paul.
I would be remiss to write you, old
friend, if I didn't include a few solutions.
After all, when we disagreed on the strike
issues in 1987, I offered some candid solu-
tions to the Free Agency crisis. Things sure
did work out for the best, didn't they?
In order to get more white athletes at the
wide receiver position, the NFL needs to crack
down on team's roster arrangements and depth
charts. This is not to suggest that micromanag-
ing each team's roster is something that should
even be examined. Instead, teams demonstrat-
ing a diverse starting combo (read: Pair) of wide
receivers for the duration of the season, barring

injury (we can't control torn MCLs and ACLs
like we used to) should be rewarded.
The source of the reward, would be a
first-round draft choice. Teams demon-
strating a commitment to diversity at the
position would receive an additional first-
round draft choice. Further, teams would
be penalized for not establishing a diverse
wide receiving corps, the penalty would be
a third-round pick. Failure to have white
receiver candidates in training camp
would result in the team's loss of their
first-round draft choice.
According to the plan included with this let-
ter, team general managers can choose to opt
out of this agreement, but the result would be
their forfeit of a first-round draft choice.
With these steps being enacted, the NFL
can look forward to a diverse prosperity at
the wide receiver position.
My report is being filed in conjunction with
Johnnie Cochran Jr.'s report "Black Coaches in
the National Football League: Superior Perfor-
mance, Inferior Opportunities." Together, Mr.
Cochran and I are striving for a more diverse
NFL front office and wide receiving corps.
I hope in the near future, you, Mr. Cochran
and myself will be able to sit down and discuss
this matter. It would be a shame if this comes to
litigation, I know the NFL is reasonable.
Just like Steve Tasker would've said,
"We're asking for an opportunity to compete."
Hope to hear from you soon, Paul.

A

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Luke Smith can be reached
at lukems@umich.edu.

0

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Granholm not corrupt;
Posthumus and his 'cronies'
are cause for real concern
To THE DAILY:
Tuesday's article (Kilpatrick wants say in state
leadership, 10/01/02) is hardly news. It is Dick
Posthumus' shameless efforts to boost his fail-
ing gubernatorial campaign with propaganda
laden "news" stories.
First of all, neither Granholn nor her cam-
paign had any knowledge of this memo until the
news broke on Tuesday. No special deals are
being brokered between the Kilpatrick camp
and Granholm camp and any related claims are
simply unfounded and not true.
Posthumus is n'in this memo to once aeain

stunts. Given the chance Posthumus will put the
insurance companies' interest ahead of ours.
Lastly, it is very disheartening to see Posthu-
mus continue John Engler's policy with the city
of Detroit. This policy includes vilifying, divid-
ing and trash talking the city. As groundless as
these claims are I think everyone should ques-
tion Posthumus' apprehension to people from
Detroit being involved in Michigan's future. I
prefer a candidate who sees Michigan as one
state and wants every city, no matter how big or
small, to be included in Michigan's future.
PAUL SPURGEON
LSA sophomore
College Democrats Executive Board Member
Procrastination study no
i -h n. "L n an 1. t. il

in thinking that such a study might be
groundbreaking and important, I cannot
understand why the obvious results of the
study made the front page of the Daily.

DAVID KING
LSA senior

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LETTERS POLICY
The Michigan Daily welcomes letters from all
of its readers. Letters from University students,
faculty, staff and administrators will be given
priority over others. Letters should include the
writer's name, college and school year or other
University affiliation. The Daily will not print
any letter containing statements that cannot be
verified.

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