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October 22, 2003 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-10-22

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MR

E

4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 22, 2003

OP/ED

Ule idianDai

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

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

LoUIE MEIZLISH
Editor in Chief
AUBREY HENRETTY
ZAC PESKOWITZ
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.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
t In today's
environment, we take
all leads very seriously.
The kinds of questions
he was asking about the
bridge, we have to have
a sense of caution."
- Baltimore, Md., FBI spokesman Barry
Maddox, referring to the investigation
of a local 12-year-old boy after he
made inquiries on the Internet into the
structure of a local bridge for a class
report, as quoted in The Baltimore Sun.

SAM BUTLER THE SOAPBOX
_./ ( oo k
46000.
{e3 Ct a.:: ee -.
.. e'tsnr

4

4

Strictly for my niggaz and bitches
HUSSAIN RAHIM NARCOLEPTIC INSOMNIA

ip-hop has
reached its apex
in the pantheon
of pop culture. This is
evinced no more clearly
than in the popular
musical landscape
where I noted to my
incredible amazement
that three weeks ago,
out of the Hot 100 Billboard singles, every
single song in the top 10 was a hip-hop
song. For the first time in my musical his-
tory, hip-hop has clearly eclipsed pop and
rock as the easiest accessible form of
music. So black/hip-hop culture has
become better understood by the masses or
it has at least gained acceptance, right?
Not so fast. With such speculation it is
important to ask if depictions are present-
ed and if the messages are congruent with
the assumptions.
Not to get into one of the most bela-
bored topic around, but walking through
Angell Hall I heard a random Asian student
say into his cell phone, "Nah, I'm not
gonna even wait for these niggaz." After a
double take I just laughed. I would damn
near bet my life he was referring to another
Asian and I couldn't help but think how
normal this all is. Yet this epiphany had yet
to reach fruition because then, a week later,
the controversy over Ghettopoly reached its
inevitable saturation. When I first saw it,
laughed and put it down then I started my

NAACP countdown timer. And serendipi-
tously the creator was also Asian. I have no
insight into the Asian adoption of hip-hop
culture or why the coincidence occurred,
but it was nonetheless noteworthy.
Reading through the Ghettopoly site, I
stumbled upon a ridiculously insecure
defense of the game by Chang with such
juvenile defenses as "Remember, the game
is called Ghettopoly not Blackopoly."
Besides the obvious fact that he is upset
that his business is being infringed upon,
he was probably beat up a few times by
some black folk and retains some obsession
(Hoodopoly, Thugopoly and HipHopopoly
are his upcoming games along with the
obligatory Redneckopoly) with black cul-
ture. So as my timer sounded, NAACP
President Kweisi Mfume released the knee-
jerk response of "Chang should turn his tal-
ents to more positive images and
activities." Gotcha. He should follow
Mfume's lead and give a NAACP Image
Award for Outstanding Hip-Hop/Rap Artist
to Ja Rule for the classic "Livin' It Up"
with such inspirational lyrics as "To all my
bitches that be givin' it up" and "Fuck,
knowing your name, get yo ass in the
Range." Or nominate Nelly for Outstand-
ing Male Artist as he markets his real-life
drink, "Pimp Juice." Perhaps it's refresh-
ment for the weary pimp in all of us. So
Chang, this is where your focus should be.
Chang, don't you see? Reward these posi-
tive images of black people instead of ped-

aling your clearly hurtful game.
Last year another less-reported game
called "Life as a Black Man" got some
attention for its being based on being an
18-year-old black male escaping from the
ghetto, the military, the entertainment
industry or HBCU (black college) to a
place called freedom. However it was
nowhere as controversial because it was a
somber and reflective look on the difficul-
ties of black life that would be harder to
get high to and play along with and also
because its creator was black. Its only
obstacle was lack of interest.
When you get to the crux of the issue
it's all about images, stereotypes and
accountability. Ultimately it is just a game,
as "The Sopranos" is just a television
show. There are much more important and
concrete issues that deserve focus like the
actual improvement of real ghettos and
eradicating organized crime. The hypocrisy
and displacement of blame from internal
communities will perpetuate the treadmill
cycle that prevents improvement. I see
BET and despair. I know what it shows me
are black people's interests and goals and
what is rewarded as outstanding. More dis-
turbing is what as see as significant in
black communities. Now that hip-hop has
the ear of our generation's pop culture
what do they have to say?

4

Rahim can be reached at
hrahim@umich.edu.

Putting 'God' on trial
JOEL HOARD COLD LAMPIN'
L ast updated in majority. Logically speaking, the issue is cut-
1954, the Pledge As it was announced last week, the and-dry, but the prevailing approach of
of Allegiance issue will be resolved sometime next year, today's lawmakers is to assume a universal
currently reads, "I when the Pledge of Allegiance case will be belief in God and legislate accordingly. As
pledge allegiance to the heard by the U.S. Supreme Court to deter- perhaps the best example of this mentality,
flag of the United States mine the constitutionality of the words moments after the 9th Circuit court issued
of America and to the "under God." its ruling, House Speaker Dennis Hastert
Republic, for which it Never has a case meant so much and so (R-Ill.) was quoted as saying, "Obviously,
stands, one nation, little at the same time. The case cuts to the the liberal court in San Francisco has got-
under God, indivisible, heart of the never-ending battle between ten this one wrong. Of course, we are one
with liberty and justice for all." theists and atheists; the pledge serves as nation, under God." Using words and
Schoolchildren across the country still another rope in their perpetual tug of war. phrases such as "obviously" and "of
begin each day by reciting the pledge. As far as the theists are concerned, our course" in such a context shows just how
Chances are, the majority of them have no nation's very salvation is at stake. For the justified lawmakers feel in imposing reli-
idea what the hell half the words of the atheists, our civil liberties are in the bal- gion on the masses.
pledge mean, but they still say it. It means ance. Either we'll all go straight to hell or Hopefully, the Supreme Court will
nothing to them. It's an empty gesture per- we'll be subject to an intolerably oppres- examine the subject judiciously, but as
petuated by the George Bushes and Pat sive government. with any issue of religion and government,
Robertsons of the world who are looking Practically speaking, however, regard- impracticality in the form of emotionalism
to score points with the Man upstairs. less of the outcome, nothing will really inevitably enters the mix. In the back of
For the last half century, the pledge have been accomplished when all is said the justices' minds, the fear of upsetting
went largely unchallenged. That was until and done. If the words "under God" are the estimated 95 percent of the population
California atheist Michael Newdow found to be constitutional, children will go - including one president and hundreds
brought a suit against the Sacramento on obliviously chanting them every morn- of congressmen and congresswomen -
County school district alleging that the ing. If they are ruled unconstitutional, who believe in a divine being will weigh
recitation of the pledge violated the consti- children will be confused for a short time heavily on their minds. Sad, but true. Let
tutional separation of church and state and until they can relearn the pledge in its us hope they can overcome.
the civil liberties of his nine-year-old "God"-free form, which they will then And so, I would like to close with a
daughter. begin obliviously chanting every morning. prayer:
When the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of But for pure amusement, let's settle the Dear God, please allow the Supreme
Appeals in San Francisco ruled that recit- subject anyway. Court justices hearing this case to examine
ing the words "under God" in public Approaching the issue rationally, the the issue fairly and practically, and see that
schools was in fact an unconstitutional use of the words "under God" is entirely they will find it in their hearts to remove
endorsement of religion, shockwaves were unconstitutional. The First Amendment the heinous mentioning of You from our
sent across the country. Commoners and states explicitly, "Congress shall make no Pledge of Allegiance. Oh, and while
lawmakers alike were outraged. The U.S. law respecting an establishment of reli- You're at it, can You do something about
Senate immediately passed a resolution gion." The government-initiated acknowl- the whole "In God We Trust"-currency
99-0 in support of the Pledge. Then Sen. edgement of a deity, especially the thing, as well? Thank you, and amen.
Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) was unable to vote specific acknowledgement of the Judeo-
at the time because he was recovering Christian implicit in the capital "G" in
from heart surgery, but it's fairly safe to "God," most definitely respects an estab- Hoard can be reached at
assume that he would have sided with the lishment of religion. j.ho@umich.edu.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR

q
I

I

Borders treats employees
fairly, acting 'in good faith'
To THE DAILY:
The Daily editorial Crossing Borders
(10/09/03), crossed the line when it represented
fiction as fact with regard to Borders and union
negotiations.
Borders has been and will continue negoti-

than the competitive environment will permit. It
would be irresponsible on our part to meet these
demands.
We're particularly concerned that the Daily
states, as fact, that we have outsourced the
cleaning crew, dismissed an employee for sup-
porting the union and reduced certain positions
in an attempt to intimidate union members. The
facts are: We continue to use the same cleaning
arrangement in place prior to the union election;
we make disciplinary decisions based on adher-

LETTERS POLICY
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from all of its readers. Letters from Universi-
ty students, faculty, staff and administra-
tors will be given priority over others.
Letters should include the writer's name, col-
lege and school year or other University affil-
iation. The Daily will not print any letter
containing statements that cannot be veri-
- oI

1 Ut1 U4 W~UJl a. S . (1LI I UL LL lP 1?"" 'V tca y A A i~t ap c c vx

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