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February 13, 2004 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-02-13

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 13, 2004




opinion. michigandaily. com

SINCE 1890

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

Everyone is
entitled to their own
opinion, but they are
not entitled to their
own facts."

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.

So rh5 kid~, Vbut vet-on4






- Ed Gillespie, chairman of the
Republican National Committee,
defending President Bush against charges
of desertion from the National Guard, as
reported yesterday by CNN.

Checkout lanes and social justice
ver get pissed off person to overhaul this crazy "system." so what? Does it matter that we believe none of
while standing in These thoughts created our superiority com- this is our fault? I submit that the most impor-
line? You know the plex, but there are other factors working hard to tant thing is social problems exist, and this sim-
scene - you've been wait- sustain this tragic mentality. Distractions, for ple reality should be enough to twist our hearts
ing 20 minutes to pay for instance. Hollywood, television, magazines and mobilize our legs.
your groceries, and sudden- framing what's important, what we should be Picking the cause is up to you, and I assure
ly a new lane opens up and concerned about - namely, ourselves. Buying you, there are plenty to choose from. From my
all the latecomers end up stuff that promises happiness and self-fulfill- own experiences, I'd have to say that inspira-
checking out before you do. ment. Pursuing relationships that will add mean- tion strikes us all in the funniest ways. My
You're not the only dis- ing to our lives, and then being disappointed parents are Indian immigrants, for example,
gruntled one. People naturally get riled up when when everything sours because we were count- but I've only been to the motherland twice in
they feel they've been treated unfairly, and ing on the other person to tell us who we are. the past 21 years. And as much as I enjoy the
there's nothing like getting hosed at the super- Defining our self-worth through vocation, feel- colorful clothes and the long, song-filled
market to bring out that sense of social injustice. ing as if we lost everything if we have nothing movies, I admit I've never held any particular
It's common knowledge that when two to say when someone asks, so what do you do allegiance to India. But in February 2002,
strangers are waiting in line, the one that came for a living? Gujarat riots and angry mobs burning innocent
second has a responsibility to let the other per- It gets far more serious when we consider people - the senseless violence really got to
son go first. That duty-owed practice is accepted social problems on a grand scale, like the AIDS me, and evoked a feeling of obligation toward
nationwide - which is strange, because as epidemic in Africa. Most information that India that I had never held before. I felt like I
Americans most of us are used to thinking we comes to us about such calamities accurately owed it to the people over there to educate the
don't owe anybody a damn thing. portrays the utter desperation of the situation, people over here, in hopes of - at the very
Our arrogance stems from a variety of ori- but leaves us with little more than a sense of least validating all the suffering, and at the
gins. I blame corporations and politicians for helplessness. If there's no hope, why should most - of horrifying people into vowing
appropriating and then defiling well-intentioned there be empathy, or any desire to face such a never to repeat such a tragedy.
words like "charity" and "philanthropy." It's no daunting challenge? Why bother, we think, My point is our sense of justice is inherent,
surprise that a language that loses the vocabu- when there's nothing we can do? and that too many elements are causing us to
lary to define good acts belongs to a people that And besides, we've got all these other things ignore the fact that the balance is all off.
perform few. to busy ourselves with: the American dream, We're simultaneously inheriting and perpetu-
The blame game also goes a long way in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We've ating social injustices, and we're too busy to
explaining our stubborn refusal to accept got every right to pursue these things, but that in notice that our refusal to contribute is screw-
responsibility. It's not my fault that guy on State no way excuses our lackadaisical attitude. ing over our futures. Change is borne out of
Street is homeless, so I have no obligation to Because if we're talking rights, then suffering necessity, and until we realize that we have to
help him. And if I do spare a few dollars, then people have those, too. And I know you agree change our mentality, I'm afraid we've got
he owes me a thank you in return, at least. with me, because why else would you get mad nothing. Chew on that the next time you're
Then there's our favorite excuse - "the sys- waiting in line? fuming over a long line, and at least the time
tem." It's "the system" that perpetuates these That has to count for something, that injus- will pass semi-productively.
social injustices, not the little people. There's no tice still irks us. Let's deconstruct the origins of
point in getting stressed out over poverty or our arrogance. Ok, so commercialism's spin on Khatri can be reached at
prejudice because it's ridiculous to expect one altruism has left a bad taste in our mouths. But, khatris@umich.edu.
Spin the black circle
veryone gets At this point in my life, I realize the world trying to understand my point, but most of
group-related e- isn't going to be the rainbow land we all read them were not happy. I'm pretty sure I'm
mails, and no one about in third grade. People usually like off the e-mail list now, but upon last
knows quite how he got being in their own groups for reasons both update an e-mail was sent about the state
on the list. Come to the reasonable and not. By this age, you'll proba- of unity among blacks on campus which
Indian dance show, join bly keep the same social group until you die. included the addendum that I "should hang
the Republican Club, you If you are only comfortable when surrounded my head in shame" for what I suppose is
get the idea. So a few with people like you, fine; if you feel better my lack of undying love for all things
weeks ago, as a black stu- away from people like you, fine; if you man- black on this campus.
dent here at the Universi- aged to find some kind of middle ground, What I learned is that dissent will not be tol-
ty, I received an e-mail from even better. But with all this in mind I also erated and once identified it will be punished
dakrunkness@umich.edu (the "krunkness" for knew I was not going to be going to the with extreme prejudice. It's not too far off from
those Ebonically impaired) about an ALL- ALL-BLACK BASKETBALL game. the post-9/1 attitude when the country felt
BLACK BASKETBALL game. At first I was So instead my mailbox was flooded with under attack so they all united under the Ameri-
neutral to the whole thing. I knew I wasn't angry responses, which I understood, as well can flag. With declining minority applications
going to go and it would simply get deleted as accusations of selling out black people at and dwindling admissions, the syndrome is
with numerous other solicitations I received every instance possible (white people, I am same. All fall in line under the black flag or
online. But then an e-mail debate ensued and still awaiting your payments for my hard be ostracized. Expressions of deviation will
my e-mail box served as its conduit. Some work ... ) and in the end it all turned out to be given glances equivalent to those received
students felt that this wasn't the most unify- be very enlightening. when wearing a Taliban T-shirt.
ing event or name and that these types of sit- My new lesson was in the rabid nature of This type of attitude is immature and
uations only create more division. A people who, when attacked, cling to their iden- reflects on a blind loyalty and related insecu-
reference was made to the hypothetical hold- tities so desperately in the hostile environment rity of identity. I think all the social scenes
ing of an ALL-ASIAN BASKETBALL game of the University, on a polarized campus like are suspect at this campus, and I will gladly
and the effects that would have. Back and this, the sense of belonging and identity are share my discontent with any of them, even if
forth, all through my Mulberry and I didn't always under attack. I was told by one person it happens to be in regard to a group I belong
want to read any of it. that "he tried to be understanding of all the to. Or at least used to belong to - I think my
What, in retrospect, may not have been Arab issues during 9/11 so how could I say black card has been revoked. Welcome to the
the best way to go about addressing a mass e- that about black people" because he obviously racial retardation that is the University of
mail group, I not so kindly asked to be taken didn't realize that I wasn't Arab and from Michigan. It never ends.
off the e-mail list. The request definitely another I received such beautiful prose as
reflected my annoyance with the issue. I've "You gonna get yo ass beat." Indeed. Rahim can be reached
heard this debate my entire life. I'm over it. Granted some people sent me e-mails at hrahim@umich.edu.

College Republicans do
not support, circulate
petition for MCRI
College Republicans in no way endors-
es or encourages support of the Michigan
Civil Rights Initiative, as your editorial
suggests (Ballot's language misleading,
02/12/04). The Michigan Republican
Committee has publicly stated that this
issue is not supported by the party, and it
is not supported by our College Republi-
cans chapter either. Our organization has
not collected signatures for this initiative,

on campus. Our organization would appre-
ciate it if the Daily would take five min-
utes to contact student organizations in the
future, before writing factually incorrect
editorials against them.
LSA senior
President, College Republicans
Israel and V-Day make
inappropriate bed fellows
Passing out condoms for V-Day is a great
way to promote safe sex awareness, but con-
doms wrapped in an Israeli flag and the mes-

country that many student activists give their
hearts and souls to support.
While the intentions of this campaign
may be good, supporters of Israel need to be
careful about the public presentation of the
country that we love, especially when a mes-
sage is sent to many people without a clear
understanding of historical and political con-
texts. What's next? A promotion of Jewish
holidays with lubricant stating, "Menorah oil,
enabling miracles to happen?" Or more con-
doms from opponents of Israel stating,
"Screw the Jews?" Sam, I love you to death,
but Israel and condoms shouldn't even be
written in the same sentence.
LSA freshman

.... .. . .. v

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