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February 13, 2004 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-02-13

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 13, 2004 - 7

Members of BAMN protest last night outside the Michigan Union Pond Room where Jennifer Gratz spoke. Department of
Public safety officers guard the area.

Continued from Page 1
why Brown should be remembered and what University
students should take away from it.
He began by explaining that race has always been the
most difficult issue for the American people to overcome.
"It remains the greatest social burden we face," he said.
The court ruling helped provide the solution to this bur-
den as it got rid of the foundations of racism, since it
became a catalyst and further ignited the civil rights move-
ment, leading to the creation of voting rights for people of
all races, Green said.
Moreover, Brown lead to the desegregation of Arkansas
schools, Green said. "Central High was just part of the
implementation of Brown. ... It was a part of an assertive
effort to bring change."
But there is still a long road ahead toward complete
racial equality and freedom, Green said. "There still exist
inequalities in housing and jobs. A study indicated 70 per-
cent of blacks attend all-black schools. These schools are
in poor condition."
He added that America needs to focus on further eco-
nomic development to ensure black communities can sup-
port their families and provide their children with a good
Green also stressed the need for citizens to become
move involved in politics. "Only 50 percent of Americans
voted in last year's election. ... There's been too much
blood, sweat and tears spent on trying to get voting
rights," he said.
Other speakers at the event, including University Senior
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Lester Monts and Uni-
versity of California at Berkeley Prof. Waldo Martin -
offered more of their views of the significance of Little
Rock and Green's involvement.
"They all wanted to get the best education," Monts said

of Green and his fellow students who attended Little Rock.
But in attaining that education, Monts said some members
of the white community wanted to kill them for breaking
the bonds of segregation.
Monts added that Green and his fellow students were
courageous but endured an unspeakable pain.
"We need to remember they were 14 to 16 years old, and
these were subjected to these things," Monts said. He
added that these horrifying experiences about Little Rock
should be remembered as well as the Greens' courage.
LSA junior Charnetta Butler said of Green's speech and
his role in Little Rock, "It was inspiring. As a person in
higher education, you have to know where it started from."
But Green also pointed out that greater attention needs
to be paid to the local black community of Little Rock.
"My parents were the real heroes - they were old enough
to know what they were giving up."
When his parents let him attend the school, Green said
they instilled in him the confidence he needed. If it was
not for that, Green would never have had the chance to
attend Little Rock, nor would he have sustained the deter-
mination to bear it.
As for his role in the Little Rock High School integra-
tion, Green said he knew he was representing people of
color and they wanted to prove himself.
"It was our determination, we were determined to break
the barriers," he said.
Still, Green said that those were very confusing times
when no one knew what impact they would be making. Yet
in the end, all of the nine found that they had an opportuni-
ty to get a better education.
"It was an attempt to try and widen the options that were
so limited before," he added.
Green said to students that it's important to remember
the civil rights movement, but not to dwell on it. "What I
want to transmit to you guys is you need to build your own
legacy for the future."

Continued from Page 1
local coordinators for the initiative's signature collection
efforts. Gratz has held her position in the MCRI since the day
after the Court's decision.
"I recommitted myself to the principle of equality," Gratz
said. "Diversity and other equally good intentions should not
trump the principle of equal justice under law"
Gratz sued the University in December 1997, challenging
the undergraduate point system that automatically granted 20
points to Hispanics, blacks and Native Americans. The court
upheld the Law School's policy of using race as a factor in
admissions. The College Republicans intended Gratz to
recount her experience at the Supreme Court. "We wanted her
to bring the other side (of the story) the University isn't telling
the students," said LSA senior Steve MacGuidwin, president

of the University College Republicans. "They know the cases,
but they don't know the woman behind the cases."
BAMN members rallying against the initiative included
high school students from Cass Tech and King High School in
Detroit. "This initiative is very deceptive. It has no intention of
protecting what we accomplished in the '60s," said Britney
Smith, a student from Cass Tech.
Earlier in the day, members of BAMN discouraged students
from putting their signatures on the petition for the ballot ini-
tiative, during a signing held by Young Americans for Free-
"I believe people have the right to sign a petition without
having someone scream 'racist' in their face," said LSA soph-
omore Bob Raham, vice chair for YAF "People have the right
to sign whatever they want without fear of intimidation."
-Daily StaffReporter Victoria Edwards contributed to this

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