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January 15, 2004 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-01-15

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^;_ 4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 15, 2004


abe AWdhO u &IIIUm

opinion. michigandaily . com

SINCE 1890

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

We need to see
and examine and
touch for ourselves."




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.

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- President Bush on why the United States
needs to send human explorers back to the
moon and eventually on to Mars in a speech
to NASA yesterday, as reported by CNN.

Please give liberals back their liberalism
M aturity and cool- But I digress. In fact, I do not think the label of an ideology similiarly oppossed to civil liberties.
headedness are revolutionary socialists fits BAMN all that well; But besides these differences in worldview,
not words I I would characterize them more as a collection unlike radical civil rights organizations in the
would use to describe the of elitists than civil rights advocates. Reading past, BAMN has been unsuccessful in achieving
level of discourse on cam- what their members and supporters have written civil rights victories. In Monday's viewpoint in
pus. Universities are sup- on this page in the last week alone leads me to the Daily, BAMN organizers Kate Stenvig and
posed to be dedicated to the believe that they feel the state of Michigan Cyrl Cordor wrote, "We won this stunning victo-
exploration of ideas, but would be better off if certain unsophisticated ry for affirmative action and civil rights because
certain organizations do not whites did not vote. To be fair, BAMN members we mobilized." They actually believe BAMN is
believe that such discovery do not ever articulate this position outright, but responsible for last summer's Supreme Court
should take place here. Chief among those the attitude that they know what's best for the ruling in favor of the University. They forget that
groups is BAMN - but bear with me for a state and that everyone else is a clueless racist their lawyers were not permitted to argue before
minute. lurks just beneath their "progressive" rhetoric. the court and that their position that affirmative
I don't mean for this to be another mindless University alum Jonathan Chait pointed out action is necessary to right historic discrimina-
attack against the organization, but I also real- in The American Prospect in 1995 that in these tion has never been upheld by the courts. But just
ize that for what I've already said, I'm going to radical groups' fight for civil rights, liberal con- ask members of other student groups how they
receive irate e-mails from BAMN members cerns such as civil liberties, academic freedom feel about BAMN taking credit for the accom-
who will in essence call me a racist (they will, and even the Bill of Rights are expendable. In plishments of others.
of course, conveniently forget to mention that the late 1980s and early '90s, the closest parallel More importantly, BAMN focuses exclu-
the Black Student Union has had a less-than- to BAMN on campus was the Marxist United sively on affirmative action and is now leading
rosy relationship with their organization). I'll Coalition Against Racism. During that time, the a boycott against Coors Brewing Co. Stenvig
also likely receive complimentary e-mails from UCAR convinced the University to draw up and Cordor wrote, "In 2003, the critical civil
members of Young Americans for Freedom speech codes to censor campus debate. One ver- rights issue facing the nation was the defense
and writers for The Michigan Review, thanking sion of the codes called for punishment for those of affirmative action at the Supreme Court in
me for attacking BAMN's intimidation tactics, displaying Confederate flags on dorm room our affirmative action cases." And surely it
and they will use this column by a liberal editor doors, and/or making statements like, "Girls are was the most prominent issue, but the number
at the Daily as further proof that all their ideo- not as good in this subject area as men." The of minorities who benefit from affirmative
logical opponents are crazed hippies. I write federal courts wasted no time in striking down action and a Coors boycott is too small to be at
this column, however, to challenge the most this code, and the U.S. Supreme Court later said the heart of any effective civil rights move-
dangerous and vocal opponent of liberalism at that it would not tolerate such codes. ment. Why doesn't BAMN work to eliminate
the University: BAMN. Liberals on campus now fight to preserve differences between blacks and whites in
BAMN volunteer Luke Massie, who is English 317: How to Be Gay, but just over a homeownership rates, health care quality, pay,
known to volunteer 60 hours a week for the decade ago, so-called civil rights activists forced unemployment, U.S. drug policy or segrega-
group despite never being a student at the Uni- the cancellation of two sociology courses taught tion? These affect millions more people than
versity, has said that BAMN is a Trotskyite orga- by Prof. Ren Farley, who merely quoted from affirmative action.
nization, which by definition means that it is not material a student found offensive in a course on Maybe my main point of contention with
liberal. It has the same mailing address in Detroit race relations, and Prof. David Goldberg, who BAMN is that I'm still naive enough to think
as the Revolutionary Workers League, which is was bullied into canceling his course without people can discuss issues in a civil way before
an openly Trotskyite organization. The RWL in even receiving a hearing. I have been unable to resorting to more extreme tactics. Or maybe it's
turn, has had an identical membership as the confirm any clear connection between BAMN just that I'm a liberal.
National Women's Rights Organizing Commit- and the UCAR, but the former's tendency toePesick can be reached at
tee, another group with an interesting history. interrupt meetings and press conferences reveals jzpesick@umich.edu.



High school quality in rural
areas, not race, indicative of
students' disadvantage
Affirmative action is a simplistic solution to
solve the great problem of inequality across
school districts. This solution fails. It is racist
and gives preferential treatment based solely on
skin color and not on more important character-
istics. Affirmative action overlooks three impor-
tant things: 1) there are blacks that attend good
schools 2) white people (believe it or not) do
live in Detroit and 3) Rural schools lag behind
schools in larger communities and are not
helped by affirmative action.
On this last point, I would invite everyone to
check out the website www.greatschooLs.net. The
site lists MEAP test scores for high school stu-
dents at every school across the state. Rural
schools are always ranked below schools in rich
communities, such as suburban Detroit. As an
example, the MEAP scores at Arenac Eastern
School, in Twining, were as follows: 23rd per-
centile in math, 24th in reading and fourth in
writing. These scores are at or below scores in
many Detroit schools, and 97 percent of the stu-
dents at this school are white. Compare these
scores to Seaholm High School in Birmingham,
where the scores were 92nd percentile in math,
96th in reading, and 90th in writing. Other
examples of poor rural schools include Reed
City, Evart and Ogemaw Heights.
Affirmative action simplistically labels that
all blacks are equal and that all blacks are more
disadvantaged than all whites. In fact, the
majority of socially disadvantaged people in our
country are rural whites. I would like to point
out that more than half of my graduating class
did not go on to college and of those that did,
the vast majority attended a small community
college near our town. I would also like to point
out that there was only one Hispanic at my
school and only one black student (who, as it
turns out, is my girlfriend of two years).
This country needs to fix the disparities
across school districts. This involves electing a
president that cares more about educating our
students than sending them to Baghdad. The
solution is not, however, to simply stereotype
and give preferential treatment. If anything, uni-

responses to Laura Davis's inane letter yester-
day ('U' should be held to higher level of budget
accountability, 01/14/04), so I'll simply focus on
the last part of her letter: privatize the Universi-
ty. Are you nuts? Privatizing would force the
University to raise tuition costs for in-state resi-
dents, as the University would no longer be
receiving money from their taxes. Many stu-
dents from around the state simply would not
be able to afford $30,000 per year; however,
$10,000 per year is something they can pull off.
By privatizing, the University would gradually
become less and less diverse as the only people
who would be able to afford to go here would
be the rich, who are predominately white. Con-
sidering the University strongly believes in
diversity, privatizing would be a very, very
foolish thing to do.
LSA junior
IM Building should change
entrance policies, allow fans
I usually consider myself a mild-tem-
pered person; however, this wasn't the case
on Monday night. A bunch of my friends
were playing in an intramural basketball
game at 7 p.m. at the Intramural Sports
Building. I wanted to show my support for
the team and watch. Easy enough, right?
Well, my girlfriend was in town who
doesn't go to the University and came with
me to go to the IM Building. I went inside
the IM Building, swiped my card and
informed the front desk girls that my girl-
friend was a guest and we were just here to
watch the game. We were then informed
that we had to buy a $10 pass. $10!? To
watch my friends play in a basketball
game. What!? I paid $8 on Sunday to
watch the Michigan men's basketball team
take on Indiana for three hours. How could
I pay more to watch an hour game between
two intramural teams. Most high school
games are about $3. I understand that if
she were here to actually use the facility
then it would make sense, but that was far
from it. I tried to explain that we were only
there to watch the game - nothing else, as

ing? Something is very wrong here. You
think we pay enough money to this school
that we can at least bring a friend to watch
an IM basketball game. Where has all of
the common sense gone in the world, espe-
cially here at the University among people
who take their jobs too seriously. $10 to
watch an IM basketball game, give me a
break. So after that I turned from mild tem-
pered to over the edge. To the front desk
girls and rest of IM staff, how can you
sleep at night? Seriously? I'm out.
LSA sophomore
Will Daily support the
legalization of marijuana or
take wait and see approach?
I lust read your editorial entitled Smoke up
in Al (01/13/04) at cannabisnews.com and
was surprised to find the absence of any men-
tion of the signature drive currently underway
to legalize cannabis/marijuana in Michigan.
For more info, check it out at: www.apublic-
service.com. The actual signature drive started
Jan. 8, although the promoters of the proposal
will not start their drive for signatures until
Jan. 25. It will run through July 5.
Tell me, after reading the proposed
amendment, does your paper/staff endorse
this? Remember, cannabis has no known
overdose deaths reported and aspirin and bee
stings alone kill more people than this plant.
I am anxious to know, can we count on the
Daily to support this? Or will you all stand
on the sidelines and "wait 'n see." I look
foward to your response.
The Michigan Daily welcomes letters from
all of its readers. Letters from University stu-
dents, 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




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