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December 03, 2004 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-12-03

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, December 3, 2004

SINCE 1890

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority
of the Daily's editorial board. All other pieces do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

'The popular claim
that condoms help
prevent the spread of
STDs is not supported
by the data."
- A line from the teacher's
manual for "A.C. Green's Game
Plan," a popular abstinence-only sex
education program, as reported yesterday
by CNN.com.


' :
>t Ei
; .


Strange bedfellows

his past January,
during a mid-
week stopover in
France, Chinese President
Hu Jintao was treated to
one of the most unabash-
edly extravagant welcom-
, : ing soirees a Paris-bound
dignitary has enjoyed
since Napoleon. It was the
Chinese New Year, and
President Jacques Chirac was not about to let
his eminent guest pass through without proper
fanfare. The heart of the Champs Elysees was
closed off - flooded with acrobats, jugglers
and dragon-shaped parade floats. From prime-
time press conferences to lavish dinner recep-
tions, the Chinese premier was flaunted across
town like a new Rolex. Chirac named 2004
"the year of China," touting a new born global
alliance, and in a final gesture of camaraderie
to culminate the three-day-long celebration,
the Eiffel Tower was drenched in a sea of iri-
descent-red floodlights.
Though it deeply pains me to write off the
possibility of French benevolence, I think it's
safe to posit that the government-sponsored
procession in downtown Paris commemorat-
ing the Chinese "year of the monkey" was
more than a simple exercise in cultural appre-
ciation. More appropriately, last January's
festivities can be considered one among a
countless sequence of European Union efforts
to get cozy with the Asian giant - ongoing
diplomatic flirtation that seems to have struck

a nerve in Washington.
Functioning independently, both China,
with its flourishing economy and moderniz-
ing military, and the European Union - 456
million strong and rolling in political clout
- have each managed to wobble the United
States's global leadership pillar; working in
concert, there's no telling how the cards would
fall. A well-forged strategic alliance between
the two leviathans may very well pose the sin-
gle greatest threat to the future sustainabil-
ity of U.S. hegemony. While European firms
revel in uninhibited market access to the most
lucrative manufacturing sector on the planet,
analysts fear China will use the partnership
as political cover to expand its sphere of influ-
ence in the Pacific. The two nations would
likely amass their foreign policy leverage to
counterbalance United States influence in the
Middle East and Central Asia, closing a prof-
itable energy window to U.S. firms. But how-
ever menacing the long term outlooks may
appear, the strengthening Sino-E.U. alliance
poses far more urgent problems.
Before the champagne is poured and friend-
ship bracelets are officially exchanged, E.U.
administrators will have some housekeep-
ing to do. Most contentiously, foreign minis-
ters will have to scrap a 15-year-old weapons
embargo that was stamped on Beijing after the
Tiananmen Square massacre. Anchored by the
United States, the armament prohibition has
lost viability at the international level, but to
this day, signifies the United States's steadfast
opposition to human rights abuse in China.

Beijing maintains the doctrine is antiquated,
that rumors of continued torture and exploita-
tion hold little grounding in reality - a claim
ridiculed by advocacy groups across the globe.
But more than absolving Beijing from decades
of brazen rights violations, lifting the arms
embargo would add a new level of complexity
to one of the most volatile security flashpoints
in the world: the Taiwan Strait.
After 25 years of advanced weaponry
imports from the United States, Taiwan's
coastline had begun to look less like a seaboard
and more like a Lockheed Martin convention.
But while Taipei's beachead artillery kept the
Chinese navy at bay during the '90s, extensive
modernization has allowed Chinese forces
to reposture. Now boasting the third-largest
defense budget in the world, China has waited
patiently to dip into the European arms mar-
ket. Heritage Foundation scholars John Tkacik
and Nile Gardiner argue that European hard-
ware would further embolden Chinese field
commanders - likely bringing the already
hot-blooded climate to a perilous brink.
Making the situation worse, under the
1979 Taiwan Relations Act, the United States
pledged to protect the breakaway province in
the event of Chinese coercion. Accordingly, if
the embargo is lifted, U.S. troop deployment
simulations will have to incorporate a contin-
gency that hasn't been integrated in half a cen-
tury: the use of European weapon systems.
Singer can be reached at

The basket-brawl: suburbanites gone wild!

After missing six
games for pro-
voking the Indi-
ana Pacer Ron Artest's
rampage through the
Pistons stands, Big Ben
<:-!returns to the Pistons
starting lineup tonight.
During his five-day-
too-long suspension,
Detroit went without its
best defensive player while also falling vic-
tim to racist attacks upon the city's image. As
usual, the image of the 85 percent non white
city is being destroyed by the actions of white
Suggesting that Detroit be renamed "New
Fallujah, Mich.," conservative commentator
Rush Limbaugh blamed the incident on hip-
hop culture, characterizing the brawl as "gang
behavior on parade minus the guns."
However, when watching the replay of Art-
est sprinting into the stands to rock some guy's
jaw, no one noticed hip-hop insurgents throw-
ing gang signs. Actually, we all saw middle-
aged drunk white men throwing beer. Besides,
gang members pour out liquor for those who
died in the struggle, not for uncontrollable bas-
ketball players/aspiring rappers.
Yet, Rush still felt inclined to blame the
fight on hiphop, which in doubletalk trans-
lates to black folk. Making matters worse,
he also noted that such behaviors were exclu-
sively liberal "blue city" behaviors. Cities
such as Detroit, New York and Los Angeles
share something in common outside of politi-
cal ideology: They have large populations of
colored folk.

Rush "Racist" Limbaugh's comments were
a direct assault upon the city of Detroit. Indi-
ana is not a liberal "blue city," but rather a con-
servative red state. So he wasn't referring to
the Indiana Pacers, who acted like wild boars
escaping their zookeepers, but rather the peo-
ple of Detroit who happen to embrace hiphop
and liberal Democratic candidates.
Rush the Racist predicted that his words
would be "tagged as racist." Perhaps he felt
that making this acknowledgment would some-
how change how people perceived his words.
Undoubtedly, there will be some nafve enough
to believe that his words weren't an attack upon
black people, but unfortunately they were.
Limbaugh simply painted a picture with ref-
erences to hiphop, gangsters and Detroit the
"blue city," but rather than naming his portrait
"black people," he chose ambiguity to leave
himself room for denial. But a simple way to
see past his rhetoric is to ask yourself what
image you formulate from his depictions.
If you can honestly say that you think of the
rowdy middle-aged white men who can afford
season courtside seats when you hear hip, gang-
ster and Detroit, then you're lying to yourself.
The only person that does not know that
Rush Limbaugh is a racist, is Limbaugh him-
self, so his critique upon the city isn't shocking.
However, this incident reveals what the city of
Detroit has been plagued with for decades now.
A victim of white flight, Detroit was once
thriving with rich industry and endless oppor-
tunity. However, as more blacks moved to the
city to take advantage of the factory jobs and
good quality of life, whites began to flee from
the city, taking their money and businesses

The more whites left the city, the poorer it
became. Contrary to popular belief, blacks in
Detroit are not inherently poor, and their schools
weren't always in shambles. But when half of
the city's tax base is flocking out to the Bloom-
fields, the Farmingtons and the Sterling Heights,
it is impossible to maintain the city in the same
fashion, resulting in ghettos and slums.
Since I'm from Detroit, I am often asked
about Detroit from people who once lived
there. To my face they say, "I can't believe
what happened to the city, it was once so beau-
tiful." What they really mean is "look at what
all the black folks did to that poor city."
And I stop and think to myself. Yes, it is terrible
that major industries were outsourced to other cit-
ies, leaving many unemployed and unable to feed
their families. Downtown was once filled with
department stores and banks; now I have to go to
Dearborn to find a good mall and Southfield for
the bank's main branches. This means that a lot of
the money Detroiters do make is spent outside of
Detroit, contributing to worse conditions. Not to
mention all of the people that choose to move out
of the city because of the crime, moving to a white
suburb, prompting more white-flight.
As long as money continues to be funneled
out of the city, Detroit will continue to have
a tarnished image. Despite the Palace being
along drive outside of the city, Limbaugh and
many others have found yet another way to
attack the city. So here's an idea: How about
we just move the Palace to Detroit? At least
this way the city will actually make money off
of the drunken, fight-starting suburbanites.
Clair can be reached at


V51 It*SA

'U' wif continue its
commitment to support the
LGBT community
The November elections were marked with
strong feelings and diverse and adversarial
points of view. A month later, the election
results continue to profoundly affect many
members of our community. This is evident
by the vast array of opinions expressed in
the Daily over the past weeks.
With respect to Proposal2, whichbans same-
sex marriage and similar unions, the University,
generally, and the Division of Student Affairs,
specifically, recognizes the effect this amend-
ment has on lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-
gender students, faculty and staff, particularly
in terms of how the community experiences
the climate in the state and on campus. As we
value and care for LGBT students, we are deep-
ly concerned about the impact of the ongoing
debate around these issues on LGBT commu-
nity members, many of whom are hurting and

troubled by having their lives subjected to such
intense public scrutiny.
Discrimination, whether based on sexual
orientation or other forms of prejudice, is
harmful and wrong. The risk of increased
discrimination - overt and indirect - in the
coming months is unsettling to many of us
on campus. As an institution, we are work-
ing against discrimination in all its forms, as
it is injurious not only to individuals, but to the
community as a whole. We understand that
discrimination continues to exist, and we will
continue to stand behind all members of our
community, regardless of sexual orientation or
gender identity.
In 1971, the University became the first
major university in the nation to offerdedicated
resources and support services to lesbian and
gay students. The University's advocacy has
subsequently grown in several ways, develop-
ing in part into what is now the Office of LGBT
Affairs, directed by Frederic MacDonald-Den-
nis. For over three decades, the University has
stood with lesbian and gay students, faculty and.
staff. In 1984, the University offered a call to

the campus community to join in preventing
discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation
and formally prohibited such discrimination
in 1993. We offered health benefits for same-
sex domestic partners in 1995 and continue to
defend our right to offer such benefits. As early
as 1997, we began working to address issues
affecting transgender members of our commu-
As an institution and as a student affairs
division, we stand ready, providing advocacy,
education and support services, not only for
LGBT students, but also for all members of
our diverse community. We ask the entire
campus community to join together in sup-
port and understanding of, and in solidarity
with and compassion towards one another,
including our LGBT community members.
Students seeking safe space to discuss these
issues may contact any unit or office within the
Division of Student Affairs, especially the Dean
of Students Office and Office of LGBT Affairs,
or contact me directly at harperer@umich.edu.
E. Royster Harper
Vice Presidentfor Student Affairs

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