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October 11, 2005 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-10-11

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 11, 2005

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OPINION
QUOTABLE

COLIN DALY T-. i u+XN D)AI

JASON Z. PESICK
Editor in Chief

SUHAEL MOMIN
SAM SINGER
Editorial Page Editors

ALISON Go
Managing Editor

We can't

EDITED AND MANAGED BY STUDENTS AT
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN SINCE 1890
420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.comr

survive

1
on the

pay cuts they ar
talking about."

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- Delphi employee David Heizer on
the company's demand that its workers
accept wage cuts of up to 63 percent,
as reported yesterday by The Detroit News.

Another sprawl casualty - local history
CHRISTOPHER ZBROZEK B )RN IN THE u a
isten to Ann as you drive across the country. No matter and from structured extracurricular activi-
Arborites talk how hard the Applebee's just off the freeway ties. And if the neighborhood starts to go
about why they tries to be your neighborhood bar and grill, it south, well, folks just move out to a more
don't like urban sprawl, just can't help to define a place the way Fleet- distant suburb.
and you'll hear how wood or Blimpy Burger can. American society, constantly infused with
poorly planned devel- But a local history mentioning only build- immigrants, has always encouraged mobil-
opment encourages ings and businesses is about as fascinating as ity. Our willingness to move about, however,
automobile dependence, a national history focused solely on treaties. seems to have increased over the past few
devours green space Stories and anecdotes from the lives of the decades. It's becoming rare for people to live
and sucks the life from people in a community are what make local in the same house for more than a decade or
traditional downtowns history meaningful. Yet the people who live two, depriving communities of the long-term
and urban neighborhoods. These are seri- amid suburban sprawl don't seem to care residents and prominent families that glue
ous consequences of a blithe attitude toward much about their neighbors' stories, and they them together. And a variety of economic and
land use and solid reasons why we need more tend not to put down deep roots in their so- social forces have driven people out of small
thoughtful development policies. But another called communities. towns and established urban neighborhoods
aspect of urban sprawl will be most clearly Houses in older neighborhoods in Detroit and into any of the indistinguishable suburbs
evident decades from now, when amateur - or around campus - are a bit different surrounding any large American city.
historians sit down to write the history of from the new ones going up in the townships Certainly people want to live in these patch-
their suburban communities - and find that around Ann Arbor. They're closer together. es of former farmland, or they'd stop moving
there's nothing worth saying. They have real porches. It doesn't take a there and the developers would stop building.
All the factors that make for compelling huge stretch of the imagination to picture But people aren't likely to develop close ties to
local history are gone from the average sprawl homeowners chatting with their neighbors in these indistinct places, and without a cohesive
municipality. For starters, there's the newness the evening while their children play in the community, there will be precious little for an
of these areas. America has never been able streets. When my mom describes the neigh- amateur historian to talk about.
to match Europe for historic cities. But even a borhood she grew up in, it sounds like this: Local history, because it explains the com-
19th-century building in Ypsilanti's downtown Her block had dozens of children on it, and munities we live in, can be directly mean-
has something that a freshly sprouted subdi- the neighbors looked out for each other's kids. ingful in a way that's difficult for the sort of
vision where there was a cornfield last year She regarded the woman who lived across the history taught in schools to attain. Take the
doesn't. A sterile new addition to suburbia is so street from her as a second mother. time to look at the glass historical markers
distant from the farmland or forest it replaced In today's suburbs, though, there's no need scattered around Ann Arbor, and you'll likely
that the area loses whatever stories it once held. to develop such close ties to your neighbors. walk away with a greater appreciation for
God might as well have made the land about People can stay safely within their air-con- how this town became what it is today. But
five seconds before the bulldozers moved in. ditioned finished basements, watching TV, it's difficult to imagine similar markers ever
This might not be so bad if the new neigh- using the Internet and driving anywhere they appearing at the gates of the average sprawl
borhoods didn't end up quite so uniform. need to go. They focus their civic energies on subdivision. That, I think, is a rather sad com-
The houses all display similarly lousy archi- the national affairs the 24-hour cable news ment on the cities we're building today.
tecture, and strip malls offer the only outlet channels' talking heads discuss. Rather than
for shopping and entertainment - a lineup having their children play with the neighbor- Zbrozek can be reached at
of corporate chain stores that barely changes hood kids, parents shuttle their children to zbro@umich.edu.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

0

Cartoon insensitive to Arab
and Muslim communities
TO THE DAILY:
I have lost count of how many times I've
heard a racial slur concerning my Arab
heritage and Muslim identity in' post-Sept.
11 American society. I cannot enumerate
the occasions where I have been asked if
I know Osama Bin Laden, if I was hid-
ing a bomb under my scarf or if I had a
pet camel in my backyard. The cartoon
that was printed in the Daily depicting a
scheming Bush between a Sunni extremist
and Shiite extremist (The Take-Out Box,
10/05/2005) does nothing to quell the com-
mon stereotypes and misconceptions about
the Arab and Muslims communities. While
the cartoon shows how President Bush
comes between Muslims and causes prob-
lems between people, it also propagates the
notion that Arabs and Muslims are violent
in nature and that the smallest thing sets
them off. The Arabs in the cartoon are por-
trayed as scowling barbarians as well as
stupid foreigners who fall for the cunning
American's ruse. Negative images such as
these encourage and justify discrimina-
tory behavior. Having a semi-appropriate
political message does not justify the latent
racism expressed in the cartoon. I ask that
the Daily be more sensitive in its cartoons,
especially during religious holy months
such as Ramadan.
Shimaa Abdelfadeel
LSA senior
The letter writer is political chair of the
Muslim Students Association.

in Coke's profit line by cutting its contract
ignores the fact that not just the University,
but many universities across the country
are rethinking their relationship with Coke,
and several have already severed their ties.
While the action of no one single university
may have a significant enough impact, the
fact that this scenario is being played out at
university after university has a very strong
cumulative effect. A university's decision to
sever its ties with a company sends a mes-
sage that resonates well beyond the imme-
diate financial impact of the decision. It has
a powerful symbolic value as well because
of the kind of institution a university is -
not just a profit-making entity, but a place
where thoughtful people compile, analyze
and produce knowledge, and where the next
generation of thoughtful citizens is shaped.
Decisions taken by a university weigh more
heavily than other decisions made by other
entities where similar financial conse-
quences are at stake.
Finally, Forester's opinion that investi-
gating companies that face allegations of
abuse will open the way to a floodgate of
frivolous allegations, making the University
a "hostage," is unfounded. The University
has structures in place such as the Dispute
Review Board that can easily separate frivo-
lous allegations from serious ones. The spec-
ter that investigating allegations would raise
prices of products sold at the University also
makes no sense. There are many companies
free of serious human rights abuse allega-
tions competing with each other to sell prod-
ucts, and if one company overcharges, the
University can always turn to another com-
pany and sign a contract with the company
that charges a lower price.
Sayan Bhattacharyya
Rackham
Washington knew what
columnist doesn't: Party
politics hurt nation
To THE DAILY:
Twice within a single week I've had the
disappointment of opening the Daily to find

Singal claims to support meaningful dia-
logue between people of varied opinions while
proclaiming the GOP's supposed excellence
throughout the entire column. By engaging
in divisive campaigns, for which Singal gives
the GOP his compliments, we make dialogue
and understanding nearly impossible. It is in
our personal and national interests to identify
with each other as human beings first and as
members of a political party last. As George
Washington warned in his farewell address,
political parties "serve to organize faction, to
give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to
put, in the place of the delegated will of the
nation, the will of a party, often a small but
artful and enterprising minority of the com-
munity; and ... to make the public admin-
istration the mirror of the ill-concerted and
incongruous projects of faction, rather than
the organ of consistent and wholesome plans
digested by common counsels, and modified
by mutual interests."
Adam White
LSA senior
LEO dispute overshadowed
studio dedication ceremony
TO THE DAILY:
The dedication of the Stamps Studios on
Friday was a momentous event for the School
of Art and Design. I am disappointed that
you chose to cover the conflict between the
Lecturers' Employee Organization and the
School of Art and Design instead of the sig-
nificance of the new facilities (Lecturers crit-
icize art school dean, 10/10/2005). Although
there are unresolved issues between the
administration and LEO, Friday's dedication
was about the successes of the school and its
innovative curriculum.
Through a generous donation from Penny
Stamps and her husband Roe, the school
was able to construct nearly 100 individual,
64-square-foot studios in place of old class-
rooms on the first floor of the Art & Architec-
ture Building. The Stamps Studios provide a
secure, private space for each seniorto work
on his year-long integrative projects.
It is through the efforts of Dean Bryan
Rogers and Associate Dean Mary Schmidt

University action can stop
Coke's human-rights abuses
TO THE DAILY:
The "In Dissent" piece in Friday's Daily
(Go ahead, drink Coke, 10/07/2005) is rife
with logical incoherence and strange argu-
ments that do not make much sense. Jesse
Forester appears to believe that even though
the case for the University not renewing its
contract with The Coca-Cola Company has
"valid" points, there is no point in doing so

Editorial Board Members: Amy Anspach, Reggie Brown, Amanda Burr
John Davis, Whitney Dibo, Sara Eber, Jesse Forester, Mara Gay, Jared Gc
Eric Jackson, Ashwin Jagannathan, Theresa Kennelly, Will Kerridge,

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