100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

November 17, 2005 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-11-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 17, 2005

OPINION

(ibe Ia irbigatn i~aUi

JASON Z. PESICK
Editor in Chief

SUHAEL MOMIN
SAM SINGER
Editorial Page Editors

ALISON Go
Managing Editor

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

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
4 $ We also are
concerned about
the potential for
fans to rush the
field."
- Dean of Students Sue Eklund,
Athletic Director Bill Martin and
Department of Public Safety Director
Bill Bass, in yesterday's e-mail to the
student body concerning this
weekend's football game.

ALEXANDER HONKALA FEI CHUMBUCKET
o re
~& CQci,4 Q

pa

ww'F

-%

The merits of raising hell
MARA GAY COMmoN SFNSE

t was the see-saw,
I think, that finally
broke this cam-
el's back. It has been
decades since campus
has seen mass protests
and sit-ins, hallmarks
} of 1960s Ann Arbor
that helped make the
University into one of
the loudest and proud-
est bastions of progress in the nation.
Today's University, however, is no longer the
site of such activism; there have been few acts
of courage and resolve in the face of adversity
and indifference. Instead, the Diag - once
a stage for serious social revolution - has
become a three-ring circus, featuring failed
attempts at creating change that often do noth-
ing more than mock the important causes they
are meant to champion while turning more
ridiculous and embarrassing by the hour.
BAMN's rally against the Michigan Civil
Rights Initiative quickly degenerates into a
bizzare kind of counterproductive chaos, a
screaming match of sorts. Unlucky members
of various organizations stand in the cold and
shove fliers into the hands of students who
would rather carry on to class or Espresso
Royale undisturbed by the world's problems.
Late-night vigils are held for Rosa Parks and
Iris Chang, two courageous Americans who
would be better honored by actions that effec-
tively advance the causes and principles to
which they dedicated their lives. And then
there is the see-saw. Sorority sisters, camped
out in the center of it all, asking passerbys for
donations as they ride a see-saw up and down
for hours on end.
Make no mistake, there remains plenty to
be outraged about. More than 40 years after
victory was declared in the fight for civil
rights and equality for women, we have come

to see that the struggle is far from over. It has
been, after all, nearly five years since the pol-
itics of fear and greed overcame the nation. In
today's Michigan, women earn only 67 cents
for every dollar men earn in the workplace.
Reproductive freedom is once again in doubt.
Though blacks account for almost 20 percent
of the college-aged population, they account
for only 7 percent of this year's freshman
class. And tuition continues to soar, pricing
students out of a better future.
The apathy of a generation loathe to act
in the face of obvious injustices and blatant
affronts to the very principles this country
was founded on is no new news. It is the
shocking lack of indignation that has empow-
ered the dark, dark days of the last five years.
It is the silent acceptance of a society where
certain individuals hold second-class citizen-
ship, where an American life is worth more
than any other, women's rights are a debatable
uncertainty, and the environment is nothing
more than an oil field ripe for exploitation.
But this year's fall semester began with a
string of racial controversies and will likely end
with the unfortunate visit of Fred Phelps, the
anti-homosexual crusader who created the web-
site, www.godhatesfags.com. It is clear now that
we can no longer ignore the complacency that
has become so endemic on this campus.
We can no longer appease our nagging con-
sciences by calling our collective silence "sad,"
"terrible" or even "a shame." These are foolish,
fruitless rationalizations that prevent us from
moving forward. The truth is that our inaction
is something far more sinister - the explicit
endorsement of whatever injustice we fail to
protest.
Activism may have a long and storied past
at the University, but today, it has significant
obstacles to overcome. Most of us, for example,
are just too comfortable to rock the boat. More
than 60 percent of students on this campus come

from families that make more than $100,000
a year, a stunning statistic in a state with the
highest unemployment rate in the nation. It is
difficult to imagine the ravages of joblessness
and desperation from an ivory tower buttressed
with so much wealth and privilege.
The racial segregation so deeply embedded
on this campus offers a false sense of comfort
that makes it extraordinarily difficult to form
effective coalitions that can create real change.
The vast gulf between races and cultures has
created a University where tension and intoler-
ance have trumped understanding and respect;
open dialogues and collective action seem
more a pipe dream than a tangible goal.
But while these obstacles often seem as
though they are impenetrable, impossible
challenges to overcome, they are only empow-
ered by our silence. They are rendered insig-
nificant when we channel our indignation and
our outrage, our passion and our compassion,
and we act.
On Oct. 14, 1960, President Kennedy stood
on the steps of the Union and first announced
the Peace Corps. "This University is not main-
tained by its alumni, or by the state, merely to
help its graduates have an economic advan-
tage in the life struggle. There is certainly a
greater purpose, and I'm sure you recognize
it," Kennedy said.
The majority of the see-sawers are good
people volunteering their time to raise money
for a charitable cause. But this campus is
capable of so much more. We must act on our
outrage. The Roger Phelpses and MCRIs of
the world do not need to recruit the ill-inten-
tioned to do their work. The most they can
hope is that decent citizens will stand by and
do nothing at all. They are banking on the
silence of you and me.
Gay can be reached at
maracl@umich.edu.

.1

VIEWPOINT
Not your soldier

BY ASHwINI HARDIKAR
Today, Nov. 17, is a national day of action:
"Not Your Soldier Day." Called by the
National Youth and Student Peace Coali-
tion, concerned individuals and groups
throughout the country are holding events
and spreading information on the truth about
military recruitment and its ties to public
education. These voices are from every-
where in the country - rural areas, afflu-
ent suburbs, urban centers and inner cities,
working class communities, high schools
and college campuses. They are the targets
of military recruiters and are affected by
the war in Iraq. And they are demanding to
know their rights in recruiting and to have
these rights respected by the government
and the military.
The Peace and Justice Commission of the
Michigan Student Assembly has been work-
ing this semester on a campaign we call
"Truth and Recruitment." Very simply, we
believe that all students and parents should
know the truth about recruitment tactics
and the realities of enlisting in the military.
These tactics include actively targeting youth
of color and working-class youth in what is
commonly termed the "poverty draft," a de
facto draft that leaves many young people
with desires for higher education with the
belief that they have little choice but to join
the military. However, in reality, money for
college is hard to come by after joining the
military, and there is no guarantee of job
placement after one has served. In fact, a

recent study shows that unemployment is
actually higher among young veterans than
among nonveterans
Working-class youth and young people of
color are placed in a serious dilemma: On the
one hand, available scholarships and loans
are rapidly disappearing at both the state and
federal level. Additionally, military recruiters
are increasingly sophisticated in their tactics,
using flashy giveaways and raffles, introduc-
ing combat simulations to elementary school
students as "field trips" and often being suspi-
ciously the singular presence at school career
and job fairs. In high schools with serious and
heavy recruitment, it often seems that there
are few options but to join the military.
For people of color, there is the funda-
mental problem of overrepresentation in
the military and underrepresentation in
institutions of higher learning. For exam-
ple, blacks, who make up 13 percent of the
national population, represent 29 percent of
military personnel. However, black students
make up only 11 percent of all college stu-
dents, and at some schools this is signifi-
cantly lower - the University, for example,
has a black student population of less than 8
percent. The same paradox has been docu-
mented for Latinos and Native Americans.
In many states, the passage of anti-affirma-
tive action legislation, such as the Michigan
Civil Rights Initiative, has and will further
limit the opportunities of youth of color and
will undoubtedly increase military recruit-
ment.
Parents are also reacting with anger to

the aggressive tactics of recruiters. In 2002,
the No Child Left Behind Act conditioned
a school's eligibility for federal funding to
its willingness to surrender contact infor-
mation for its juniors and seniors - infor-
mation used to call and mail the students
for recruitment. If they wish, parents can
"opt-out" of having this information sent
to their children - however, this provision
is not always publicized. Peace and Justice
Commission members called local schools
in mid-October, asking about the procedure
for opt-out. In many schools, the deadline
had already passed, although the school
year had barely started. In one school, we
were told that opting out would also take the
student out of the school's directory.
What is missing in recruitment is the fact
that the purpose of enlisting in the military
is undoubtedly, in some sense or another,
combat and war. The rhetoric of "money for
college" or "job placement" strategically
distances war and militarism from enlisting.
Yet the communities that are the most heav-
ily targeted by recruiters are also the ones
that are the most severely affected by war
and limited educational opportunities. The
aggressive militarism of U.S. foreign policy
and the continuing violence in Iraq has led
to more and more young people standing up
to the government and to the military and
asserting, "I am Not Your Soldier."
Hardikar is an RC senior and co-chair of
the Michigan Student Assembly's Peace and
Justice Commission.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Cheerleaders dampen
gameday atmosphere

ana moved along, I decided to take notice of
our gameday atmosphere. Here are my obser-
vations:
The students start their own cheers, the band
plays cheers, the cheerleaders wave their poms
-.-1.... ,,

opponents who come to the Big House fly their
huge flag all game.)
The main problem is that the cheerlead-
ers lack an identity. The band has a rigorous
pregame routine set to an intense cadence, the
fint1n, - - - ^,* _. sv h u/ Rbon

Editorial Board Members: Amy Anspach, Reggie Brown, John Davis, Whitney Dibo,
Sara Eber, Jesse Forester, Mara Gay, Eric Jackson, Ashwin Jagannathan,
Theresa Kennellv. Mark Kuehn. Will Kerridge. Raiiv Prabhakar, Matt Rose,

TO THE DAILY:
S TT :., .. . .:-

I

Back to Top

© 2017 Regents of the University of Michigan