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December 08, 2005 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-12-08

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, December 8, 2005

OPINION

(be £irbigatt ailg

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
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All
other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their author.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
That's why I'm
here, sister."
- Actress Sharon Stone, after being asked
whether her appearance at a liberal
fundraiser in Washington was meant to
express disapproval of President Bush's
recent U.S. Supreme Court nominations, as
reported yesterday by The Washington Post.

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ALEXANDER HONKALA FRI'HD (H.UMBUCKET

My own personal bias
DAVID BETTS PONTIFICATIONS

s anyone else sick
of affirmative
action? I know I
sure am. Race prefer-
ences, diversity - I
wish I were done with
all of it. Why, you ask?
Well, because there
appears to be a funda-
mental refusal to truly
understand its purpose. There are legitimate
claims against affirmative action. To use an
explanation from a friend, "it is a band-aid
over a bloody wound." However, I have been
confronted with almost no such claims when-
ever I hear an argument against the policy.
I've received responses that were adamantly
against affirmative action for what appears
to be no good reason to columns I've writ-
ten earlier in the semester. I've had people
try to convince me that most liberal political
philosophy is inherently anti-white and anti-
Christian. No, I won't be convinced.
I'm definitely a student of the 21st cen-
tury. I basically live online, surfing the
Web for everything from the websites of
architecture firms to online journalism to
works of scholarship and of course face-
booking. A few months back, I remember
stumbling across the webpage of a profes-
sor. I don't remember who he was or what
university employed him - only that he
was a black man, probably in his late '50s,
with graying hair, relatively dorky glasses
and a decidedly dull suit. He didn't look
especially dignified - no overtly chiseled
features, definitely not an athletic build. He
didn't look like much of a scholar; his pic-
ture didn't evoke the same sort of reverence

0

as other pictures of scholars I've seen. In
comparison to the portraits of past Univer-
sity presidents that hang on the walls of the
Michigan Union, his photo just didn't stack
up.
My realization that this professor didn't look
like much of a scholar took a split second. His
picture didn't appear until probably midway
through the pages and after reading about his
credentials and accomplishments I was sur-
prised that I was reading the webpage of a
black man.
I feel bad that this individual did not fit my
perception of an accomplished professor. I like
to toot my own horn about how I'm an intel-
lectual black man and there are more of us out
there than people realize. Yet when I saw that
professor's picture, I instantly decided that
he somehow didn't stack up to what a scholar
looked like. I talk a good talk about not using
stereotypes, yet I was just as affected as any-
one by some deep-seated belief that an old
white man is what an intellectual looks like.
The wall on the first floor of the Union,
which features the former presidents' por-
traits, is a really magnificent thing. It pays
homage to the great minds that have led this
university. I find myself captivated by the
images positioned prominently on a beauti-
fully paneled wall. I'm a bit of a sucker for
historical images and warm architecture and
I am not ashamed to admit that I'm always up
for learning about the history of the Universi-
ty. Thus, I've spent my fair share of time just
staring at the pictures. Yet whenever I leave,
I am always acutely aware that Homer Neal
seems to be the oddball of the bunch. I can
only imagine the end of University President
Mary Sue Coleman's tenure when the first

female makes an appearance on that wall.
In a letter to the Daily on Monday (Univer-
sity's race preference counterproductive, unfair,
12/05/2005), Prof. Carl Cohen suggests that
black students fear of being perceived as intel-
lectually inferior is because of affirmative
action. I've never met Cohen, but I can't agree
with that implication. That fear of being per-
ceived as intellectually inferior is a result of
being watched and followed and subtly ques-
tioned my whole life. Those looks of suspicion
were directed my way long before I got to
college. I'm also certain the practice of ques-
tioning black intellect arrived long before the
advent of affirmative action. Last summer, I
gave a strange look to a black man who actu-
ally was a professor because of my own inher-
ent bias. Affirmative action doesn't produce
the fear that a minority's intellect will be ques-
tioned - society at large does.
I was recently persuaded by the position that
the best the United States can hope for is to beta
true meritocracy, where advancement is based
exclusively on individual effort and achieve-
ment. When deciding whether affirmative
action should be abolished, it is necessary to
decide whether the current system is a help or:a
hindrance toward making society a true meri-
tocracy. It is necessary to decide whether there
are societal conditions out of an individual's
control that affect that individual's ability to
navigate society. If the Michigan Civil Rights
Initiative is on the ballot next November, I'll
vote against it. I'm thoroughly unconvinced that
America is a true meritocracy or that affirma-
tive action gives minorities an advantage over
whites when it comes to navigating society, arid
thus I'm in favor of keeping it around.

0

I couldn't hold out any longer
ERIC JACKSON LET'S REVIEW THE FAcTS
his past Sun- finger in a circle, so I ended up with a 20GB of limbo. I've only got a few more days of
day, after sev- Rio Karma instead. Although it physically looking smugly at the sea of white earbuds
eral days of resembles a hockey puck, the Karma has before I'm just smirking at myself. But in
exhaustive research, some nifty playlist creation software, and the interim, I should have plenty of time
I bought an iPod. It - the dealmaker - it comes with a draw- to put together a healthy list of nontrendy
was a choice made string carrying pouch just like a tiny bottle reasons why I purchased an iPod. I'm will-
by a bagillion people of Crown Royal. ing to share this index of anti-hipster justi-
before me, about a Sadly, my beloved Karma has developed fications, but only for the Apple-consistent
bagillion of whom go a crippling and inoperable case of end- price of $39.99. Oh wait, educational dis-
to this university. But stage battery failure. It only runs for about count ... $39.97.
in making this pur- an hour and a half on a charge now, barely My experience has not been all Bono and
chase, I compromised a decision I had made long enough to find a computer in the Fish- uncontrollable shadow-dancing, though. In
several years ago never to buy an iPod, like bowl. Rounding out this tragedy is the fact fact, I've already got a gripe about my iPod,
a sturdy old farmer who would rather take that Rio doesn't produce the Karma any- and it's not even here yet. Apple offers you
his own life than buy a Dodge truck. more, much less a replacement battery, so the chance to laser-engrave something clev-
I suppose I am not quite like that guy I was going to have to find an entirely new er on the back of your iPod, such as "Music
who refuses to buy a Dodge - any Dodge player. = Life" or "Sorry I wrecked your car" (actu-
- because I don't have a beef with Apple as a If anyone else out there is shopping for a al suggestions from apple.com). Disappoint-
company. In fact, I enjoyed quite a few hours high-capacity mp3 player, let me save you the ingly, Apple decided that my selection was
during elementary school playing Oregon trouble of reading the reviews: None of the inappropriate because it contained the word
Trail, Lemonade Stand and Spell-a-vator on players are terrible, most are pretty good and "bastard." I ended up forgoing the engraving
my old Apple HIe. Lessons from those green- the iPod is almost always at the top (in both in mild protest, and I hope that others who
screen masterpieces - if you don't pace your- ranking and in price). I wish I could say that's are denied reasonable messages, such as "To
self heading West, you will get cholera and what sold me on the iPod - the consistently all my friends at the Vagina Monologues"
die - serve me well to this day. No, my beef strong reviews and good word of mouth. But and "Thanks for the bitch, I love my new
wasn't with all of Apple, just with the iPod frankly, it's also the most attractive piece of dog!", will join my call for First Amend-
and the whole uber-hip culture that seemed electronics equipment I've ever seen, mar- ment justice.
(and still seems) to surround it. keted with the most seductive language and Of course, I would quickly forget about
I'm not a class warrior or anything, I visuals that Apple could conjure. I, like so any grievances I had if Apple could man-
just didn't see what the big deal was. When many others, was sold in part on the idea of age to include Oregon Trail as one of the
I shopped for my first player back in the owning an iPod, the idea of rocking out all up iPod "extras." I would gladly trade that stU-
fall of 2003, iPods were already starting to and down State Street with my funky shadow pid stopwatch function for another shot at
corner the market, even though their only in tow, the idea (sigh) of using that damned the wagon trails and the mid-19th century
distinguishing features were a moderately seductive click wheel. American dream.
interesting click wheel and an extra $75 to I ordered my player on Sunday but it
$100 on the price tag. I was, and still am, won't arrive from Shanghai until Friday or Jackson can be reached at
more interested in $100 than in moving my Saturday, which leaves me in a weird state edjacks@umich.edu.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR

0

Israel is just as complicit
with terrorism, violence
TO THE DAILY:
In his letter (Apology needed before we
can continue discussion, 12/06/05), Allen

Editorial Board Members: Amy Anspach, Andrew Bielak, Reggie Brown, John Davis,
Whitney Dibo, Sara Eber, Jesse Forester, Mara Gay, Eric Jackson, Ashwin Jagannathan,
Theresa Kennelly, Mark Kuehn, Will Kerridge, Rajiv Prabhakar, Matt Rose,
T1 .*1D 1 T l1 R :, C'_ _ 1 - CT. .: I:-1 - -, .- n ~

When the IDF kills children who throw
stones or settlers decide to puncture the ribs
of a kid who walks too close to their roads,
they are engaging in state-sponsored terror-
ism. So, under Weiss's rationale, anyone who
supports the state of Israel must admit that

.but by the international community and
anyone else interested in peace and justice
in the region.
Aisha Jukaku

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