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April 11, 2006 - Image 4

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 11, 2006

OPINION

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DoNN M. FRESARD
Editor in Chief

EMILY BEAM
CHRISTOPHER ZBROZEK
Editorial Page Editors

ASHLEY DINGES
Managing Editor

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
We are
America.
- Displayed on signs and chanted by proti
tors at yesterday's National Day of Acti
for Immigrant Justice in Washington,
reported yesterday on washingtonpost.co

I

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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.

WANTA A SUMMER COL~UNO
T ciG ABUT ioiN
DALY OPIN*m1?
E- .L GLc~upaw

Coming clean
SAM SINGER SA.M'S CiU

For one day each
year, usually
sometime in late
December, Washing-
ton Post political col-
umnist David Ignatius
does something fairly
remarkable for a man
in his line of work.
x I Ignatius turns his dis-
cerning eye inward, to
his own writing, and for the full length of a
column he takes himself to task for a year's
worth of mistakes. As if writing from a confes-
sional, Ignatius owns up to each and every one
of his miscalculations, failed predictions and
broken arguments. Then, with a professional
courtesy otherwise unknown in his field, he
apologizes.
Ignatius apologizes not because he has to,
but because he's of the old-fashioned convic-
tion that a byline still carries with it some
degree of personal accountability. I happen
to agree with him, but I won't pretend for one
minute that anyone would care enough to try
to hold me accountable. Ignatius writes for an
international audience, and his opinion car-
ries prominent weight in the policy world. He
competes on a national field, with writers who
move markets with the stroke of a keyboard. I
compete with a crossword puzzle.
Still, I've always found something thera-
peutic about atonement, and though my mis-
takes may not breed controversy like those
of a nationally syndicated columnist, they're
still worth some reflection. So stay with me
- bearing in mind that this could just as easily
be 800 words of wistfulness and stale farewell
advice.
I'll start where my conscience is the heavi-
est. In a column last November (Preying on
confusion, 11/01/2005), I grumbled about
excessive speculation in the media's coverage
of the CIA leak investigation. At that point, the
federal probe extended only as far as former
vice presidential aide Scooter Libby, who had

just been indicted for disclosing the identity
of CIA operative Valerie Plame to reporters.
Libby uncovered Plame's identity as part of a
broader campaign to damage the reputation of
former ambassador Joseph Wilson, Plame's
husband and a longstanding critic of the Bush
Administration. Commentators on the Left
were reaching for anything - anything at all
- that might be construed to tie Libby's leak
to the Oval Office.
It all seemed like overkill to me. The chro-
nology of the investigation, which dates back
to early 2003, was already perplexing enough.
The story simply didn't need another angle,
especially not one grounded in innuendo. I
guess that's why I was so angry with Frank
Rich. The venerated New York Times colum-
nist had written a colorful piece back in Octo-
ber that equated the Plame fiasco with the early
stages of the Watergate scandal. To the best of
my knowledge, he was the first commentator
to utter the "W" word. I couldn't understand
why Rich, a man well aware of how loud his
voice echoes in the mainstream press, would
risk peddling tabloid-quality rumors.
I do now. Last week, we learned that Presi-
dent Bush authorized the disclosure of top-
secret intelligence estimates of Iraq's WMD
capabilities as part of that same campaign
- previously understood to be confined to the
lower ranks of the administration - to under-
mine the credibility of Wilson and other war
critics. Though there is still no evidence that
Bush had prior knowledge of the Plame leak,
Libby's testimony does implicate the presi-
dent in an under-the-table smear campaign of
which he has thus far denied any prior knowl-
edge. In fact, Bush has actually promised to
lay off any White House official discovered to
be involved. Whoops.
This is a huge story, maybe the biggest of
the year. If what Libby told prosecutors is
accurate, the president has been deliberately
and methodically lying to the public for three
years now. That's pretty awful, and I sincerely
regret questioning the character of a journalist

who had the foresight to realize it. Mr. Rich, if
you're reading this - and something tells me
you're probably not - my apologies.
Of course there have been other, arguably
less weighty, slip-ups. I may have suggested
in a December column (The Ides of March,
12/13/2005), for instance, that there was a
decent probability Israel would launch air-to-
ground attacks on Iran's nuclear enrichment
facilities sometime in March. The article was
outwardly speculative, a connect-the-dots piece
that presented a collection of statements from
Israeli defense officials that seemed to suggest
steps toward a more aggressive military pos-
ture. Well, April is here, and so is Iran.
A couple of summers ago I predicted,
with embarrassing self-assurance, that the
Democratic Party would reclaim a Senate
majority in the 2004 elections (Closing ranks,
07/19/2004). As you probably know, Demo-
crats were routed in those elections. Repub-
licans actually widened their majority. And
while I'm tempted to blame my imprecision
on an erratic and unreliable electorate, that
would be ignoring the sad reality that I had
no idea what I was talking about. I apologize
if I got anybody's hopes up.
There are many more - too many, in fact,
to acknowledge in such limited space. I would,
however, like to finally address the flood of
angry e-mails I received around this time last
year concerning Squirrel huggers (4/12/2005),
an article examining the Michigan Squirrel
Club and its general value on campus. Club
members didn't appreciate my conclusion,
which posited that the organization actually
operates to the detriment of local squirrel
populations. They accused me of deliberately
sabotaging their reputation. They called me
ignorant and condescending. They told me I
didn't know the first thing about urban ecol-
ogy, or squirrels for that matter. I still think
they're just in it for the T-shirts.

VIEWPOINT
Affirmative action is not a reward

Singer can be reached at
singers @ umich.edu.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Send all letters to the editor to
tothedaily michigandaily.com.

BY WYNTER MCGRUDER
Despite the controversy surrounding the
Daily, I still look in its pages while I am moving
between classes. When I am reading, my eyes
often find the articles written to the Daily from
my fellow classmates. I am always interested to
know what other people think about important
issues. I was reading the Daily when I came
across a letter that invoked some very raw emo-
tions in me, and I felt that I had to write some-
thing in response.
The letter was The only moral issue about
MCRI is racism (04/10/2006) by Robert Scott.
He talks in the letter about "arbitrarily reward-
ing certain individuals based on their skin color"
and "the disgusting, demoralizing institutional-
ization of racially preferential treatment." I have
two major problems with his argument.
The first is that affirmative action is some kind
of "reward" for being a minority or a woman.
Affirmative action was set in place to try to
combat the centuries of economic and educa-
tional oppression that still (yes, still) plague this
country today.
It is not a reward for being a minority or being
a woman; it is compensation for not being the
right color or gender. I am a black woman, and
even though I know I deserve to be here, I pay
the price for all this so-called "preferential treat-
ment." I pay the price when I sit in my engineer-
ing classes and all the other students refuse to
sit next to me because they do not want to be
associated with the black girl. I pay the price for
affirmative action every time my groups try to
give me the secretarial work for our team proj-
ects. I pay the price whenever I, as the only black
girl in the room, have to be extraordinary when
I answer questions in class in order to be taken
seriously when everyone else can live by the
standards of mediocrity.
Secondly, who came up with this idea that
I receive some kind of preferential treatment
because I am a minority at the University? As

far as I know, Ittake the exact same exams; I
have the exact same books with the exact same
homework assignments. I do not have professors
on either side of me giving me hints while I take
a test because I am a recipient of affirmative
action. The second I set foot on this campus, I
am just as much on my own as my white male
counterparts.
Finally, I just want to say that though I am a
strong proponent of affirmative action. I do not
believe it to be a permanent solution. I believe
it is a temporary fix to an extremely complex
problem. How does one overcome the two cen-
turies of oppression that have faced both women
and minorities in this country? It would take the
total reconstruction of the educational and eco-
nomic system of America to make things "fair
and equal." It could take another two centuries
before things are set right.
So I ask the question: While we wait for the
federal government to provide "public education
that provides equal opportunity for every Amer-
ican child, regardless of socioeconomic status or
region," what are we supposed to do? By "we"
I mean the collective "we" of Latino/as, Afri-
can Americans, women, Native Americans, etc.
who are the beneficiaries of affirmative action.
Are we supposed to sit around and continue to
be denied our rights to higher education and
employment until some government think tank
comes up with cost-effective and speedy ways
to combat the years of oppression imposed on
us since the founding of this country? I do not
think so, and an America that wants change and
appreciates the true concept of diversity and
equality should not think so either.
I personally hope that America stops excus-
ing itself from the table of change. The time is
for action, not for debate, because while liberals
and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats
are sitting around arguing about how to fix the
screw-up that is the past 200 years, millions of
American children are being left behind.
McGruder is an Engineering junior.

Letters show the need for
R&E requirement
To THE DAILY:
Sometimes I feel like writing letters to a brick
wall, so here it goes. LSA Student Government
has recently voted to make the "race" in the Race
and Ethnicity requirement no longer, well, a
requirement. Not one, but two letters in the Daily
last week evoked deep confusion and hostility
to the idea that race has and continues to funda-
mentally affect one's life in America (Affirma-
tive action misses economic realities, 04/06/2006,
Affirmative action should address socio-economics,
04/06/2006).
Dealing with the historical disparities between
whites and blacks by granting affirmative action
only to poor people regardless of color - which
is already the case - or, say, dealing with the
festering wound of race relations in America by
talking about "diversity" is like trying to prevent
sunburn by fighting global warming. In other
words, there are very specific reasons for black
and white disparities in America that aren't so
true of the income gap at large or similar for any
other group - conditions that affect even middle
and upper-class blacks to this day.
These include redlining and housing segrega-
tion, white flight and the subsequent collapse of
property values, employment and bigotry - and
stereotypes like black people as dumb or lazy and
"bitches and thugs," believe it or not. (I know, I
know, it doesn't happen in Michigan and espe-
cially not in Detroit.) Any person who "doesn't
see where race fits into the equation," wouldn't
see where an equal sign fits into an equation.
This isn't to say that we shouldn't try to address
poverty at large or intolerance of all kinds. All I
am saying is that it would make some people in
America more than happy to make America's
racial minorities wait for justice until the day
that intolerance and economic inequality of all
kinds cease to exist (which is never). Keep the
race requirement in race and ethnicity, and keep
minority affirmative action.
Michael Smith

a major deficiency in the article. Although the
author included some of the smaller programs in
the University, the School of Nursing was ignored.
The nursing school has historically been one of
the highest ranking schools within the University,
currently listed as third in the nation. As is so often
the case on campus, this neglect not only hurts the
nursing school, but it also damages the entire pro-
fession of nursing. Nurses make a difference every
day, and in light of the current nursing shortage, I
think it may have been more responsible for the
Daily to encourage and support this profession
instead of ignoring it, thereby implying that it is
insignificant.
Rochelle Weller
Nursing sophomore
Daily ignored Relay for Life,
but covered Dance Marathon
To THE DAILY:
I was very upset yesterday morning when I
saw that Relay for Life, the American Cancer
Society's 24-hour fundraiser, was not included
in yesterday's Daily. More than 2,100 University
students participated and more than $224,000
was raised. Such a dedicated effort should be not
ignored by this campus's main source of informa-
tion, especially since Daily staff were present at
the event. Part of what makes the University such
an incredible environme'nt is the commitment of
its students to charitable causes, and Relay for
Life's success should be valued and recognized
as Dance Marathon was last month.
Diana Parrish
LSA sophomore
Writer validates stereotypes
instead of discrediting them
To THE DAILY:
While reading Madison Moore's article in The
Statement last Thursday (Fabulous is not a crime,
04/06/2006), I was amazed at how unabashedly
he spewed out prejudice, racism and stereo-

"squishy little box" for another one, and yet still
has the arrogance to criticize everyone else for
"uniformly following the pack:" And if the worst
instance of homophobia Moore encountered at
the University was feeling like he stood out after
a football game while everyone else wore yellow
and he wore Dior (as he so proudly mentions),
then I would say that this campus is thankfully
not so homophobic.
I agree that homophobia is an ugly problem,
but how can we expect to live in a world where
everyone accepts everyone else for who they
are when the same people who know what it
feels like to be a minority are so quick to dish
out their own prejudiced criticisms of others?
Perhaps if Moore were to reevaluate himself,
he would find that he's not so "utterly fabu-
lous." He's just utterly hypocritical.
Christy Connelly
LSA sophomore
Hidden 'truth' about Sept.
11 must not be ignored
To THE DAILY:
I really do not even care whether this gets pub-
lished. All I want is for the beacon of journalis-
tic integrity that is The Michigan Daily to shine
through amid the fog of fascism.
I direct you to an interview with Charlie
Sheen done on the Drudge Report in which he
demands the truth about the real story behind
Sept. 11 (http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/
march2006/220306mediablackout.htm). This
story was swept under the rug almost immedi-
ately by the mainstream media, even though there
is no misinformation and his accusations are not
far-fetched. Sheen simply implies that the truth is
very far removed from what we've been told by
the Bush administration.
I am not leaning toward one side of the politi-
cal spectrum, nor am I particularly active in poli-
tics. I am simply a student who ran across a large
amount of very credible information that was very
obviously covered up or edited by the powers that
be. The interview story can be found on that web-
-:1n i 1- - - n a t ori~ n nn ir c tt

Editorial Board Members: Amy Anspach, Andrew Bielak, Kevin Bunkley, Gabrielle D'Angelo,
Whitney Dibo, Milly Dick, Sara Eber, Jesse Forester, Mara Gay, Jared Goldberg, Mark Kuehn,
Frank Manley, Kirsty McNamara, Suhael Momin, Rajiv Prabhakar, Katherine Seid, Gavin

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