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January 17, 2006 - Image 1

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-01-17

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Tuesday,January 17, 2006
News 3A Students for PIRGIM
refuses to give up


Opinion 5A

Views on the Coca-
Cola debate

Arts 8A Glory Road more than
just underdog flick

One-hundredfifteen years ofeditorialfreedom

www.michikandatly.com Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXVI, No. 55 ®2006 The Michigan Daily

Silence breakers

Lower-class blacks aren't
to blame for their economic
blight, UPenn prof says
By Mariem Qamruzzaman
Daily Staff Reporter
According to Michael Dyson, a professor of
African American studies at the University of
Pennsylvania, lower-class blacks aren't the only
ones to blame for their bleak economic situation.
In his speech yesterday in Hale Audito-
rium, which was part of the MLK sympo-
sium, Dyson criticized legendary comedian
and leader Bill Cosby for just that mistake.
Dyson said Cosby forgets that American
society has also contributed to the commu-
nity's situation.
Instead of only looking at the lower
class, Dyson said that Cosby also should
have criticized higher-class black Ameri-
cans in his speech.
"He could've been more critical of the
black rich who have often failed in their
obligations to create space for those who
come behind them," Dyson said.
He said other black Americans seem to have
See Cosby, page 7A

to hospital
Former president and
University alum undergoing
treatment for pneumonia, but
is expected to be released
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) - For-
mer President Gerald Ford was undergoing
treatment for pneumonia yesterday at the
same facility where he was briefly hospital-
ized a month ago, his chief of staff said. He
was said to be doing well.
Ford is an 1935 graduate of the University.
Ford, 92, was admitted Saturday to Eisen-

hower Medical
Center near his
home in Rancho
Mirage in South-
ern California,
Penny Circle
"Based on his
age it is prudent
for his initial
course of treat-
ment - IV antibi-
otics - to be done
at the hospital,"
Circle told The
Associated Press.

"Based on
his age it his
prudent for his
initial treatment
to be done at
the hospital."
Penny Circlee
Ford's chief of stafi

Michael Dyson, a University of Pennsylvania professor, known as a "hip-hop intellectual," speaks at the Business School's Martin Luther King Day
lecture at Hale Auditorium yesterday. Dyson's speech was titled "Is Bill Cosby Right? Or Has The Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind."

One-person skits raise awareness in unique way

In MLK symposium's
keynote address, actress Anna
Deavere Smith finds new
ways to illustrate old points
By C.C. Song
Daily Staff Reporter
Actress and playwright Anna Deavere
Smith told stories that broke the silence at
Hill Auditorium yesterday morning.
Smith was the keynote speaker of the
19th annual MLK symposium, which is a
series of events at the University that honor
Martin Luther King and his ideas.
Employing a unique style of storytell-
ing, Smith addressed issues such as educa-
tion and the history of races in the United

In her stories, she tries to become the
people such as an African doctor, white
schoolteacher and a black student entering
a segregated college.
This pursuit led her to Los Angeles short-
ly after the 1992 riots, where she spoke with
Koreans affected by the events.
During the riots, the Korean neighbor-
hood was greatly damaged as shops were
looted and burned.
The often untold story of the people she
met came alive through Smith's short dra-
mas in which she played all the characters.
In one skit, Smith burst into tears while play-
ing the role of a Korean woman whose dreams
had been demolished by the L.A. riots.
"I don't think we realized that Koreans
are completely left out from the society,"
Smith said while in character. "And we are
Smith's character sought justices that

were ultimately not granted to the Korean
community after the riots.
"Is it because we're Koreans? Is it because
we don't speak good English?" she cried in
a Korean accent.
The skit conveyed the social injustices
that Koreans experienced in particular
when the Korean woman reasoned that
they were left out because they "had cars"
and "were high taxpayers." Koreans were
ignored because the people around them
often thought they were better off than
other minorities, Smith said.
In character, she said she wanted to "be
happy, be glad for (blacks)" after two of the
four involved policemen were found guilty
of brutally beating Rodney King. But she
said she couldn't because she had been vic-
timized herself.
Smith used King as a part of her act in
order to contrast the philosophies of the

rioters against the philosophy of King.
"What about 1992, when they destroyed
innocent people?" she asked, still in char-
Gena Flynn, the symposium's coordina-
tor, said Smith's performance was impres-
sive because it incorporated another race
besides black and white.
"I think that was really key at presenting
an identity that we don't hear about," Flynn
said. "Very often when you hear about race
discussion, it's usually in black and white
John Matlock, the director of the Office
of Multicultural Initiatives, said that Smith's
theatrical performance was a unique way to
bring characters alive.
"When you have speaker like Smith come
in and who can go in character to talk about
controversial issues, I think we pay more
attention," he said.

Ford was expected to be released from the
hospital Wednesday or Thursday, she said.
"He's doing very well," she said.
Hospital spokeswoman Elizabeth Wholi-
han referred inquiries to Circle, who said in a
statement that there would be no further com-
ment until a press release is issued today.
Ford was admitted to the hospital Dec. 12
and left the next day. Circle said at the time
that Ford had undergone a regularly sched-
uled health exam but noted that he also had
been battling a bad cold.
Asked if the pneumonia was the result of
any lingering effects from the cold, Circle
said, "I don't think so."
Ford suffered two small strokes five years
ago and spent about a week in a hospital.
He became the nation's oldest living for-
mer president after the death of Ronald Rea-
gan in 2004.
Ford, a Republican from west Michigan,
was House minority leader when President
Nixon chose him to replace the resigned
Spiro Agnew as vice president in 1973. Ford
became president on Aug. 9, 1974, when
Nixon resigned amid the Watergate scandal.

Both sides of affirmative action
fight citing Martin Luther King Jr.


Opponents and
proponents of ballot
initiative alike claim to
share King's dream
By Justin Miller
Daily Staff Reporter
Martin Luther King Jr's historical stat-
ure has risen to such great heights that he
has landed on both sides of the debate over
the future of affirmative action.
Supporters and opponents of affirma-
tive action in Michigan both claim to be
advancing King's dream of a country free
from racial discrimination.
Staking the latest claim to King's legacy
was U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D-Dearborn).
Dingell addressed 50 students in the Michi-

gan League yesterday about a proposal on
November's ballot that, if approved, would
outlaw some affirmative action programs in
Michigan. Dingell opposes the initiative.
Dingell, currently the longest-serving
member of Congress, was elected to the
House 50 years ago when King was boy-
cotting buses in Alabama.
Dingell said he and others were follow-
ing the unfinished path King blazed to a
society of justice for all with their opposi-
tion to the ballot proposal.
Dingell attacked Ward Connerly, found-
er of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative,
which sponsors the ballot proposal, and his
colleagues as a group of "troublemakers"
who have wrongly wrapped themselves in
King's legacy.
Connerly and Dingell agree that discrim-
ination on the basis of race, gender, color,
ethnicity and national origin is wrong, but

fundamentally disagree on what constitutes
Connerly and his supporters claim
affirmative action is a race-based prefer-
ence that should be outlawed because it
perpetuates racial discrimination, which
they say contradicts King's dream of a
colorblind society.
Connerly started his national campaign
against affirmative action by launching the
American Civil Rights Institute on Martin
Luther King Day in 1998.
The State Board of Canvassers will
vote on proposed language for the Michi-
gan ballot initiative Friday.
The proposal asks voters if they want to
"ban public institutions from using affirma-
tive action programs that give preferential
treatment to groups or individuals based
on their race, gender, color, ethnicity or
See DINGELL, page 7A

Take 6, an a capella group, performs at Hill Auditorium for Martin Luther King Day yesterday.

Young engin alum succumbs to Hodgkin's

To Michigan
freshman Jack
Johnson, Pitts-
burgh Penguins

2003 grad was a member
of gospel choir, National
Society of Black Engineers
and mentorino- nroprrnm

semester of her senior year. While under-
going chemotherapy, she obtained a bach-
elor's degree in civil engineering without
absences or lower grades.
"She always gave her 100 percent,
aid ischar. waiak e- elhlep rnn.-

member Sealoyd Jones.
As vice president, Wilson planned both

the fall and
spring con-
certs and

fortable. She had a captivating smile."
In Wilson's final year at the University,
she played a part in incorporating the choir
and enabling it to receive the benefits of a
nonprofit organization.
Wilson wa siasoan active member

"She was

I= " .'Immmou-, 71 ,.Immpm


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