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January 17, 2006 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-01-17

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 17, 2006


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Editor in Chief

Editorial Page Editors

Managing Editor



What would
Martin Luther
King Jr. do about
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day symposium key-
note speaker Anna Deavere Smith, speaking
yesterday at Hill Auditorium.



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.


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Coke is small fries
"We are all caught up same battles rage on throughout the coun- able intolerance, this campus will not stand
in an inescapable net- try, all eyes are upon us. We must stand at all.
work of mutuality." together as one campus - committed and Then there are those T-shirts that often
- Dr. Martin Luther staunch in our determination to constantly do little more than offend, simplifying one
King Jr. redefine the frontier of progress. of the world's most complicated conflicts
The value of equality and justice is as with the notorious one-liners, "Free Pal-
ow do you much in question today as it was more than estine," and "Wherever we stand, we stand
honor a king? 40 years ago. The Michigan Civil Rights with Israel." These shirts embody one of the
This year's Initiative's November ballot proposal, greatest obstacles to peace in the Middle
Dr. Martin Luther devoted to destroying affirmative action, is East: the inability to engage in an honest
King Jr. Symposium just around the corner. Yet the debate sur- and open debate about the Israeli-Palestin-
comes on the heels of the eviction of the rounding the topic has become dangerous- ian conflict without one group feeling as
Coca-Cola Company from the University, a ly unproductive and stale. Those who are though its fundamental right to existence
victory that has confirmed once again the fighting to save affirmative action and all it is challenged, and the other as though its
ability of this student body to make real represents must focus on the most convinc- every attempt to assert dignity for their
change. It is an affirmation of what we have ing and central argument - that race con- people is met with cries of anti-Semitism.
always known: We are a campus of think- tinues to play a sinister role in society. This As the rhetoric of inequality has been
ers and leaders, of activists and agitators, of nation can no longer afford to cast off rac- convoluted into politically correct language
revolutionaries with college degrees. ism as the sickness of a bigoted and vocal over the past 40 years, hatred has become
But it is January again, and even as this few when it is really the insidious disease more difficult to diagnose. But here at the
campus honors a man who dedicated (and of the silent many. University, in our time, we are confronted
ultimately gave) his life to making equality Every discriminatory inch of Proposal 2, the with the same fundamental issues as the
and justice a reality, Michigan is teeming vaguely worded state constitutional amendment ones King faced. And it is his indomi-
with battles yet to be fought. And in truth, meant to prohibit same-sex marriage, must be table spirit that weighs our consciences
Coca-Cola is small fries. challenged again and again and again - until with those critical questions: If we do not
The lesson of Dr. King, who dared to defy the amendment is wiped off the books and demand change at the University, where
injustice wherever it was found, is that we can- replaced with legislation that respects the civil will we demand it? If not here, then where?
not win here and simply stop fighting, content rights of all Michigan residents. If not us, then who? If not now, then when?
to avenge one injustice and ignore the others Last year alone, at least 27 Americans This campus has proven generation after
even as they nag at our collective conscience were killed because of the way in which they generation that it is capable of more than
and gnaw greedily at our sense of humanity. expressed their sexuality, but their deaths just January symposiums. But to truly
There are issues on this campus. that were not recorded as the hate crimes they honor the memory of this King we have to
demand the attention of all of us - diffi- were. The University's Board of Regents do more than celebrate his legacy - we
cult, thorny, explosive topics that make us is under immense pressure to amend the have to live it as well.
squirm in our own skin. Addressing them University's bylaws to specifically include "I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so
is a daunting task - it requires us to step gender identity and expression in the non- tragically bound to the starless midnight of rac-
outside the boundaries society has imposed discrimination clause, pressure that must ism and war that the bright daybreak of peace
on us and work doggedly to overcome the continue until all students are explicitly and brotherhood can never become reality ...I
constant threat they pose to our unity. protected under the bylaws. Dr. King once believe that unarmed truth and unconditional
But it is in the most trying and heated wrote, "injustice anywhere is a threat to love will have the final word."
issues on this campus - racism, sexual justice everywhere." If this campus will not - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
orientation, gender expression and the fight stand with those individuals endowed with
for a just peace in the Middle East - that the courage to love and to do so openly in Gay can be reached
we find the battles worth waging. As these the face of shameless bigotry and unspeak- at maracl@umich.edu.
BAMN leads way against MCRI
BY KATE STENVIG, MONICA SMITH rights of black and other minority students, heard the University's two affirmative action
AND BEN ROYAL however, its deceit is unworthy of attention cases; we successfully prevented MCRI from
in the eyes of the state's political leadership. getting on the ballot in 2004. This is just a
During the last half of 2004, petitioners This is unacceptable. BAMN has worked small sample of what we have achieved. In
for the so-called "Michigan Civil Rights Ini- tirelessly to expose MCRI's racially targeted spite of our ongoing success, the Daily finds
tiative" canvassed the state collecting sig- voter fraud to the entire state. it necessary to attack us and attempt to under-
natures to get their anti-affirmative action Withoutknowingthe facts behindBAMN's mine our work.
measure on the ballot for November 2006. success in defending affirmative action both The editorial refers to "some groups" who
During the course of this campaign, peti- in Michigan and across the country for over have brought forward a "startling" amount
tioners specifically targeted black voting a decade, a recent Daily editorial (Affirm of evidence of fraud in MCRI's campaign.
districts, telling black and other minority affirmative action, 01/06/06) might lead "Some groups" in this context actually
voters that the petition was to protect affir- one to believe that our method of organiz- refers only to BAMN, since we are the
mative action. On this basis, approximately ing is "outlandish and unproductive." Such organization that has actively exposed the
120,000 black and other minority voters a statement comes as no surprise, because fraud and deceit that characterized MCRI's
signed for MCRI to get the referendum on every successful civil rights leader has been petition drive. While educating the public
the ballot. Upon further investigation, the attacked and slandered in his own time by about the importance of affirmative action
fact that MCRI also lied to tens of thousands those who feared the struggle necessary for programs is important, the key to defeating
of white voters also comes to light. progressive change. MCRI - and thereby preserve affirmative
If any other petition campaign had so sys- In refuting this foolishness, it is neces- action in Michigan - is to consistently and
temically lied to and defrauded the Michigan sary only to make passing references to our ruthlessly expose its proponents lies and
electorate, for example by circulating a peti- leading role in the fight to defend affirmative deception to the entire state. Anyone who
tion in support of a tax hike while insisting action so far: We presented the most compre- is interested in helping to investigate and
to potential signers that the petition's inten- hensive legal defense of affirmative action expose MCRI's fraud should contact us at
tion was to freeze taxes at their current rates, ever put before an American court in the trial bamn@umich.edu.
the entire political establishment would be in of Grutter v. Bollinger, the Law School affir-
an uproar and would employ every available mative action case; we organized the 50,000- The writers are members of BAMN.
measure to prevent such an initiative from person national march on Washington on Stenvig and Royal are Rackham students,
proceeding. Because MCRI is attacking the April 1, 2003 when the U.S. Supreme Court and Smith is anLSAsenior.


Ben Franklin would
rather die than wiretap
In response to Will Kerridge's "In Dis-
sent" editorial (Wiretap or die, 01/13/06),
a quote taken from Benjamin Franklin
argues against Kerridge and others who
would follow his argument to disturb the
civil liberties given by the U.S. Constitu-
tion. Franklin said, "They that can give up
essential liberty for a little safety deserve
neither liberty nor safety." To sacrifice

argument for imposing on our civil liber-
ties. Down with Big Brother.
Joshua West
LSA senior
Dissenter's definition of
terrorists is misguided
In his dissent editorial (Wiretap or die,01/13/06),
Will Kerridge proposes an "encompassing" defi-
nition of a terrorist: "someone who will use violent

of terrorists? I guess I should thank Kerridge for
eloquently pointing out the inherent absurdity of
such a war - a war against enemies impossible
to define.
Dan Hirschman
RC senior
Columnist's expose' example
of Daily at its finest
Kudos to Sam Singer for his well written

Editorial Board Members: Amy Anspach, Andrew Bielak, Reggie Brown, Gabrielle
D'Angelo, John Davis, Whitney Dibo, Milly Dick, Sara Eber, Jesse Forester, Mara Gay, Jared
Goldberg, Ashwin Jagannathan, Theresa Kennelly, Mark Kuehn, Will Kerridge, Frank Man-
ley, Kirsty McNamara, Rajiv Prabhakar, Matt Rose, David Russell, Katherine Seid, Brian


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