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November 16, 2007 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-11-16

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4A - Friday, November 16, 2007

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com


Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
The Daily's public editor, PaulH. Johnson, acts as the readers' representative and takes a critical look at
coverage and content in every section of the paper. Readers are encouraged to contact the public editor
with questions and comments. He can be reached at publiceditor@umich.edu.
Adiferent kindof sellout
U has disparaged the storied tradition of college football
Tomorrow marks the 104th meeting between Michigan and
Ohio State. A lot has changed at Michigan Stadium and in
college football since that first matchup in 1897, and not
all of these changes have been for the better. On the field and off,
college football is becoming increasingly commercialized, with
a larger emphasis on which team can capture the biggest profits,
the most attention and the finest recruits, and it's threatening to
diminish Michigan tradition and values.

It is good to see that the Clinton camp can
maintain a sense of humor after the worst two
weeks of their campaign."
- Danny Diaz, spokesman for the Republican National Committee, responding to the Clinton campaign's prediction
that if the general election were held today, she would win in a landslide, as a reported yesterday by TheHill.com.
Were's te real G OP?*


Although it may be hard to believe, three
years ago, the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry
almost got a corporate makeover. Offering
the schools $1.6 million over two years,
telecommunications giant SBC proposed
to buy the rights to America's greatest
rivalry and rename it the SBC Michigan-
Ohio State Classic. Only weeks before the
game, the schools backed out of the spon-
sorship after an outcry from fans.
As this season has shown us, the battle
is not over. The University is playing more
than just a game of football, with more
than just a bowl game at stake - even if
this year that game is the Rose Bowl Game
presented by Citi.
There is no better example of the commer-
cialization of college sports than the ongo-
ing clash between the Big Ten Network and
Comcast. While the game is supposed to be
about the fans, the players and the univer-
sities, the Big Ten has made the sport about
the money. Now, the lust for money has kept
many fans from watching the game each
Saturday, even right here in Ann Arbor.
With this same focus on the bottom ljne,
the University made another hasty deci-
sion this summer, entering into a ques-
tionable apparel contract with Adidas.
Instead of proactively examining Adidas's
labor methods before signing the contract,
the Athletic Department jumped at the
cash, and it could come back to haunt it:
With universities like the University of
Wisconsin at Madison reconsidering their
contracts with Adidas because of alleged
labor violations, the University is already
in a compromising position.

Symbolically, the proposed renovations
to the Big House stand as the largest tes-
tament to college football's transforma-
tion. Setting aside all of the problems with
the stadium's accessibility and the lack of
transparency in its decision making, the
University is set to begin construction on
the skyboxes for the Big House at the end of
the season. When the skyboxes go up, the
Big House's tradition of egalitarian bench
seating will be destroyed as some Michigan
fans sit comfortably in their enclosed, air-
conditioned luxury suites.
University leaders often say that they
have no choice in the matter: Times change,
and this is just the way it is. But, the pull of
commercialization is not new: it is the lead-
ership that has changed. It is a leadership
yielding to lucrative opportunities selling
off the integrity of the game piece by piece
to the highest bidder.
Every facet of college football - the sea-
son tickets, the advertising, the TV con-
tracts and the apparel sales - are akin to
professional football. Despite all of those
signs of blatant profiteering, the University
hides behind the ideal of the amateur nature
of college sports every time it finds it con-
venient to do so - namely when it comes to
the question of paying athletes.
Multi-thousand dollar seat premiums,
enforced monopolies on who gets to sell
pizza in the stadium and a $226 million
stadium-renovation project that still won't
accommodate people in wheelchairs. On
the eve of the biggest game on the year, we
should all wonder: Is this what we envi-
sioned for the hallowed Michigan brand?

There are 353 days until the
2008 election. Anybody tired
of it yet? We're currently
in the personal
ments phase, soon
to be followed by j
the ever-popular
awkward appear-
ances to branch-out
phase, and yet no
candidate or party
has separated itself KEVIN
from the rest of the B
pack in terms of UNKLEY
On the GOP side, things are sig-
nificantly more wide open than on
the Democratic side, where it is look-
ing more and more like Hillary Clin-
ton is destined to be the nominee.
Lately,though, all of the Republican
candidates have veered from a true
conservative platform to distinguish
themselves from President Bush or
take blind stabs at Clinton. So which
of the Republican candidates can get
his act together and band the leader-
less conservatives together to win the
The conservative National Right
to Life Movement recently endorsed
actor/former. senator Fred Thomp-
son, but there are questions about just
how pro-life he is. Twice as a senator,
Thompson voted against an endorse-
ment of Roe v. Wade, yet he has acom-
pleted survey to his name that says he
is in favor of legal abortion (he claims
he does not remember such a survey).
In his wavering, Thompson isn't
alone: Rudy Giuliani was endorsed by
evangelist Pat Robertson, and some
question Giuliani's faith, given his
marital scandals as mayor of New
York. It seems that none of this year's
Republican field even remembers
what a Republican is.
So what should a Republican be?
Daily's mistrust of
voters is appalling

There is no strict set of views a candi- those relishing the return of someone
date must have, and that seems to be like Newt Gingrich. The Republicans
the problem with this bunch: They're are only now beginningto overshadow
all trying to say just the right thing their negative image as a bunch of cor-
that will make voters say "Aha! It's rupt fat cats who are out of touch with
Ronald Reagan all over again!" But America and ready to let the govern-
was Reagan a true conservative? His ment go into a shutdown rather than
two terms were notoriously spend- compromise. Such an image might as
happy, though George W. Bush would well be Gingrich's personal legacy:
put him to shame. The last thing the party needs is to
Reagan said in 1975, "A political accept the entrance of the man whose
party cannot be all things to all people. fall from grace was just as drastic as
It must represent certain fundamental his storied rise. Crooked political
beliefs which must not be compro- scheming within the party may have
mised to political expediency." That's started with the administration of
a statement he never shied away from, Richard Nixon, but there's no reason
even on hot-button issues like military
Whatever Reagan was, he was just the The Republican
right amount of it at all the right times,
considering his two gigantic electoral dida h
victories.ca dd tsh v
All of today's GOP candidates seem s met ik n od
like the antithesis of the fundamentals some thi king to do.
of Reagan: They are catering to the
masses, rather than being confident
in why they belong in the Republi- to have that be a newfound fundamen-
can Party. Giuliani can't go anywhere tal of the GOP. Thankfully, it's looking
without the phrases "America's mayor" more and more like the party won't
and "stopping the next Sept. 11" being have to make that choice.
uttered. Mitt Romney became a "life- The Republicans must stop pre-
long member" of the National Rifle tending to be Reagan and start pay-
Association almost overnight, and he ing attention to what actually made
spends more time defending his faith him so good at building coalitions
than he does his politics. and winning elections. As soon as one
John McCain is the most worthy candidate can figure out how to have
of the nomination, because he has the rhetoric of Reagan while also
answers for the Iraq problem (he's mastering his skill at personal com-
actually been there), and he wants munication, timely, weighed propos-
to reduce the deficit, but has anyone als and mass appeal, it is that person's
changed positions more often than charge to bring the party back under
McCain in recent years? Ron Paul, the one banner. It's the only chance the
most surprising of all the candidates, Republicans have of escaping the fate
has surprising popularity, but anyone President Bush's recent bumbling
who has so little faith in the system to seems to have locked them into: Los-
want to completely dismantle all of it ing the election.
is no Republican.
This field is lackluster, but not for Kevin Bunkley can be reached
a moment do I count myself among at kevrbunk@umich.edu.


leaders? Where is the outrage from
America? Where is the outrage from
the rest of the world?
The whips and chains of slav-
ery have been replaced with prison

Emad Ansari, Anindya Bhadra, Kevin Bunkley, Ben Caleca, Jon Cohen, Milly Dick,
Mike Eber, Gary Graca, Emmarie Huetteman, Theresa Kennelly, Emily Michels,
Robert Soave, Jennifer Sussex, Neil Tambe, Matt Trecha, Radhika Upadhyaya,
Rachel Van Gilder, Rachel Wagner, Patrick Zabawa -
Racism lives in Ann Arbor

Late Saturday night, I was walkingup to the
ATM on Church Street and South University
Avenue, when a SUV full of drunk men yelled
at me, "Fuck you, Afghanistan bitch!" I kept
walking, ignoring this eloquent comment.
They targeted me because I was wearing
my keffiyeh, a checkered Palestine solidar-
ity scarf, which is not in any way related to
Afghanistan. I'm white and Jewish, yet I still
experienced anti-Muslim racism.
When I reached the ATM, I felt something
hit my shoulder, possibly a plastic bottle. I
turned around to respond and was only met
with more belligerent yelling. As I went to
write down the car's license plate number, I
noticed a police car right behind them. The
cops either failed to notice what happened or
simply ignored the incident. The SUV full of
boys turned off the road, and the police drove
off like nothing happened.
Ironically, I had just left an uplifting work-
shop at the Trotter House called the Arab
Community Summit, which was sponsored
by Multi Ethnic Student Affairs. The ses-
sion foretold my experience with the group
of drunk men: It was about the prevalence of
anti-Arab racism at the University.
In the workshop, a Palestinian student
told the story of being silenced and called
an extremist in her classes, regardless of the
subject, after pro-Israel students realized her
heritage and ganged up on her. Another Arab
student described sitting in class behind two
non-Arab students while they discussed how
Israel should kill all Palestinians to make
more room for Israel's economy.
Make no mistake: Anti-Arab racism is alive
and well in Ann Arbor.
The day after the incident at the ATM, I
told a friend about it. In turn, she relayed a
story of a friend on campus, a black woman,
who was called the n-word while walking
down an Ann Arbor street last month.

I am a hip-hop artist and community activ-
ist based in Detroit, but I was raised in Ann
Arbor. I know from growing up here that this
undercurrent of racism is deep, and it goes
well beyond anti-Arab hatred.
Beneath Ann Arbor's facade as a liberal safe
haven, the police disproportionately crimi-
nalize communities of color and poor people.
There's a landfill on Ellsworth located across
the street from low-income housing. And who
can forget the historic moments in 1996 and
1998 when the city allowed the Ku Klux Klan
to demonstrate on the roof of City Hall.
So how can these problems be addressed?
The following are some of the solutions that
were put forward by Arab Summit partici-
pants on Nov. 10, as well as students of race-
related organizations throughout Ann Arbor:
First, we must speak out. These are only
isolated incidents if we let them go undocu-
mented. Second, student organizations should
address hate crimes through programs and
action. Third, change the race and ethnic-
ity requirement at the University to an anti-
oppression requirement. Such a requirement
would educate students on how being privi-
leged or harmed by systems of oppression can
influence their mentality. This requirement
would also support students in figuring out
their role in ending racial oppression.
Beyond changes on campus, we must estab-
lish truth and reconciliation commissions,
modeled after South Africa's post-apartheid
resolution process - a process that is now
being applied across America in communities
that are no longer willing to sweep ongoing
injustices under the carpet. Without address-
ing past wrongs, power dynamics will contin-
ue to be asymmetric, and the racial hierarchy
will remain unchanged.
1lana Weaver is an Ann Arbor-raised,
Detroit-based emcee and activist.

The Daily's editorial earlier this Kirk Muse
week about same-sex benefits in Mesa,Ariz.
Michigan (Cox's crusade must end,
11/12/2007),unfairly insults the intel-
ligence of the voters of Michigan. I Bush right to veto
would like to question the editorial
board on its statement about ballot Wasteful water bill
proposals: "Such initiatives under-
mine the concept of representative TO THE DAILY:
democracy by side-stepping debate There is a contradiction in an edi-
on the most important issues." The torial this week praising the Con-
Daily clearly needs a lesson in Greek. gressional override of President
Democracy comes from the Greek Bush's veto of a water bill (Water
word "Demos," meaning people, and works, 11/14/2007). If all of the proj-
"Kratos," meaning rule. Is it not the ects included in the bill are essential
point of any democracy, be it direct to the health of the country's water
or representative, to create laws that supply - as the Daily's editorial
reflect the will of the people? board claims in the editorial - why
To imply the debate was "side- did Democrats insist on air-drop-
stepped" by a ballot proposal is pre- ping 450 earmarks into the bill at
posterous. The people have been the last minute in the committee
hearing people from both sides rant conference, skirting debate?
about the issue for decades: To say I applaud President Bush and the
a debate was "side-stepped" insults handful of brave congressmen who
the intelligence of every person are now standing up for taxpayers
who voted in the election. What the by fighting the wasteful and corrupt
Daily proposes is to let legislators back-door tactics which have come
deal with it, as though there's secret to define the Democratic majority
information about gay people the and its spending habits. Congress
public isn't aware of. Who elected was undoubtedly elected on a man-
those representatives? The same date to increase transparency, but
people of Michigan, in whom the the creative tactics it employs to
Daily professes so little faith. waste money refute any rhetori-
Sure, democracy is not perfect. cal promises its members may have
But to say that voters are incompe- made to clean up our government.
tent is unfair and crosses a line.
Jonny Slemrod
Nathan Stano LSA sophomore
LSA freshman
The ,war on drugs' OSUfans hoping for
gs agood clean game
targets black people
TO THE DAILY: We at The Ohio State University
I'm writing about Mike Eber's cannot wait for the match-up of the
column earlier this week about sub- Blue and Scarlet this weekend.
tle racism in our society (Is that just Students at OSU joined together
the way it is?, 21/12/2007). It's obvi- two years agoto create the Ohio State
ous that the so-called war on drugs Sportsmanship Council. Through
is actually a war on certain people initiatives to welcome visiting fans,
- politically-selected people, who cut down on poor behavior and
happen tobe black people. increase school pride, this group of
Where is the outrage for these students has worked hard to create a
unfair drug laws? Where is the friendly, exciting environment for all
outrage from the black commu- fans. Our projects extend beyond just
nity? Where is outrage from black football: We hope to promote spirit

and sportsmanship at all Ohio State
sporting events.
While we will not be lucky enough
to host the exciting match up this
weekend, we want to let Michigan
know that we have encouraged all of
our fans visiting Michigan to show
pride for OSU by being positive fans.
History and tradition are very
important to students, alumni and
fans of OSU. On game day, the stu-
dents of OSU hope that all Buckeye
and Wolverine fans will join us in
committing to good fan behavior and
sportsmanship. We look forward to
an exciting game and look forward to
hosting this stories series next year.
Samantha Bloom
OSU freshman
Ohio State Sportsmanship CouncilMember
Maize-out requires
widespread support
It's Beat Ohio State Week here
in Ann Arbor, and it's time to rally
and support our football team and
our university. The past two foot-
ball seasons, maize-outs organized
by the Athletic Department to unite
the 110,000 fans at Michigan Sta-
dium have been lackluster at best.
Students have shown tremendous
enthusiasm on maize-out days -
coming to the Big House wearing our
brightly colored student shirts - but
participation by alumni and others
in attendance on Saturdays is weak.
For the biggest game of the season,
a hodgepodge of colors at Michigan
Stadium is simply unacceptable.
Everyone - students, alumni and
fans alike - need to wear maize on
Saturday to be a united force of sup-
port for our Wolverines. I do not
need to pointto Penn State and Wis-
consin to point out what an asset a
unified crowd wearing their school's
color can be at football games.
Across the Big Ten, alumni and fans
join students in their efforts to wear
a uniform color. What better way
would there be to stand united as
Wolverine Nation than to have a sta-
dium-wide maize-out on Saturday?
When you wake up on Saturday, no
matter what the weather conditions
may be, remember to wear maize.
Eric Mandell Victorson
LSA senior



Tho 's heart s real he answ rsnIs0.,
in this pri4ry
la~~ ay favor rxoodpr me.


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