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I Wednesday, Decem er3208Te Mchgn aly
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THE EDITOR'S NOTEBOOK with GARY GRACA
A look at the big news events this week and how important they really are. Conveniently rated from one to10.
DRIVING THE POINT HOME
After Congress snubbed them last month, the Detroit Three are back in Washington D.C.
beggingfor a second chance at a bailout. To prove a point, this time around FordMotor Co.
CEO Alan Mulally didn't fly in a private jet or even in first class; he took a hybrid SUV. The
point? Ford really doesn't understand that beingenvironmentally friendly doesn't mean
making a gas-guzzling SUV just a little more fuel-efficient.
Finding new answers to the
affirmative action question
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, FROM PAGE 5B
'I- / a"'
A THANKSGIVING TRADITION
Thanksgiving is all about tradition. The turkey. The family gathering. The pumpkin pie.
The day-after shopping. The random trampling by crazed consumers trying to pack into
a New York Wal-Mart at ungodly hours oftthe morning. That's how a lot of Native Ameri-
cans were killed, too.
Confirming last week's reports, President-elect Barack Obama appointed Hillary Clinton
to be his secretary of state Monday. Clinton will lead a team of national security veterans
who plan to fight terrorism around the world. Atop Clinton's Most Wanted List: a powerful
6 terrorist named Barack Obama.
Bringing to mind the Sept.11 attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center, the 2004
Madrid train bombings and the 2005 London subway bombings, an unidentified group
of terrorists attacked Mumbai last week. The attacks left at least 179 dead and have re-
9 ignited tense relations between India and Pakistan. There's nothing funny about terrorism.
Please forgive that last joke.
In 1965, when President John-
son advocated for equality as a
result rather than just a theory
in his commencement address
at Howard University, the racial
diversity at colleges and universi-
ties was abysmal.
At the time of Johnson's
address, 4.8 percent of under-
graduate students, 2 percent of
medical students and 1 percent of
law students in the country were
black, according to an article in
the summer 2004 Journal of Col-
Ultimately, resistance and affir-
mative action legislation led to
increased enrollment and gradu-
atin rates for students of color
in American colleges and uni-
versities. A 2001 National Center
for Education Statistics report
showed that in 1988 black under-
graduates accounted fort11 percent
and Latinos counted for 9 percent
of the total enrollment at colleges
The most recent Census
Bureau's reports that the num-
ber of black adults with advanced
degrees has nearly doubled and
more than a half a million more
black students are in college today
than in the early 1990s. It is sta-
tistics like these that advocates of
"race neutral" policies for higher
education cite as reason to revise
or eradicate affirmative action.
But these people do not always
ask the right question: who exact-
ly is progressing?
Stephen L. Carter, a law pro-
fessor at Yale wrote in the New
York Times article, "Affirmative
Distraction," that affirmative
action can otherwise be known as
"racial justice on the cheap" when
our measuring sticks for progress
solely evaluate "where children
start and where children come
out" without ever fully addressing
"those who suffer from the legacy
of racial oppression who are not
competing for spaces in the enter-
ing classes of the nation's most
A Native American law student
who asked for anonymity because
he didn't want future law firms to
look unfavorably on his opinions
advocated for the importance of
race. He said, "class is an impor-
tant category that needs to be
taken into account but people
are disadvantaged because of the
in a 201
f their skin regardless of "The Hidden Costs of Being Afri-
can American" discusses racial
discrepancy is apparent inequalities between whites and
01 report from The Urban blacks with respect to housing
e. The most recent avail- that ultimately impact education.
tistics show that nation- He coins the term "transforma-
lacks graduate from high tive assets," which can be defined
at a rate of 50 percent. On as the "inherited wealth from pre-
African American, Latino vious generations that lift families
ive American populations beyond their own achievements."
e at 55 percent compared By the same logic, families can
75 percent of whites and also "inherit" poverty. Shapiro
argues that a lack of these assets
combined with racial discrimina-
tion in areas such as homeowner-
The Statement is The Michigan
Daily's news magazine, distributed
every Wednesday during the
AN INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIO-LECTURE COURSE.
4 credits, No prerequisites
Sati s LSA requirements for Creative Expression,
Friday - 3, School of Art & Design, North Campu;
Ma g creativity an integral part of
students' lives and work.
ILLUSTRATION BY LAURA GARAVOGLA
of a different culture that the Uni-
ABOUT CAMPUS versity's international students
From Page 6B embrace skeptically. Oddly enough,
this all-American tradition has not
"We try to make our own tradi- spread around the world the same
tional Thanksgiving," Judianto said. way Halloween and Valentine's
"We try to have our own tradition" Day have. Perhaps it is the origin of
Judianto said he found Thanks- Thanksgiving that has made it hard
giving to be a time when "families to embrace. Or maybe it is the fact
get together and have a good meal that it is largely a holiday to spend
and talk about what they did last with family, an impossibility for
year." For him though, Thanksgiv- many foreign students.
ing means little more than a wel- Heriyanto seemed to capture
come break from classes, the international students' feelings
"I like holidays and it's good to toward Thanksgiving accurately
have a good break somewhere in the before once again turning her atten-
middle, before the finals," he said. tion to the computer and her eve-
Although some of the people ningplans.
at the lunch actually at one point "Yeah, I had Thanksgiving din-
or another had been invited to ner once before," she said."It's pret-
American homes for the holiday, ty nice. I don't know."
Thanksgiving still remains part -ELINBERGMAN
action is a
The notion of progress extract-
ed from data on university admis-
sions should not be entirely
dismissed, but it is misleading to
couch that progress in rhetoric of
racial equality considering that
more than 50 percent, at mini-
mum, of the black community
doesn't even figure into the col-
lege admissions data. A true mea-
surement of racial progress in this
complex landscape would address
the long-term consequences of
legalized discrimination. Yet,
higher education admissions are
discussed as if they address this
complex landscape of issues,
when the scope of affirmative
action policies in higher educa-
tion is limited, though the two are
Obama, who is a proponent of
forms of legalized discrimination
in his speech on race, saying that
"...blacks were prevented, often
through violence, from owning
property, or loans were not grant-
ed to African American business
owners, or black homeowners
could not access FHA mortgages,
or blacks were excluded from
unions, ...which meant that black
families could not amass any
meaningful wealth to bequeath to
Thomas Shapiro's 2004 text
ship impact education because the
monetaryvalue of homes translate
directly into public school fund-
ing. And adequate public schools
translate into adequate collegiate
preparation that makes students
competitive for admission into
institutions such as the University
The University has a long leg-
acy of trying to obtain diversity
that extends far beyond Supreme
Court hearings and ballot mea-
sure battles. In "Defending Diver-
sity," a text on the University of
Michigan's journey to acquire a
diverse environment, it notes that
prioritizing the educational value
of students from different regions
or different socio-economic back-
grounds can be dated as far back
as 1879 to initiatives led by former
University President James B.
It wasn't until the late 1960s
that race and gender started to
be considered in the admissions
process. However, it's seldom
acknowledged that affirmative
action atthe Universityhas always
considered race among many
other factors that, for better or
for worse, have not been afforded
the same scrutiny. The objections
to the 1996 "quota" system exem-
plify the difference between the
negative attention that race pref-
erences garnered in comparison
to the indifference shown to other
During the life of the Univer-
sity's point system, points were
given to students based on numer-
ous identity categories. Simply liv-
ingin Michigan's Upper Peninsula
awarded prospective students 16
points; 4 points were given to
students with alumni parents or
See AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, Page 8B
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Compensation will be $40 for initial interview and $40 for lab observation.
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