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September 16, 2011 - Image 4

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4 - Friday, September 16, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4 - Friday, September16, 2011 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

C WmIC t'gan 4:atly
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com

STEPHANIE STEINBERG
EDITOR IN CHIEF

MICHELLE DEWITT
and EMILY ORLEY
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS

NICK SPAR
MANAGING EDITOR

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.
Re-affirm(ative action)
Circuit court shouldn't rehear appeal
Affirmative action is once again a topic of discussion within the
Michigan appellate court system. On July 1, a three-member
panel from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2 to
1 to remove the ban on consideration of race in college admissions
that Michigan voters approved in 2006. The decision, made in July, is
being reviewed again in 2012, but affirmative action should be used
by the University in its admissions process, and the courts should
reject this appeal.

In November 2006, Michigan voters passed
Proposition 2 - also known as the Michigan
Civil Rights Initiative - which was a proposed
amendment to the Michigan Constitution. The
proposal intended to bar public universities
from considering race in admissions decisions
as well as barring the consideration of race in
government hiring. Voters passed the amend-
ment by a vote of 58 to 42 percent. However, the
ban mustcultimately be overturned.
In a rare occurrence, the appeals court has
agreed to hear the case presented again in its
entirety. This time, the case will be heard by
the entire court rather than another three-
member panel. Oral arguments are set to
take place next year.
Prop 2, as it is currently written and
enforced by law, is unconstitutional. The
main purpose of the amendment violates the
14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution,
which grants all individuals equal protection
under the law. The proposition violates this
amendment because it fails to allow admis-
sions counselors to consider one's race as cri-
teria for admission. Admissions counselors
shouldn't be denied the option to consider
this component, which certainly plays a role
in an applicant's life.
As of now, Prop 2 remains in effect, mean-

ing the University is unable to consider race
for its current undergraduate application
cycle. The University needs tobe able to con-
sider this and give these students a chance
to attend an established college in order to
reach their full potential.
The consideration of race in college admis-
sions not only promotes a sense of cultural
understanding throughout the University,
but it also promotes diversity. In order for the
University to be a truly diverse community,
it must factor in components like race and
socioeconomic status when making admis-
sions decisions. Not allowing the University
to consider race is unacceptable.
Opponents of affirmative action often
claim the policy is reverse discrimination.
However, affirmative action simply seeks to
give universities the opportunity to evaluate
applicants holistically by considering their
entire background in its entirety.
Right now, admissions counselors here at
the University are beginning to sift through
piles of applications. The University prides
itself on the promotion of tolerance and
acceptance of all people. Failing to consider
race in the admissions process prohibits the
University from upholding its commitment
to diversity.

NOTABLE QUOTABLE
You could tell he's kind of rusty, but
I think he'll come around'
- Fifth-year senior defensive tackle Ryan Van Bergen said about chest-bumping
Athletic Director Dave Brandon, as reported by The Michigan Daily today.
One day, two meanings
M"illions of Americans ignorance in Afghanistan is, it has stan seem like the victim of an
gathered to remem- dire consequences for United States aggressive U.S. looking to colonize.
ber what many recount strategy and the outcome of the war. The purpose of this article isn't
as perhaps the It is easy to argue that since to debate the legitimacy of the war,
most tragic day educated Afghans and those who and it isn't to draw lofty conclu-
of the 21st cen- live in cities know what happened sions about whether Americans
tury this past on Sept. 11, what does it matter if should be in- Afghanistan or not.
Sunday - a day the farmers and villagers know or The point is to reiterate the need to
that changed not? The problem is that the war re-evaluate our PR strategy for this
America drasti- we are fighting isn't being fought war. If you are fighting in a place
cally and per- in the cities; it is being fought in where the people already see you as
manently, a day rural Afghanistan. The people who an outsider, where they don't know
that made inno- HARSHA are bearing the brunt of our fight- or understand why you are there,
cent words such NAHATA ing are rural Afghans. The people where they see you disrupting
as "9/11" and the Taliban are recruiting and per- their daily lives and can't seem to
"Twin Towers" suading are rural Afghans - not the decipher your motive for doing so,
reminders of utmost pain and suf- educated elite. then that is a PR disaster. And when
fering. The image of two towers The bulk of American troops are these people are then being brain-
burning is forever etched in the in the southern Kandahar and Hel- washed and trained to fight against
memories of all who witnessed it. mand provinces. When President youby your enemies, thisbecomes a
Sept. ils not just a day. It is the day Barack Obama announced a surge PR disaster turned deadly.
that changed everything - the day of 30,000 troops to Afghanistan in
no one will ever forget. December 2009, he sent them to
Or so you would think. those very areas. And yet, in those
In some parts of the world, Sept. provinces, 92 percent of people don't A 'majority o
11 brings back no memories, no pain even recognize what 9/11, is accord- Afghans don't
and no images of burning buildings ing to a survey by the International
and dying people. In other parts of Council on Security and Develop- recognize 9/11.
the world, it truly is nothing more ment. According to a CNN article,
than another day. when one villager was shown a pic-
The part of the world I speak of ture of the burning Twin Towers
is rural Afghanistan. In interviews and asked what he recollected from We are in thiswar to win, but it is
done by journalists in the rural vil- the image, he claimedthey were pic- a warthat many have acknowledged
lages of Afghanistan, there was an tures of buildings in Kabul. Other can't be won without winning the
overwhelming majority of Afghans Afghans reiterated the belief that trust and support of the Afghan
who didn't know what 9/11 was. In 9/11 was a story concocted by the people. And how can we win their
a country where 42 percent of the U.S. for an excuse to come in and support if they don't understand
population is under the age of 14, take over their country. why we are in their country? How
and 72 percent of the population is Beliefs like thisare ripe fruits can wwin a war if the people.we
illiterate, this may not be surprising. for the Taliban, ready for picking. are fighting don't even know what
Of course, in villages where running According to a Sept. 8 Wall Street we are fighting for?
water and electricity are sometimes Journal article, terrorist groups
scarce, expecting international have successfully woven anarrative -Harsha Nahata is an assistant
news coverage is wishful thinking. of imperial conquest by drawing on editorial page editor. She can be
But as inevitable as this endemic of this sentiment, making Afghani- reached at hnahaa@umich.edu.
Beyond campus confines
E very fall for the past three people and places and immersing Recently, I walked past Main Street
years I have made the nine- myself (the best my Spanish would and discovered a plethora of new
hour trek from my home in allow) in the culture. This made me restaurants, coffee shops and bou-
Maryland to Ann realize that just because Ann Arbor tique stores which are seemingly
Arbor, spending isn't an ocean away doesn't mean ignored by the student population
the majority of it lacks its own culture and quirks, and appear to e more frequented
the drive day- and I for one am guilty of getting by Ann Arbor locals. While a simple
dreaming about caught up in University life and fail- visit to a store isn't a profound explo-
the Big House, ing to seek out the quirks and dis- ration, it does allow for some quality
reunions with cover its good ol' charm. That being people watching, which I find one of
friends and col- said, my goal this year is to remove thebest ways to learn about a town.
liders from Rod's myself from the hustle and bustle

Diner. However, LEAH of student life in hopes of becoming
as I recently POTKIN more familiar with what lies beyond
made the jour- the Modern LanguagesBuilding and Students should
ney for the fourth North Quad.
and maybe final time, my daydreams My first destination on my quest visit all parts of
were interrupted by the realization to tour Ann Arbor is the Ann Arbora
that, while I obviously have my favor- Farmers' Market. I've heard about Ann Arbor.
ite spots in Ann Arbor, I have yet to it time and time again from local
make Ann Arbor feel like my own students and professors, but I have
home. It's not that I have a desire to never made the effort to actually
graffitimyname acrossbuildings,but visit it. Other places I plan on visit- Now that I've been babbling for
I do sense a need to explore beyond ing in the near future include the a couple hundred words and have
the confines of the campus proper in Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum hopefully convinced a few of you to
order to feel I haveboth paid my dues (which I hear is good for all ages) grabyour map and camera, I'd like to
as a student here and have made pay- and the Matthaei Botanical Gardens leave students with this thought: In
ing my dues worth my while. & Nichols Arboretum (which I've a city as diverse and eclectic as Ann
I don't blame myself for not real- passed before but have never taken Arbor, there are endless opportuni-
izing my lackluster exploration until the time to explore). And since I ties for exploration and discovery.
now, as it's all too easy to get into a know many of you are either locals And though it's easy to forget this as
routine of class, work and extracur- or have actually ventured off cam- paper due dates approach and mid-
ricular activities and stay on that pus and explored Ann Arbor already, terms loom overhead, there's a lot to
path throughout. In fact, I only please, send suggestions my way! be said for a little venture off-cam-
came to this realization after study- Now, I understand that some pus. We might not be here for the
ing abroad in Argentina, where students are really set in their rou- long haul, but we're here for now so
weekend excursions and local com- tines on campus and are disinclined we might as well get a bang for our
munity fair visits were favored over to venture out, but I challenge any buck. So, Farmer's Market next Sat-
school work and class time. Much of homebody to take baby steps - liter- urday anyone?
what I learned from my time abroad ally - and see what new and excit-
came from wandering the streets ing places and people there are right Leah Potkin can be reached
of new cities, stumbling upon new on the outskirts of the University. at lpotkin@umich.edu.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
Readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editor. Letters should be fewer than 300 words and
must include the writer's full name and University affiliation. We do not print anonymous letters. Send
letters to tothedaily@michigandaily.com

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Aida Ali, Michelle DeWitt, Ashley Griesshammer, Patrick Maillet,
Erika Mayer, Harsha Nahata, Emily Orley,
Teddy Papes, Timothy Rabb, Seth Soderborg, Andrew Weiner

AIDA ALI 1'.
Honor all lives lost on 9 11

On Sept. 11 2001, I was at home about
6,000 miles away from New York City, fin-
ishing up my fifth-grade homework when
my mom received a phone call, screamed and
ran to the television to watch the news. As I
joined her in watching the iconic towers of
New York City crumble to the ground, I was
horrified, but not horrified enough. For what
I presumed to be just another disturbing
piece of news of the world outside my own
was really an event that was going to send
waves of destruction, misunderstanding and
fear all over the world. It was goingto change
the lives of billions of people forever, includ-
ing me.
I have lived all my life in Kuwait, and the
geographic location of the country - bor-
dered by Saudi Arabia and Iraq - was never
as significant as it became after Sept. 11.
There have been several times over the past
years when it's been interesting to watch the
play of emotions on people's faces when I tell
them where I'm from and the religion I was
born into. Some people are fascinated while
others are judgmental - the former being a
little naive and the latter being completely
shallow and annoying.
A couple years ago, I flew to John F. Ken-
nedy International Airport in New York from
Kuwait and was detained by security for an
hour. The officer told me security officials
were looking for "someone with my name"
and escorted me to a small, scary room where
I sat terrified for 60 minutes before they
handed back my passport and told me I was
free to go. Yes, I have noticed an obvious bias
in the Western world against me, and I don't
know who to blame.
But the things I have had to deal with are
petty and negligible compared to what mil-
lions of others have had to go through. These
#4

are the people who have lived in the middle
of war for the past 10 years. They have lost
their homes, their families, their nation and
even their lives for something many of them
don't even fully understand. The tragedy
of Sept. 11 resulted in a death toll of almost
3,000 Americans, and the wars that have fol-
lowed 9/11 in the last 10 years have taken the
lives of more than a million people.
This Sept. 11, the media flooded the world
with memories of 9/11 and made many relive
the experience. As Americans' grief resur-
faced, it brought with it once again the feel-
ings of anger and revenge. But this time a
new and strong voice of regret and doubt
emerged as well - were we right to wage war
as we did? Is all we have done in the past 10
years completely justified?
I'm afraid these questions do not have one
clear answer. Trying to imagine the current
situation any other way is impossible now.
We cannot undo what has happened, nor
can we make everything OK just like that.
But perhaps we could acknowledge 9/11 as a
tragedy involving the death of almost 3,000
American victims and millions who died in
the events that followed, including soldiers
from more than 20 other countries.
News this past week has focused on little
other than the thousands who died in the
United States. We should widen the focus and
make 9/11 a day when the world mourns the
consequences of human action and holds acan-
dlelight vigil for the loss of millions of human
lives. It shouldbe a day when not only America,
but the entire world unites to fight insecurities
and misunderstandings, so in another 10 years
this will be history that has altered our lives
but doesn't punish us anymore.
Aida Ali is a senior editorial page editor.
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