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November 07, 2013 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-11-07

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4A - Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

}t$ Miidiganial

An expanded definition of 'terrorism'

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.
Restoring trust in Detroit's leaders
The mayor is still the chief administrator and proponent of the city
n Nov. 5, winning by a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent, Mike
Duggan defeated Benny Napoleon to be elected the next mayor
of Detroit. However, the election was overshadowed by Detroit's
recent bankruptcy and the corresponding tightening of Emergency Manager
Kevyn Orr's control over city government. This climate of pessimism culmi-
nated in low voter turnout, with only an estimated 20 to 25 percent of eligible
voters within Detroit participating in the election, according to the city. That
being said, Duggan shouldn't resign himself to a seemingly powerless role
as his term begins. The mayor is still the chief administrator and proponent
of the city, despite the state-appointed emergency manager. And as Detroit
moves forward, the city's residents need someone who can go to bat for them.

As members of a media-
engrossed, perpetually
tuned-in generation, it can
often be difficult
to discern our
own personal
levels of outrage
in response to
someone else's
allegations of
misconduct. JAKE
Any involve-
ment, tangential OFFENRARTZ
or otherwise,
with radical poli-
tics only increases the arduousness
of this task, and despite my socialist
leanings and loose ties to anarchist
communities, I'm often unequipped
- with both time and passion - to
address the host of injustices per-
ceived by those on the far left.
consequently, I regularly find
myself mentally sorting the "radi-
cal" issues from the mainstream,
qualifying - sometimes accurately,
sometimes not - an assertion of
government repression as more
legitimate if it comes from a source
with conventional politics. In other
words, because the anarchists,
by definition, feel consistently
oppressed by the actions of govern-
ment, their rational calls for reform
are often dimmed for me by their
idealistic commitment to revolution.
But when the federal government
begins using intimidation tactics to
target those with anti-government
associations, when the mainstream
media demonizes anarchists as vio-
lent extremists, and when the refusal
to testify in a witch-hunt can place
a guiltless political radical in pris-
on, it quickly becomes evident that
my approach is problematic. Fed-
eral grand juries are yet again being
used to suppress political dissidence,
and, aside from few vocal criminal
defense lawyers, no one but the polit-
ically dissident seems to care.
Mandated in the Bill of Rights,
the federal grand jury was original-
ly intended to function as a people's
panel, a pre-indictment proceed-
ing for certain crimes in which the
government presents evidence to
prove that a case merits prosecu-
tion. Since the mid-20th century,
the reality of this well-meaning pro-
tection has devolved to something
else entirely, as the Federal Bureau

of Investigation and United States
Department of Justice have manip-
ulated the coercive power of grand
juries as a tool for instilling fear in
groups hostile to the American gov-
ernment. The use of grand juries as
a mechanism for targeting social
movements can be traced back to the
1960s. Antiwar activists - particu-
larly under President Richard Nixon
- were among the most targeted,
along with members of the Black
Panther Party and, most recently,
environmentalist groups.
When a person is subpoenaed to
testify before a grand jury, they may
not be told the cause of the investiga-
tion or why they are being targeted.
They are denied their Sixth Amend-
ment right to counsel and their Fifth
Amendment right to remain silent.
They may be instructed to inform
on themselves, their friends or any
groups they are believed to have
contact with. Resisting this demand
can land a person in prison for up to
18 months.
Such is the predicament of
24-year-old New York City activ-
ist and anarchist Jerry Koch, who
has spent over five months in prison
for his refusal to meet the demands
of a federal grand jury. Subpoenaed
in 2009, Jerry was believed to have
been in an unspecified bar in which
he may have spoken to a person with
knowledge of a 2008 explosion that
occurred outside a military recruit-
ment station. Koch, only 19 at the
time, stated publi-
cally that he had -
no such informa-
tion and that he The use
would not testify, - - o
at which point he juries to
was released. He social m
was subpoenaed
again last May, undem
and this time his
refusal to testify
landed him in con-
tempt of court for the remainder of
the grand jury - a sentence deemed
just for its intent to "coerce" rather
than "punish." But what exactly is
Jerry being coerced to divulge?
In all likelihood, the federal pros-
ecution has no interest in a half-
decade-old bar conversation that
may have never happened. Rather,
the Joint Terrorism Task Force,
lackingsufficient leads butrecogniz-
ingthe 260$ explosion to be-apoliti-

cally motivated crime, has embarked
on a political fishing expedition,
targeting underground movements
based on their beliefs and using
sketchy tactics of forced coercion to
build profiles on social activists. The
continued imprisonment of Koch
has no morally justifiable purpose.
It's an intimidation tactic used by
the government to suppress dissent,
a form of government harassment
reminiscent of J Edgar Hoover's
COINTELPRO - a series of covert
projects conducted by the FBI to dis-
rupt political organizations.
Koch is not the only anarchist to
have spent time in jail for refusing
to cooperate with a grand jury. Last
summer, a series of FBI raids in the
Pacific Northwest resulted in sev-
eral grand jury subpoenas and the
imprisonment of three anarchists.
The coordinated raids weren't an
attempt to solve a specific crime but
an effort to silence a community,
and one search warrant detailed the
Joint Terrorist Task Force's plan
to obtain black clothing, address
books, flag-making material and
anarchist literature.
Many have pointed to this grand
jury, and a host of crackdowns on
environmentalist and animal rights
groups in recent years, as evidence
that the government is placing a
renewed emphasis on repressing
social movements. Many have also
pointed to these inquisitions as yet
another example of the erosion of
our constitu-
tional rights
being justified
of grand by the ever-
-nim dae expansive
intimidate invoking of the
vements is word "terror-
iocratic. An individu-
al's politics will
likely dictate
whether they
view this increase in government
hostility toward radical groups as a
legitimate cause for concern or sim-
ply unfounded paranoia from the far
left. What should be apparent for
all, though, is that the use of grand
juries to intimidate social move-
ments is undemocratic and should
not be tolerated.
- Jake Offenhartz can be
reached at jakeoffgumnich.edu.


Just assignificant asDuggantakingthe office
is how his predecessor, Dave Bing, is leaving it.
Bing was elected mayor - shortly following the
series of scandals surrounding the administra-
tion of disgraced former mayor Kwame Kilpat-
rick - on a platform of education reform and
urban renewal. However, his polices aimed at
the restoration and the revitalization of a belea-
guered Detroit met a premature end when Orr
was instated as emergency manager and the
city declared Chapter 9 bankruptcy - the larg-
est municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history - on
July 18. Just before the bankruptcy announce-
ment, Bing declared that he would not be seek-
ing reelection, and rumors circulated that his
decision to bow out of the election was due at
least in part to perceived tensions between
him and Orr. On Sept. 13, Bing expressed in a
statement to the Detroit Free Press how he was
"concerned and somewhat frustrated about the
direction of the supposed partnership" with
Orr. As Bing's term ends in January, it's clear
he's leaving on a bitter note.
The low voter turnout is concerning, but
voter ignorance is not the culprit. The per-
ceived division between the offices of emer-

gency manager and mayor has contributed to
Detroit's residents feeling that decisions about
the funding of hospitals, schools and police
programs are outside of democratic control.
The lack of strong, elected leadership unques-
tionably contributes to low participation and
stake in government.
While it's perceived that the mayor has
little influence in the city, Orr will remain
emergency manager for only one more year,
at which point the reigns of city government
will be passed, in their entirety, to Duggan.
In the coming months, Duggan should make
it clear to his constituents and to the state
government in Lansing that he is responsible
to the city of Detroit, not Kevyn Orr, and that
ultimate decision-making authority should
and will reside with him.
Detroit desperately needs a mayor who's
willing to be an advocate for Detroit and gain
back the citizens' trust in its leadership that has
failed so seriously in the past. And, ultimately,
whether Duggan can accomplish this task
effectively will determine the success of his
administration and allow Detroit to continue
its comeback.



Language - a tool for imperialism

Kaan Avdan, Sharik Bashir, Barry Belmont, James Brennan, Eric
Ferguson, Jordyn Kay, Jesse Klein, Melanie Kruvelis, Maura Levine,
Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald, Victoria Noble, Adrienne Roberts,
Paul Sherman, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe

For the last five semesters, the first ques-
tion each of my Arabic professors has asked is:
"Why are you taking this class?" At this point,
I've heard just about every possible answer, and
the things Ihear never fail to induce an eye roll
or two. The post-9/11composition of students in
Arabic courses at American universities is, for
the most part, characterized by white people
who either want to work for the Department of
State or the Federal Bureau of Investigation, aid
Middle Eastern women in their struggle against
their aggressive male counterparts, or mediate
between the Arabs and Israelis - as if there's a
shortage of Arabic speakers in the Arab world.
Apparently, a clarion call has sounded and help
wanted ads are plastered about.
These ambitions are troubling to say the
least. Learning a language to use it as a tool
against its natives is an inherently imperialistic
endeavor, and breeding people of privilege to
believe it's their duty to save people of color is
problematic for many reasons.
For one thing, such beliefs perpetuate the
white man's savior complex and reinforce anti-
American sentiments abroad. We've waged
several wars in the name of such ostensibly
noble concerns, and to no avail. Imperialism
has constantly proved that it does not solve
problems so much as create them, and project-
ing our chauvinism abroad only exacerbatesthe
divide between "us" and "them." Only when
the hands of imperialism remove themselves
from the Middle East will the region be able to
address the problems that are intrinsically its
own and salvage itself. My intention is not to
undermine anyone's attempts at humanitarian-
ism, but rather to suggest that these aspirations
are misplaced.
This discussion calls to mind Henry David
Thoreau's famous quote from Walden: "If I
knew for a certainty that a man was coming to
my house with the conscious design of doing
me good, I should run for my life." What perpe-
trators of the white man's savior complex fail to
realize is that the marginalized can't continue
to be a bullet point on an agendathatseeks only
to validate privilege.
The sexualized and objectified women of the
West are misguided in their efforts to liberate
Muslim women. Sending bilions of dollars in
aid to the Egyptian military that has violently
suppressed calls for democracy from the mass-
es strips the Egyptian people oftheir autonomy.
The extension of such endeavors, however, con-
tinues to encourage people of privilege to boast

similar pursuits - beginningwith learning the
The nexus between language learning and
national security interests was established
decades ago, most prominently known by Title
VI of the National Defense Education Act.
NDEA funds the instruction of "critical lan-
guages," also known as the languages the feder-
al government deems essential to U.S. interests
abroad. This law frames language as a tool for
economic and military advancement, thus com-
modifying it.
In the last few decades, the number of Ara-
bic students has increased under the auspice of
programs, such as the Critical Language Schol-
arship Program, among other things. These
programs provide students with an exemplary
language and cultural immersion opportu-
nity, and more salient, the opportunity to brag
about their adventures in the land of the unciv-
ilized and oppressed upon their return. Those
are always my favorite stories to hear. Alas, I
digress, but such are the laments of a girl whose
parents fear they will not see her safe return if
they send her on a trip to her motherland in the
Middle East.
The commodification of language is noth-
ing new, and the idea of a linguistic market has
existed for quite some time. Language, and
multilingualism specifically, is an essential
resource - especially in the age of globaliza-
tion - but in the case of Arabic, for whom and
to what end? It's unfortunate that the study of
a language so rich and beautiful, with roots in
a region that has given the world some of the
greatestcivilizations and inventions, is pursued
with such regrettable intentions. Arabic is a lin-
guist's delight, and to use it to further imperial-
ist interests and validate privilege rather than
for academic, communication or trade purpos-
es is purely exploitative.
I respect Americans' incessant desire to
help the disadvantaged, but I believe their
desire for such emotional experiences is
poorly rationalized. Help begins by reevalu-
ating foreign policies that muzzle democratic
ambitions and frustrate economic prosper-
ity. Help begins by respecting the agency and
autonomy of people of color. And then, help
should cease. The people of the Middle East
must be given the leeway to reclaim their
identities and freedoms in the absence of for-
eign intervention.
Layan Charara is an LSA junior.

ecent studies in:
term effects ofs
and head trauma

parents across
the nation to
reconsider which
sports they allow
their children
to participate
in. While there
has always been
an accepted
risk associated
with sports at
any level, recent




caused even President Ba
to voice his uncertainty
let his son play football.
However, former ESP
Sports Illustrated colu
Pearlman has even m
about the effects of teai
youths. In an article ft
Street Journal, Pearln
"My children don't need
ties of organized youth
make them whole. If any
need to do without th
man took issue with th
ing effect a lack of skillc
children, and how over-
parents can undermine
of good sportsmanshil
more, he added that coa
should act as positive
els - sometimes confu
determination with dem
demoralizing players.
Perhaps Pearlman is
the sports story of the
Dolphins' offensive line
Incognito's bullying and
toward teammate Jon:
tin, maybe the whole id
ing teamwork and pos
skills through sports is
outdated myth.
However, Pearlman's1
his children avoid youth
from a solution. Person:
very positive experience
throughout my childhoc

Let the kids play
to the long- lescence. I survived the then-devas- pitfalls in youth sports, studies show
concussions tating no-win soccer season of fifth that the psychological effects are
have forced grade and dealt with the coaches still positive overall. Youth athletes
who held practice while there was who participate in sports through
a tornado warning only a few miles middle and high school are stronger
away. Through my sports career I academically and have better oppor-
learned how, through hard work tunities in job markets. She adds that
and determination, I could maxi- many of the issues Pearlman outlines
mize whatever natural skills I had can be mitigated through balancing a
and achieve lofty goals. For me it was variety of types of activities and par-
never a debate: I was going to play. ticipating above the bare minimum
Pearlman ignores experiences in youth sports.
AOTHY similar to my own and focuses on the Instead of restricting choices, par-
RROUGHS struggles of his then-un-athletic and ents should encourage childrento try
somewhat socially awkward broth- a variety of new things to discover
er. We all had that friend or sibling their own personal interests. That
rack Obama growing up - mine was my brother, may include forcing a year or two
if he would too.Whilehecould,andprobablystill of a musical instrument or signing
can, backpack farther in a day than I up for a few tennis lessons, but it's a
PN.com and could in a week, let's just say by fifth parent's responsibility to create, not
imnist Jeff grade his future prospects of making limit, opportunities for their chil-
ore doubts our beloved St. Louis Cardinals were dren. This encouragement at a young
mi sports on notlookinggood. In Pearlman's eyes, age will force teenagers to make
or the Wall this is the exact individual whose difficult decisions when it becomes
san wrote, confidence is destroyed and whose time to specialize in their respective
the hostili- growth is limited by team sports. activities. My brother had to choose
athletics to As an Eagle Scout, Oberlin College between piano and the saxophone,
ything, they graduate and someone who's cur- I had to choice between baseball
em." Pearl- rently pursuing and soccer, but
he ostraciz- his childhood in both of these
can have on dream of becom- Youth sports circumstances it
competitive ing a scientist, I was our choice -
the lessons think my brother provide a chance for we have to take
p. Further- is doing just fine. responsibility
ches - who Though I won't growth throughout for it.
role mod- begin to guess Knowing how
se teaching what lessons my a s to prioritize and
ianing and brother feels he weigh conse-
learned from his quences is a crit-
right: With years of sports, it is a stretch to say ical skill to learn early. Instead of
week being that any challenges he faced in his impinging on children's interests,
man Richie youth sports career caused any con- parents should take an active role
racial slurs sequential setbacks. in their activities to ensure a posi-
athan Mar- While Pearlman's arguments are tive and healthy experience. While
ea of learn- not without merit, over-emphasizing safety concerns clearly illustrate a
itive social these concerns can quickly lead into new challenge in deciding which
s simply an parentsbeing overprotective. Beyond sports children should play, youth
the proven benefits youth sports sports still provide positive expe-
plan to have have fighting childhood obesity and riences and a chance for growth
sports is far reducing adolescent crime, Univer- throughout adolescence.


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ally, I had a
with sports
d and ado-

sity alum Marilyn Price-Mitchell,
who has a Ph.D. in human develop-
ment, outlines that though there are

- Timothy Burroughs can be
reached at timburr@umich.edu.

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