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November 13, 2013 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-11-13

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4A - Wednesday; November 13, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4A -Wedesda, Nvembr 1, 203 Te Mchign Dily mihigadaiyo

ce fitic4*oan 4:lat*lv

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com
MELANIE KRUVELIS
and ADRIENNE ROBERTS MATT SLOVIN
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS MANAGING EDITOR

ANDREW WEINER
EDITOR IN CHIEF

TWiOMVNO i~b
. ~ ~ ~ V~ V , 1.-
jOU /4, [fe N hf42NFU "
MEGGIE eAMM/naI y
Put on your romancin pants

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.
Taking a stand on trafficking
State's efforts to end the human rights violation warrant support
n Nov. 6, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, alongside an
appointed panel of state lawmakers, released the final report from
the Michigan Commission on Human Trafficking. The 63-page
report provides recommendations for programs that aim to target criminals
'engaged in the illegal enterprise of human trafficking, as well as assisting
+victims, which arise from the practice. Due to the increasing prevalence of
-the issue in Michigan, advocates against human trafficking have correctly
focused their efforts on increasing cooperation within the state by calling for
uniformity and awareness of the issue.

In late September, members of the Michi-
gan Senate introduced 18 new bills to address
'human trafficking. Due tp concern across the
state, the proposed legislation seeks to address
the frailties of human traffickinglaws. Primar-
ily, the bills advocate for increased support and
services for victims, but also urge for stronger
prosecution against traffickers. The recom-
mendations provided in the report specifically
point to the necessity of targetingthe earnings
'of criminals - including targeting their prop-
erties and assets.
One issue in combating human traffick-
ing for legislators and activists alike has been
quantification. While Schuette has estimated
the victims each yearto range from "thousands,
;'maybe a couple thousands," programs around
-the state have reported fewer than 300 cases
yearly. While advocates for human trafficking
reform may seem to be overstating the vastness
of incidents, the numbers behind the reports
,are more complicated. However, in many cases,
-the numbers for trafficking offenses are signifi-
cantly reduced due to cases being misidentified
as prostitution or other related crimes. In order
"to classify the cases appropriately, the Com-
'mission's report has recommended the imple-
"-mentation of additional training and a uniform
system to improve data collection - a neces-
sary step to take further action.
Perhaps to the surprise of many, the Com-
MEGAN MCDONALD I

mission reports that the problem in Michigan
"is serious and growing." So while the need for
training specific to human trafficking is evi-
dent, greater public awareness on the issue
is crucial. An increased public awareness of
trafficking will lead to a more comprehensive
understanding of the crime and the victims
associated with trafficking - which includes
prostitution, as well as forced labor. In many
cases, minors have been unjustly treated as
criminals, adding further harm to their mis-
fortunes. While many residents of Michigan
are aware that human trafficking is an issue,
it does not always resonate as proximate.
With greater public understanding, these
criminals won't be able to operate as dis-
creetly as they have in the past.
The Commission's report has begun a
more concerted effort by the state to address
human trafficking. While the report will cer-
tainly play a major role in illuminating human
trafficking as an issue within Michigan, the
implementation of the recommendations
will ultimately decide its success. Through
statewide coordination, it should be expected
that law enforcement and associated service
employees will actively pursue the proper
treatment of victims of human trafficking.
By separating the victims from the criminals,
the issue at hand will become more tangible'
and efficiently combated.

Until recently, I never con-
sidered myself a roman-
tic person. In fact, I was
practically born
jaded when it
came to court-
ship. From a
young age, I
prided myself
in being a guy's '
gal, always prov-
ing that I was EMILY
impervious to PITTINOS
girlish fanta- _
sies and acts of
mushy devo-
tion. I rolled my eyes at rom-coms.
I pretended to forget anniversa-
ries so I wouldn't have to celebrate
them. Once, a stranger told me,
"You're beautiful; I want to paint
you." I laughed in his face. Even my
first Internet presence was anti-
romantic - when I was a smart-
assed tween, the personal summary
on my MySpace page simply read, "I
enjoy long walks on the beach, can-
dIe-lit dinners ... and SARCASM."
Of course, I was so opposed to
"romance" because my definition
was pretty lame. When I thought
of the word, I pictured stupidly
expensive dinners in poorly lit res-
taurants, girls quaking over boxes
of coconut-filled chocolate and
women draped honeymoon-style
across the arms of men in suits.
None of that sounded like me.
For one thing, these images were
all boring and very uncool. Tradi-
tion may be brimming with nostal-
gia andgrandeur,butit'spredictable
as hell. Romance also sounded sex-
ist for all parties involved. My defi-
nition hinged on dudes doing all the
legwork while ladies cooed help-
lessly from the sidelines - which
could be demeaning for women and
exhausting for men.

There also seemed to
of unspoken agreements
the classically romantic
man has bought my din
date-like way only twice,
squeamish both times tl
arrived at our table. It ji
seem fair that he should
pay for a meal I consum
did purchasing my salmon
mean I owed him somethi
return-a mixed tape, a qu
ie, full-on intercourse? Th
tions made our dinner see
under-the-table transactit
act of affection. I was soc
in the rate of romanticE
that I couldn't enjoy my fo
company, which only reinf
disdain for the whole systi
"I can just
buy my own
damn salmon." We
I thought, "It's
easier that way."
However, I've and
realized I don't
have to follow in
this gendered
script if it's not
what gets me
going. In other words,
says that romance should,
big red hearts, white lin
cloths and doing it on a
rug. But like in sex itse
actually free to decid(
pleasing to us and the
romance on our own ter
going topless to a mons
rally is ideal for you, th
just swell - forget the
Courtship can entail wha
want. It doesn't have to
one gender catering to th
in fact, like spooning and
romance is at its bestN
reciprocalbetween part
both genders - and it dot

be a lot to be lame, either.
made in A few unplanned and tender
world. A moments I've experienced over
ner in a the past year have also helped me
and I felt understand that I haven't been
he check doing myself any favors by keeping
ust didn't courtship at an arm's distance. I
I have to won't go into the sappy details, but
ted. Plus, I will say that moonlight, running
n sashimi deer and an exchange of letters
ng else in have been involved, and I did not
ick hand- puke. In fact, those experiences
ese ques- were invigorating. I felt admired
m like an and empowered. That's one thing
on, not an I've learned about romance: It can
caught up make you feel really good.
exchange The other thing I've learned is
sod or his romance takes courage. Through
forced my all my years judging the pants
em. off of hopeless romantics, I never
gave them
enough credit
re free to decide for their brav-
ery. In order to
lat's pleasing us court another
person, you
efne romance have to make it
our own terms. super clear that
you're interest-
ed in them and

tradition
comprise
en table-
bearskin
elf, we're
e what's
n define
ms. So, if
ter truck
en that's
flowers.
tever you
be about
e other -
chivalry,
when it's
ners and
so't have

immediately
risk rejection. Showing your kind-
ness like that takes real guts. But
that's also what makes romantic
attention so sexy. Everyone likes
feeling special and it doesn't take
much. You don't need to spend
any money or sign unspoken sex-
ual contracts. Just slip a note into
someone's book. Deliver a few
earnest compliments. Willingness
to make a fool out of yourself just
to prove your attraction is a feat
that should not go unrewarded. I
only wish more people would take
those small risks.

Living in racial limbo

- Emily Pittinos can be reached
at pittinos@umich.edu.

Recently, there have been many pieces
published reflecting the struggles of different
minority groups on campus, and the response
has been amazing. But, I'd like to argue that
despite all this talk about race, we've forgot-
ten one minority - my minority. Being bi-
racial.
I am White. I was born in the suburbs of
Detroit and have spent my whole life there.
English is my first language and Ican attempt
- to speak Spanish only because I'm in my
fourth semester requirement. I share the same
'cultural views about the world as many other
Americans, and I do have German, Irish, and
'English heritage, which I'm very proud of.
I am Asian - half Filipina, specifically -
but I don't share the same cultural views and
j'experiences as my mom. While I love tradi-
tional Filipino foods and learning about my
'-mom's lifestyle in her village, I've never been
-to the Philippines. I talk to distant relatives in
the Philippines who have known much more
pain than I ever will. I can't speak Tagalog,
but I can tell you that "mahal kita" means I
love you, and I know a couple of swear words
as well.
I am two races, two ethnicities - a com-
bination of two different worlds. Those two
worlds have conflicted on many occasions
and forced me to pick and choose my beliefs,
but ultimately made me who I am. I am proud
of my heritage, just as any other American
would boast about their heritage, whether
that's Irish, Chinese, Nigerian or Mexican.
But when it comes to race, I'm stuck in racial
limbo. I'm both, but neither at the same time.
In conversations about race, bi-racial iden-

titlies are forgotten. We are the true minority.
Only 2.4 percent of Americans are bi-racial.
But we're clumped into other minority iden-
tities, which doesn't allow us to fully express
the experiences we've had. Half white, half
Black. Half White, half Asian. Half Asian,
half Black. Whatever combination, we're left
as outcasts, never fully fitting within either
group and only grouped by what others per-
ceive us as.
The bi-racial struggle is trying to fit in. We
can label ourselves as Asian, Black, Latino,
etc., but at the end of the day, those groups
always recognize our White heritage. The
same goes for tryingto identify as White - it's
impossible because we can't be fully accepted
due to our minority background. But I can't
simply leave one to adopt the other. My dad
had an impact on my life, as did my mom.
Would I be doing an injustice to my upbring-
ing by rejecting my White identity, or even
worse, seem as if I didn'tvalue my dad?And as
for my mom, with all her love and tenderness,
would I inadvertently reject her and her cul-
ture by abandoning my Filipino background?
I refuse to subscribe to just one race. Being
bi-racial is a part of me and a part of my story.
In a society where we've divided ourselves
upon race, bi-racial people like me are the
ones who know what it means to be a minority
and feel rejection. However, we're pioneers
in the sense because we see both sides for all
its beauty and its flaws, and create the bridge
between the two.
Megan McDonald is an LSA sophomore
and assistant editorial page editor.

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
Kaan Avdan, Shank 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
MICAH NELSON I
Future protection insured

0I

when I tell the story of how my
brother fought for his life - and
ultimately, won - people don't
always understand that I'm haunt-
ed. To my friends who know the
story, it should be something I can
let go of - I mean, he's healthy
now, right? But the perspective I
have on the world and the life I lead
will forever be informed by the two
months that my only sibling spent
in the hospital.
In a face-off with death, he won.
He's lucky. And that makes me
lucky, because I still have my broth-
er here. But what most people don't
realize is that this brush with death
has left me with a forever-anxiety.
Uncertainty breathes down my
neck, and I worry about his health
all the time.
When my brother was a senior in
high school, he contracted a staph
infection that ultimately infected
his heart. Standing at the water-
shed moment of childhood and
adulthood, my 18-year-old broth-
er required open-heart surgery.
Before the infection, he was a very
healthy young man, rarely miss-
ing a day of school. But there's an
aspect of randomness to illnesses
that most people don't realize until
they become its victims.
Nearly six years out from his
surgery, my brother is now a gradu-
ate of the University and plans to
become a lawyer. Though he will
require medical attention and prob-
ably another heart surgery later on,
he's healthy.
For nearly a year following

his release from the hospital, I
watched my father file paperwork
and negotiate with our health care
provider. Though working through
the bureaucracy of health insur-
ance was aggravating and chal-
lenging, my brother would not be
alive without it.
For me, the debate surrounding
the Affordable Care Act is person-
al. Before this legislation, medical
insurance providers often avoided
insuring people who had illnesses
that likely required future treat-
ment. Ironically, this meant that
those who needed healthcare cov-
erage the most were denied so that
insurance companies could guar-
antee their own profits. If not for
the passing of this act, my brother's
pre-existing condition would have
made it virtually impossible for
him to procure health insurance
as an adult. Under the Affordable
Care Act, my brother is insured on
my parents' plan for another three
years, and he won't be denied cov-
erage because of his surgery.
I believe that health care is a
basic human right, and it has taken
our country too long to get to the
place we are today. My brother's
health hangs in the balance of this
new legislation. His story may not
be extraordinary, but were his cir-
cumstances different, it would have
had another ending. If, for example,
my parents worked for companies
that didn't have health insurance.
Or if my brother, as a law school
student, got sick again after he was
no longer covered by my parents'

insurance and had chosen - like
most young adults - not to buy
health insurance.
Without health insurance, my 0
brother would have been left vul-
nerable to more than his own ill-
ness. He would have risked his
own financial security. In fact,
according to NerdWallet Health,
nearly two million people will file
for bankruptcy this year due to
unpaid medical bills or unsatis-
factory coverage. In this country,
medical bills are the biggest cause
of bankruptcies.
Upon hearing of my brother's
recovery, one religious leader in
my high school told me he had
been lucky, and thank goodness
so many people had been praying
for his welfare, for surely God had
played a heavy hand in the outcome
of his illness. And yes, there was
an aspect of luck - both good and
bad - to my brother's illness. But
he also had a team of highly skilled,
fast-acting doctors and the ability
to pay for medical costs on his side.
Unlike, as reported by the U.S. Cen-
sus Bureau, the 6.6 million unin-
sured children in this country.
The Affordable Care Act pro-
vides a new security for my
brother. Sure, the passing of this
legislation doesn't solve all my
brother's health problems, or
magically make my anxiety dis- *
appear. But it keeps uncertainty a
few steps behind me, rather than
breathing down my neck.
Micah Nelson is an LSA sophomore.

The current social media speculation is
without merit and 100-percent inaccurate ...
I have sincerely apologized ... for the failures
in our sound system and for the difficult
situation this has caused her:'
- Athletic Director Dave Brandon apologizing for sound system problems at Michi-
gan Stadium on Saturday, when President Mary Sue Coleman gave a speech. Due to
delayed vocals, speculation arose that Coleman was intoxicated.

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