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October 27, 2014 - Image 4

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Page 4A - Monday, October 27, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

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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.
Driving innovation
House Bill 5606 is boxing out innovation and growth in Michigan
n Oct. 21, Gov. Rick Snyder signed House Bill 5606 into
law after it was nearly unanimously approved in both
the state House and Senate. The bill, popularly labeled
the anti-Tesla bill, strengthens an already existing Michigan
law that prohibits manufacturers from selling cars directly to
consumers. While this legislation is intended to keep the playing
field even, it falls short in practice. Michigan should work
together with businesses such as Tesla and other automakers to
spur innovation and grow the state's economy.
Tesla, a luxury electric automaker started sales models but still rely on middle men for
in Silicon Valley, California, relies heavily on a purchasing advice. E-Trade started in online
direct-to-consumer sales model for its products. stock brokering, which presented a new world
Many critics see the bill as shutting innovation of direct control for the investor, but Americans
out of Michigan, while defenders laud its defense still desire face-to-face interaction and expert
of Michigan jobs. However, the state must realize advice. Many still use financial advisors and
it can welcome innovation without breaking the brokers. They now just have more choices.
current auto sales structure. It seems unlikely that Tesla will be able to
General Motors - aDetroit-based automobile compete directly with the Ford Fusions or
manufacturer thatcurrently takes partin direct- Chevrolet Silverados. It also seems unlikely
to-consumer sales abroad - publicly came out in direct-to-consumer sales will immediately
support of the bill, likely trying to avoid giving change how cars are bought by the average
Tesla a competitive advantage in Michigan. consumer in Michigan. As with investing,
Fear that Tesla would dominate the electric consumers make their own independent choices
vehicle market and out-compete Michigan based on different values and desires. If they
automakers while opening the floodgates of really want an electric luxury car that can get you
direct-to-consumer car sales contributed to the from NewYork to California, they can buy a Tesla
bill's unanimous support in the state Senate and because they're currently the only automaker
nearly unanimous vote of 106 to 1 in the state working in that niche. There are hundreds of
House. If Tesla could use direct-to-consumer different preferences people have in cars, and it
sales, then GM and other automakers would isn'tunreasonabletotrustconsumerstomakethe
want that same right. Such a system could put right choice for purchasing method and product.
the middle man at risk, resulting in lost jobs at The state should be promoting economic
dealerships across the state. pressure for innovation and more
Though the problems presented are environmentally friendly options. It is
considerable,there's no evidencethatlegalizing improbable that Tesla will competitively
direct-to-consumer sales will lead to consumers overwhelm GM, Ford, and other Michigan
flocking to Tesla or similar businesses. incumbent automakers in the current market.
California, which allows such sales, hasn't seen And in the long run, additional competitors
a domain-changing shift. In 2013, an article in in the automotive marketplace will generate
Business Insider stated that the pure electric competitive innovation, benefitting the state's
cars claimed just more than 1 percent of market economyandresidents,andMichiganlegislature
share. Likewise, other industries have similar and Gov. Snyder should welcome this.
a response for you
to the young womyn of color who sent me and insular information, you are beyond saving.
light, the allies who sent me strength, those my article was not about'concrete solutions'
who sent me entitlement and the young men or 'next steps' you can take; it was about how
who sent me hatred privilege and power dynamics need to be chal-
(this is a response to my article about the lenged for real change. my article said that to
horrible leadership and the suffocating amount do what needs to be done, the first step is to be
of privilege at this institution. here's a full- hypercritical of ourselves and our society. you
fledged love letter for those who sent me light could not wrap your head around this. send me
and strength.) productive criticism, not patriarchal, racist,
to the youngwomyn of color who sent me light: misogynistic, entitled bullshit that you wrap up
stay alive. in a pretty gift box and call 'diplomacy.'
self-preservation above all. do whatever it my job is not to educate you so stop with the
takes to survive. our social and political standing you-need-to-teach-us-and-show-us-the-way
as womyn of color have debilitated our ability histrionics. my article was notfor you. my article
to say no in order to perpetuate the societal was for everyone else who suffers on this cam-
structures that oppress us. in a world built on pus and their friends, allies, and well-wishers.
the destruction of your agency and autonomy, my article was me screaming from the moun-
the most revolutionary thing you can do is to taintop to those who would listen. not. for. you.
put yourself first, take care of yourself and love to the young men who sent me hatred:
yourself unconditionally. only two hours after my viewpoint was pub-

stay powerful. lished, i got on a taxi to go to the airport. the
loneliness in a world resistant to powerful taxi driver looked at my breasts and said, "hello,
womynofcolorisaheartbreakingreality.breathe. sweetheart" with a wolfish grin. at an airport
follow your truths. become the most unwavering restaurant that day, various men insisted on
source of love to yourself. have your chosen fam- starting conversations with me despite every
ily close when you cannot love yourself. failure is sign that i did not want to. during my two days
not failure. vulnerability is strength. in dallas, some male interviewees harassed me,
stay gold. berating me to tell them where my room was so
your light is the energy of the world. where they could come over.on thetrip back, an airport
would this world be if not for the ability of trolley driver drove behind me honking and cat-
womyn of colorto give and give and give and give calling as i walked towards my gate.
and give even after so much has been, and still is after a complimentary upgrade to business
forcefully taken from us? you are awe-inspiring, class, i walked to my seat and watched the hor-
you are worship-worthy, you are greatness, you rified faces of the other occupants of the busi-
are noble, you are everything you are meant to ness class: all rich, white men wearingstarched
be. you are a work of art and magic, an eternal suits, shocked, confounded and disgusted at my
moment of sheer brilliance, more beautiful than presence in what was clearly their space. dur-
any dream anyone could have ever dreamed of. ing the three-hour flight back, i had to endure
to the allies who sent me strength: glares and whispers. the man next to me threw
thank you. so much. glances every few minutes to make sure i hadn't
stay strong. stolen anything of his.
to those who sent me entitlement: this was two days. i have been on this earth
i am not interested in your opinion. your opin- almost 21years. i will be here for about 60 more.
ion, despite what society tells your privileged ass, how dare you say i attacked your identity?
is notthat important. i attacked your privilege.
i am not interested in the opinions and your head is so far up your own ass that you
argumentation of those who claim to cling to cannot tell the difference between the two.
objectivity and rationality over all else. if, at this what does it say about you that me defending
stage of your life, you are still delusional enough my humanity, a lament from an aching soul, is
to think objectivity exists, i am embarrassed for what you chose to attack?
you. every opinion and perspective you have is
influenced by the standing and status of the Editor's Note: Publishing this article in lower-
identities you claim and are placed onto you. case letters was a stylistic choice by the author.
as for rationality, fuck those who wish to
neatly separate emotion from any issue. if you Sumana Palle is a Business senior,
think that the anger and suffering at the face of founder of Shakti, leader of the Michigan
injustice and oppression is less valid and com- Women of Color Collective and s-board
pelling than quantitative data and detached member of What The F magazine.

The mythology of diversity

There are two major myths
about diversity on col-
lege campuses, both of
which have sadly
become undis-
puted facts to
most students ,
and members of "'
The first is that
diversity is pur-
sued for the "edu-
cational benefits BRENSAN
that flow from a
diverse student
body" - a quote
from the U.S. Supreme Court case
Grutter v. Bollinger. In this mind-
set - which, I should note, is the
mindset taken up by U.S. courts -
policies like affirmative action and
recruiting from majority-minority
school districts are about making
the University better. A diverse stu-
dent body will make the campus a
breeding ground for intellectual
exploration and cultural under-
standing, improving education
for everyone.
This is completely logical, and if
handled properly, will achieve its
stated goals. This is not, however,
the only reason for college campus-
es to pursue diversity, nor should it
be the main reason.
Affirmative action and diversity-
conscious programs take their basis
in a series of executive orders and
a 1965 speech by President Lyn-
don Johnson. To Johnson, the civil
rights legislation of the '60s was an
"opening of the gate" for African
Americans; policies like affirmative
action were meant to allow every-
one to get up and walk through that
gate. The pursuit of diversity was
about remedying past harms.
In 1977, this ideology began to
change. That year, the Supreme

Court ruled in Regents of the Uni-
versity of California v. Bakke the use
of racial quotas in college admis-
sions to be unconstitutional, but
left the idea of affirmative action
intact. The use of racial preferences
in the pursuit of a diverse student
body, the divided court argued,
was legally sound - just not in that
form.Bakke would be the precedent
around which all future affirmative
action cases were argued, with an
oversized emphasis on educational
benefits of "diversity."
The second myth, which is built
on Bakke and the ideaof diversity for
diversity's sake, is that affirmative
action is about white people.
This may not seem like a com-
monly held idea on campus, but
that's only because no one says it
so bluntly. We hear it affirmed to.
us any number of ways, from white
students who don't want all-white
classrooms, to administrators dis-
cussing the joys of open dialogues
and understanding other people.
We joke with each other about
how we're such a rich, white kid
school, but put on our serious faces
to bemoan how few poor people of
color we get to interact with.
Diversity on campus isn't about
any of this.
Diversity isn't about improving
universities for their own sake or
giving rich white kids a chance to
talk with Black students who grew
up 10 miles down the road. I'm
not saying these things are bad,
or that they don't help with the
problems we face. It is indisputable
that when privilege gets to know
oppression, privilege tends to take
a step back; meeting and getting
to know students from different
backgrounds has helped immensely
in recognizing my own racism and
sexism. But diversity isn't about me.

Diversity is about justice. It is
about recognizing a failure in our
society and in ourselves and taking
action to reverse it. Building a
diverse college campus has tons
of benefits, but the reason we do
it cannot be so white kids learn
more. Yes, even our justification
for pursuing diversity needs to
be specified.
In Ta-Nehisi Coates' essay "The
Case for Reparations," he makes
the point that simply having a
national airing of grievances can
benefit our pursuit of social and
racial justice. We have to address
problems of racism and inequality
as issues that predominantly harm
those who experience them. Those
with racial blind spots need to
learn their lesson, but our pursuit
of diversity cannot be a campaign
to teach white people how to have
Black friends. Diversity being pur-
sued for its own sake is surely ben-
eficial, but not as beneficial as an
overt crusade for justice.
Whether you agree with this line
of reasoning or not, consider the
following: In 2013, less than 5 per-
cent of Michigan's undergraduate
student body identified as African
American. Even fewer students
identified as Hispanic. In the Ross
School of Business, Blacks and His-
panics made up only 3.7 percent of
undergraduates combined.
With those numbers in mind, *
let me shatter one final myth about
diversity at the University: Wheth-
er the administration's motivation
is racial justice or admissions bro-
chures displaying a human rainbow
- they are not doing everything
they can to build a diverse
- James Brennan can be reached
at jmbthree@umich.edu.

Keep up with columnists, read Daily editorials, view cartoons and join in the debate.
Check out @michdailyoped and Facebook.com/MichiganDaily
to get updates on Daily opinion content throughout the day.
This November, say yes to Democrats


"The Rick Snyder is perfectl" cries
a woman as she tries on a wedding
dress meant to represent Michigan's
current Republican governor. You
read that right - in this campaign ad,
created by the College Republican
National Committee, Rick Snyder
is played by a wedding dress. The
CRNC seems to believe that college
women are incapable of making any
decision that isn't somehow related
to shopping. I'm sorry, but are you
kidding me? Nice try connecting to
college women, CRNC, but when we
go to the voting booth we don't treat it
like a dressing room at a department
store. This ad reflects the sometimes
hilarious and almost always
condescending relationship between
the Republican Party and American
women. No matter how hard the GOP
tries to convince women that they're
the "best fit," they fail to grasp that
women don't pick candidates like
they pick clothing. All the white tulle
and lace in the world can't hide how
Republican policies on reproductive
rights, equal pay and the minimum
wage hurt women. Despite a lack of
frill, women are capable of looking at
Democratic policies and recognizing
that Democrats are making real,
positive change. This election cycle
women need to go to the polls and
tell the GOP loud and clear that
absolutely nothing could make us
say yes to the GOP's antiquated,
offensive policies.
What happens when women don't
get out to the polls in November? In
2010, women, students and people of
color stayed home on Election Day,
and across the country, Republicans
were victorious. What's become
clear in the four years since then
is that the old white men elected
in 2010 really just don't get it. The
disastrous effects of Republican
dominance were felt especially hard
in Michigan when the Abortion
Insurance Opt-Out Act was passed
December 2013 and went into effect
March 2014. The law prohibits all
insurance plans in Michigan from
covering abortions, no matter the
circumstance. If individuals were
to need an abortion procedure,

they would have to buy a separate
add-on to cover it, called a "rider,"
ahead of time. Think about that.
Women are being asked to plan
ahead of time ... for an unplanned
pregnancy. Effectively, people who
buy insurance as individuals are
forced to plan ahead for an abortion,
or risk paying the full price out of
pocket, a cost that can run from
hundreds to thousands of dollars.
This law is commonly known as
the "rape insurance" law because if
someone were to become pregnant
as a result of sexual assault, they
would potentially have to pay for an
expensive abortion procedure out
of pocket. That is, unless they had
planned ahead to be raped.
While Republicans in the state
legislature are passing laws to
restrict access to reproductive
health care, Democratic politicians
at all levels of government are fight-
ing to protect women's rights. In
the race for Michigan's U.S. Senate
seat, Democratic candidate Gary
Peters supports equal pay and easy
access to health care for women.
His Republican opponent, Terri
Lynn Land, voices the antiquated
argument that women "are more
interested in flexibility in a job than
pay" because women lead a "dif-
ferent lifestyle." Even worse, Land
thinks that despite her anti-women
policies she's more pro-women than
Gary Peters, as if being a woman
inherently makes your policies sup-
portive of women. A pro-women
candidate is someone who, like
Gary Peters, has a proven record of
fighting for women's rights.
At the state level is Mark Schauer,
battling Rick Snyder in Michigan's
gubernatorial race. A former
member of the Michigan House and
Senate, Schauer has represented
Michigan in Congress, and he cast
his first vote there in support of
the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
As governor he will work to repeal
the restrictive abortion rider bill
and fight for equal pay legislation
at the state level. His running mate,
Lisa Brown, is a fierce fighter for
women's reproductive freedom,

and argued against restrictive anti-
choice legislation so passionately,
she was censured for saying the
word 'vagina' on the House floor.
At a local level, Democratic can-
didate Rebekah Warren is ina tight
race for a seat in Michigan's leg-
islature. Warren, who represents
Ann Arbor in Lansing, has served in
Michigan's legislature since 2007,
first as a representative and then
as a senator since 2011. Throughout
her career she has campaigned for
women's issues by sponsoring leg-
islation preventing pay discrimina-
tion and voicing her beliefs in favor
of abortion rights. For her work on
pro-choice issues, she was named
Legislator of the Year in 2009 by the
National Organization of Women
of Michigan.
When Nov. 4 comes, we need to
remember what we are voting for
and whom it is affecting. Michigan
doesn't need the Terri Lynn Lands
of the world making uninformed
decisions that negatively impact
women's lives. Michigan needs
legislators like Gary Peters, Mark
Schauer and Rebekah Warren
fighting tirelessly for the rights of
millions of Michigan women. It's
2014, and it's time for progress.
Four years ago, students and
Democrats stayed home on Election
Day; Michigan's women have
suffered the consequences every day
since. Rather than making progress
toward equal pay and reproductive
freedom, we got the offensive and
restrictive abortion rider bill and a
group of Republican legislators who
couldn't care less about the issues
facing women. When students
don't vote, women lose. Don't let
that happen this Nov. 4. When you
get to the voting booth, remember
that Democrats are fighting
for you.
Go blue, vote blue.
Laura Meyer is an LSAjunior. Erika
Tsuchiya is an LSA freshman. Elisabeth
Benham is an LSA freshman. All three
authors are members of the Women's
issues committee of the College
Democrats at the University of Michigan.

Devin Eggert, David Harris, Rachel John, Jordyn Kay, Aarica Marsh, Megan
McDonald, Victoria Noble, Allison Raeck, Melissa Scholke, Michael
Schramm, Matthew Seligman, Mary Kate Winn, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe

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