100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

December 01, 2014 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2014-12-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Page 4A -- Monday, December 1, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Page 4A - Monday, December 1, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com
MEGAN MCDONALD
PETER SHAHIN and DANIEL WANG KATIE BURKE
EDITOR IN CHIEF EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS 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.
Activism 2.0

ast Tuesday night, in response to the
grand jury decision the day before not
to indict former Ferguson, Missouri
police officer Darren Wilson
on charges pertaining to the
shooting of Michael Brown,
more than 1,000 students and
communitymembers congre-
gated on the Diag to hold a
vigil for the deceased, and to
protest unjust racial politics
and police violence as system-
ic problems facing the nation.
After leaders from various AUSTIN
student organizations gave DAVIS
speeches condemning the
inaction of the grand jury as
deplorable, a march through downtown to Ann
Arbor City Hallensued.Onthe steps ofCity Hall,
speeches drew parallels between that night's
protests and those of the 1960s, classifying the
current movement as a continuation ofthat era's
Civil Rights Movement. Protest leaders called
on participants to wholeheartedly take action in
fighting racial injustice, rather than merely shar-
ing on social media that they'd attended the rally.
Activism, they implied, is much more than medi-
ated, surface-level interactionsvia the Internet.
What exactly does it mean to be an activist in
this generation? Attending protests, picketing
causesdeemedabhorrentorgarneringthousands
of signatures for a petition were called activist
measures by previous generations; but are such
actions alone relevant to the technology-driven
ideals ofthisgeneration?
Social media and the Internet as communica-
tion technologies have the power to inform, per-
suade and mobilize citizens as previous calls for
action never could.Whereas the organizationofa
vigil of last Tuesday night's scale may have taken
weeks in the past to accomplish, currently, a
Facebook event invite made it salient across other
social media platforms and attracted thousands
overnight. Once at an event, today's protesters
can coverthe events themselves by live-tweeting
or snapping photos to upload to Facebook, effec-
tively taking the power of narrative appeal away
from larger media conglomerates. To this extent,
a protest is made up of everyone who's physically
there, along with everyone who's following the
event onthe Internet.
Although armchair activism may not be as
invigorating as actually attending a protest, the
results can be just as - if not more - impactful.

After all, Edward Snowden drew the attention of
millionsto invasive practicesofgovernment espi-
onage through Internet leaks and remote inter-
views with journalists, effectively calling into
question the morality of the American govern-
ment and its adherence to its own Constitution.
He did all this without stepping foot in a rally.
Organizations such as the Human Rights Cam-
paign have also embraced the mobilizing poten-
tial of social media - its revamped red and pink
logo, released in the spring of2013 in conjunction
with Supreme Court hearings regarding Califor-
nia's Proposition 8, had been seen by over 9 mil-
lion people and was shared over 77,000 times in
the course of a day, according to one report. It
would have been completely infeasible to garner
such a show of support for a cause by more tra-
ditional means of grassroots campaigning alone.
Amidst evidence of Internet activism, it's
not right to demean Facebook posts and tweets
about a particular cause as lesser than more
traditional shows of protest. While sharing an
article or posting a status could be considered
arrant nonsense with no basis in fact, so too can
reasons for protesting or rallying, regardless of
the caliber of the event. Menial displays of sup-
port aren't reserved for the Internet alone.
In evaluating what it means to be an activ-
ist in today's society, one shouldn't diminish
the resources available with which to catalyze
change. With the same logic, in defining what it
meant to be an activist in the past, one shouldn't
glorify all actions taken by our predecessors. In
Detroit, during the summer of 1967, the city
erupted in protests against police brutality;
during a four-day span, many died, hundreds
were injured and uncontrolled looting and van-
dalism ravaged the city.
By perceiving these actions as having been
efficacious in igniting change - by perceiving
such movements as activist in nature - many
in Ferguson are engaging in similar activities.
Taking to the Facebook page or blogosphere, in
comparison, are peaceful means of protest that
have the potential for tenable change. That being
said, activism today shouldn't be about merely
emulating the actions of those who came before.
Rather, they should be about taking traditionalist
definitions of what it means to act and reforming
themto be more conducive with current ideals of
a productive, educated and peaceful society.
- Austin Davis can be reached
at austchan@umich.edu.

Ferguson protests and Facebook posts
W hile many were en route businesses reflects the opposite of There is no concrete evidence prov-
back to their home- what these protesters want: peace. ing that racism was a contributing
towns to celebrate a Vigils and protests that recognize factor in the shooting. Although it
Thanksgiving at home, the phrase the necessity of nonviolent activism is easy to see why racism may have
"Black lives mat- and discourse are the demonstra- played a large role in the shooting
ter" began flood- tions that the common person can of Michael Brown, there are other
ing campus learn most from, and where revolu- ways to argue this point without
Tuesday night in tion can truly take place. Violence an unverifiable ad hominem attack.
light of the recent has the ability to draw attention to Trying to gain credibility with
Darren Wilson causes, especially when change is these types of arguments almost
verdict. The self- necessary. But nonviolence often always proves to be hard, especially
identified vigil allows demonstrations to gain legit- because people with power (i.e.,
was a space that imacy and credibility. Undoubt- white males) have problems grasp-
encouraged a edly you have heard the reference ing concepts of white privilege.
peaceful protest REM to Martin Luther King, Jr. before, American society is propped up by
with aggressive PASQUINELLI and the best ways to summarize his the privilege of a specific race -
discourse, includ- feelings toward the utilization of white. And the way that the crimi-
ing signs that pro- peace is in his quote: "Peace is not nal justice system can sustain the
moted justice for Michael Brown, merely a distant goal that we seek, power of white people is easily seen
Aura Rosser and other Black indi- but a means by which we arrive at in the shooting of Michael Brown.
viduals targeted by police violence. that goal." There are ways to critically ana-
Participants of the vigil chanted, Peaceful demonstrations lyze the situation surrounding Fer-
"Hands up! Don't shoot!" "What following the controversial ruling guson, as well as any other Black
do we want? Justice! When do we in the Darren Wilson case have civilian shooting done by a white
want it? Now!" and "Hey hey! Ho exposed issues that have previously police officer. Explaining your opin-
ho! These racist cops have got to been considered taboo topics. You ion with warranted claims is the
go!" These words wafted through probablynoticedthattheonlysubject best way to eradicate the frustra-
the Diag, and eventually made their people discussed on Facebook after tions stemming from others' inabil-
way over to the Michigan Theater. the decision was announced was ity to empathize with your opinion.
The student-organized vigil is police violence toward Blacks. For Stating Darren Wilson is a racist pig
an example of a protest done well. me, this was one of the first times will not help you critically engage
Unfortunately, protests that take the this issue had been discussed this in arguments that you are trying
form of riots perpetuate negative, much, even after the Trayvon Martin to make, nor will saying Michael
untrue stereotypes of an entire race. shooting. These types of discussions Brown deserved to get shot. The
Although not everyone participating are more likely to happen and keep reason there is so much frustration
in violent riots are Black, these happening if buildings are not between individuals with conflicting
expressions of public opinion in the burning down left and right. This views isn't because people can't hold
Darren Wilson and Michael Brown type of violence only propagates the conversations about these issues,
case are often viewed negatively and likelihood that people give up having but because of the way each side
attributed to race. Peaceful spaces civil discussions of race. presents their arguments. Whether
for expression, whether it is through There are problems, however, these arguments take the form of an
words, art, posters, etc., present with the way a majority of people aggressive and overly biased Face-
opportunities to pull the existence of are discussing such issues. I read book status or violent protests, alter-
police violence against Blacks out of at least five Facebook posts where natives to these forms of expression
the shadows. individuals took an opinion on Dar- have a much stronger ability to pro-
Protests that are occurring as a ren Wilson's verdict that said some- mote revolutionary change.

result of the decision not to indict
Darren Wilson are the pathways to
justice. It is clear that burning down

thing along the line of him being
a "racist pig." This is not how one
should address such a serious issue.

- Rennie Pasquinelli can be
reached at renpasq@umich.edu.

SIMON RIVERS I

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
Edvinas Berzanskis, Devin Eggert, David Harris, Rachel John, Jordyn Kay, Aarica Marsh,
Megan McDonald, Victoria Noble, Michael Paul, Allison Raeck, Melissa Scholke, Michael
Schramm, Matthew Seligman, Mary Kate Winn, Jenny Wang, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
SCIENCE FOR THE PEOPLE I
Dow Chemical, questionable donor

Stereotypes are a fascinating part
of everyday life. We grow up learning
things according to our stereotypes
and schemas. We learn that squares
have four sides, so whenever we see
a square we remember that it has
four sides. However, we often forget
that a square may also be called a
rectangle or a rhombus..
We also grow up learning stereo-
types about people. We learn that
Black men are angry, sex-crazed, and
dangerous. Stereotypes, while usual-
ly negative, are simply a conundrum
of misinformation and ignorance.
Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
adds that stereotypes are unfinished.
She left her audience speechless dur-
ing her TED Talk when she said,
"The single story creates stereotypes
and the problem with stereotypes
is that they are not untrue, but they
are incomplete. They make one story
become the only story." That is why
I say that stereotypes are "fascinat-
ing," not evil or horrid, because they
derive from ignorance and general-
izing; they are incomplete.
The danger is in seeing a man who
is yelling and cursing at someone
and labeling all Black men as angry.
The danger is in viewingthe'actions
of a "reality" television star as
promiscuous and labeling all Black
men as sex-crazed. The danger is
in seeing a Black man stealing from
someone in your neighborhood and
labeling all Black men as dangerous.
And those stereotypes are
definitely incomplete; the
stereotypes limit one's capability to
see Black men as versatile beings that
are as complex as the interworking
of the solar system or, to fall in line
with my original analogy, as complex
as geometry.
Growing up as a young Black boy,
being tough - being "hard" - had
already been ingrained in me by
society, upheld by perceived stereo-
types, as the most important thing
that we could be. We are socialized
to play sports, have girlfriends -
have sex with them, don't wear pink,
wear your pants low, don't listen to
Beyonc6 - only lust after her, make
fun of the gay kid who will eventu-
ally become one of your best friends,

vly single story
don't cry, don't you dare cry, don't m
ever cry, especially don't cry. w
Even as a young boy, I struggled sp
with being tough. I wanted to be fel
tough, butI just couldn't do it. I was ids
ashamed. I didn't know that a Black an
boy (or a man, which is what I was re
trying to be) could be anything less
than.. the stereotypes that society lo;
labeled us. TI
I felt ashamed that I didn't yo
like sports. ab
I felt embarrassed that I enjoyed pr
playing dress-up. TI
I felt guilty that I never got into m4
fights, even though I was enrolled w
in karate. an
I felt that I was never good enough. cu
In order to be good enough to iz(
meet the requirements of being a no
young Black man, one must have in
male friends. I have always found izi
it easier to interact and develop an
relationships with girls/women; at
so naturally, most of my friends for sic
my life have been girls/women. At wl
19 years old, after telling my father m;
that I was going to my best friend's w
younger sister's birthday party at the es
mall, he responded, you know that be
you're not a girl, right? Of course, I ca
do, Dad, I said as I chuckled. Then
why don'tyou act like it? to
It stung more than my father Gc
could imagine. It hurt because I FL
knew that hanging out with women of
as friends was not what young men fri
did. We had sex with them. I knew Bl
that being into Broadway, ballets, tif
and Beyonce was not what young Bl;
men were supposed to do. We made tio
fun of the gay kids that liked them. I an
knew that being a young Black man tio
meant that I had to be manlier than an
my white counterparts (it wasn't co
until later that I learned that it was
because of the perceived hyper- ha
sexuality and the perpetuated su
homophobia of the Black male body). fri
My actions did not align with what be,
was expected of me, as a young, An
heterosexual Black man. I knew that -
I wasn't good enough, but I couldn't
help who I was.
I felt different, abnormal, and
inadequate as a man - as a young
Black man. I was never like my y
father or brother. I was never like

y male friends in high school,
Iho could sit around and talk about
orts, rap music and having sex. I
It judged based on my intersecting
entities of race and gender. Black
nd male stereotypes culminated
sulting in my many insecurities.
The insecurities that for far too
ng overshadowed my decisions.
he insecurities that forced me, as a
ung Black man, to feel uncomfort-
le with who I was instead of being
oud of who I was going to become.
he insecurities that subsided the
oment that I decided that people
ould either have to accept who I
m or get out of my way. The inse-
rities that collapsed when I real-
ed that gender expression does
t equal sexual orientation. The
securities that ended when I real-
;d that my Blackness supersedes
y and every stereotype. And while
times it does define my deci-
on making, my insecurities ended
hen I accepted that my Black
aleness, as important as it is to me,
as not going to define my inter-
ts, friends, or who I was trying to
come, because as a Black man, I
n be whomever I want to be.
So here I am today, listening
Whitney Houston's "You Give
ood Love," saying "eyebrows on
EEK," agonizing over the state
the Detroit Tigers, helping my
ends pick out their outfits for
ack Homecoming, loving a beau-
ul Black woman, and I am still a
ack man. No amount of persecu-
n or ridicule will change that. No
iount of prejudice or discrimina-
n will ever change that. And no
nount of pressure from society to
nform will ever change that.
I may not fit the mold that society
s designed for me, but I for damn
re, regardless of my interests,
ends or expression, always have
en and always will be a Black man.
d nothing will take that away.
Michigan in Color is the Daily's
opinion section designated as a space
for and by students of color at the
University of Michigan. To contribute
our voice or find out more about MiC,
e-mail michiganincolor@umich.edu.

A remarkable event occurred Saturday, Nov.
15.Graduatestudentsandpostdoctoralresearch-
ers presented the results of their research on a
myriad of sustainability issues - a subject that
couldn't be more relevant for our age. But amid
the interesting and important projects present-
ed, a coterie of protesters (for the sake of trans-
parency: us) pointed out deeper practical and
philosophical issues associated with the event's
funder, the Dow Chemical Company.
Dow has and continues to be engaged in
activities of questionable (a stronger word
might be relevant) sustainability - indeed, of
questionable (a much stronger word would be
relevant) morality. As the last company will-
ing to produce napalm to horrendous effect on
humans in Vietnam, still willing to produce
the well-known toxin Atrazine and recently
having pressured the Environmental Protec-
tion Agency to approve a new product that
will result in the spraying of 2,4-D (one of the
chemicals used in Agent Orange - also pro-
duced by Dow - for terrorism in Vietnam), we
called for the audience to reflect on the nature
of the funding source. Through distributing
informational flyers across campus a week
before the event, handing out a fact sheet at
the event, unfurling a couple of banners call-
ing out Dow on its prior and current crimes
against the environment and humanity and
posing questions at the event, we confronted
Dow's "sustainability" representative.
It should be noted that our protest was not
against the work of the Dow sustainability
scholars. On the contrary, we applaud the fine
work they are doing. Rather,, our concern is
with the past and present actions of one of the
world's worst actors on the sustainability front
and the image that represents for the University.
Serious sustainability researchers now have
part of their resume tainted with the label
"Dow Sustainability Fellow," which is certainly
not useful in seeking some employment
opportunities. Why is it that Dow funding
carries with it the obligation to be called a Dow

fellow? If Dow is, as it claims, simply concerned
with solving some of the world's pressing
sustainability problems,why insistonburdening
the recipients of its funding? Inthe past, fellows
were called "Graham Sustainability Fellows"
after the Graham Institute. What is wrong with
that title? Or is Dow simply concerned with
purchasing some of the University's legitimacy?
Such questions call into view some even
bigger issues. Why are folks who are interested
in doing sustainability research forced to go to
the dark side for money in the first place? Why,
in turn, is the University forced to get into bed
withnotoriouscriminals?The answer,asknown
by everyone from the University President to
the incoming first-year undergraduate, is that
the University is, in practice, no longer a public
institution. As part of the great "conservative"
move - if you call destroying public education
conservative - beginning with the Reagan/
Thatcher era, state funding for higher education
has, by now, effectively disappeared. Therefore,
students, faculty and researchers are forced to
seek private funds to support what used to be
thought of as activities in service of the public
good and thus worthy of support from the
public at large (which is to say the government).
Students (and student researchers) are forced to
seek money in every available nook and cranny
from loan sharks (banks) to criminals.
Yet, is there absolutely no limit on who
should fund us? Perhaps the leaders of Los
Zetas wish to donate some money? Perhaps the
American Nazi party would like to help fund
our Jewish Studies program? The KKK, our
African American Studies program? Certainly
there are limits to what we will endorse by
accepting their money. Do criminal elements
like Dow deserve our endorsement? And is it
simply irrelevant that the fellows doing such
fine work must be saddled with the Dow label?
Maybe the University can give us an answer.
This viewpoint was written by
Science for the People.

SEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@MICHIGANDAILY.COM

Thank you,
Devin Gardner
TO THE DAILY:
I am a long-time resident of
Columbus, and although I graduated
from another school (Purdue), I have
become a strong Ohio State football
fan. Unlike most of the rhetoric you
hear during The Game week, I have
no bad feelings about the University
of Michigan. In fact, I know it to be
one of the premier public academic

universities in the country, right
up with University of California
Berkeley, University of Virginia and
Illinois.
I want you to know that I was very
touched by the words and actions
of your team's quarterback, Devin
Gardner, in the kind and articulate
way he demonstrated his concern
over the injury sustained by Ohio
State quarterback J.T. Barrett during
the game. He is a gentleman, a class
act, a man that the entire University

community - and, indeed, the state
of Michigan - can be proud of.
What he did and said, and the
manner in which he did both, will
be the memory of that game that will
remain with me.
Congratulations on having such a
person as your football team's leader.
In the end, that kind of result trumps
wins and losses, big time.
Bill Hood
Resident of Columbus, Ohio

6
I

I '

F

R

Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan