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June 10, 1980 - Image 4

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1980-06-10

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Page 4-Tuesday, June 10, 1980-The Michigan Daily

The-,- a Daily
Ninety Years of Editorial Freedom
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan
Get public money
out of S. Africa
ITHIN THE next several months the state
legislature will vote on a package of three bills
that would outlaw investing public money in firms that
do business in South Africa. These votes will be an
important opportunity for Michigan to show the
rest of the world exactly how it feels about
American involvement in South Africa's racist
system of apartheid.
An important consequence of this legislation is
that the University would be required to divest
from all companies doing business in South Africa.
The Regents would no longer be troubled by the
decision on whether an academic institution should
concern itself with moral values when choosing its
investment portfolio; they would be required by
law to rid the University of its stocks from cor-
porations in South Africa by July, 1982.
The first bill of the divestment package,
prohibiting deposit of state funds in banks that do
business in South Africa, has already passed the
state house and goes before the senate early this
week. With any luck, it will pass as smoothly
through the second chamber as it did the first.
But the other two bills may pose some problems
for legislators. An advisory panel has already
come out against the second bill saying it would
hurt the financial future of state employee pension
funds. When the University bill comes into the
limelight there will no doubt be opponents who say
universities-already faced with reduction in state
aid and rising costs-cannot afford to lose their
South African investments, which often are at the
top of the investment portfolios.
State legislators will have to decide if the
possibilities of some financial loss should outweigh
the opportunity to remove public money from in-
stitutions that indirectly, yet definitely support the
racist system of apartheid in South Africa.
Those state legislators who are economically-
minded are in the best position to understand the
situation in South Africa. Apartheid is an economic
issue. The white Afrikaners will never voluntarily
relinquish control of the country to the 80 per cent
of its population which is black. Life for the
Afrikaners is simply too good under the present
system to seriously consider changing.
The only way, then, blacks will be able to have
their share of the country's wealth is by revolution.
Recent uprisings indicate that blacks will not sit
still forever. Divestment is the best way for this
state to show that when the system falls apart,
Michigan did not support the fallen regime respon-
sible for some of the worst human rights violations
ever.
Divestment is a small symbolic step that shows
the American public is totally opposed to the South
African regime and wants no part of the profits
made by American corporations that continue to do
business there. This summer our state legislators,
and their consciences, must decide that Michigan
should risk some financial loss and make that
statement.

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9

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Clark editorial questionable

To the Daily:
Your editorial (Daily, June 4)
concerning Ramsey Clark'savisit
to Iran-"Clark Should Have
Stayed At Home"-did have one
virtue: it stirred me out of my
apathetic slumber and prompted
me to write this letter. On several
points, however, I found your
editorial questionable.
First, you criticize Clark for
going to Iran because you think it
will' delay the release of the
hostages. Aside from the fact that
you say this prevents a "quick"
end to the crisis-I think the ad-
jective "quick" is neither apt nor
even possible in the seventh mon-
th of the crisis-you state that,
"The Iranians themselves have
insisted that the conference has
no relation to the hostages." In
light of this acknowledgement, I
fail to see the reason for your
concern.
Perhaps your reason for
protesting Clark's visit was your
opinion of the convention it-
self-you term it "ridiculous." It
is very possible that some sort of
forum such as this is a necessary

precondition for the release of the
hostages. Your statement that,
"Carter has enough trouble
presenting a firm, steady policy
toward Iran without fellow
Americans openly ignoring his
words," seems to indicate Car-
ter's lack of foreign policy exper-
tise-a flaw I doubt Mr. Clark is
responsible for.
You also neglect the question:
"Does Jimmy Carter have the
authority to ban travel to Iran?"
While Iran may be considered a
special case, the U.S. Supreme
Court held in Kent v. Dulles
(1958) that "the right to travel is
part of the 'liberty' of which the
citizen cannot be deprived
without due process of law." In
this light, it is Americans who are
the victims of sanctions, a
situation not a little ironic.
Finally, and most
distressingly, you fault the
American media for aggravating
the situation. In your words,
"The American media have done
enough for Iranian propaganda
without Clark's help." What do
you propose-a news blackout?

An open society such as ours has
a free flow of information as its
lifeblood. It is disconcerting for
you to advocate censorship, as
member of the press. It is not t
function of the media to decide
what is progaganda. I hope
reasonable members of our
society can make that decision on
their own.
In no sense am I condoning the
holding of the hostages. It is
clearly an unsupportable and
criminal act. Nevertheless, your
editorial only serves to further
the misconceptions that reign in
the public dialogue on this iss4
-John J. wallbillich
June 5
Power

Center

0

Misstatemnents in
advertising article

To the Daily:
Pranks by Nissen are one
thing, misstatements of fact
another. The Power family and
others-not the General
Fund-paid the cost of the Power
Center for the Performing Arts
(Daily, May 30).
-J. F. Brinkerhoff,
University Vice Presidents
and Chief Financial
Officer
June 2, 1980

To the Daily:
I am writing to correct some
misstatements that occurred in
Bonnie Juran's article (Daily,
May 23) on deceptive adver-
tising.
First, our office is the
Washtenaw County Consumer
Action Center, the Consumer
Protection Division of the County
Prosecutor's Office. we function
mainly as a complaint mediation
agenacy. we also investigate
cases of alleged fraud or decep-
tive advertising. If the in-
vestigations reveal fraud, the
results are turned over to the
Prosecuting Attorney's office for
further action.
Therefore, I might amend her
statement to say that the
Prosecutor "has the authority to

prosecute," but only after an in-
vestigation provides factual
evidence of the possibility of
criminal fraud. At that point, an
assistant prosecutor would take
the case if further legal action
was warranted.
Also, her remark concerning
companies which advertise
specific salaries which are later
qualified or restricted might bet-
ter be explained as "not only
deceptive, but may be illegal."
Otherwise, I appreciate Ms.
Juran's efforts to alert students
to potential deception in adver-
tising. If you have inquiries
about a specific ad or business,
you may also contact the Con-
sumer Action Center at 994-2420.
-Ann Snyder
Consumer Action Center
June 6 '

Editorial
policies

6

Cartoons frequently
appear on both the left
and right side of the
page; they do not
necessarily represent
Daily opinions.
v. ::'x4i ",w.+'ii.Yv Pi%{ +:r 6~H"

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