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July 02, 2001 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2001-07-02

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Monday, July 2, 2001- The Michigan Daily-- 5
j Spiders'questfor world domination must be stopped
Idon't mean to alarm anyone, but out of hiding. nary spiders. Mold, mildew and what
there may be an army of giant, Until recently, they were all hiding must have been a steady supply of edi-
mutant spiders currently plotting in my grandparents' basement (or, ble insects were not enough for them.
s the militant overthrow of a small town "down the cellar" in Pennsylvanian). It They yearned to see the world beyond
i- in Pennsylvania. And if they succeed, (the basement/cellar) has a stone floor the staircase. Before long, they were
e there's no telling where they'll strike and is adorned with several piles of electing officials, holding rallies and
s next. junk that no one making speeches from little podiums
d Before I divulge just how I came has even looked at to one another about conquering the
n across this sensitive information, a few since February 24, ominous Man Upstairs and all of his
e words on spiders: 1965. For decades, Wretched Offspring. Each year, as
Some people think I'm afraid of it has been an their supply of aforementioned nour-
a spiders. This is completely false. As a ideal breeding ishment increased, they got bigger and
s Powerful Woman of the New Millenni- ground for - and stronger. Every now and then, they
is um, I have far more important things I don't use this would send a brave representative
e to think about than whether or not I term lightly - though the laundry chute to check
v actually swallow six spiders in my creepy crawlies. things out.
n- sleep every year. I am not at all curi- As a child, I'd Yet somehow, in all the years I've
it- ous as to how this statistic was docu- AUBREY see them occa- been visiting that house, I never saw
ir mented. Also, I have never left the HENRETTY sionally. Besides one spider outside the bounds of the
ar computer lab because there was a big .> %being a haven for basement.
:s green spider tiptoeing around right scary bugs, the That is, not until last week.
ug next to my mouse pad. And I'm defi- basement was also where Gramma Upon entering the area of the
to nitely not getting all itchy just thinking kept all the canned goods; few orders house known as the Back Room, I was
A about it. were more terrifying than the ones that startled to find a spider that could eas-
So, back to Pennsylvania: began, "Aubrey, would you go down ily have used me as a toothpick kicked
a- I became aware of the burgeoning the cellar and get ... " So I'd be down- back in Gramma's recliner! One pair
s- arachnid revolution last week while stairs, getting a can of Beefaroni or of his legs were crossed, another
st visiting my grandparents in Sharon, something, when out of nowhere a spi- behind his head, the third knitting a tea
to Pennsylvania (motto: "We're serious der roughly the size of a mature water- cozy and the fourth holding the TV
of ... and don't call us Shirley"). On the melon would slink down from the remote and a glass of iced tea. He took
:i- surface, Sharon is a peaceful town ceiling and stick its tongue out at me. a sip, then noticed me standing slack-
as with her own candy factory, steel mill Brutal though these encounters jawed in the doorway. "Oh, I'm sorry,"
:s, and Meek Street. All-American. Din- were, I felt safe in the knowledge that he said. "Did you want to sit here?"
ne ers: Yes. Starbucks: No. the spiders liked it down there and Ha, ha! I am such a kidder. He was
er But an evil far greater than Corpo- were not coming upstairs where I really drinking a Frappuccino.
to rate America lurks beneath Sharon's might unwittingly swallow them in my
ii- public golf course and her tastefully sleep. Or where they might swallow -Aubrey Henrettys column runs every
li- landscaped lawns. And its hairy, multi- me in my sleep. other Monday. She can be reached via
>ls legged soldiers are starting to come But like I said, these were no ordi- e-mail at ahenrett@umich.edu.

sattie to legalize
marijuana 'about
Thank you for so succinctly stat-
Sing views held by a large majority of
the American people.
In your editorial ("Just say yes:
Legalizing marijuana would benefit
many," 6/18/01), you pose the ques-
tion: Why does the government per-
sist in keeping marijuana illegal?
According to Judge Gray - a long-
time advocate of marijuana law
reform - without the marijuana
users, the government cannot justify
the enormous expenditures that the
drug war incurs.
The curtailment of civil rights,
reaching from the first amendment,
through the fourth and badly warping
the tenth among those atrocities
being committed. Politicians
inevitably have a problem with saying
that they have made mistakes. Even
should those mistakes lie with a con-
gress long dead.
g Mandatory minimum sentencing,
property confiscation laws, free
speech abridgements if not downright
censorship, the creating of two gener-
ations of Americans that fear the%
police, and distrust the authority that
supposedly. wishes to help them. We
have, thanks to the daiugwar, the test'-

ing upon demandat oodily tiuids, ot
all citizens. Itsis a proven fact, harder
drugs are undetectable after 36-72
hours in the urine or blood, marijuana
itself leaves the body after 8-24
hours, the metabolites it leaves
behind remain up to a month, depen-
dant upon body metabolism.
We have seen the Supreme Courts
of both State and federal persuasion
steadily back the politicians. We are
noticing an increase in allied nation
resentment against the heavy handed
drug warrior tactics, coercion and
threats not the least of what those
good peoples face. In Illinois, it is
now good law to stop and search a
vehicle should it bear a Led Zeppelin
sticker. Upheld by the Illinois
Supreme Court last year, they decid-
ed this was "Probable cause." Mainly
because older marijuana users like
Led Zeppelin, the mind boggles.
We applaud your stance, and hope
to see more.
Marijuana does not break down
your door in the middle of the night.
This is reserved for D.E.A. agents
and local police forces, clad in black,
and sometimes shooting the wrong
This is, in our minds, not about
marijuana, it is about freedom.
Let freedom ring!
- The letter.wrier is tile
itioderdt6r ofmrtirjuana.com.

The politics of identi
We all know someone who is
mixed, interracial, biracial,
whatever you want to call
it. What I find interesting, but rarely
discussed, is the strikingly similar
manner in which these individuals
create their political identity.
Whether we like it or not (and
whether we wish to acknowledge it
or not), we all have some sort of
sociopolitical identity. I don't mean
here that we all identify with a par-
ticular organized ideology, but rather
that we all have some sort of politi-
cal status in our society.
Of course, some of us enjoy a
more privileged political status, and
those of us who do enjoy that status
are usually oblivious to it until con-
fronted with a situation where it
smacks them in the face. White men
in our society are of course at the
top of this sociopolitical totem pole,
and after that, the pecking order
becomes a little fuzzy, with the
youngest immigrant community
usually sharing the bottom spot
with whatever ethnic group happens
to be the foreign policy enemy of
the time. (Today, of course,
Arab/Muslim-Americans possess
both those roles.)
What is sure, though, is that
white men are not ready to willingly
abandon their powerful political sta-
tus. In fact, I once heard Chris Rock
say during a comedy show that
"there's a white one-legged busboy
around here that wouldn't trade
places with me ... and I'm rich!" So
what is striking is how interracial
individuals always seem to more
closely identify with that part of
their biological identity that enjoys

the lower political status. Why is
this? Wouldn't we think that when
faced with the choice of identifying
one's own identity, that he/she
would wish to latch onto that identi-
ty that would grant the higher
advantage? Well,
the fact of the
matter is this: We
don't get to
choose. And this
is why we find
mixed individu-
als almost always
identifying more
AMER G. closely with that
ZAHR part of them
which has the
w history of politi-
cal oppression.
One of my
closest friends has a black father and
a white mother, yet she almost
exclusively identifies with the black
community, even though we both
grew up in a community that was
over 95% white. This is because our
society does the identifying for her.
In the larger scope, she doesn't gain
any height on that totem pole
because her mother is white.
In fact, I find myself in a similar
position. While both of my parents
are Palestinian, my father is a Chris-
tian while my mother is Muslim. Yet
I find myself more closely identify-
ing with my Muslim identity than
my Christian one. This has nothing
to do with religion. I am not particu-
larly high on organized religion.
This all has to do with politics.
Being an Arab in America is already
closely identified with being Mus-

lim, and when coupled with the fact
that I am half Muslim, my identity
in this society is far from advanta-
geous, far from the political advan-
tage we would expect for a
It is because of these social phe-
nomena that those of us who are not
pure white Judeo-Christian males
cannot ever deny our inherently
political existence. I am personally
irritated whenever I hear a fellow
Arab-American say something as
asinine as "Yeah, I'm an Arab, but
I'm apolitical." It's a contradiction in
terms. When you and/or your group
are the subject of political and social
discrimination, your every act car-
ries a political implication, regard-
less of your desire to have it do so.
Being black, Muslim, Arab,
Latino/a, Chinese, Bosnian - the
list goes on - is inherently and vio-
lently political in American society,
especially given the close ties
between our government's foreign
policies and the way our media por-
trays them.
Now should all this talk about
our not being able to construct our
own identity create any sense of
powerlessness? Of course not. When
enough of us assert our identity -
our oppressed identity -_and con-
tinue to cling to those causes of the
powerless that are just, things will
and must change, because no social
power will survive as long as it con-
tinually oppresses people simply
because it can.
-Amer Zahrs column runs every
other Monday He can be reached via
" $ e~maLd t zilr ng@umicUKi:

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