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May 21, 2001 - Image 4

Resource type:
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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2001-05-21

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, May 21, 2001
Edited and managed by JACQUELYN NIXON AUBREY HENRETTY
Students at the + Editor in Chief Editorial Page Editor
University of Michigan IM M tt
Unless otheraise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of th
4r M ymajority of the Dailys editorial board. All other articles, letters ano
Ann Arbor, M 48109 cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

The simple, child-like drawings
displayed on the wall at the Ann
Arbor Public Library may appear
ordinary at first glance, but a closer
inspection reveals several young
artists' depictions of dying people,
planes dropping bombs and soldiers
marching in formation.
The adult nature of the drawings has
caused many to stop and think about
why children would be drawing these
terrible, extraordinary events. It has
also caused a bit of a stir in the com-
munity; some have said that the chil-
dren's artwork is nothing more than
political propaganda and that it has no
place in a public library. However,
regardless of the nature of a particular
art exhibit, a public library is exactly
the place to display controversial forms
of creative expression. Doing so allows
for public discussion of the artwork
and also of the issues underlying the
art. Those attempting to censor the
children's drawings at the Ann Arbor
Public Library have no right to do so.
The exhibit in question features 24
drawings and two essays from Palestin-

in t c nCu m ons
Children's art should remain at library

ian children between the ages of 8 and
13 who attend a school in Jerusalem.
Some members of the community
believe the children's depictions were
inappropriate and took it as an unfair
political statement on a complex and
sensitive issue.
With two weeks remaining for the
month-long exhibit, there was enough
opposition to the display that a library
board meeting was held to discuss the
issue and whether it should reconsider
the art exhibit policy.
The library s current policy allows
city residents to put u pdisplays
because it "enhances the library's edu-
cational role and mission, and strength-
ens and extends its contact with
community groups and individuals."
This policy supports freedom of
expression and at the meeting -

attended by more than 70 people -
this freedom of expression was pre-
served. In spite of the opposition,
attendees and board members decided
to allow the display to remain in the
library.
Some speakers at the meeting
argued that the drawings were anti-
Israeli propaganda and were most like-
ly directed - if not created - by
adults. The truth or falsity of these all-
geations is irrelevant to the issue of
freedom of expression; the exhibit
serves the same purpose as any other; it
expresses an opinion.
The idea of expressing feelings
through art to convey a message is
hardly new. Every day, people walk
into art exhibitions and museums and
find items to their distaste, yet these
items still carry an important message

about life: While one may disagree
with another's methods of expression,
it is necessary to respect others' right
to display them.
Regardless of one's personal politi-
cal orientation, no one can deny the
right of this exhibit to exist. The U.
Constitution guarantees that everyon
with something to say be allowed to
say it; freedom of speech is uncondi-
tional.
Exhibit organizer and 19-year-old
LSA junior Hiba Ghalib suggested that
if others find this exhibit so reprehensi-
ble, they should put up a counter dis-
play. Situations like the controversy
surrounding the drawings could be
avoided in the. future if the library
revised its art display policy to provide
space for counter-exhibits to controver
sial artwork in the future.
The elimination of the exhibit would
be blatant, unwarranted censorship and
could not be permitted in a country that
places such high value on freedom of
speech. The community and the library
officials should be applauded for their
defense of free expression.

A poor example
Senators should vote Jaye out
Our government and, in fact, our judge of the qualifications, elections
society derives heavily from the and returns of its members, and may,
premise that an individual needs with the occurrence of two-thirds of all
to surrender some of his rights/powers members elected thereto and serving
and bestow them onto an therein, expel a member."
appointed/elected few. For instance, In light of his recent run-in with the
someone living in a city implicitly law, there is currently a six-member
agrees to grant only law enforcement panel assigned the task of determining
officials of that city the power to arrest what disciplinary action to take. This
and charge a person with a crime. In the senate committee could recommend
case of government, citizens forego that Jaye merely be reprimanded or it
their individual voice in law making could expel him from office.
and entrust it to an elected representa- Senate Majority Leader Dan
tive. DeGrow has predicted that Jaye will
There is an implicit trust that those likely be ousted. Jaye will have a
elected will conduct themselves honor- chance to defend himself to the com-
ably and fulfil the requirements of their mittee and has expressed his intent to
jobs to the best of their abilities. When sue to get his get his job back if forced
elected officials fail to meet these to leave it. If the committee decides to
demands, it is the responsibility of their expel him from office, Jaye will be the
fellow lawmakers to speak up and first senator to be expelled in Macomb
remove the offending individuals from County history.
office.JJaye is detrimental to lawmaking in
David Jaye was entrusted with the Michigan and should be expelled. His
task of representing Macomb County in presence in government despite his con-
the Michigan Senate in 1997. In spite of tinued misconduct demonstrates a dou-
his two drunk-driving convictions, Jaye ble standard for law-breakers: If you
won the election with 2,000 votes, break the law you will be penalized, but
defeating Democratic challenger Becky if your job is to make those laws, your
Higbie. Since becoming a senator, Jaye penalties will be lighter. The implica-
has been convicted of a thirdd runk- tion is that lawmakers don't have to
driving charge. obey the laws like everyone else.
His other alleged acts of misconduct Jaye's presence in the Senate under-
include verbal abuse and profanity mines the integrity of the institution
directed at his staff and more recently, and he should be removed immediately.
domestic violence directed against his Michi 'an citizens deserve to be repre-
fiancee. Jaye spent a night in a Florida sente by lawmakers who respect the
jail after police responded to a 911 call laws of the land.
about an alleged dispute with his If the Senate committee decides not
fiancde. to expel him, the residents of Macomb
Jaye, who was active in the anti- County should take action themselves
affirmative action lawsuits against the and start a petition to have him recalled.
University of Michigan. is currently His effectiveness as a member of the
facing the possibility of disciplinary Michigan senate is irreparably damaged
action from his colleagues. Article IV, by his history of misconduct and it is
Section 16 of the Michigan Constitution unlikely that he can accomplish any-
states that "Each house shall be the sole more worthwhile deeds in his post.

One step c o, WseAlDr
UC Regents open door for affirmative action
L ast week the University of Califor- best class available, not necessarily th
nia's Board of Regents unanimous- class with the highest SAT scores.
ly voted to rescind their ban on There are many ways to evaluate th
affirmative action. This victory, after six contributions a student can bring to
long years, reiterates that affirmative university, and factored into this contri
action is necessary for maintaining bution are things that go beyond tes
diversity in our universities. While this scores. Everyone, regardless of his o
move is largely symbolic, it is the cor- her background, benefits from interac
rect step in the ongoing battle over ing with members of other races an.
admission policies. ethnic origins. Diversity is vital to a uni
The lifting of the ban paves the way versity; without it, universities lack th
for the return of affirmative action and necessary ingredients to promote th
racial equality at all UC schools. Now learning, questioning atmosphere whicl
all that stands in the way is California defines a good school.
Proposition 209, which outlaws race- A long road lies ahead of the force
and gender-based preferential treatment lining up to continue the fight for affir
in hiring and school admissions policies mative action. The California Regent
and was passed in 1996. The schools have made the right move but the popu
had first banned affirmative action in lace needs to be convinced that affirmA
1995, and immediately saw a sharp tive action is beneficial to all students.
decline in minority enrollment. Accord- The variety of viewpoints and th
ing to the Los Angeles Times, African- open communication between student
American enrollment dropped by 13 with different cultures and differen
percent by 1998. backgrounds increases with the enroll
The California Regents realized that ment of minorities. When universitie
decreasing the amount of minorities in discourage diversity through admis
their schools was hurtful to all. When sions, they send a message that differin
school regents vote 22-0 to reintroduce opinions no longer matter. In ou
affirmative action - as they did last increasingly global and interactiv
Wednesday - it should send a message world, tolerance and acceptance are tw
to people. It seems to be a pattern that it things that every university must stress
is the schools themselves that see a need by employing affirmative action A
for affirmative action, only to see a admissions, universities can better teac
campaign waged against it by those these lessons.
unfamiliar with the importance of diver- Regent Ward Connerly (R-Calif.) -
sity. a long-time opponent of affirmativ
The University and UC schools are action - added his vote to the order t
currently the most heated battlegrounds rescind the ban. He cited the need t
in the fight for affirmative action. While show the world that the UC schools ar
UC fights to have it reintroduced, the not unwilling to accept minorities
University continues to face challenges While his vote is the right one, hi
to its long-standing support of it. The motives are questionable. The vot
victory in California should be seen-as should not be perceived as a purel
an affirmation that the academic com- symbolic gesture designed to appeas
munity is in favor of affirmative action. minorities. Instead, it should be seen a
It is important to remember that the the first step away from six years o
purpose o admissions is to create the homogeneity in California.

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