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June 09, 2003 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2003-06-09

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, June 9, 2003 - 5


Double the pleasure, double the standard

'U' and SCOTUS
need to stand up for
Though the NBC television
special on the University's affir-
mative action cases was adequate,
it focused only on blacks (and
whites), even though Latina/os
(now the country's largest minori-
ty) and Native Americans are also
affirmative action recipients.
But some University figures
were even worse than NBC. Prof.
Carl Cohen said there were better
race relations back when there were
fewer blacks in college. (Maybe
more blacks calling him "sir?")
Really! How many blacks would
agree? And when has Cohen called
for the rescinding of University
alumnus admissions privileges,
which go massively to whites?
When some of us last year publicly
called for the University to consid-
er appointing the first minority (or
woman) permanent president in its
history, where was "desegregation-
ist" Cohen? Or does he luxuriate in
a white male status quo?
And as for the University
administration, especially after
choosing white male Terrence
McDonald to be LSA dean, the
University will owe us, and the
United States, a very serious
explanation if they don't choose a
woman or underrepresented
minority to be the new Law
School dean, seeing how well-
qualified the two women, and one
minority, candidates are. If we
can't truly practice diversity, why
should the U.S. Supreme Court
believe anything we say? Must we
create the impression that we're
afraid to appoint a talented, out-
spoken figure like Randall
Kennedy, the black Harvard Law
School professor? Fear, like mind-
lessness, is not a viable option.
Justice Lewis Powell was any-
thing but mindless; his brilliant
"diversity, but not quotas" Regents
of the University .of California v.
Bakke pro-affirmative action deci-
sion is his monument and should
rest undisturbed. (One prays, hard,
that Justice O'Connor - or any
Justice - does not try to become
chief justice by selling out Powell,
Bakke and the United States in
order to curry White House favor.)
And we would best honor Powell's
greatness by integrating the Uni-
versity hierarchy further, and now.
"Justice delayed is justice denied."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Real reform needed
in Palestinian
As someone who cares deeply
about the Middle East and hopes to
see a just and lasting peace between

Israelis and Palestinians, I find it
alarming that there hasn't been any
commotion regarding the recent
"reforms" in the Palestinian Author-
ity. Specifically the fact that these
forced reforms, which were enacted
to promote democracy and end cor-
ruption in the Palestinian Authority,
have for the most part done nothing
to change the situation.
I agree with the point made by
many that Yassir Arafat's rule has
been largely undemocratic and
plagued with corruption. I also
agree that a Palestinian prime min-
ister and new cabinet were needed
in order to alleviate these prob-
lems. However, the selection of
Mahmoud Abbas as Palestinian
prime minister was a major mis-
take. Abbas is known all over the
occupied territories as one of the
most corrupt members of the
Palestinian Authority, who has
even used his position in govern-
ment to give businesses owned by
himself and his friends monopo-
lies in industries such as gasoline
importation. This would be the
equivalent of Enron heading a
commission to end corporate cor-
ruption in the United States. To
make matters worse, Abbas holds
very little popular support among
Palestinians in the West Bank and
Gaza Strip (4 percent according to
a recent CNN report).
It is also disturbing to con-
stantly see the media describe
Abbas as "Washington's guy" or
"Tel Aviv's guy," but never as
Hebron,Ramallah oreJerusalem's
guy. The Israeli government has
constantly talked of the need for a
democratic Palestinian leadership,
but has never once mentioned hav-
ing an open election amongst the
Palestinian people to decide who
should be the Palestinian prime
minister. The current undemocrat-
ic nature of the Palestinian
Authority isn't being cited by
Israel in order to correct the prob-
lem and help the establishment of
a democratic Palestinian state, but
rather to discredit and hurt the
Palestinian cause. For the sake of a
just and lasting peace in the Mid-
dle East, itsis vital to have a Pales-
tinian government that is elected
by and accountable to the Palestin-
ian people before any other.
LSA junior
Vice Chair StudentsAlliedfor
Freedom and Eauality

magine a power-
ful, high-ranking
public official
from Detroit notori-
ous for his penchant
to have a few too
many cold ones. In
fact, let's say that
penchant has earned
that prominent offi-
cial a citation for driving under the
influence and the embarrassment of
stranding a city car on some deserted
Delray railroad tracks after a night on
the bottle. And let's say this fellow is
not shy about his drinking and prefers
to joke about it with his "posse" of city
wags and buddies in the press. Let's
also assume this black Democrat has
wiggled his way out of a few other alco-
hol-related scraps that none of us know
about. Imagine this badass elected offi-
cial has no problem boozing it up with
his boys and bragging about getting
kicked out of restaurants.
If there really were such a man, you
can bet that beyond the kneejerk Coleman
Young comparisons this man would be
dragged through the mud by the media
and most of Michigan's suburban popu-
lace, and that a recall vote would be short-
ly forthcoming. Not that he wouldn't
deserve it; that sort of behavior is simply
unacceptable from an elected official.
But now let's change Detroit to Oak-
land County, Delray to Pontiac and
black Democrat to white Republican.
One would hope that our reaction

wouldn't change, that we wouldn't look
the other way and chalk up those
actions to the man's "irreverence" and
"color." Sadly, that's precisely the reac-
tion that Oakland County Executive L.
Brooks Patterson's latest brush with the
law is getting. He was caught again last
Monday night, weaving all over the road
in his county-owned Cadillac.
My favorite part about this is that Pat-
terson is trying to explain this away by
claiming he made the mistake of mixing
painkillers with alcohol. Oh really? A mis-
take? Now, I'm not saying that Brooksie
likes to mix his downers, but then again
you'd have to be living in a hole not to
realize that mixing the two is going to give
you one hell of a buzz. Sounds to me like
he's got a bit of a drinking problem (for
which he should seek help) and one big fat
ego (for which he should also seek help).
Lucky for Patterson, the friendly police
officers on the scene gave him a lift home
and called ita night. But unfortunately for
the rest of us, all of the above - the
restaurant behavior, the DUI, the railroad
tracks-- all happened to Patterson. Yet, he
remains in office unsullied by scandals
that would ruin the careers of other men.
Meanwhile, Detroit mayor Kwame
Kilpatrick finds himself embroiled in a
scandal that is quickly turning him into a
cross between ex-Chicago mayor Richard
J. Daley and Tupac Shakur. What Kil-
patrick did - firing the deputy chief
heading an investigation of a party the
mayor allegedly threw at the Manoogian
Mansion - was just plain stupid. We

should know what really happened. But
unlike Patterson's latest brush with the
law (which by the way actually endan-
gered other people's lives), Kilpatrick's
misconduct is a) alleged, and b) being
blown so far out of proportion that the
scandal is threatening to further taint
Detroit's already infected national reputa-
tion. He has been called a "thug" and an
embarrassment to the city. Kilpatrick will
survive, but his reputation may not.
The difference here is that Patterson
doesn't have a so-called posse (ie. big
black friends) or a diamond earring. He
isn't from Detroit, and most of all he's not
black, he's white. Sure he gets his fair
share of tsk tsks and head shakes, but he
throws in a one-liner about his golf swing
and everything is okay. Patterson, they
say, can joke his way out of anything.
Well, I for one am not laughing. Say
what you will about Kwame's alleged
misconduct, but I'd take a Manoogian
Mansion party any day over a repeat
drunken driver tooling around suburban
streets in a tax-funded Cadillac.
Forgive me if I'm making this too sim-
ple. But from here, I see a white man with
a history of drunkenly misbehaving,
breaking the law and endangering others
getting described as "colorful." Mean-
while, Detroit's black mayor is being
dragged through the mud and called
"thuggish." You can't pretend that some-
thing's not afoul there.
Honkala can be reached at

It's a good thing

This week, a
social sched-
ule has left me
watching a lot of
television. I expect-
ed to watch my
summer ration of
unintelligent and
completely harm-
less cable TV. What I got was even
better - the round-the-clock cover-
age of Martha Stewart and her legal
troubles. Watching her get hauled off
to jail was oddly gratifying, like
watching the witch melt in "The Wiz-
ard of Oz." Yeah, you loved it too - I
can't find a single person who didn't
take the same perverse pleasure in
watching her arrest. There's no real
reason for my dislike of Stewart as
I've never really watched her show, or
really paid any attention to her at all.
Up until tonight, I couldn't even tell
you what she did wrong.
No matter, because there is a separate
list of charges the United States has
against the defendant. Ms. Stewart is
charged with the following: She's perfect
to a fault and never with a hair (or a spat-
ula) out of place. Her cookies never burn.
Her linens do not stain. Her plants do not
die. She reminds every working house-
wife that her valiant efforts undoubtedly
fall short when compared to Martha's
robotic efficiency and skill.
But most importantly, she is an
aggressive business owner, who hap-
pens to be a woman. That bitch.

Sure, the real charges are insider trad-
ing. But how many Securities and
Exchange Commission cases generate
this kind of media coverage or public
interest? Unlike Enron, Arthur Andersen
and Adelphia, there isn't a sense that
Americans take issue with the crime at
hand. Insider trading doesn't really res-
onate with most people - it's easy to do
- understandable even. C'mon, if some-
one gave you advice that would prevent
you from losing thousands of dollars,
you'd probably take that gamble.
Besides, this incident pales in com-
parison to the kind of dishonest activi-
ty that slips (ha!) through the system
all the time with much less fanfare.
I'm not even speaking in legal terms
here - I'm just talking about the kind
of malicious, horribly abusive, down-
sizing crap that this proud nation was
built on. Rejoice that Enron was
caught in the act, but realize that
Enron was one of many.
Undoubtedly, there are bigger fish out
there than Martha Stewart, but there are
none that are quite as fun to catch. Is this
fascination with nailing Stewart connect-
ed with the current public intolerance of
corporate scandals? I doubt it. No, this is
a personal vendetta. The real fun in all of
this is watching Martha Stewart, the
wholly unlikable succubous of a house-
wife, be escorted around in handcuffs.
Congressional leaders are itching to get a
piece of this woman in a way not seen
even after the Enron flunkies turned
boxes of evidence into pulp.
At the bottom of this, my real issue

with Stewart isn't the crime she com-
mitted; more likely, I just don't like to
see a powerful, ambitious, aggressive
woman succeed. How do I know that?
Ask yourself how you would feel if
she were a man - suddenly the words
usually associated with Martha Stew-
art like "anal retentive" and "abusive"
become instead "hard driving" and
"competitive." If Martha Stewart had a
penis, we wouldn't all be collectively
calling her "that bitch;" we'd be buy-
ing her book.
This all seems connected to the
recent exposure civil rights have got-
ten in the public debate. People are
talking again about racial discrimina-
tion in the workplace and in society as
a whole. But left out of this discussion
have been the rights of women, as
though their struggle ended with Title
IX and Hillary Clinton. It has not.
Women are still paid less than men
and in the case of Stewart, respected
far less than men. Stewart built her
empire from the ground up and gave a
sense of pride and style to millions of
viewers. So powerful was her name
recognition that it gave even the stan-
dard K-Mart fare credibility. By male
standards, she would still be respected
as a captain of industry, a leader.
Unfortunately for Stewart, she's a
woman. Given the tone of the public,
that seems to be the most serious
charge against her.
Adams can be reached at

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