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July 05, 2011 - Image 4

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2011-07-05

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

JULIA SMITH-EPPSTEINER I
Kids of Cudi

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@umich.edu

BETHANY BIRON
EDITOR IN CHIEF

MARK BURNS
MAANAGING EDITC

TEDDY PAPES
)ITORIAIL PAGE EDITC

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.
Reversing iscrimination
The repeal of Proposition 2 should be upheld
At a time when certain states are passing uncompromising
anti-immigration laws and others are striving their best
to effectively make abortion illegal, it's reassuring that
Michigan is leaning toward a civil rights victory. Last Friday, the
6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-to-1 to overturn the
Orwellian Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (commonly known as
Proposal 2), ruling that the ban on considerations of race and
gender in public-university admissions and government hiring.is
unconstitutional. This ruling was the first step to restoring affir-
mative action in Michigan. For the sake of equality and diversity,
it must be upheld in the likely future appeal process.

Ladies and gents, it's not just
Kid Cudi that's on the "Pursuit of
Happiness."
Thomas Jefferson was too.
Along with John Adams, Benjamin
Franklin and 53 other men work-
ing to gain freedom from King
George III in July of 1776. The
Declaration of Independence said
it with a bit more Congressional
style than Cudi, but the same ulti-
mate desires are there: "We hold
these truths to be self-evident, that
all men are created equal, that they
are endowed by their Creator with
certain unalienable Rights, that
among these are Life, Liberty and
the pursuit of Happiness."
The last few decades have seen
a diminishing of such pursuits in
the name of safety, moderation,
deferred gratification and political
correctness; our recklessly behav-
ing athletes and celebrities were
often chastised, while the Lance
Armstrong-type role models were
rewarded. Today, it seems the
reins might be loosening as Kid
Cudi and his contemporaries are
happily wielding their bad boy
behaviors.
I admit, I was an attendant of
the 2011 Cud Life Tour. And fur-
thermore, I definitely enjoyed
swaying with the crowd, but I also
found myself wowed at the rapidly
changing course of society - and
not necessarily the good kind of
"wow."
Standing on the linoleum floor
of San Diego's Valley View Casino
Center in a confluence of mixed
demographics, I became increas-
ingly aware of our generation. The
house thundered Cudi with full
throttle sing-along and palms as
he sang, "Pretty green bud all in
my blunt / Oh, I need it ... Oh, do
you wanna smoke?"
As Cudi performed "Marijuana"
live, the green lights were flash-
ing in our retinas. Images of 1970s
Haight-Asbury in combination
with a marijuana plant flashing
repeatedly upon the screen, only
intensified the energy of the audi-
ence. It seemed possible that in
the year 2068, American Culture
majors, along with studying hip-
pies, beatniks and punks, could be
reading "21st Century: The His-
tory of the Cudians."
I question if in the light of all
this glorious freedom, by stray-
ing from moderation, we might
risk losing some clarity and direc-

tion. Overindulgence comes to the
forefront during many American
holidays - tryptophan on Thanks-
giving, green bagels and beer on St.
P iricks Day - but annually on the
Fourth of July, hot with indepen-
dence, many celebrate the freedom
to pursue happiness by saturating
themselves in family, alcohol, UVB
rays and barbequed anything.
Oscar Wilde opined on the sub-
ject: "Moderation is a fatal thing.
Nothing succeeds like excess." If
you're a human who enjoys life,
y probby :grd IthNiWcile
on souse occasion to ease your sat-
urated mind of guilt. More com-
mon is runningto hot vinyasa yoga
class to extinguish your doubled-
over toxins once the fireworks no
longer linger in the sky.
A current of moderation runs
through Americans' veins, or at
least through the minds of their
better selves, but when freedom
is the American dream (along
with rags to riches and an infin-
ity pool on the side), its easy to
live in excess. Perhaps our genera-
tion finds its niche in pushing the
boundaries that restrain us, allow-
ing desire to flourish through to
the extremes.
My enthusiasm for loosened
reins and unbridled freedoms is
unfortunately tempered by the
buzz created from Kid Cudi's popu-
lar lyric, "I'll be up up and away /
cuz they gon' judge me anyway
so whatever." This isn't the most
respectable or well-rooted mental-
ity to advertise; "whatever" is too
easy. Pushing a different and more
respectable ideology was Jack Ker-
ouac with, "If moderation is a fault,
then indifference is a crime."
Overindulgence isn't new, our
Google generation is just overin-
dulging in a fusion of avenues that
frighten the soul: marijuana and
Twitter. We're somehow both lazy
and overexcited at the same time,
teetering on an edge that has yet to
be explored.
But only time will tell whether
Cudi's coaxing will speak louder
than declarations of D.A.R.E. If
moderation truly is a fault, I hope
you chose to indulge in your pas-
sions on this Fourth, whether that
was reading by a river or chugging
Four Loko. To an always-changing
world! To Jefferson!
Julia Smith-Eppsteiner is
the managing arts editor.

Affirmative action is one of the
means to make our society more
equal, and attempts to block
it are attempts to maintain an
unacceptable status quo. Minori-
ties continue to suffer from
huge social and institutional
disadvantages due to historical
and contemporary prejudices.
A disproportionate amount of
minority students receive subop-
timal educations in underfunded
school systems. Income equality
among races is still a dream.
These problems require more
than one solution, and revers-
ing Proposal 2 won't solve all of
them. But while politicians fail to
address other problems that lead
to differences in socioeconomic
status, it will be devastating to
already disenfranchised racial
groups if Michigan institutions
are forbidden from mitigating the
societal factors that limit the suc-
cess of minorities.

Yet when it comes to affirma-
tive action, it's not just equal-
ity that matters. "Diversity" has
become a buzzword these days,
but it doesn't lessen the impor-
tance of interacting with people
of different backgrounds, beliefs
and experiences. Diversity is part
of what makes our experience
at the University so rewarding.
Being around people who are
different from ourselves allows
us to critically evaluate our own
opinions and beliefs and compare
them to others who are different.
In order to provide a meaningful
education, and to stimulate the
intellects and the values of under-
graduate students, an admissions
system needs to be based on more
than just SAT scores.
It's not just the University that
believes this - the United States
Supreme Court does too. In Grut-
ter v. Bollinger in 2003, the Court
upheld the admissions policy of

the University of Michigan Law
School, which allowed for the con-
sideration of race in combination
with academic and extracurricular
achievements. The majority rul-
ing stated that the United States
Constitution "does not prohibit
the law school's narrowly tailored
use of race in admissions decisions
to further a compelling interest in
obtaining the educational benefits
that flow from a diverse student
body." Proposal 2 put this ruling on
hold, but it may not last much lon-
ger. It potentially has to survive a
likely appeal in the 6th U.S. Circuit
Court in which all sixteen judges
vote (instead of just three) before
reaching the Supreme Court. Legal
experts say the case could go either
way in each court. In the interest of
racial equality and diversity in the
face of unchanging socioeconomic
status, each court should uphold
the reversal of the Michigan Civil
Rights Initiative.

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