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January 29, 1991 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-01-29

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9

Page 4--The Michigan Daily -Tuesday, January 29, 1991
U, fe icign atij
EDITED AND MANAGED BY STUDENTS
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

Viewpoint

NOAH FINKEL
Editor in Chief

DAVID SCHWARTZ
Opinion Editor

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other cartoons,
signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.
:.From heDaily.
Shanty destruction
Students must not censor differing opinions on Diag

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A E TO OgPM IM A T316 MA,.LARE- fIES A

LAST TUESDAY NIGHT THE ANTI-
war wall in the Diag was destroyed by
five anonymous students. The same
night, the shanty constructed by the
campus group S.O.S. (Support our
Soldiers) was also damaged by
unidentified vandals.
What these acts of wanton destruc-
tion portray is a disregard for and in-
tolerance of free expression. The Uni-
versity should serve as a marketplace
of ideas, where different points of view
can be openly aired and debated. The
Diag in particular functions as a public
arena where Ann Arbor residents and
University students can say or do as
they please. The shanties, for good or
bad, play an important role in campus
dialogue, and provide a voice for dif-
ferent sectors of the student body on
issues that matter to them.
The Gulf War has elicited extreme
emotions from students across the po-
litical spectrum. The destruction of the
anti-war wall and the S.O.S. shanty in
support of our troops demonstrates a
censorship of ideas, and does nothing
to further campus debate about the U.S.
presence in the Gulf. No matter how

much a student may disagree with a
certain point of view, reacting violently
is not a viable alternative, and, in fact,
lowers the validity of one's own par-
ticular viewpoint. Indeed, attempts to
suppress dissenting voices give the
impression that the perpetrators are un-
able to respond coherently and intelli-
gently to the others' arguments.
The war is a very controversial issue
on this campus and across the nation.
To reduce campus debate to childish
acts of destruction divertsenergy from
the extremely important dialogue that
should be taking place.
In this time of desperation and con-
fusion, it is important that students be
able to express themselves fully, and
explore their own feelings and opin-
ions. The shanty demolitions lie
counter to this end. If a campus group
disagrees with a shanty or mural on the
Diag, they should build their own dis-
play expressing their own point of
view. Differing opinions and spirited
campus debates are acceptable, and
even necessary, but senseless vandal-
ism is neither.

SP F

'U' should work to protect Arab-Americans

By Alita J. Mitchell
There are many of us here at the Uni-
versity and in the Ann Arbor community
who for a long time have been interested
in the Middle East - some because of
ethnic origin, some because of personal
experience in the area, some because of
academic discipline and many because
of a love and admiration of the people
and their culture.
There are a variety of reasons; but I
think it is safe to say all of us havebeen
frustrated and saddened, for many years,
with the many voices on this campus
who have spoken out against injustice
have been selective in focusing their
concern for human rights violations;
Nicaragua; El Salvador; South Africa.
The plight of the Palestinians was long
ignored.
It is heartening that finally the Pales-
tinian people are seen as a valid cause.
But as a group, Arabs and, by extension,
Arab-Americans continue to be suspect
- a stereotype perpetrated in films, on

television, and in the press.
With this image in many minds, a
grave concern is that the consequence of
the war in the Gulf will be increased
racism against Arabs and Arab-Ameri-
cans. An atmosphere of fear and mistrust
is being well orchestrated by the Bush
Administration's warning of impending
domestic terrorism.

Last Monday, the University began a
week of activities honoring Martin Luther
King, Jr., a leader who guided us through
the frightening times of the 1960s. We
should continue the celebration, by
searching for a non-violent solution to the
present crisis.
Unfortunately, the Bush Administra-
tion has begun to pursue a violent soluo*

On this campus we deserve to have assurances from
our University administration that it will not tolerate
racist acts, both political and openly violent, against
Arabs or Arab-Americans within our community and
that the University will take appropriate actions
against such crimes.

On this campus we deserve to have
assurances from our University adminis-
tration that it will not tolerate racist acts,
both political and openly violent, against
Arabs or Arab-Americans within our
community and that the University will
take appropriate actions against such
crimes.

Mitchell is an Ann Arbor resident.

Monument was a disgrace
To the Daily:
I applaud the students who destroyed
the anti-war monument, which stood on
the Diag last week. I, too, agree with
those students who said it sent a nega-
tive message to the U.S. troops.
My first reaction to the monument
was one of disgust. I felt like crying be-
cause, to me, the monument's depiction
of violence made it seem as if it's the
troops' fault for the war. If a person kills
another in war it is not murder. The
monument looked like a murder scene.
I am beginning to wonder if people

realize how negatively the University
has been portrayed recently on the news.
The minority of war protesters are mak-
ing it seem like all University students
are against the war. Perhaps the destruc-
tion of the monument will change
other's opinions.
My message to war protesters is the
following: War was inevitable. It has
started and no one can do anything
about it! Support your troops! Stop send-
ing a negative message to them! The
United States has a just cause to fight a
war: Hussein.
Lisa Rigg
LSA first-year student

KE.NNE I HMULLEMIUSIly
Destruction of the anti-war wall and the S.O.S. shanty sparked another round of
campus debate over the conflict in the Persian Gulf and student groups' freedom of
expression.
Costly conflict
Misguided federal spending, not war, hurt economy

Daily coverage distorted MLK events

FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD CHAIR
Alan Greenspan announced last week
- to the surprise of very few - that
the nation's economy has indeed
entered a recession. Greenspan and his
cronies in the Bush administration have
apparently decided to blame the
maladies of the American economy on
the incredible cost of the conflict in the
Persian Gulf. The war is providing the
administration a new scapegoat in its
attempt to duck the blame for the past
decade's spiraling deficit.
Even conservative estimates place
the price tag for the conflict at close to
$1 billion a day. President Bush has
announced that the bill for Operation
Desert Storm will be at least $60 bil-
lion, and that is only if the war unex-
pectedly ends in the next few weeks.
The war will undoubtedly contribute to
the postponement of the much-touted
"Peace Dividend" administration offi-
cials promised at the end of the Cold
War.
However, it is clear that money
gained from prospective cuts in the
federal government's bloated defense
budget would not have been spent on
improving the nation's schools, re-
v>:rmin e ha s ,-r _ -r~ An 4 - 4,4__A

savings and loan industry.
Throughout the 1980s, the Reagan
administration pursued a vigorous two-
front economic policy: massive in-
creases in defense spending coupled
with deregulation of many of the na-
tion's major industries. While the mili-
tary buildup continued to bleed our
economy's shrinking coffers, profits
soared in the banking, airline, and de-
fense industries. As we enter the '90s,
the economic rollercoaster has taken a
dip, and the government has no money
to foot the bill. The U.S. government is
broke.
It seems that the prospect of clean-
ing up the nation's budget has become
so daunting that federal financial direc-
tors are searching for any justification
for the precarious position of the U.S.
economy. The expensive U.S. action in
the Persian Gulf has conveniently pro-
vided them with an economic excuse
accepted by most flag-waving Ameri-
cans.
As the United States becomes more
heavily entrenched in the Persian Gulf,
our economy slips precariously close
to financial ruin. Hopefully, the billion-
dollar-a-day fight to oust Saddam Hus-

To the Daily:
Without trying to threaten the
Daily's journalistic freedom, we
would like to draw attention to the un-
fortunate choice of quotes in the story
"900 attend Unity Rally. to honor
King" (1/22/90).
It is one thing for some fringe fa-
natics to spew racist nonsense; it is
quite another for a supposedly objec-
tive student newspaper to promote
that garbage in print.
Comments such as "your big white
father," and the "white imperialistic
war" are extremely insulting (we hap-
pen to be white) and would be inap-
propriate on any day - but especially
on the day dedicated to the memory
of Martin Luther King, who would
have, we hope, found them as repul-
sive as we do.
MLK's so-called followers have
distorted his vision of tolerance and
"color-blindness" into one of crude
bigotry and artificially-maintained
racial hatred. Surely some statements
more in line with King's philosophy
were made on campus on that day;
why didn't any of those make the
pages of the Daily?
Serge Elnitsky
Rackham Graduate student
Michael Gravlin Jr.
LSA senior

present. King wanted us all to be ac-
cepting people of love, not people
prejudging and stereotyping on the
basis of race. Yet at a rally to honor
the man who so poignantly supported
love and colorblindness, it is hatred
and racism that predominated the
article.
"This is a white man's war," some-
one was quoted as stating. This state-
ment is hateful towards all whites, re-
gardless of their feelings about the
war in the Gulf; if you are white, this
statement is directed to you. Is this
colorblindness? Why are we
intentionally segregating ourselves
like this?
The horror of racism made me sick
as I continued reading, "don't fight for
white folks who fight their fathers'
war. White folks, you should be there.
Wherever your big white father sends
you, you should be there." I don't care
whether you are white or black,
blatant racist comments like this
should make you cringe with disgust.
King wanted to abolish racism. The
gauche statements in this article
could in reality do nothing but
perpetuate the evils of racism and
prejudice. How sad to see the ideals
of love and peace between all people
regardless of their color eroded to the
point where even rallies to honor

tion to the crisis - war. During these
anxious times, it is more necessary than
ever to insist on toleration of people with
differing views and of peoples from dif-
ferent cultural backgrounds than our own.
Let us all commit our energies to work
for peace and justice.
Don't silence
differing opinions
To the Daily:
I read in the Daily (1/22/90) that a
group of students tore down the anti-war
"monument", in part because they felt
the sentiments expressed were "too
graphic and unnecessarily violent."
First of all, the logic in this state-
ment is so twisted that I almost don't
believe anyone would say such a thing.
The monument was "graphic and un-
necessarily violent" -- and war isn't?
The questionable logic of the statement
aside, and whether or not the anti-war
stance is "right" or "wrong," tearing
down the monument was a stupid, mali-
cious and cowardly act.
It seems a little like the irrational ac-
tions which start wars in the first place.
In fact, those who built the monument
couldn't have said it better.
Destruction and the repression of dif-
fering opinions, all under the guise of
patriotism and eagles and stars and
stripes is what seems "anti-American"
to me. The true patriots are those who
believe and fight for the ideals of free-
dom, democracy, and equality, not*
those who blindly follow anything our
government does and try to silence
those who do not agree.
Shilpa Satoskar
LSA Junior
War is "too graphic"
To the Daily:
The war in the Persian Gulf has lefts
me confused and sickened. I don't know
where to stand on many issue concern-
ing this war. I do know I am appalled at
the destruction of the anti-war monu-
ment on the diag.
However unjust or just we might ar-
gue this war to be, we cannot let our
democratic values be threatened. The
destruction of this monument violates
freedom of expression and freedom to
disagree with our government. 0

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