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March 11, 1991 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-03-11

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Monday, March 11, 1991
4be £r 4Fgan flail
420 Maynard Street ANDREW GOTTESMAN
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109 Editor in Chief
Edited and Managed STEPHEN HENDERSON
'by Students at the DANIEL POUX
University of Michigan Opinion Editors
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.
.: : r :. 4 j"
Graduation speaker
Selection committee should consider more than race, gender

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T he LSA Commencement Committee an-
nounced last week that ABC News weekend
anchor Carole Simpson will give the commence-
ment speech at this year's graduation ceremony.
Simpson is a respected national media figure as
well as a successful University graduate, but the
methods used in her selection are somewhat ques-
tionable.
According to committee members, Simpson
was selected primarily because she is an African
American woman. The committee members ex-
plained that Simpson's selection was a reaction to
last year's Commencement speaker, Hollywood
director Lawrence Kasdan. To compensate for last
year's "white male" speaker, the selection com-
mittee wanted to create a balance, and actively
sought a minority speaker.
It is commendable that the University actively
solicits speakers from traditionally
under-represented groups. Many AfricanAmerican
women have overcome many obstacles to reach
the top. Their success despite institutional hurdles
must be praised, and Simpson will be an inspira-
tion to students as well as an excellent Com-
mencement speaker. In addition, the keynote
speakers at previous LSA graduation ceremonies
have been-for the most part- white males. The
committee's willingness to diverge from this tra-

dition is definitely encouraging.
However, to openly proclaim that color and
gender were the main criteria in Simpson's selec-
tion is insulting, and blatantly devalues Simpson's
individual merits. Furthermore, this tokenist atti-
tude is insulting and patronizing to African Ameri-
cans - and women as well.
The Commencement Committee's behavior
reflects the unspoken assumption that the only way
women and people ofcolorcan attain high positions
is through the help of benevolent individuals and
institutions. For the University to perpetuate this
attitude in the name of "diversity" does not con-
tribute to a true community of free-thinking indi-
viduals with different interests and origins.
The selection committee's decision should be
based on Inany various factors; race and gender
should be considered, but should not highlight the
selection process.
There must be some variety in commencement
speakers; true diversity in the University commu-
nity must extend to all segments. But basing the
selection solely upon race and gender is insulting
both to the speaker and the graduating students.
The LSA seniors assembled in Crisler Arena
will appreciate Simpson for her merits and accom-
plishments - the selection committee should do
the same.

Prove your spirit
NIT provides chance for students to get out of the cheap seats

unday night, the National InvitationalTourna-
ment invited Michigan to play in the post-
season tourney.
In response to this, the Athletic Department has
taken a chance on the student body. Michigan's
first game will be played in Colorado Wednesday
night, but if the team advances to the second round
and the selection committee determines Crisler
will be a home site, at least 1,300 excellent seats in
Crisler will be made available to students on a first-
come, first-served basis. If a good number of
students purchase these tickets, the athletic depart-
,ment has said it will take measures to permanently
improve student seating.
Crisler Arena has always been considered one
of the more sedate places to play in the nation.
Crowd noise at basketball games is traditionally
low, and student attendance has been inconsistent,
providing the Athletic Department little incentive
to ensure that students have prime seats.
Students have the opportunity to change this,
because not only will student seats be closer during
the tournament, but less vocal fans (such as alumni)
will be farther away. Naturally, the greater the
number of students that attend, the greater the
Noise level in the arena..

A 21 aultOC,
City council demonstrates cont
T hroughout the year, students crossing the
IDiag are asked this question by legions of
clipboard-totingAnnArborites pushing some cause
or another: "Excuse me, but are you registered to
vote in Ann Arbor?" The temptation is to ignore
them and proceed on toward class. But doing so
means consciously choosing ignorance - not to
mention forfeiting one's basic rights as a citizen.
Those rights become especially relevant in the
context of Ann Arbor's current city council. First,
ignoring a Homeless Action Committee (HAC)
proposal to let the city's voters decide whether $9
million in Ann Arbor tax money should be wasted
constructing the Kline's parking lot, council fol-
lowed up last Monday by voting money for the
Kline's lot and thereby riding roughshod over its
citizens' rights.
In response, HAC has decided to take its case to
the people. Last week, it initiated a referendum
petition drive which would allow Ann Arborvoters
to decide for themselves how city money is spent.
This drive deserves every Ann Arborites' support.
It is bad enough- as the Daily has consistently
maintained-that Mayor Jernigan and his council
lapdogs remain willing to place profits before
people by constructing yet another parking lot
rather than low-income housing. But it is even
worse when they refuse to give voters a chance to

Students must also attend in an attempt to
rectify their low priority with the athletic depart-
ment. If students can rally behind the team during
the NIT, it will signify to the athletic department
that students are indeed serious about Wolverine
basketball. In the past, while football has averaged
20,000 student season ticket holders, basketball
has averaged between 1,500 and 4,500 student
season ticket holders, and this number has been
inconsistent. A change now will provide the nec-
essary impetus for progress on the part of the
athletic department. Students, by purchasing tickets
for the NIT, will help ensure good student seats in
the future.
Unfortunately, many students consider the NIT
tournament a step above high school basketball
playoffs. But an NIT bid does not mean less action
or excitement on the court; nor does it preclude the
possibility of seeing some outstanding players
shoot the rock. And most importantly, this NIT
game showcases Michigan basketball.
For a long time, students have been begging the
athletic department for better seats in Crisler. Now,
they have the chance to prove that they deserve
those seats by supporting, their team in the NIT.
rats
empt for democracy
challenge their abject willingness to line the fat
cats' pockets rather than serving their own con-
stituents' interests.
During the past three years, the Kline's parking
lot issue has dominated city politics. Consistently
raised at almost every council meeting by HAC,
the Huron Valley Greens, and other groups, it has
also dominated the agenda at numerous candidates'
nights and electoral forums during the last two city
elections.
Ideally, council would have seen for itself that
low income housing for its growing homeless
population is more important than yet another
parking structure. But this council is less than
ideal. Even as the state's unemployment figures
climb toward 10 percent and the city slides into
recession, council continues to search for magical
panaceas like parking lots to end the local recession.
They should be concentrating on the recession's
victims instead.
So when you see one of those clipboard people
approaching you in the coming weeks, don't run
the other way. Stand up for your rights and put
council on the run instead. Whatever one's opinion
of the Kline'sparking lot issue itself, Ann Arborites
deserve a city in which, at the very least, their
opinions matter.

Free Kuwait?
To the Daily:
The photo accompanying the
Daily's Mar. 6 pro-Students
Against U.S. Intervention in the
Middle East editorial is labeled,
"Students protest the war on Jan.
15." Why is one of the anti-war
protestors wearing what appears
to be desert camouflage and
holding up a piece of paper with
the words "FREE KUWAIT"
written in large block letters? Just
curious.
Jon Grantham
LSA junior
Axe Dooder State
To the Daily:
I'm sorry, but I refuse to keep
quiet any longer. I have endured
long enough with Nuts and Bolts
and those weak Top ls that are
published every Monday, but now
the new comic strip Dooder State
College has to be the final blow.
Can't the Daily publish
something with some humor,
instead of this garbage that
contains no wit whatsoever and
just fills up valuable newspaper
space?
The only reason why I
continue to read this crap is to see
how, against staggering odds it
actually continues to get worse.
Please spare me of my misery
and publish something -
anything (more Cottage Inn ads,
for example) that will relieve me
of reading these futile attempts at
humor.
Jeremy Katz
LSA first-year student
Dooder isn't funny
To the Daily:
Dooder State College is
terrible. As a comic, it hasn't
possessed humor worthy of even a
smirk on any day. Further, as a
political cartoon, trying to make
statements about life here at the
'U,' it lacks any poignancy and
has the subtlety of a B-52.
It is infuriating because it
seems to be almost trying to
address an audience with a sixth-
grade mentality (which I like to
think is inaccurate of "most" of

To the Daily:
It is arrogance of a pecu-
liarly male - and, I suspect,
heterosexual white - kind, to
assume one knows what
transpired in a given situation,
even though one was not there.
I refer to those who posted
the "anti-" Drake's boycott/rally
signs hereabouts on Monday
and Tuesday (Mar. 4 and 5).
Were these people there? Do
they have solid evidence? No,
of course not. But it's an all-
too-common thing for men to
deny women's reality, to claim
that our perceptions are flawed,
that we are "hysterical" or
"paranoid;" because if they can
get us to question our own
individual sanity, then our
strength is diminished.
Also, as is often the case
with the politically retarded,
these people choose to remain
anonymous. Thus, they feel safe
in their armchair analysis and
their insulation from the facts
and safe in their tactics: I know
that at least one of the "Drake's
five" has received telephone
threats since this incident
became public knowledge. A m
Their pat use of the term las
"self-victimization" gives me the
willies, too. It reminds me of the
skewed world-view that bemoans
"reverse discrimination." Talk about

0

JOSE JUAREZ/Daly
member of the Drake's Five protests
tThursday.
sour grapes! Get a life, kids.
Beth Chase

the Daily's readers). Nuts and
Bolts is light years better, funny
too.
Fred Werner
first-year student
School of Natural Resources
Too much mail!
To the Daily:
In the "Announcements"
column of the classified ads in
Friday, Mar. 8, edition of the
Daily, there was an advertisement
requesting students to send a
postcard to Craig Shergold, a
young man dying of a brain tumor
and wanting to set the world
record for the most postcards
received. PLEASE DO NOT DO
THIS.

In an article on July 29, 1990,
the New York Times reported that
Shergold (a resident of London) is
currently receiving so many
postcards that his family is
literally overwhelmed. At least a
third of the postcards sent to
Shergold are waiting in Atlanta
because his family cannot process
them.
It takes a group of community
volunteers several hours a week to
separate the cards for recycling
purposes. Shergold has asked that
people stop sending postcards.
Jim Huggins
Rackham graduate student

Defending the Drake's five

0

. ~
Women, militarism and the war

This year's International
Women's Day celebration was
tainted by the somber events in the
Gulf. There is no better time than
now to explore the effects that mili-
tarism and
this war'
have had on
women.
Clearly,
Middle
women suf-
fer the most
when their

Violence against women is a
hallmark of war and militarized
society. The effects have been dev-
astating: mass rape and sexual tor-
ture as well as murder, prostitution,
and countless related hardships.
Military men on base or at war
create a major market for women's
bodies. Prostitution is condoned as
a necessary and even patriotic ser-
vice.
In many countries, a foreign
military presence has meant the
enslavementof astounding numbers
of Third World women to prostitu-
tion as a means of economic survival
after their traditional communities
were destroyed. Some have be-
moaned the fact that American
soldiers will be able to avail them-
selves of thebodies of Saudi women
- which may cast a new light on
the urgent calls for a quick war.
The ongoing American military

This is rarely a consideration
when the sexism of Saudi culture is
denounced by American critics.
NOW's position on the war - that
"the sexist regimes of Saudi Arabia
and.Kuwait are not worth American
lives" - accepts the assumption
that we are coming to the rescue of
threatened countries and suggests
that American intervention would
be justified in a different situation.
Molly Yard's statement that"this is
gender apartheid in its most brutal
form and should offend all Ameri-
cans" appeals to U.S. presumptions
of superiority and moral authority.
We must oppose the oppression
of Saudi women and attempts to
dismiss it as mere "custom." Cross-
cultural judgement, however, is an
especially difficult enterprise when
undertaken by those who have his-
torically wielded national, racial or
class power over a group. Western

communi-
ties are de-
stroyed by
incessant

Cecelia
Ober

Nuts and Bolts
t (AND IN M uaENEWS.

by Judd Winick-
I You IDN'T~p j

bombing
and a scarcity of food and medicine.
But women in the United States
bear the burdens of war as well.
Military spending has increased

i' ES'Ar otoWJ

E QNI.Y Gi.1 E 6EEx1S "ro"'

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