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March 14, 1991 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-03-14

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Page 4 --The Michigan Daily-Thursday, March 14,1991
br 3id.igan failg

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

ANDREW GOTESMAN
Editor in Chief
STEPHEN HENDERSON
DANIEL POUX
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.

Police brutality
LAPD beating is latest incident of antagonistic police force...

Early last week, 12 officers from the Los Ange-
les Police Department (LAPD) were secretly vid-
reotaped as they pummelled a prostrate African
American man between 53 and 56 times. Police
Chief Daryl Gates, who has run the LAPD since
1978, claimed that this clear case of brutality was
"an aberration."The facts, however, suggest that it
was closer to the norm.
Since the early 1960s, the LAPD has been
waging avicious campaign against the city's Latinos
and African Americans. More than 300 members
of the Los Angeles minority communities were
'killed in clashes with police in the 1970s. Since
-"1974, the police have arrested over two-thirds of
African American men under age 30 in the city,
often for "crimes" such as wearing red or blue
shoelaces - the symbolic colors of L.A.'s two
largest gangs.
: Chief Gates has openly admitted that such ar-
rests are part of the LAPD's tactics for disciplining
the population. When the Los Angeles Times asked
the chief about his department's rising arrest rate,
iGates replied: "I think people believe that the only
strategy we have is to put a lot of police officers on
the street and harass people and make arrests for
inconsequential things. Well, that's part of the
* strategy, no question about it."
This is the same man who once praised the
Philadelphia police for bombing an entire city
block and went on record saying that so many
African Americans died from LAPD chokeholds
because their anatomy was "abnormal."
Gates' own blatant racism is largely respon-
sible for perpetuating the LAPD's long history of
...South Quad macing incident
Tncidents of police brutality against people of
color extend beyond the streets of major cities
like Los Angeles. Right here,in ourownAnn Arbor
community, those who purport to "protect and
serve" sometimes use excessive force to control-
and even suppress - people of color.
Overthe years, theAnnArborPolice Department
has repeatedly proven its unflinching, callous at-
titude in dealings with people of color, and spe-
* cifically Blacks in this community.
Perhaps the most striking example of this city's
-enforcement agencies clashing unnecessarily with
people of color is the incident that took place in
front of South Quad shortly before final exams last
December.
Responding to a call for assistance from Uni-
versity Housing Security, the Ann Arbor Police, in
conjunction with other area departments, used
mace to control a crowd of Black students. Al-
legedly, there were several fights taking place
within the crowd, and there was potential for
considerable destruction of property, as well as
-physical injury.
But the fact that no one involved in the incident
was detained - and no arrests were made -
makes the police methods excessive. Mace is not
generally used for crowd dispersal - only to
immobilize violent and potentially dangerous per-

racist violence, but these brutal policies predate
him. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the LAPD
arrested and in some cases assassinated key lead-
ers from the African American and Latino
communitiies.
Under Gates' tenure, this pattern of abuse has
intensified. In the last six months alone, Los An-
geles county juries have awarded $750,000 to an
African American victim of a police shooting,
$100,000 in a case involving charges of malicious
prosecution and false arrest, and $540,000 to former
baseball superstar and Hall of Fame member Joe
Morgan, who was stopped and beaten by police
who accused him of being a drug courier.
Abuses like these place Los Angeles' Latinos
and African Americans- who together comprise
a majority of the city's population - in the ex-
tremely vulnerable position of being guilty until
proven innocent. Confronting the LAPD's "shoot
now and ask questions later" mentality, they often
do noteven have a chance to prove their innocence.
Though removing Daryl Gates from the helm of
the LAPD will be difficult - as a civil servant he
cannot be fired - Mayor Tom Bradley should
demand his immediate resignation. If Gates re-
fuses to surrender his post, the city government
should immediately initiate legislation to severely
curtail the LAPD's power.
These measures will not, by themselves, magi-
cally eliminate the problems with the LAPD, which
extend far beyond any one individual. But unless
these preliminary steps are taken, the nation's
second largest city will soon be at the complete
mercy of apolice force at war with its own citizens.
shows problem here inAnnArbor
petrators. Clearly, this was not the intent of the
assembled students.-.
Similar actions would undoubtedly not have
been taken against a group composed of white
students, and the police insensitivities toward
people of colorin this community cannot be allowed
to continue.
But the responsibility for this outright violation
of civil rights must not be shouldered completely
by the city. The University also played a large role
in this incident, and its involvement should not
escape criticism.
The fact that these students were brutalized by
the Ann Arbor police on campus grounds is ap-
palling, and illustrates a fundamental defficiency
in the University's ability to ensure student safety.
When students - and particularly students of
color - are threatened in their own community
with physical violence, it is clear that the
University's efforts to increase campus secunty
are seriously in need of improvement.
The incident at South Quad should spark action
from the community to combat police brutality
against people of color. But more importantly, it
must serve as the impetus for a fundamental change
in the University's handling of security issues -
particularly regarding people of color.

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LSA dean explains
Simpson selection
To the Daily:
I would like to correct the
misunderstandings reflected in the
Daily articles about the process of
selecting this year's speaker for
LSA Commencement.
Over the past year, a number
of people have submitted to me
names of LSA graduates who
would make excellent commence-
ment speakers. Included were
people in a wide variety of
professions, both men and
women, of diverse backgrounds.
This year's slate of names was
significantly longer than the one
reported in the Daily.
On reviewing the list, I
decided that Carole Simpson was
the very best candidate, and I was
enormously pleased when she
accepted my invitation. I believe
Carole Simpson can speak to the
international context in which our
graduates have studied. As a
reporter and anchor for ABC
World News Saturday, she has
covered world events in Romania,
Berlin and the Persian Gulf.
Simpson's career brings into
focus the prominence television
has achieved in reporting the
news and helping us examine
serious domestic issues. I think
she will have something uniquely
significant to say to our graduates.
I want to emphasize that I
reviewed the names of LSA
graduates who might be com-
mencement speakers and then
made the selection. The com-
mencement committee did not
make the selection. In fact, I had
issued the invitation and Ms.
Simpson had responded before
the first committee meeting.
I would like to take this
opportunity to commend the LSA
Commencement Committee for
the work they do. The committee
is made up of very busy faculty
and students who take this on as
an additional responsibility. They
are dedicated and responsible

Why is Professor
To the Daily:
The University of Michigan
has stated countless times in its
attractive literature that the
administration is firmly commit-
ted to excellence in undergraduate
education. If these statements are
true, I must seriously question
why those at the top of
Michigan's education hierarchy
are forcing Professor Drew
Westen, one of their best educa-
tors, to leave.
If Westen's popularity was not
already obvious by the fact that
over 1,000 students take his
filled-to-capacity Psychology 172
course each semester while
hundreds more are turned away,
then it should be apparent by the
fact that nearly every seat was
filled when he presented his
"ideal last lecture" in Rackham
Auditorium Monday night.
In this age of tremendous
pressure on professors to "publish
or perish," many forget that their
primary purpose is to stimulate
learning. Westen didn't forget. He
does more than just lecture; he
makes students want to learn and
want to laugh. It is nothing short
people giving service to LSA. I
am grateful for their help in.
creating a commencement that
will be meaningful to all our
graduates.
Edie Goldenberg
LSA Dean
Detroit salt mines
needed for waste
To the Daily:
This letter is in response to the
Jan. 28 letter encouraging us to
"Fight Environmental Racism."
As long as society's demand for
goods and services exist, there
will be hazardous waste. Conse-
quently, we are in an environmen-
tal crisis, which is continuing to
grow in seriousness because of

Westen leaving?
of hypocrisy when the University
boasts of a long-standing commit-
ment to undergraduates and then
forces the man they selected as
best professor to leave. Drew
Westen has demonstrated his
desire to enlighten young minds;
now the administration must
demonstrate theirs.
Rona Kobell
LSA first-year student

Westen

the lack of adequate waste
management facilities.
A viable solution to the state's
environmental crisis does exist
that dwarfs any surface disposal
method in terms of long-term
environmental security - the salt
mines under Detroit. There is no
threat of harmful leakage: only
solid waste will be stored in the
salt mine. Salt itself is imperme-
able, and the salt mine is 600 feet
below the nearest water table. I
am open to other suggestions in
dealing with our growing environ-
mental problem; however,
opposing such a scientifically
fiscally sound method simply
hurts society as a whole.

0

Jeff Gendzwill
Engineering sophomore

Meddling in Iraq
Bush should stay out of internal conflict, not resume bombing

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Bush administration officials announced last
Saturday that Allied forces would resume
bombing raids on Baghdad if the Iraqi government
follows through on its pledge to use chemical
weapons against its rebellious citizens.
This is a clear indication that the Bush admin-
. istration has interpreted the Allied victory in the
Va Persian Gulf as a mandate for further American
intervention in the region, even if it means violat-
ing the national sovereignty of Iraq.
Now that Kuwait has been liberated, Allied air
raids on Baghdad would be in direct violation to
the national sovereignty of Iraq. This demoralized
nation is now in a state of civil war and, while the
U.S. has a significant interest in the outcome,
m Washington has little justification for becoming
involved.
Furthermore, this type ofinterventionis abreach
oftraditionalU.S.foreignpolicy.TheUnited States
Nuts and Bolts.
.-!O U 51NK THiS WAS A y AjRr aUSr A GROUP O-
. 01p EGO ,kIDNAPPNG YO NThRTAI-Y ov'1TENI II
THENE tCD ON Ik NS 1REu.Y L vaE l. f

has always publicly supported the self-determina-
tion of peoples across the world and Iraq should be
no exception. When the Chinese government mas-
sacredthousands ofstudents during the 1989 spring
Tiananmen square rallies, the White House made
no effort to intervene. Their response to civil unrest
in the Gulf should be no different.
The Bush administration should publicly dis-
courage any such action by the Iraqi government,
and if the Iraqis follow through on their pledge to
use chemical weapons against their fellow citizens,
the White House should pursue more severe policies
such as implementing economic sanctions.
The use of chemical weapons by Iraq is not to
be condoned by any means. Indeed, any Iraqi life
taken by the coalition forces or by Iraq itself is a
tragedy. Still, the United States has fulfilled its
objectives in Iraq and would do best to stay out of
Iraq's internal struggle.

The possibility of peace in the
MiddleEast seems more brightnow
than at any time since the creation
of the modern state of Israel. A
peace conference seems imminent

to address
issues rang-
ing from the
recognition
of Israel and
the status of
Palestin-
ians in the
occupied
territories
to eco-
nomic rela-
tions be-
tween all
Middle

i n/my
view

United Nations, Israel will be dis-
advantaged in many ways.
The United Nations has a his-
toricalanti-Israel bias. Zionism, the
movement for Jewish self-deter-
mination, has been repeatedly
criticized, and the United Nations
has never condemned any of the
attacks on Israel from its hostile
neighbors.
It is interesting to note that dur-
ing the conflict in the Persian Gulf,
there were more than a dozen U.N.
resolutions condemning Iraq, but
there was little condemnation of the
unprovoked SCUD missile attacks
on Tel Aviv. It is clear that the
UnitedNations discusses Israel only
when its Arab neighbors or the
Palestine Liberation Organization
propose resolutions denouncing
Israel's actions.
Israel should also be concerned
with interference from powerful
special interests within the United
Nations. The Soviet Union will

the Soviet Union plays at the peace
table will immediately put Israel at
a disadvantage.
Israel would be faced with a
united block of more than 20 Arab
states at a U.N. peace table; there is
a strong possibility that an Arab
coaltion would "gang up" on their
Jewish neighbor. Many nations
would like to see this conflict solved
once and for all-as fastaspossible.
If the international community is
participating in the talks, pressure
could be put on Israel to accept an
unfair dealin an attempt to quickly
reach a solution.
The peace process and treaty
between Israel and Egypt provides
a brilliant example for the other
nations of the Middle East to.follow.
Arabstates looking forpeace should
meet with Israel using the United
States to mediate, and not involve
the press or any other uninvolved
country in their deliberations. This
is the only way that true peace can

Jennifer
Knoll

ADULtATION. WE COULt.D BE
COMING~ DOWN ON 'Th"EI

by Judd Winick
8T rrr FEES So G1MN op.D

Eastern nations. With so many dif-
ferent goals and issues to be re-
solved, the environment in which
these talks are held is very impor-
tant.
The maiority of the Arab states

0:

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