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March 22, 1991 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-03-22

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Page 4 -The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 22,1991

Wbe £id4jan flailg
420 Maynard Street ANDREW K. 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.
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MSA reform
Student group recognition process should be demolished

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ornerstone Christian Fellowship, Michigamua
and the United Coalition Against Racism may
seem like strange bedfellows, but all three have
born the brunt of an easily manipulated process
within the Michigan Student Assembly (MSA) -
its student group recognition policy. Depending
upon the assembly's reigning ideology, many
groups - including the aforementioned - have
found themselves and their beliefs on trial before
MSA - while merely trying to gain basic recog-
nition from the assembly.
Groups should not have to be "recognized" by
the assembly to carry out activities on our campus.
MSA recognition allows student groups to post on
the Diag, meet in University buildings and gives
groups the right to apply for MSA funding and
office space.
The assembly has often attempted to rid the
campus of "offensive" groups by de-recognizing
them. But the reality is that the existence of such
groups will continue without MSA recognition.
By denying groups recognition MSA is failing to
fulfill one of its most basic premises - the general
service of student groups.
MSA should serve as a resource for student
groups - not a conscience. It should protect the
rights of all student groups - not withhold them.
The current process of recognition, however,
has given the assembly the means it needs to deny

these rights to student groups by attempting to hold
them to a certain moral standard. Thus, a group
whose agenda does not coincide with the assembly's
can often be denied an opportunity to request MSA
In light of such corruption, the recognition
policy should be replaced by automatic student
group recognition. This way, all student groups
will be automatically granted the rights to petition
for the assembly's resources, and MSA will be
closer to general student representation.
MSA does have limited resources of office
space and funding, but automatic recognition would
in no way force the assembly to afford every group
these privileges. It merely protects the opportunity
for student groups to request these things.
MSA's reputation with the student body is
abysmal. The students' apathy towards MSA is
largely due to the perception that MSA argues
much but accomplishes little. Much of this argu-
ment takes place over an area MSA should not
control - student group recognition.
IfMSA truly seeks to ensure and protect student
rights, then it should begin by eliminating inequity
in the assembly.
If the assembly is to make strides toward true
reform - and bring itself closer in line with
student interests - then eradicating the current
recognition process must be a top priority.

Uncivil treatment

White House takes 'Jim Crow'
O n Oct 22,1990, George Bush joined two other
presidents in U.S. history-Andrew Johnson
and Ronald Reagan-who vetoed civil rights bills
that had previously cleared bothhouses of Congress.
Now that the 1991 Civil Rights bill has cleared its
initial hurdles in Congress, Bush is gearing up for
a repeat performance.
Last year's bill had been mandated by the
Supreme Court, which gutted Section 1981 of the
1866 Civil Rights Act and Title VII of the 1964
Civil Rights Act and then asked Congress to write
Both provisions once provided employees with
broad protection against discrimination and placed
the burden of proof on the employer in most cases
involving possible civil rights infractions.
In rulings such as Patterson v. McClean Credit
Union, the 1988-1989 Court ruled that the 1866
and 1964 acts covered only an employee's initial
hiring but not subsequent discrimination on the
The results of this and a half dozen similar
rulings during the same term were devastating; the
McClean case alone forced plaintiffs to drop 96
discrimination claims without furtherinvestigation.
Congress' civil rights legislation attempts to
redress this injustice. It is difficult enough for a
woman or a person of color, often in a subordinate
position on the job, to press civil rights charges and
risk being fired in the process. It is that much more
difficult whenthe courts refuse to accept established

stand on civil rights bill
Congressional Republicans opposed to the bill
have substituted demagogy for discussion. Senate
Republican leader Bob Dole castigates the Demo-
crats' reintroduction of the bill as part of a "crass
political game."
But the only thing phony in the current debate
is the crocodile tears the Republicans are shedding
for those being discriminated against. While they
acknowledge that there are civil rights infractions,
they don't lift a finger to fight against them.
The proposed bill would reinstate former
guidelines for pressing discriminaton cases. It
would mean expanded guidelines to allow women,
religious minorities, and the disabled to collect
punitive damages as well as back pay; currently,
only people of color can collect punitive as well as
compensatory damages. It would, as Representa-
tive Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) promises, con-
tribute toward the establishment "a level playing
By itself, the proposed civil rights bill only
begins to redress a problem with much deeper,
more institutionalized roots. Recent studies con-
firm that both women and people of color have
actually lost ground in their fight for equality
during the last quarter century.
Nonetheless, the bill takes an important first
step in the right direction. Bush is not only refusing
to walk this first mile toward genuine equality; he
is tripping over himself in his efforts to walk
backward. While the nation moves toward the

Stop heterophobia
To the Daily:
I have recently read the article
"The 'City Hall 1' Comes Out"
(3/20/91) in The Michigan
Review and I am aghast at the
heterophobia displayed by ACT-
UP against "City Hall 1." Jeff
Muir wanted nothing more than
an intellectual conversation with
the members of ACT-UP.
What he received were insults
and harassment because of his
heterosexual appearance. How
can members of ACT-UP
continue to scream "homophobia"
when they participate in discrimi-
nation of heterosexuals? I think
that the demands of the "City Hall
1" are justified and will help the
heterosexual community maintain
their rights as citizens.
The heterophobics at ACT-UP
must meet these demands today!
They must be held responsible for
their actions and pay retribution to
the "City Hall 1" and the hetero-
sexual community for their
blatant heterophobia.
Matthew DePerno
LSA senior
Mike Gill again?
To the Daily:
Once again there are some
assumptions and conclusions in
Mike Gill's Band Corner that
need clarification ("Thumbs up
and down for hockey band," 3/18/
With regard to his comments
about the band's apparent
inactivity during the second
period of hockey games, it should
be noted that time during the
beginning of the second period is
one of the few opportunities that
we band members have to visit
the concession stand and
restrooms without missing much.
As trombone section leader for
the band, I certainly don't like to
do cheers with several members
of the section missing because it
detracts from the sound. This is
the case with other sections as
well. As for the "cowbell inci-

dent," the interruption by the
percussion was merely an
accident, as they were already
preparing to play just as the
cowbell started.
The members of the band,
being among the most spirited of
hockey fans, do not feel that the
cowbell playing intrudes on "our
precious territory;" we welcome
and enjoy this show of student
And although it is true that the
saxophones cannot fill the arena
with their sound, they work hard
to prepare their cheers, which are
enjoyed by people well outside of
a six foot radius.
All of the sections of the band
should and do have the opportu-
nity to play cheers if they choose
to do so. So once again, it appears
as if Mike Gill did little or no
research to back up his commen-
Jeffrey Lawrence
Engineering sophomore
On the
abortion issue...
To the Daily:
I am writing in response to the
2-1 ruling by the Michigan Court
of Appeals on Feb. 20, that threw
out the ban on state-paid abortions
for poor women. Before I become
any more detailed in my argu-
ment, I want it to be understood
'that I am neither advocating nor
admonishing abortion. I want to
employ my right as a state tax
payer to speak on an issue I
believe should be confronted: the
issue of education.
In the 2/21/91 issue of the
Daily it was reported that the
State Court of Appeals overthrew
a ban approved by voters in 1988
that ended a $6 million annual
budget subsidizing some 18,000
for poor women. This ban was
reversed in a suit involving the
gang-rape of a 15-year-old girl
who could not afford the $1,000
procedure without the state's help.
The figures in the Daily imply
18,000 abortions are subsidized
by tax payers' money annually.

Of those 18,000 how many
involve rape or incest? Sen. Lana
Pollack (D-Ann Arbor) was
quoted as saying "the cost of an
abortion is significant even 0
though it may not seem like much
to the affluent." To let Pollack
know, the cost of an abortion is
significant to anyone, but the cost
of protection against pregnancy is
significantly less.
Pollack continued by saying,
"The right to privacy should not
be determined by income." The
right to privacy, in matters
involving the state, should not be
determined by income. With the
possible exception of cases
involving rape or incest no
abortions should be funded by the
Some may argue that those
"poor women" who do carry the
pregnancy to term will only add
more problems to the system.
This may include adding another
child to welfare or leading to
detrimental social ramifications
and quite possibly even a worsen-
ing condition of life for the
mother and child. However, the
voters in 1988 showed they did
not want to fund state paid
This issue is not of black and
white circumstances, there are
several gray areas. The resolu-
tions made will never please
everyone but education could
never hurt the situation. 4
Perhaps the state could use
some of the $6 million previously
allotted for Medicaid abortions to
promote sex education in schools
and the communities of the state. I
doubt most people would object
to the prevention of unexpected or
unwanted pregnancies.
Dawn Zencka
LSA first-year student

patterns of on-the-job harassment and trends sug- twenty-first century,
gesting discriminatory promotion policies. on a nostalgia trip fo
The time for more long-term solutions is now
W hile it is important to support the drive for a tend a "poverty scho
new civil rights bill, it is also time to realize that they can' tcompel
such plans are simply stop-gap measures, and do white counterparts. A
not offer long-term solutions. The facts illustrate deal with this realit
that equality cannot be legislated; it must be cul- environment to produ
tivated from the beginning. Any bill that Congress This means targetting
manages to come up with is merely window- combat disadvantage
dressing a much larger problem. Unfortunately, rea
To truly combat the problem of inequality in often don't spell poli
America, we must attack the source. One out of grams aimed at the in'
every four young blacks is in prison. We must our inner-cities don't
attack the widening income gap between certain realize that will all b
ethnic minorities and mainstream America. And failure to make this in
- perhaps most importantly - we must embark
on a permanent program to rescue the youth before Both govemmenta
they become trapped in the same cycle as their dealt with this issue in
parents. manner. It is more pr
When more than one-third of all Black and new "desperation plan
Hispanics in this country grow up in a "poverty for dealing with the p
household" in a "poverty neighborhood" and at- not yield fruits until t

George Bush has embarked
r the days of Jim Crow.

Crossing L.A.'s thin blue line

ol," it comes as little surprise
:e with their more advantaged
kny civil rights package must
y - we must upgrade the
ice an "upgraded individual."
children from a early age to
d situations.
1 solutions to these problems
itical advantage; costly pro-
vestment in a better future for
win elections. But we must
ear the burden created by a
l and civil rights leaders have
n a sickeningly short-sighted
rofitable politically to unveil
ns"thanto devise real systems
problem - systems that might
he next generation.

"Stacey Koon," insists his par-
ish priest, "is a very gentle family
man. But as a policeman he is under
a lot of pressure."
Being gentle and being a cop
have never
exactly '

been syn-
In 1991 Los
where the
police force
resembles a
small army
and the
gang popu-
lation is ap-

say - a little less sensitive. But
when you think about those packs
of criminals in Watts and East L.A.,
what can you do? As Koon's priest
makes clear, "there is a very thin
blue line between civility and chaos,
and that blue lineis our police force."
But who do you call - as an
ACLU ad in the L.A. Times asked
last week - when the gang wears
blue uniforms? When two-thirds of
all Black men in L.A. have been
arrested, although only a fraction of
them have everbeen charged? When
a jeering LAPD squad forces 30
mostly Black men to walk on their
knees at gunpoint because they are
in an affluent, mostly white neigh-
More importantly, who do you
call when the gang is wearing gray
flannel suits? When it is the city's
wheelers and dealers, responsible
for waves of factory closings and an
underfunded school system more

Black Watts while regional growth
reached a staggering 45 percent.
Jobs are available, but not ir
L.A. - and not for Blacks. A few
years back, 50,000 mostly Black
and Latino youth lined up for miles
to apply for a handful of unionized
longshore jobs in the L.A. harbor.
With few options and no future, it is
no wonder so many of them wind
up in gangs. "Gangs are never goin'
to die out," asserts a 16-year-old
Grape Street Crip. "You all goin' to
get us jobs?"
Aprobing question -onewhich
begs for a response from leaders
with the imagination and the guts to
admit thatL.A.'s gangs and its brutal
police force are only symptons of a
much bigger problem; Sgt. Stacey
Koon, much like all the Blacks and
Latinos he has been taught to hate,
is a victim of an establishment which
divides working people against each
other for its own interests. 0


Nuts and Bolts

ME F~y2 7 .4a! T WAA-,Ni-


by Judd Winick

proaching __ _ _
they seem to be mutually exclusive.
Koon was the commanding of-
ficer during the now infamous vid-
eotaped beating of Rodney King.
Koon's friends, trying to juxtapose

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