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October 23, 1995 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-10-23

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 23, 1995

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420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Ml 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan


Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

Surveys tell an icomplete story
ofAmerica i'srack divide

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion ofa majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Follow the mone
' courts state with ood outreach programs

T he University's plan to request $18.4
million in state appropriations increases
this year represents a major shift in the tactics
of the administration and its lobbyists in
dealing with the politics of Lansing. Their
efforts should spur the Legislature to in-
crease appropriations by the rate of inflation
- something that has not occurred in the past
seven years - and approve an additional
$9.5 million for the University's proposed
state outreach programs.
Provost J. Bernard Machen has presented
a plan to the regents that would expand edu-
cational opportunities for Michigan citizens
by creating a Center for Learning through
Community Service, a State and Local Policy
Outreach Center, an Economic Development
Outreach program and, perhaps most impor-
tant, an Institute for Educational Innovation
in K-12. The plan also would allocate $2
million to expand undergraduate research
opportunities at the University.
In the past, lawmakers have perceived the
University as overly confident in its dealings
with the Legislature, expecting to rest on its
laurels and get everything it requests. De-
spite the obvious social and economic ben-
efits the University - between its superior
academics and its medical center-brings to
the state, the regents and administration are
often seen as indifferent to Michigan resi-
dents. The $9.5 million requested for state
outreach should reverse this trend. Placing a
premium on education of Michigan residents
-- which eventually benefits the state eco-
nomically - is the reason the University's
satellite campuses are thriving, and Ann Ar-
bor would do well to follow their lead.
The efforts to implement these programs
are laudable and deserve the highest atten-
tion from the Legislature. Just as millions
have been designated to Michigan State Uni-
versity for agricultural extensions, the out-
reach programs play off the University's
strengths by recognizing its strong educa-

tional and research facilities. It would be
nothing short of mean-spirited hypocrisy for
the Legislature, which bitterly complained
that the University was ignoring the interests
of Michigan residents, to vote down a plan
that would benefit the state just as surely as it
would the University.
The coming battle for state appropria-
tions represents a critical juncture in state
support for education. Since 1985-86, infla-
tion-adjusted appropriations have hovered
around a constant $225 million. While oper-
ating expenses and tuition have continued to
increase, state appropriations as a percentage
ofall revenues continues to decline -mean-
ing students are forced to foot a greater
portion of the bill. Arguably, there may be a
need for downsizing at the University in an
effort to save money. But for every program
that is cut, there are 100 more initiatives
waiting to receive funding.
As research funds from Washington de-
crease, the University is forced to pick up
some of the slack. Finding less expensive
ways to maintain high standards and accom-
plish goals should be a top priority for ad-
ministrators. But if the Legislature continues
to rebuff the University's request for in-
creases equal to the rest of the state's public
universities, the vitality of the programs that
give the University global stature will be in
It is lamentable that academic institutions
have to struggle with each other in the politi-
cal arena for a greater share of the pie, but it
is a reality for all public institutions. Each
year, the University's budget depends largely
on the whims of legislators. Rather than
allow lawmakers to walk over the Univer-
sity, the administration is getting into the
game and has presented a viable plan for
extending University benefits to Michigan
residents. This time, if lawmakers punish the
University, they will be punishing education
for their constituents as well.

G Survey says ..."
With those words Richard Dawson,
the genial host of "Family Feud," gave us
another glimpse of life in our times, com-
plete with bells, buzzers and animated fami-
lies competing for cash.
The show provided my first real expo-
sure to the public-opinion survey. Of course,
Dawson made no claims of scientific valid-
ity about the show's polling methods, but
the numbers seemed to speak for them-
With a new ocean of polls suggesting
that we as a nation are more divided now
than any time since the 1960s, it's time to
step back from the numbers and ask what
they really mean. Most of us are familiar
with the evidence:
S Leading up to the verdict in the OJ.
Simpson case, numerous polls found that
three-fourths of white Americans deemed
Simpson guilty while a similar proportion of
blacks thought he was innocent.
* According to a Newsweek poll, 65
percent of whites and 52 percent of blacks
felt the verdict "increased racial tensions" in
Whites, polls show, are almost evenly
split on affirmative action while blacks over-
whelmingly support the initiative. Seventy-
seven percent of whites polled by Time/
CNN in early 1995 said affirmative action
programs "sometimes or too frequently" dis-
criminate against whites.
Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation

of Islam and organizer of last week's "Mil-
lion Man March," has a 53-percent favor-
able rating among blacks but a 56-percent
unfavorable rating across a survey sample
made up of equal numbers of whites and
blacks. The survey was conducted for Time
magazine and CNN.
Such results, with their gloss ofscientific
validity, point to a deepening racial divide in
the United States. But we don't need polls to
tell us that. Anonymous and easily packaged
with sound-bite analysis, the surveys are a
convenient cloak behind which to hide the
jumble of raw emotions that play such a
large part in race relations today. No poll
could have foretold the outpouring of rage
that erupted in Los Angeles in 1992; no
survey could possibly account for the appeal
of white racist politicians like David Duke.
Our Great National Dialogue - the one
president after president has called for in the
wake of racial incidents - has been pre-
empted by Gallup.
President Clinton, in a remarkably can-
did speech last week at the University of
Texas, sounded a call for reconciliation be-
tween the races. Clinton, for once living up
to his role as the nation's moral leader,
admonished all Americans to "clean the
house" of racism. But Clinton's words will
be lost in the racial divide unless leaders of
all races and political persuasions pick up
where the president left off in the dialogue.
That won't be easy.
Polls show that race issues remain politi-

cal dynamite, too volatile for most main-
stream politicians to touch in all but the most
general way. Before Clinton's speech last
week, 1996 presidential candidates avoided
the issue of race, with the exception of Cali-
fornia Gov. Pete Wilson, who made the
dismantling of affirmative action a corner-
stone of his campaign. Wilson has since
dropped out of the race. Polls, by segment
ing the nation into neat little demographic
groups, have been unhelpful in America's
racial dialogue. Surveys tend to confirm our
preconceived notions about race relations: 1.
as a 21-year-old suburban white male, am
supposed to oppose the system of racial
preferences known as affirmative action,
distrust many black leaders and hold a gen-
erally dim view of black-white relations.
That public-opinion surveys often become
self-fulfilling prophecies is particularly un-
settling as it perpetuates feelings ofdivision.
Whites, told by polls that blacks don't trust
them, will return the favor by simply avoid-
ing discussion on racial issues.
All of this from a few harmless numbers,
slung with game-show precision by self-
appointed "experts." If true racial healing in
our nation is to begin, we must initiate a
dialogue like the one President Clinton is
imploring, instead of letting our surveys do
the talking for us.
- James M. Nash is an LSA senior
and a Daily editorial page editor. He can
be reached over e-mail at





_\ s


'I think I still
have enough
brain cells that I
can teach.'
- University President
James J. Duderstadt, on
his plans to return to the
College of Engineering


Cruel joke of communism still

Ending sexual assault
Awareness week highlights need for solutions

mid the crisis of midterms, the Sexual
ssault Prevention and Awareness Cen-
ter is asking the University community to
remember a different kind of crisis.
The ninth annual Speakout for Survivors
of Sexual Violence will be just one part of
Sexual Assault Awareness Week, which be-
gins today. Each year, the Speakout gives
more students the opportunity to declare their
survivorhood. The event, anticipated by many
groups across campus, offers people in the
community a chance to voice their experi-
ences and feelings about an issue that is
poorly understood. Other activities include
self-defense classes and workshops for fami-
lies and friends of survivors.
There is a glaring necessity for these
events, despite an ongoing effort to provide
support services for assault survivors. There
are organizations to help survivors, but sexual
assault is still prevalent. While it is com-
mendable that groups such as SAPAC exist,
it is unfortunate that they need to exist at all.
Students who have used SAPAC's ser-
vices find an invaluable resource that is not
offered anywhere else on campus. SAPAC's
presence is not only a comfort for survivors,
but a reminder to the community that sexual
assault is still rampant.
For almost 10 years, the Sexual Assault

Awareness and Prevention Center has effec-
tively provided students with much more
than counseling services. Education programs
such as residence hall presentations, self-
defense workshops, a 24-hour crisis hotline,
and the group's co-sponsorship of Safewalk
and Northwalk make SAPAC an integral
part of the campus and help prevent sexual
A majority of SAPAC's effectiveness lies
in its single-mindedness. It is not fundamen-
tally affiliated with any other organization,
and has no agenda other than helping victims
of sexual assault and their families and friends.
This is especially important to providing a
support system - without pressure to take
action - for students who have already had
one choice taken away from them.
The campus and community need to con-
tinue their support of sexual assault survi-
vors and attempt to prevent further assaults.
For survivors, one day of speaking out and
one week of awareness do not repair years of
limited choice - silence or stigmatization.
As long as sexual assault occurs, events
like Sexual Assault Awareness Week will
continue to be a part of campus life. The
University and the community must work for
an environment in which these programs are
encouraged, but no longer necessary.

By Alexandra Neyman
In the former Soviet Union,
people tell many jokes and sto-
ries about communism, Marxism,
socialism. All of these -isms are
rooted deeply in almost the same
ideology, which so far has not
worked and has not shown a
glimpse of future. This is why the
jokes are told in the first place.
However, the campus of the Uni-
versity of Michigan and its very
liberal student body does include
some groups that see communism
or Marxism as the only possible
solution for survival.
Some of such groups are the
Young Trotskyists, Socialists,
Marxists, Maoists and others
which believe that they are "chil-
dren" of the "great and almighty"
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. These
people deem that in the United
States, the power is held by the
next groups: "the owners ofbanks
and multinational corporations,"
or what the Maoists simply call
them, "thieves," "government
officials, or pimps," and finally
pigs, which was quite unclear to
Their solution to this "prob-
lem" is to build a stronger power,
which is quite ironic, since it is
intended to be built with commu-
nism, and to take the power away
from the Oppressors. Thus, they
believe, that they have to learn all
the -isms, depicted above, or in
the simplified form quoting, "the
revolutionary sciences that work."
The slogan of these groups is
simple, "Proletariats of all coun-
Neyman is a first-year Art

tries unite!" Their statement in-
cludes the "complete break with
the Democrats and Republicans,"
and the creation of workers party
and a classless society. They are
not satisfied living under capital-
ism, because, in their opinion, the
United States lives off the backs
of the Third World countries.
They urge for a new Bolshevik
Revolution and defend the Cuban
Since I myself was born and
lived for 13 years under what
might be called a regime that
moved toward communism in the
Soviet Union, I was certainly
worried and very much interested
in these movements. I have lived
under both "communism" and
capitalism; thus I, unlike the
groups which call themselves
communists, and have never lived
under such regime, can relate
between the two easily.
From the first glimpse, the
idea of communism sounds very
engaging and appealing to the
"hungry masses." Nevertheless,
this idea is also a philosophyor
an ideology that states that the
wealthy should not only give the
crumbs from their tables, but that
the poor should participate in the
feast itself and be equal to the
higher class. Only in reality, this
theory never works. The Marx-
ists should be able to separate the
ideology from realism, and real-
ize that the classless society might
only exist if the society will be so
dark, uneducated and hungry that
it will not understand what is go-
ing on. This case had happened in
the Soviet Union, as one can see
it has not worked so far. The other

case would be the one ofthe highly
developed society that willingly,
not with the help of the physical
strength, would renounce its pos-
sessions for the cause of equality.
The Trotskyists say that the re-
gime that occurred in the Soviet
Union was not communism, be-
cause of Stalin's dictatorial re-
gime, and that if Lenin would
continue his "preaching" the
country would be on its way to
The answers to this are quite
simple. The country was said to
be on its way to this social equal-
ity. A "five-year plan" was pro-
posed each time, yet communism
still seemed to be that horizon
line where the Earth and the sky
meet, and which is so unattain-
able. Thus communism became
the shortest anecdote ofthe coun-
try. Their fascination with Lenin
really scared me and reminded
me of my years in kindergarten,
where we sang songs and told
poems about the great Grandpa
Ilyich, or Father Lenin. We were
ordered to wear a star close to our
hearts, with the picture of young
Lenin in it, and always say, "Lenin
lived, Lenin lives, Lenin will
live!" or "The Communist Party
is the brain, honorandconscience
of our epoch!" I saw this exact
fascination in the eyes of the
Marxists. Instead of praising
Grandpa Ilyich, they should real-
ize that he was the one who
brought the economic dislocation
to the countryand not Gorbachev,
Brezhnev or Stalin. These were
simply the branches of a big tree.
Lenin was the one who created
the KGB, sent anyone who dis-

agreed with him to Siberia an4'
totally destroyed any hope for
any "normal" way of life for the
Russian people. Lenin did also
propose a race or ethnic equality.
Yet African Americans were only
allowed in the universities, in or-
der to establish a solid influence,
over the countries from which
they came. There is a good Rus-
sian anecdote that states that Lenin
wanted to make everyone equal,
and make the wealthy give tip
everything for poor. He achieved
that, and everyone became poor':
the poor and the rich.
So far capitalism and a mixed
economy, which exist in he'
United States, seem to be the onily-
possible and the best solution for
people to build their lives. This is
why I left communism behind
and came here, to the most pros-
perous nation in the world. The
Marxists who live under commu-
nism say that United States is so
prosperous because it lives off
the backs of the Third World
countries. Answering this com-
ment I can simply say that first of
all the Marxists should realize
that the basis of foreign policy is
self interest! Second, the Ameri-
can people work 10 times harder
than the people of these Third
World countries; thus we are a
prosperous nation, which helps
these poor countries, even when
it is absolutely unnecessary.
According to the above, the
"communists" should realize that
their philosophy, as engaging as
it might sound at first, can be-
come a bitter joke to the affluent
nation, if the Marxist concepts
will be put in practice.

State Sen. AlmaWheeler Smith
(-Washtenaw County)
410 Farnum Building
Lansing, M148909
I I 7tA7 0 el '~$~Ar..

Affirmative action programs are another form of racism

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