Daily’s MSA coverage neglects independents
To the Daily:
I am writing in response to the Daily’s negligent coverage of the upcoming Michigan Student Assembly election. There have been multiple articles about the two major parties running, but no mention of the many qualified independents who are also running, and deserve consideration. There are 17 Independents running for MSA alone, and many are worthy candidates that the students should learn about. Reading the Daily lately has made me feel like Ralph Nader, in that I feel I have much to offer the students, both in my platform and in my extensive experience with MSA, but because I chose not to run with one of the two parties, the Daily has not covered my campaign at all. I suggest every voter visit vote.www.umich.edu to view the platforms of the candidates that the Daily has ignored, and make a more educated decision, rather than voting straight-party.
The letter writer is an independent candidate for MSA.
Terrorism, not Israel, is the roadblock to Mideast peace
To the Daily:
I responding to yesterday’s letter from Tarek Dika (Unified Palestinian leadership critical to Mideast peace, 11/15/04), advocating for a strong and unified leadership for the Palestinians in the post-Arafat era. While I agree with the point that the face of the new leadership will be critical in determining how events will unfold in the Middle East, I would like to point out a more insidious subtext that was present in the letter. Dika faults former Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas for his willingness to work within the framework of the so-called Road Map, instead of maintaining “a unified front of resistance.” Dika does not, however, try to conceal the nature of this “resistance.” Rather than denying that the Intifada is inherently terrorism, as so many others have tried to do, Dika merely claims that “terrorism is not the fundamental obstacle to peace,” leaving the reader to deduce that Dika would agree that they are acts of terror. Indeed, the letter goes on to make an explicit threat: “If you want to end terrorism, you must end the occupation.” When did statements like these become okay? Who else in Western Society would dare have the audacity to claim that terrorism (threatened or carried out) is a legitimate means to achieve any end? How can we expect to have a dialogue with people who openly and brazenly admit to resorting to acts of terror and yet claim it is not the real problem? I call on all reasonable members of the University, and especially those of the Muslim, Palestinian and Arab communities, to quickly, loudly and sincerely denounce Dika’s hateful ideas. Doing so would go a long way toward restoring my faith in the possibility of a negotiated peace.
Chaim A Schramm
Letter writer obscures the homosexual plight
To the Daily:
Jordan Genso’s letter (‘Marriage’ is a heterosexual tradition that should be preserved for heterosexual, 11/12/04), responded to a letter written Nov. 11 pertaining to the Nov. 2 passage of Proposal 2 in Michigan and 10 other states. His consolation for homosexuals on the issue came in the form of a justification based on a poorly assembled, incoherent and hardly analogous … simile. To remind readers, Genso suggested comparing homosexuals’ rights to marry to Caucasians’ rights to use the “N” word in regard to blacks. Please. Let not Genso nor any voter that desires the passing of prop. 2 oversimplify the issue and right of marriage to homosexuals. Let us not reduce this profound issue to a trivial semantic battle of I saw it first, so it’s mine. The term “marriage,” like any other term in the English language, belongs to no one person or set of people. To claim that the application of such a term should be reserved for a majority is ludicrous, closed-minded and again, ignorant of the real issue at hand. That issue, of course, being equality.
As a homosexual, one that obviously desires the same rights as my heterosexual compatriots, I can say candidly that I do not seek sole possession of the term “marriage” as Genso and other heterosexuals might. Just give me my rights, damnit. But, to know that there are many who voted Yes on Prop. 2 did so for the reason Jordan stated, out of fear that the homosexual community would steal and sully the connotation of the word “marriage,” is staggering. This is a simple representation of our population’s simplicity…a population that would hoard a word out of greed and spite, not realizing the greater implications of such an act. So now, I respond to a Yes voter on Prop. 2 with anger, resentment — with a sense that there is no hope for a portion of the heterosexual community. When will they see that homosexuals are like any other emerging social minority: one that should and will be integrated fully into society as equals soon, but one that needs social awareness and support of the majority now? Sadly, this same majority has anonymously proclaimed its ignorance and selfishness by voting on 2.
Perhaps that is how I would like Genso and everyone to compare homosexuals’ plight with that of blacks — not in a semantic context, but as two minority groups who deserve equality but that didn’t, don’t, and won’t receive it fully for years, if ever. And what can help ameliorate minorities’ plights? Surely not keeping social and semantic spheres distinct … but instead a meshing of socially distinct groups to promote social awareness and values based upon substantive, not superficial, ideals.
Values based upon a legitimate justification instead of a semantic compulsion.
Steve Du Bois