Supporting the MCRI will honor MLK more than affirmative action

To the Daily:

I was disappointed when I read the staff editorial For Dr. King (01/14/2005) in Friday’s edition of the Daily. This editorial encouraged students to “continue the important work of defending affirmative action.” I must, however, question the value of a blatantly racist institution such as affirmative action.

The Daily was correct in its assessment that we have not learned to live together. But how does affirmative action solve this problem? Designed to correct undeniable inequalities in primary education, affirmative action instead thrusts unprepared minority students into an academic world in which they are unlikely to succeed. It also creates animosity between races as white students feel discriminated against, and minorities who are actually prepared for university academic life feel looked down upon.

The fact is that dealing with unequal primary education in the college admissions process is too late in the game to be effective. To quote Martin Luther King Jr. from his 1963 sermon titled Strength to Love, “All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem.” Affirmative action tries to solve education problems for minorities, but merely manages to create new ones.

Instead of opposing the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative’s attempt to end affirmative action in Michigan, we should be encouraging it. Academic life is only as good as the students who live it. We cannot honestly expect that denying qualified students entrance into Michigan’s most rigorous university on the weak claim that “all diversity is good diversity” will benefit anyone in the long term.

I believe we can learn to live together and to celebrate our diversity. However, I do not think that date is going to be reached until we actually decide to treat each other as equals. To do that, we must fix our primary education system, but we cannot afford to continue pretending that affirmative action is the solution.

Allison O’Leary

Engineering freshman


MCRI deceitful; petition to defend affirmative action misrepresented

To the Daily:

The Daily inaccurately reported the purpose of BAMN’s new petition, Fraud Must Not Overturn Civil Rights Law, in the article printed about the Martin Luther King Day march (Students March on MLK Day, 01/18/2005). The article said that the petition seeks signatures only from people who already signed the petition for the anti-affirmative action Michigan Civil Rights Initiative. While we welcome and encourage anyone who signed the MCRI petition because he was deceived and lied to about its intent to sign our petition, we encourage all proponents of affirmative action and integration to sign as well.

MCRI has not passed all the legal hurdles necessary to appear on the Nov. 2006 ballot. Preventing the initiative’s appearance in front of the Michigan electorate is still possible, but it depends on the development of a mass political and social struggle against it. The new petition is designed to express the broad support for affirmative action programs around the state and demand that the Michigan Election Commission bar MCRI’s appearance on the 2006 ballot because of its deceptive language. Students can act to defend the University’s U.S. Supreme Court victory for affirmative action by signing and circulating the new petition. Petitions can be signed online, downloaded and printed at

Ben Royal

Kate Stenvig

The letter writers are graduate students in the School of Education and BAMN organizers.


Hold Bush accountable lying before the Iraq war

To the Daily:

In recent days, the Bush administration has acknowledged that it has concluded its search in Iraq for weapons of mass destruction, having found nothing to indicate that a WMD program existed.

I believe the citizens of this great nation deserve an explanation as to how our government could be so wrong about an issue of such importance. Further, if our country is to be taken seriously in the future, some officials must be held accountable for this terrible error.

It is time for the Bush administration to address this issue and explain why top aides misled our country and the world into war with Iraq.

Oz Hazel

Law school


Emergency contraception should be more accessible

To the Daily:

If used promptly, there is a drug that is up to 89 percent effective at preventing pregnancy when taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, simple to take and less likely to cause an adverse reaction than aspirin. This drug could cut the number of unintended pregnancies in this country in half and possibly reduce the number of abortions by 800,000. Its most serious side effect is nausea. It can be used up to 120 hours — five days — after unprotected intercourse, contraceptive failure or rape to prevent pregnancy. This drug is emergency contraception.

University health centers offer emergency contraception, but most women do not know it exists, so there is a small chance that they will use it. Further, many of the health centers on campuses that serve mainly students are not open on the weekends or evenings, which is when young women need access to emergency contraception most.

Therefore, responsible women need access to emergency contraception 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We need emergency contraception available over the counter, as it already is in nine other countries, and we need more education on the benefits of using emergency contraception for doctors, teens and young women. I hope you will join me in urging the Food and Drug Administration this month to offer emergency contraception to women over the counter.

Therese Hustoles

LSA junior

The letter writer is the campus representative for MARAL.


Pole vaulting not dangerous; headline misrepresents sport

To the Daily:

Pole vaulting is a very safe sport when coached properly. We do not “risk safety to excel” (Pole vaulters must risk safety to excel, 01/19/2005).

Every sensational and false headline that is printed places our sport closer and closer to extinction. How many more parents will never let their kids try the event, now that they feel the event is more dangerous than they previously thought?

It’s a shame because this article was a fairly positive one, but most people just glance at the headlines and never even read the article.

Please stop slandering our sport to sell a few more newspapers.

Becca Gillespy

The letter writer is a member of Pole Vault Power.

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