New Big House luxury boxes ‘not our style’

To the Daily:

I am one of the old University grads – class of ’49 and 83 years young. But I still have fond memories of those fall afternoons in Michigan Stadium watching Tommy Harmon tear up the turf. (I started school in 1940.) So I feel a kinship with that house – now called the Big House – that our beloved Fielding H. Yost built. And I doubt very much he ever envisioned or wanted any luxury boxes. We don’t need them – they are not our style. If the Athletic Department needs more revenue, let’s raise it some other way. Them’s my sentiments! Go Blue!

George Schumacher

Alum

 

Majority of affirmative-action opponents are racist

To the Daily:

The viewpoint from Oct. 25 (Consider a vote for RAM this election year) touches on something that frequently occurs yet is hardly ever discussed. In that article, the writer mentions that one member of the class made a blanket accusation that all of those in opposition to affirmative action were racist.

Now, this type of accusation is nothing new, but it is usually dismissed as an angry, unfounded rebuttal. However, contrary to what they might think, I would have to agree that the majority of those who do not support affirmative action are – either directly or indirectly – racist, as they do not seek to find alternatives with the same fervor they seek to destroy this policy.

Many people desire to do away with affirmative action. Fine, I have no problem with that. I will be the first to admit that it is flawed. However, what I do have a problem with is the fact that a viable alternative policy is never mentioned (half-baked afterthoughts such as President Bush’s suggestion of the “10-percent plan” excluded). It is almost surprising considering how passionate the opposition to affirmative action can be. At any rate, this implies that either those who do not support affirmative action believe the playing field will be equal after its abolition or that they simply do not care.

Let’s begin with the simple implication. If one who opposes affirmative action simply does not care, then it’s obvious that the person is a racist. He would rather continue to live in a society where a member of the majority receives a head start simply for being a member of the majority. In some regard, I almost respect this person more so than the other, as at least he is completely honest with how he feels.

The other part of that implication is that removing affirmative action will level the playing field. In response to this, I suggest one look at things such as legacy admissions into colleges, where children of alumni are looked favorably upon by universities solely because their parents attended the same school. This and anything in a similar vein are inherently racist, because the effects of racist policies and practices from years ago do not allow minorities to take advantage of them today. Therefore, to deny that race plays a factor in today’s society is flat out ignorance, and the product of that ignorance is more discrimination against minorities.

With all that said, I pose this question to those who oppose affirmative action: Are you one of those who truly desires to reach equality in society, or do you actually deserve to be labeled a racist?

Nathan Broyles

LSA senior

 

Affirmative-action opponents lack awareness

To the Daily:

I would like to say a few words in support of the viewpoint Silence and armbands (10/27/2005). Many people oppose affirmative action without knowing much about it. It’s just like people who oppose stem-cell research without knowing what exactly a stem cell is. They should probably research the topic first. Many do not even know that Asians do not benefit from affirmative action in this University’s admission policy. Yet as an Asian, I still support affirmative action. Many people oppose it because they fail to see how privileged they are. It’s so ingrained in us that we take for granted what we could easily have. Now we have to share those privileges with others. Obviously we feel threatened, and hence the opposition to affirmative action. If we want to abolish affirmative action and be “fair” to all students, I propose that students whose parents are alumni of this University should not be given any admissions preference.

Racism does not exist? Let me give you this example. Remember the Superbowl fiasco where Justin Timberlake ripped off Janet Jackson’s breast cover? People blamed Janet more than Justin. Now imagine P. Diddy did that to Jessica Simpson or Britney Spears? I wonder what the reaction from the community would be.

Chin-Swan Liew

LSA senior

 

High-school students should be in class, not at rally

To the Daily:

Having an hour between classes Thursday, I had the opportunity to talk with proponents and opponents of affirmative action, as well as some high school students who had been bussed in.

Being a person who firmly believes in preferences for socioeconomic or other hardships, I listened to and pointed out flaws in the arguments of people on both extremes. Try as I might, I could not, however, discuss the issue with the high-school students.

Not a single one of the Detroit students I spoke with even knew what the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative was. When I asked them why they were there, one sincerely remarked, “Because white people are trying to make it illegal for black people to go to college.” When I told them that this was patently false, I was told that their teacher knew more than me and that they were right. It was simply an unacceptable level of discourse.

Also, the only thing that the polar-extreme partisan groups can agree to in regard to affirmative action is the fact that inner-city schools need to educate their students better. This instantly calls into question the rationale for bussing these kids in and filling them with racially inflammatory and often utterly false rhetoric. Considering Detroit has one of the worst education records in the nation, might there have been a better endeavor for these students on a school day paid for (in Detroit’s case) by state and federal taxpayers? Perhaps something that involves textbooks and education instead of serving as a rent-a-protest? If they absolutely had to come, wouldn’t they have been better served by being truthfully educated on the issue instead of merely serving as warm bodies to chant on the Diag?

This also calls into question the motivations of those that brought them here. Obviously, it takes a lot of money to hire charter busses for 1,000 students every five months. Detroit schools are in dire need of computers, books and other necessary educational supplies. Instead of helping where it was truly needed, organizers paid only for them to waste the educational possibility of their school day and come to Ann Arbor. Afterwards, they were bussed back to the same squalor from which they came, and they will be quickly forgotten. It is truly sad to see these no doubt smart and capable young students used as mere pawns in other people’s social agendas.

Frank Manley

LSA junior

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