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The daily Tar Heel. (Chapel Hill, N.C.) 1946-current, March 24, 1983, Page 10, Image 10

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10The Daily Tar Hc-elThursday. March 24, 1983 cHif lathi cHar Mtti 91st year of editorial freedom Kerry DeRochi, Editor ALISON DAVIS, Managing Editor JEFF HlDAY. Associate Editor LlSAPULLEN, University Editor JOHN CONWAY, City Editor CHRISTINE MANUEL, State and National Editor KAREN FISHER, Features Editor MIKE DESlSTI, Sports Editor JEFF GROVE, Arts Editor BILL RlEDY, News Editor CHARLES W. LEDFORD, Photography Editor W hen violence becomes a spectator sport By KELL Y SIMMONS Time to divest Today's meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Endowment is de signed to conclude the question of divestment. The UNC Public Interest Research Group has petitioned the board to establish a "socially respon sible policy " to divest UNC of all holdings in companies with economic ties to the apartheid regime in South Africa. The idea of divestment is complex. Supporters believe economic pressure will alter the racism, in South Africa. Opponents argue divest ment wouldn't make any difference. However, if nothing else, divestment is a symbolic gesture in defiance of apartheid government and the oppression it 'stands for. As an institu tion of higher learning, the University should begin proceedings to dis solve all links with the apartheid and make a real commitment to oppos ing racial oppression. Apartheid regime The institutional foundation of South African society is racism. Human rights there apply only to whites, not to the 72 percent black ma jority. Blacks cannot vote, and their educational opportunities are scarce. To sustain the oppression, the South African government has developed a powerful military force which crushes all popular uprisings. UNC has about $2 million invested in South Africa through corpora tions operating there. About $651,000 is invested in General Motors Corp., a company which in 1977 drew up contingency plans stating that it would cooperate with the South African government "in the event of civil unrest." On Feb. 8, students voted to change that, by passing a resolution to have the University divest its stock from corporations in South Africa and to implement a task force with student representatives that could help monitor University holdings. PIRG first attempted to address the Endowment Board on divestment in October. The issue was deferred until February. Then, PIRG members were given 10 minutes to address the board with the group's arguments. It wasn't enough time. As PIRG member. Harvey Jenkins said, "We presented only a slice of our knowledge and research." But it was PIRG's only chance. All board meetings have been closed and today's is no exception. Several UNC officials, including Student Body President Kevin Monroe, were invited to attend. PIRG's request for two representatives was refused. ! Draw the line Critics have argued that large scale divestment would strip the United States of any potential input into the South African government to pro mote change. Hamish Stevenson, a UNC student from South Africa, says divestment "would be advocating total revolution." John A. Tate, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Endowment, says," Why is only South Africa under attack?" He argues that holdings in South Africa should not be judged without considering the investments in other coun tries. He points out that there are several other countries with philoso phies apart from the United States with which UNC deals financially. A threshold determination must be made: racism is the greater prob lem, involving the moral question of oppressing others simply because of skin color. In the United States, racism is subtle beneath the guise of civil rights legislation. In South Africa, it is encouraged by the government. Laws uphold segregation. UNC's removal of $2 million from South African-located companies probably will do little to alter the apartheid regime. U.S. corporations as a whole constitute only 16 percent of the foreign corporate involvement in South Africa. But as a symbolic gesture, the impact of divestment would be immense. As it now stands, UNC indirectly lends support to and profits from the institutional racism in South Africa. Although Tate has argued that endowment funds come from private sources and are literally not the property of the state of North Carolina, the University's name is still attached to those funds. The logistics The administration has pointed to the logistical problems of divestment not to mention the possible financial loss. However, according to the director of investments and trusts at Michigan State University, which divested $7.5 million four years ago, alternative investments have earned MSU an additional $1 million as of June 1980. Farris Womack, vice chancellor for business and finance, acknowledges that UNC can reinvest its funds, but not "with the snap of a finger." Endowment funds are managed by investment counselors that could be instructed not to invest in companies with financial ties to South Africa. . That's where the task force comes in. By monitoring the companies with UNC holdings, the group could help University officials ensure that no UNC money would go to the support of apartheid. The administration of the funds of a University, an institution of higher learning, carries with it a commitment to social responsibility. Fiscal responsibility is important, however; the University should ensure that its investments serve no unjust ends. Clearly, under the present system in South Africa profit and justice are at odds, and UNC is on the side of profit. Divestment not only will redeem the University's tainted image, but also will serve to put it back in pursuit of social improvement, away from what amounts to exploitation of a social imbalance. On the night of March 6, a woman went into Big Dan's tavern in New Bedford, Mass., to buy a package of cigarettes. She remained in the bar long enough to have a drink and talk to a friend. On her way out, four men blocked her path, stripped her of her pants and gang raped her on a pool table. The event that took place in the tavern that night was not a case of everyday assault. Instead it was an event powerful enough to warrant a candlelight procession of 3,000 women marching silently, protesting the rape of a 21-year-old mother of two. , What they were marching for was the horrifying fact that at least 15 men stood and observed the event without offering any assistance to the woman or calling the police. For two hours, the men watched and encouraged four rapists as they repeatedly assaulted their victim. To them it was a sporting event, a game provided for their entertainment. Like a cheering section for the "team," they remained in the bar yelling "go for it" and providing the encouragement needed for the men to con tinue the attack. Later, after the woman had fled the bar and returned with police, beer was flowing and business had resumed. The men were laughing and drinking as if they were athletes celebrating their victory. Two of the accused rapists were arrested at the bar. Because of the vagueness of the circumstances, no one can be really sure what the conditions were inside the bar that night. The bartender testified that he tried to call the police, but was stopped by patrons of the bar. Here another issue is raised did the bartender at Big Dan's have a moral responsibility to the woman, possibly at the risk of his own life? Ethically, yes. Rape is a violent crime, and anyone who can stand idly by and witness it is as guilty as if he had commited the act himself. " So many times when a woman has been raped, the blame is thrown back on her. Several men in Big Dan's made comments such as "she encouraged the advances; she asked for it." And there were some rumors that she had had a prior affair with one of the men. The apathy of the bar patrons is not restricted to just this one example. Last week, for example, two camera men in Jacksonville, Ala., watched as Cecil Andrews set fire to himself. The two men let Andrews burn for 37 ' seconds before helping him. They were after a news story, which to them was more important than the life of another human being. In a situation such as this, where is a person's moral obligation? Fifteen men seemed to feel no sense of duty to help save a woman from a violent attack; and two men considered sensationalism more important than human life. Have we developed into a society which can witness an act of violence and then stand back and watch with interest, or else remain uninvolved? Even in this light, rape is rape. When a woman is held against her will and then subjected to public humiliation, her private rights have been violated." She is the victim, she has been raped, and she probably will have to suffer the memory of it the rest of her, life. Even if she did make any kind of advances toward the men, that still would not justify the brutality and the humiliation the woman was forced to endure for a gruel ing two hours; two hours that must have felt like days or weeks. Today's society turns to violence as a form of entertain ment in television, movies and even professional sports events. But have we also developed into a society which can witness a blatant act of violence and then stand back and watch with interest, or else remain unattached in order not to be involved? Somewhere inside the men in Big Dan's that night there was surely a sense of compassion maybe even the tiniest twinge of a guilty conscience due to what they were wit nessing. Perhaps the men were mtirnidated by the rapists; maybe they felt that as long' as the woman was left alive, everything would be all right. Maybe all 15 men enjoyed the exhibition and had no qualms about it. And, depend ing on the amount of justice the victim receives during the trial, it could happen again in another place, to another undeserving woman. As long as people can sit by and be entertained by violence without the fear of being held responsible, this will continue to occur. Kelly Simmons, a sophomore journalism and English major from Reidsville, is an editorial writer for The Daily Tar Heel. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Gay awareness activities under attack To the editor: A letter came across my desk today con cerning homosexuals on the UNC campus organized as the Carolina Gay Associa- . tion. The letter was written in frustration and disgust at the preferential treatment given those practicing deviant behavior. The tone of the letter suggested anger directed to the attitudes in the area en couraging homosexual activity. While we feel no anger toward homo sexuals who do not accost us, there are those of us who believe that greyhounds (after the famous "Greyhound" restaurant scene in Dan Jenkins' Baja Oklahoma) are not gay, but sad and de viant people, indeed. Homosexuals do not "practice an alternative lifestyle," but rather engage in acts that sicken both their minds and (most particularly in light of the AIDS disease) their bodies. We consider homosexuality as an act to be legally and morally a perversion (in accordance with the vast majority of our society) and as a continuing practice to be a serious in dividual sickness, akin to drug addiction and alcoholism. As it is a sickness, we do not blithely condemn the individual, but encourage the person to discard the unhealthy habit in which she or he has become involved. With regard to the campus organization known as the Carolina Gay Association, we feel that entirely too much support has been given to this attempt at legitimizing abberation. We who are left (far and away the majority, straight and heterosexual) are tired of being the victims of reverse discrimination, de facto el de jure. We are, accordingly, forming the Carolina Straight Association, with the goals of promoting awareness of, and pride in, our great heterosexual heritage. We feel this is important because it is so universal that practically everybody born in the last two centuries was involved in heterosexual activity. The association will act as a fraternal organization and awareness sup port group. Have you been accosted and embarrassed by some greyhound? The as sociation can provide support to get over such nasty encounters. Do you want more friends Of your own beliefs to party with, go out with or go to the beach with? That's easily done with association members. Remember our motto: "Almost everybody you know is straight." Which brings us to another point. Be lieving, as we do, that promotion of heterosexual lifestyles (active or temporari ly abstaining) is very important, we are designating Friday, March 25, and Mon day, March 28, as Shoe Days, the two-day kickoff to Straight Awareness Year. We ask all students and faculty and staff mem bers who are heterosexual or who support heterosexualism to wear shoes during Shoe Days. As a further expression of brotherhood, solidarity and militant ac tivism, we ask that all who support us par ticipate in Straight Awareness Year, or as We straights fondly call it, Clothes Year, with the participant wearing any kinds of clothes, especially in inclement weather. This includes blue jeans, which are honor able work clothes which may not be co opted by a greyhound group as its uni form. As a final point, the association will in all likelihood be seeking both funding and office space from the University and the Carolina Union. As there are far more straights than greyhounds on campus, we know that this administration will give us more money and office space than the Carolina Greyhound Army receives. Membership in the Carolina . Straight Association is open to all students at Carolina, in accordance with University regulations. Wre welcome all. Huzzah for the association! Jase Valentine Carrboro' Why blue jeans? To the editor: In i response to the article concerning Gay Awareness Week ("CGA pushes aware- ness," DTH, March 18) regarding the designation of Friday, March 25, as Blue Jeans Day, we would like to convey our feelings of appallment that the CGA, in their quest for attention and recognition, would choose an ordinary item of clothing such as blue jeans to be their symbol of unity. We would like to remind the mem bers of the CGA that blue jeans are a popular and common attire of men and women of all ages, regardless of their sex ual preferences. It is. not our desire to persecute the members of the CGA, but we feel that the choice of blue jeans is an unjust inconvenience upon the non-gay population of this university. We suggest that the CGA members and supporters wear some distinctive article of clothing that is not as restrictive as blue jeans, such as a pink shirt or some other similar article. Realizing that some people will avoid wearing blue jeans and others will be ignorant of their significance, we ask that some other article of clothing, such as a dark blue shirt, be designated as a symbol for those who are not in accor dance with the CGA. Our purpose is not to. deny the CGA members their day of recognition, but merely not to allow them to do so at the expense of others. Bob Smith Winston Mark Brooks Ehringhaus No tolerance in translation i "p w ; To the editor: It is true that the Bible does attack homosexuality, as Tracey St. Pierre states in "Homosexuality from a Biblical stand point," (DTH, March 23). But that same Bible states that it is against God's will for a man to shave his beard. Just ask the Amish; they don't drive cars, have indoor plumbing, or utilize electricity, all for the same reason. The truth is that religious intolerance has caused mfinitely more suffering in this country alone than any amount of promiscuity or enlightened thought ever could. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I sensed that Christianity was all about the alleviation of suffering. Because of the system of government in this country, people are free to believe that which they wish. But ' thank goodness that our forefathers had the insight to found our country on the fundamental separation of church and state. It is this basic tenet which insures that St. Pierre's religious beliefs can never be forced on me. Doug Wilson Carrboro Labs need recognition To the editor: Geology two hours, biology three hours, chemistry four hours. All labs which count for one hour of credit. When taking a physical science at UNC, it is common to be required to take a cor responding lab, but the time ind work one spends on these classes usually ex ceeds one hour's time. It sometimes ex ceeds time spent in a lecture class. The work load in a lab is equal to any other three-hour credit class, and the labs and exercises are not always finished dur ing the lab period. Preparation for exams is the same as it is for a lecture class, with the exception of the final exam during the7 exam week at the end of the semester. Labs are necessary and are helpful in understanding the science a student is taking, but aren't they worth more than one hour of recognition? ' Stephanie Colweil Granville Biblical babble To the editor: In response to Tracey SU Pierre's let ter, "Homosexuality from a Biblical standpoint," (DTH, March 23): Yes, the Carolina Gay Association is sponsoring a speaker who will discuss spirituality and homosexuality precise ly to dispel the kind of religious ignorance evidenced by her letter. It sounds as if she considers herself an eminent Biblical authority. I notice that most of the references are to the "New Testament," otherwise known as the Christian Bible. Does she read fluent Hebrew and fluent Greek? I will wager that, like most religious fanatics I have met, she has not read either the Hebrew Bible in Hebrew or the Christian Bible in Greek. How, then, can she pretend to be an authority on Biblical wisdom if, in fact, she has ac cepted a translation of a translation of a translation? Has she read the apocryphal writings? Does she know how the Bible was written in the first place? Does she know that "the word of God" has been edited, re-edited, added to, deleted from, translated and mistranslated for genera tions by all manner of both sincere and misguided souls not to mention outright sexists (e.g. those who omitted the female origin of Jehovah in the Hebrew Bible). How can she pontificate about homosexuality or any other matter if she does not know how the Bible was written and why? If she cannot de-mystify the Bible long enough to study it objectively to know that its present form is very much a human creation then she will not be able to distinguish the word of God from the word of people. And her views on homosexuality are very much a reflection of the latter. Bigotry, as I recall, is far from a Godly attribute. Prejudiced people the world over have used their religion to justify the most insane of tenets (e.g. blacks are in ferior to whites, homosexuality is sinful, women are submissive to men, Jews are excluded from the blessings of paradise, nuclear warfare is God's plan for America, .ad nauseam). Must you perpetuate the mistake? Rebecca Benezra Craige Blue jeans explained To the editor: This Friday, March 25, the Carolina Gay Association will spon sor their annual Blue Jeans Day as part of Gay Awareness Week. In pre vious years this event has sparked lively discussion and . controversy, hence we feel that this letter ex plaining the rationale behind Blue Jeans Day is in order. Most gay men and women must worry every day about how they will v appear to society; that is, how open they will be about their sexual and romantic orientation. Most gay men and women must put on a mask, so to speak, every morning in order to appear "straight" and to avoid dis crimination and -verbalphysical abuse. The incident at Little River of two years ago clearly drives home how close and real this danger of dis crimination and abuse is, even in a relatively' liberal community such as Chapel Hill. The rationale behind Blue Jeans Day, therefore, is to turn the tables on the "straight" community. On that day "straight" people must decide whether or not to wear their jeans and "risk" being identified as a gay person or a gay sympathizer. In other words, they must consciously make a decision on how they are go ing to appear to society, a decision that gay men and women must make every day. . We of the Carolina Gay Associa tion sincerely hope that all of those who believe that gay men and women should have the same rights and privileges as everybody else, those who openly support the gay rights movement, and those who may be gay or bisexual themselves will wear their jeans on Friday in recognition of the problems and decisions that gay men and women face everywhere and everyday. - i Joseph E. Carter President, Carolina Gay Association Concert coverage To the editor: The Daily Tar Heel must carry part of the blame for not generating enough stu dent support if the Carolina Concert for Children should turn out to be a failure. Granted, the future of a spring concert has been uncertain throughout the semester. Keeping students up to date on the most recent developments would have been a difficult task, but considering the substantial money involved, the DTH could have tried. The lack of information about the con cert has caused an apathetic student body. Not the lack of big name bands and the" alcohol ban as H. Matthew Clements claimed in his letter to the editor, ("Lousy bands, no alcohol doom concert," DTHt March 3). Last year's Chapel Thrill showed us that big names will not necessarily guarantee student satisfaction.' I hope Clements is incorrect in assuming that a concert without alcohol is doomed. This would be a very sad sign of our times. As we see at foot ball games, an alcohol ban is unable to prevent alcohol consumption. So students who feel it necessary to drink will still attend the conert and do what is done at football games. I hope the DTH does not print any more negative articles about the concert and instead gives it the paper's full support. If not.the skeptics' predictions of a doomed concert will be fulfilled. Markus Steiner Connor

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