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10The Daily Tar HeelThursday. November 17 ior?
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Kerry DeRck hi, Eduo
Alison Davis, Manaiuo "'""r
Charles Ellmaker, twiarr Ewr Frank Bruni, Asslvmic
Kelly Simmons, University Editor Michael Tooi v., o; frif.-r
Kyle Marshall, Su um National Editor Karen Fisher. Ramus Editor
Michael DeSisti, Sports Editor Jeee Grove, a m Editor
Melissa Moore, News Editor Charles W. Ledeokd. Photography Editor
A perspective on abortion
If there were awards given to the proposals most victimized by political
maneuvering, the blue ribbon would go to the Equal Rights Amendment.
For years, congressional and state leaders have stymied debate on the bill
by attaching amendments sure to make it fail or signing secret agreements
to solidify forces against it. The House action Tuesday rejecting the bill's
revival is simply one more example of congressional attempts to trivialize
what should be taken as an important issue. By allowing controversy sur
rounding a parliamentary procedure to ensure its defeat, they've made a
mockery of the bill and the equality it stood for.
Before the debate began, Democrats had voted to limit opinions to 45
minutes, a move Usually reserved for less controversial bills. In return,
outraged Republicans, hoping to tag on a few binding amendments,
voted it down. What happened next was reminiscent of a schoolyard fight
as each side began pointing its finger at the other. Conservative
Republicans charged that Democrats had limited debate simply to force
"no" votes from them. The Democrats denied the accusation, saying
they'd limited debate because the amendment already had been
deliberated for 60 years.
The absurdity of the arguments only reveals the ignorance that both
sides showed toward ERA's importance. It is obvious that small congres
sional minds cannot see that inequality still exists today. They are blinded
by the growing numbers of women in college and the business world and
cannot see that most women still sit behind typewriters and telephones.
Only 5 percent of the executives in the nation's top 50 businesses are
women. The pay scales haven't changed much either; women still bring
home about 62 cents to men's dollar. And though they constitute 70 per
cent of all classroom teachers, the average salary for women is still $3,000
below that of their male counterparts. Equality today exists only in the
mind of Phyllis Schlafly.
Since the vote, congressmen fearing for their seats in the 1984 elections
have vowed that the ERA. will be proposed againin January during the
next session, yet it is doubtful that there will be any change. Fear of
unisex bathrooms combined with the ignorance of continued discrimina
tion will prevent them from seeing the need for constitutional backing to
lipservice equality. The inequalities haven't changed. It only can be
hoped that congressional actions will.
In the Orient
Although President Reagan's recent visit to Japan was accompanied
by almost as many smiles and pleasantries as ABC-TV's Love Boat cruise
to the Orient, there was tension enough behind this veil of good will.
Domestic manufacturers, especially in the automobile industry, were
screaming for the White House to correct the grave trade imbalance bet
ween the United States and Japan. Other Americans denounced the
Japanese government for failing to pull its weight in the arena of military
defense. Although there is truth to both claims, it's disturbing to hear
Americans whine the second our nation's self-interest is not served.
At the heart of this and just about every other debate over U.S. foreign
policy is the implicit question: Where should our government draw the
line between the enhancement of our own country's welfare and respect
for another's? Although the White House insisted that our invasion of
Grenada was as much for them as it was for us, the real impetus for
military action was the presumed security threat of a communist
stronghold in the Caribbean. Our government is ready to suffer the loss
of the friendship of millions of Filipinos because it feels the controversial
presence of U.S. military bases in the Philippines is far more important.
The protection of the American way all too frequently manifests itself in
amoral, un-American strategies.
Fortunately, this is not the case in U.S. dealings with Japan. For once,
U.S. policymakers are willing to sacrifice in the economic sphere (the
United States will bear an estimated $20 billion trade deficit with Japan
this year) for the friendship and alliance of a powerful people. They are
recognizing the bitter memories the Japanese still have of World War II
and are not pushing Japan into the arms race. They are being both pru
dent and patient in willing to let the Japanese government, which has
shown interest in working to overcome the trade imbalance, take small
steps. They are. being not hostile but cordial.
Unfortunately, many Americans don't seem to see it that way. After
applauding the President's aggressive "accomplishments" in Grenada,
they criticized his homecoming from Japan. They wanted better trade,
more cooperation in arms production. Whatever happened to the virtues
of peace and friendship?
By BILL RIEDY
There's a poster on a building
in Raleigh with a picture of a
standing behind bars with a cap
tion that,reads: "There are some
right-wing radicals out there try
ing to make you a criminal."
There used to be a billboard
just this side of Winston-Salem on
1-40 that had a picture of a fetus
on it that read: "Kill her after it's
born, it's murder. Kill her now,
The first poster was sponsored by Planned Parent
hood, and the billboard was placed there by the Right to
Life Committee. They represent two sides of an argu
ment that has been hotly debated for at least 10 years
following the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v.
Wade, which legalized abortion.
In a forum Tuesday night, Donna Turner, state chair
man of Women Exploited by Abortion, discussed her
own traumatic experiences with abortion. As part of
Human Rights Week, Turner brought the perspective of
a woman who has joined the pro-life movement follow
ing three abortions.
"I used to really believe in free choice," Turner said.
"When I lived out West, I used to wear on my lapel a lit
tle coat hanger. That coat hanger represented my pro
abortion conviction. It stood for all the women who had
ever been denied the opportunity of free choice."
Turner's first pregnancy came 13 years ago in Spain
when she was a teen-ager in the Navy. She was unwed at
the time, and the Navy wanted her to have an abortion.
They wanted her to have an abortion so badly that they
offered her a week in Germany a paid vacation. All
she had to do was sign on the dotted line, hop on the
next flight to Germany, spend one day in the hospital to
take care of her "little problem" and relax during a
week-long stay in Germany all at no cost to her.
She refused. But it wasn't easy. She was in a very
Catholic country, and unwed mothers were almost
unheard of. The persecution she had to go through as a
woman pregnant and unmarried was something Turner
said "girls here don't have to go through." She was spit
on in the streets and refused taxi service. "I had to walk
to the hospital in hard labor and delivered just minutes
after I got there," Turner said.
After the military, Turner returned home with her
daughter and got pregnant again. Going to Bible college
at the time, Turner was almost forced into an abortion
by her parents. It was a sin to get pregnant, but not to
have an abortion. "Just repent for the sin, have an abor
tion, and it's all over" was her parents' attitude, Turner
Then Turner got pregnant a third time. By this time
she said her life was a mess. She didn't know what she
was doing or what was happening to her; she didn't
even know or remember the names of lovers she'd had.
So a girlfriend helped her out with her "little problem."
Her little problem was that her jeans were fitting too
tightly. So to take care of it her friend made an appoint
ment for her and told her to take the day off from work.
"So I took the day off, had an abortion in the morning,
went for pizza in the afternoon. We made a full day of
It wasn't as if Turner were just taking chances with
sex. When her first pregnancy occurred, she was on the
pill. "I took it religiously," she said. "None of this
'Oops, I went on a camping trip and forgot.' So I decid
ed to be extra careful and started using a diaphragm with
the pill." But it didn't work she got pregnant again.
When she got pregnant a third time she was on the pill,
using a diaphragm and foam. "All spontaneity went out
the window, but I was being safe," she said. Her fourth
pregnancy also came while she was on the pill.
Every time she went in for an abortion it was the same
thing. "There would be a nurse there patting my hand
saying, 'You've got a right to do it.' But the worst part is
the woman doesn't even have the right to know" her full
medical condition. That stance has been upheld in
numerous federal court decisions, Turner said. When
she went in for her second abortion, the one arranged by
a friend, they never told her she was pregnant.
"The doctor said to me, 'A group of cells have lodged
themselves in your uterus, and we're going to have them
expelled.' No one told me I was pregnant or was going to
have a baby. They were just going to expel some cells
and take care of my problem."
When her fourth pregnancy came, Turner ignored it,
pretending that it didn't exist, hoping it would go away.
Finally a friend made another appointment for her to
take care of her "little problem." By the time she went
in for her abortion she was entering her seventh month.
For the sake of expediency, Turner said, the doctor gave
her a second-trimester, instead of a third-trimester,
After the injection was finished, she was told to go
home and come back the next day. "For 6I2 hours that
night I felt such a violent thrashing and kicking fight that
I wept." Waking up the next morning, Turner was
During Human Rights Week, The Daily
Tar Heel will be running daily columns by
the editorial staff highlighting several of
the speeches and programs offered to
students and faculty. Today's column
centers on the controversy over the issue
Friday: Cities and the Poor
already in hard labor that lasted for 12 hours. On the
way to the hospital she delivered her son. "I delivered
him myself in the back seat of the car. He was an almost
perfect baby except for the bruises, the oozing
chemical wounds and the burned-out eye sockets. I had
committed a premeditated murder. I lost my mind,
holding my son, rocking him, telling him how sorry I
And in losing her mind,. Turner lost everything. She
lost her job, her husband, her daughter, herself. "I
wasn't even allowed time to grieve," she said. "I was ex
pected back at work the next day. If someone had had a
miscarriage or a stillbirth, she would certainly receive
sympathy and be expected to take time off from work."
But anyone who has an abortion isn't supposed to
mourn for any kind of loss.
Two-and-a-half years ago Turner said she finally got
her life together with God's help. During a trial to regain
custody of her daughter, she told the courts of the prob
lems of abortion. The only reaction she got was, "So
When she decided to try and get a support group to
gether to stop infanticide, she didn't even know of the
pro-life and right-to-life movements. "I thought I was
the only one in the nation who felt this way," she said.
For a rookie such as herself, Turner said the fight against
the exploitation of women by abortion has been at times
exhilarating. Since her involvement with WEBA she has
met people who have been involved with the pro-life
movement for more than 50 years. And she has worked
with women suffering from abortions they had had 60
years ago, illegally.
Abortion exploits women physically, financially and
sexually, Turner said. "Abortion is the grossest form of
exploitation we've got."
Bill Riedy, a junior English and political science major
from Raleigh, is an editorial assistant for The Daily Tar
'We Shall Overcome'
The songs and ideals of Pete Seeger
By GIGI SONNER
When civil rights protestors marched
in Washington, D.C., in 1963, the nation
witnessed a quarter of a million people
linking arms and singing "We Shxll
Overcome." This song was part of the
march last August also, and in the crowd
was Pete Seeger, a man who has been
singing for jobs, peace and freedom for
over 40 years. He and Arlo Guthrie will
bring their music to Memorial Hall
"We Shall Overcome," like most folk
songs, is rhythmic, repetitive and has a
deceptive simplicity. An early version
probably sung by slaves said "I will
overcome." In 1946, a group of black
union members sang it on a picket line
but with one important change: The "I"
In 1947, someone taught the song to
Seeger. He added a few verses and in
troduced the new version to people in
different parts of the country. It took on
a life on its own, showing up at civil
rights demonstrations across the country.
It was sung during the bus boycott in
Montgomery, Ala., in 1956. It was sung
during the Selma, Ala., march of 1965.
Today people sing it at church services,
sing-a-longs and family reunions. ,
The process this song has gone
through is the process that defines folk
music. As people from different times
and different places in different situa
tions sing a song, it changes and becomes
more topical. Throughout the process,
the song entertains and gives hope.
The only thing atypical about "We
Shall Overcome" as a folk song is the
wide audience it has received; few other
folk songs are so widely known. Seeger
has taught it to millions of people in over
25 countries. This song has not only
seen, it has taken part in, a lot of history.
And so has Seeger.
Seeger, who has been a professional
folksinger since the late '30s, has called
himself a "joiner," someone who bor
rows different elements from many dif
ferent songs to make a new one. He is
also a joiner of causes and organizations.
In the '30s, he sang for unions and
peace. During World War II, he sang
against Hitler. In the '50s and '60s, he
sang for civil rights. In the '70s, he sang
for a clean environment.
to answer, pleading the First Amend
ment rather than the Fifth. If he had
used the Fifth Amendment, he would
have been saying that he didn't have to
testify against himself. But by using the
First, he said that the committee had no
right to ask any American these kinds of
questions, that his associations and be
liefs were personal and not subject to
anyone's approval. He was cited for con
tempt of Congress and tried in 1961. He
was found guilty of refusing to answer 10
of HUACs questions, and was sentenced
to a year in prison. After seven years of
The past 20 years have seen a major change in attitudes, a
change that has been in part brought about by people like
Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie.
He has seen enough hatred and ig
norance to embitter a weaker man. In
1968 he and his family, along with about
1 ,000 others, were attacked as they left a
Paul Robeson concert in Peekskill, N.Y.
Robeson, a black singer and actor, was
hated for his outspoken opposition to
race discrimination. The assailants threw
rocks and stones at the cars as they left
and beat with clubs all who resisted. As
the rocks crashed through the car win
dows, the shattered glass cut the men,
women and children who had attended
the concert. The assailants yelled, "Go
back to Russia! Kikes! Nigger-lovers!"
He's been subjected to red-baiting and
blacklisting, which has kept him off
radio and television. In 1955, he was sub
poenaed by the House Un-American Ac
tivities Committee and asked about his
communist associations. Seeger refused
seeing his name in the headlines, he was
finally acquitted when the U.S. Court of
Appeals reversed the decision in 1962.
In his book, The Incompleat Folk
singer, Seeger articulated perhaps the
best statement of his beliefs:
"It's too easy and too untrue to call
anyone these days some kind of an
'ist' ... I can only say that whatever I
believe in can be easily deduced from my
songs. Darn near a thousand different
ones during the last 25 years or more. My
songs can't help but reflect my feelings
about people, the world, peace,
freedom, etc. I'm about as much a Com
munist as my songs are. I'm about as
anti-Communist as my songs are. I am as
right as my songs are. And as wrong."
Most people in college today grew up
during the 20 years between the 1963
march on Washington and the one last
August. This generation was raised on
songs like "We Shall Overcome." For
the most part, it takes for granted that
civil rights belong to people of all races,
although we still have a long way to go
before ideals become reality. The past 20
years have seen a major change in at
titudes, a change that has been in part
brought about by people like Pete Seeger
and Arlo Guthrie.
As part of his HUAC testimony,
"I am proud that I never refuse to sing
to an audience, no matter what religion
or color of their skin, or situation of
life. . .and I am proud of the fact that
my songs seem to cut across and find
perhaps a unifying thing, basic humani
ty." There is no arguing that Seeger is
idealistic. Critics have charged that, like
his music, his philosophies are naive and
simple-minded. But when the practical
and sophisticated among us get bogged
down in the complicated details of
nuclear deployment plans and industrial
regulations and supply-side economics
and first strike capabilities and budget
cuts and Middle East peacekeeping
logistics and methods of educational
reform, an idealist like Pete Seeger
comes along like a breath of fresh air.
Not only idealistic, but committed to his
convictions, Seeger can make the issues
simple again, can make us recognize our
basic human responsibilities. He forces
us to question the humanity of our ac
tions. And through both his message and
his medium, he gives us hope that one
day, we will overcome.
Gigi Sonner, a junior English major
from Norfolk, Va is an editorial assis
tant for The Daily Tar Heel.
Fast for hunger responsibility
By MARSHALL MILLS
For now I ask no more
than the justice of eating.
Pablo Neruda, from
The Great Tablecloth
Food is man's most basic need, the sustenance of
life. To live a life only partially sustained is to be less
than fully alive. Hunger saps one of physical and
mental energy, creating a dull, weary existence of
nagging desire. At least one-sixth of the earth's in
habitants are seriously malnourished. Although
enough food is produced in the world to feed
everyone, the world system fails to provide adequate
nourishment to almost a billion people. This same
world system manages to spend $800 billion a year
on defense programs, while contributing a relative
pittance to meet the basic needs of the defenseless.
To the average American, world hunger calls to
mind pictures of starving babies and doleful pleas
for donations. But it is much more than that. We
who live at the top of the system often fail to notice
those below us. For it is always the weak and
powerless the babies and the poor who starve.
This disparity is suitably illustrated by the allocation
of the world's cereal production. Almost half of this
grain is used to produce meat for consumption
primarily in the developed world, while the other
half is stretched to feed three-quarters of the world's
population in the developing countries. The crux of
the problem lies in the predicament of those
societies unable to feed their members, for whom
world hunger is hot a mental abstraction or
"worthy cause," but a physical fact of life.
These societies are undergoing massive social
change. The rapid introduction of modern health
and sanitation methods has greatly increased life ex
pectancy and decreased infant mortality. Mean
while, the birth rate has remained the same because
traditional social arrangements have continued. The
obvious result is a boom in population growth.
More than 40 percent of the populations of Africa,
Latin America and Asia is less than 15 years old.
Consequently, the growth in population in many of
these societies has outpaced the growth in the food
supply, despite advances in agriculture.
Integration into an advanced world economy
exacerbates the effect of this change. Arable land is
frequently used for cash crops. Intended to ac
cumulate capital for development, cash-crop
agriculture has placed developing nations at a disad
vantage, with the industrial goods and replacement
food from developed countries costing more than
the income from cash crops. Furthermore, cash
crops displace subsistence farmers and concentrate
income and land ownership.
Developing countries must also compete with
rich, industrial countries for raw materials, increas
ing their costs. The clamor for the expensive
weaponry of more advanced countries, encouraged
by superpower conflict, further depletes crucial
capital and increases poverty. The net effect is a
diversion of resources from food production to
technological production, creating masses of
unemployed and unproductive people.
In light of its causes, world hunger is hardly the
sole responsibility of the hungry or their societies.
As Americans, dedicated to fairness and equality,
we should examine our position with respect to
world hunger. We must acknowledge that there is
hunger in the world. The problem exists. Developed
societies such as ours had a role in the creation of
the problem, because of the introduction of modern
health methods, the creation of an advanced world
economy and the participation in an unending arms
race. And we are in a position to do something
about world hunger.
America is a land of plenty. This plenty leads to
staggering waste. With only 6 percent of the world's
population, this country consumes 40 percent of the
world's annual energy production. We waste 20 per
cent of all the food we buy. To make matters worse,
members of industrialized societies have a great
predilection for meat. Meat production, however, is
a grossly inefficient method of obtaining nourish
ment from the land; eighi pounds of grain is needed
to produce one pound of beef. People in developing
countries try to live on a fifth of the food that peo
ple in developed nations consume. This overcon
sumption on our part encourages heart disease and
obesity. Ironically, we in the developed world usual
ly experience hunger when counteracting the effects
Clearly, there is a surplus here in America, one
that has been estimated to be capable of eliminating
world hunger. Of course, the solution is not so sim
ple as giving the hungry our surplus. As
demonstrated, world hunger is part of a complex
world system affected by social and political forces
and afflicted with many ills.
Yet Americans should keep this surplus in mind
when considering world hunger. The problem is not
that there is not enough food but that the world
system does not distribute this food equitably
enough to meet everyone's needs. What is needed is
an improvement in the system. And as Americans
enjoying the fruits of this system to an unfair extent,
we should work hard for that improvement.
What can we do? The basis for any improvement
is understanding the problem. After educating
ourselves, we must decide whai effective changes
would help. Programs to increase American
awareness of the problem, aid to developing
societies to feed themselves, and stopgap measures
to alleviate widespread starvation should be con
sidered. The problems of a system of which we are a
part must be recognized and addressed.
As the richest, most educated individuals in this
system we should begin the process of improve
ment. Organizations have been founded for this
purpose. Oxfam America, a private, non-sectarian
aid agency, has a proud history of effective fund
raising and self-help programs. They offer the. tools
and training to achieve agricultural self-sufficiency
to those nations who need them. Oxfam's most
famous stateside activity is its annual Fast for a
World Harvest, which raises money for projects in
some 30 nations and raises consciousness in our own
country. Individuals fast for a meal or a day to ex
perience the effects of hunger firsthand and con
tribute the money not spent on food to the relief
programs. The Committee for Hunger Responsibili
ty of the Campus Y shares Oxfam's objectives and
is organizing the fast on campus for today. Those
who want to help can fast, make a donation and at
tend the Break Fast meal, where fellow participants
will share their thoughts. Sign-up tables are in the
Pit and the Pine Room.
While you were reading this, at least 50 more peo
ple died of starvation. Wouldn't you like to prevent
Marshall Mills is a sophomore international rela
tions major from Charlotte.