Monday, December 05, 2005

Daily Boycott? Jury of your peers? Nope!

ANOTHER DAILY BOYCOTT??? Not likely. But that's not what the Daily's article title would lead you to believe, "NAACP considers boycotting." The article then goes on to state,
"Fair [2nd Vice President] would not comment on whether the group is considering a boycott or what other actions NAACP will take against the Daily."

Now that's funny, so I may not have my PhD yet, but I can read decently well. The reason this is so interesting to me is that if Fair gave the reporter no indication of action then the title could have been "NAACP considers joining Daily staff in response to cartoon" or how about "NAACP has concerns about Daily's treatment of minorities" or "NAACP plans to host carnival on diag." Anyone of these titles is possible but instead boycott is used.

Why does this matter, you ask? And you should. Because the past Daily Boycott left a bitter taste in a lot of people's mouths. The boycott was poorly planned and executed, but I think it did have some positive results (if you want more commentary on what the boycotts did in my eyes, I'll post it later). Since its planning and execution failed a couple of years ago, people are apprehensive to endorse another boycott. So how do you address concerns of a group critiquing you while delegitmizing their claim? Give them a headline with a strong amount of stigma attached. So throughout the day, numerous students will glance the cover of the Daily as they usually do and think, "Oh no, another boycott, I'm against that" and continue on with their day. Consider me a conspiracy theorist or a political strategist, but do send congrats to the Daily, even Sun-tzu would be proud.

I've also recently been visiting the Daily editor's Blog. Jason has been posting about the Daily's plan of redress, another smart move. But he recently decided to change the dates on which his response to the controversy would come. I hope he doesn't already have his response ready, that would mean he wasn't considering everyone's voices. On his blog he also mentions the Multicultural Commission, I ask him a bunch of questions about it in the comments section of his post and get some answers . We will see if the commission has any leverage to create change at the Daily (more on that later).

I'm saying all this so that readers realize that strategy is important in any disagreement. Diplomacy wins many battles. Even Michelle Bien the author of the original comic has joined the "can't we all just get along" parade. But change is a slow process. As NAACP and other bodies respond to the concerns of the Daily, I wonder how it will be portrayed. Most people get there image of a thing through second and third hand information, not primary participation. This information forms opinions and determines next moves.

And while we were all sleeping, the Michigan Supreme court recently issued an important decision on jury pools. The MSC suggests that jury selection should not consider race, sex, religion or nationality. The idea, again, is one of colorblindness, though the problem is that many groups are under-represented when a "jury of peers" is composed. What do you think of the ruling?


Anonymous said...

Dumi, you don't know how mad I was when I woke up and I saw that mess. takes someone to get burned to realize the DAILY is only out for thereselves. I can't understand why they would put something Like that.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I would appreciate some stuff about the last boycott. I was an ingorant freshman and all my perspective on it comes from goodspeedupdate.

Dance_Soul said...

We all know that boycotting the daily does nothing. Now - boycotting the the businesses that advertise the daily might get us somewhere. You are sure right about that last boycott making folks a little angry. The intentions were good but the actual boycott did little to change the publishing policies of the paper. I dislike the daily - always have and always will - until we get fair representation. That was my piece. BTW Dumi 0 know any good econ teachers on campus?

Dumi said...

I will try to write that up soon and post it David. FYI the last boycott did include contacting and attempting to boycott the people who advertised in the daily. But honestly I'm not sure that was coordinated too well and I'm pretty sure many people dismissed the daily boycott apriori without reading what was supposed to be happening. You know, people thinking they're really smart so they don't have to get informed. Dance, drop me an email and I'll answer your q. I need to find your email address.

Infinite Skillz said...

something tells me i would NOT enjoy furthering my education at Michigan. Harding was bad enough but at least they had the fact that they didn't know any better going for them.

Anonymous said...

David, what's the matter with the goodspeedupdate? ;-) Here's my spartan page from 02 with the demands and a couple links. I hope Dumi and others chip in to fill out the story. While I am sympathetic to their claims I wasn't an advocate for the boycott.

Dance_Soul said...

HAHA Dumi - Have you been back to Jason's blog? Interesting comments.