tie unsafe and uncomfortable labor conditions.rnThe cartels could incorporaternand work as a multinational with Mexicornand Italy. And the national airline Aviancarncould send cocaine worldwide with itsrnnew rapid airmail service. Best of all,rnpresidential candidates would no longerrnneed to hide campaign contributions, asrnis done in the United States.rnNo, Colombians live too close to thernreality of drugs to take that bait. Theyrnmay have been silenced, but not willingly.rnThey may have been victims of extortion,rnbut they will not be conned.rnJeffrey Roberto Villaveces is a senior atrnthe University of Dayton.rnLetter FromrnMichiganrnby John AttarianrnBe Sensitive—or Else!rnHorror stories about punishments forrninsensitive behavior on college campusesrnare old news. But leftist hypersensitivityrnhas permeated everyday life in the realrnworld as well. In Manassas, Virginia, arnwhite woman called 911 at 3:08 A.M. tornreport that some black men—whom shernreferred to as “niggers”—were trying tornbreak into her house. According to thernDetroit News, the 911 dispatcher, also arnwhite woman, sent police but went on tornlecture the besieged woman: “The nextrntime I would appreciate it if you wouldrnnot call black gentlemen ‘niggers,’ OK?rnThat offends me, and I don’t like to hearrnit.” She a.sked the distraught caller howrnshe would like to be called “white trash.”rnAs this case illustrates, the sensitivityrnpolice are everywhere. They are especiallyrnprevalent here in Michigan, wherernthe sensitive are using intimidation andrntyranny to flog the insensitive into line.rnFor example, in May 1996, 57-year-oldrncity councilwoman Gloria Sankuer ofrnWarren (Michigan’s third largest city)rncomplained that the City Council’s letterhead,rnreferring to her as “councilman,”rnwas offensive. “This mistakernmakes Warren look sexist and backward,”rnshe said. “It needs to be fixed. It’srna matter of what’s proper.” Warren had arnfour-year supply of this offending stationery.rnThe council unanimously decidedrnto expend it by sending all Warrenrncity volunteers and unpaid board andrncommittee members letters of thanks,rncosting over $400. All to placate onerntouchy feminist in a suit.rnAs Sankuer’s case illustrates, the sensitivityrnmania opens up vast opportunitiesrnfor busybodies. Ann Arborite Mark Hiselman,rnhearing of Sankuer’s complaints,rn”drove 60 miles to be at the councilrnmeeting so he could offer an alternativernvoice.” He tiled unavailingly to get therncouncil to adopt the gender-iree “councilor”rnover “councilman,” “councilwoman,”rnand “council member.”rnAt one time, this officious stranger,rnwho does not even live in Warren, wouldrnhave been deemed a public menace —rnwhich he is. By today’s standards, Hiselmanrnis in the avant-garde of righteousness.rnBut if anybody’s business isrneverybody’s business, nobody is safe fromrnmolestation.rnAnd then there is the Steenbergh case.rnOn the night of September 11, 1996,rnWarren’s Mayor Mark Steenbergh confrontedrnJohn Harris, a 16-year-old blackrnmale, near Harris’s home. Earlier thatrnday, Harris allegedly punched a 15-yearoldrngirl, Wendy Smith, a fi-iend of Steenbergh’srndaughter, in the face. MayorrnSteenbergh decided to stick up for herrnand sought Harris out. He allegedlyrnchoked Harris, shoved him, and shoutedrn”I’ll get all you niggers” as he left thernscene.rnWithin a week FBI agents were interviewingrnHarris’s family. In November,rnSteenbergh’s lawyer said, Michigan staternpolice made a surprise after-hours raid,rnwithout a search warrant, on WarrenrnCity Hall looking for new evidencernagainst Steenbergh. They found nothing.rnApparently the sensitivity policernwanted to get Mark Steenbergh badlyrnenough to drag in the FBI and tramplernhis constitutional rights with unreasonablernsearches and seizures.rnMayor Steenbergh was eventuallyrncharged with assault and ethnic intimidation.rnThe maximum punishment forrnassault—a misdemeanor in Michigan —rnis a jail sentence of 90 days and a fine ofrn$500. Ethnic intimidation, on the otherrnhand, is a felony; those found guilty canrnbe jailed for up to four years. UnderrnMichigan’s 1990 ethnic intimidationrnlaw, using a racial slur during a fight isrnnot ethnic intimidation —but a fight orrnthreat motivated by racial animosity is.rnThe whole thing turns, then, on the motivesrnof the miscreant—in other words,rnwhether or not he is a racist.rnAfter deliberating for one and a halfrnhours, an all-white jury acquitted Steenberghrnof all charges. Said jury foremanrnJohn Boyd, “It was the general feelingrnthat some of the stories of the witnessesrnwho supposedly were right there didn’trnmake sense. Basically, it was the lackrnof credible evidence to support therncharges.”rnApparentiy, however, a lack of crediblernevidence is not enough to deter thernFBI. Even though Steenbergh has beenrnacquitted of state charges, as we go tornpress the FBI has not closed its casernagainst him, leaving open the possibilityrnthat he may be prosecuted /or violatingrnHarris’s civil rights, a federal offense.rnA more grotesque case is that ofrnWayne County Circuit Judge AndrearnFerrara. In February 1997, Ferrara’s exhusband,rnHoward Tar j eft, released to thernmedia tapes of telephone conversationsrnin which a woman, supposedly JudgernFerrara, used slurs such as “nigger” andrn”Jew whore.” The Detroit NAACPrnwrote to Wayne County Circuit JudgernJames Rashid, asking him to order Ferrararnto resign from the bench. ThernMichigan Judicial Tenure Commissionrnbegan investigating Ferrara. Meanwhile,rnher friends and supporters, includingrnAfrican-Americans and Jews, ralliedrnto her defense. Ferrara claimed thatrnshe never made the remarks, that therntapes are fakes, and that Tarjeft is out tornembarrass her.rnTarjeft and Ferrara divorced bitterlyrnin 1985. Tarjeft claims he made therntapes to “protect himself during their viciousrncustody battle with Ferrara overrntheir 14-year-old twin sons. He says hernreleased them because he felt guiltyrnabout helping a racist get elected to thernbench. Sure he did. Tarjeft released therntapes just days before he and Ferrararnwere scheduled to appear for a hearingrnover $12,000 that Ferrara claimed hernowed her for back child support for theirrnsons.rnAsked by Judge Rashid to step downrntemporarily while the allegations ofrnracism are being investigated, Ferrararnannounced in March that she was takingrna three-month medical leave, until Junern2. The Michigan Supreme Court suspendedrnher with pay on May 6. On Junern11, it appointed Vesta Svenson, formerrn36/CHRONICLESrnrnrn