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August 16, 2012 - Image 57

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-08-16

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Odds And Ends from page 48

Republicans for the right to be his
party's general election nominee in the
39th State House District, one should
focus on his campaign's decision to
brand him simply as "Bubba."
While "Bubba" is
known, recognized
and respected
through his leader-
ship positions at the
Jewish Federation of
Metropolitan Detroit,
the Jewish communi-
ty constitutes a small
percentage of the
39th District's elec-
torate. The dictionary defines "bubba"
as: slang — an undereducated Southern
white male; good old boy; redneck. Not
the best way to make a first impression
on the uninitiated masses. While he
should always be "Bubba" to his
friends, he may get more traction in
future runs for elective office as "Brad."

'We Are One'
Campaign Resurfaces
For many years, the tagline for annual
fundraising undertaken by the Jewish
Federation of Metropolitan Detroit
and most of the North American
Federation system was "We Are One
This was meant to position Federation
annual campaigns as the place to make
a United Way-style gift that would
benefit Jews locally, in Israel and else-
where in the diaspora.
As the model for annual giving
shifted, the "We Are One" tagline and
accompanying jingles and collateral
materials were shelved.
The "We Are One" theme line is now
the backbone of Gary Peters' message
as he seeks to win the newly constituted
Michigan 14th Congressional District in
November. In an animated and spirited
speech to supporters at a Greektown
hotel following his Aug. 7 primary vic-
tory, Peters made "We Are One" his ral-
lying cry for uniting the diverse "major-
ity minority" district that now links
urban Detroit with a squiggly swath of
suburban Oakland
"One! One! One!
One!" he chanted
over and over and
over, with his fist
pumping into the air.
"One! One! One!"
was the response
from his audience.
With news of the
death of singularly
sensational A Chorus Line composer
Marvin Hamlisch, Peters' mantra also
served as an unintended, though fit-
ting, tribute to the music legend. ❑


Where is The Outrage?


ecent events in Aurora, Colo.,
followed by the killing spree in
Oak Creek, Wis., have set me
to thinking about news coverage and
our reactions. The tragedy of the mur-
der of a dozen innocent men, women
and children as well as Sikhs in worship
has rightfully caused an outpouring of
emotion and reaction by Americans. So
much ink and so many hours
of news media coverage for
these events have caused
me to think about my own
reaction and the reaction of
many Americans, arguably
the most emotional people
in the world.
Having been in execu-
tive positions at Holocaust
museums for the past 25
years, I sometimes won-
der about the American
psyche. Where is the out-
cry when a tragedy hap-
pens to others who happen to be far
away from our shores? Where is the
hue and cry when hundreds or even
thousands are murdered, maimed,
raped or subjugated in Africa or Asia?
Where are the gallons of ink and
hundreds of hours of news coverage
when whole villages are wiped from
the face of the Earth in countries

Dry Bones





whose names are impossible to pro-
nounce and most of us would be hard
put to find on a map?
To paraphrase, a dozen murdered
is a tragedy, a thousand is a statistic.
Sad, but true. We can easily conceive
of a family out for a movie and the
enormity of the tragedy that trans-
pired in Aurora and the horrific mas-
sacre in Oak Creek, but cannot
even imagine the horror of
what is transpiring in Syria or
has been going on for decades
in the Sudan.
In reference to teaching
about the Holocaust, espe-
cially in a museum setting, I
have often said that it is easy
to make people cry; it is dif-
ficult to make them think. Now
that a suspect in the Colorado
shooting is in custody, we
spend much time discussing
this young man: Is he insane,
disturbed, evil? What about the appar-
ent racist responsible for the tragedy
in Wisconsin? How much time have we
spent understanding the mind of Pol
Pot or !di Amin Dada? How come we
know so much about the half-dozen
perpetrators of 9-11 and so little about
the 3,000 victims? Where is the hue
and cry for the 65 innocents mas-
sacred in Taftanaz,
Syria, in May? Who
cries for them?
More questions
than answers, cer-
tainly, but ques-
tions that should be
asked. Why do the
citizens of the most
powerful and com-
passionate nation
in history, the most
church-, mosque-,
temple- and syna-
gogue-going country
in the world, seem
to ignore the stories
on the back pages of
the newspapers, the
brief mention on the
six-o'clock news?
Why are these sto-
ries relegated to two
column inches and
15 seconds at the
end of a newscast?
In the time it will
have taken you to
read this article, 12
persons will have
been destroyed as


a result of genocide; every 18 seconds
since the end of World War II and the
Holocaust, a human life is taken. From
1940 to 1945, many Americans and
others throughout the world said, "We
didn't know." We know that isn't really
true, but we can be absolutely sure
that it is not true now with Twitter,
email, blogs and YouTube. We see it as
it is happening, yet we do not act or
even react.
We were outraged when we heard
about Columbine. Where are we when
we hear about the 12 murders that
take place every 12 days in Detroit this
year? We were outraged when we heard
about the shootings at Northern Illinois
University a few years ago. Where were
we when we heard about the killing
fields in Cambodia? We were outraged
when we heard about the beating of the
late Rodney King by Los Angeles police
under the color of authority.
Where were we when we heard about
the murder of millions by Nazis, also
under the color of authority? Where
are we now? ❑

Stephen M. Goldman is executive director

of the Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman

Family Campus in Farmington Hills.


For Israel
And Our Jewish

Evidenced by last month's attack
on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria,
Jewish blood is still viewed as cheap
by terrorists. But U.S. Rep. Mike
Rogers (R-Lansing), chair of the House
Intelligence Committee, publicly blamed
the Lebanese Hezbollah group and its
Iranian backers for the attack, calling
for increased scrutiny of Hezbollah and
support for Israel. Please thank Rep.
Rogers by using the "one-click e-advocacy"
feature on the Jewish Community Relations
Council homepage – www.detroitjcrc.org .

Prepared by Allan Gale, Jewish
Community Relations Council of
Metropolitan Detroit

© August 16, 2012, Jewish Renaissance Media

August 16 • 2012


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