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March 19, 1982 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1982-03-19

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Page 4

Friday, March 19, 1982

The Michigan Daiiy

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan


Vol. XCII, No. 132

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109


Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Fun with the von Bulows

() NE OF THE most popular shows
around ended Tuesday to the
dismay of thousands of devoted fans.
In the final episode, the jury decided
that the husband, not the butler; did it.
The show was not another television
miniseries-although it was certainly
treated as such by the media and the
public. It was the real-life saga of
Claus von Bulow, on trial for trying to
murder his wealthy wife with insulin
Von Bulow's guilty verdict, announ-
ced on Tuesday, ended a long-running
show. The trial, in fact, aired enough
dirty laundry to keep its audience
titallated for nearly three months-if
you count the pre-trial festivities.
Newspapers and television did their
best to keep the show running. Day af-
ter day they offered the seamier aspec-
ts of the trial-greed, lust, and sex-
full and lengthy coverage. And since
the trial itself was filmed, it provided
some lively nighttime viewing. The
home audience actually was able to
hear the von Bulow maid tearfully
testify, watch Claus von Bulow's
mistress take the stand, and see the
crucial evidence of the insulin needles
found in Claus's closet. If you missed
one episode, it was often hard to keep
And the trial was not only enter-
taining, but also educational. While we
learned about the private lives of the
von Bulows, we were able to learn
many things about the darker sides of
our own nature.'
The trial showed how easy it is to
provoke the worst aspects of
voyeurism in both the media and the
public. That we were willing to pay at-
tention to, and even revel in, the von
Bulow 's intimate troubles helped us



Claus von Bulow

learn a bit about how low our collective
intelligence can sink.
But these lessonsare not so new. A
good show, such as trial, a murder, or
even an execution, has always been
able to draw a large crowd.
Entertainment of the sort the von
Bulow trial provides will continue in-
definitely. The rich and famous
provide us with the best fodder, but
almost anyone's life will suffice if
scrutizined closely enough. Personal
details never hold up that well in the
public eye.
Those who bemoan the loss of the
Claus von Bulow show need not mourn
for long. The media and the public are
sure to pick up soon on another story
that we will, to our discredit, turn into
a sensationalized show.

Local Nazis cannot be

ign ored

i ,+

To the Daily:
Self-proclaimed Hitler-lovers
and white supremacists, the
fascist "Special Services Action
Group," has announced that it in-
tends to flaunt its genocidal
'message' at the Ann Arbor City
Hall on March 20. The Univ-
sity and Ann Arbor communities
are thus confronted with a
challenge: Will the Hitler-lovers
be stopped by a massive

mobilization of students, trade
unionists, Jews, blacks, Arabs,
homosexuals, socialists and all
the rest of us on the fascists' hit
list for extermination? Or will the
Michigan stormtroopers march
again and again with greater
numbers and ever-escalating
terror against the bulk of the
town populace?
We say that the only answer
can be to stop the Nazis.To ensure

Individuals fighting Nazis

Fun with guns

AYBE THOSE folks in Kennesaw,
Georgia, have finally found a
solution to the crime problem.
These Russian-fearing people have
taken a cue from the courageous
Reagan administration and started an
arms build-up of their own. Tired of
watching a bunch of leftist, subversive
types run rampant and try, God forbid,
to make possession of handguns
illegal, the Kennesaw City Council
passed an ordinance this week forcing
each household to own at least one
gun-with ammunition.
This revolutionary crime-prevention
tactic is an idea whose time has finally
arrived for Kennesaw. Sure, a few
sacrifices may have to be made. But
what's the loss of a neighbor or two
who is accidently killed during a
drunken quarrel by a gun bought to
comply with the law? Anything in the
name of liberty and the right to fire
And those yellow-bellied cowards
who currently exercise their con-

stitutional right of freedom from gun
ownership will be forced to become
real Americans and buy a gun. They
will still have the option, of course, of
hiding the weapon so that a curious
youngster won't find it and try to find
out how the fun little toy works.
Yes sir, those folks are smart enough,
to recognize that such dangers are
negligible, and that no criminal would
have the audacity to steal a gun and
use it on them, or anyone else.
The urgent need for guns in Ken-
nesaw has never been more apparent.
Although the 7,000 residents of this
Atlanta suburb saw the overall crime
rate increase by 16 percent last year,
the most distressing statistic was a 400
percent increase in armed rob-
beries-which soared from one in-
cident to four. These are alarming
statistics, indeed.
Perhaps the pioneers in Kennesaw
are trying to create a new adage:
People don't own guns, guns own

To the Daily:
I write this letter as an in-
dividual, not as a member of any
of the political organizations on
campus or the numerous ad hoc
groups which have sprung up to
deal with the fact that Nazis are
holding a get-together ,in this
It is apparent that the Nazi
presence affects everyone and
that there is a need to react.
There will be two rallies coun-
tering the Nazis on Saturday,
March 20. One will take place at
City Hall, the site of the Nazi
demonstration, roughly one hour
before the Nazis are scheduled to
appear. The other will form
several blocks away at the
Federal Building.
There is a modern consensus to
be very wary of emotion and in-
stinct. It's good that instinct
doesn't control us, that rational
thought dictates our action.
However, such emotion should
not always be ignored. Several
religious groups in town feel that
to let the instincts of self-defense
and survival be acted upon is
wrong. They know that their
members need to react to the
Nazis so they've engineered a
catharic vehicle to keep them
away from City Hall. They call
themselves a "group for the af-
firmation of human dignity and
freedom" and they are imposing
an injustice upon themselves
through narrow thinking. In a
newsletter, they call for a rally to
"remind, not to confront." To
remind people of what? That a
Holocaust occurred? Whoever
isn't aware of that now doesn't
want to be. To remind people of
the modern threat? The very
presence of neo-Nazis accom-
plishes such notification.

A passive demonstration two
blocks away will not get the
media coverage necessary to
sway public opinion, against the
Nazis (it already is swayed
against the Nazis). More impor-
tantly, this invisible, intangible
display of public opinion won't
stop Nazis from marching where
they're unwelcome. But the disp-
lay of anti-bigotry philosophy in
an act of confrontation to the
threat itselfhasstopped Nazis
from marching before. It can on
Howard Witt 'expressed a valid
concern for safety in "Where will
you be this Saturday?" (Daily,
March 16). Although most atten-
ding the City Hall rally have no
intention of provoking or
becoming involved with violence
in any way, it is a possibility. To
avoid the risk now, however,
means a great probability of
violence at a later date, when we
are not forewarned.
The bottom line is that freedom
doesn't come for free. It isn't paid
for in full with taxes. It must be
earned, perhaps even fought for.
While all of us cherish human
dignity and freedom, those
people confronting the Nazis at
City Hall will be exercising that
freedom and working to keep it.
Not everyone confronting the
Nazis at City Hall likes one
another. There will be political
radicals and conservatives.
There will be gays and people
who feel uncomfortable with
gays. There will be people who
don't particularly like Jews,
blacks, or other minorities. But
they've all come to recognize the
need to confront the threat to in-
dividuals. Individuals like you
and me. -Jonathan Jaffe
March 17

that the broadest possible anti-
facist mobilization greets this
goose-stepping provocation at
City Hall, the Committee to Stop
the Nazis has been initiated by
the Spartacus Youth League. This
call to action has the endor-
sement of a large number of
groups and individuals represen-
ting labor, student, and minority
organizations opposed to the "SS
Action= Group" march. A partial
sampling of endorsers include:
Willia Jenkins, recording
secretary of the Laborers Inter-
national union, Local 334; Joseph
King, president of AFSCME
Local 23; Doug Packer, vice
president SEIU Local 31M; Roy
Greer, business manager,
Laborers International Union
Local 959; UAW Local 1776; the
Arab-American Community Ad-
visory Council; Arab Community
Center for Economic and Social
Services; Richard Garland, for-
mer black advocate and
representative; AbdeenJabara,
attorney; Mosher-Jordan
Minority Council; and well-
known civil rights activist Robert
Much of the Daily's reportage
of the threatened nazi march has
had the general tenor of Howard
Witt's article "Let's Ignore the
Neo-Nazis" (Daily, March 2).
Witt argues that the intended vic-
tims of these criminal terrorists
should blind themselves to the
real threat presented by the Nazi
march. He writes off the march
as nothing more than "hollow
taunts of some half-baked neo-
Nazis." There was nothing
"hollow" about the bombing of
school buses in Pontiac for which
Michigan Klansman Robert
Miles spent several years in
prison; Miles has close ties with
the "SS" swine. Black victims of
escalating Klan terror in the
region like George Stewart--who
was the target of attempted mur-
der by the KKK because he
frequented an integrated bar in
Detroit-would also take issue
with Witt's blithe dismissal of the
race-terrorists as "half-baked."
In January this same "SS" group
stages a "Death to [Communist
Party chairman] Gus Hall" rally
outside a meeting of party mem-
bers and workers. Such antics
are the prelude to the real thing

and these armed thugs in semi-
political garn will seize the first
opporunity to put their "death"
slogan into action.
Greensboro was not so long
ago. The five slain anti-fascist
demonstrators were not the
product of media hype but rather
the victims of cold-blooded
Klan/Nazi murder. Greensboro
was 1a fascist vistory. No more
The "SS" scum don't call them-
selves an action group for
nothing-we must stop them
Throughout southern
Michigan, plant closures and
layoffs have meant bitter poverty
for workers, black and white. It is
in just such conditions of
economic crisis-when even the
once omniscient General Motors
has become a vulnerable part of
the capitalist economy-that the
race terrorists see the oppor-
tunity to breed. To defeat them
here in Ann Arbor can powerfully
contribute to inhibiting the
growth of fascist activity in the
whole area.
Witt and the "Committee on the
Affirmation of Human Dignity,
and Freedom," which has the
mayor's support and plans to
rally on March 20 at the Federal
Building (i.e., nowhere near the
Nazi march), claim to abhor
everything the "SS" gang ad-
vocates. But the liberal commit-
tee and Witt oppose. taking the
necessary measures to defend
ourselves against the violence
and ultimate genocide for which
the group is organizing. Such
shameless passivity is a recipe
for bloody disaster. ;
Ignore them? They don't ignore
us. Witt writes, "We have it in our
power to determine whether the
neo-Nazis get a 20-inch story on
Page 1 or three inches on Page
10." That's hardly the point. First
the fascists must be stopped, then
follows a well-deserved end to
their publicity and, more impor-
tantly, a severe decline in their
recruitment. We have the power
to send a message of victory over
race-hate garbage everywhere:
on every front page in the coun-
try, the headline "Nazis Stopped
in Ann Arbor.
-Martin Greenberg
Spartacus Youth Leagie
March 15


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