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October 04, 1990 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-10-04

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Page 4 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 4, 1990
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

Editor in Chief

Opinion Editor

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other cartoons,
signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.

Reunification II
European openness exposes long-silent hatred

& D~~AY 9 e
PL~hJD rrIgp4 T391 j
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Prote. ------W r. st-l*e
Protect thle Civil WaBr baRttlefildis


before German reunification, eight men
between 18 and 30 and armed with
steel-tipped rubber truncheons went on
a rampage through the town of Greif-
swald, East Germany yelling "Seig
Heil." This incident represents the dark
underside of the euphoric patriotism
that reunification has evoked, and il-
lustrates the growing xenophobia, with
a strong current of antisemitism, ac-
companying it.
Unfortunately, the incident is not an
isolated one.
In mid-August, a Jewish cemetery
in Stuttgart was vandalized, although
the event received little media attention.
On Sept. 2, before an East German-
West German exhibition soccer match
held in Leipzig to celebrate the future
unification of the East and West soccer
leagues, 200 neo-Nazi supporters of
both clubs joined in a march through
the center of town, chanting fascist
slogans. After a violent confrontation
with the police and many arrests,
weapons were confiscated from the
group, ranging from knives to hand-
German antisemitism and racism are
not new phenomena, but the recent in-
crease in neo-Nazi vandalism indicates
the far right's increased legitimacy. For
neo-Nazi gang violence also has an in-
creasingly powerful electoral corollary.
The Republikaner Party won 7.1 per-
cent of the West German vote in the
last European Parliament elections, and
7.5 percent in the local government
elections in West Berlin.
Their leader at the time, Franz
Schonluber, a former Waffen SS offi-
cer, has openly defended his war role
in his book and has called the Jews the
"fifth occupying power" in Germany.
The Republikaner party openly calls for
the expulsion of the large Turkish
community - which Schonluber calls
"an alien society"-- from Germany.
In addition, Schonluber continues to
advocate that AIDS victims should
have their genitalia tattooed with an
"A." He commented after his party's
electoral successes last year: "For 40
years, Germans have been afraid to say
fully what they think. So when some-
body starts saying what they all think,
it gives people a freedom; young peo-
ple feel free."
- .The problem of antisemitism is cer-
tainly not exclusively a German one.
Jean Marie LePen, head of the "Front
National" in France, a party which
holds 10 of the 81 French seats in the
European Parliament, has remarked
that the Holocaust was a "detail" of
World War II. LePen has been con-
victed for incitement to hatred for

making a joke about gas chambers to a
Jewish official.
LePen's emergence coincides with
increased acts of antisemitism through-
out France, where graffiti, gasoline
bombs thrown at synagogues, and at-
tacks on Jewish cemeteries have be-
come increasingly common.
Although the resurgence of the far
right is real, its infiltration into the po-
litical mainstream is perhaps its most
threatening aspect. In 1979, Margaret
Thatcher spoke of her fear that Great
Britain was being "swamped by a
people of a different culture." This
thinly-veiled racist appeal was followed
with an immigration policy effectively
barring people of color from Britain's
The European Community is
following her lead. In West Germany,
visas are now obligatory for people
from most Third World countries; any
entrance of people of "non-European"
stock is seen as increasingly undesir-
On May 21, the French parliament
passed a law legalizing the
"accelerated" processing of refugees'
dossiers. In reality, this foretold a
shortened application process, granting
refugees callous, superficial treatment
and eventual exclusion.
As these policies make clear, the far
right is not some isolated aberration,
however "extreme" some of the inci-
dents committed in its name. The Eu-
ropean Community, for all its talk of a
"common home" in 1992, is clearly
working to marginalize large portions
of its residents deemed "alien." To the
extent that institutional structure rein-
forces supposedly isolated destruction,
one cannot hope to redress the problem
at hand.
This problem is particularly glaring
in Germany right now, where all talk
of "institutions" and "structures" is
positive and where the mood is gener-
ally celebratory. Germany's new lead-
ers - themselves from the right - are
determinedly looking forward with lit-
tle thought of their country's dark past
and racist present.
This trend is perhaps best under-
scored by the insensitivity evident in
Chancellor Kohl's proposal that Nov.
9 - rightly remembered until now as
Kristellnacht, the night when Hitler's
pogrom against the Jews took on one
of itsdmostavirulent expressions -
should be a national holiday com-
memorating the downing of the Wall.
The Berlin Wall may have fallen,
but the wall used to separate Europe's
alienated people's from Europe's vast
resources remains.

By T ony Siuber
There is a place at the Antietam Na-
tional Battlefield near Sharpsburg, Mary-
land called Bloody Lane. It is a sunken
road with picket fence on the eastern
slope. On September 17, 1862, thousands
of young men in blue charged the road
held by young men in grey and they were
repulsed with devastating results and thus
the name Bloody Lane. I stood on Bloody
Lane this past summer as the Maryland
sky was darkening and the wind began to
howl. Being familiar with the battle, it
was a very eerie feeling, to say the least,
to walk on the same ground where thou-
sands went to their deaths for causes they
believed in.
Reading books results in an academic
and intellectual learning experience, but
actually going to a place of history results
in an emotional learning experience, very
powerful and unforgettable.
This battlefield and others within a
hundred miles of Washington, D.C. are
being threatened by enemies much more
vicious than Lee or Grant. The enemies
are now land speculators and developers
who want to turn these places of history
so important to the fabric of the American
identity into shopping malls and condo-
miniums. They want to deprive future
generations of that invaluable learning ex-
perience which I was lucky enough to get
this summer.
Those fields in Maryland and Virginia,
where a nation split at the seams tore into
each other with a savagery previously un-
known to warfare are a symbol of our
Tony Silber is an LSA senior and a
member of the Daily Opinion Staff.

country. They are all we have left of our
heritage. Books and photographs are im-
portant, but paper burns. Land remains as
the greatest teacher of them all.
Senator Dale Bumpers (D-Ark) is now
composing a bill that would eliminate any
speculation or development on Civil War
battlefields. This proposed legislation is
vital to securing the future of these sights
and it should be supported wholeheartedly.
This entire controversy stems from the at-
tempt occurring right now to develop huge
areas of the Brandy Station battlefield in
southwest Maryland. This field was the
sight of the largest cavalry battle ever on
this continent in 1863 as 20,000 soldiers
on horseback fought to a bloody draw.

in the country. They have become very
popular attractions, especially for families,
but more importantly they have become
centers of historical learning for young and
old, alike. Each battlefield has a visitor
center which contains an abundance of in-
formation on the battle as well as litera-
ture to take home. There are guided tours,
walking and driving, which enable the vis*
itor to appreciate the significance of the
sight all the more.
But as the growing metropolis of
Washington, D.C. continues to creep into
the pristine farming counties of northern
Virginia and southern Maryland, many of
the National Battlefield Parks there like

The enemies are now land speculators and developers who wane
to turn these places of history so important to the fabric of the
American identity into shopping malls and condominiums.

Last year, an attempt to develop large
areas of the Manassas National Battlefield
in Manassas, Virginia was wisely refused,
but money talks loud and this controversy
will continue until sound legislation is
enacted. The battlefields are operated and
maintained by the National Parks Service
division of the Department of the Interior,
but they bring virtually no income to the
government as they are free to the public.
As a result, the cost to keep up these bat-
tlefields around the country is quite high
and to local developers, these parks appear
as wasted real estate that could be con-
verted to income-generating projects.
I visited battlefields in six states this
year as was very surprised to find many
other visitors like myself from every state

Antietam, Manassas, and Brandy Station
will be targets of greedy developers with-
out any sensitivity as to the historical
significance of the places. That is why the
need for the legislation sponsored by
Bumpers is imperative right now while
the fields remain protected.
A visit to some of these battlefields
will convert any skeptical mind as to the
importance of this cause. It is difficult to
describe, but when you stand on Bloody
Lane and there is silence all around, and
you reflect on what happened on that spot,
the feeling comes over you as you realize
that you walk on hallow, almost sacred
ground. No book can give that to you and
the world without another shopping center
seems a very good place indeed. 0

Drunk Driving
Michigan should impose much stiffer sanctions

2:30 a.m. and you have just stumbled
out of the local watering hole, keys in
hand, ready to face the short ride to the
gomfort of home. But as you are driv-
ing, you notice the flash of lights in
your rearview mirror; the sound of the
'radio is muted by the sound of a siren.
The officer notes that you have been
weaving up the road, and asks you to
take a breathalyzer. The test confirms
that you are legally drunk. Upon your
first conviction, your license will be
suspended for at least six months. No
Driving while intoxicated is among
the leading causes of automobile casu-
alties in the United States today. In re-
cent years, many states have set out to
deter would-be drunk drivers by im-
posing stiffer penalties even for first-
time offenders - and Michigan should
join them.
Legislation pending in Lansing is
intended to speed up the process of

mandatory 30-day "hard" suspension
for those convicted of DWI for the first
time. Also, the legislation mandates a
45-day time limit between the incident
and the suspension. This qualifies the
state for $6 million over five years in
federal incentive grants to the Office of
Highway Safety Planning.
While these new penalties are a step
in the right direction, they do not go far
enough. Other states that have imposed
stricter penalties have met with a de-
crease in drunk driving incidents and
related deaths.
New Jersey implemented its new
DWI laws in 1984, requiring a
mandatory six-month to one-year li-
cense suspension for first-time of-
fenders, along with a three-year auto
insurance surcharge of $1,000 per
year. Other states, such as New York
and Massachusetts, have similar laws.
In the years that followed the im-
plementation of this new law, New
Ta enra cr %'7 r r vr i ni a 1

Abortion is not an
issue of feminism
To the Daily:
I am a female graduate student at the
University. I consider myself a feminist
for many reasons. I believe in the intrinsic
qualities that the feminine - in men and
women - embodies. I believe feminism
denotes a school of thought and inequality.
I am committed to working for social jus-
tice to the best of my ability, for all: les-
bians, gays, heterosexuals, people of all
colors and cultures.
The purpose of declaring my "feminist
creed"? To prepare pro-choice readers for
my belief that abortion is not a feminist
issue. It is a moral one. I believe that life
begins at conception and abortion is mur-
der. To say that this is my belief and I
have no-right to inflict my morals upon
another is to say murder is wrong, but
only for some people.
Aren't we doing to our vulnerable un-
born what men have historically done to
our "vulnerable" gender all along? Which
form of oppression is more powerful than
murder? To argue abortion from a feminist
perspective makes no sense. Equality de-
mands that we all take responsibility for
our actions. Women cannot hold men re-
sponsible for the biological fact that
women are the gender that can become
pregnant when we have sex.
Abortion is societies' violent, quick-fix
solution. Abortion due to the wrenching
reality of rape and incest creates further
complexity. However, raking the life of an
,,nlhfrnr. h;1 A hLana a n nmm;"a'ri a

tion). We need to employ non-violent al-
ternatives to pregnancy, such as adoption.
We need to address the feminization of
poverty. We need to start educating at
young ages.
The tragedy of Becky Bell's death is
not that she had no choice, but she made
the wrong one.
Katherine Weber
Social Work graduate student
Caption was ignorant
To the Daily:
The caption "Dumbo (actually Ganesha
the Scribe) laments the death of coffee
table books in ancient India, (9/21/90)"
describing a scene from Peter Brooks'
movie, The Mahabharata, was rather in-
sensitive and totally unnecessary.
I realize that this was supposed to be
humorous, but it bordered on offensive
since Ganesha is the Lord of Wisdom in
Hinduism. Hindu Gods and rituals may
look strange to the Western eye when they
are taken solely at face value, as the author
of this caption does, by referring to Gane-
sha as Dumbo. However, they are highly
symbolic in meaning, and function as
guides to the spiritual seeker. The depic-
tion of Ganesha's face as that of an ele-
phant has many layers of significance rel-
evant to the pursuit of wisdom. For ex-
ample, the large ears, head, and superb
memory -of an elephant signify the ability
to acquire, assimilate, and retain .large
amounts of knowledge. The trunk has an
amazing range of capacity; it can uproot
trees or even pluck a single blade of grass.

Metzgar's comments
are 'mystifying'
To the Daily:
Emily Metzgar (9/27/90) entreats us to
recognize that teenage mother Becky Bell*
died because she "broke the law," and that
"had she obeyed the law, Becky would not
have [died]."
How illuminating! The crisis of clan-
destine abortions boils down to a matter of
laws and lawbreakers after all. I'm sure
bereft parents and confused pregnant mi-
nors all across Indiana will be deeply con-
soled to learn this - there is a new cate-
gory of dead criminals (frightened pregnant
girls)! I'd like to thank Metzgar for point-
ing that out.
Irony aside, though, what is truly mys-
tifying in Metzgar's commentary on the
Bell case is her assertion that "legislation
like Indiana's is enacted to prevent situa-
tions like [Bell's tragic abortion]." It's in-
tended to prevent illegal abortions? What
can she possibly mean?.
If by some bizarre and inscrutable rea-
soning Metzgar is correct about the intent*
of Indiana's legislation, then perhaps she
should go a step further and make an effort
to discern between the law's intent and its
effect. Russel Fraker
School of Natural Resources
Thanks for helping
To the Daily:
We would like to thank individuals and
grouns who have recently offered unbiased

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