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October 30, 1991 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-10-30

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Page 4 -The Michigan Daily- Wednesday, October 30, 1991
Je tdmau &tIuL

Readers attack, defend Daily

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
747-2814
Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

ANDREW GOTTESMAN
Editor in Chief
STEPHEN HENDERSON
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.
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Re districting
Council's gerrymandering helps incumbents, not residents
A s Ann Arbor City Councilmembers prepare competitive and responsive to voters' need
to vote on the proposed redistricting plan, the The obvious harmful effects o f this p
partisan nature of the reapportionment process has control call for some type of reform. One
taken center stage. LastThursday, Councilmember minimize the problem would be to expa
Kurt Zimmer (D-4th ward) criticized the proposal number ofvotes necessary to pass city redist
as an "incumbent protection plan," favorable to the plans.
Council's current Democratic majority. A two-thirds vote, which would require
Reapportionment plans at all levels of govern- members to vote for such a plan, would fo
ment generate these types of problems. Whenever Council's majority to work with the mino
an elected body remaps its own wards, the ten- muster the votes necessary for such a plan.
dency is for the majority party to use its power to Expanding the number of votes in this w;
gerrymander district lines to protect its partisan proven useful in other Council activities
control over the body. cluding some fiscal decisions - to prevent
This is certainly the case with the city's current san majorities from using their power unfa
plan, which reapportions districts to favor the In terms of the reapportionment pr
body's 8-3 Democratic majority. Of course, it is the mandating two-thirds approval would take
Democrats' prerogative to use their numbers to some of the majority's power. Assuming th
pass such a plan, especially since Council Re- party does not control eight votes, any re
publicans did the same thing in 1981. tionment plan with any chance of passing
The issue here is not one of Democrats versus have to take into account the electoral inter
Republicans, but rather of keeping majorities from both sides.
furthering their own partisan interests at the ex- This reform would not solve all of the pro
pense of voter control. The power of the electorate present in the reapportionment process, but it
is greatly diminished when formerly competitive inhibit the majority party from committi
wards are remapped to solidify the position of irresponsible gerrymandering of the past
majority party candidates. When this happens, it change that defuses the Council's intense
becomes nearly impossible to make council races sanship would serve the voters well.
Speaking out
SA PA C event offers first-hand accounts of sexual abuse.

Js.
artisan
way to
nd the
ricting
e eight
rce the
rity to
!ay has
- in-
t parti-
irly.
oblem,
e away
hat one
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ests of
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would
ng the
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To the Daily:
I, like most others, found
Bradley Smith's comments on
Holocaust revisionism disturbing
and unconvincing. But my
disagreement with his ideas is not
grounds for me to label him as
unequivocally wrong, and it
certainly does not give me, or
anyone else who disagrees with
him, the right to keep him from
voicing his opinions.
The Daily's readers seem to
think that the editors should not
have run his ad. I assume that
they believe only certain ideas are
fit for consumption by the public.
And which ideas are these? Who
is going to decide which ideas are
"bad" and which ones are
"good?"
There is no reason why people
should not be exposed to all ideas,
and there is no more suitable
place for the promulgation of
ideas than a newspaper. By
bringing his ideas out into the
open, Smith has sparked contro-
versy and thought.
Many people at the University
had never even heard of revision-
ist Holocaust history before
Thursday. It makes for an
infinitely healthier society when
people are familiar with many
ideas and are able to make their
own decisions, as opposed to a
society where "incorrect" ideas
are suppressed by those with
influence, and citizens are
presented with a homogeneity of
information.
. Furthermore, historical
accounts such as conventional
Holocaust history can only gain
credibility by outlasting the
scrutiny of opponents like the
Revisionists. How credible is
conventional Holocaust history if
it merely suppresses the insults of
its opponents instead of refuting
them. with fact?
Progress of thought occurs
only through exchange of ideas.
The newspaper doesn't belong to
one ideology, it belongs to
everyone, including Bradley R.
Smith. What would be the
reasoning behind censoring
Smith's ad? Do we shove
something under the rug every
time it makes usfeel uneasy?
Mr. Smith is an American
citizen with an opinion. His
opinion is no more or less
important than any other opinion,
and no individual or group if
individuals has the right to refuse
him a place to speak his mind in a
public forum simply because they
disagree with him.
Chad Allen
first-year RC student
To the Daily:
I .weep for the future of a free
. press in this country. The Michi-
gan Daily fulfills its responsibility
as a forum for dissenting views on
this campus, and is instantly
blasted for somehow displaying
faulty editorial judgement by not
squelching the Holocaust-as-hoax
ad.
.Apparently, many members of
this campus community do not
understand that newspapers have
an obligation to allow all view-
points to be shared - even the
views of stupid people.
Editors of the Daily would
have been in violation of the trust
- placed in them by this campus
had they refused to run a political
ad merely because they found its
message abhorrent.

No serious scholar doubts that
the Holocaust occurs. And no one
can really understand the anguish
of the Jewish people who lost
loved ones in German gas
chambers.
But that anguish does not give
anyone the right to squelch the
viewpoints expressed in the ad.
The campus has every right to be
angry at the author of the ad for
saying insensitive (and false)
things that antagonize and anger
many people. But no one on this
campus has a right to be mad at
the Daily for doing its job.
Those who really think the ad
should not have been printed
should ask themselves one
question: What would have been
served by keeping the ad out of
the paper? Very little. But putting
in the ad has let the campus know
that there are some who still
doubt the Holocaust in spite of
massive historical evidence.
Frankly, if such people exist, I
would like to know who they are
and what they are up to. Getting .
their ideas out in the open is the
best way for exposing them for
what they are.
That is what the First Amend-
ment is all about- protecting the
right to proclaim any idea, even
unpopular ones.
Chris Foote
third-year Rackham student
To the Daily:
There are,indeed, "demons in
the real world" - demons of the
most pernicious kind. Rallying
hatred against their victims, they
pretend that they themselves are
victims.
Attempting still to distract us
from their crimes, they call for a
"debate." They play on our good
will or our naivete or our still
human wish to disbelieve.
And thus they disgrace
decency. They dishonor the dead.
They defame the survivors. They
debase the liberties they pretend
to champion.
They did so then. And to our
peril and shame, they do so again.
Hank Greenspan
RC faculty
To the Daily:
The unscreenedpublication of
Bradley R. Smith's Oc. 24
advertisement is asblatant ex-
ample of insensitive and irrespon-
sible journalism. The business
editors of the Daily neglected
their responsibilities to their
readers by allowing the inflamma-
tory ad to be published and by
accepting $1,052 to publicize
CODOH's beliefs.
As seniors at the University of
Michigan, we have never before
seen such a careless, offensive
. advertisement. If we were
subscribers, we would cancel our
subscription.
The Daily's continuing
coverage of the events following
the publication of the advertise-
ment have shown that it is not
only the business staff who
participates in irresponsible
journalism. In the Oct. 28 article
"Speakers discuss the Holocaust
- history at East-Quad forum," the
author neglected key information
regarding the political affiliations
of CODOH, such as meeting in
Torrence, California attended by
the KKK, former Waffen-SS, and

CODOH. Knowledge about the-
CODOH will assist students'
judgement regarding the credibil-
ity of Bradley R. Smith's argu-
ment. Both the Daily Editor-in-
Chief and the Managing Editor
attended the East Quad forum and
approved the incomplete content
of the article.
Advertisers have the right to
write anything they wish and
publishers have the responsibility
to ensure that this advertisement
is factual and suitable for publica-
tion. In the absence of a publisher,
it is the joint responsibility of the
Daily's editorial and business
editors to guarantee that the
advertisements that support their
organizations are not offensive to
their readers.
Neglecting this duty is
irresponsible of both these editors.
No apology will eradicate the
damage done to the Daily's
reputation sustained by the
publication of this advertisement.
Joelle Gropper
Jordan Shavit
LSA seniors
To the Daily: .
We were appalled by the
Daily's printing of an advertise-
ment from the Committee for
Open Debate on the Holocaust,
which denied the existence of the
Holocaust.
By accepting the full-page
advertisement, conveniently
written in the form of an article,
the Daily has, in effect, legiti-
mized this group's twisted
propaganda.
The Daily has underestimated
the degree to which students on
this campus may not be aware of
the facts of the Holocaust.
Consequently, people might
accept these ridiculous accusa-
tions as valid.
This "article" demonstrates an
inexcusable insensitivity to Jews
and other students for whom the
Holocaust is a painful reality.
The absurd theorynthat Jews have
fabricated the Holocaust will now
be revived - a sad state for a
campus and a newspaper that
pride themselves with removing
minority stereotypes. Never
again!
Jessica Landaw
Jennie Grossberg
Beatriz Gonzalez
LSA seniors
To the Daily:
If the Daily does not have a
policy with regards to which ads
it accepts and rejects, then it is
truly freedom of speech to print a
full page ad claiming that women
have never been raped, Blacks
were never enslaved, or Jews
were never murdered.
However, I was appalled by
the Oct. 24 Daily. Millions of
people were tortured, enslaved,
and gassed to death during WWII.
For the Daily to be so irrespon-
sible as to print a full page ad to
the contrary is an incredible
disappointment. I cried when I
read it, not just for those who
died, but for those who-let it
happen and who let it happen
again.
lichael Blum
Engineering senior

0

#

"It takes the greatest amount of courage to do
whatyou want. I mean whatyou truly want,"- The
Fountainhead, Ayn Rand
L ast week the Sexual Assault Prevention
Awareness Center (SAPAC) sponsored a Speak
Out- a forum in which survivors of sexual abuse,
harassment, and assault can speak about their ex-
periences. The event lasts for hours and anyone
who. is a survivor is allowed to stand at the micrd-
phone in front of the crowd and say what they want
to say. For many of the speakers, it is the first time
they have publicly revealed their stories. Many
have carried their pain for years, telling only their
closest friends, if anyone at all.
The women and men who spoke that night
exhibited the greatest kind of courage. It. takes
great strength to admit in public that one is a victim
of a sexual crime. Sexual crimes are unique in that
the survivors are stigmatized by society. Survivors
are oftenmade to feel that they somehow asked for.
it, especially in cases of rape. There is a feeling of
embarrassment as though one could have avoided

the crime. In an ideal world, survivors of a sexual
crime would be able to tell their story without the
fear of being stigmatized. However, in the real
world, survivors may feel that if they reveal the
truth, society will blame them in some way. Survi-
vors of sexual crimes are never to blame. A child
never asks to be molested and a wom an never asks
to be raped. These crimes in no way reflect the
characterof the victim.
Forums like the Speak Out are important for
both the survivors of sexual crimes and for society
as a whole. For the survivors, it is a chance to tell
their stories. It is a chance to overcome the stigma
placed on them by society and reveal the truths
behind sexual assault. For society, it is a chance to
educate ourselves on the issues involved in sexual
assault. It is a chance to challenge myths and an
opportunity to release survivors of the stigmas
they face. Hopefully, the bravery and strength of
the speakers at last week's Speak Out will reveal
the true nature of sexual crimes and initiate a basic
change in societal attitudes concerning sexual as-
sault.

No opposition
Democrats should unify. to effectively oppose the president

+

A s campaign '92 approaches, one would expect
the Democrats to begin an offensive against
the president. Instead, members of the Democratic
Party continue to bow to the president's wishes.
Excepting the battle to confirm John Tower as
the Bush's Defense Secretary, the president has yet
to lose a single significant battle at the hands of a
Democratically-lead Congress. No veto has been
overridden'and no major confirmation has been
defeated.
In fact,. 11 Democrats defected to ensure the
controversial Senate confirmation of Judge
Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. The vote
to confirm Robert Gates, who clearly mislead
Congress about his involvement in Iran-Contra, to
head the CIA appears imminent.
While voting the party line isn't necessarily the
solution to the Democrat's divisive problems,
certainly they need to begin defining a unified and
unanimous party platform. The radical conserva-
tism of the Republican Party has been overt and
articulate since the election of Ronald Reagan. The
Democrats have only floundered, unable to gather
the courage to combat President Bush's hawkish
foreign policy and his non-existent domestic
agenda.
The Democratic party, 'allegedly the party of
civil rights, has even failed to push through the
current civil rights bill without having to squander

precious time through long and unnecessary nego-
tiations with the White House. The Democrats
have had more members than they need to override
the president's vetoes, but they lack the consensus
and unity. Only now, three years after the bill
original introduction, is its passage expected.
George McGovern and Jerry Brown, among
others, have accurately stated that the United States
has two Republican parties. While the behavior of
Republicans is predictable, liberals continually
perplex their constituents with their curious voting
records. Sen. Carl Levin, one of the Senate's most
liberal members, has hinted his support of Presi-
dent Bush's B-2 bomber.program. Such oddities
and paradoxes only work to discredit the Demo-
crats' liberal reputation.
Since President Bush's election, members of
the Democratic party have behaved obsequiously
towards the Bush administration. Time after time,
when the president should have heard a resounding
"No," the Democrats have whimpered "All right":
the bill extending student visas for Chinese students
after Tianamen square, the Civil Rights Bill, the
Warinthe Persian Gulf, Robert Gates, and Clarence
Thomas. If the Democrats truly want to win 1992,
they need to make their majority in Congress mean
something. We need to see a Democratic agenda,
otherwise, we won't see a Democratic president.

Daily's decision was indefensible

To the Daily:
Last Thursday's back page
advertisement disputing the
Holocaust confused me. Are we
students suppose to applaud and
compliment the Daily on its
courage to push the limits of
journalistic integrity, or should we
sit back and vomit from its vile
stench.
My first reaction was that it
was beyond any understanding
why the Daily insults our intelli-
gence so. After some contempla-
tion (which is what the ad wanted
us to do) I realized how useful
Mr. Smith's argument is (if one
can call blatant lies and distortion
that).
Now that we can forswear the
existence of the Holocaust, we
can without hesitation or problem
of conscience deny the existence
of other atrocities such as slavery,
the destruction of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki, and the plight of the
Kurds. How fortunate we are!
We can even deny the exist-
ence of other cultures and ideas

Daily think that history is
completely fabricated. That is not
only intellectually dishonest, but
repugnant as well. No, I must
assume that the Daily had some
other motive. Perhaps it was
financial.
After all, Mr. Smith clearly
offered a good deal of money to
print a whole page advertisement.
I was unaware, though, that the
Daily thinks only of money in
these matters. Sure, all papers
must degrade themselves at times
in order to keep alive.
Liquor and semi-pornographic
advertisements often find their
way into papers whose editorial
stances reverberate against the
problems posed by drinking and
the objectification of people in
our society, but yesterday's ad
was ridiculous. Is money really
the ultimate justification?
Assuming favorably that the
Daily is above such prostitution, I
must again ask for some justifica-
tion of the ad. The last resort in
such cases usually is the First

Since that.is doubtful I have to
question why Jews qualify for
such special treatment. There is a
word for such a phenomenon.
As I see it, every justification
fails, which makes me even more
upset. There is a difference
between critical inquiry and
blatant persecution and the Daily
has proven to be either too stupid
or too insensitive in its judgment.
This is not simply an intellec-
tual flaw, it is an outright offense
on human dignity and suffering
and the Daily staff who gave
permission to print the ad must be
held personally responsible. They
cannot claim that free speech
demands that all things be
publicized for that is disowning
all responsibility and rational
restraint.
. If neo-Nazis like-Mr. Smith
want to print the literary equiva-
lent of toxic waste that is their
right, but there is no conceivable
reason for the Daily or any other
periodical to help shove it down
the public's throat.

i1

Nuts and Bolts
O.K. 'HEUMUS 5 001?T IE1W6T

YOU -MY TOs C LF- TIS!
FIFTY FOOT 'ROCK WAL-

'AN!A O0URGLAIATO~
'DATC-I; rP", w~iLL-RYTO
UL.. YOU' OFF ANA' THROW's

by Judd Winick
YoU ALL SeTI

01

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