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November 01, 1991 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-11-01

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Page 4 -The Michigan Daily- Friday, November 1, 1991

1 e M d143au 1UiIQ
20 Maynard Street
Arbor, Michigan 48109 ANDREW GOTTESMAr
747-2814 Editor in Chief

Ann A


Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

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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More on controversial ad


PVderal judge was right to axe
The problem of repressive speech codes is not
unique to the University of Michigan. Students
4tthe University of Wisconsin recently fought and
won a battle against such an anti-harassment code
in a federal court.
After several controversial incidents at Wis-
consin in 1987 and 1988, the university passed a
Speech code in 1989, barring any racist, sexist, or
4iscriminatory comments that created an "intimi-
dating, hostile, or demeaning environment."
Since then, the University had received 35
domplaints regarding such intimidating and hos-
tile behavior.
The case taken before Federal District Court
Judge Robert Warren involved eight students who
were sanctioned under the 1989 code. Two of the
students were suspended and six were put on
probation for writing messages such as "death to
all'Arabs" and comments about a woman's breasts
over their electronic mail network.
'Because any electronic-mail system (like the
MTS system used here at the University of Michi-
gan) can be used as public forum for communica-
tion, the judge's decision that the students' sanc-
tions were an infringement on their rights to free
speech was proper.
At the same time, electronic mail messages are

policy, protect free speech
much like telephone conversations and ordinary
letters. They are personal and private means of
communication. No one - especially the Univer-
sity - has the right to monitor or read those
messages without the permission of those involved
in the exchange.
Along with the imposition of the suspensions
and probations, the University of Wisconsin also
ordered the eight students to undergo mandatory
psychiatric and alcoholic counseling. This step is
clearly beyond the authority of the University and
obviously infringes on the rights of every student
attending Wisconsin. The university is not a court
of law and has no business sentencing students
who merely exercised their freedoms to terms of
psychiatric care.
Speech codes plague many American universi-
ties. The case atthe University of Wisconsin clearly
demonstrates the dangers of restricting speech in
any forum of communication, whether it be elec-
tronic mail or face-to-face conversations.
To ensure the marketplace of ideas remains
diverse and honest, students need to be allowed to
discuss their ideas with frankness. The University
of Michigan should take heed to the battle won in
Wisconsin. Speech codes have no place on college

Native Americans
U.S. government should cease brutal treatment

n its tireless search for land to build nuclear
waste dumps, the U.S. government has located
yet another desirable site: the Mescalero Apache
Indian Reservation in New Mexico.
Although the federal government has ap-
Oroached many Native American tribes in the past
to' request that Indian lands be used as dumping
grounds, the Mescalero Apaches of New Mexico
are the first tribe to consider the "merits" of a
nuclear waste storage site on their reservation.
Wendell Chino, Chief of the Mescalero Apache
tribe, favors the proposed site. He and his col-
Jefgues believe that they can bring to such a
program their "strong traditional values that favor
protecting the Earth."
*The fact that the reservation is suffering from a
35 percent unemployment rate must also weigh
heavily on Chief Chino's mind. A nuclear waste
;storage site on the reservation would provide hun-
dreds of jobs and generate significant revenue for
the Indians living on the reservations.
But the proposed site is far from having unani-
mgus support. A significant number of opponents
fear that Native American tribes approached by the
federal government will fall prey to environmental
disaster as promises of financial gains are ex-
changed for strong nuclear materials on Indian
lands. There is fear that they would be selling the
:future of Native Americans.
That the Mescalero Indians have to consider

building a nuclear waste dump on their reservation
in the first place demonstrates the serious, but
usually ignored, plight of Native Americans. In-
dian communities have the highest alcoholism and
unemployment rates of any group in the United
States. They are also the poorest ethnic group in
The federal government's policies toward Na-
tive Americans only seems to make their situation
worse. Ever since the government forced Ameri-
can Indians to live on reservations, they have
constantly struggled to sustain themselves.
It is sad and ironic that the government can now
take advantage of the economic and social crises
that they forced upon Native Americans in the first
But Native Americans are not unique in being
used by the federal government to bear the burden
of questionable environmental policies. Poor
communities are constantly faced with the dilemma
of whether to act as the government's garbage
dump ortotake achance for a modicum ofeconomic
This problem has attracted some attention in
recent years. The plight of Native Americans,
however, has been ignored for centuries, and is
steadily getting worse. It's time the U.S. govern-
ment took responsibility for its harmful environ-
mental policy and its brutal treatment of Native

To the Daily:
As Michigan residents at
school in far-away Massachusetts,
we were appalled by the Holo-
caust revisionist's blatantly untrue
and hurtful ad in Thursday's
Daily. We don't have to disprove
its allegations in this letter - the
confessions, documents, photos,
fallen family trees, burnt syna-
gogues, crematoria, human ash
heaps, and still-bubbling death
pits speak for themselves. So do
the survivors, and Elie Wiesel
offers this insight into revision-
"If we are to believe certain
morally deranged and spiritually
perverted pseudo-historians, the
Holocaust never took place. The
killers did not kill, the victims did
not perish. Auschwitz? A fraud.
Treblinka? A lie. Bergen-Belsen?
A name. This is what they have
stated for some time...
"'Did Six Million Really Die?
The Truth at Last' is the name of
one brochure. Austin J. App,
former associate professor of
English at LaSalc College,
Philadelphia, spells it out: 'The
Six Million Swindle: blackmail-
ing the German people for hard
Marks with fabricated corpses.'
French author Paul Rassinier, a
pioneer of this revisionist ap-
proach, speaks of 'The lie of
Auschwitz.' Northwestern
Professor Arthur Butz calls it
'The hoax of the century'...
"'A thousand years will pass
and our crimes will stillsbe
remembered,' said Dr. Hans
Frank, military governor of Nazi-
occupied Poland, while waiting to
be hanged. He was naive.
Scarcely forty-five years have
passed and his crimes have
already been forgotten. Distorted.
Or ignored."
Wiesel goes on to stress the
need for education about the
Holocaust: not just for its own
sake, but to motivate us to speak
against injustice, wherever it may
be. Wiesel has taken this impera-
tive seriously, and we should
follow his lead. While that action
should be taking place in the areas
of environmental degradation and
treatment of women and minori-
ties, of military buildup and world
hunger, last week, the injustice
was on the back page of the
Fred Dobb
and Amy Simon
Brandeis University students
To the Daily:
The way the Daily has handled
the recent controversy over their
printing of "The Holocaust
Controversy" advertisement is
truly sad. My reasoning for taking
this stand however is not the
mainstream, typical response that
has been espoused by the various
groups which were deeply
offended by the ad. Let me state
first and foremost that I disagree
with the content of the ad that
suggests that the Holocaust never
Upon a review of the historical
evidence, it seems clear to me that
such an event did occur. Although
the historical evidence weighs in
favor (heavily) of the Holocaust,
this is no reason to deny anyone

such matter to be printed is
simple: to deny anyone a forum of
expression of their ideas, no
matter how "incorrect" they may
be, is to fall into the same trap
that Nazi Germany fell into.
If Nazi Germany had had a
diversity of ideas and free and
open expression of those ideas, it
is doubtful that the Holocaust
would have ever been allowed to
occur. As it was, millions died
because there was no way to
check the system.
Those that argue that
Bradley's ideas should be
restricted merely because they are
repugnant are risking the same
fate that befell Germany in the
1930s and '40s. The Daily's
primary failure is its inability to
take a firm, consistent stand in
this respect. The editors issued a
defense on First Amendment
grounds on the front page the
following day while the business
apologized and said it would
"er sure that...ads...unfit to print"
would not be allowed to go to
The Daily, by taking such
contradictory stands, has under-
mined what miniscule credibility
it did have. Until the Daily can
iron out its own internal differ-
ences on this issue, don't expect
any respect from either side in
this debate.
Chetly Zarko
LSA junior
To the Daily:
Last Thursday, the Daily
printed an ad soliciting donations
for an organization which
erroneously claims that the
Holocaust never occurred. The
Daily editorial staff defended its
decision to run the ad, citing the
First Amendment and the desire
to encourage free speech.
Granted, free speech is an
essential right. But the First
Amendment is irrelevant to this
discussion. The relevant issue is
the Daily's policy concerning the
printing of ads. It appears that the
Daily applies its policy in an
inconsistent manner.
The First Amendment reads,
"Congress shall make no law.-
abridging freedom of speech, or
of the press." This is a prohibition
of government censorship. The
First Amendment does not require
that a newspaper print everything
or anything. The Daily therefore
had every right to print or reject
the ad.
The Daily justifies its decision
to print the ad as an attempt to
encourage the marketplace of
ideas. We would accept that
justification if the Daily printed
all ads submitted, but it does not.
The Editor-in-Chief notes that a
"beer ad with a woman holding a
beer between her breasts" would
not be printed (10/28/91). Why
would such an ad be considered
more offensive than an ad
comparing victims of the Holo-
caust to witnesses of "flying
The Daily attempts to distin-
guish this ad from sales ads,
claiming that this ad presented
"ideas." But the CODOH ad
specifically requested donations.
Thus, both the sales ad and this ad
attempt to make profits, and they
pay the Daily for space in its

To the Daily:
As a child, I was weaned on
stories of Jewish uncles and aunts
starving to death in the sewers of
Nazi-occupied Warsaw. In
Auschwitz - the German
concentration camp whose motto
read "Work will make you free"
- the only work my cousins
performed was to dig ditches into
which their naked and bullet-
riddled bodies were discarded.
For the sake of my family,
whom I never knew, and in the
name of millions of other Jews,
tens of millions of Russians,
thousands of homosexuals and
gypsies and in memory of all the
victims of the German Nazi
Holocaust, I must express the
deepest contempt and hatred
toward Bradley Smith's Holo-
caust revisionist advertisement in
last week's Daily.
Despite my outrage, however,
I was sadly not able to participate
in my fellow Jews' protest of
this outrageous ad. It would be
hypocritical to associate myself
with the likes of protest speaker
Professor Todd Endelman in
condemnation of a 50-year-old
Holocaust, while he and much of
the University Jewish community
tout the virtues of the State of
Israel, which today, through its
repeated massacres, destruction of
culture and theft of land, is
committing a holocaust against
the people of Palestine.
Attempts at genocide -
whether of Jews, Palestinian
Arabs or anyone else - must be
confronted with equal condemna-
tion and halted with equal
Unless we Jews learn and
implement the inevitable lessons
of our own sufferings, we cannot
profess outrage toward monsters
like Bradley Smith.
Daniel Kohns
LSA sophomore
To the Daily:
As a 1966 LSA and 1969 Law
alumnus of the University, as a
member of the President's club,
and as a Jew, I am deeply
distressed by the "decision" of the
Daily to run the "anti-Holocaust"
advertisement last Thursday.
While I would defend Bradley
R. Smith's right to assert his
unpleasant ideas in a public
forum, and the Daily's right to
advocate those ideas in an
editorial, I do not believe that the
First Amendment requires the
Daily to provide a vehicle for
every fanatic, hate-mongering
group or individual with sufficient
funds to spew their venom.
As you know (or should
know) "commercial speech" (i.e.
a paid advertisement) does not
enjoy the same constitutional
protection as general or non-
commercial speech.
While the paper's business
manager's statement that the ad
was not read strains credibility,
that is not as disturbing as the
editorial staff's assertion that it
still would have run the ad even if
it had read it.
As editors, I believe it is the
Daily editors' responsibility to
"edit," that is, to choose between
competing stories, editorials,
photographs, etc. and to set a
standard for resnonsible iournal-

Genetic info
DNA makeup shouldn't be public domain

T he National Institute of Health and the Depart-
, ment of Energy are spending close to $6 billion
on the Human Genome Project, in which the entire
ig9netic 'information of human beings will be
mapped. What will happen when this data comes to
Scientists hope to discover the causes of and
resistance to disease, as well as unlocking the
secrets of the inner workings of human DNA.
;However, this knowledge, like most scientific in-
formation, can be potentially perverted into some-
thing terrible.
The information may tell scientists what genes
code for what disease-susceptibility. Thus, scien-
tists, by analyzing people's genetic material, may
discover to which diseases and conditions people
will be more prone.
If personal health information were to get into
the wrong hands, the consequences could be tragic.
If, an insurance company discovered that a client
would contract cystic fibrosis in five years, for
example, it could raise their premiums or deny
them health insurance.

Employers could use this information in a simi-
lar negative manner. What employer would hire
someone likely to need expensive medical care
within a few years? What person's working abili-
ties could compensate for the cost of therapy and
The benefits of new genteitc knowledge may be
a double-edged sword, and may open up new
forms of "genetic discrimination." It is bad enough
that handicapped people are discriminated against
for their present condition, but it is an even greater
travesty to discriminate on persons for their future
medical conditions.
Steps must be taken to prevent people's private
genetic information from being made available for
public consumption.
People who have their DNA scanned and
mapped should have the right to confidentiality of
their genetic makeup.
When technology produces this information,
people should not be treated as diseased and use-
less, and the necessity for the privacy of this
information must be recognized and enforced.



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by Judd Winick

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