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October 01, 1993 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-10-01

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4- The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 1, 1993

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420 Maynard
Ann Arbor,-MI 48109
Edited and managed
by students at the
University of Michigan

JOSH DuBow
Editor in Chief
ANDREw LEVY
Editorial Page Editor

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Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the majority opinion of the Daily editorial board.
All other cartoons, articles and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.

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Insight
Making light of the Holocaust

By JULIE BECKER
I saw the headline in the Detroit
News and Free Press as I was
waiting to leave for Yom Kippur
services: "Kevorkian likens suicide
ban to Nazi Germany's
oppression". I went on to read the
story, which quoted Kevorkian as
calling the law "comparable to the
1935 German Nazi Nuremberg
Laws" that mandated persecution
of Jews and homosexuals.
The story, printed on -
coincidentally(?) - the most holy
of all Jewish days, insulted me.
And it made me very, very angry.
First, let me say that I agree in
theory with Dr. Kevorkian's
crusade. I believe that suffering
people must have the choice of
dying with dignity, and I believe
that a law prohibiting assistance to
these people is narrow-minded and
runs counter to the idea of freedom
of choice.
However, saying that I disagree
with the law is a long way from
calling it Nazi-like.
Comparisons to Nazis or Nazi
Germany have become all too
popular recently. Think about it:
how many times have you heard a
strict, humorless professor called "a
Nazi"? How many "radical"
Becker is an LSA sophomore and is
a Daily opinion staffer

feminists have been jeered at as
"Feminazis"? Many see these
comparisons as funny, a
particularly descriptive form of
overstatement. Yet in reality, there
is nothing funny about them.
Put quite simply, the Holocaust
is not a joke.
To grow up Jewish, in this day
and age, is to grow up with the
Holocaust. Even if your own family
escaped unscathed, even if you
personally know no survivors, it is
still a part of your life. You learn
about it in Sunday School, you hear
references to it in services. You
light candles in memorial of "all
those who have gone before," and
think about the six million who
died in Hitler's concentration
camps. Most of all, you grow up
with the idea that your very life is a
victory, and that every Chanukah
candle you light, every piece of
matza you eat, is a triumph over
those who would have destroyed us
forever.
To the Jews - probably to most
people, but especially to the Jews
- the Nazis are more than an
enemy, more than historical
oppressors. They are the most vile,
abhorrent mass of people ever to
walk this planet. Their evil is
forever fresh - lest we forget, we
need only read one of the diaries, or
hear the voice of a survivor, to fix
the images in our minds once again.

The Nazis transcend our ordinary
ideas about enemies. They are, for
many, the very personification of
evil.
It is for this reason that I am
insulted by flippant comparisons
with the Nazis. They are too often
made without thought, the people
uttering them having no idea of
their vast inappropriateness or of
the hurt they can - and do -
cause others. A strict and
humorless professor is not at the
same level as one who would
imprison people for their beliefs; a
"radical" feminist advocate is not a
dangerous and dictatorial leader.
Opponents of Kevorkian, wrong-
headed though they may be, are not
plotting to send him to the gas
chambers. And Kevorkian himself, :r
though his defiance of the assisted-
suicide law takes courage, has
never displayed the selfless, life-
risking bravery that characterized
so many of the resisters to the
Nazis.
Please - next time you make
this comparison, stop to think first.
Think about whether the
comparison is truly accurate. If it
is, then it is time for us all to be
afraid, and time to fight back with
all our will. If it is not accurate,
then by making it you are not being
clever or witty or amusing. You are
merely making light of someone
else's pain.

Asian American
diversity
To the Daily:
I read with great interest the
article regarding the lack of
diversity among Asian and Asian
American students on campus (9/
22/93). It was refreshing to hear
some mention of Southeast Asian
students (or lack of) considering the
fact that most information dealing
with Asian Americans usually only
deals with Korean, Japanese, or
Chinese Americans. However, I
also noticed the lack of mention of
diversity within these "mainstream"
Asian American groups. Although I
am of Chinese descent I have never
hacked a computer, considered
table tennis my favorite sport, or
only been interested in engineering.
There is nothing wrong with any of
these interests, but not all Asian
Americans have them. Granted, I'm
not "pure" Chinese, but I still get
offended when people just assume I
have a "similar background as
whites" or other generalizations
about my ethnicity. As I'm sure any
socially conscious person can attest
to, society still judges people of
color, and other underrepresented
groups, by stereotypes about our
respective groups rather than our
individual characteristics. As a
form of media seen by thousands of
people daily, I sincerely hope that
more of your articles strive to show
the diversity within various groups
instead of constantly lumping us
together.

student to find out what was going
on in MSA. Unlike most visitors, I
stayed and witnessed something
that was terribly disturbing.
What I saw was a frightening
display of one coalition of parties
doing everything they could to
make sure their agenda was the
only one taken care of by blatantly
blocking attempts to create a fair
and balanced meeting.
The first resolution where this
was evident was in the nomination
of the BPC, a committee that helps
to decide what student groups are
given money for their projects.
There were nine names proposed
by the chair of BPC, Jacob Stern,
who also happens to be a member
of the Conservative Coalition. The
first five names proposed, two of
whom are members of the
Conservative Coalition and three
from the Michigan Party, were
accepted. The other four were also
right-wingers and in the desire to
form a more balanced committee
the vote on these members was
postponed a week in order to give
more interested people the chance
to make themselves known.
During a recess in the meeting I
went to Mr. Stern to inform him
that I, a person with more liberal
beliefs, was interested in becoming
a member. He told me that he
already had his nominations and
was going to keep his list rather
than create a more balanced slate.
He was simply not interested in
nominating me.
Jacob Stern and his band of
conservative right-wingers have
changed MSA from an organization
Anl ;-ri -.,taA tr i ,t, ; r a nt a

body. We as the student body have
given MSA the privilege to make
decisions on our behalf. Mr. Stern
has abused the privilege we have
given him and I personally feel
ignored by his actions at the MSA
meeting.
DARONE RUSKAY
RC Sophomore;v
Richard Simmons is
cool
To the Daily:
In "Point-Counterpoint" by
Michael Rosenberg, I was quite
offended by his comment about
Richard Simmons. All of Richard's
fans here are very proud of his
work. It was a cheap shot on
Rosenberg's part. Also, I would
rather he mud-wrestle Dave
Thomas than Frank Thomas.

etions
By CURTIS HERTEL
As Co-Speaker of the Michigan
House of Representatives I'd like to
take this opportunity to reflect on the
first eight months of the 1993-1994
session of the Legislature as we move
into the fall session ... For example,
despite what individual opinion may
be on the elimination of local prop-
erty taxes as the primary funding
mechanism for our public school sys-
tem, Democrats recognize the impor-
tance of the opportunity that we have
to reform our schools in order to
provide the best educational system
for our children. Democrats began
the nsh to eliminate the nronerty tax

from the State House

STEVE LEKROKE
Class Of 1976

Democrats recognize the
opportunity that we have
to reform our schools in
order to provide the best
educational systemn for our
children.
gan residents want and need from
their schools and designing a system
that will meet those needs. Only after
we know what the system will look
like will we know what type of fund-
ing is needed and then we can tackle

orm, there was diverse opinion in our
caucus as to both of these pieces of
legislation. I personally believe that
in both instances the victims' rights
were traded for the sake of rate relief,
but because we as Democrats did not
believe in voting "lock step" on these
issues we initiated debate and stood
firm to protectMichigan citizens from
a complete destruction of individual
protection. In the case of auto insur-
ance reform, there was wide opinion
among House Democrats as to how
best to insure lower rates for consum-
ers, Democrats stood firm to protect
the rights of citizens of this state to
use the power of the ballot box to

THE DAILY WANTS TO
HEAR FROM YOU!
SEND US YOUR
LETTERS:
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
420 MAYNARD
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109

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