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October 28, 1993 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-10-28

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 28, 1993

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

JOSH Dusow
Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

I --- . . - --.-

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.

Yop KA ,, "A
Mlorality isno the cure for AIDS

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Of the many factors that lead to
President Bush's defeat in 1992, one
of particular interest was the Repub-
lican Party's ill-conceived decision
to hand the convention over to the
religious right.
The hostile rheto-
ric and declara-
tions of cultural I
warfare, lead by
High Priests Pat
Buchanan and Pat
Robertson, re-
pulsed manyC P
moderate Repub-
licans, Perotistas,
and most Demo-
crats. In fact, sev- gd
eral Republican members of Congress
refused to attend the conventionwhile
others regretted participating in its
politics of division.
The convention's saving grace was
Mary Fischer, a Republican who con-
tracted HIV from her unfaithful hus-
band; she didn't take drugs, she didn't
sleep around, she wasn't homosexual.
Fischer spoke of compassion, educa-
tion, and tolerance; not of condemna-
tion, arrogance, or intolerance. The
conventioneers applauded, but few
probably listened. At least, our own
College Republicans failed to hear
what were probably the most impor-
tant words spoken at either conven-
Last week, posters reading "Want
a Cure for AIDS? Try Morality."
greeted University students on their
way to class. These fliers were dis-
tributed by the College Republicans
who, in a fit of cruelty and callous-
ness, overlooked the unfortunate con-
College Republican President John

Damoose told the Daily that the post-
ers were "not supposed to be nega-
tive." Either Damoose is being disin-
genuous or just naive. The behavior
prescribed by the Republicans on their
flier (don't use drugs, avoid homo-
sexual sex, trust God) suggested that
personal moral behavior was the sole
determinant of AIDS's longevity, es-
sentially condemning all people with
HIV as deserving of their fate.
Mary Fischer lived according to
the radical right's notion of family
values, yet she has HIV. The half-
dozen patients who contracted the
virus from a Florida dentist were not
homosexual; they did not take drugs.
There was also Ryan White, the little
boy whose life ended as a result of a
tainted blood transfusion. Would fel-
low College Republican Bill Lowry
tell Ryan that he "has to take respon-
sibility for [his] own values?"
But what about those high-risk
groups, like homosexuals and drug-
users? Nobody suggests that they
should not take responsibility for their
own values. But the insinuation that it
is not society's responsibility to find
a vaccine for HIV - "the govern-
ment can't do everything," Lowry
suggested - approaches a level of
cold-heartedness that is simply in-
In fact, the Republican right should
rethink its notions of what family
values are. Conservatives on campus
probably tripped over themselves to
hear Cal Thomas, the nation's fore-
most syndicated intellectual midget.
The Michigan Review reported that
Thomas agreed, because of its spiri-
tual or moral decay, our nation was
not as "grand" as it used to be, pre-
sumably during the golden era of Ward

and June Cleaver.
What were the values of that era?
Blacks couldn't sit or eat with whites;
men were free to beat and rape their
wives without fear of punishment;
women were forbidden to work out-
side the home; people like me were
generally not allowed into the coun-
try; whites in the South didn't want
Blacks to vote; whites in the North
didn't want Blacks next door; eco-
nomic prosperity and mobility were
reserved for white men. The list natu-
rally can go on forever. Whatever our
values were then, they couldn't have
been all that grand.
The point isn't to condemn Ameri-
can culture wholesale, but to recog-
nize the fact that our values today are
far more inclusive than before; we are
more tolerant, more compassionate,
and consider the notion of equality far
more seriously. In their nostalgic view
of the grand old days, the College
Republicans have forgotten this. In
their arrogance, they have done their
community a great disservice.
The cure for AIDS is neither mo-
nogamy nor the end of intravenous
drug use, although both would be
preferable; the danger of HIV con-
tamination from sex and drug use can
be significantly reduced through
proper precautions. The cure is likely
an antibody, which our researchers
will find with proper funding and
unrelenting diligence. But a prerequi-
site to that is compassion, for without
society's eagerness to end this kind of
suffering there can be no progress. If
the College Republicans must sit
around "trusting God," pointing fin-
gers, and blaming the sick, so be it.
The rest of us will just have to pick up
the slack.

I *n * SOn S
Dolg ondtsuyaiegsonlbrt

Daily failed to give
adequate rebuttal to
Smith's article
To the Daily:
Whenever an argument is made
that questions the historical truth of
the Holocaust, two responses must
follow. First, the argument's
inaccurate and dangerous assertions
must be rebutted. Then, a question
must be asked: Why was this view
permitted to air? Often the answer
is simply that the First Amendment
ensures a person's right to air such
views. An individual who wishes to
post flyers or give speeches
claiming that the Holocaust never
happened may have a Constitutional
right to do so. However, when a
third party assists in spreading this
revisionist history, it must either
adequately defend its decision to do
so or be suspected of sharing the
When the Daily published
Bradley Smith's article ("Museum
lacks evidence of genocide," 10/6/
93), it thus bore two obligations.
One was to refute his arguments,
and the other was to justify printing
the article. The Daily failed
miserably in each of the tasks.
There were three articles that
attempted to argue that the
Holocaust did happen. One, by
Jessie Halladay, was a description
of the exhibits she saw at a visit to

claims "on the denial of historical
fact," and concluded that the
revisionists were wrong.'In the third
article, the Editor in Chief and the
Editorial Page Editor called Smith's
ideas "pure drivel."
However, both of these articles
failed to provide the needed point-
by-point rebuttal of Bradley Smith's
claims. The reader was forced to
draw his or her own conclusions.
Presumably, the conclusion would
be that Smith was wrong, but there
was certainly a possibility that the
reader might believe Smith, because
the Daily provided no direct
contradictions to Smith's specific
propositions. It was the Daily's duty
to leave the reader no room to
believe Smith's assertions, but
unfortunately the Daily left
substantial room.
The Daily also attempted to
justify printing the article. The
editors stated that "suppressing such
viewpoints - no matter how
heinous - only leaves them to
fester," and thus the viewpoints
must be aired and scrutinized. This
would be true - if proper grounds
for scrutiny were provided.
Unfortunately, they were not.
The editors essentially claimed
that they had the obligation to help
spread a disease, lest the disease
spread for itself. Perhaps they
thought they were innoculating their
readers, providing them with a-
vaccine that would stimulate their
;mmn _a _ct m .nepa r-n -

Queers are different,
have distinct culture
To the Daily:
Regarding your recent editorial
("The Queer Kiss-In," 10/21/93), I
was pleased that the Queer Kiss-In
was featured. I would like to raise
one particular point of contention; I
object to the statement that
"(homosexuals) are no different
from anyone else."
I, for one, do not want to be like
everyone else. What ever happened
to the ideas of multiculturalism?
Queer people have had historical
contributions erased from history's
textbooks; we have had our vivid
and dynamic culture invalidated,
stolen, ignored, and surpressed. I
want lesbians, bisexuals, and gay
men to be more than just tolerated;
tolerance means nothing. I want
queer people to be recognized as a
distinct group of men and women
with a different set of values, hopes,
beliefs, and aesthetic sensibilities.
While many of these value sets
cross over into different societal
groups, and some componants of
each group's sensibilities may be
universal, each minority has a
unique blend that gives life and
dynamism to these groups.
I want Queer contibutions to our
greater society to be supported and
appreciated; most of all, I want
Queers to be recognized and
supported - not marginalized.

Recent national controversy over
California's gas chamber method of
execution has led to a debate that hist
Michigan State University (MSU)
close to home.
Prof. Richard Rech, a scientist in
MSU's College of Veterinary Medi-'
cine, may be conducting tests on labo-
ratory rats to investigate the pain-
killing effects of cyanide gas.
The test would include inserting
balloons into the anuses of 60 rats and
inflating them until the rats squeal
and exhibit pain. Cyanide gas will
then he administeredi and the rats uill

that indicate pain relief. This would
demonstrate that cyanide "has anal-
gesic properties."
The tests would challenge the
American Veterinary Association's
published standards that classify cya-
nide as "unacceptable" for animal eu-
thanasia. The standards call cyanide
dangerous to personnel and the nature
of deaths caused by it "aesthetically
Depending on the findings, the
tests could legitimize California's use
of the gas as a form of execution, a
nractice that has heen uestioned by

dards of decency. Cyanide gas kills
by blocking the body's cells' ability
to take in oxygen, causing chemical
What has been forgotten in this
controversy, however, is that the prac-
tice of capital punishment itself is
contrary to popular standards of de-
cency - regardless of the method.
Although the tests could provide
important scientific information, they
should not be seen as justification for
any form of state-endorsed murder,
even if they prove cyanide to have
analhesic nrnnerties.


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