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April 12, 2001 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-04-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

-- 4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 12, 2001

G be ItligFun ttil

420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
daily.letters@umich.edu

I bid you adieu
CHRIS KULA U!NUNG ANN ABoR

0

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890

GEOFFREY GAGNON
Editor in Chief
MICHAEL GRASS
NICHOLAS WOOMER
Editorial Page Editors

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

've written a lot of
articles and I've tried
some different things,
but this is a first for me:
I've never written a final
column before.
It's actually a little
tricky. You want to do
something special for the
last at-bat, but you don't
want to be that aging slugger who tries way too
hard to stretch out a meaningless double only to
pull his hamstring, leaving him prone in the
base path, sobbing like a wee babe and gasping
for air like a chub tuna. So to speak.
You want to squeeze in all of those great
references you've been sitting on for the past
few years, but deep down inside, you know
there's no logical way to mention in the same
column the likes of former Detroit Piston
Scott Hastings, Shanice's 1992 hit "I Love
Your Smile" and the episode of "Silver
Spoons" where Rick got Menudo to play his
birthday party. And you've never been one
for gratuitous referencing.
But the hardest part of coming to the final
column is that there's just so much left to say,
so many loose ideas and random observations
waiting for their chance to become, if you
will, the next "Focus Girl." Forget about
smoking: The weekly fix of crafting a good
column is a tough habit to break. But I'm not
going out cold turkey.,
In just a few short months, I'll be moving
to New York to apply for the position of
Famous Writer. A nice entry-level opportuni-
ty, perhaps - something to get my foot in the
door of the Famous Writing industry. If noth-

ing pans out in four to six days, I'll consider
doing some temp work as an Aspiring Writer.
And, if worse comes to worse, there's always
the option of wearing more black and trying
my hand as a Starving Artist.
But enough about me - let's talk about
me for a change.:One of the cardinal rules that
I first set for the column was to not talk about
myself or my opinions, because I was always
left with a janky taste in my mind after read-
ing these college kids trying to pontificate on
their life issues with the gag-reflex introspec-
tion that is so truly undergrad.
Instead of getting all gushy about me,
myself and that very special Kula family
Christmas, I tried to keep things a little more
universal and a lot more wry. Aside from the
occasional mention of some fabulous red hair,
I've never revealed that much about myself,
never really divulged anything personal.
So for this last waltz, I wanted to make
known some of my personal favorites, the
parts of my life that I dig the most. You're
familiar with the Best of Ann Arbor poll - as
it were, this is the Best of Unsung Ann Arbor.
This is the time for me to give praise to
people like Ray from Good Time Charley's,
the friendliest doorman at the friendliest bar
in town. The name doesn't lie: It's always
good times at Charley's, which is why you
can find me there every Thursday. And many
Tuesdays. And most weekends. And, of
course, Columbus Day.
This is the time for me to tell you about
Ann Arbor's own Soup Nazi, the guy who
runs the little Le Dog shack on E. Liberty. He
may serve "No pop! No soda! Ever!! !" and he
may snap at you if you're not quick enough

with your order, but the man makes a sinful
lobster bisque. I'm serious: Shit's so good
you need to say 10 Hail Mary's after dining
- 15 if you get it with bread.
This is the time to confess my thrice-daily
devotion to Saturday Night Live reruns on
Comedy Central. Oh, that 1990 season! Dan
Carvey! Phil Hartman! G.E. Smith! M}D
dream job is a writing gig on SNL, so let's all
hope that Lorne Michaels can keep the show,
on the air long enough for me to give it a
whirl in both Studio 8H and Tina Fey.
This is the time to say that, no matter how
many times I see it, when Kevin Costner asks
his dad to have a game of catch at the end of
"Field of Dreams," I'm reduced to tears. Al'
Kula ... Dad ... you're a very good man.
This is the time to give the most important
shout-out of them all, to the person whb
deserves an entire column: Hi, Mom.
And, finally, this is the time to voice my
most sincere gratitude to everyone who has
been kind enough to pass along a compliment
about the column. Be it an e-mail or a hand-
shake on the street, every kind word has
meant a great deal to me. The way I see it,
when someone takes time out of their day to
think of you, to stop what they're doing just
to say, "Hey, I really enjoyed that," that's th
best compliment you could ever hopeim
receive.
Thanks for reading and, even more so,
thanks for your laughter.
This is Chris Kula'sfinal column or the
Michigan Daily. Give him feedback at
http://www.michigandaily. cm/forum or
via e-mail at ckila@umich.edu.

OPENING DIALOGUE
COMMENTARY ON THE DISCUSSIONS
OVER NATIONAL SLAVE REPARATIONS
Why reparations for slavery are a bad idea

"

VIEWPOINT
I have attempted to place an ad in col-
lege papers expressing the view that repara-
tions for slavery 136 years after the fact is a
bad idea. According to current polls, four
out of five Americans (including Hispanic
Americans, Asian Americans and other
minority Americans) agree with this view-
point. Yet 37 college papers, including The
Michigan Daily have found my ad too hot
to handle, and have refused to publish it.
Worse, the campus left - abetted by some
of these same papers - has mounted a
national hate campaign to slander me and
demonize me as a "racist" for expressing
what are obvious, commonly held, respect-
fully expressed opinions. The tactics of this
hate campaign are as underhanded as any
Joseph McCarthy ever used and if success-
ful would silence not only me, but anyone
attempting to express a viewpoint on racial
matters that is at odds with the politically
correct orthodoxy of the left.
I am a Jew. My people have been perse-
cuted by Christians for 2,000 years. Within
the lifetimes of millions of people in Ger-
many and the United States, six million
Jews were exterminated in a systematic
campaign to eliminate Jews from the face
of the earth. Yet I have not received a single
penny of reparations just for being a Jew.
Nor would I accept any. The only Jews who
have been compensated through reparations
by Germany are those Jews who were direct
survivors of the Holocaust or - if they did
not survive - their immediate families and
children. The Holocaust reparations were
paid to individuals who had their property
and lives taken from them, and to the state
of Israel - which is a state built by sur-
vivors of the Holocaust, and because no

other state would provide refuge for Jews
during the Holocaust. Reparations were not
paid to Jews generally, just because they
were Jews.
If reparations were offered to me mere-
ly for being a Jew, I would not only refuse
to accept them, but I would take out an ad

calling it a bad idea for Jews
too.

and racist
IM - - - -f

Since many Americans ACCOrdi
belong to nations and ethnic black red
groups that have been terribly
persecuted through history, I moveme
believe I can speak for them as black al
well. They would not claim-
reparations for injuries that is a vict
were not done directly to them. govern
Nor would they ask them from the Unit
Americans who had not direct- and th
ly injured them.
For these reasons, I would Should
also not support a reparations reparati
plan demanding that all Chris-
tians pay reparations to Jews, Amer&ic
just because some Christians are allv
persecuted some Jews, or
because most Christians persecuted all Jews
in the past. Yet that is exactly what the
black reparations movement proposes for
blacks - that all Americans pay black
Americans for deeds that were done by
some Americans (or even all Americans)
more than a century ago.
According to the black reparations
movement, every black alive today is a vic-
tim of the government of the United States
and therefore should be paid reparations by
all Americans who are alive today. This.
includes those whose ancestors fought
against slavery and segregation and dis-
crimination, as well those whose ancestors
came to this country long after slavery was
abolished. But why should even the descen-
dants of slave owners pay reparations

fnj
iI
tin
'7
ec
re

today? We do not punish the children of
murderers for crimes they have committed.
Why should the great-grand children of
slave owners be held responsible for the
crimes their ancestors committed?
As a Jew, I know that whatever injus-
tices my people have suffered in this coun-
try and others, the United States is the best,
freest and safest place for Jews
g to the to live in the entire world. As a
arations Jew I owe a debt to America
for giving me the opportunities
t, every and freedoms I have, and for
e today creating a society that is a
11 of the paragon of tolerance compared
to any other place I know. It is
gent of my opinion that black Ameri-
I States cans - who are richer, freer
refore and safer in the United States
than they would be anywhere
te paid else on earth - should feel the
Its by all same way.
That is basically what my
ns who ad said. The vicious campaign
today.' against the ad and myself is
really a campaign to close,
down free speech and to intimidate anyone
from expressing views critical of the ideas
of the left. I urge The Michigan Daily to
reconsider its decision. I urge members of
the University of Michigan community to
support not only my right to express these
views, but to express them without being
subjected to slander and character assassi-
nation. It is the only way to protect the free
speech rights of every member of this com-
munity.
DAVID HOROWITZ
The writer, who has attempted to print his ad
"Ten reasons why Reparations for Blacks is a
Bad Idea -and Racist Too" in 70 student news-
papers nationwide, writes a column for salon.com,
is editor in chief offrontpagemag.com, has written
several books and lives in Los Angeles.

9

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Jen j
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Engaging debate: Real solutions to racial inequality

i

VIEWPOINT

The United States is a nation that prides
itself on being an exceptional melting pot, and
practicing a particular brand of democracy.
However, it is not nor has it ever been a true

national discourse. This discourse can begin
on this campus, as we are already being
pressed to examine present and past racial
policies. These solutions are important to
investigate because it forces a look into histo-
ry, into causal affects of past policies, and into
creating comprehensive solutions to today's
problems.

melting pot or a free democracy.
plagued by racial profiling, a
digital divide, disenfranchised
national elections, and unjust,
discriminatory drug laws, there
is no democracy, melting pot or
racial harmony. In one of the
wealthiest and most industrial-
ized nations there is an educa-
tion, standard of living, and
economic disparity greater than
any other nation in the world that
undeniably exists along racial
lines, to call us a free country is a
lie. These are our nation's prob-
lems, created by our nation. If
we are to call ourselves a democ-

In a nation

'The wounds of
racial inequality
and injustice will
not heal until an
open discussion
about the origin
of those
inequalities and
injustices is
held.'

David Horowitz is not out of
order to attempt to bring the issue
of reparations into the limelight,
to our campus. I would prefer,
however, that a real dialogue take
place, in which investigations
may be made beyond incendiary
hearsay. There are many scholars,
elected officials, and community-
leaders who are sparking debate
and interest around this solution.
US Rep. John Conyers has put
forth H.R. 40, Commission to
Study Reparation Proposals for
African Americans Act, and dur-
ing every congress since January
bill now has 40 co-sponsors and

Furthermore, it is important to note that
the legislation proposed by John Conyers does
not demand reparations, but rather demands
that we as a nation look at slavery and openly
discuss how it has changed America, and how
to remedy the problems it has created. In order
for our nation to heal its racial wounds we
have to address our past and its impact on our
future. If it is never discussed then there is
never an option to decide if too much time has
passed or if the impact of slavery has dissipat-
ed. All these scholars, elected officials, com-
munity leaders, and citizens are asking for is a
space to seek out those answers. The wounds
of racial inequality and injustice will not heal
until an open discussion about the origin of
those inequalities and injustices is held.
To address reparations is to engage in real
dialogue, in real economic, social, philosophi-
cal, and political discourse. Many solutions
have been presented throughout history, to
solve the gross inequalities that have and con-
tinue to beleaguer this country. It is time to
address these issues and I see no reason why
our generation cannot be the ones to lead it.
"Reparation is also a crucial part of the
process offorgiveness. You see when some-
one steals your pen and then experiences

0

*

developed notions of what the CD/concert is
going to be like.
Take the recent review of Ben Harper's new
CD "Live From Mars." (4/10/01) Luke Smith
ends the first paragraph of his review by saying

racy, a land of freedom, if we all are to aspire
to the American dream, these problems must
be addressed.
Affirmative action has become America's

1989. The1

gains increasing support each year. Renowned
Harvard Scholar Cornel West, Archbishop
Desmond Tutu and Activist/Commentator

-- -- 'TT'Y T" -T a T --" /""tiĀ° a

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