Rowan on Jews
Carl Rowan's June 15 column, in which he criticizes "a few Jewish pickets" of the NAACP's invitation to Louis Farrakhan to participate in the "Black Summit," misses every point.
First, Mr. Rowan blames Jewish individuals for anti-Semitism, calling the protest an "overreaction" that "serves to increase . . . anti-Semitism." No surprise there.
Second, Mr. Rowan barely conceals his own contempt for Jews, making the outrageous statement that "some Jews will cripple or destroy anything that is black." Please, Mr. Rowan, name any other group which has done more to support issues advanced by black Americans.
Third, he imputes false motivation to those who protested, when he says the protesters claim Mr. Farrakhan's presence at the summit "shows NAACP endorsement and approval of his anti-Semitism." I protested because I think anti-Semitism is very bad, and antithetical to the values and principles that are the foundation of the NAACP's purpose.
Fourth, Mr. Rowan's reference to certain Jewish leaders who "understand why Mr. Farrakhan was invited" confuses a political issue with what is a moral issue.
Fifth, and this was as predictable as the sunrise, Mr. Rowan cries racism against unnamed Jews whom he claims expect him to denounce every black utterance of anti-Semitism. And, with apparent seriousness, Mr. Rowan wonders why Jews do not criticize Howard Stern.
And, of course, Mr. Rowan brings Israel into the mix with a reference to its trade with white South Africa. Again, Mr. Rowan is wrong.
If Jews have asked anything of black leaders, it is only not to legitimize anti-Semitism. That is not the same things as asking black leaders to denounce every instance of black anti-Semitism.
And, Israeli trade with white South Africa was insignificant when compared to the non-white nations' trade with South Africa.
Sixth, Mr. Rowan's complaint about the objections of some Jews to public funds being given to institutions that promote anti-Semitism parallels the transparent hypocrisy of his uncompromising advocacy of gun control at the same time that he shoots another with his gun.
Finally, Mr. Rowan blames the growing rift between blacks and Jews to, who else, Jews. Those damn bloodsuckers. When will they learn?
Michael Kinsley's feeble attempt June 2 to rationalize and absolve Bill Clinton's draft doging fails to address the key factor that indicts his conduct.
It is all well and good to protest the policies of your government, but when one is of draft age and acts to avoid induction, he effectively puts someone else at risk.
Had Bill Clinton and his ilk done what was lawfully asked of them by their country, the names on the Vietnam Memorial would be different than they are.
Their claim of moral vindication leaves those living veterans who shed blood at our country's behest with no better defense than that of the Nazis at Nuremberg, namely that they were just following orders.
I care little how President Clinton conducts his life and I can judge his presidency on its merits. But 30 years ago we made choices and in justification of the killing that I did in America's name I will take to the grave the belief that his choice was wrong and unforgivable.
Harwood S. Nichols III
KAL and the Pope
A political cartoonist specializes in ridicule. He demeans with scorn and contempt, often using caricature to arouse laughter or merriment. He makes fun of his subject.
But the June 2 KAL cartoon goes too far. The caricature mocks Pope John Paul II's denial of priesthood to women by placing on the head of the pontiff a crocodile's head instead of a miter, the beast having just devoured a woman holding an "ORDAIN WOMEN NOW" sign.
Curiously, the man thus lampooned does not in the least resemble Pope John Paul. He is a short, fat bishop with a pronounced Italianate visage. Is this also an ethnic slur?
All in all, a stupid cartoon.
Maurice F. Mackey Jr.
Your political cartoon caricaturing the Roman Catholic papacy was in poor taste to say the least. I wonder if the editorial staff would so glibly assail the traditions of the Orthodox and Hasidic Jews, the Islamics, the Mormons or other religious bodies.
Such Catholic-bashing is a despicable, cowardly action that demonstrates a religious prejudice and cultural bias on the part of The Sun's editorial board.
A definitive and positive statement was made by Pope John Paul on an issue internal to the Roman Catholic Church. Opposing viewpoints of your type from outside the church only show a developmentally challenged understanding of the church and her teachings.
Marc C. Kollar
New Brunswick, N.J.
Clinics Provide More Than Abortions
In his Opinion * Commentary piece June 3, Stephen Zunes criticizes the new Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrance Act and also the behavior of some pro-choicers.
While I deplore fanaticism on either side as much as Mr. Zunes, I hardly think that his example of tearing off anti-abortion bumper stickers is in the same category as depriving women of health care (some of it life-saving) at women's clinics.
I agree with Mr. Zunes -- it was unfortunate that Gov. Robert Casey of Pennsylvania was not allowed to speak at the Democratic National Convention because of his support of restrictions on Roe vs. Wade, but is Governor Casey in danger of dying from cancer because of it?
Perhaps Mr. Zunes does not know that many women's clinics provide other services as well as abortion.
For instance, some of the services which Planned Parenthood provides are early cancer screening, gynecological exams, diagnosis and treatment of infections such as syphilis, contraceptive counseling, testing for HIV, pregnancy testing.
Mr. Zunes says that there are already laws that forbid trespassing, disorderly conduct and murder. That is true, but the history of the non-enforcement of those laws in relation to women's health clinics is well documented . . . Perhaps if the moderate members of the pro-life movement had worked harder to contain the violent activity of the fringe, there would have been no need for this act.
Or if the pro-life movement had insisted that the police and judges enforce the then-existing laws, there would not be, at the present time, six demonstrators charged with a federal crime because they closed a clinic in Milwaukee for three on a recent weekend.
I wonder how many of the women who were turned away from the Milwaukee clinic in those three hours were deprived of the opportunity to receive early cancer screening?
While I have great sympathy for pro-life pacifists, I fail to see how throwing blood on a bomber is in any way comparable to depriving a woman of a possible life-saving pap test.
Mr. Zunes says that it is unfair to lump the violent and the nonviolent protesters. Perhaps so, but is it any more fair to deprive women of health care because some fanatics object to the behavior of some women?
Mr. Zunes says that it is troubling that Congress has devised a law targeted at a movement with a particular political goal. But the law is not about protecting abortion clinics, it is about protecting the health and the freedom of women . . .