Letters to the Editor

Reagan -- Great Man?

Dear Editor:

I need to take exception with Michael Lewis' assertion that Ronald Reagan's term as President "was one of the most productive and beneficial in the history of the country." (Reflections on a great man's day, Feb. 9) During the 1980s, the United States went from being the largest creditor nation in the world to the largest debtor nation in the world. How can this be considered productive and beneficial?

By declaring him to be out of the loop during the Iran-Contra scandal, he forgets the notion that "the buck stops here." We don't really know what Reagan knew about this fiasco run out of the White House basement. In fact, the President should probably be held accountable for all the killings committed with American weapons by right-wing death squads throughout Central America during the '80s.

Homelessness is another great legacy of the Reagan era. By closing mental institutions and de-funding programs for the homeless in the '80s, we now have a government that turns its back on our most needy citizens. I don't remember homelessness being a huge problem back in the '70s.

Mr. Lewis gives President Reagan credit for the demise of the Soviet Union. This doesn't take into account the internal factors that led to the breakup. Even if our military buildup contributed to its demise, was it worth the trillions we spent? Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

The greatest American of the late 20th century already has a national holiday in his honor. It was reluctantly signed into law by Ronald Reagan. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. identified the three great evils of our society to be racism, militarism and poverty. King said, "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

Before proposing any new national holidays, I suggest Mr. Lewis find some creative ways to celebrate the ones we already have.

Ron Schneider

Graduate Student SPA

Hidden Slurs

Dear Editor:

I'm writing to inform the AU community of a remark made byNBCChannel 4 sportscaster George Michaelson the 6 p.m. broadcast of Feb. 10. Michaels ran a story on the Westminster Dog Show.He provided commentary as one by one, the camera showedvariousbreeds in the ring. At the point at which apekingese was shown trotting around the ring,Mr. Michaels commented, "now that breed reminds me of an AU Princess."

I went to AU in the early '70s and unfortunately remember all too well the anti-Semitic sentiments of some of my classmates when greeting my freshman class with signs that said "Go Home JAPS," an acronym for "Jewish American Princess." All through my years at AU there were subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, references to "JAPS" on campus. It's my hope, for you, the present student community of AU, that these references of an ugly sentiment would be long gone.It's unfortunate that this sentiment remainsand thatits existence is also known through the neighboring community.When I called the station to complain, the first woman I spoke to admitted to being a recent AU graduate and confirmed that this sort of thinking was still prevalent.This remark was inexcusable and I hope that studentswho may have seen this segment join me in letting NBC4 know that Mr. Michaels wasquite out of the bounds of decency in making it. It's up to the students of AU, particularly Jewish women, to make sure that once and for all, zero tolerance stance is taken against these kinds of references.

Tina Hochberg

Class of 1975 School of Government and Public Administration

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