Drake's 'toxic' signs
I have the displeasure of driving past the political rants that cover the
side of the blue building on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard near The Hub in
San Anselmo every morning.
Although, in the past, I have been offended by the rants
expressed on that sign, not just for their ridiculous political content,
but because of occasional foul language used, this week the offense reached
a new low.
The sign asked whether U.S.
doctors at "Gitmo" are no better than the Nazi doctors during
the Holocaust. As the child of a Holocaust survivor, I am deeply alarmed
at the cavalier bandying about of comparisons of our military to Hitler
and the Nazis. Every time this comparison is made, the memory of the Holocaust
is watered down.
As Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby said recently in response
to Sen. Dick Durbin's similar comparison, "Those who draw such insane
parallels seek to damn their opponents with the most evil association they
can imagine. But all they really accomplish is a kind of Holocaust-denial
... Anyone who can say (or imply) such a thing is guilty of trivializing
the Nazis' crimes and of cheapening the agony of their victims."
I suggest the political ranter with the sign do some homework
to discover what those Nazi doctors really did to their victims.
He will find that the Nazi doctors injected concentration
camp prisoners with malaria, typhus, smallpox, cholera and spotted fever;
broke subjects' bones and injected them with infection-causing substances;
confined them in low-pressure chambers until their lungs exploded; this
is just a tiny sampling of their experiments.
First, I can't help but wonder what role courtesy plays
in our community.
I possess strong opinions on politics too, but I refrain
from shoving them down my neighbors' throats. I respect them and I respect
my community. I like civility. It goes well with the beauty of our Marin
These signs are toxic. I feel poisoned when I
have to pass them on a daily basis.
More importantly, every time news comes out of American
leadership speaking in this sort of inflammatory language, it is broadcast
on Al-Jazeera and lifts the morale of those who seek to destroy us.
If the Drake Boulevard ranter cared about our troops, he
would not contribute to a climate that leads to more death.
Far from proclaiming his free-speech rights, perhaps the
ranter should be tried for treason, for aiding and abetting the enemy in
a time of war.
Michelle Shelfer, San Anselmo