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Friday, March 24, 2006

Arab Journalists in Detroit protest racist slurs in Detroit News

Michigan State House Resolution condemns anti-Palestinian column in Detroit News
Released March 23, 2006
Contact: Osama Siblani / 313-582-4888

LANSING - State Representative LaMar Lemmons III has introduced House Resolution 214, condemning a recent anti-Palestinian column in the Detroit News by the newspaper's editorial page editor, Nolan Finley.

The resolution also calls for an apology from Finley.

The resolution draws attention to the dehumanizing, cruel and discriminatory comments made by Finley, who refers in the column to all Palestinians as bloodthirsty through such blanket prejudicial statements as "Palestinian lust for Jewish blood is stronger than their desire for peace" and "terrorism is the history of the Palestinian people."

Lemmons, an African American who represents Detroit's far east side, said he felt disgust and anger when he first read the column.

"Nolan Finley's generalization of all Palestinians as terrorists is reminiscent of many stereotypes that my people have been victimized by," he said.

"History is riddled with tyrants who have painted with a broad brush to negatively characterize entire groups and races of people," he added. "I think it's time to say we as a society are more humane and intelligent than one would guess from this column. I presented this resolution to say I believe it's time we all stand together to show our revulsion for this rhetoric because an attack against one is an attack against us all."

The Congress of Arab American Organizations in Michigan (CAAO), representing more than forty organizations, called last week for continued pressure on the Detroit News until the issue is resolved.

"We support Resolution 214 and thank the representatives for their action on this very important issue," said CAAO president Abed Hammoud.

The resolution has been referred to the Government and Operations Committee. It was co-sponsored by Representatives Lemmons, Jr. (father of Lemmons III), George Cushingberry, Jr., Matthew Gillard, Alexander C. Lipsey, Fred Miller, Barbara Farrah, and Gino Polidori.


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