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Friday, April 07, 2006

Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) joins in protest of Nolan Finley

AAJA sends letter to Detroit News columnist Nolan Finley to protest his inflammatory remarks about how the "Palestinian lust for Jewish blood is stronger than their desire for peace." The column, which appeared Feb. 5, also contained statements such as "terrorism is the history of the Palestinian people."

April 5, 2006

Mr. Nolan Finley
The Detroit News
615 W. Lafayette
Detroit, MI 48226

Dear Mr. Finley:

We write to object to your Feb. 5 column that casts an entire people as having "a lust for Jewish blood." It goes beyond free speech and crosses the line into racial stereotyping.

While we understand that unpopular opinions sometimes offend, you seem to repeatedly express an unqualified bias against a group without backing up the inflammatory opinion, and we want to know why.

This sort of baseless, and hyperbolic name-calling, is offensive to readers, offensive to other journalists -- and inappropriate for a Pulitzer-prize winning newspaper that strives to serve its community and uphold the highest journalistic standards.

We at AAJA -- whose membership represents more than three dozen nationalities and ethnic groups in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific Islands -- urge you to publicly acknowledge that your commentary crossed the line by demeaning all Palestinians, and for you to encourage a truly open discourse on the subject by inviting and publishing commentary from those with a competing, alternative perspective.

We await your response.

The Media Watch Committee
Asian American Journalists Association

cc:David J. Butler, Editor & Publisher
Susan Burzynski, Managing Editor

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