Jackson County Commissioner Phil Duckham carried a sign with a swastika (with a circle and slash "no symbol around it) on it to the recent healthcare rally in Jackson, and the Jackson Citizen Patriot says in an article about the rally: "This is how Hitler started out," Duckham said. "First, Obama took over the auto industry, then the banking industry. We don't need him to take over the health-care industry."
What follows is my letter to the "Voice of the People" (letters to the editor) of the Jackson Citizen Patriot:
As a person of faith and as a citizen, I am appalled at County Commissioner Phil Duckham’s public actions and statements comparing Obama to Hitler. They were callous and insensitive comparisons. Comparing Obama to Hitler shows ignorance of Hitler’s motivations and actions, and insensitivity to the Holocaust survivors in our own community.
I invite any making such comparisons to do more to inform themselves. Actions I have taken to inform myself that I would recommend to anyone wanting to understand Hitler and the Holocaust include reading Anne Frank, Primo Levi, Elie Wiesel, Viktor Frankl, and our own local Miriam Winter; meeting and listening to Holocaust survivors; going to the excellent Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills, MI; taking courses on the Holocaust; and visiting Auschwitz.
Arthur Caplan recently wrote for MSNBC, “There is plenty to debate about health reform. But there is nothing to debate about the contemptible introduction of references, direct or oblique, to Nazi Germany. To do so is to engage in Holocaust denial. To do that is, as those Americans of the greatest generation who died or were injured fighting the Nazi menace well understood, inexcusable.”
Rev. Cynthia L. Landrum, Minister
Universalist Unitarian Church of East Liberty