Protesting “Denial” in Ann Arbor
Three activists, working under the auspices of Deir Yassin Remembered, staged a peaceful protest in front of the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor prior to the screening of the Hollywood movie “Denial”. We engaged passersby with informative chatter and 13 copies of “What Does Holocaust Denial Really Mean” by DYR Executive Director Daniel McGowan. Patrons of the theater did not, in the main, enter these discussions, but merely called us names; one woman claimed that David Irving – the subject of the film – falsified documents, but when asked, failed to identify any such document.
An Interesting Consideration
In our vigil report of August 27 we explained how Jewish Power cowed Patricia Garcia, publisher of the Ann Arbor Observer, into denying a paid advertisement announcing our weekly vigils at Beth Israel Congregation. Readers will remember the slanderous letter by Victor Lieberman that most likely steered Patricia’s hand in making this decision to limit our ability to reach other audiences.
Most people will side with the Observer on this one. Even Germar Rudolf, in Fail: Denying the Holocaust* agrees with this seemingly bedrock American principle when he admits, “Private enterprises … have the right to reject advertisements…” (p. 135). He recognizes the difference between governmental right of free speech and that of privately owned newspapers. But he asks an important question:
What good is the right to freedom of speech, if we don’t have the right to be heard?
Let’s take a look at the case of Lester Maddox. His private enterprise was the Pickrick Cafeteria in Atlanta, Georgia and was open only to white customers. It was Maddox’s wish that blacks and those who were considered integrationists were refused service at the Pickrick. Just like Ms. Garcia of the Observer, Maddox thought this bedrock American principle – doing what you want with your own company – would allow him to fulfil his wish.
But enter the US government, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Willis v. Pickrick Restaurant, and Maddox was forced to desegregate the Pickrick. Perhaps the federal government was concerned that the public interest – perhaps a greater good – was served by forcing Maddox against his personal wishes.
OK, we’re all down with the Civil Rights Act, aren’t we? It just makes sense that – in this case – more goodwill will come out of overriding an owner’s wishes than by allowing him/her to do as they please. But we ask: would a future “Free Speech Act of 2017” force the hand of the Observer, just as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forced Lester Maddox’s?
*_G. Rudolf critique of D. Lipstadt’s Denying the Holocaust
Oct. 22: FiveVigilers
Oct. 29: Four Vigilers
Deplorable Lives Matter
Witness for Peace