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Response to Marzillier

Posted by parhad on September 04, 2001 at 23:19:21:

Mr. Marzillier,

The comments of Dr. Ross were broadcast over the internet, not just among your student body, therefore they concern the entire community, not just the students at your college. There are many adults in your area who are interested in this debate as it concerns them, their children and our heritage. Let's face it, had you offended any other group but us, you would not now be imposing these conditions.

You people are once again tossing more fuel onto the flames. Dr. Wieder was correct in stating that Dr. Ross' comments on the internet are not officially school business, but you can't tell me that if it was known that Dr. Ross participated in KKK activities on his own time, it would be of no concern to your school or the public.

His writing that we Assyrians "Killed more Jews than Hitler", is as close to Hate Speech as anything needs to be. To equate our people with the one demon we all recognize, and who is a subject taught in your school as one of the most unsavory people ever to have been born, then to tell us, our neighbors and countrymen that we are worse than a travesty you seem to take far too lightly.

We have several lawyers in your area as well offices in Sacramento we could complain to, not to mention the ACLU...I really think it would be better for all of us if you took this a little more seriously. We do not feel at all that you are doing us any courtesy. Quite the contrary we are looking to you and your publicly funded college to make amends to our community for the inexcusable comments an avowed amateur such as Dr. Ross made in class, on your campus, while paid by all of us taxpayers to "teach" our children.

To have made such prejudicial comments about us and to us, while being so completely ignorant of current thinking and research, relying on the Bible of all things, is hardly an academic approach to our history and our people. And we are only so patient. Before you react to what you might think is a high handed tone, pause a minute and reflect on how much grief you will save all of us by being a bit more forthcoming.

I know it seems a simple enough matter for you to take the part of the accomodating party in this. But it is we who have been the understanding ones, it is our community which has so far suffered this slander in silence. This is a common mistake people with your attitude towards us Middle Easterners make...because we are polite and conciliatory in the beginning, you assume we must therefore be ready to accept whatever you deign to send our way.

I doubt that you plan your athletic games, dances, or any number of other activities at the noon hour to make it easier on your students and shut out their parents who are working at that hour...and since when is a community college not interested in serving the parents of its students, who have also been dragged into this, as well as the tax payers who support you and your institution.

The date you have chosen will do, but not the time. I will be coming to Los Angeles to give a speech at our local Assyrian affiliate sometime soon. They are keenly aware of what is going on and I will tell them what I can. I ask you to re-consider the time. As to the history professor, it would be helpful to know who it will be, the qualifications and the nature of the comments to be made. Assyriology is a field undergoing rapid transformation so that these concerns of ours are important. As Dr. Ross based his entire "evaluation" on a source such as the Bible, we are rightly concerned that any "expert" you might find, actually fit that description.


Fred Parhad

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