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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
February 14, 1992     The Message
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February 14, 1992
 

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4 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana i i iii Perspective February 14, -' By PAUL LEINGANG Some sounds linger forever in a person's soul. I will never forget the sounds of elated con- versation tumbling from the room where my son was born. I will never forget the sound of a plane crash in Evansville. I will remember, too, that I heard their names. Is sound more personal than sight? It seems to me that it is. We can shut our eyes, but not our ears. We can hear in darkness or in light. We can see only what is outside of us. Sound sometimes comes all the way in. My.son Matt was born under the care and di- rection of a doctor who did not want the father in the delivery room with the mother. I was allowed to wait in the hall around the corner -- out of sight, but within easy hearing distance. Ben, the next in the family, was born under circumstances which did not allow me to hear him or see him immediately. Ben arrived quickly and with characteristic suddenness. I had to wait for Matt. Washington Letter Sounds of sudden and surprising death Without seeing, I learned a lot about my first-born: "It's a boy," "He's all there," and "He's beautiful." The moment of jubilation erased the memories of earlier pain and uncer- tainty. I can't tell you exactly what was said, but I remember that the sound of it was won- derful. The sound of a plane flying over the Catholic Center usually does not catch my at- tention. It happens so often in our location near the end of the runway that I disregard it. But not on that Thursday morning. An unusal change in the sound of the en- gine noise caught my attention. It was followed by silence. And then the sound of a crash. I can't tell you exactly what it sounded like, but I knew something terrible had happened. I hoped it was not serious, as I drove to the scene. An engine may have fallen and exploded -- such things have happened with- out great harm. What I saw when I arrived only deepened the sense within me of what I had feared from the first. The cargo plane had crashed into the rear of JoJo's restaurant and into the side of the Drury Inn. The steady roar of the flames was in" terrupted by small explosions -- fuel tanks in the cars and trucks burning in the parking area, somebody said. What I had heard in that first instant was the sound of sudden and surprising death. Of all that was said and sung and spoken at the memorial liturgy the next day, what I still hear is the calling out of the names of those wh0 died, and the names of those who were hurt. One by one, their names were spoken, and we prayed for them Calling out their names somehow brought them all inside of us. We spoke our prayers for them, believing and hoping that what we said would somehow get inside them and into those who love them. God grant all of us peace! i Campaign trail 1992: Of Zulus, hate crime and recession, to teach children not to t ' In the view of Jerome the executive director o ,-,1 Washington-based No, t! Jat'e Catholic Conference ' -,,s" racial Justice "overt ex!li  sions of racism are boC.Ti acceptable again" at lea i've part because politicianS. 0's taken to blaming the natle$. crime, violence and.Ud ployment on minorities By LAURIE HANSEN Catholic News Service = , . WASHINGTON (CNS) -- On the 1992 presidential campaign trail, race and im- migration have emerged as two potentially explosive is- sues. Early indications included former Ku Klux Klansman David Duke's declaration to run and Republican candi- date Patrick Buchanan's promise to build a fence on the U.S.-Mexico border if elected and his contention that non-European immi- grants pose a threat to U.S. culture. "I think God made all peo- ple good, but if we had to take a million immigrants in, say Zulus, next year, or En- glishmen, and put them in Virginia, what group would be easier to assimilate and would cause less problems for the people of Virginia?" Buchanan, a Catholic, has asked rhetorically. All the issues pushed by Duke seem to have a racial or immigrant angle -- from cracking down on the Japanese for their trade prac- i The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47720-0169 Weekly newspaper of the DiOcese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville Publisher .............. Bishop Gerald A, Getlelfinger Associate Publisher ............... Rev. Joseph Ziliak Editor ............................................ Paul Leingang Production Manager ........................... Phil Boger Circulation .................................... Susan Winiger Advertising .................................... Paul Newland Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $17.50 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2nd class matter at the post office in Evansville, IN 47701. Publica- tion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Publication Copyright 1992 Catholic Press of Evansville rices to closing the U.S. bor- der to new immigrants, from attacking affirmative action to blaming drugs, crime and unwed mothers on welfare families. Democratic presidential contender Bob Kerrey comes dangerously close to joining a growing chorus of "Japan- bashing" with a campaign ad in which he stands in an empty auditorium and says "about every 10 hours, enough Americans to fill this auditorium lose their jobs be- cause of unfair trade prac- tices." The ad claims -- inac- curately, say experts -- that forcing Japanese markets to open would mean 3,000 U.S. jobs a day, or a million jobs a year. Alan Kraut, history profes- sor at American University in Washington, says the cam- paign rhetoric isn't surpris- ing. Given that "we are in the midst of a major wave of im- migration" and an economic recession, "there is a ten- dency to look for someone to blame," he told Catholic News Service Feb. 7. "Tough times can bring out the best and the worst in peo- ple," said John L. Carr, U.S. bishops' secretary for social development and world peace. In his view, "our polit- ical leaders ought to be judged by whether they bring out the best or the worst in US." Immigrants have no lobby, he notes. "By definition they can't vote. Tht.y're an easy target." Carr challenges voters to "see which candidates can resist the easy target" and focus on the real issues. Immigrant-bashing of today is the "updated version" of the "scapegoating" of Catholics, especially Irish Catholics fleeing the potato famine a century and a half ago, according to Kraut. Immigration was accelerat- ing,.the newcomers were blamed for crime, poverty, even cholera. It was argued they wouldn't make good U.S. citizens "as their first loyalty was to the pope of Rome," said Kraut. At the time some of those opposed to the newcomers formed secret "nativist" soci- eties and swore to vote only for candidates who were Protestant, U.S.-born and who favored "Americans rul- ing America." A number of the societies linked under a political party nicknamed the "Know-Noth- ings" that had a measure of political success, electing governors in six states and dozens of members of Congress in the mid-1850s. But by 1860 the movement had faded. Jesuit Father Joseph Fitz- patrick, sociologist at Ford- ham University in the Bronx, says the United States has al- ways had a "contradictory at- titude" tov)ard immigrants, pointing to the anti- immi- grant sentiment that flour- ished in the 1800s despite the nation's "desperate need for manpower" at the time. Seventy years later, stem- ming from a belief that "Cen- tral and South Europeans were culturally unable to adapt" to the U.S. way of life, the omnibus immigration law of 1924 set up quotas that strongly favored persons of British or Irish descent, said Father Fitzpatrick. Contributing to the anti-im- migrant feeling today, he be- lieves, is the changing face of the U.S. economy  with fewer and fewer jobs for the unskilled and semi-skilled worker -- coupled with the fact that "we have a more crowded ... more diverse na- tion" than in the past. In the midst of the current display of bashing by presi- dential candidates have come numerous reports of racially motivated attacks on city streets. In New York on Jan. 6 two black children -- a 14-year- old boy and his sister, 12 -- were assaulted by four white youths as they walked to school. They robbed them, cut off some of the girl's hair and then smeared the two with white shoe polish. A week later, the victim was a 12-year-old Hispanic boy whom white teen-agers, screaming racial insults, beat and covered with white paint as he waited to take a bus to school in the Bronx. The incidents prompted New York Mayor David N. Dinkins to ask: "Who taught our children to hate so thor- oughly and mercilessly?" Calling hate crimes repre- hensible the mayor said he could not find it in his heart to blame the perpetrators alone. He said he was issuing a "loud wake-up call to the adults of our city" because they were failing in their duty immigrants, reside' Kraut argues that p .gill tial candidates' bashing " bring them few votes. . { " II'l * "Yes, there are prab.le the our relationship 'wlt.t,s Japanese. But these prU'e have been there for ,ffr.r" time. The Japanese did !. 0f ate the crisis in health ceti. in production .... The ...,i. can people are too sophistic cared to buy such sirP' answers," he said. Bishop's schedule The following activities and events are listed on the schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger Feb, 24i 1 pml CST, : ..... :