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Cartoon attacked world terrorism

I write in response to Susan H. Franzblau's letter of Tuesday, April 23, in which she took offense at a cartoon based on the song, "We are the World, We are the Children." The cartoon is neither insulting nor racist, and it makes an important point in a clever way.

To call the cartoon an insult to the performers who sang the original song misses the whole point of the cartoon. Their motives in raising money to help alleviate hunger in Africa are neither challenged nor parodied by the cartoon. Rather, the cartoon's intent is to remind the reader of another world problem: international terrorism. Calling the people in the cartoon "freedom fighters" instead of "terrorists" does not alter the fact that they are, indeed, "the ones who use the bombs and guns so you stop living." Their violent tactics should not be tolerated.

Franzblau also labels the cartoon "racist," apparently because of its depiction of Iranians, Irish, Arabs, and Central Americans as violent terrorists. However, all of the characters in the cartoon are clearly identifiable as specific, well-known indiviuals or members of well-known terrorist groups, not as representative citizens of their respective countries. For example, the Iranian in the cartoon is clearly intended to be Khomeini. Does Franzblau seriously believe that Iranians at MIT support the Khomeini regime? The cartoon can only be offensive to those who do, and they deserve to be offended.

The "offensive" cartoon serves as a grim reminder that terrorism is an ever-present world problem and should be dealt with as such. The cartoon was certainly one of the better ones to appear in The Tech in a while.

Scott I. Berkenblit '86->