Dear Ms. Rhodes:
We have received complaints about and ourselves are deeply troubled by your recent on-air comparison between the evacuation of victims of hurricane Katrina and the deportation of Jews to Auschwitz during World War II.
On the September 21 edition of your show, during a call from a listener about the New Orleans evacuations, you said:
"It reminds me of a little visit I made to the Holocaust museum, and I saw these cattle cars, and they took people to go on them but they didn't tell them where they were going…So what are you supposed to do? Just do a faith-based evacuation? [Mocking tone:] 'I'm sure he wouldn't send me to Auschwitz.'…
"…Think about it this way. People were taken one place. Their children were taken another place. This is so much like the Holocaust! I can't even -- You know, it's like, you're not supposed to forget the Holocaust so that it can't happen again. And here you have people being loaded onto transportation vehicles, not being told where they're going, and their children are being taken someplace else..."
While we appreciate the fact that talk radio is unscripted, the analogy comparing rescue operations --as mismanaged as they may have been --to Auschwitz deportations is a perversion of morality and history. The government's flawed attempt was intended to save lives, not exterminate them.
Hurricane Katrina shined a needed spotlight on the neglected issues of racism and poverty in America. The horrific images coming out of New Orleans speak for themselves of the distance we as a society have yet to travel in securing rights, freedoms, and dignity for all. Nevertheless, the outpouring of support for Katrina's victims by Americans of every political, racial, religious and economic stripe provides a hopeful counterpoint in the midst of the disaster. By comparing the Katrina relief effort to the Holocaust, you demean decent Americans and the memory of six million Jews and others who died at the hands of the Nazis.
We look forward to your response.