Outside basketball, national television seldom shows Kentucky in a positive light. Still, imagine my chagrin when a recent expose detailed the Ku Klux Klan chapter in Dawson Springs.
The KKK is usually associated with bigotry toward African Americans, but evidently this chapter has turned its animus toward Jews. I gathered members would like to reject all things Jewish, so I am offering my help.
Although a relatively small percentage of the world's population, Jewish researchers have made a disproportionate number of major scientific and medical discoveries. I assume the bigots would reject using these discoveries.
Let's start with a few basics. Henry Heimlich discovered the lifesaving maneuver that bears his name. Carl Koller discovered local anesthetics, and Alfred Einhorn synthesized Novocaine. Sir Ernst Chain worked with Alexander Fleming to develop penicillin. Selman Waksman won the Nobel Prize for developing streptomycin, which for decades was the only effective treatment for tuberculosis.
Karl Landsteiner identified the blood typing system that makes transfusion possible. Charles Gerhardt realized the chemical change that makes aspirin an effective pain reliever that doesn't make people sick. Shepard Shapiro developed Coumadin to treat heart attacks.
Oskar Minkowski and Joseph von Mering discovered the role of the pancreas and its secretion of insulin, a seminal concept for diagnosis and treatment of diabetes. Jonas Salk and Albin Sabin synthesized the vaccinations for polio that used to cripple millions of children. Gregory Pincus, Carl Djerassi and Frank Colton developed oral contraceptives. Baruch Blumberg and Irving Millman produced the Hepatitis B vaccine.
Now, consider the really esoteric discoveries that improve treatment of human disease. Jewish researchers discovered the immunological system and deduced the way it operates. Henry Kaplan pioneered radiation oncology to fight cancer. Louis Goodman, Alfred Gilman and Sidney Farber discovered the basis for chemotherapy. Barnett Rosenberg produced the first effective treatment for testicular cancer, which now has a 90 percent survival rate.
Several Jewish scientists discovered and developed the use of retroviruses to battle AIDS.
Jewish researchers identified the chemical transmitters that make our nervous and muscular systems function; and worked out the most basic chemical reactions that make life of any kind possible. Marshall Nirenberg shared the Nobel Prize for breaking the genetic code.
I. I. Rabi invented the MRI technology that has saved countless lives by improving diagnosis.
This list is by no means exhaustive. One thing that we can deduce from this is that the Jews themselves are responsible for the anti-Semitism we see today. If it were not for their work, most, if not all these bigots, would have died a long time ago.
And that would be a huge loss.
Without them, who would teach us how to tie a deer carcass across the hood of a pickup truck or shoot beer cans off each other's heads?