Have
You No Decency?

By

Leonard
Zwelling

“Senator, may we not drop this?
We know he belonged to the Lawyers Guild. Let us not assassinate this lad
further, Senator. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At
long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

From Joseph N. Welch on June 9,
1954 before the Army-McCarthy hearings

     This
is one of the most famous quotes of the 1950’s and is part of the lurid history
of the post WWII era of Red fear and Red baiting that permeated the United
States and its governing bodies. Eventually, the country got past all of this
rhetoric and the ruined careers from Hollywood to Washington as well as those careers
made by the chasing of Communists under every bed, like that of Richard Nixon.
It did cost many people their livelihoods and reputations. It was done with malice,
malevolence and expediency to capitalize on the fear Americans had of the
Soviet threat. It was anti-Semitic, racist, homophobic and un-American. It was
not America’s finest hour.

     The
quote from Joseph Welch to Senator McCarthy, a real bully if ever there was
one, appealed to the senator’s sense of decency about ruining the career of one
of Welch’s young attorneys. The senator had no boundaries about who he would
bring down in his ludicrous attempt to find the enemy in every corner of the
country.

     I
bring this up today because of the article in The Cancer Letter on Friday, April 17 that lists the salaries of the top
executives at MD Anderson. The table on page 5 shows the estimates for the
salaries of the top 6 executives at MD Anderson ranging from $1.3 to 1.8
million (2015 estimates of total compensation). This is at a time of increased
pressure for the clinical faculty to increase patient encounters, curtail all
unnecessary spending on things like couches, and the lowest morale in the
history of the 75 plus year old institution. How can this be justified?

    

It
cannot.

     If
this is not the final insult to the faculty and staff of MD Anderson, I don’t know
what more the Board of Regents, who approved new raises for some of these men (all
white men), could do to display its contempt for the faculty and staff.

     If
the time has not arrived for a work stoppage on the part of the entire
institution, I believe that the executives can declare victory and go home.

     Clearly,
they have no decency!

Leonard Zwelling