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Lessons In Aryan Ignorance

January 19, 1986

Having just read the first two columns of John Voland's feature on Dolph Lundgren (Calendar, Jan. 13), I am left in awe of Voland's shameless ignorance and aghast at the obvious absence of any editorial intervention to prevent its display.

Voland writes of "Lundgren's classically Aryan features--blond hair, blue eyes, sculpted frame. . . ." Aryan? "Scandinavian" perhaps. "Nordic," maybe. Even "Viking." But Aryan? I suggest Voland be sent back to school for some basic lessons in history or anthropology or geography.

"Aryan" refers to a language spoken by a people who are supposed to have lived millennia ago on the Iranian Plateau of Southern Asia between the Caspian Sea and the Hindu Kush Mountains.

The World Book Encyclopedia states: "The term Aryan can be used only to describe a language . . . . There is no such thing as an Aryan race."

Webster's New World Dictionary goes a step further: "Aryan has no validity as an ethnological term, although it has been used, notoriously and variously, by the Nazis to mean 'a Caucasian of non-Jewish descent.' " If there were such a thing as an Aryan, he or she would look much more like the Ayatollah Khomaini than Dolph Lundgren.

MICHAEL L. COHEN

West Hollywood

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