Skewed focusIt is interesting that the media are creating...

the Forum

December 12, 1990

Skewed focus

It is interesting that the media are creating a controversy out of mediocrity. I am referring to the latest music video by Madonna. Instead of concentrating on trivial matters such as this, the media should put the attention on the possibility of war in the Middle East.

When the media pay so much attention to unimportant matters and so little to important ones, it is a sign of serious problems. George Bush wants a war. A war would bring death and suffering. That is what the media should be talking about. Forget about so-called dirty words and naked pictures.

Peggy Cook


People can learn respect for others

In the Dec. 3 Evening Sun article on the city race-relation summit, one of the participants, Carol P. Bruce, was quoted as saying, "You can't teach a racist to be non-racist." Perhaps this may be true in the context of government hiring practices, but in general I disagree.

Much racism stems from ignorance and misinformation. Although there are many racist people who are beyond hope, there are also many who have the ability to change if only someone would take the time to explain the facts to them.

There are also "borderline racists," people who are basically good but are too insulated in our still-segregated society. They wouldn't directly hurt someone, but their complacency about racism exacerbates the problem.

We all know these people. When we take the time to argue civilly with them instead of believing the adage, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks," the eventual turnarounds can be heartening. The best remedy, of course, is for folks of different backgrounds to spend more time together. People can learn to accept others.

Ramona Pula


Biased on Bias

I was appalled at the blame-the-victim tone of your Dec. 6 editorial on the tragic death of Jay Bias. On the basis of what I read in your paper, this young man was a totally innocent victim of senseless violence. It is certainly unreasonable to try to involve him in the guilt on the basis of the type of store he was in or the type of car in which he was riding.

If you want to cast blame on someone beyond the direct perpetrator, blame the society which tolerates every Tom, Dick and Harry running around with a gun in his pocket. This is insanity.

Mary A. Hershfeld


Turning point

In this last decade of the 20th century the world is at a crossroads, and, whichever action is taken in the Persian Gulf, it could be the turning point leading to a better world, coming as it does at the end of the Cold War.

President Bush (once designated as a wimp) has been acting as a gadfly as he nags the United Nations into taking positive action against an aggressor. Perhaps destiny has tapped him to be the one to goad, cajole or drive that inert body into performing the function for which it was created 40 years ago. History may look back to this decade and note that Saddam Hussein was the last tinpot dictator to threaten the peace of the world. It would, therefore, be wrong to bad-mouth the president from the narrow viewpoint of those whose vision does not extend beyond the here and now.

I would like to ask the activists who are protesting the sending of troops to the Gulf: "Where were you when the crisis was building up? How many of you knew where Kuwait was before the invasion? Why didn't you protest the sale of arms to a military dictatorship? We cannot allow politicians and business people to create a world crisis and then expect protests to remedy the situation.

There are urgent reasons why all nations should outlaw war by word and deed. We are facing another crisis brought about by overpopulation and destruction of the environment. War and famine can reduce population, but it would be better if humankind used more humane methods. Birth control should become a subject for dialogue between nations.

There is one bright spot in the dismal picture: an awakened interest in searching for alternative sources of energy. Let's see if the protesters can keep the heat on and prevent the interest from slackening when the emergency is over.

Frances Craig


S&Ls: Who pays?

A few years ago my working buddies and I were talking about money. The subject shifted to savings, and I was asked where I kept my money. "The Savings Bank of Baltimore," I said. "Boy, are you ripping yourself off," one co-worker said. "How much interest are you getting?" I replied, "6 percent, I think."

"We're getting 11 percent at my bank, and it might even go to 12."

"What bank is that?" I asked.

"Old Court," he said. "Yeah, but aren't you risking losing it all if they go broke?" I asked. "No way," he replied. "You will lose yours if I lose mine."

With the revelations of the last year or so involving the savings and loan crisis, I finally understood what my working buddy meant. The president wants to tax my savings to pay off these gamblers!

So this is my reward for investing my savings wisely, modestly but securely. Next thing you know there will be a tax to pay off people who go broke gambling at Atlantic City or Las Vegas.

Jon Gerlach


Lane's too cute

In The Evening Sun of Dec. 4, Mike Lane's cartoon ridicule Henry Kissinger not only in the caricature of him but also deriding his manner of speech with the following caption: "Make dem an offer dey cannot refuse." The caption on the cartoon reads, "On da gulf sitswayshun."

Henry Kissinger is so much more educated, "English wise" and in world affairs, than Mr. Lane that your editorial board should never have allowed him to insult someone who is so well-known and respected around the world. Many times, Mr. Lane tries to be too cute.

David Chupnick


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