RICH strives for harmony in S.E. BaltimoreRejoicing in...

the Forum

May 28, 1991

RICH strives for harmony in S.E. Baltimore

Rejoicing in Community Harmony is a coalition of Southeast Baltimore clergy, individuals and community leaders which came together in response to the July, 1990 incident in Highlandtown when white men chased a black man into traffic where he was hit by a truck and severely injured. RICH has sponsored several events promoting understanding and appreciation of racial and ethnic traditions in Southeast Baltimore.

We are saddened by yet another senseless attack. What kind of world do we live in where people are targets of violence just because they have different customs, speak a different language or have a different skin color?

Rev. Angel Nunez, paster of the First Spanish Christian Church and RICH member said, "It is a shame that we are bringing up our children to become violent and vicious. We glorify violence, and this incident is the realistic result of violence. The Hispanic community is very upset about this attack on [Expedito] Lugo."

The world and our city are made up of people of many cultures and colors. RICH tries to work with adults and children promoting acceptance and appreciation of people with different languages, cultures and skin colors. RICH strives to stop violence, fear, and hate of those who are different from us.

Barbara Ruland


Plan for peace

Peace and budgetary restrictions have put a clamp on Pentagon spending. Now we are hearing rumblings of discontent from both the military brass and lawmakers who count those affected suppliers as their constituency.

Their "Plan B" is: "If the Army doesn't buy our products, some other country will."

But what about the soldiers? Will the government put them all on reserve status? Or will it dump them on an economy already fraught with unemployment and atrocious productivity and earnings records? Shall we hire them to build cars no one will buy or refrigerators no one can afford to stock? Should we not put them to work on farms to produce the food that the farmers are paid not to grow?

I jest. But, the point is that we must prepare for peace with the same calculated strategies we used in preparing for war. Leadership must take heed of the well-being of its constituents. Until such steps are taken the poor, the homeless, the elderly and the handicapped will not know peace.

William E. Fromm


No justice

After reading the three-part series on the criminal justice system in Baltimore city, one had to conclude there is no justice or that it is rapidly dying.

Justice is a two-way street: The accused is certainly entitled to every legal and constitutional benefit allowed. However, society too is entitled to justice, especially justice for the victims of criminal behavior.

That a judge would accept a plea bargain for an accused rapist of a 9-year old girl who also contracted a venereal disease from the encounter is unconscionable. Not too long ago, conviction would have called for the death penalty. Only a few short months ago, another judge was called on the carpet for not meeting a "quota" of plea bargains.

If a judge cannot accept his responsibility to all of society (not just the accused) because there are just too many cases, he does not belong on the bench. The same is true for the state's attorney's office. Your series provides all of the argument zTC needed in support of the current law which requires judges to stand for re-election rather than hold office for life. I, for one, will remember the one jurist you mention at election time. He will not

get my vote.

Richard L. Lelonek


Irish struggles

I am very proud to be Irish-American, born and raised in Baltimore. However, on Wednesday evening I was very embarrassed to call myself any of the above. The queen's visit to Baltimore was great for our city and our country. The down side was the protesters.

I refer to the "Irish Northern Aid" supporters. Their group is a very small percentage of the Irish community. Many members have )) no family ties to the north, nor have they ever visited the olde sod.

I am a first generation American-Irish. My grandparents were involved in the 1916 rebellion. When the treaty was signed, three provinces were given independence, and the fourth remained under British rule, thus creating the border. The problem will only be solved politically. Groups like "Irish Northern Aid" only fuel the fire by condoning the acts of terrorism performed by such ruthless groups as the IRA. Without support of similar groups nationwide, the IRA would be nothing.

This is for all the Irish-Americans who pray for peace, and know someday Ireland will be united.

L.M. Clarke


Picture this

To dramatize the plight of some of our citizens, dispatch a photographer with a wide-angle lens to the corner of Franklin Street and Park Avenue after 10 a.m. any Sunday.

The resultant photograph of a long line of desperate-looking people camped outside the Associated Catholic Charities' Our Daily Bread soup kitchen should be run across all six columns of the paper.

It seems ironic to criticize the government for not helping the

Kurds when we don't even take care of our own.

Paul F. Case


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