Eliminate race-based awardsI was appalled to read the...

the Forum

June 05, 1991

Eliminate race-based awards

I was appalled to read the following in a correction notice recently in The Evening Sun: "Melanie Smith has been named Meyerhoff Scholar at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, where she plans to study biology. The Meyerhoff program offers support worth more than $50,000 to white students pursuing careers in science, medicine, engineering and technology."

What is this world coming too, offering scholarships for whites only and then publishing it in a reputable newspaper? But that is not all. In the same publication in section C, was a headline which read, "50 white businesses honored." Why make the distinction "white," for certainly this is outright discrimination against all people of all ethnic origins who are not white. And to print this in the paper - scandalous!

I lied.

The above quotes are verbatim, except for one word in each. Each was lifted right out of the pages of the May 30 Evening Sun; I changed the word "black" to "white." But why should we be any less furious? This is outright discrimination against people of all ethnic origins who are not black - reverse discrimination. And it is just as wrong.

If discrimination in colleges is the problem, one does not cure it by offering money to go to that school. Instead, one would reprimand the school and make sure the child had an equal chance to get accepted. The key word is equal.

Let's go to the root of the problem. Racism exists, perhaps more subtly than in the past, but no less prevalent. Do sue discriminatory clubs such as Holiday Spas. And do speak out against racism. But stop the incessant "black only" awards, stories and funding. Base such things not on the color of one's skin, but on the content of one's brain.

Keith Alan Britt

Cockeysville

Greedy geezers?

"Greedy geezer" is the biting phrase used against my generation. This has appeared in syndicated opinions in The Evening Sun and elsewhere. Let me write in the strongest possible possible way how this "greedy geezer," born in 1905, feels about my generation, born roughly from 1895 to 1915. Then judge for yourself: How greedy have we been, and how soft have we had it, anyway?

Our generation has known of war from the earliest years of our lives. Many, including women, have served in our wars. For large numbers, especially the women, there was the long uncertainty, anxiety and sadness when their young people were in the service or were killed "in the line of duty."

Literally all of us greedy geezers, including those who were fully employed, endured the Great Depression of the 1930s. The Depression meant unemployment and short work weeks, doubling up of families, bread lines, soup kitchens, scarce money, bankruptcy of businesses and failure of banks. Then, after World War II, came the inflation that continues to this day.

We greedy geezers are accused of having received much more from Social Security than we paid. One answer is that we had to pay according to the law, whether or not we wished to do so. Now we receive according to the law.

Many prospered from 1946 through 1989. For many, however, prosperity was elusive, especially for the least skilled, the handicapped, the elderly, large families, minorities. Our generation has the benefits of Medicare and Medicaid. These have surely helped our family, but there are many limitations and conditions.

Greedy geezers? Take a look at our lives ` past and present ` and consider that judgment again.

Howard A. Kuhnle

Buffalo, N.Y.

Japanese takeover

Japanese capital investment and a favorable vote by the Baltimore County Council on cultural park legislation seem to signal a successful beginning for the Worldbridge project.

Worldbridge is a case of double jeopardy. We are selling our equity in America and accelerating what Edith Cresson, the new prime minister of France, calls "an industrial takeover by Japan" of America.

Michael J. Davis

Essex

Wrong reference

William Safire's April 26 column, "The pony express," contains an incorrect reference to an electronic encyclopedia. The column stated that the new Encyclopedia Britannica is on compact disk. However, it is available only in its traditional, hardbound print format.

Mr. Safire apparently meant to refer to Compton's MultiMedia Encyclopedia, the electronic work from Britannica Software Inc., that was introduced on CD-ROM (compact disk-read only memory). Compton's MultiMedia contains text, audio, animation and outstanding graphics on a single disk that is five inches in diameter. This work is the electronic version of Compton's Encyclopedia, the highly praised reference that also is published by Encyclopedia Britannica Inc.

Roald H. Haase

Chicago

The writer is manager of news services for Encyclopaedia 9 Britannica.

Age and insurance

Truth in advertising is everyone's responsibility, so one can only wonder about the really big lie contained in the Prudential Health Care Plan ads run May 29 in The Sun and Evening Sun.

"We've kept all the great things about the Johns Hopkins Health Plan exactly the same," the copy says.

Perhaps the thousands of 65-year-olds who were purged when Hopkins sold out to Prudential are not considered a "great thing" by the new owners. Evidently not, since there is more profit to be made from younger clients. So be it. But should you and your sister paper be a part of this dishonest and misleading cover-up of age discrimination?

Ray Hamby

Baltimore

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