Drugs and RightsEditor: The NAACP, the AFL-CIO and others...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

August 30, 1991

Drugs and Rights

Editor: The NAACP, the AFL-CIO and others are back to thei narrow views about what they call civil rights issues. All of their attention is now focused on Clarence Thomas and his possible appointment to the Supreme Court. Really the focus of attention should be on the real issues of life, people issues, people of all colors.

Does Benjamin Hooks know that the school dropout rate in Baltimore City alone is 59 percent (and not all of the dropouts are black)? Does he know that teen pregnancy is on the rise across the nation (and not all of the teens are black)? Does he know that in Baltimore City the lives of hundreds of black and white youths are being snuffed out because of drugs, murder related to drugs, robbery due to drugs, prostitution due to drugs? That the minds of these young people are being controlled by the drug lords, and drug kingpins of this and other countries?

All of Baltimore City mourns the senseless death of Tiffany Smith, a six-year-old girl who was gunned down by drug dealers who had a beef with one another and didn't care about the life of this girl. Tiffany represents all of us whose lives are in danger because of the drug traffic.

So what do all the powers to be do? Begin to scuffle among ourselves about the advances of the civil rights causes. Hey, wake up and smell the demise of America. If we don't do something about stopping drugs before they are produced and before they are shipped to America, there won't be an America, there won't be a need for civil rights, there won't be any young people to leave a legacy to.

People, the time for talk is over. William Bennett, the one-time drug czar, declared war on drugs. Our President Bush declared war on drugs. President Reagan declared war on drugs. Well, if there is war, then why doesn't Congress make a formal declaration of war, turn the fighting over to the military, use all the machinery of war, spy out the homes and the factories of the kingpins and bring to bear all weapons of war even if it takes crossing international boundaries.

The AFL-CIO, the NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus and other movements should see the handwriting on the wall. Unless we stop drugs from being produced, stop drugs from being shipped, unless we see drug traffic as a capital offense, unless we declare a winnable war against drugs, there will not be a need for worry about civil rights issues in the next generation.

Because we will all be either drug dependent or potential victims of the drug lords.

We will all be back to slavery of another sort.

Lloyd J. King Jr.

Baltimore.

North and South

Editor: All Americans are excited about the dramatic change in the Soviet Union and the attempt by some of the republics to break away from the domination of Moscow.

Isn't it strange that these same Americans still do not recognize the right of the Southern states to secede from the domination of the North in 1861? The South was fighting against a powerful federal government and, if you look at what we have in Washington today, you can see that they were right.

At least let us hope that if the republics lose their fight, they will not be treated as harshly as our Southern ancestors were treated by the Union.

J.S. Ardinger.

Baltimore.

No People's Plan

Editor: What does Perry Hall have in common with Ocea City? Everything, if you accept the recommendations of the governor's redistricting committee.

This proposal would redraw congressional lines so that Rep. Helen Bentley, the senior Republican in the state, would lose her seat in the Second District. Perry Hall and Kingsville would be thrown into a sprawling Eastern Shore congressional district.

This plan represents gerrymandering at its worst. It is not a ''people's plan,'' as Senate President Mike Miller says. Indeed, it is a proposal which hurts people and divides their interests.

By carving up Baltimore County into five districts, the plan would dilute the importance and significance of our growing county. It makes absolutely no sense for Rep. Beverly Byron, who serves Garrett County and Western Maryland, to suddenly acquire northern Baltimore County and upper Harford County. What does Cumberland share with Bel Air in terms of concerns and interests?

Likewise, does it make sense for Rep. Tom McMillen to cross the harbor and take over Essex and Dundalk, while his main district encompasses Annapolis?

This proposal was adopted so that Rep. Steny Hoyer, fourth senior Democrat in the House, could have a ''safe seat.'' But isn't Rep. Bentley important in terms of her White House connections, her maritime work and her friendship with Gov. William Donald Schaefer?

Can we in Perry Hall expect the same type of constituent service from Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, who represents Ocean City, that we came to treasure from Helen Bentley?

The commission has made a poor decision. It would be in everyone's best interest to defeat this plan for alienating and hurting the citizens of Maryland.

David Marks.

Perry Hall.

Right to Arms

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