Are Orioles racist or is Hall stretching?I've read Wiley...

the Forum

March 18, 1992

Are Orioles racist or is Hall stretching?

I've read Wiley Hall's column (The Evening Sun, March 10) "It's the image, fair or foul." Since I am an African-American, I felt the need to respond.

The things mentioned in his column, we are aware of. We are aware that what we receive is tokenism. In the employment system, no matter how experienced we are, when promotions come, they would rather bring in another white and train him because it seems as if we aren't good enough.

I've heard the old saying, "If they don't like it here, let them go back to Africa." Well, we're telling them, if we should go back to Africa, then they should return to England.

I am a veteran, I've served my country with honor and dignity; to some, I'm still a second-class citizen. Wrong. I'm first class in every way.

I am a baseball fan, I love sports, but there have been some things that have happened at some events that I would like to forget. We are decent human beings, and we need to be considered.

John H. Lucas

Baltimore

It's hard to believe that anyone so seemingly intelligent, well-educated and informed as your columnist Wiley A. Hall III . . . could be so paranoid that he finds the playing of a song, "Thank God I'm a Country Boy," at an Orioles baseball game racist!

And he really makes a quantum leap into the Land of the Absurd when he blames the Baltimore Orioles organization for the dearth of blacks attending Orioles games. It's the Orioles fault, he says. They haven't made enough of an effort to get blacks to come to the games.

Hogwash. If they can read, see or hear, blacks are exposed to the same information about the team as are whites, reds, yellows and pinks. The fact that they choose not to go to the games is a matter of personal choice, not the result of some devious plot on the part of the Orioles.

His speculation that blacks don't relate to the Orioles because in the past they had fewer minority players than any other team in baseball doesn't hold water either. If he wants to use the racial composition of teams as a basis for fan interest, how does he explain the attendance of white fans at professional basketball games, where the teams are loaded with blacks.

Richard T. Seymour

Baltimore

According to Wiley Hall, blacks don't attend Oriole games partly because "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" is played during the seventh inning stretch. Mr. Hall believes the word "country" equates with "redneck" which equates with "bigot." So, explains Mr. Hall, his black friends won't go to the games.

Mr. Hall has a unique opportunity to reach and influence a large audience and purports to represent the views of an important segment of the population. With that opportunity comes a grave responsibility to choose his words wisely, think logically, research his information tirelessly, avoid the very bigotry that he so much decries and place integrity above going for the cheap shot.

When Mr. Hall stoops to name-calling, stereotyping and the presentation of impressions as facts, he fuels the fires of racial divisiveness and demeans his responsibility.

But when he indulges himself in something as far-fetched and absurd as finding subliminal racism in the seventh-inning stretch song at the stadium, he almost appears to be mocking his responsibility.

The black community deserves more thoughtful representation and the white community needs to hear from someone who can give it more insight and less rhetoric.

Carol D. Williams

Phoenix

Can't compare Israel to Arab dictators

Time and again, the media bombard us with pictures, events and progress, or lack of it, regarding Israeli conciliation movements such as "Peace Now," "Yesh Grul," the Israeli Left, etc. Yet, in all these years, there has not been one report referring to any such Arab movement. Why?

The answer to the question is simple. There are none. The Arab world does not let its masses express themselves freely. More than 400 Arab people were killed in the so-called West Bank by Arabs who claimed these persons were collaborators.

There is no democratic process to be found in the entire Arab world. All opposition to the regime in power is ruthlessly subdued and/or eliminated: 20,000 killed in Hama, Syria; thousands during Black September in Jordan; thousands in Iraq, and the list goes on. Is it fair, just and accurate to profile the Israeli conciliation movements without a comparison profile of the other side?

Joseph Haus

Reisterstown

Misplaced attack

Deborah Ingram's comments (The Forum, March 9) would indicate her to be a gentle, caring person. It is so ironic that she and others deplore the representation of brutal abortion results on a public highway but not the reality of such brutality to unborn human beings.

I hope she realizes that the proposed Maryland abortion law would allow the teen-agers (whom she worries about protecting) to have their bodies as well as their unborn children ravaged by abortionists without parental contact and consent.

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