What has happened to the public outrage?On July 15, it was...

the Forum

July 21, 1992

What has happened to the public outrage?

On July 15, it was reported that 13 people had been shot that day in Bosnia. The civil strife in that region has taken its toll in terms of lives lost, broken and destroyed.

Because of the number of deaths and the human misery caused by the ravages of the war, the United Nations, with the full backing of the United States government, has intervened to bring humanitarian aid to inhabitants of the regions hardest hit by the fighting.

I lament the destruction in Bosnia and other regions of Europe and Africa torn asunder by political strife. I weep for the families and communities that are under siege. My heart is heavy for the children who are being robbed of any semblance of innocence. I feel pain for the mothers who have lost sons, for the children that have lost fathers, for husbands and wives left grieving over a lost mate.

Just think of it! Thirteen lives lost in one day in a raging civil war! Then think about the streets of my city, Baltimore, and how many are dying daily in her streets.

No civil war, no declared or undeclared global police action. Just a proliferation of guns in the hands of some too immature to understand the power to wreck lives that they hold in their hands and others whose hearts have become too hard, for whatever reason, to care.

Where is the United Nations when young African Americans are being shot over drugs or for tennis shoes or because someone doesn't like the way the other looked at him?

What has happened to the public outrage that would overwhelm the airwaves if it were young white males killing each other at a war-time pace?

Where are our political leaders, who have answers for everybody else's problems world-wide but yet cannot figure out how to make the streets of my neighborhood safe for children to play and for seniors to walk?

Our out-of-touch leadership needs to understand that a few summer jobs won't stop what is going on -- too little, too late. Elected officials from the White House to City Hall need to see that the carnage that is wreaking havoc on my street may soon spill over to their streets.

It's relatively easy to continue to believe that this, too, shall pass, when it's not your son or daughter lying in the morgue.

It is not difficult to argue against gun control and make moronic statements such as, "Guns don't kill people, people do," when it's not your daughter being blown away by a stray bullet from a gun that never should have been in the hand of the shooter.

Let's pray for Bosnia and show our concern for what is going on in South Africa and the Middle East. But let us all get busy doing something about the slaughter occurring in the streets of Baltimore.

Douglas I. Miles


The writer is pastor of Koinonia Baptist Church.

Suing others just drives costs up

There may be a Santa Claus, there may be a God, but there is definitely a plague on society called "litigation."

Suing the insurers of now defunct Pan Am will not bring back loved ones lost in Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland; it will hurt the little guy trying to drive to work, take his kids to the park, do his shopping. Insurance rates will rise to pay for the Pan Am lawsuits while the lawyers get as much as 40 percent of the pot.

Suing tobacco companies only causes them to raise prices on their other consumer products, be they cereals or tennis balls. And even though lung cancer is caused by radon gas, pollution and natural causes, tobacco companies will bear the brunt of lawsuits. We all pay in any case.

Raising the price of cigarettes will not cure cancer any more than suing large insurance companies for the evil that a few terrorists brought to an airline will cure the pain of loss.

We may be better off turning to God or Santa Claus rather than to lawyers who, by suing everything in sight, are making life more difficult and expensive for all of us.

James R. Durham III


No Quibbling

In response to The Evening Sun's (July 8) editorial "Quibbling about abortion": to quibble about the wording of the referendum is one thing.

I doubt very much if there is any quibbling about abortion per se. Anyone who has given it any serious thought at all considers it a "matter of life or death."

Blanche K. Coda


NFL hopes

Since it appears Baltimore's chances of returning to the NFL xTC are more than just a hopeful glimmer, perhaps it's time to begin thinking up a new nickname.

My suggestion would be the "Defenders."

The team logo might even be a stylized 18-star U.S. flag, thus further emphasizing the city's greatest contribution to American history.

William S. Rehm


Party unity better than strife

Columnist Sandy Grady doesn't like the "no troublemaker invited" litmus test imposed on delegates to the Democratic Convention. He thinks that "no endorsement, no television time" is unreasonable, that "harmony is boring" and "with no conflict or drama, the dwindling audience will zap to a sitcom."

Does every public event of any importance have to be entertaining?

It seems that he and other moguls of the media want a campaign that excites people, even if it means conflict and negative campaigning. Isn't that attitude contrary to the idea of fair and impartial reporting? I mean, shouldn't substance, rather than entertaining conflict, be what our politics is about?

I think he shouldn't pick on us Democrats for trying to do it. We've been mistaken to allow so much conflict at our conventions.

If he doesn't agree, he should consult the record: Those orderly, well-united Republicans have won five out of the last six presidential elections.

One of the reasons is that they enforce party unity at their conventions, maintaining a unified party every time they sweep into the White House.

Stephen Siegforth


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