Drugs Myths and RealityI am writing in regard to the Sept...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 20, 1992

Drugs Myths and Reality

I am writing in regard to the Sept. 6 article by Glenn Small, "The demise of a 'working class drug ring.'"

If in fact all or most of the 17 alleged drug ring members were not African Americans, then I suggest that this article is a perfect example of how racism is a major element of America's drug problem.

On Aug. 26, the Maryland Court of Appeals questioned the legitimate use of drug courier profiles, which are routinely relied upon by Maryland law enforcement officials.

According to these profiles, all young, black males wearing expensive jewelry, driving late model expensive sports cars and carrying beepers and lists of telephone numbers are flagged as potential drug couriers.

How useful was the profile in this case? Not very if the defendants were Caucasian Americans.

This leads to my basic point. America's drug problem is viewed by Caucasian Americans as a problem associated with those awful, violent, heathen black American males.

Dr. Louis Sullivan, the U.S. secretary of health and human services, himself an African American male, has worked tirelessly to set the record straight on this issue. The American drug problem is primarily a Caucasian American consumption problem and an African American male incarceration problem.

I am an African American male who has had ample opportunity to witness America's drug problem in high school, in college and in the work place.

Most drug dealers I have encountered have been Caucasian Americans. When I think of drug dealers, I think of the Caucasian American sons and daughters of the nation's political, religious and corporate leaders. Don't believe me? Ask those sons and daughters.

Why are these convicted or indicted drug dealers referred to as "17 seemingly ordinary suburbanites"? Why is it that the cry ringing from sea to shining sea is life imprisonment without parole for convicted drug dealers, but the reality is only light sentences for these despicable suburban animals?

Douglas R. Kington

Columbia

Show Both Sides

Cal Thomas' article (Opinion * Commentary, Sept. 2) rejoicing that the Federal Communications Commission has decided to allow political TV ads showing aborted fetuses is not surprising if you know his fundamentalist position on this issue.

Without doubt, what will be displayed are third-trimester fetuses, which could be the issue of miscarriages or those aborted for serious, acceptable reasons, such as the life and health of the woman or fetal abnormalities.

Late abortions account for less than one percent of all abortions, while more than 90 percent are done in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and fully half of all abortions are obtained within the first eight weeks.

Okay. Fair is fair; let's show the gruesome, bloody pictures of women and young girls who have died horribly from illegal abortions.

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, these pictures live on only in the minds and hearts of parents, husbands and loved ones who have to cope with such losses. The Roe vs. Wade decision has almost changed all that here in the United States, and we must work to assure that we will not go back to such butchery.

Throughout history, women have been dying -- and are still dying -- because of the callous lack of concern for women, particularly poor women, who must struggle just to survive despite non-existent or, at best, inadequate health care, the unavailability of contraceptives, illegal abortions, the lack of power and archaic religious taboos.

It is estimated that at least 1 million women around the world die each year and more than 100 million suffer debilitating illnesses from child birth, unsafe abortions and pregnancy complications.

Yes, aborted fetuses are sad and emotionally disturbing, but they cannot be compared to the ongoing sufferings of starving children and women -- real persons -- everywhere in the world.

Let's hope such political ploys and articles like Cal Thomas' will not emotionally manipulate and mislead the voters, but impel them to turn out in record numbers to vote for Question 6 on the referendum on Election Day, thereby securing the right of every woman to make that most personal choice for herself and her family.

Eleanor A. Kaufman

White Hall

Photojournalism

"Casualties of Man" (Aug. 23) is excellent photojournalism.

This was real-life reporting on a situation most people hope to ignore, but can't.

Thanks for helping to keep the plight of hungry people before us.

Arthur P. Hatfield

Baltimore

Crime Spree

A young woman is brutally murdered in Howard County. A police officer is ambushed in Baltimore County. Citizens in Little Italy are considering hiring armed guards to protect lives and property.

Our political leaders and the heads of law enforcement in our communities must realize that law-abiding citizens want the police to do police work, not be social workers.

Honest, law-abiding citizens want their communities back. It is time for the law enforcement community to do its part.

Lawrence Schaffer

Randallstown

Arms Danger

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