Somali ChallengeMichael J. Hurd's Dec. 11 letter on the...


December 24, 1992

Somali Challenge

Michael J. Hurd's Dec. 11 letter on the Somali relief effort contains several good points, but his advocacy of laissez-faire .. capitalism as a means of helping the Somalis is ill-founded.

We must take responsibility for the damage our free-market economy has incurred upon the underdeveloped nations of the world. It was the free-market imperialists of Britain and Italy in the mid-19th century who colonized much of Africa, partitioning Somalia and Ethiopia.

These capitalists divided and subjugated the Somali people, then abandoned them to their own clan warfare and disputes with neighboring countries. The incredible number of arms in the hands of Somali gangsters is the result of a U.S.-U.S.S.R.-inspired arms race for political control of the region.

That we have a responsibility to the Somali people to make reparation for these injustices is beyond dispute. The way in which we make this reparation, however, is not. Nonetheless, history teaches us a lesson about imposing our own institutions, whether political, economic, or religious, on foreign nations. It is troubling that Mr. Hurd feels differently in regards to the capitalist economy.

Whether the current policy adopted by our leaders for Somalia is in the country's best interest remains to be seen. But one principle should guide our dealings with the region. The ultimate decisions on what form of governmental and economic institutions will take in Somalia are decisions that only the Somalis have a right to make.

Tim Nevaker


Schools and Snow

I am writing in response to the action of Baltimore County's school superintendent, Stuart Berger, who kept the students of Randallstown High in school on Dec. 10 when there was at least 4 inches of snow on the streets. Later, it rained and the streets froze. The elementary schools got out but the high schools did not.

Does Dr. Berger know anything at all?

The superintendent said that the bus drivers could not get there. There were already two buses in the school parking lot. Strike one for Dr. Berger. Another excuse was that once lunches are made at 10 in the morning, the students cannot be let out. Why don't they give the lunches to the homeless, who really need it? Strike two.

Finally, when officials know there is going to be a snowstorm, they should at least delay school for an hour, see if it snows and then take the necessary action. However, Dr. Berger sent us to school without any delay, thereby placing our lives in danger. The buses, vehicles that they are, won't have a chance on the icy roads. Strike three. . . .

The biggest mistake Baltimore County ever made was to let Dr. Berger take over our schools.

Krishna Sanka


Guns for Xmas?

I find it very ironic -- and poor news policy -- that a lead article on the front page in a recent paper states, "3 networks to show less TV violence," while page one of the Maryland section sports a very large photograph of a young child in a toy store pointing a toy gun at the photographer.

You mean to tell me that with all the toys in that store, a toy gun was the only one that you could picture for an article about Christmas gifts for children?

Just because that child's parent may think "anything that shoots" is an appropriate toy for a three-year-old it doesn't mean The Sun has to encourage that thinking.

Irene Spencer


Optional Sex

I found it ironic that Michael Olesker's Dec. 8 column on Norplant ran next to an article on sexual abstinence.

Was this done to give the reader the opportunity to hear the opposing view? I can only hope Mr. Olesker read about chastity as a form of "life control." What exactly does Mr. Olesker mean that Norplant is not only birth control, but life control?

Isn't it quicker, easier and cheaper for a young girl to learn to say "no" and take control of her life, rather than go through the expensive Norplant procedure?

And then, she would still need further education to teach her that even though she is protected against pregnancy, she is not protected against AIDS. Shouldn't she just choose not to be sexually active?

Does Mr. Olesker really think Norplant will be able to rescue this city's teen-agers from themselves? Early sexual activity is not only isolated to the adolescents in the city.

Across the nation, young girls need the backing of their family, church or community. Together, these support groups can teach young girls that the easiest way not to have a baby is not to have sex.

Monica Casey



The comments in the Dec. 15 Sun by Dr. Howard Ehrlich prompt me to say that I admire his work at the National Institute Against Prejudice and Violence.

At the same time, I am surprised and disappointed that he freely expressed a deep-seated prejudice against all fraternities. As someone who has been very active in civil rights law, I must take exception to his belief that campuses ought not to recognize fraternities as student organizations.

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