Literary CriticismGregory P. Kane's column (The Sun, March...


April 16, 1993

Literary Criticism

Gregory P. Kane's column (The Sun, March 12, "Black History for Us Only") misrepresented my prize-winning book, "Deromanticizing Black History."

Kane thinks all black people think alike. "Deromanticizing Black History" is not an exercise in either black solipsism or racial chauvinism, as Kane suggested. The book critically reappraises the ideas, interpretations and conceptual frameworks that have been the focus of scholarly debate in Afro-American history for the past 30 years.

This point escapes Kane in his ill-informed discussion of the writing of black American history.

Clarence E. Walker

Davis, Calif.

SG The writer is history professor at University of California, Davis.

AH Private Colleges

Although Thomas Waldron's article on state funding of private Maryland colleges and universities (April 2) was quite thorough, informative and well balanced, some of his interviewees seem to be afflicted with the condition of being "penny wise and pound foolish."

Shifting the allocation to public institutions may temporarily alleviate a few of their problems. But if the private institutions are forced to close their doors or be absorbed into the state system, the cost to the Maryland taxpayer will be far greater. Long-range needs cannot be met by shortsighted shifts and starts.

The Maryland program was established in the early 1970s after New York and Illinois pioneered programs of general purpose grants to their private institutions. Maryland and these other states acted to prevent an educational and fiscal disaster.

Higher costs were pushing private institutions to close, merge or petition for absorption into the state system. Private sources of funding could not be increased quickly enough. The closing of private universities would require the expansion of public institutions with taxpayers footing the whole bill.

Furthermore the existence of dynamic private institutions provides competition. A monolithic state system would probably continue to develop but at a more moderate pace and more in response to bureaucratic rather than educational needs.

My interest in this issue arises primarily from my historical research. It includes the origin of the Maryland aid program, the subsequent lawsuits and the Supreme Court's decision in Roemer v. Board of Public Works. Because I am now semi-retired, the disposition of these funds has no significant bearing on my personal income and I am a Maryland taxpayer.

Nicholas Varga


NB The writer is professor emeritus of history at Loyola College.

No Converts

Convert the military-industrial complex?

0$ We can't even convert to metric!

Elmer Spurrier

Middle River

Level Field

After playing the last several years in Baltimore's amateur baseball program, I conclude that the quality of playing fields is atrocious. There is not one lighted and fenced field. Pascagoula, Miss., has roughly 10 (I visited last summer).

Certainly Jesse Jackson's cause could serve thousands of more minority youth if it focused on improving the fields of the urban areas.

A minority owner, general manager or chief scout will do nothing for minority children of today who lack adequate fields to play on.

Indeed, it seems foolish to rally to get a few minorities "power positions" in baseball, while the majority of minorities have no quality place in which to play baseball.

Jesse Jackson, Kurt Schmoke, Eli Jacobs, Cal Ripken, Harold Baines and Fernando Valenzuela and anyone else who can help and cares, please fix up the baseball fields of Baltimore so that the common kid, whatever race, will have an "equal opportunity."

Gary M. Perlman


Meyerhoff Ouster Unjust

It is a gross injustice that Harvey M. Meyerhoff, who devoted so much time, energy and money to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, has been rudely ousted by the fledgling Clinton administration.

Betty White Garthe



Although I have lived in Maryland for only 2 1/2 years, I have read and seen enough of the state's history and culture to know how much the Meyerhoff family has meant to Maryland.

The political handling of Harvey M. Meyerhoff's role as chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council has created a foul odor.

Assuming the April 6 article in The Sun on this matter is accurate, Mr. Meyerhoff didn't deserve this political pettiness.

The Holocaust Memorial should be above Reagan-Clinton ideologies. I would think the Maryland congressional delegation would complain in unison to the White House on the manner in which this "firing" was handled (or fumbled).

Mr. Meyerhoff's stand that the museum belongs to the American public -- instead of being a Jewish museum -- also should have majority backing.

Robert D. Curtis

Bel Air

Medical Care Has Always Been Rationed

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