It Wasn't Just Bad ServiceNow that the dust has settled...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 04, 1993

It Wasn't Just Bad Service

Now that the dust has settled, it is time to examine why the Denny's issue has generated such a strong response in our community. At the heart of this controversy is the question of racial equality and whether blacks know the difference between bad service and discrimination.

This year, 1993, marks the 30th anniversary of the famous March on Washington. It has been over two decades since the assassinations of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In a real sense, we are engaged in a struggle for peace and justice. In 1963, we marched to make America better and in 1993, we march to make Annapolis a better place.

When the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson came to town, he reminded us to keep our eyes on the prize. Denny's isn't the problem; It is a symptom of a much larger problem. We are not struggling just to have six Secret Service officers treated fairly; We are struggling to empower our community. The officers were allegedly denied service. However, our community is often denied mortgage loans, seats on the boards of local banks and admission into private clubs because of our race and gender.

There is a practice, pattern and custom that has become a tradition, which locks African-Americans out of the economic and political power structure of our city. We have decided that tradition must change. We are determined to open up the doors of opportunity, expand the power structure and have our seat at the table.

In the past, when a black man was outspoken, he was labeled a rabble rouser, militant or a troublemaker. He was called these names and worse by the tools of our oppressor, because it was hoped that the masses of the people would not follow him.

Today, thanks to the contributions of Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, President John F. Kennedy and countless others, our eyes are open. White and black citizens are marching together ** demanding racial equality.

Those who argue that the treatment of the six Secret Service agents was bad service and not discrimination completely misses the point. In America, bad service and racial discrimination for African-Americans have been synonymous.

Rosa Parks knew in 1955; it wasn't the bus, it was us. We know in 1993; it isn't Denny's that is the issue, rather, it is how are we going to create a more inclusionary society.

A Luta Continua, which means that the struggle continues for equality and peace.

Carl O. Snowden

Annapolis

The writer represents Ward 5 on the Annapolis City Council.

Sophocleus Is Back

I could not be happier to see that Ted Sophocleus is going to hold public office again. When Ted served as my councilman for eight years, he was the epitome of a public servant. He constantly helped the every day person. No matter what the concern, Ted was there for us.

. . . The Maryland General Assembly can use a delegate like Ted Sophocleus, who knows that every decision made in Annapolis will affect every citizen of the state of Maryland.

Gloria Hartman

Glen Burnie

Deficit Reduction

President Clinton's "deficit reduction" plan, recently passed by the House of Representatives, seems certain to increase government revenues through massive tax increases, but is unlikely to produce any significant deficit reduction.

According to a Heritage Foundation study, the House-passed measure consists almost entirely of higher taxes. More than $301 billion, or 89.5 percent of its purported $336.8 billion in deficit reduction, comes from increased revenue. The study calls the measure the largest tax increase in American history.

Sen. Pete Domenici of New Mexico says that during the first year of the president's plan taxes and user fees will increase $20.68 for every $1 of spending cut. Senator Domenici further reveals that the significant cuts claimed by President Clinton are not part of this reconciliation bill at all, but are future promises! . . . It seems that Bill Clinton's New Democrats are identical to George McGovern's Old Democrats. The president's policy is simply more taxes, more spending and more government. I'm praying for gridlock.

Charles R. Serio

Linthicum

More On Clinton

President Clinton and his staff talk much about "consumer confidence."

I have consumer confidence. I am confident I cannot buy a new car or home or appliance because I am confident I cannot make the payments.

For the third year, I will not receive a raise in pay, and I lost money from my paycheck due to a furlough. Despite this reduction in salary, my household bills -- including property taxes -- have increased. . . .

Why can't [Rep.] Dan Rostenkowski, the House Ways and Means Committee and President Clinton understand this simple law of economics: I simply don't have enough money to pay higher taxes and buy consumer goods as well.

Marcia R. Conrad

Pasadena

BWI Accidents

Having read your interesting and informative story May 23 on the disaster drill at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, I felt compelled to write to you to correct one statement you made. Paragraph 5 starts out with the statement, "No commercial airliner has crashed at or near BWI." For this statement to be accurate you must rule out what happened under BWI's old name of "Friendship International Airport" and you must set a distance limit on the word "near."

There were two commercial accidents that took place. The first was on March 16, 1960 about 9 p.m. when an American Airlines DC-6 had the nose wheel lifted by the pilot, and nosed into a snowbank. There were no injuries among the approximately 26 passengers, which included both my wife and I.

The second accident occurred over Chase, and I believe there were several fatalities. . . . Chase is about 25 miles from BWI. . . .

Chester Z. Russel

Baltimore

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