Local LendingThe Sun's headline writer and, to a lesser...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 11, 1993

Local Lending

The Sun's headline writer and, to a lesser extent, writer David Conn erred in reporting June 9 that the Maryland Alliance for Responsible Investment (MARI) had filed a protest with federal regulators to "oppose" the acquisition of MNC Financial by NationsBank.

As Mr. Conn's article correctly noted, NationsBank has agreed to live up to the terms of an existing community reinvestment agreement, presently between MARI and Maryland National Bank.

That agreement expires in March, 1995, giving MARI about 18 months to work with the new management and, we hope, to negotiate a long-term continuation of innovative lending programs pioneered by Maryland National.

To get this new relationship off to a good footing, MARI decided not to oppose the merger.

Nonetheless, MARI does have serious concerns about the merger, which we stated in a brief comment letter filed with the Federal Reserve.

Chiefly, we are troubled by NationsBank's refusal to extend the MNB-MARI agreement beyond its present deadline, because we believe the agreement has been the driving force behind MNB's superior performance as a community lender.

Under that agreement, more than $66 million has been lent in the form of mortgages for low- and moderate-income households, small-business loans and credit for developers of low-income housing.

The need for these types of lending will not evaporate when the agreement expires. If anything, the bigger, stronger bank that will result from this merger should be expected to do much more than MNB has been able to do.

MARI is also concerned about the potential impact of centralized, out-of-state management on programs that have been developed to meet specific local needs and conditions.

Lending needs vary greatly from community to community, especially within so vast an empire as NationsBank now commands. We are hopeful that NationsBank will see the wisdom of leaving most, if not all, of MNB's community lending program intact.

George Buntin Jr.

Baltimore

The writer is the chairman of the Maryland Alliance for Responsible Investment.

Untranslatable

Among recent and repetitious descriptions from and about Lani Guinier are these: "misquoted," "out of context," "misunderstood," "distorted," "mischaracterizations."

If she wishes to eat her own words, she should say so. But she wrote in English and needs no translation from her or her advocates.

Turning briefly from English, an old legal Latin maxim says, Res ipsa loquitur.

The thing speaks for itself.

John O. Herrmann

Baltimore

Racism

The editorial of June 11, "New Tack Needed in Racism Battle," does not go far enough. As long as we continue to promote such groups as the NAACP or the Congressional Black Caucus, we continue to aggravate racism.

The Black Caucus is the most blatant offender. These members of Congress were elected to represent all of the people in their districts. Instead they band together to promote their own kind of racism, in the name of legislation and good government.

Affirmative action by its own definition and implementation means legislated racism.

Carl Snowden and Jesse Jackson have their own agenda that rarely has anything to do with discrimination. They use these incidents to perform in the spotlight of free publicity.

We can't be afraid to point out that blacks can and do promote racism as much as whites.

You cannot force or legislate a concept on people. A new tack is indeed needed.

C. D. Wilmer

Baltimore

Uplifting Story

On any typical day, it is not uncommon to find on the front page of the paper stories of politicians posturing, proclamations being refuted or rescinded after additional information is brought to light, and people and populations being decimated in the name of religion or greed or pursuing the "right and just" cause.

How blessedly refreshing and uplifting it was to find the story of a young man who had lost all his hair while undergoing chemotherapy. The teen was a high school senior and his classmates, in a show of support, shaved their heads with dog shears.

Anyone familiar with teenagers knows the importance of fitting in and looking "the right way," the same as all the rest of teenagers.

After reading this story, sandwiched between all the negative news, we do have reason to rejoice in "man's humanity to man."

Deborah Egerton

Sparks

Free Baltimore Universities from College Park

It was with great interest that I read the article in The Sun (July 4) on the University of Maryland system. I think, however, that one of the main problems with the UM system is its artificial equilibrium. Let me explain.

The University of Maryland College Park is the "flagship" of the system. As such, it is artificially supported to a level greater than the other schools in the system.

The board of regents is so determined that no school in Maryland will eclipse UMCP that they retard the development of other schools.

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