SetbackThere was an article Nov. 9, "Baltimore seeks to...


November 19, 1993


There was an article Nov. 9, "Baltimore seeks to lure black tourists," which brings up questions for me. Back in the '50s and '60s, the big issue was segregation/integration. Blacks are now so integrated into society that the word segregation is all but obscure to the last couple of generations.

Black people fought a good and long battle to win their deserved place in society, which brings me to my question. If we wish to be "one people under God" why are there black writers awards, black Miss America pageants, black actors awards, black history month and why does Baltimore seek to "lure" black tourists?

Whites don't put labels on awards, attractions or tourist trade. Whites do not segregate for the aforementioned awards.

Are the normal Baltimore attractions too white for black people? Were these structures conceived by white people, for white people, to the exclusion of blacks? I don't think so.

Millenniums have been spent building this nation. Centuries have been spent building our fair city by the people to make it culturally appealing for the people, and if I am not mistaken that means all people.

I believe that the black race as well as the Baltimore officials who recently unveiled their "glossy brochure highlighting the city's African-American attractions" do us all an injustice and seek to set us back 30 or 40 years as an integrated society.

Marla Spevak-Hess


Human Testing

Michael Burns believes that "there is undoubtedly a threshold level" below which dioxin does not harm humans and argues for more substantial proof of a zero threshold before further regulating dioxin (Perspective, Nov. 7). He closes his commentary by remarking that the ability to detect dioxin now outstrips scientific proof of cause and effect.

Mr. Burns does acknowledge that dioxin exposure causes death, cancer and birth defects in laboratory animals. Must we have "laboratory women" who will develop breast cancer and die to generate his "absolute scientific proof?"

Or perhaps we could fund "laboratory men"? After all, recent studies show that very low doses of dioxin cause the demasculinization of male laboratory rats (smaller testicles, reduced sperm production, etc.) Any volunteers?

I can't believe that Mr. Burns would really seek this sort of controlled scientific proof, although unfortunately it is increasingly becoming available.

Critical readers note that every Sunday edition of The Sun requires millions of pounds of paper, generating dioxin both during paper production and disposal. Perhaps the editor's ability to detect higher paper costs now outstrips even the ability of scientists to detect the deadly dioxin.

Marjorie Roswell


Political Parities

Referring to the last paragraph of Samuel Banks' Nov. 5 letter concerning socio-economic, educational and political parities, I suggest he take time out from his endless search for redundant adjectives, take his nose out of his dictionary and bring himself up to date on current events.

If he does this, he may become aware of affirmative action programs vigorously pushed by the government which gives decided advantage to black and other minority job applicants, school subsidies directed mainly to the poorest school districts, state and local government mandated minority contract participation, special government subsidy to black universities, scholarship programs in other universities mandated for blacks only, and last but not least -- and in my opinion unconstitutional -- gerrymandering of voting district boundaries to guarantee black political advantage.

Wake up, Mr. Banks, the ball is in your court, and at least up to now you have been fumbling it.

Henry E. West

Bel Air

TV Sensationalism

It must be ratings time again for television stations, judging from the news-time sensationalism.

Channel 2's recent story about abuse and neglect at the Ashburton Center of the Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital was enough to inflame viewers into wanting to join those who wish to close the facility.

Fortunately, the accusations against the hospital are unfounded. As parents of a profoundly disabled daughter who lives at Ashburton, we can reassure the public that the care the children receive is exemplary.

It is because of the conscientious, sophisticated and, yes, loving care these fragile children are given that families are able to live with the heart-wrenching task of placing them. Individuals at the Maryland Disability Law Center (who initially raised suspicion about conditions at Ashburton) are either misinformed, misguided or simply do not understand the needs of the children who live there.

Our daughter is getting exactly what she needs, and we will be forever grateful to the staff of the Ashburton Center for providing it.

Lois C. Weinstein, M.D.

Frederick G. Weinstein, M.D.


Museum Policy

As a long-time member of and contributor to the Baltimore Museum of Art, I was more than dismayed by Richard O'Mara's article on Nov. 3. The attitude of the BMA is tantamount to hoarding.

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