Using Race to Avoid ResponsibilityI accepted the challenge...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 24, 1993

Using Race to Avoid Responsibility

I accepted the challenge of reading and translating Samuel L. Banks' Nov. 5 letter relating to your editorial, "After the Verdicts, Time for Healing."

Dr. Banks is like so many African-Americans who seek to justify the asocial and anarchistic behavior of African-Americans whose motivation for their actions is rooted in their general disrespect // for laws governing a civilized society.

People like Dr. Banks are myopic, concentrating on the skin complexion of the perpetrators or alleged perpetrators of lawlessness rather than focusing on the action or issue with which the alleged criminal is associated.

The cases of Rodney King and Reginald Denny, while similar in that they were examples of man's inhumanity to man, cannot be compared when we analyze the issues relating to that inhumanity.

There are no states within the United States which allow an individual to exceed speed limits by 40 or 50 miles an hour and go unnoticed if observed by law enforcement officers.

Anyone exceeding posted speed limits at such a rate, if chased by law enforcement officers and given a signal to stop, is expected to stop.

Race has nothing to do with these principles, which must exist if a society is to remain law-abiding and civilized.

In the Reginald Denny case, some people who happened to be African-American became angry, frustrated, distraught and sought to ameliorate these feelings by venting their anger on any "different" person who, in their judgment, represented those responsible for causing the turmoil within their "souls."

The issue is: Should people in an organized society be allowed to destroy the property of other people; should people, who may have justifiable cause for their hurt feelings, be allowed to yank innocent people from their vehicles, rob and beat and almost kill them in the name of "social justice?"

No one in these United States has the right to deprive anyone of life and property without due process of the law.

Anyone who tries, irrespective of race, is a contributor to anarchy, and the cries of "racism" do not mitigate the actions.

The officers in the Rodney King case had authority to enforce the laws, and they exceeded their authority. The assailants in the Reginald Denny case had no right to deprive anyone of their rights, life or property.

These are the issues which must be highlighted. Despite Dr. Banks' erudite definition of racist, African-Americans must be indicted for their failure to judge right and wrong on the basis of issues rather than on the basis of race.

When they see race as a basis of right or wrong, they are being racist ` until such time as a more appropriate word is brought into the American lexicon.

dTC It is my strong conviction that African-Americans will not be provided with socio-economic, educational and political parity and opportunity until they determine what has brought so many of their people to the demoralized and inhuman state where the destruction of life and property can be justified by cries of injustice and socio-economic, educational and political deprivations.

Isaiah C. Fletcher Sr.

Baltimore

The Walters

I hope the writer of the editorial concerning the Walters had the grace to feel a little self-conscious in putting thought to paper.

As The Sun itself has discovered recently, making management changes in any organization is fraught with peril. It's hard to get it right, and it may not happen with the first attempt.

Why not deal as charitably with the Walters as you yourselves would like the community to deal with you during this period? After all, both The Sun and the Walters have managed quite well in the meantime -- haven't they?

Sheila K. Riggs

Baltimore

Gay Christians

I am responding to Frank Somerville's article, "National

Council of Churches meeting marked by dissent over ties with gays," Nov. 11.

As one of the over 30 lay and clergy members present (Mr. Somerville reported only 15) at the all-day protest of the National Council of Churches, I can assure you that our efforts went well beyond waving professionally made banners and signs and whispering, "Shame, shame, shame," at the end of Joan Brown Campbell's speech that morning (out of respect for Reverend Campbell, who is our ally, we did not yell).

We made an effort to speak with as many of the official delegates as possible about the lesbian and gay Christian faithful, of which the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (U.F.M.C.C.) represents a substantial number, with an excellent track record of over 20 years.

Bishop Melvin G. Talbert addressed the meeting by calling for an open dialogue with the lesbian and gay Christian community, "in the spirit of hospitality . . . justice and love."

He then introduced David Choi of the Korean Presbyterian Church, as speaking about that hospitality. Instead, Mr. Choi lambasted lesbian and gay Christians, proposing that we will be responsible for the ultimate destruction of the Christian faith.

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