Wrong Role ModelsAt the risk of being hated as a black...


January 24, 1994

Wrong Role Models

At the risk of being hated as a black female racist sexist, I must convey my loyalty to Baltimore City Comptroller Jacqueline McLean.

I see no reason for young black females to feel disappointed or embarrassed by Ms. McLean's alleged misbehavior, as speculated by Joyce Wolpert (letter, Jan., 5).

Nor do I agree with Ms. McLean's attorney, William H. Murphy Jr. (Dec. 25), and Sun columnists Mike Littwin (Dec. 22) and Michael Olesker (Dec. 23 and 30), who deny that racism is a factor in Ms. McLean's troubles.

I am convinced that any supposed wrongdoing by Ms. McLean is because she copied the corrupt character of white males. Hence, I want to pursue the issues of racism and sexism from this perspective.

Black society has always been labeled as a copy of the white male-oriented dominant culture.

To wit: Howard University is called the black Harvard; the Baltimore civil rights Mitchell family has been called the black Kennedys; Michael Jackson has been called the black Fred Astaire; and Billy Dee Williams, the black Clark Gable.

A current perception is that black youngsters doing well in school are acting white.

Given such indoctrination, I believe Ms. McLean's circumstance is due to her using whites, males especially, as role models. The influence was bad, I imagine.

Ironically, Messrs. Littwin and Olesker -- even in their aggressive denials of racism -- provide white males as the only comparators for Ms. McLean's activities.

Mr. Littwin documents that her hiding behind her lawyer is a defense the (white) Founding Fathers wrote into the Bill of Rights to compensate for their condition of original sin.

Mr. Olesker compares her alleged misdeeds to the cases of Dale Anderson, Joe Alton and Marvin Mandel. Then in his second attack, which he also launches against Mr. Murphy, Mr. Olesker focuses on Hyman Pressman and Allan Reynolds.

In my opinion, we blacks, both males and females, wrongly absorb ourselves in this society devoted to the promotion of white males.

Ms. McLean's quiet desperation made known how our error turns our own personalities against ourselves.

The lesson I have learned is to strengthen my practice of Black Liberation Theology of the Ma'atian Faith and Black Nationalism.

Orisha Kammefa


Sound Decision

Your reporter Edward Gunts' pronouncements on the new flooring at the Church of the Redeemer were ridiculous (Jan. 9).

Brazenly pitting his judgment against the best thinking of a committee of 13 people who spent nearly a year developing their recommendation to install the slate floor, he used a lot of space to demonstrate he did not know what he was writing about.

In appointing the church floor committee, the Rev. Robert P. Patterson said, "We do need to move on addressing the church floor matter, but we need to take the time necessary to consider all the alternative solutions, and to find a way to satisfy the aesthetics, acoustics and cost."

In the course of their study, committee members considered every possible type of flooring, and their ultimate decision to recommend slate was unanimous. Likewise, the vestry was unanimous in its vote to accept the committee's recommendation.

While it is true that Pietro Belluschi enjoys a reputation as a great architect, he knew little or nothing of the science of acoustics. The same appears to be true of his collaborators, Messrs. Rogers, Taliaferro and Lamb. This may be the reason why the committee gave little weight to their opinions.

In addition, the committee's membership included a parishioner who is a highly competent architect.

The new floor has met with wide approval from a great majority of the congregation, many of whom resent an outsider such as Mr. Gunts coming in with his unrealistic conclusions.

Someone should explain to him the difference between "architecture" and "decor." The poor chap doesn't understand it.

H. G. Bailey Jr.


Tabloid Theo

The Jan. 3 column by Theo Lippman Jr. included remarks worthy of no better than a supermarket tabloid.

Its publication by The Sun, which in the past has held high standards of journalism, is appalling.

In his column, Mr. Lippman makes several statements regarding the sexual activity of President Clinton for which no credible evidence has been offered.

Mr. Lippman stated that President Clinton "has had many trysts with numerous women"; that in these purported trysts President Clinton's "only interest was sex"; and that President Clinton has treated "numerous women merely as subject and objects."

As no credible evidence has been offered in Mr. Lippman's column, The Sun, or any other public arena in support of any of the above accusations, we are thoroughly dismayed at the lack of journalistic integrity demonstrated both on the part of Mr. Lippman and on the part of The Sun . . .

Deirdre L. Murphy

Stephen H. Gavett


Proud To Be an American

I am writing to you about what now appears to be latest "in" thing -- being politically correct.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.