VMI, Citadel cases reveal dual standardMaybe columnist...

the Forum

January 24, 1994

VMI, Citadel cases reveal dual standard

Maybe columnist Mona Charen doesn't know much about constitutional law, or she's trying to save single-sex schools from a self-inflicted end by feminists.

Whatever her motives are, the proposal in her Jan. 10 Other Voices column, "The VMI Solution," would not survive constitutional scrutiny by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Even the name, Virginia Women's Institute for Leadership, like Texas Woman's University or Mississippi University for Women, is indication of intent to discriminate.

Creating "separate but equal" VWIL "about 30 minutes" from all-male Virginia Military Institute at all-women Mary Baldwin College could not withstand a legal action under the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause.

If single-sex schools are so good, why did the feminists insist that the U.S. attorney general attack single-sex VMI in the first place?

After Judge Jackson Kiser upheld single-sex VMI, the women's rights activists asked the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse the ruling.

The Washington-based Women's College Coalition even sent a confidential memo to its members that the Fourth Circuit's telling VMI to go co-ed or private was quite "reassuring to the nation's women's colleges."

The double standard is also revealed by the report that Attorney General Janet Reno had telephoned Shannon Faulkner offering to do "everything to help" her gain admission to the all-male Citadel in South Carolina. Now that the single-sex Citadel had to let her in, VMI won't be far behind.

Kauko H. Kokkonen


Pedestrians' rights

I am writing concerning the new law allowing motorists to turn left on the red light.

The red light, in the beginning, is supposed to let pedestrians cross the street safely without being hit or harmed.

Letting motorists turn left on the red light is very wrong. The pedestrians don't have any rights to crossing the street safely, and this includes little children and elderly people, as well as myself.

I have come near to being hit a couple of times with people turning on the red light. Now with the motorists turning on both ways, this doesn't give the pedestrian any rights at all.

Some of these motorists, who drive all kinds of ways, don't even belong behind the wheel.

This is a bad law. Give the citizens some rights to cross the streets without being hit or killed. Saving lives is more important than saving gas.

Cut out the law allowing turns to the left or right on the red light.

Pauline Tyler


City can't function

Perhaps Baltimore City is becoming Maryland's most Marylandesque subdivision, but in a fairly negative way.

Several years ago, the state had to come to the rescue of Liberty Medical Center and Baltimore City Community College.

Now, just a few blocks away, the state is about to do the same with Douglass High School and, on the other side of town, Patterson High School.

Recently Maryland State Police and the Maryland National Guard assisted the Baltimore City police in a raid on the Block.

Clearly, the city of Baltimore is unable to function as an entity unto itself.

"So what else is new?" many readers may ask. Nothing is new, but there's something that's becoming increasingly scary.

As the city continues to lose its economic base, and more and more jobs and people spill into the surrounding subdivisions, a trickle of the money that went to the city coffers directly are now going to the same place, but through the state.

What is happening, really, is the state is only doing what it is legally and morally mandated to do: provide a base for public education and public safety.

There's no burning passion on behalf of most elected and appointed state civil servants to prevent Baltimore from further disruptions. "Do your job and don't stand in front of a steamroller" seems to be the prevailing attitude.

So, as the city declines into economic and social vicissitude, most state workers continue to do their jobs in a legally and morally ethical vein.

And why not? They're just doing what they were trained to do.

The people of Baltimore cannot expect Big Daddy (the state of Maryland) to be its saving grace.

As our city prepares its annual acknowledgment of Black History Month, let's ask ourselves: What prominent, black American became famous by expecting compensation from the welfare state? Literally none. What city became famous by expecting hand-outs from the state in which it was located? Literally none.

Our city can improve, but not by expecting the state to come to our rescue. It ain't going to happen.

The people in Baltimore aren't hungry enough. There's entirely too much complacency here. How can we expect state civil servants to give a damn if too many Baltimoreans don't?

Jamie Blount


CFL chance should not be missed

As the vice president of the Ednor Gardens/Lakeside Civic Association and a city resident who lives one block north of Memorial Stadium, I am writing to express my opinion on Baltimore's opportunity to gain a Canadian Football League team.

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