Americans AllThanks to The Sun for printing the letter...


February 07, 1994

Americans All

Thanks to The Sun for printing the letter from Percy L. Battle captioned "Proud to be an American" (Jan. 23). It was the most perceptive and intelligent analysis of what it is to be an "American" that I have been privileged to read. I am proud to be a fellow American of Mr. Battle.

The hyphenated identities that he had referred to are, for the most part, the result of the banding together of immigrant groups even before the turn of the century for establishing mutual aid societies for sickness and death benefits as well as to maintain some of the "old country" customs and culture.

There was no welfare then. Some still exist, but many are dying out because "Americanization" has taken its toll on them.

In spite of establishing these societies, the ultimate goal of all these immigrants was to "blend in" and become real Americans. I suspect many of today's immigrants -- the younger ones -- have the same goal. The stigma of being a "foreigner" or "greenie" still hangs on, though.

Interestingly, on the same page with Mr. Battle's letter was one from an Orisha Kammefa who professed Black Nationalism and Black Liberation Theology, etc.

I hope she took the time to read Mr. Battle's letter -- slowly. As a black person, she should be proud of her people's accomplishment -- both in Africa and here. Divisiveness, however, is not an accomplishment for the future.

Americans whose names might be Battle, Kammefa, Nguyen, Wienckowski, Muller, Jones, Naguib, Peterson, DiNicola, Katsafanos, Murphy, King and others out of the more than 160 ethnic classes in this country have a right to be proud of the struggles of their ancestors in America, but we must prove that their efforts were not in vain and that we are all truly Americans, as they wanted to be.

A. F. Kwiatek Sr.

Palmyra, Pa.

Rival Visions

Your Jan. 22 editorial regarding Stuart Berger, "Healing Baltimore County Schools," portrays the superintendent on his white charger, charting a new course for the children, despite those adults who would protest too much. This questionable bit of journalism follows another recent editorial that chastises WBAL because it continues to raise the Berger issue.

Evidently The Sun can comment on Dr. Berger -- but WBAL should not.

In terms of "dynamiting the bureaucracy," it appears Dr. Berger has merely reorganized the bureaucracy, placing his disciples (i.e. those who have seen his "vision") into positions of responsibility.

If The Sun thinks he has substantively "decentralized authority" and gone to site-based management, it needs to talk with those administrators or teachers who are willing to go public, despite the consequences.

Your paper portrays Dr. Berger as a man who "wants new ideas." Evidently the task force appointed by the board seriously questioned that premise in its report.

If the Japanese have taught us anything, it is that cooperation at all levels is the key to success. Ideas that come from labor are held in as high esteem as those which come from management. Does the Baltimore County Board of Education understand this premise?

The Sun reminds us that Dr. Berger's main concern is the "education of young people." I would like to remind the Sunpapers that this is also the concern of parents and teachers, many of whom have their own "vision" of what education should be like for children in Baltimore County.

Michael P. Kennedy


Cable Regulation

A Jan. 24 Associated Press article regarding cable television regulation contained several errors.

It states that the ''FCC regulates the cost of channels that aren't basic, including premium channels, such as HBO and Showtime, and pay-per-view for special sporting events and movies.''

Actually, the only rates the FCC regulates are for the package of so-called ''expanded basic'' channels such as CNN, ESPN, and MTV, when those channels are offered as a package meeting certain characteristics.

Rates for ''premium'' channels such as HBO and Showtime, as well as prices for pay-per-view programming, are not regulated by any authority except the free market. Also, late charges are not regulated, contrary to what the article states.

Christopher Bergman


Timely Delivery

Hats off to the newspapers! During the freeze period, newspapers were delivered every day.

That's more than can be said for the U.S. Postal Service.

Bud Ryer


Reckless Speed

In his Jan. 19 letter, Richard Piotrowski, who coordinates the National Motorists Association in Pennsylvania, disagrees with Roger Simon's conclusion that the only reason for a driver to use a radar detector is to break the law.

Mr. Piotrowski never gives an alternate reason for radar detectors but seems to infer drivers use them to "keep the government in check."

I know almost 20 drivers who use a radar detector to determine whether police are patrolling ahead of them. Upon detection, every driver slows down because they are exceeding the posted speed limit. Drivers use the radar to determine when they can exceed the speed limit.

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