Good SamaritansOn the evening of Feb. 22, my wife and I...

the Forum

March 07, 1994

Good Samaritans

On the evening of Feb. 22, my wife and I were driving down Greenspring Avenue in Baltimore County returning home after having dinner with friends.

Our eight-year-old car lost power as we approached the intersection with Smith Avenue. My attempts to restart were futile.

I put on the hazard flashers and grabbed a flashlight to wave oncoming traffic around me as my wife set off to phone the auto club from one of the nearby residences.

Almost immediately a young woman stopped, offered to call on her car phone and drove my wife about two miles to our home, where she picked up her car.

This wonderful person, recently married and relocated from Cleveland, unfortunately remains nameless, and we hope she reads this.

During the ensuing two hours, long-time friends saw us and stayed with us until the tow truck arrived. However, while I was waving traffic around the stalled vehicle, many people paused to offer help, make calls and do everything except buy my car on the spot, an offer that I made several times as it got colder and later.

To all of these Good Samaritans, our most heartfelt thanks, especially to several gentlemen who parked their cars, offered hot shots and pushes.

In one case, a man diagnosed the problem on the spot (he was absolutely correct). We wish to mention the young man in a sports car who offered to park behind my increasingly dimming automobile to add his flashers, and the family who allowed my wife to check on the whereabouts of the tow truck from their home.

The experience was aggravating and frustrating, but very heartening, as many people took the trouble on a cold night to offer help.

They were young and old, in luxury cars and aging subcompacts, alone and in couples, a variety of ethnic groups. Many, many thanks, and I hope to do the same one late, dark Baltimore night.

Mike Roseman

Baltimore

Ashamed

What right do the mayor and City Council members have handing out more than $300,000 of taxpayer money to individuals for scholarships when the mayor says he cannot lower the property taxes (Evening Sun, Feb. 20)?

What right for the city to give someone not living in the city scholarship money because it was requested by the Maryland Institute, College of Arts?

I am surviving on Social Security, and the mayor should have transferred some of that money to cut my property tax. I am thoroughly ashamed of the mayor and City Council members.

Lula M. Clark

Baltimore

Mfume showed courage on Farrakhan

We, the friends, constituents and supporters of Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Kweisi Mfume applaud his courageous demonstration of leadership by reaching out to various members of the black community in an effort to develop a united approach to the extreme crisis that exists among our people.

Mr. Mfume has a rich record of developing coalitions of diverse groups and has handled his responsibilities in a statesmanlike manner. We are extremely satisfied with his leadership.

During the annual meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus, Chairman Mfume reached out to Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam in an effort to develop a coalition to address the crisis in the black community.

This was applauded by some caucus members and national black leadership; support reverberated throughout our community.

Reaching out is risky business, as evidenced by what happened to Andy Young, and leaders with this type of courage should be commended rather than repudiated.

Coalition building is not new to Mr. Mfume or other responsible leaders, in the black community and throughout the world.

Former enemies in the Eastern and Western blocs embrace one another; East and West Germany have merged; the United States embraces Russia; the white-dominated government of South Africa has embraced Nelson Mandela; the government of Israel and the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization are attempting to resolve their differences.

These efforts all appear to be laudable, as are those of Representative Mfume.

However, because of highly publicized excerpts of a speech given at obscure Kean College by Khallid Abdul Muhammad, a top associate of Minister Farrakhan, the focus immediately changed from Mr. Mfume's noble efforts to Minister Farrakhan, the hateful rhetoric of his associate and efforts to hold Representative Mfume hostage to this action.

There was very little vocal opposition to Chairman Mfume's efforts until excerpts of Dr. Muhammad's speech were publicized by the Anti-Defamation League.

We and all well-meaning persons condemn the vicious and unacceptable remarks attributed to Dr. Muhammad.

However, we take strong issue against Representative Mfume's being held accountable for something outside of his control.

He has taken a properly strong position opposing Dr. Muhammad's comments but has been relentlessly badgered by certain journalists and pressure groups to take a position acceptable to them.

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