Opportunities may be lost in MTO furorSomewhere I was...

the Forum

September 08, 1994

Opportunities may be lost in MTO furor

Somewhere I was taught that America was supposed to be a "land of opportunity" and fairness -- where a person could aspire to bigger and better things in life. I now know that notion only applies to certain segments of our population.

It is a sad state of affairs to have to justify programs being created to help those in our community achieve a semblance of the "good life."

Where is it written that Section 8 recipients are not worthy of moving to better environments? Where is it written that all Section 8'ers are involved in criminal activity? Where is it written that Section 8'ers won't make good neighbors?

Nowhere -- except in the rather parochial minds of people who accept stereotypical images instead of doing some research on their own.

Baltimore County is painted as an oasis quite different from the "crime-ridden" urban areas, but I am here to tell you that crime is everywhere, so who is to blame? I know Section 8 recipients. I am saying that crime is not perpetrated only by poor non-white persons. Anyone who thinks that is kidding himself.

The knee-jerk reaction to the Moving to Opportunity program highlights my point graphically.

Baltimore County Executive Roger Hayden, who is running for re-election, writes a letter asking that the program be delayed until further study is done. He is an example of the type of politician who panders to some narrow-minded constituents to get elected. Unfortunately he is not alone. The problem in his writing that letter is that it helps to retard a worthy program that is trying to give hope instead of a handout.

Without hope nothing is possible. Somewhere I was taught that in America anything is possible.

Let's make it possible for our poorer citizens to approach and go through that window of opportunity. Don't you think it's time for educating, not placating?

Sharon McBride


Faux fur

While the Humane Society of the United States applauds efforts to find cruelty-free alternatives to animal-based products, we are concerned that Sun Fashion editor Vida Roberts' "warm & fuzzy" report (Aug. 25) on the recent increase in the popularity of faux fur doesn't tell the whole story.

Although it may appear that each faux fur coat produced will save the lives of the 40 sables or 27 raccoons that are killed to produce a "real" coat, this is not always the case.

Wearing a realistic faux fur may contribute to the idea that "the look" of fur is desirable -- this is reason enough for some to eschew faux fur.

But fur designers have grown so insensitive to the suffering of animals that in their rush to follow this latest trend, they are actually altering the pelts of real animals (by shaving and dying their fur) to make them look fake.

Consumers should beware of this trend and, if they are comfortable with faux-fur, make sure that what appears to be faux is really not just sheared and dyed real fur.

Dale Bartlett

Washington, D.C.

The writer is a research associate for the Humane Society of the United States' wildlife and habitat protection program.

No Catholic

Julian L. Simon's Other Voices article Aug. 25 refers to Frances Kissling as a Catholic. She is not a Roman Catholic; in fact she is extremely anti-Catholic.

By her own admission, when she departed from the convent and separated from the faith she never fully returned to the Catholic Church.

In a debate on Aug. 21 on WRKO Radio in Boston, when Ms. Kissling was pressed about how many members her organization has, she revealed that Catholics for Free Choice was a misnomer.

She revealed that it is not a membership organization. It has no membership.

The National Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement on Nov. 4, 1993, denying that CFFC was Catholic.

Many people may be led to believe that it is an authentic Catholic organization. It is not. It has no affiliation, formal or otherwise, with the Catholic Church.

I would hope that Mr. Simon has researched the other salient points of his article more thoroughly than he verified the Kissling statement.

Richard J. Pinamonti

Havre de Grace

Blacks must support NAACP

We African-Americans ought to be ashamed that we have allowed the oldest civil rights organization in the country to be millions of dollars in debt.

Worse, it is financially dependent on major corporations that are controlled by those who walk, talk, look and act like those who have oppressed us from the birth of this nation.

How is it that we allow those who enslaved, murdered, raped and denigrated us for hundreds of years to contribute vast sums of money to our organizations?

These are the same oppressors who still discriminate against us in housing, employment and education.

How is it possible not to recognize that those who contribute the nTC most money are those who control the organization?

If the NAACP is financed by the oppressors' money, how can it be anything but mealy-mouthed, conservative, closed to change and therefore useless?

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