Affirmative action will endIn the March 18 edition you...

The Forum

March 31, 1995

Affirmative action will end

In the March 18 edition you called attention to letters from two readers who were alarmed by the opposition to affirmative action policies.

Neither letter offered suggestions as to how the issue could be resolved. They simply defended the programs.

There can be little doubt that a large majority of American citizens is deeply offended by the laws and policies which are called "affirmative action."

The fact that the cultural elite is determined to impose its ideas only serves to increase the sense of outrage experienced by ordinary citizens.

But since we live in a representative democracy, the political establishment is slowly but inexorably shifting its position. Affirmative action, as a government policy, is coming to an end. The only question is whether it will end gracefully.

The cultural elite has made a strategic error in trying to intimidate the opposition.

By attacking thoughtful people with cries of racism, it largely succeeded in silencing for a long time any open opposition, but by avoiding full debate of affirmative action policies, it surely increased the intensity of that opposition.

It seems to me that it would be helpful if The Baltimore Sun would encourage a full range of debate instead of drawing a box around two letters from supporters of "affirmative action" laws.

Allen Walls


Speed kills

Concerning our new governor's idea of increasing the speed limit on rural roads to 65 mph, we all know that speed kills.

If you were to ask 10 drivers how they drive on rural roads, at least 80 percent would say they go at least five to 10 mph over the limit. A 65 mph limit would bring us real speeds of 70 or 75 mph.

It is a miracle that with the number of vehicles on the road the number of lives lost is relatively small.

We also should get into the habit of using our headlights whenever we turn on our windshield wipers and using turn signals when we change lanes.

William C. Gunning


Color of love

My compliments to The Evening Sun for your article on interracial adoption ("One family's struggle to be together," March 12).

The need for qualified adoptive parents is great. The ideal would be to place children and parents of like race together.

Since this is not always possible, the primary issue should be the children's needs.

Ms. Morin seems to be a qualified adoptive parent. To remove the three children from her care because they are black and she is white is ludicrous. The children are obviously blossoming with Ms. Morin.

The oldest has a pet to play with, the middle one, when not studying gymnastics, can be found playing computer games, and the youngest is a typical four-year-old.

The birth mother left a will requesting that Ms. Morin adopt the three children. The mother had no fears that her children would lose their connection to their heritage if they lived with Ms. Morin. She knew Ms. Morin to be a trustworthy friend and one who genuinely cared for the children.

It is important for children to be exposed to their culture and heritage, but is it fair to deny children a better way of life just so they can live in the same household with people of like race?

The most important concern is the happiness and welfare of the children. If these concerns can be achieved through interracial adoption, then let it be so.

Delores Partham


Happy in Hollins

I came to the Hollins Market area of Baltimore 16 years ago as a college senior. I had never lived in the inner city before, and it was not my intention to stay after graduation, but somehow I just never left.

When I first moved here I felt very uneasy. It was so different from the quiet suburbs where I grew up.

I expected little from a neighborhood that was economically and culturally depressed. Yet I was overwhelmed by the sincerity, generosity and basic kindness of the people who lived here.

The Hollins Market area is proof that you don't need a lot of money to own your house and still live in a friendly, interesting neighborhood. Most people can buy a house here without a mortgage, and property taxes are still low.

I have a 15-minute walk to work, which gives me more time to spend with my family. The neighborhood has good, reasonably priced restaurants, bars, a coffeehouse, grocery stores, the Hollins Market and shops.

There is also a growing artists' community, which is involved with the SoWeBo festival and features art exhibits the first Sunday of every month in local galleries.

I enjoy the diversity of the people living in the city. I want my children to learn that it's all right to be different, and I want them to have compassion for people who are not as fortunate as they.

I enjoy sitting on the front steps gossiping with neighbors or just watching people walk by. I am committed to staying in the city and determined not to flee, as so many others have.

We can no longer run away from the problems of the inner city because eventually there will be no place to run to.

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