If the dealers thought that they were buying stolen merchandise, would they have had it in their stores? Of course not. If these dealers were dishonest, the merchandise would have been sent out of state to auction.
Now the dealers who are the very individuals who helped Susie Swann recover her stolen property are being pilloried in the press for their allegedly dishonest business dealing.
This is not about a front page police crackdown on criminals. In fact, the only thing criminal was your article.
James E. Judd
America Will Never Be Colorblind
An ugly, divisive battle against affirmative action has been declared by some in conservative Republican leadership positions. Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole said, "We need a color-blind society."
I would say "amen" to that, except that the use of the term "colorblind society" -- rather than "a fair society" -- casts the forthcoming affirmative action struggle in a distorted light, perhaps deliberately so. He neglected to also say "a gender-blind society."
America has never had a "color-blind" society. It was not "colorblind" before the affirmative action laws were passed. It has not been "color-blind" during the time the laws have been in effect.
It will not be "colorblind" if every affirmative action program is dismantled. Senator Dole would like us to believe that the erasure of affirmative action programs would immediately result
in a "color-blind" society.
America has never had a "gender-blind" society either. The largest, single "minority" group to profit from affirmative action has been white women.
If they believe that the same grandfathers, fathers, brothers, uncles and other white males who required them to fight to gain the right to vote, hold office, secure equal educational opportunity and employment commensurate with their abilities will treat them fairly without the weight of the law on their side, I think that they are mistaken.
Women -- white women -- still write about "glass ceilings" despite the massive improvement in their circumstances, much of it gained because of affirmative action remedies.
The truth is that we cannot, by the very nature of our physical makeup, be either "color-blind" or "gender-blind."
As decisions are made requiring persons to meet others face-to-face, they are distinguishable in most instances by gender and race. While we cannot be "blind" to our differences, we can and must become fair in our judgments, whatever the race or gender might be.
The only completely color-blind/gender-blind test I am aware of exists in the symphonic music world when applicants play their instruments completely hidden from the jury that judges their competence.
In addition to linking affirmative action to color-blindness, the next sally will be to link it to "quotas." The undiscerning will buy this linkage and think only of African-Americans and not women, Asians or other groups that are protected by affirmative action measures.
"Quotas" are a minimal aspect of the affirmative-action remedies now employed. But at the same time, I challenge opponents of affirmative action to disclose how to judge progress if numbers (not quotas) are not used.
We should cease our references to color-blindness. Our discussions should be about fairness.
While some want to completely dismantle the affirmative-action programs that now exist, we should examine those hundreds of cases still pending in the equal opportunity sections of the various branches of our governments.
We also should continue to note the numerous cases that are being settled for hundreds of thousands of dollars without any admission of guilt by those charged with gender and race discrimination.
Fairness must be the key to America's future. It will not be achieved any time soon, if ever, by the elimination of affirmative action.
What is needed, in my view, is more substantial penalties rather than the slap on the wrist that many confirmed violators now receive.
Benjamin C. Whitten