Farrakhan wasn't chosen for blacksTo understand why people...

LETTERS

October 22, 1995

Farrakhan wasn't chosen for blacks

To understand why people participated in the Million Man March with Louis Farrakhan, in spite of his racial views, you have to understand America and the black experience.

After being told by generations of Caucasians that they were inferior, a group of blacks, led by Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad, turned the tables, declared whites are devils (i.e. inhuman) and that to be black is a symbol of purity. The Nation of Islam, the Black Muslims, simmered until a messenger, Malcolm X, ignited the flame of rhetoric.

People of color were moved by the message and impressed by the appearance of strong black men, guardians of their women and entrepreneurs in communities economically controlled by others.

Today, as affirmative action and social programs become the symbols of societal ills as defined by the party in power and as the verdict in the O.J. Simpson trial opens even greater wounds, people of color are drawn, emotionally, to someone not chosen by others to be their leader.

The only thing powerless people have is the ability to express rage and frustration in a manner directly opposed to the wishes of those in power. Why Louis Farrakhan? He is not one of you.

McNair Taylor

Baltimore

Heavy price paid for papal visit

How ironic that a city in a state that has savagely slashed practically all assistance to its own poverty-stricken and disabled has the largess to lavish millions of dollars to host a public figure who's pronouncements call for increased compassion for the poor.

Curtis Price

Baltimore

Plan's targets are the elderly

Shame on The Sun for supporting the GOP Medicare plan which will cut $270 billion from the program that finances medical care for the nation's elderly.

These cuts will force a reduction in the level and choice of physician and hospital care and will result in higher payments by recipients.

The Republicans claim that the cuts are needed to return the Medicare trust fund to solvency. The truth is that less than one-third of the cuts are being applied to the trust fund and that level is all that is needed for its solvency. The balance will be used to permit a tax cut, primarily for well-off investors, which The Sun had opposed in the past.

It is ironic that much of the GOP plan resembles the provisions in last year's Clinton health plan. The main difference is that the insurance industry, which will make many medical decisions under the GOP plan, raised $100 million last year to successfully defeat the Clinton plan.

There is no way the elderly will be able to raise that kind of money this year to defend their interests.

Jack Kinstlinger

Baltimore

People like gambling, casinos make money

Your Oct. 11 anti-casino editorial is a classic example of The Sun's bias against personal liberty and free choice and in favor of government regulation.

The obvious fact is that millions of human beings enjoy casino gambling.

They enjoy it enough to travel hundreds, even thousands, of miles to find it. It is entertaining to have a little flutter with Lady Luck in the glittery, garish atmosphere of a Taj Mahal or Mirage.

Growth in this industry has been phenomenal over recent years precisely because people like it. And this growth will continue, as more Indian reservations and states decide to build casinos as revenue sources.

Already Marylanders drop a bundle every day in Atlantic City, just a three-hour ride away. Surely, it is only a matter of time before the politicians give the people what they want and install casino gambling either in Delaware, Northern Virginia, or possibly even on an Indian reservation in Maryland.

This being the case, the obvious thing for Maryland to do is to seize the initiative and save its citizens the drive to New Jersey.

Two or three casinos in the state would be a boon to tourism, earn a tidy sum for the state and could funnel a sliver of the revenues to the racetracks to help support an industry that is important to the state's pocketbook and image.

To do otherwise amounts to gross negligence on the part of our public officials.

James W. O'Reilly

Monkton

Congress doesn't cut its own pay

When Congress takes a 10 percent across-the-board pay cut -- then and only then should it consider cutting pay for the poor

and elderly.

M. G. Smith

Hanover, Pa.

To our readers

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