Black history has message for AsiansMy friend Jenny and I...

LETTERS

February 23, 1997

Black history has message for Asians

My friend Jenny and I were eating recently at a restaurant near the University of Maryland Baltimore County, where I am a student. A heavyset white man passed by our table and said, ''You damn Chinese people need to get the hell out of this country!''

I knew the comment was intended for us, since we were the only Asians in the restaurant. To make myself feel better, I told Jenny, ''Oh he must not be saying that to us, since we're not Chinese, we're Korean.'' Then we laughed.

We tried not to let this man's comment bother us. But a few minutes went by and we heard his bellowing from the other side of the restaurant. He started to yell, ''Those Chinese people, who the hell do they think they are?''

I thought to myself, ''Hmmm, Americans, that's what we are.''

He rambled on about blacks, Mexicans and whoever else his pea-brain could think of to insult.

This man's comments were disheartening, to say the least. But if I knew that he was the only person in America who felt that way, I could let it go and live life. However, I felt deeply saddened by this man's bigotry because there are many ignorant and prejudiced Americans in this great country.

I can't speak for everyone, but most people come to America for freedom and the richness that this country has to offer. My parents came to America 25 years ago and married on U.S. soil. I don't know anything but the American way. I've never been anywhere else.

The racist wants me to go back to my country. I'm in my country. What does he mean?

The thing I do know is that Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and countless other Americans went through hell and back to pave the way for future generations. They struggled through racism and persecution. Black History Month brings new meaning to me. It symbolizes growth and acceptance. True Americans grow and accept diversity. I finally understand what these individuals fought for. Simply, freedom.

Helen Song

Silver Spring

Welcome church bells as sound of the city

I live one block from St. John's Church in Waverly.

Unlike the traffic noises and other sounds of our partly industrial area, the church's bells add charm and character to our neighborhood.

In this day of digital clocks, it is a pleasure to hear the Westminster chimes on the quarter-hour and know that it is 15 minutes past something.

Tom M. Padwa

Baltimore

Frazier right to ask for more officers

I am so tired of hearing various politicians complain about the poor job that Baltimore City's police commissioner, Thomas C. Frazier, is doing. It would be nice to hear about the type of support that can be rendered to support his efforts to fight crime.

I suggest that Councilman Martin O'Malley focus most of his energy on generating strategies to reduce violence. How does Mr. O'Malley know whether the department can perform a better job without hiring new officers? Has he conducted research on this?

I would like to suggest that research be conducted on locating the funds to support the hiring of more police officers.

I think it is ludicrous to blame the violent crime and homicides on the police commissioner. The mayor of Baltimore would serve his constituents well if he supports Mr. Frazier's efforts to hire more officers. Mr. Frazier's idea sounds more effective than the recent gun buyback program.

The leadership of Baltimore City needs to stop chastising each other and begin taking a proactive stance.

Lola Oliver

Baltimore

Praying physicians nothing but shamans

It was with considerable disgust that I read Ginger Thompson's Feb. 13 article. "Prescription for prayer."

Ignoring any possible legal violations involving a public institution endorsing and supporting a religious activity for the moment, the coupling of prayer with medical treatment is at best dangerous and ignorant and at worst irresponsible and reprehensible.

A doctor who introduces prayer into the treatment is either medieval by believing it will work or is violating medical ethics by in practice giving a patient a placebo when the patient is expecting real treatment.

The fact that organizations like the University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins and Harvard are involved only deepens my repugnance at this modern shamanism.

If a patient requires spiritual assistance, then it can be more thoroughly realized through one's minister, priest or rabbi. And if a patient is truly in emotional need, psychological counseling is a truer remedy than the five seconds of prayer.

Mark A. Banash

Hanover

Sales tax system good as it is today

Is it worth tinkering with our taxes?

Right now, sales tax is at 5 percent, an amount that is easy to calculate by both sales people and customers. You just half the original bill and move the decimal point.

And though none of us likes being taxed, Maryland's overall taxes are below the average for the nation. But our politicians want to play politics. They tell us that a tax change is vital for the state. Vital for their election chances, more likely.

A well educated work force will do far more to help Maryland's businesses than tinkering with taxes.

Nick Sheridan

Baltimore

Wild about turkeys at Loch Raven Resevoir

The recent introduction of wild turkeys into the Loch Raven Reservoir area is a pleasant surprise. This bird, which Benjamin Franklin once lobbied to become our national symbol, has made a dramatic comeback in the state due to a relocation of the birds by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the National Wild Turkey Federation.

No finer place could have been chosen for the public than this 7,000-acre wooded watershed close to populous areas of Baltimore County. It is a popular fishing hole for bass as well as many other fish that inhabit its waters; a playground for golfers, runners and cyclists, each engaged in his own world. At times, if one didn't know better, this area seems like a deep virgin wilderness.

Paul Inskeep

Dundalk

Pub Date: 2/23/97

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