Legislators who killed profiling bill hurt their own...


April 25, 2000

Legislators who killed profiling bill hurt their own community

The demise of the racial profiling bill sponsored by Del. Howard P. Rawlings was not caused by law enforcement agencies or the white political establishment, but by ego-driven black legislators ("Petty politics that hurts constituents," editorial April 12).

I was appalled that this bill, which would have benefited all African-Americans operating vehicles in Maryland, was killed because of political infighting.

On several occasions over the past year I have wished that Mr. Rawlings was the representative of my community. He rises above race prejudice and tries to solve problems by the best method possible.

Organizations that provide needed assistance to the poor of our city constantly receive financial allocations from Mr. Rawlings committee in the House of Delegates so they can continue their good work.

Most city residents have in some way been the recipients of Mr. Rawlings' positive deeds.

His logical and rational approach to solving Baltimore's is a practice other legislators should emulate.

Senators Nathaniel J. McFadden, Clarence Mitchell IV and Clarence Blount destroyed the racial profiling bill Mr. Rawlings introduced because they are envious of the growing respect garnered by this man of intelligence and reason.

Their arena revolves around innuendo and gossip, not facts. I expect to read their comments in the supermarket tabloids.

Mark Fosler


I am shocked and appalled that African-American elected officials would stoop to the level of killing a bill that would have positively impacted our community, because of their dislike or jealousy for Del. Howard P. Rawlings.

Poetic justice would ensure that each of the legislators who helped to kill the bill would be stopped for "driving while black."

I understand that the feud between Mr. Rawlings and other African-American legislators began because Mr. Rawlings initiated a performance audit for Morgan State University.

I am wondering why Morgan, from which I graduated, or any other college that receives state funds, would be immune to a state audit.

Mr. Rawlings has demonstrated leadership in the legislature that is unparalleled by any other legislator of whom I am aware.

But the pettiness of some of the people who make laws for this state is truly frightening.

Judith Murray Kitz


Morgan State University performs admirably indeed

I would like to make a couple of points about The Sun's editorial "Petty politics that hurts constituents" (April 12).

First, Morgan State University is not an "under-performing black institution." It produces more African-American graduates than any school in the state and is one of the country's most successful schools.

Morgan does this while drawing upon students that many colleges and universities pass up. It does this even though it receives less state money per student than many of its counterparts.

Perhaps it is more accurate to describe Morgan as an "over-achieving" institution. Indeed, a number of consultants have done just that.

Second, it is not Del. Howard P. Rawlings' job -- or anyone else's -- to "confront black-run institutions," whether or not they are under-performing.

The state has established mechanisms for holding all institutions accountable.

I don't know whether Mr. Rawlings really sees himself this way or The Sun assigned him this role. Whichever is the case, such an attitude is cause for deep concern.

African-Americans throughout the state recognize the importance of Morgan State University. We appreciate its contribution to the region and the country.

We feel let down when one of our elected officials fails to treat Morgan fairly.

Stephen O. Russell

Fort Washington

The writer is president of the Morgan State University Alumni Association's Washington area chapter.

Meddling do-gooders undermine our freedom

Why does a small minority of do-gooders, who are determined to make decisions for me, plague Maryland?

Motorcycle helmet laws? It's my head, and I will decide how to protect it.

Seat belt laws? It's my car and my body, I will decide how to protect them.

Gun lock laws? It's my gun and my house. I will decide how to protect them.

Our government was not set up to interfere with personal freedom of choice. It is not constitutional to make laws that circumvent that freedom of choice.

Maryland, the "Free State"? If you believe that, I'll sell you a bridge over the Chesapeake Bay

Carl Justice


Abstinence is the only real protection for teen-agers

From our 14 years experience working with sexually active teen-agers, we can assure Susan Reimer that using condoms does not protect children from pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases and especially not from broken hearts and emotional pain ("Teens must use condoms first time, every time," April 11).

Some reports suggest that condoms have a 13 percent to 31 percent failure rate in preventing pregnancy and that one in three fails to protect against HIV.

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