Letters To The Editor


November 15, 2005

Take a close look at Alito's record

On behalf of the Maryland State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, I urge Sens. Paul S. Sarbanes and Barbara A. Mikulski to do all they can to fulfill their constitutional duty to thoroughly assess the ability of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. and to ensure the continued protection of the civil rights and civil liberties of all Americans, especially those of color ("Alito reassures two Senate moderates," Nov. 9).

Specifically, I hope that they will demand direct and detailed answers to questions on the judge's positions on issues important to African-Americans and other racial and ethnic minority Americans - including equal opportunity programs (including affirmative action), criminal justice issues, employment discrimination laws, continuing inequities in public education, racial discrimination, police misconduct, voting rights and the death penalty.

It is vitally important that the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court interpret the Constitution in a manner that is fair to and respectful of the rights of all Americans.

Furthermore, it is the duty of our elected representatives, as our voice in the Senate, to ensure that every Supreme Court nominee upholds my basic civil rights and civil liberties.

Herbert H. Lindsey


The writer is president of the Maryland State Conference of the NAACP.

Steele and Rice are true success stories

I am a proud African-American woman who retired after 21 years as an Internal Revenue Service agent. I don't understand today's African-American communities and the so-called leaders who say mean things about Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele ("Exchange highlights campaign's racial tension," Nov. 14).

We should be proud of his accomplishments, even if he belongs to a political party that is different from our own.

And the same applies to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Both of these outstanding citizens deserve our praise and adoration - they are examples of American success stories.

Grace Y. Jones


Gilman School is known for diversity

I read with interest the article by David Nitkin on the membership issues at the Elkridge Club ("Club admits black member," Nov. 11).

No club in Baltimore or elsewhere could want a better member than Theo C. Rodgers. However, I note the somewhat gratuitous insertion to the article of the Gilman School name.

Mr. Nitkin, and The Sun's readers, might like to know that Gilman has a national reputation for diversity and for diversity education. Our school community is inclusive on a broad scale, and that inclusivity has been a part of our mission for decades.

To contribute to that end we focus more on what we will need to do now and in the future than on a past we cannot alter.

Perhaps The Sun can join us in such visionary thinking.

Jon McGill


The writer is headmaster of the Gilman School.

Flippant approach to a terrible war

"Turns out, we were wrong," President Bush's national security adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, said about the administration's assertion that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction ("Bush didn't mislead nation on war, national security chief says," Nov. 14).

I did not hear the actual comments on CNN's Late Edition, but I wonder if it was accompanied by a laugh track.

Giving such a flippant answer to such a serious matter seems to come straight out of a television sitcom, and a bad one at that.

Perhaps it is this same cavalier attitude that led the president into a war that, now that the truth is out, the majority of the American people think was a mistake.

It is time for Mr. Bush and, for that matter, all in government to start respecting the gravity of their jobs.

Dan Goodman


IRS attacks churches critical of president

I was in total disbelief the first time I read the small news item "Anti-war sermon elicits IRS threat" (Nov. 8).

The article notes that the IRS has warned a liberal church in Los Angeles that it might lose its tax-exempt status because a reverend had articulated his opposition to the war in Iraq (and tax cuts) on the eve of the 2004 presidential election.

He did not, however, advocate the election of either candidate.

In this country, apparently, a church or any religious institution can run afoul of the government if it had the audacity to espouse peace instead of war. God forbid.

The hypocrisy of such a standard is blatant.

While the tax-exempt status of the church in question is in jeopardy for supposedly "intervening in political campaigns and elections," one must call into question the numerous churches that publicly endorsed President Bush and actively supported such divisive issues in the 2004 campaign as a ban on gay marriage to garner more turnout and votes.

It seems that the IRS selectively applies its regulations to those who oppose White House policies as a form of retribution.

Sound familiar?

Steve Charing


Revealing words about `designer'

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