Readers Respond

July 01, 2009

Predatory lending in city just a conspiracy theory

First, Wells Fargo is accused of redlining. Perhaps they wanted to stay away from high risk loans? Now it is predatory lending practices ("The suit must go on," June 30). Perhaps they were "encouraged" to do so by the Fed's policies?

No one forced the folks receiving the loans to sign the documents. It was incumbent upon those receiving the loan to review the terms and conditions. Many chose the subprime loans because they didn't have to provide proof of income. Ever wonder why?

The adjustable rate mortgage was simply a bad way to go during historic low flat interest rates. So now it's Wells Fargo's fault? Only in the eyes of conspiracy theory advocates.


Look at outcome, not intent

Reverse redlining during the lending boom, or targeting minority communities, was a fact. From Oakland, Calif., to Baltimore, mortgage brokers and lenders used direct marketing companies to drill down on public and credit bureau data to identify the best possible prospects to solicit new business ("Mortgage ruling is days away," June 30).

While the intentions on the front end of the business process may have been benign, it is the outcome that is crucial.

Minorities are a protected class under the law for a reason: They have had a history of all types of abuse by the dominant majority, including discrimination in housing and credit.

Peter Hebert

Don't call rape 'sex'

In your article about the crime of rape ("MTA officer charged with rape," June 30), you wrote, the girl "... was instead taken to Brown's top-floor apartment in downtown Baltimore, where they had sex."

Rape is not sex any more than hitting someone on the head with a baseball bat is playing baseball. The officer accused of perpetrating the crime may call this experience having sex, but that is not the experience of the victim nor how the courts should see it.

Rape is violent crime. Having sex is something else altogether. Please consider your use of language in future articles.

Carla Corroto

Americans hate hypocrisy

In his column, Thomas Schaller writes that he hopes American society will grow up and turn a blind eye to the private sins of its elected officials, in the manner of our more sophisticated European cousins ("Let's separate private, public conduct," June 30).

I expect that blind eye to arrive when our civil leaders stop trying to legislate the morality of their constituents' private behavior. South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's offense, in the public's estimation, is not so much in having an affair but in excusing himself for behavior he'd rule as unlawful for "ordinary" people.

Americans excuse and forgive adultery every day of the week but are impatient with official hypocrisy.

If the governor (senator, congressman, president, etc.) wants the people to walk the straight and narrow, he would better lead by example and keep his own nose clean. If he wants to misbehave, then let him keep quiet about everybody else's behavior and leave moral direction to our religious leaders.

Children ignore parents who say "do as I say, not as I do." Who'd expect adults to do differently?

Thad Paulhamus, Baltimore

Many changes since Stonewall

Thank you to Tim Smith for this article, "The End of Shame" (June 28). We agree that many changes have occurred since the Stonewall Riots in 1968.

Like Mr. Smith and his partner, we too have been in a long-term and loving relationship, reaching 30 years this November. Like Mr. Smith and his partner, we look forward to the time when we can legally wed in this state, and we will be in line right behind them when this right is finally and rightfully given.

Until then we will have to enjoy our Canadian marriage of three years, and breathe a sigh of relief that our being wed has not yet brought down Canadian civilization.

Rick Wasserman and Richard Crystal, Baltimore

We still have a long way to go

I was 12 years old when the Stonewall riots occurred, and I remember thinking how brave those people were to protest under the threats of arrest and ridicule.

The gay community has come a long way in those past 40 years, but we still have a long way to go. With certain states finally passing laws to allow gay people to marry, slowly but surely the rest of the country will follow.

When I hear people saying it's not right to allow gay people to marry, that it's a sin, I say to them: Why are you concerned about this? Will it affect how you live you life? Your lives will go on the same way whether gay people are given the right to marry or not.

Thanks to those brave people who protested 40 years ago, the gay community is where it is today. More and more people are coming out of the closet and at an earlier age.

I have utmost respect for every single Stonewall protester.

Joseph Kortash, Catonsville

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