Dr. Ben Carson deplores the moral decay in our society and argues that we are less civilized than we used to be ("Remarks vault Carson into the political arena," Feb. 18). I doubt, however, whether Dr. Carson would prefer to be living several generations ago when an African American was not even admitted into a venerable institution like Johns Hopkins, much less appointed to head one of its divisions. It was through the efforts of many individuals and groups, including progressive Democrats that he is now criticizing, that achieved this remarkable progress in our society.

Dr. Carson sounds a lot like a conservative Republican in his political views, an ironic situation given that the GOP stood steadfastly against many of the civil liberties that have benefited Dr. Carson and allowed him to succeed. It's no coincidence that the solidly Democratic South became the solidly Republican South after passage of the voting rights law by a Democratic Congress and signed by President Lyndon Johnson.

Jack Kinstlinger, Baltimore

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