Baltimore's racist history recalled

Why not erect a statue to Arthur Haskins in Baltimore?

I've noticed that some letter writers have chosen to ignore, downplay or deny the level of institutional racism in Baltimore over an extended period of time. I urge them to read the obituary of Dr. Arthur L. Haskins (Jan. 19) which was very well written by Frederick N. Rasmussen.

Dr. Haskins who was not from Baltimore but became the chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He noted in his memoir, "Big Stone Gap: A Sentimental Journey," that previous experiences elsewhere "had not prepared us for the manner in which blacks were treated socially and medically in Maryland." The obituary quotes Dr. Louis L. Randall who was mentored by Dr. Haskins and was the only African-American in his class of 100. Dr. Randall notes the poor treatment he received at the hands of racist medical students. It is also noted that the wards of the affiliated hospital were segregated. Dr. Haskins noted in his book that "Segregation was well established at the University of Maryland Hospital." This is a truly sad tale about what was really taking place in Baltimore and in the state of Maryland.

The removal of the name, "Byrd," from the stadium at College Park is truly necessary. The proponents of racism and segregation do not deserve to be honored, no matter what other qualities they may have had. Instead, we should honor the forerunners of an open society of which we can all be proud. I hope that the University of Maryland will seriously consider honoring men such as Dr. Haskins and Dr. Randall who were able to combine science and humanity and are men of true character of whom we can all be proud.

Edward McCarey McDonnell, Baltimore

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