Press and NAFTAYour pro-NAFTA campaign borders or...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Press and NAFTA

Your pro-NAFTA campaign borders or hysteria.

Any agreement that has most Republicans, the elitist press and the fat-cat CEOs of this country in bed together has got to be bad news for the average American worker.

I'd far rather be counted in the company of the Ross Perots, Ralph Naders and Jesse Jacksons of this world.

Your threat to the re-election of any congressman who votes against NAFTA was laughable. The press just doesn't get it.

Haven't you realized yet how contemptuous the American people are of you? I think the press scores just below used-car salesmen in American esteem.

Frances C. Sweeney

Baltimore

Prove Guilt First

The Sun, through its editorials and news articles, has chronicled and presented to its readers the problems related to child abuse and molestation.

It is a fact that this ugly duckling has surfaced to the point that daily we hear many accused of this heinous crime -- unfortunately.

What The Sun has failed to present in detail is the importance of reminding the public that accused does not mean guilty.

Yes, we must prosecute the guilty. However, we must also see to it that the accused is given full legal consideration until proven guilty, and that all evidence is examined with care.

Further, since there is no statute of limitations on prosecution of this kind of crime, all must be ready to evaluate evidence in respect to crimes dealing with abuse. Certainly we must be on guard and take all precautions to protect our children from child abuse and molestation.

In retrospect, let us not forget that all citizens, especially those working with the young, are not child abusers or molesters, nor do they violate the sexual rights and demeanor of the young.

Editors, writers, counselors, social workers and, above all else, law enforcement officials must be careful to evaluate all evidence before we condemn a man or woman of child abuse or molestation without valid evidence.

Careers and the spirit of the innocent can be destroyed after having been charged with this type of crime, even though the individual is ultimately proven not guilty.

Yes, we must guard our young against those seeking to do damage to them, physically or mentally, but we must also uphold the majesty of the law and seek out all evidence so that justice can be done.

John Micklos

Baltimore

Who Is Racist?

Why, oh why, does The Sun print such race-baiting letters as the one written by Samuel L. Banks (Nov. 5)? After wading through such word-gems as: "cogently," "hegemony," "adumbrated" and "societal," his whole article boils down to the usual "Blame it all on whitey" tirade.

Time has passed Mr. Banks by. The letter may be well-suited to the 1960s, but is really obsolete in the 1990s. We're all responsible for the sad state of affairs in our country -- not just "whitey," by any means.

Being a senior citizen, I submit that, in my lifetime, I've never seen so much money, time, aid and concerned general effort directed toward any part of the U.S. population(s) as it has for the past 30 years toward the African-American segment.

Oh, the catch-all phrase is that all this bounty is for "minorities." But let's be honest, that means "black" in most cases. Does all the above sound like "white racism?"

Mr. Banks, however, is right about one thing -- the whole problem is one of socio-economic conditions, rather than one of race or color. It, in most cases, is not one of "race", but of "class." Put simply, thinking people judge others by whether they're "good guys" or "bad guys" -- and good or bad know no color or race lines.

If we can all learn to judge each other by the simple categories of "good" or "bad" and forget the "black" or "white" (or any other shade) -- maybe, just maybe, the race-baiters can join the majority of Americans who get along just fine.

Robert F. Kennedy

Catonsville

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In answer to the letter by Samuel L. Banks concerning racism and it being the fault of the white people, I challenge Mr. Banks and everyone who thinks the way that he does on this subject.

I'll prove to him that he is not only wrong but biased in his opinions.

Racism is not caused by anything other than hatred, and hatred is caused by ignorance.

Ignorance knows no boundary where the various races are concerned. According to Webster's Dictionary, ignorance is defined as a lack of knowledge.

Everyone is ignorant about something, I do believe, Mr. Banks included.

Edward D. Bieretz

Baltimore

Kashmir: Is Self-Determination Perilous?

Your admirable editorial on Indian brutalities in Kashmir (Nov. 1) errs on two points.

One, it is not right to equate Pakistan with India in so far as Kashmir is concerned. Pakistan, unlike India, has consistently supported the right of self-determination for the people of Kashmir.

This has been Pakistan's unchanged position for the last 45 years.

Pakistan has not colonized the Kashmiris, nor has Pakistan been accused of being responsible for the sufferings of the Kashmiris, which stem from India's refusal to abide by its international commitments and permit the Kashmiris to vote for their future under an internationally supervised plebiscite.

Two, it is naive to suggest that the answer lies in greater autonomy for Kashmiris within the Indian Union.

Anyone who has followed developments in the valley since 1989, or any correspondent who has visited the region, will testify that there is not a single Kashmiri today who sees his future with an India that has kept his people in forced bondage for over four decades and has practiced great brutalities against them.

Today there is one Indian soldier to every 26 Kashmiris, and there is only one slogan in the valley: India out.

The fire of militancy in Kashmir may well continue to smolder, but the Kashmiris -- far from being cowed by the military and police brutality unleashed without let or hinderance on them which has caused thousands of deaths, rapes and destruction -- are very bravely continuing their resistance, which has finally begun to awaken the world conscience.

Indian atrocities only raise new columns of freedom lovers from the ashes of the Kashmiri youth wilting under the fire of tyranny, making it impossible for India to swim against the tide of international opinion for long.

After the Middle East, it is Kashmir's turn. India will sooner or later have to come to the negotiating table for settlement of the problem.

I would urge The Sun to assign a correspondent to go to Kashmir and report the truth, because you will not hear it in New Delhi.

Malik Zahoor Ahmad

Washington

The writer is press attache at the Embassy of Pakistan.

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Your editorial Nov. 1, "Brutality in Kashmir," has a correct ending though its beginning was slightly exaggerated in comparing the killings of Kashmir nationalists to the martyrs of Amritsar in the year 1919.

While no one is justifying the killings of anyone, the poor innocent people who were shot down mercilessly in Amritsar by a brutal British officer cannot be compared with the so-called nationalists in Kashmir, who have been committing untold violence, burning and kidnapping of people, using holy places like the mosques as secret storing houses of smuggled arms and destroying temples of the minority Hindus.

But as you very rightly pointed out, these horrible things could have been avoided had the government of India been more tactful and Pakistan less mischievous.

Kashmiri Muslims must understand that their independence will be perilous to them and their acceding to Pakistan would be worse, as the condition of the East Pakistanis of yesteryear bears out. . .

All this talk of freedom and democracy is so much bull.

K. Seshadri

Baltimore

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