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Discrimination exists also in the CaribbeanIn regards...

Discrimination exists also in the Caribbean

In regards to the Mona Charen's June 18 column, "Can we improve on Lincoln," one paragraph really disturbed me.

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Discrimination and slavery were prevalent in the Caribbean also. Africans did not originate in the Caribbean, as most white tourists think.

They were forced to come to the islands and became slaves who worked in the sugar cane fields and plantations.

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Africans in Africa suffered by having their ancestors ripped away from their families by Europeans who were shopping for slaves.

I am from the Caribbean, where many people are of Arawak Indian, African and European descent.

To this day in the Caribbean, like America, people are discriminated because of the color of their skin and opportunities for jobs and a decent life are distributed by how light or dark you are.

How dare Charen say there is not discrimination and presume that no one suffered from the horrid acts of slavery in the islands?

Yolanda Suarez

Owings Mills

Death sentence is no deterrence

Robert G. Vaughan III stated in his June 18 letter that Timothy McVeigh's death sentence was meant not as an act of vengeance but as an act of deterrence.

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He wrote, "The purpose of a harsh sentence for a crime of this nature is to serve as an example to others, to deter those who might be contemplating similar acts of terrorism."

People contemplating similar acts of terrorism are not going to be deterred by McVeigh's death. Such acts are meant as political statements; someone who feels strongly enough about something to blow up a building and kill innocent people would most likely have no qualms about dying for their cause.

Timothy McVeigh will not become an example to potential terrorists of what could happen to them if they commit similar acts. Instead, he will become a martyr.

Jill Cortright

Baltimore

Death sentence prevents repetition

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The question in the death sentence for Timothy J. McVeigh is not whether America is better for doing it, but if it is a safer, freer society.

The Bible mandates capital punishment, in both testaments, for just one death. Is America above the biblical injunction?

Those who take the lives of others forfeit the right and privilege to live among us.

There is no such thing, yet, as an escape-proof prison, even maximum security.

The McVeigh case, in this regard, is as they say a slam-dunk. Removing him from society by execution is the only logical punishment for his deed.

He will have plenty of time to repent, knowing the day by which he must do so.

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It won't get any of the victims back, nor will it assuage the anguish in the hearts of those who were loved ones of the victims.

But it will assure us that Timothy McVeigh will never kill again, and it just may deter others who might contemplate the taking of innocent lives in the future.

The messages we send in a time like this are important. Intolerance for wanton killers and terrorists is one message we want to be sure of.

Jim Osborn

Westminster

Israel and Jews under proposed law

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Your June 17 editorial, "Netanyahu's political crisis," notes that there is a proposal by Orthodox parties in Israel for a law that conversions to Judaism in Israel be valid only if done by Orthodox rabbis.

You add that this alienates many American Reform and Conservative Jews who "support Israel as part of their faith, only to be told that Israel considers them not quite Jews."

hTC The proposed conversion law does not state that Reform and Conservative Jews are "not quite Jews."

It does not accept the Reform and Conservative conversion procedures as valid because they do not conform to the requirements that are specified in established Jewish law.

This should be easily understandable.

If a foreigner wants to become an American citizen, there is a formal procedure established in the American legal system for naturalization that must be followed.

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If a group of Americans decides to use a different procedure in order to naturalize foreigners, the "naturalization," of course, will have no legal validity.

Harry L. Rashbaum

Baltimore

Paula Jones acted like a harassment victim

Could it be possible that reader M. Kotowski (June 17) was not informed about the fact that Paula Jones did tell her fellow workers and her family on the day the insult occurred and that she wanted to keep her job, so she said no more?

She was married and living in California when a disgruntled Arkansas state trooper told about the encounter. Then she had to clear her name and place the blame on President Clinton where it belonged and belongs.

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Adeline O. Bracken

Baltimore

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M. Kotowski's letter on Paula Jones contained some misconceptions that need clearing up.

Paula Jones did "say something when it happened." She immediately told co-workers. Later that day she told her family. She did everything a victim of sexual harassment normally does.

Like most victims, Paula Jones otherwise remained silent. She ,, filed a complaint only when the media announced that a state trooper said he once took "a woman named Paula" to Clinton in his hotel room. Wouldn't any woman in her situation feel her reputation was being harmed and want to fight back?

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She could have filed a criminal complaint, but too much time had passed. The case has been delayed for years by the legal shenanigans of the president's lawyers, not by her.

Our elitist media and some Americans feel Paula Jones should get a lesser degree of justice because she was a low-paid state employee who dared to challenge the ruling elite. What a sad commentary on America today.

Allan C. Stover

Ellicott City

Pub Date: 6/24/97


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