Legislators who killed profiling bill hurt their own community
The demise of the racial profiling bill sponsored by Del. Howard P. Rawlings was not caused by law enforcement agencies or the white political establishment, but by ego-driven black legislators ("Petty politics that hurts constituents," editorial April 12).
I was appalled that this bill, which would have benefited all African-Americans operating vehicles in Maryland, was killed because of political infighting.
On several occasions over the past year I have wished that Mr. Rawlings was the representative of my community. He rises above race prejudice and tries to solve problems by the best method possible.
Organizations that provide needed assistance to the poor of our city constantly receive financial allocations from Mr. Rawlings committee in the House of Delegates so they can continue their good work.
Most city residents have in some way been the recipients of Mr. Rawlings' positive deeds.
His logical and rational approach to solving Baltimore's is a practice other legislators should emulate.
Senators Nathaniel J. McFadden, Clarence Mitchell IV and Clarence Blount destroyed the racial profiling bill Mr. Rawlings introduced because they are envious of the growing respect garnered by this man of intelligence and reason.
Their arena revolves around innuendo and gossip, not facts. I expect to read their comments in the supermarket tabloids.
I am shocked and appalled that African-American elected officials would stoop to the level of killing a bill that would have positively impacted our community, because of their dislike or jealousy for Del. Howard P. Rawlings.
Poetic justice would ensure that each of the legislators who helped to kill the bill would be stopped for "driving while black."
I understand that the feud between Mr. Rawlings and other African-American legislators began because Mr. Rawlings initiated a performance audit for Morgan State University.
I am wondering why Morgan, from which I graduated, or any other college that receives state funds, would be immune to a state audit.
Mr. Rawlings has demonstrated leadership in the legislature that is unparalleled by any other legislator of whom I am aware.
But the pettiness of some of the people who make laws for this state is truly frightening.
Judith Murray Kitz
Morgan State University performs admirably indeed
I would like to make a couple of points about The Sun's editorial "Petty politics that hurts constituents" (April 12).
First, Morgan State University is not an "under-performing black institution." It produces more African-American graduates than any school in the state and is one of the country's most successful schools.
Morgan does this while drawing upon students that many colleges and universities pass up. It does this even though it receives less state money per student than many of its counterparts.
Perhaps it is more accurate to describe Morgan as an "over-achieving" institution. Indeed, a number of consultants have done just that.
Second, it is not Del. Howard P. Rawlings' job -- or anyone else's -- to "confront black-run institutions," whether or not they are under-performing.
The state has established mechanisms for holding all institutions accountable.
I don't know whether Mr. Rawlings really sees himself this way or The Sun assigned him this role. Whichever is the case, such an attitude is cause for deep concern.
African-Americans throughout the state recognize the importance of Morgan State University. We appreciate its contribution to the region and the country.
We feel let down when one of our elected officials fails to treat Morgan fairly.
Stephen O. Russell
The writer is president of the Morgan State University Alumni Association's Washington area chapter.
Meddling do-gooders undermine our freedom
Why does a small minority of do-gooders, who are determined to make decisions for me, plague Maryland?
Motorcycle helmet laws? It's my head, and I will decide how to protect it.
Seat belt laws? It's my car and my body, I will decide how to protect them.
Gun lock laws? It's my gun and my house. I will decide how to protect them.
Our government was not set up to interfere with personal freedom of choice. It is not constitutional to make laws that circumvent that freedom of choice.
Maryland, the "Free State"? If you believe that, I'll sell you a bridge over the Chesapeake Bay
Abstinence is the only real protection for teen-agers
From our 14 years experience working with sexually active teen-agers, we can assure Susan Reimer that using condoms does not protect children from pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases and especially not from broken hearts and emotional pain ("Teens must use condoms first time, every time," April 11).
Some reports suggest that condoms have a 13 percent to 31 percent failure rate in preventing pregnancy and that one in three fails to protect against HIV.
As a mother wanting to protect your teen-ager from a passionate desire to experience, say, skydiving, would you give your teen-ager a parachute that might be defective in one of every three jumps?
We expect nothing less than abstinence with drugs and alcohol. Let us be just as clear in our message of total sexual abstinence until marriage.
We do uphold virginity because it is God's natural protection from pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases and promotes youngsters' total well-being.
Our teen-agers will live up to what we expect from them, so let's not compromise the truth.
The letter was also signed by two other parents.
Only Ralph Nader offers a real choice for president
The article by Jeff Cohen on the media ignoring Ralph Nader's presidential candidacy, while not ignoring Pat Buchanan's was excellent ("Nader has the numbers but Buchanan has the limelight," April 16).
Pat Buchanan attacks African-Americans, Jews, immigrants, gays and shows utter contempt for the poor, which is OK with our ruling class.
On the other hand Ralph Nader attacks corporate greed. That's a no-no with our ruling class.
It takes courage to stand with the voiceless and powerless.
It must really grate on our powerful corporations when they are attacked by a decent candidate whose interests lie with the people.
Right-wing flaks of Pat Buchanan's ilk will fall into oblivion soon, while Ralph Nader will be remembered as one who offered a real choice for U.S. president.
Gerald Ben Shargel
Even if sign was crude, its author has her rights
Recent letters supported the New York Yankee players who assaulted a 16-year old girl for displaying a sign at Camden Yards that said, "Yankees Suck" ("As evil as the Yankees are, crude sign was improper," April 20).
Ignoring the fact that Yankee fans are the most obnoxious and abusive fans around, are we to understand that the authors consider the girl's First Amendment rights null and void and the Yankee players' attack on a young girl to be laudable?
The most amazing aspect of these letters is that these gentlemen do not seem to agree that the "Yankees Suck."
And they say there are no aliens on this planet . . .