Letters To The Editor

Tuesday, May 27, 2003 at 1:00am

It's baffling why Raines remains

TO THE EDITOR:

Although much is being said and written about Jayson Blair, not enough is being said about Howell Raines, who failed miserably in his responsibility as the Times' executive editor.

Raines not only used the assets of The New York Times against its best interest, but he also betrayed the public trust and undermined his staff. One can hardly blame Blair for taking advantage of an opportunity that presented itself without holding Raines accountable for opening the door for him and repeatedly refusing to acknowledge his error and correcting it.

Why Raines was not removed as quickly as Blair is baffling and speaks for the credibility and ethics of the Times.

FRANK BRIAMONTE

37138

Honest inequality vs. phony diversity

TO THE EDITOR:

Recent reports state that the Vanderbilt Law Review has no black members although there are a number of black students at the school. The publications of law schools are the gatekeepers to the best career opportunities in the legal profession. If black students can't get on the staffs of such publications, they are less likely to get off to a fast start in law.

So should such publications lower their standards so that black students can become members? Should black students be granted membership over more able white students in the name of diversity?

One of the many problems with white discrimination in the name of diversity is that it tends to become universal. Favoring blacks in one area leads to favoring them in all areas, thus creating a comprehensive system of racial favoritism.

In grade school, must black students be graded by a lower standard than whites so that they can get on the honor roll, join honor societies, and graduate in the top of the class? Must colleges then have lower admission standards for minorities? Must college instruction and grading continue this program of favoritism to maintain the dogma of equal performance by all groups?

If less qualified minority students are admitted to law schools because of their race, one may expect they will not be able to compete on an equal basis with the better qualified students for grades, academic honors and jobs. The law schools will then have to institute camouflaged diversity programs to preserve the myth that their black students, on average, are as capable as white students. The whole academic process is corrupted to preserve political correctness, and this corruption must also spread to the grading of the bar exam, hiring for top law firms, and standards for making partner.

The Jayson Blair plagiarism case at The New York Times demonstrates one of the consequences of pro-black favoritism. Instead of being allowed to compete in environments where they have a chance to succeed, favored blacks are elevated to elite institutions, where failure becomes more likely and more humiliating for everyone.

Organizations such as The New York Times and the Vanderbilt Law Review must face up to the choice between honest inequality of success versus phony diversity.

HOWARD HOOD

37205

Let Democrats share better plan

TO THE EDITOR:

Some say President Bush spent a surplus and now further wants tax cuts for the rich - both actions resulting in reduced public services. Yet such conclusions are offered without support.

There was a surplus during former President Bill Clinton's second term - at the same time Democrats led the Senate. Alongside were Democrat jurisdictions that slashed services and jobs while their public and private executives pushed their compensations ever higher, and jobs were lost through redevelopment into high-priced residential property.

For example, Chicago now has one of the highest paid mayors in the nation, but it also has largely underutilized private property. Chicago was also the nation's leader in job loss in 2002. Its mayor, Richard Daley, was re-elected this year with 78 percent of a record-low 24 percent turnout. So, fewer than 1 in 5 eligible voters supported him. He says Bush is bad, too.

President Bush first called for the surplus to be returned to the people, but a Democrat-heavy Senate moved to block funding. Then came Sept. 11, 2001, and even Democrats voted to assign the surplus to the war on terror. Tax cuts subsequently seemed one good way to stem job cuts. The president also asked Americans to deal with forbearance with one another until stimuli could be worked out in Congress. Democrats seem opposed to both ideas.

Democrats know it takes 60 percent of the Senate to pass anything and that Republicans have only 51 percent. While constantly sniping at the president's character as if a diversion, Democrats appear to continue their penchant for high executive compensation through service and job cuts, together with overly opulent infrastructure renovation. It appears the rest of us should just seek to redistribute our assets through gambling, high-interest credit, and lawsuits.

If the Democrats have a better plan than the president, why make us wait until next year's election to hear it?

DANIEL C. ARENDT

37219

To comment on a City Paper story or local issue, send us a typed letter 100 words or less (with zip code and a daytime phone number for verification) to: letters@nashvillecitypaper.com, or Editor, The City Paper, P.O. Box 158434, Nashville, TN 37215. Letters may be edited to fit. There is no guarantee letters received will be printed.

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