With a minority population of less than 5 percent, West Virginia might be excused if it didn't take a lead role in the fight against racial intolerance. But Gov. Cecil Underwood isn't looking for easy excuses, but a way to create "a statewide atmosphere of racial harmony through respect, understanding and tolerance." It's a cause the state's citizens ought to rally around.
If you have to ask why, here's the best reason: When people begin using ethnic or racial yardsticks to separate themselves from other human beings, time and energy that ought to spent improving the human race is wasted on hatred and revenge instead. Taken to extremes, it ends in incidents like the one that claimed the life of Vincent Chin in July 1982.
Chin, 27, was celebrating his upcoming wedding at a nude-dancing estsblishment in Highland Park, Mich., when he got into an argument with two unemployed auto workers. The two apparently mistook the Chinese-American man for a Japanese and began complaining that Japan's auto makers were costing Americans their jobs. Then they beat Chin to death with a baseball bat.