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Letters to the Editor

August 02, 1999

Commandments are church responsibility

To the editor:

Once again a lot of discussion on the subject of the Ten Commandments is taking place in the news media. It seems to me that we somehow believe that by displaying the Commandments we will miraculously cure our ills and make people behave morally.

How naive can this be? Speed limit signs are posted on the side of the roads often enough and yet I hardly meet any person obeying them. This simple observation indicates to me that the Ten Commandments will also be ignored by the majority of the people. The solution therefore is to instill the Commandments in the hearts of the people. This duty squarely falls on the shoulders of the parents and religious institutions and not on schools.

S.V. Yumlu

Hagerstown

No discrimination is justified

To the editor:

After all the struggle and sacrifice for equality in America, how can race still be a basis for acceptance in 1999? Equality demands that we confront this.

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And, more importantly, why is the acceptance of this race-based criterion accepted without question by education authorities, civil rights leaders and the press?

Imagine if a history group used school-owned property but restricted membership to "white only." Or if a scholarship program limited awards to "white only."

All hell would break loose!

Sumner-Ramer Heritage, Inc., was granted by the Berkeley County Board of Education the use of a room in a board-owned building. Until earlier this year, membership was restricted to black only.

Just last month area newspapers gave publicity to a recognition ceremony for a Martinsburg man who created a scholarship fund. This program is limited to blacks only.

Obviously, the concept of equality is not taken seriously in Martinsburg, especially by the black so-called leadership.

Hypocritical and selective indignation of racist injustice is very regressive, and ultimately dangerous.

Any race-based scholarship, any exclusion by race in a public organization (especially one using taxpayer-owned property) is morally, ethically, and legally indefensible. Reverting back to ignorance in the name of educational advancement is folly.

Very troublesome about the above two controversies is the involvement of the Berkeley County Board of Education. Those who seek to guide our children must steer them from any form of discrimination; it is equality which deserves their imprimatur.

I went to a Board meeting with a copy of the news article in which Sumner-Ramer declared its intent to integrate. Board members not only did not know of the policy of a group using its building, but evaded the issue. There was laughter as I left the room.

At the recognition ceremony, Superintendent Manny Orvon presented a plaque on behalf of Berkeley County Schools to the scholarship founder.

Education is the key to a successful future. Raising one's standard of achievement should be stressed.

All those sincerely concerned about the black educational condition must first face and react to the black cultural barriers that hold back black students, paramount among them is the very strong anti-education outlook.

Finally, a word on free speech. I've written numerous anti-racism, pro-black history, etc., letters to a local paper. In a debate on race relations I used verified statistics on black crime and illegitimacy. Some local blacks were offended by the truth. A very small group of "civil rights advocates" threatened a boycott so the newspaper refuses to publish anything on any subject from me.

If you disagree with the above letter, or are offended by the subject matter, don't try to suppress my civil and constitutional rights; pick up a pen and reply!

Peter Miller

Martinsburg, W.Va.

Tornado victims assisted

To the editor:

I would like to take this time to thank the following people:

1. The employees of the Citicorp Family Center,

2. The parents of the children we watch,

3. Michael T. of WHAG 25,

4. Roadway,

5. Roy Grove,

6. Mary May,

7. My family.

All of the above came through to help, through clothing donations, TV time, transporting, making phone calls, and understanding when I asked for help in collecting donations for the people of Oglala, S.D., on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The people of Oglala suffered the destructive power of a tornado on June 4.

All these people came through, not only for me but for the Lakota people. Thank you all.

Mitakuye Oyasin - all my relations.

Joseph DiMaggio

Sabillasville, Md.

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