Rethinking a Race Relations Cabinet Post

In the opinion piece "Why Race Relations Should Be a Cabinet Post" (July 20), the author proposed the creation of a cabinet post to deal with the issue of race. In support of this idea, he presented a chart showing "How economic institutions and public policies perpetuate the vicious cycle of poverty in the inner city." The chart denoted 11 elements in this "circle" - not one of which had any necessary connection to race. He apparently assumed the connections as being self-evident.

These are not harmless assumptions. The mistaken perception of racism can be every bit destructive as actual racism. And if a professor emeritus at a major university can make such assumptions, imagine what a government agency whose existence depends on the existence of racial animosities would assume. That is why the proposal to create a cabinet post for race relations is a bad idea.

Robert T. Peterson

Munster, Ind.

Unkind to lobsters

In "The Lobster Lowdown" (July 15) in the HomeFront section, I was a bit upset to read how to cook lobsters - especially how to choose one by seeing how much it waves it claws around and whether it rattles when you shake it. I don't suppose their waving around means, "Choose me! choose me!"

I'm not vegetarian, not particularly radical when it comes to environmental concerns, but I do find the idea of boiling creatures alive quite repellent. Don't you?

I admit, I'm happy to buy dead animals from the supermarket and if I knew how they'd been kept and killed, maybe I would be vegetarian.

I'm just not sure the Monitor should be encouraging people to kill more animals in this particularly brutal manner. "To injure no man..." - but to heck with the lobsters?

Peter K. Allen

Walton-on-Thames, England.

Greyhounds, post career

Thank you so much for the article "After Racing, It's a Dog's Life for Greyhounds" (July 22) on racing greyhounds. I can attest that they make "greyt" pets. I've had my Andre for about a year and a half now. He is lovable and lazy. Keep up the good work.

Joanna Wolfe and Andre, the retired racing greyhound

Durham, N.C.

Growth isn't the answer

The editorial "Japan's Next Move" (July 14) suggesting that growth is the answer to Japan's economic woes makes one wonder when the growth bubble will burst? When will the oil that it took the earth a million years to produce be exhausted in the next century? When will the arable land and ocean fisheries be no longer able to feed the world's population which could double again in 50 years? When will the developing countries achieve the standard of living that we enjoy?

Growth may have been an answer in the past before we overpopulated the earth, exhausted so much of the earth's resources, and caused much environmental deterioration. These times call for greater vision. Humans have discovered so many secrets of the universe. Can't we come up with the key to a sustainable economy?

Len Montie

Suamico, Wis.

Valuing multiculturalism

In the last paragraph of the editorial "Latinos Climb the Ladder" (July 23), there is a reference to the overwhelming vote in California to end bilingual education. But let me point out that nosotros (us) Hispanics not only value the importance of the English language to be part of the American society, but we are proud to maintain our heritage and culture. And as you must know very well, language is the mirror of a culture, and ours is, undoubtedly, the Espaol.

Eric G. Gamboa-Caneo

via Email

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Only a selection can be published, and we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number.

Mail letters to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to oped@csps.com

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