Minority Borrowers Need Honest Advice

Regarding the article ``Racial Gap on Mortgages Mystifies Experts,'' April 6: For many years I have advised blacks and other minorities on such basics as buying homes and obtaining credit and mortgages. I am amazed at the crocodile tears shed by the so-called studies coming from academics and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Many blacks and other minorities are poor and have bad credit histories and bad attitudes toward credit. Minorities do not want bad credit, but they do not know the system, what is expected of them, or how to fix up their credit history. It is not easy to clean up one's credit history. Many credit agencies are badly run and place barriers on those who want to cleanse their records.

Also, many bankers and other businesspeople are afraid to tell minorities frankly what their problems are and how to behave, for fear of being accused of racism. Though exaggerated, this is not an unfounded fear: It helps to stop those who sincerely wish to give others a new start. Help minorities by being honest with them, and they will repay the debt tenfold. Robert W. Chernow, River Hills, Wis.

Cartoon highlights foreign pitfalls

Danziger's editorial cartoon of the ``Clinton View of the World,'' May 11, is a classic. While many will see it as critical of President Clinton's caution in foreign policy, many others will be reassured: They voted for Clinton precisely because he tends to avoid risky foreign entanglements.

The latter hope the president will post that cartoon on his desk as a reminder every time he is pressured to intervene where US interests are ambiguous. There are countless potential ``Vietnams'' out there, which all American presidents should avoid. Edward A. Olsen, Monterey, Calif. Professor, National Security Affairs Naval Postgraduate School

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