Promoting Racism Adds to Divisiveness

The opinion-page article ``What's Black and White and Divided All Over?'' Nov. 25, is an all-out promotion of racism. By encouraging minorities to see racism as a hidden agenda of the American voter and of the Republican Party, the author has widened the gulf of mistrust and fostered more ill feeling.

Regardless of what the public is clamoring for (either law and order, or crackdown on illegal immigration), the author's reasoning that he can ``read between the lines'' is self-serving. How does one know what another individual is ``picturing'' when he is voting? He demeans the average voter by insinuating that the voter is either a fool or a racist. The press must take its share of responsibility for fostering the division and growing separation of race in the United States. Mary B. Allen, Sonora, Calif.

Point overlooked in A-Bomb analysis

The authors of both articles under the headline ``Looking Back 50 Years at the Atomic Bomb,'' Nov. 21, managed to overlook a most important factor that probably extended the war against Japan into weeks, if not months.

On Aug. 10, 1945, four days after Hiroshima and one day after Nagasaki, the Japanese still refused to surrender because they wanted assurances that Emperor Hirohito could stay on. Neglecting the emperor's postwar status in an analysis of the A-bombing is like neglecting the South in a discussion of the Civil War.

It was no secret in the Truman administration that the emperor's status was crucial to achieving peace. Prior to dropping the A-bombs, Secretary of War Henry Stimson, Assistant Secretary John J. McCloy, and others argued to provide assurances, but President Truman and his hawkish sidekick, Secretary of State Jimmy Byrnes, refused.

Strange, because United States officials unanimously agreed we needed the emperor after the war to convince Japanese to accept United States occupation. How right they were! But Truman and Byrnes opted to strut and bluster and allow the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Japanese in a flash before offering assurances on Aug. 11. Only then was the peace faction in Japan able to get its act together for the final surrender on Aug. 15. Frank Munley, Salem, Va.

Benefits from fuel storage facilities:

In the article ``One Woman Fights Nuclear Dumping,'' Nov. 10, Grace Thorpe says that she was lured away from bingo and painting pots for two reasons: (1) She believes radioactive waste is ``the most lethal poison in the history of man'' and (2) a spent fuel storage site on an Indian reservation is ``environmental injustice.'' Neither claim can pass the test of scientific truth and ethical justification.

The storage of spent fuel is a clean, high-technology achievement that can benefit both native American tribes and our nation. A spent-fuel storage facility promises to be not only a long-term stable source of income for its hosts, but also a means to provide both professional and blue-collar local employment. A rising standard of living is our best defense against the greatest pollutant on our planet: poverty.

Wastes are an inescapable byproduct of the society we live in. They are dangerous to our health only if they are left lying around without proper management.

Native American tribes are to be applauded, not condemned, for voluntarily considering the scientific and economic merits of hosting an interim storage facility. Margaret N. Maxey, Austin, Texas Professor of Bioethics University of Texas at Austin

A turkey-less Thanksgiving

Thank you for the article ``Thanksgiving Day Option: Tofu Birds and Pies,'' Nov. 22. Far from being a novelty, a meat-free Thanksgiving is something many of us have enjoyed for years.

The ``traditional'' meal may be recreated with tofu turkeys and pies, or forgone in favor of stuffed squash and other hearty substitutes. Whatever foods are enjoyed, many vegetarians find that Thanksgiving is not only OK without a turkey, but that giving thanks becomes more significant without taking a life to celebrate it. Susan A. Linden, Bumble Bee, Ariz.

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