Self-Segregation: Its Roots

In the editorial, "A Town to Watch" (Oct. 6) a statement caught my eye - "Some white townspeople have gained a better understanding of the slights regularly suffered by blacks." It went on to state that there is still segregated seating (by choice) at the high school football games, but people are working toward solutions.

I spent nearly all of my professional career as a minority. Even though I am a white male, I worked for over 25 years in situations where three-quarters of my fellow educators were female and the same percentage of students were black. This gave me a unique perspective. I noticed that black kids and adults segregated themselves just as readily as did whites when blacks were in the majority. Certain sports were considered "black sports" and others were considered "white sports" by the students themselves. The same was observable in the various student clubs - regardless of how diligently teachers, parents, and administrators encouraged students to work and play together.

On an adult level, females held social gatherings that excluded male participation. And teachers felt that school administrators should only attend certain of their gatherings - and then by invitation only. In short, I noticed that when any group (as measured by race, gender, religion, nationality, even by job description) was in the majority it tended to separate itself more or less from whatever the "minority" might be at the time.

I have been in numerous sensitivity training sessions over the years, and I find that although they help if done properly, too many people carry baggage regarding what the other "group" has or hasn't done to or for them. Getting over these things seems harder than the healing, which can't happen until anger, resentment, and hurt feelings are expunged completely.

If we could just start with a clean slate. If we will just drop the baggage of past experiences and move toward each other with open hands and hearts, we will do wonders for bringing lasting harmony to our cities and to our nation as a whole.

Don L. Griffith

Decatur, Ga.

'Nerd' perpetuates stereotypes

Regarding the article "Teen Geeks Ride to Tech Rescue" (Sept. 28), I am disappointed to see the Monitor perpetuating the use of two terms I find derogatory when referring to computer experts: nerd and geek. You describe them as "brainy, confident, and brimming with energy," so why not assume these same young people could also be caring, socially aware, and enjoyable people?

While the piece titled "Antisocial Nerds Need Not Apply" (Sept. 28) attempts to cast a kinder light on these techies, the title itself perpetuates the stereotypical "nerd" factor. Please do not make a blanket judgment regarding the individuals within any profession, sport, or hobby.

Diane Puderbaugh

Ashland, Ore.

Violence against Christians in India

I was deeply pained to read the article "Anti-Christian Violence in India Builds on Fear of Conversions" (Oct. 5). It portrays a greatly exaggerated picture of violence against Christians in India.

I am not going to discuss the situation of Christians in India, but I would like to point to some problems with the article. The only views of people other than Christians come from either Muslim scholars or Hindu extremists. I am surprised that your reporter did not find a Hindu scholar who can comment. I am a Hindu, but do not belong to any religious organizations. I have many friends in India that belong to many religions and we never have problems with anything. Articles like this will do nothing but create ill-will among people.

Narendra Korlepara

Portland, Ore.

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