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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Sensitivity training, of sorts

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I wish to thank the popular media for enhancing my sensitivity. Years ago, my wife pointed out that I was something of an anachronism because I used a linen handkerchief instead of scented, puffy tissues. I decided then to choose the proper path to self-improvement. And after years of tenaciously watching television titans such as Oprah, Dr. Phil, and the geniuses on "Jersey Shore," I've become enlightened and reformed.

In the spirit of this epiphany, I no longer allow my children to play "cowboys and Indians." They now engage in cultural-awareness engagement groups, where they are referred to by the correct "Native Americans" and the nonsexist "livestock persons." Even the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has dropped homosexuality as a paraphilia and now refers to it by the popular "alternative lifestyle." Finally, I no longer refer to illegal immigrants as such; they are now "undocumented residents." Some cynics refer to them as "undocumented workers," but since they don't show up on the tax rolls or collect on social services, I think the term is crass and insensitive to their needs.

One of my unenlightened friends (a National Rifle Association member, of course) even suggested that many of those "undocumented" newly arrived patriots might wish to remain "undocumented" because they are on the lam from places like Honduras, which has been called the murder capital of the world. I dismiss this assertion out of hand, like those who wish to rename "gun control" as "violence control" or even "television control."

Thank you, basic cable, you're my Buddha.

BLAINE LANKFORD

Portage, Mich.

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