- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 22, 2001

Conservatives against racial profiling

Your March 17 editorial "Crime and profiling" takes Attorney General John Ashcroft to task for his opposition to racial profiling. Yet your definition of the term apparently is different from that of racial profiling's conservative critics, such as Mr. Ashcroft and myself.

In particular, your editorial suggests that the critics of racial profiling object to the police stopping and arresting racial and ethnic minorities at a rate that exceeds their representation in the general population. That is not so.

Our objection is only to the police considering race or ethnicity in deciding whom to stop or arrest (unless, of course, race or ethnicity is part of the description the police have been given for a particular suspect).

The government should not choose winners and losers based on skin color and ancestry. That is why conservatives have opposed preferences in employment, contracting and school admissions even when race is "only an element." The costs of such discrimination are simply not worth whatever social benefits are asserted.

Likewise, the police should not stop people based on their race or ethnicity. Perhaps it is "efficient" to do so, but the costs are too high. The trust of the community is jeopardized, and part of the order the police are upholding is the right of citizens not to be discriminated against because of the color of their skin and the national origin of their ancestors.

ROGER CLEGG

General counsel

Center for Equal Opportunity

Washington

Cruel fox hunting not 'great British tradition'

I must take issue with Diana West's inclusion of fox hunting as one of the great British traditions ("King, country and foxhounds," March 16). These I would consider to be the literary, political and theological traditions that Americans inherited as our birthright. Fox hunting, however, is not among them.

During the hunt, gayly dressed men and women on horseback and a cacophony of foxhounds chase a fox to exhaustion and then rip him to shreds. The American corollary, the pit-bull fight, two dogs are set upon each other, often to the death. Or an animal is tethered to a fence and set upon by dogs in training. The only difference between the two "sports" that I can discern is that the perpetrators of the pit-bull fight don't wear "pinks," mount prancing steeds or break for tea.

D. ANDREW COOK

Essex, Md.

West Virginia senator shows no shame of pork

Sen. Robert C. Byrd defends West Virginia for receiving a disproportionate share of federal money, saying " … what is one man's pork is another man's job" (Inside the Beltway, March 19). This is an excellent example of the philosophy of liberals in general and the Democratic Party in particular.

Mr. Byrd does not find it in his interest to support laws and regulations encouraging states to establish an environment conducive to business development and the jobs that go with it, independent of government support. He would prefer to dispense jobs through federal pork, thereby keeping West Virginians in need of federal money and of him in office for their economic survival.

It is irrelevant to the senator that the money Congress strong-arms from other states costs jobs in those states. All that is important to him is that he retains the power to take money from the federal coffers so that he can dispense it to his loyal voters.

J.V. LEDBETTER

Alexandria

At-home parenting vital to teen-agers

Anyone who questions why a mother of teen-agers would continue to be an at-home parent has not read a newspaper or watched the evening news in a while.

In his March 9 Commentary column, "Saving students from 'graduating' to murder," Clarence Page does a fine job of pinpointing symptoms that contribute to the current wave of violence in our schools.

While society still struggles to acknowledge the contributions of at-home parents in the early childhood years, we have all but forgotten that teen-agers need parenting, too.

The adult pressures they face must seem magnified tenfold if there is little or no parental involvement to help guide them, advise them or just "be there" for them.

Do we need to supervise their every move? No, but we do need to let our teen-age children know that we love and care about them enough to still parent them.

SUSAN DERITIS

Public relations director

Mothers at Home

Fairfax, Va.

Too little and too late for the people of Taiwan

The recommendation of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff to resume major arms sales to Taiwan will be too little, too late to save the island from Chinese invasion ("Senate report urges arms for Taiwan," March 12)..

The Clinton administration's refusal to abide by the Taiwan Relations Act for the past eight years has left Taiwan a generation behind in military technology. Meanwhile, China has conducted an arms buildup the likes of which has not been seen since the massive Soviet armament of the '70s. The disparity of forces across the Taiwan Strait is nearing its apex, an ideal time for China to strike.

We should not anticipate that China will allow the balance of power with Taiwan to be re-established, especially since the military hardware China needs for a flash invasion of Taiwan is all but mobilized. If China should decide upon such an attack, the United States would not be able to produce and deliver Aegis-equipped guided missile destroyers, Apache helicopters, and other major systems before the red flag flies in Taipei.

I predict that the China attack will be swift and brutal. A massive ballistic missile assault will obliterate the Taiwanese defense infrastructure, with many missiles left over to terrorize the civilian population. The Chinese will then occupy the island and establish a wide naval perimeter, warning the United States that its navy faces nuclear destruction should it approach the theater.

This will be a credible threat, since retaliation against land targets by American nuclear forces would never be considered, and the Chinese navy has few assets to target in a counterstrike.

Perhaps the Chinese will avoid conflict in hopes of preserving their major source of funding for their military trade with the United States. But considering our own government's current policy of proliferation of trade at any cost to national security, the Chinese will not likely be deterred.

Former President Clinton will be able to add the enslavement of 22 million Taiwanese (not to mention the war casualties) to his ever important "legacy."

BRIAN WEATHERLY

Suffolk, Va.


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