The Times is to be commended for many of its recent Op-Ed Page columns on racism and equal opportunity.
Kwoh’s column on the role race hatred may have played in the Stockton schoolyard killings was right on the mark. We support his call for meaningful public policy steps to advance community education on citizens’ rights on acts of racial hatred--and programs to combat that hatred.
Kwoh is right, of course, but education programs “in the community” are not enough by themselves. We must begin that process of education in the most formative years--when prejudice is being nurtured.
Los Angeles Unified, Alhambra and only a few other school districts have supported these programs. More public school systems--and not only those in areas impacted by demographic change--must devote more resources to educate and sensitize our children in the elementary school years that it’s OK to be different. The greatly increased diversity brought about by greatly increased immigration from Asia and Latin America calls for bold and courageous steps by all of our public school officials to join a handful of school systems and private sector groups in financing public anti-prejudice campaigns.
The NRA’s slogan must be re-phrased. Guns don’t kill people. Hatred kills people.
JERRY FREEDMAN HABUSH
Associate Executive Director
of Christians and Jews