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Racism Rhetoric

Re: Ventura County retirees’ investment portfolio (“Association Has $3.8 Million Invested in Firms Tied to S. Africa,” Aug. 22).

I am shocked, appalled and bewildered at John Hatcher’s assertion that “Everyone talks about how racist this county is . . .” I would challenge Mr. Hatcher, as the president of the county’s chapter of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People to quantify that assertion.

In the scheme of things, Mr. Hatcher, how precisely racist are we Venturans? Slightly more than, let’s say, Selma, Ala.? Boston? Somewhat less than Anchorage, Alaska? Is not racism a worldwide condition shared by all cultures and colors, even, dare I say, blacks? In candid moments, does Mr. Hatcher espouse his own personal racism with an indiscriminate prejudice that all white people must be (at least secretly or subconsciously) racist and anti-black?

I feel slandered by his broad strokes. My personal efforts toward human harmony are diminished. I challenge him to be more thoughtful and less glib. Why should I bother to listen to him, if I know that in his heart of hearts he believes that all white folks are closet KKK nuts?

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The only thing he accomplishes by this shotgun rhetoric is further polarization and not communication or understanding, which one also presumes is his ultimate goal. At least it should be.

LELAND P. HAMMERSCHMITT

Ojai


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