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Letters to the Editor: Should the L.A. Times be ‘canceled’ for its racist past?

S. Fred Hogue opinion piece, "Shall We Halt Race Suicide?" appeared in the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine in 1935.
S. Fred Hogue’s pro-eugenics opinion piece, “Shall We Halt Race Suicide?” appeared in the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine on April 14, 1935.
(Photo illustration by Allison Hong / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: In light of the Los Angeles Times’ irredeemably racist past, I am tempted to cancel my print subscription and relegate the publication to the cancel-culture ash heap. (“How the Los Angeles Times shilled for the racist eugenics movement,” Feb. 28) I am not in the market for evasive excuses about The Times mirroring the culture and thinking of the day. Prescience remains the standard.

Unfortunately, I cannot cancel. The Herald Examiner and the New Times are long gone. The LA Weekly is a bundle of cannabis ads. The Times is the last newspaper standing.

Instead, I will point out that nothing really has changed, other than the fact that I pay considerably more now for my subscription than I did in 1988. In the 1930s, The Times’ editors, writers and columnists pandered to racists. In the 2020s, The Times’ editors, writers and columnists pander instead to the progressives.

James Moore, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Alexandra Minna Stern’s op-ed exposed the part played by The Times and its past owners in supporting the racially discriminating eugenics movement some 70 years ago. There can be no excuses for this horrible behavior and The Times needs to be punished for its part in this terrible chapter of history.

First we should “cancel” The Times in any way possible. All current and past employees should also be canceled, and the children of current and past employees should pay retributions to the decedents of those harmed by actions of the L.A. Times.

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This would be a good start. After all, what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Paul Salerno, Riverside

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To the editor: I found the article by Alexandra Minna Stern regarding The Times’ support for eugenics in the 1930s and early 1940s to be surprising. It seems that the more things change, the more things stay the same — sometimes in other ways.

Today, children with Down syndrome are routinely aborted. Many Down syndrome children are able to lead fairly normal lives. They express great happiness and joy. Their crime is not being perfect.

Nathan Post, Santa Barbara


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