• U.S.

Letters, Jul. 31, 1978

9 minute read

Bakke Decision

To the Editors:

Bravo Bakke [July 10]! When I fill out my college applications this fall. I firmly resolve not to fill in that absurd and archaic block marked Ethnic Group. Did I miss something in science class or do brains really come in two colors —black and white?

Camille Comeau

Sparta, N.J.

The Supreme Court’s ruling on the Bakke case seems to say that unadulterated race in quotas is unlawful but a dab of color mixed with other considerations is acceptable. It is like saying that saccharin is unacceptable in meeting the need for a sweetener but all right if mixed with other ingredients.

The Bakke decision should require a label stating that it may be injurious to the mental health of users.

Wilbur F. Ensey

Meadowlands, Minn.

What Bakke really means is blacks, no; whites, yes.

Kevin McCaffrey

Highland, Ind.

The decision of the Supreme Court in the Allan Bakke case was the only rational and just decision to be arrived at and was certainly not a defeat for the blacks or other minority groups. Rather, it was clearly a victory for the individual.

Diane Swanson

Arlington, Mass.

It is indeed strange that on the very evening of the famous Bakke decision ABC-TV aired a frightening documentary. The film, titled Youth Terror, a View from Behind the Gun, was about the millions of hopelessly lost and bitter minorities in the urban ghettos of this country.

If that documentary accurately reflects the attitudes of these young people (I have no reason to think it does not), then debating about the long-term implications of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Regents vs. Bakke is like arguing over sundeck chairs on the Titanic.

David L. Evans, Senior Admissions Officer Harvard-Radcliffe

Cambridge, Mass.

Thanks to the Bakke case, minorities and females will have their pride restored. Whenever we are chosen for a job promotion or college admission we will have the confidence of knowing it is for our ability and not to fill a quota.

Patricia A. Buedel

Madison, Wis.

Does Mr. Bakke speak Spanish and is he willing to treat the poor and disadvantaged in the barrios of America? Some of the Hispanic doctors that graduated under the Davis quota system are doing just that. With the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, discrimination in the professions will persist for another century.

Ernest A. Lopez

Las Cruces, N. Mex.

The Greatest Reporter

Teddy White’s prose, as quoted in your Special Section, establishes for all time that Theodore H. White [July 3] is the greatest historical reporter of this or any other century.

Martin R. Reynolds

Caracas, Venezuela

What infuriates me, as a daughter of Britain and a student of Arthurian legend, is to read again in White about the audacity of the Kennedys in presenting that unspectacular Administration as “Camelot.” It is an insult to those of us with sense enough to recognize a Madison Avenue promotion when we see one, and it is quite galling to see how the American press promotes this myth. Let the Kennedys and their “historians” fall back on the Blarney Stone, where they belong.

Louise S. Brownlee

Missoula, Mont.

I was only twelve years old when Jacqueline Kennedy sat by her husband and experienced the shock of seeing his destruction. She has been a national curiosity almost all my life.

Not until Teddy White wrote about her recounting those events in Dallas did I truly feel the terrible pain and burden she has endured since that day. All else aside, she is a woman who can never take more than has been taken from her.

Kirk I. Kimball

Washington, D.C.

While Mr. White was honest enough to admit that Chou En-lai was one of three men in whose presence he had “near-total suspension of disbelief or questioning judgment” and that Chou won his affection completely, the readers of his new est book and TIME’S excerpts have no way of knowing what such suspension of disbelief or questioning judgment led to. White’s Thunder Out of China did more damage than Mao’s guerrillas to the Nationalist government, then trying to grapple with the problems of a largely medieval country caught in the 20th century and ravaged by years of foreign invasion.

I-cheng Loh

Jamaica Estates, N. Y.

I am grateful for In Search of History by Theodore White, especially his reference to the extraordinary program of Major General Claire Chennault to maintain the morale (if not the morals) of his Flying Tigers. As the Jewish chaplain of the China-Burma-India theater, Ireceived with appreciation this telegram from the general at Ledo, Assam:

“Jewish men this organization anxious to observe Passover. Require matzos and wine. Also interested in good recipe for gefilte fish. Claire Chennault, CO Flying Tigers.”

David J. Seligson

New York City

Prime Minister TIME?

Your proposal for a Middle East peace [July 10] gives away East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza in return for U.N. security with minimal Israeli involvement. All I can say is, thank God, Menachem Begin and not TIME will be negotiating the security of Israel for future generations.

Bruce Katz

East Providence, R.I.

While there are many Jews who disagree with Mr. Begin and some of his “illogical” policies, I doubt if you could find any Jew in Israel or the Diaspora who would agree with your illogical suggestion that East Jerusalem should eventually be part of a Palestinian state. TIME, and the world for that matter, had better become reconciled to the fact that while most things are negotiable in the Middle East muddle, the city of Jerusalem is not one of them. It is ours forever. And that, Mr. Editor, Mr. Carter and Mr. Sadat, is the universal Jewish bottom line.

Feme Kron


How long should the U.N., the U.S. and peace between the Arabs and Israel be defied by Israel? Issues are at stake beyond Israel’s internal politics. Is not the time drawing near when an “imposed settlement” will be the solution?

Franklin Courtney Ellis

Winnetka, Ill.

The Privileged Press

It is shocking to see that a Supreme Court decision holding that a reporter from a newspaper is to be treated the same way as any other citizen is particularly newsworthy [July 10]. What is “the press”? Is any person or organization who regularly publishes a journal or otherwise disseminates information entitled to the rights and privileges that have been claimed to belong to “the press”? If that were the case, participants in organized crime should publish newspapers so that they may gain special access to examine jails and avoid lawful searches.

James E. Mitchem


It is particularly awful that the California prison Little Greystone should form the backdrop for the Supreme Court’s ruling, for there seem to be none but bad reasons for keeping secrets in that case. The question to my mind is not whether reporters “have more rights” than I to government data, but whether those data should be withheld at all from anyone.

Few ideas can be received if no information can be obtained.

Thomas Westervelt


CARE Packets for America

I was not surprised to read your article on inflation [June 19]. I have always hoped (and known), that the day would come when Americans would have to pay for their ridiculous waste of natural resources. It seems to me that the day is near.

As a result of this and the neglect of social welfare in the U.S., the real living standard in many European countries is already far higher than in the U.S. I’m especially thrilled by the fact that nowadays CARE packets are being sent to our poor American friends who happen to be soldiers, stationed abroad, of an Army that cannot even afford to pay its members adequately. God bless you, America!

Jan-Dirk Voet


Clone Jackson

Three cheers for the Rev. Jesse Jackson for his advice to black students [July 10]! He should be cloned in order to deliver his message to every high school in the nation.

(Mrs.) Ann Meehan

Shrewsbury, N.J.

A great article on the Rev. Mr. Jackson. Several years ago I agreed with very little he said, now I’m behind him 100%. Has he changed—or have I?

Vladimir A. Pospisil

New Braunfels, Texas

If black students in many public schools get out of the halls and into the classrooms, and pay attention to what is going on, the issue of affirmative action in American education might soon be come moot. Thanks to the splendid efforts of Jesse Jackson and others, the situation is improving.

Richard G. Augenblick

Arlington, Va

A White Elephant

I trust that prospective builders will heed the lesson of the U.S. Supreme Court regarding Grand Central Terminal [July 10]. Obviously, one should erect nothing original or traceable to a specific architect. Otherwise, in 65 years, your children, grandchildren, successors or assigns may not be permitted to remodel or tear down your “work of art” to make more practical or profitable use of your land. They will be stuck with a relic.

Our cultural need to preserve works of art need not be denied. However, when the art is a monumental white elephant (no matter how artistic), the cost should be borne by the public sector.

Earl A. Bake


Upset Chinese

It’s a real joke to read that the ethnic Chinese in Viet Nam are upset at the government for confiscating their property and ending free enterprise [July 3].

What are these people to expect when they reach Communist China—property rights and free enterprise?

Ernest R. Tison

Westvitte, Ill.

How About It?

About the Japanese economic growth [June 26], I am sure that most Americans misunderstand the situation. Yes, I agree that the Japanese economy is an export-led one, but every American must also know that the U.S. is a consumer’s economy. So if the American people do not reduce their consumption, I will not be surprised when the exchange rate between the two countries is 1 yen to 200 U.S. dollars. How about that?

Tsan-huang Huang

Gainesville, Fla.

Motivated by the Buck

If anyone objects to Jimmy Breslin’s statement [July 2] that “The No. 1 reason any professional writes is to pay the bills,” he should be informed that Dr. Samuel Johnson put it even more strongly (on April 5, 1776) when he said, “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.” Boswell disagreed, but perhaps some feel that he is still covered by Johnson’s claim.

John A. Rea

Lexington, Ky.

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