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More Tolerance of Others Urged

May 19, 1985

This is in response to the article on the Long Beach halfway house for mental patients (Southeast / Long Beach sections, May 4, 5). Johnnie Stinson, the neighborhood leader of the drive, allegedly observed these "crazy men" "kissing the sidewalk," "doing karate kicks in the air" and "trying to climb the light poles."

Every day there are thousands of pledges of college sororities and fraternities kissing the pavement and other initiation ceremonies somewhat more outlandish. Who is calling them crazy?

What about the many fans and students of Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris practicing to get that kick right, or the talented break dancers? Do we label these individuals potentially dangerous and a threat to our children's safety?

Let's not forget some of our heroes, professional athletes, peace officers and firefighters whose training and workouts consist of a little pole climbing--and still no sign of mental illness!

This labeling of various individuals and groups has got to stop now if we hope that future generations will witness life without prejudice, hatred and discrimination.

We ought to be thankful to individuals like Carrie Judy and mental health advocates who support halfway houses and other facilities. With their assistance thousands of the mentally ill, alcoholics, ex-prisoners and addicts can be housed and aided in readjusting to life in society.

--NANCY PEREZ

Pico Rivera

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