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UCI's Blacks and King Symposium

February 09, 1986

As another "white student" at UCI, I felt compelled to respond to some of Brian Whitten's statements. He writes of various groups competing for grades "within a colorblind system." To call an educational system based upon white middle class values with entrance exams so obviously biased toward those of the white "mainstream" "colorblind," is naive indeed.

Whitten then criticizes black students for trying to hold on to their culture and for refusing to "act white." I consider his statements to be rather thinly disguised racism.

Many of us in the "mainstream" still refuse to accept that people with different attitudes and values should exist. As for Whitten's statements regarding whites as descendants of those who enslaved other men (much as Whitten and most other whites in this country would like to forget it), we do share responsibility for this atrocity.

I shall always feel shame that I came from a race of people that could do such a thing. In a society that is currently attempting to turn back the clock on civil rights, minority groups must fight endlessly for every step forward.

The speaker at UCI was not "feeding racial prejudice" but rather demanding that we accept blacks and other minority groups into our society as they are--not as we want them to be.

GREG MATERA

Irvine

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