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It Was a Friendly, Smiling Face We Saw, but It Was the Face of Racism

April 18, 1987

Al Campanis' resignation was predictable because I knew black leaders and baseball players and news commentators, along with all the white commentators intent on proving their fairness, would fall all over themselves to vilify and excoriate him until they had his head on a platter.

So we of the public were witness to three days of merciless and pitiless attacks on this man for what was, after all, just a couple of dumb remarks.

In comparing your articles of the last few days with "your own" precepts of fairness and equity and objective reporting, you come up miserably short. You have written articles where you scratch your head in wonder that white resistance to black gains is increasing. Allow me to point out that this entire incident illustrates the fact that you don't know that you are part of the problem.

CHARLES BROOKE

Van Nuys

Editor's note: Viewpoint received slightly more than 175 letters in the wake of the Campanis affair , considerably more than on any other issue in recent years. The views expressed broke down roughly as follows: 54% deplored his remarks and applauded his forced resignation; 26% defended Campanis, the man, but not his remarks; 9% deplored his remarks but disagreed with his resignation; 6% defended his remarks (and in most of these cases went far beyond them); 3% blamed Ted Koppel for the whole incident; 1.7% saw it as a "free speech" issue. One writer called it a Communist plot.

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