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

April 18, 1987

To all the people who wrote letters in last Saturday's Viewpoint defending Al Campanis' remarks: You obviously aren't black and therefore have never felt the sting of racism. There is a definite difference when the shoe is on the other foot. As a matter of fact, I would like for you to walk a mile in mine sometime.

Incidentally, the drug-using athletes who were given another chance inflicted pain upon themselves. In this instance, Mr. Campanis was doing the inflicting.

O.C. SMITH

Los Angeles

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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