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June 20, 1987

Why is Cleavon Little referred to as a "black janitor," when in the next sentence Judd Hirsch's character is called simply "a retired waiter" ("Two Actors' Role for the Ages" by Robert Hurwitt, June 15)?

Nowhere in Hurwitt's article did it state that either character's race is an issue in the play "I'm Not Rappaport." There are of course appropriate times to mention the race of a character. For example, one of the themes of the movie "A Soldier's Story" dealt with racism, so that in order to discuss the characters, their race had to be identified.

Please don't think that I'm just picking on Calendar. I've read articles in various sections of The Times in which the person's race is not mentioned if he's white, but is always mentioned if he's black.

What I want is for all Times reporters and editors to adopt the same progressive policies--and simply call a man of any color a man .

KAREN NICHOLSON

Altadena

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