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'Buried Issues' in the Presidential Race

November 05, 1988

William Schneider's column ("Anti-Government Mood Fuels Politics of Race," Op-Ed Page, Oct. 28) was most provocative.

He says that Bush, although not necessarily racist himself because he does not have to be, is supporting the anti-government, anti-judicial activism agenda that writes off the black vote and attracts all the white support that he needs.

This has been known for years by perceptive black observers. Early in the Reagan Administration, I was told by a black woman from a very prominent family: "Ronald Reagan has made it respectable once again to be a racist." Those words were well chosen. While she did not label Reagan a racist per se, the common threat perceived by his coalition of strange bedfellows is big government spending for social programs, which the coalition sees as going disproportionately to blacks.

The Reagan and presumably the Bush years glorify self-interest while making it a virtue to abandon social consciousness.

Clearly my family's economic self-interest lies in voting for Bush, especially his proposal for a lower tax rate on capital gains. My conscience won't let me.

FLOYD A. OLIVER

Los Angeles

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