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Watts, 25 Years Post-Rebellion

August 19, 1990

In "A Quarter-Century of Slipping Backward" (Commentary, Aug. 10) Profs. Melvin Oliver, Walter Farrell and James Johnson sing an all-too-familiar refrain regarding the plight of African Americans in the Watts area. It is a song which many African American leaders chant not only about Watts but also about similar areas in the nation. The main lyric is: "Let's blame all of our problems on someone else."

It is the fostering of that attitude which, along with real and alleged discrimination, establishes the foundation for the retardation of social and economic progress in Watts and similar areas.

A destructive climate is created by many in the black leadership who, like the professors who authored the article, look outward to fix blame rather than inward for the formulation of constructive and creative self-help solutions.

MILTON GAN

Los Angeles

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