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Varying Verdicts on Harry

December 21, 1990

Among the many disadvantages of being a member of any minority is finding oneself being represented by self-appointed leaders.

Call me ungrateful. As an aging member of three minorities, I am weary of various self-anointed saviors, of "pioneers" who got in at the beginning of a movement and have made a career of sorts out of being black, American Indian, Jewish, gay, whatever. I am particularly weary of those who have lasted long enough to become "elder statesmen" and thus more likely to have their practiced chatter taken seriously.

Membership in a minority presumes no particular fault in me, nor does it guarantee any particular virtue. It does provide a temptingly valid excuse for failure.

I shall continue to compete. No distinctive hair style, no lingo, no war bonnet, no costume, no pearls, no earring, no indemnity, no vengeance for me or my ancestors. They are long gone.

FRED SEIFERS

Downey

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