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Series on Press and Minorities

December 22, 1990

Shaw's effort to demonstrate how the American press contributes to a climate of fear and mistrust regarding Asian Americans and Japan ("Asian-Americans Chafe Against Stereotype of 'Model Citizen'," Dec. 11) is laudatory, but I suggest The Times take a critical peek at its own participation in this trend.

On the day before Shaw's article appeared, a front-page headline opined, "Japan's Thirst for Hollywood Is Unquenched," conjuring an image of Japan as a devouring, unstoppable beast preying upon unsuspecting innocents. And The Times subscribes to the comic strip "Beetle Bailey," in which Japanese-American Corporal Yo is portrayed as a neurotically over-achieving, greedy perfectionist, a depiction which could fairly be construed as racist.

MARGARET MASON

Santa Barbara

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