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Reader Would Like a Colorblind Society

January 27, 1991

As an African American, I am personally offended by the comments of Velina Hasu Houston that devalue a heritage of which I am very proud.

If Houston were honest about her desire to acknowledge her multicultural heritage and desire for a multicultural census category, she would identify herself as Afro-Asian or Negro-Asian. Since the term American denotes no particular ethnic or racial classification, the American half of the Amerasian designation gives no indication of whether Houston's non-Asian heritage is Caucasian, Hispanic, black or Native American.

Houston ignores a vital, albeit unfortunate, fact of her generalized American heritage: the prejudice and racism of the larger society. Even without the sepia tones of the Times photo, Houston's appearance will always identify her as a person of African descent, whether it be to a Klansman in southern Mississippi or to a businessman or university official in Southern California.

Had she been born in 1947 instead of 1957, she would have experienced the back of the bus and, in 1991, any ill effects (or benefits) that she experiences because of America's racist heritage will be because of her African heritage and not her "American" or Asian background.

JURUTHA BROWN

Los Angeles

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