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Political Correctness

June 07, 1991

I wish to correct an injustice by responding to the Campus Correspondence column ("A PC Policeperson Learns Who Benefits From Affirmative Actions," Opinion, May 26) written by Pamela Cheek, the Sanford freshman English teacher. She does not write very kindly of her white teachers' attitudes toward so-called minorities when she attended elementary and secondary schools. It makes me wonder where these schools were located. My wife and I spoke Spanish before we were able to utter a word in broken English. We have two sons and all four of us (since 1924) attended Los Angeles city schools. During that time we found our teachers (almost 100% white) to be competent, caring and colorblind. I totally disagree with Cheek's assessment of white teachers. The main obstacle in education for Spanish-surnamed students has been monetary.

Two men I knew personally, both from "poor families," graduated from Stanford in the early 1930s. One (my brother) from the School of Engineering, the other (a family friend and doctor) from the School of Medicine. Both attended Sanford during a most difficult time, when the world was experiencing a great economic depression. Consequently, no student loans, no scholarships, no money from home but no shortage of good, conscientious white teachers.

Let's not get carried away by our social hang-ups and give credit where credit is due. Cheek's concern for the black and brown students is commendable but she doesn't have to feel guilty for being born white. She delights in aligning herself with the gays, lesbians, Africans, Latinos and the rest of the saboteurs of Western values at Stanford. It is precisely this attitude and actions coupled with some liberal faculty headed by Stanford President Donald Kennedy that have put Sanford in a decline.

RUBEN D. ALMANZAN

Hacienda Heights

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