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Series on Fallout From King Case

December 29, 1991

I am a black male who has gone through the same painful experiences described in the second part of your series "Scenes From the Inner City: Fallout from the Rodney G. King incident," (Part A, Dec 16, 1991).

That's why I've joined the American Civil Liberties Union. I've glued their membership card to the back of my driver's license. It's been a life saver in some of my contacts with local law enforcement officers. After revealing my card in one particular incident, I went from a "hey, you!" to "sir" in less than 10 seconds.

Sadly, carrying an ACLU card will not resolve the complex problems antagonizing relations between black men and the police.

Local law enforcement agencies and the black community desperately need to initiate a series of "confidence-building" measures that cumulatively generate greater trust and sensitivity. The effort must be immediate, persistent and far-reaching.

I recently attended an all-day symposium sponsored by a well-known black organization titled "The Survival of the Black Male." Notable representatives of the health, education and business communities conducted informal workshops geared to the unique needs of black men. By the end of the day I was on a first-name basis with people whom I'd met only that afternoon. I've since wondered how much better that symposium might have been had black men and police officers had the opportunity to discuss the survival of the black male.

DANIEL T. BARKLEY, Irvine

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