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The Picture of Racism II

August 17, 1992

In reply to the supposed picture of "media racism" (Counterpunch Letters, Aug. 3) illustrated by the photograph from "I'll Fly Away," anyone who has consistently watched this outstanding TV program will know that this is an erroneous assumption.

The time is the late 1950s-early 1960s, and the leading character, Lily, is very much involved in the fight for civil rights. She quietly outsmarts those who try to keep her from exercising her franchise; she pickets the store that insists on an "all-white lunch counter"; she goes to jail for what she believes in although it will jeopardize her job.

The fact that she's a loving caretaker should not be perceived as any more than just that. To quote Barbara Jordan, "There is white racism and there is black racism," and such a misreading of a promo photo illustrates the difficulty of giving an affirmative answer to Rodney G. King's query, "Can't we all get along?"

EDYTHE M. McGOVERN

Los Angeles

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