Woo's continuing thinly disguised characterization of Riordan as a racist is itself a most reprehensible form of racism. The charge is both blatantly false and a transparent rejection of furtherance of tolerance, mutual respect of differences, and equality of opportunity in favor of personal partisan political advantage.
I speak to the falsity of Woo's charge from long personal experience. I recruited Dick Riordan, a young associate at O'Melveny & Meyers, into the firm of Thompson, Waters & Moss. In the course of my recruiting talks with Dick I was convinced that a principal motivating factor in his leaving the security of O'Melveny was our firm's commitment to non-sectarianism and racial equality.
In the years that have followed Riordan has demonstrated this same commitment. He was one of a small group that at some sacrifice to their own business interests first urged the elimination of the discriminatory membership practices of the downtown power-center clubs. His demonstrated commitment to residents of the inner city is to opportunity and education, which will qualify them for advancement by merit.
There is more than one strategy in the imperative war on racism. One is that of example, education in the broad sense, and persuasion by moral force. This is Riordan's way.
Incidentally, Riordan's principal strength as a business lawyer was, and is, his ability to find mutual advantage in negotiating the resolution of what in the beginning was adversarial. This seems to me to be what Los Angeles needs.
ROBERT S. THOMPSON
Justice Court of Appeal (Retired)