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Susan Smith

November 09, 1994

Re "2 Bodies Found, Mother Held in Children's Death," Nov. 4:

Susan Smith should also be charged with character assassination of black men. It is people like her and Charles Stuart (Boston murderer who blamed a black man) that perpetuate the stereotype of the black man as the constant predator.

Society is quick to believe these ridiculous stories partly because of the media. This has got to stop and then maybe decent black men can enter restaurants, stores, elevators, etc., without the look of fear appearing on most faces.

DONNA DIXON

Culver City

When it comes to scapegoating, God is hardly exempt. The minister at the service for Michael and Alexander Smith in South Carolina tried to explain the unexplainable by saying, "Sometimes God takes our precious jewels in life and gives them back. . . ." But God did not put these two small boys in the back seat of a car and push it into the lake.

The minister was more helpful when he said: "I like to think of them sitting in the lap of God." While we may use different language, unless there is a future for us, this life is all too brief and brutal. Unless we have a destiny with a God who transcends us, we are not unlike the little boys strapped in the back of the car.

The indignity of originally identifying a black man as the abductor is a metaphor for centuries of scapegoating African Americans. Many of us are outraged by this, and offer our apology to the black community.

A universal article of faith is that God had created us for a purpose, and this purpose is not defeated by human evil or madness. The deaths of these little boys can never be explained away, but they may cause us to reflect on the deeper meaning and purpose of our lives.

THE REV. ROBERT M. HERHOLD

Palo Alto

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