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Who Knows What They Were Thinking?

December 17, 1995

It was with disbelief that I read the paranoid, self-centered column by Wanda Coleman ("After the Fallout," On the Town, Nov. 12). None of the negative behavior in this article was substantiated. Can Coleman really be so self-consumed as to think that most white people in the airport were focused on her as a result of the O.J. Simpson verdict? Indeed, most people in airports are thinking about their itinerary, whether they turned off the lights at home, whether their flight is on time.

Anyone can find racism if they look hard enough. The problem is, Coleman didn't look for it, she just took it for granted.

Kristina Merriss



Coleman's column struck a familiar chord but from a different perspective. I am an Irish American (which would have made me "white" in pre-PC times). The afternoon that the O.J. Simpson verdict was announced, I was crossing a parking lot when an African American man walked by and suggested that his four African American female companions "ask whitey how he feels today."

Later, while traveling in the fast lane of the San Diego Freeway, I noticed a car rapidly approaching. I pulled into the next lane so that the car would not have to slow down in passing me. Instead, the car pulled even with me, whereupon the male African American passenger stared at me, extended his middle finger and rode alongside for several minutes, glaring.

In the words of sometime peace advocate Rodney G. King, "Can we all just get along?"

Mark E. Robinson


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