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Report on L.A. Fire Dept.

July 28, 1996

* "Stirrings at the L.A. Fire Dept." (editorial, July 22) clearly demonstrates exactly what is wrong with liberal thinking. No facts or evidence were presented. The editorial simply assumed that discrimination exists on a grand scale. However, simply because a survey indicated that women and minorities feel victimized does not mean that in practice this is true.

The editorial conveniently dismissed an internal investigation pointing to evidence of the contrary because it did not conform with its vision. Although the point of the editorial was to gain sympathy for the cause of affirmative action quotas, this does not mean that empirical evidence should not be included as a basis for the argument.

KEITH STANLEY

Westlake Village

* As a man of African American descent and a 16-year veteran of the LAFD, I take umbrage at the editorial's statement, "Most men in the department, with the exception of African Americans, are skeptical of the validity of bias and sexual harassment charges." The consultant who compiled that report cannot possibly draw a conclusion on what African American firefighters think because they never asked "us." To deny substantial progress in the LAFD is to deny reality.

The crux of the issue is that despite tremendous effort, we occasionally hire people (white, black, male, female, etc.) who cannot do the job. Do these "non-hackers" feel isolated? I hope so because they are not accepted by those of us who take our work seriously. We get paid to perform under difficult circumstances and if you think anyone can do this job, suit up and give it a try!

RON HARMON

El Segundo

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