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Racism and rebuilding along the Gulf Coast

October 05, 2005

Re "Levees let loose an ugly flood of black paranoia," Current, Oct. 2

Because the government spent $5.4 trillion on anti-poverty programs between 1960 and 1996, only to have a higher poverty rate in 1996 than in 1965, Joe Hicks concludes that "clearly the nation needs to find new ways to fight poverty and work harder at that serious task." Another conclusion could be that given the large numbers of black poor and that the anti-poverty approach hasn't been effective, poverty is a symptom of a larger more widespread problem -- racism.

Maybe if the government invested as much on anti-racism programs as it does on anti-poverty programs, we could all be "safer, healthier and more productive."

SHERRI L. BARNES

Ventura

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The best way to dispel notions that the New Orleans tragedy wasn't a "black removal" conspiracy is to ensure that blacks have just representation in the rebuilding and resettlement of that area. Let's see if it happens.

SANDRA MALONE

Los Angeles

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