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July 31, 2003 | James Q. Wilson, James Q. Wilson is professor emeritus at UCLA and lectures at Pepperdine University. His books have covered politics, criminal justice, marriage and morality. He recently received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
It's easy to condemn discrimination, segregation and racism. It's harder to agree on what practical steps are needed to combat them. We all believe that everybody should be judged on his or her own merits, but many people, including a majority of Supreme Court justices, say race should be used as a "plus factor" in admitting students to public universities.
March 3, 1989
Israel Dvorine, 89, an optometrist who was the first American to develop a test for colorblindness. Dvorine was most noted for the design and publication of a set of "pseudo-isochromatic plates," charts with a series of colored dots used to test for colorblindness. His test, which involved 11 years of research, was the first by an American and remains in use.
Hitching his political wagon to another red-hot issue with controversial implications for race relations, Gov. Pete Wilson will announce his support today for an expected ballot measure that would gut state affirmative action programs, sources said Friday.
January 27, 1991
Political worker Charles Stewart chooses to call himself a black American. But by insisting that everyone of mixed African parentage be officially classified as black, he takes that personal choice away from others. Why should my children be forced to deny their white father? To acknowledge society's wrongheaded prejudices? To give Stewart's friends a few more demographic points of political clout? It is traumatic for such children that our society stuffs our wonderfully diverse population into a few racial pigeonholes: white, black, Asian, Latino.
October 11, 1999 | PARIS BARCLAY
Claudia Eller's recent article in the Business section on Malcolm Lee's new film "The Best Man" and its potential for attracting a large and diverse audience ("Filmmaker Hopes All-Black Film Will Make It to the Mainstream," Sept. 24) presents a troubling view of the chances for a movie with a black cast finding the Holy Grail of crossover success. Fortunately for all of us who believe such films are worth making, her analysis is fatally flawed.
July 7, 2001
Re "Multiethnic Movies Ringing True With Youths," July 2: Most of us who teach about race relations in the United States do not advocate a "colorblind" society, that is, one in which we are blind to each other's color and ethnicity. Rather, we envision a society that respects and truly appreciates difference. I certainly don't want anyone to be blind to my ethnicity, since it is a core part of my public and personal identity. Robert W. Welkos and Richard Natale are misled when they write that "the studios have only begun to catch up with the colorblind nature of today's MTV generation."
July 8, 1998 | From Times Wire Reports
President Clinton should abandon the idea of creating a "colorblind" society as a way of ridding the nation of racial stereotypes, his race advisory board is telling him. In a letter to Clinton, obtained by the Associated Press, board chairman John Hope Franklin wrote that stereotypes remain because Americans believe it is best to try to ignore race. That, in turn, forces people to bury--and therefore harbor--beliefs they form from stereotypes.
June 29, 1997
I was struck by the curious juxtaposition of articles in the May 18 magazine. In Paul Lieberman's story ("The Butler, the Heiress, the Maid and the Medium"), one reads of the $600 seance held by medium James Van Praagh in which the spirit of Doris Duke's butler and heir, Bernard Lafferty, was contacted. Next, one reads Miles Corwin's article on the young men gunned down in South-Central whose murders go unsolved ("For the Longest Time I Just Wanted to Die"). Perhaps Van Praagh could be called upon to solve the South-Central murders--or could it be that the spirits he contacts inhabit an afterlife where only the white, wealthy and famous reside?
August 18, 1988 | Jack Smith
Scientists being thorough and exacting, lepidopterist Julian Donahue of the Natural History Museum has written to clarify my inexpert speculations about butterflies, and to extricate himself from my inaccuracies. In no field are its practitioners more jealously scrutinized by their colleagues than in science, and I hope that any embarrassment I might have caused my estimable neighbor is inconsequential.
September 16, 2003 | Larry Stewart, Times Staff Writer
The University of Arizona is trying hard to coax students to college sporting events. For $35, students can purchase a football season-ticket plan that includes year-long access to home volleyball, women's basketball, baseball and softball games -- plus a U of A T-shirt. But throwing in the shirt isn't much of an incentive, according to Greg Hansen of the Arizona Daily Star. The shirt is blue and, noted Hansen, "UA fans have been wearing red in support of their teams since, what, 1937?"
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