Originally created 07/22/02

Contributions by blacks have routinely been ignored

Regarding your stand on black judges (July 16, "Wanted: black judges") in South Carolina. I just may sit this one out. Why not compare black representation in South Carolina, specifically, and throughout the country, generally?

Take money, for instance, starting with a penny and going up to a $100 bill. Show a black face on any denomination and you will find the rarest of rare - a one of a kind. Or take public streets and highways, where there may seldom be a Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard or some short local street named for some local black standout, but the overwhelming majority consists of white people's names.

The same goes for bridges and tunnels. It is almost as though we not only did not contribute to American society, but it seems as if we never existed. Not only is that false, it is ridiculous.

Blacks have fought in every war waged by this country from the Revolutionary War to the war on terrorism. In fact, the first person to die in the war for independence was a black man, who was shot down in Boston, Mass. That was Crispus Attuks.

Blacks have contributed to the growth and development of America in more ways than can be counted. Harvard professors Dr. Cornell West and Dr. Henry Louis Gates have compiled an impressive list of outstanding blacks and profiled their accomplishments and contributions to this great home of the brave and land of the free. Their book, The African-American Century, is an excellent read for those interested in some of the things we have done.

Yet, there are no national monuments or governmental structures or developments indicating that America was anything but white. The late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, who was the first - and many say, the only - black Supreme Court justice (no disrespect to Clarence Thomas), should have a national building in our justice system named for him.

Also, The Chronicle's disdain for affirmative action goes to show that when the slaves freed themselves, that put us all on an equal playing field. My goodness, how stupid is that?

Blacks are and always have been under-represented, misrepresented and not represented. So, what's the big problem about blacks being just seven of South Carolina's 112 judges? Can't you see the pattern?

Robert "Tunk" Martin, Edgefield, S.C.


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