Contributions Should Be Honored

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Editor:

President Bush's recent visit to Atlanta to honor Martin Luther King was met with boos and protests from a host of pundits who don't seem to understand the contributions that the African Americans, and other nationalists, have made to our country.

I think that to turn these matters over to individual states would be a national blunder, because we, as a nation, get the blame for any injustice done to other nationalities in any local situation. Since our nation bears the blame for so much protest, we must take the responsibility to right that wrong.

Most people do not realize that the ones with different backgrounds, or races, are not the problem, but are the greatest possibilities in American life. The prejudice is in our folly of not gladly and ungrudgingly accepting with gratitude the contributions that have been made to our personal and collective lives.

Every time I see a sweet potato, or a lonely peanut, I think of Dr. George Carver's philosophy of life. He believed that you take what you have and make something out of it. He took what the south had to offer -- clay, sweet potatoes and peanuts -- and made paints and other things. Out of sweet potatoes he made about three hundred commercial products.

Prejudice is not something that comes naturally to any of us. Sometimes it happens anyway.

I have some quotes from the play "South Pacific" that should sink in for all of us.

You have got to be taught to hate and to fear,

You have got to be taught from year to year,

It's got to be drummed in your dear little ear,

You have to be carefully taught.

You have to be taught to be afraid,

Of people whose skin is a different shade,

Of people whose eyes are queerly made,

You gotta be carefully taught

Before you are six, seven or eight

To hate all the people your relatives hate.

You have to be carefully taught.

Spud Henry, Payson

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