Letters To The Editor Discrimination

Posted: July 04, 1986

The comments attributed to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission in the article "Racial rancor on Tyler Avenue" should not be misinterpreted. The issue, whether attitudes can be changed by law, is not relevant.

The evolution of the law, from Plessy vs. Ferguson to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act of 1955, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the state's 1982 ethnic intimidation law, occurred with changes in opinion among all

sections of the public. The acts' primary concern has been discriminatory behavior.

Today, few believe that blacks should be segregated on public transportation or denied access to employment in the highest echelons of the corporate community.

Few believe that handicapped citizens should be prevented from taking employment or denied reasonable accommodation to ensure equal access to conveniences enjoyed by others. Few support the forced retirement of older workers, and most believe in the right of women to join associations that promote employment and business opportunity.

Just as other segments of our society have elected to change, sectors such as Tyler Avenue will ultimately choose open and fair housing because of strengthened law enforcement and the growing mandate of economic and moral forces. Until that time, citizens should recognize that a threat to the human and civil rights of anyone is ultimately a threat to all.

Sandra Holman Bacote

Regional Director, Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission


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