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Letters To The Editor: April 11 - 18

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Putting Up His Dukes

I was extremely upset at a racist comment made in the recent Left Field column, "Bittersweet Outcome" [March 28]. Jody DiPerna wrote she "could not even bring myself to conceive of Pitt losing to the whitest, most annoying team on earth in the second round ... so I believe I speak for all of Pittsburgh when I thank Virginia Commonwealth University for sparing us that fate."

What does being white have anything to do with anything? Obviously it's outright hatred for Duke, my alma mater, and I probably would have let the "most annoying" comment slide, even if it has no merit. The racist remark I could not let go.

Somehow it's acceptable to make fun of white people in basketball, rip on them, steal their phone numbers and abuse them, even insinuate sexual deviation (which, as we've seen, can lead to hateful remarks from the like of Tim Hardaway and discrimination at the behest of coaches such as Jerry Sloan). The lacrosse situation has only accentuated an intense Duke hatred that would never be allowed by fans or the press against a school such as Florida A&M or Howard.

If you would like to see more of the outright hatred I'm talking about, the Web site Duke Basketball Report posted an essay listing multiple instances that are either basketball-specific (obsession over particulars in the game that have gone overlooked whenever any other team had a similar situation) or took place off the court (involving race, violence, vulgarity). That essay is at www.dukebasketballreport.com/articles/?p=22259.

I wish for you to think about this the next time you inject race into a sports discussion, lest you be reminded that John Thompson II was ridiculed for bringing "thugs" to such a "lily-white" institution as Georgetown.

Maybe that's why some of their fans had "Hoya Paranoia."

-- Joshua Solomon, Oakland

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