Letters to the Editor

Letters: Could you tell a Russian from a Romanian?

Jessica Kim adjusts a Korean Geisang hat before a dance performance in Old Sacramento.
Jessica Kim adjusts a Korean Geisang hat before a dance performance in Old Sacramento. The Sacramento Bee

It’s human nature, not racism at fault

Re “If we can tell food apart, why not people?” (Foon Rhee, May 24): Mr. Rhee suggests that he is discriminated against by those who don’t see the difference between Chinese and Japanese. While it is true that minorities have abundant experience of discrimination, this case doesn’t seem like an example. Unlike people, food is labeled by ethnicity. How can we possibly tell racial subgroups apart unless we have intimate contact with each of them?

Mr. Rhee feels discriminated against when he is called Chinese, but can he tell a Russian from a Romanian or a Slovak? I tend to see this difference, since my father’s tribe was Slovak, but I would not accuse Mr. Rhee of racism for seeing a single tribe. It would just be human nature.

Joe Chasko, Sacramento

Bee’s Erwin Potts deserves more

Re “Erwin Potts, 1932-2017. He led McClatchy's national expansion” (Page 4A, May 19): More should have been said in The Bee about Erwin Potts on the occasion of his passing. For example, he was a very good adult athlete; excelled in tennis and softball. He was an important part of the Sacramento Foundation.

More to the point, I was a reporter for 57 years in various parts of the country and Erwin was one of the most decent people I encountered along the way. He could be tough when he had to be, compassionate when the occasion called for it and reasonable at all times. I experienced all those characteristics firsthand. He loved newspapers and their missions, and he lamented to me the decline of the business as he had once known it. Let's hope that, no matter what form the news industry takes, there will always be people like Erwin to give it some class.

Denny Walsh, Antelope

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