Letters to the Editor
Readers write about school segregation, superstition, and the Lisbon Treaty.
Let parents choose their children's public schools
In response to the June 18 article, "Europeans eye US models to ease school segregation": If the Dutch are looking to United States cities such as Seattle as models of official action to achieve school desegregation, they would be well advised to focus elsewhere. Just this month, The Seattle Times published a detailed piece reporting on how that city's public schools have "slowly, steadily resegregated" since mandatory busing began almost three decades ago.
The Urban League chief in Seattle has advocated greater parental choice as a way to increase school diversity without race-based assignments. That's a great idea: Let families be free and come together on the basis of common educational interests. Several studies have shown that schools of choice tend to be more racially integrated than do regular public schools.
Fortunately for the Dutch, they already have a strong tradition of allowing parents a full range of school choice. Maybe they ought to look inward for ways to enhance diversity without government mandates.
Not all Chinese believe superstitions
Regarding the June 21 article, "Superstitions fly as China reels from a bad (luck) year": I think the article tends to stereotype Chinese people. I see Chinese people more as different individuals than a stereotypical image of 1.3 billion people who are all superstitious.
There are many different dialects in China and it is almost the size of Europe.
You are talking about a pluralistic China, with different cultures within even the same ethnic group, the Han.
Superstitions, I think, could be related to religious background and age. Most young people, according to my personal experience, do not believe in the things talked about in the article. As for religious background, different places in China have different percentages of the population with different religious backgrounds. For instance, I come from Wenzhou, a coastal city where more than 10 percent of the population is Christian. They are not superstitious about the things mentioned in the article.