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[Susan notes: With a nice turn of phrase, more light than heat, Walt Gardner makes a good point.]

Published in Los Angeles Times Magazine

To the editor

The fierce debate between Bill Cosby and author Michael Eric Dyson over the reasons for black poverty will generate more light than heat ("These People," by Erin Aubry Kaplan, July 24). By virtue of their marquee personalities, the two have made the issue worthy of center stage. This has forced Americans of all colors to question their own deeply rooted beliefs.

In the final analysis, that process may prove to be the most effective way of introducing sorely needed reason into what has been too often an emotional subject. When that happens, the foundation will be laid for social and economic policies that offer real hope.

Walt Gardner

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