Racism certainly exists in Los Angeles and at UCLA, as it does everywhere else. It's time that everyone carried conversations past "Hi."
Lew Alcindor is a fine basketball player. He will be a great one. I support him in his striving for athletic excellence.
As a man he has much to learn. He agonizes over being called a name—yet he uses words like "cracker." If he is against prejudice, let him be against it going both ways.
Blacks seem to feel that color makes you a brother. Alcindor has to have "brothers" around him to be comfortable. That's prejudice—prejudice against whites and others without knowing whether they have brotherly qualities or not.
He's a runner. He runs away from whites, New York, Christ, UCLA—you name it. As Alcindor grows as a basketball player, maybe he will grow as a man. If he is a man, who cares what color he is?
J. WILLIAM THOMPSON
Thank you, Lew Alcindor; thank you SPORTS ILLUSTRATED! Another score for both of you. My Story was one of the greatest articles I have read. Lew tells it like it is for the middle-class black man in the predominantly white school. It seems as if people fail to realize that if you are black you still face the same problems of prejudice as all other blacks no matter where you go to school or where you live.
For myself, a black athlete from Shaker Heights, Ohio, and for all the other black Shaker Heights graduates throughout the years, thanks, Big Lew, for telling the world the truth!
Re Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr.: Yeah, man. Tell it for all of us, brother.
ROBERT NELSON MOORE JR.
His forebears migrated on their own decision to the U.S. from Trinidad. They were never ill-treated by American slave owners. His father and mother are seen as good and honorable citizens. This young man was taught by white teachers, learned basketball from white coaches, played in leagues formed by white sponsors and has been awarded scholarships by white institutions. Yet he could doodle in the dirt DEATH TO THE WHITE MAN and express aloud his hatred for every drop of white blood in himself.
Whether we like it or not, Lew Alcindor tells it like it is, and he has every right to be bitter. But he hurts only himself by letting his bitterness be his master.