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Tim O’Brien’s commentary, “Pre-Paid Legal Services Offers ‘Insurance’ Against Racial Profiling”, was in my opinion very one-sided, opinionated and misleading. As a person of African American heritage , I am pleased that one company is taking a lead in bringing an end to racial profiling. For $1 per month, I have the satisfaction of seeing over-zealous, racially biased policeman turn red-faced when I inform them that I have access to legal counsel at any hour. I have used the “Legal Shield” card many times and have personally witnessed its affect on policeman who were bent on violating my rights simply because it was in their power to do so. This is a concept only a “profiled” minority in this country could understand. I am not one to use the card as a form of intimidation or to get out of a any infraction or violation of the law. But I do use it when my rights as a U.S. citizen are being violated. If PPL is so crude and unrefined as to be lacking in discrimination and sensibility — the meaning of crass — as the article claims, then I guess the hundreds of thousands of new minority members, including myself, who are subscribing to this plan must be equally shallow or, as the article puts it, “mindless”. Does the fact that millions of minorities who are speaking out on the issue of racial profiling mean that they, too, are just as “mindless”? I guess if it is not in your backyard it doesn’t exist and/or deserve any kind of albeit commercial, consumer or governmental remedy. But surprisingly the fact is this: racial profiling has just recently become a hot news item. Pre-Paid Legal Services has been in business for over 28 years, and they did not gain 1 million members overnight — nor can their enormous growth be contributed to just their “Legal Shield” program, as the article eludes. My hat is off to Mr. Stonecipher for listening to a minority’s side of this issue, rather than listening to his own opinionated ideas. After all, history is replete of Presidents and civil rights leaders who have lost their lives in this country for doing the same thing. It is time to level the playing fields and Mr. Stonecipher’s company is doing just that, which is why I became a “mindless” member too. DeWayne Ashley Dallas, T

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