WHILE I fully sympathise with the Lawrence family for the tragic death of their son, Stephen, and for the farcical events surrounding the police investigations, am I naive or just confused?

I think that the problem of racial discrimination lies at everyone's feet.

I would loathe to be considered a racist. I treat all people with the same respect as they treat me. Colour of skin is not an issue.

However, I believe that the problem will never be solved until we stop having people saying things like "black youth" killed by "white gang" and then the inevitable TV discussion shows with members of the "black rights" groups and "Asian rights" groups, etc.

For as long as people voice their opinions about how unfairly their "cultures" are treated, we will never rise above racism. People are far too willing to place themselves into categories. Wouldn't it be brilliant and far more constructive if we could all see ourselves as human beings with different personalities, each unique to ourself.

Let's be individuals and let's all be "a person" and stop thinking about what colour people's skin is and get to know each other better.

After all, skin is just a protective covering - who really should care what colour it is?

Would we not buy a book we really wanted, just because the sleeve doesn't look the same as all the others on our bookshelf?

No, Why? Because even though the book cover is different, the inside contents are the same!

I hope my point is clear enough.

WENDY PATTERSON, Queen Street, Darwen.

Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.