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In his recent column, "Today's apology should be for today's attempts to hold blacks back, not for slavery," Rod Watson bemoans the move to eliminate quotas and other affirmative-action programs, and by implication is saying that blacks are incapable of succeeding in today's society without handicaps. I disagree.

Laws are on the books and have been effectively used to protect minorities against discrimination in housing, jobs and education. To insist that blacks cannot compete successfully on a level playing field is tantamount to saying that blacks are inferior and must forever be taken care of by the "Great White Father" in Washington.

What Mr. Watson is asking for is not true equality for blacks, but another more insidious form of bondage, as well as continued discrimination against whites. Mr. Watson should be well aware that true pride and esteem come from knowing that one's success has been earned, not given. Any apologies due should come from Mr. Watson to others of his race.

After all, if he succeeded through his owntalent, why does he believe others cannot?

James Costa Jr. Elma

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