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Karma Cleanser 

Will it come back to haunt you?

Dear Karma Cleanser:

(In response to "Keisha with a 'K,'" Jan. 16): You told "Keisha" that the reason she is being turned down for jobs may have less to do with her name, but her insistence on "seeing life through a lens of discord."

Although I'm unaware of Keisha's qualifications (or lack thereof), there's more than anecdotal evidence to suggest that a person's name can prevent them from getting a serious look by employers, even when they have the requisite experience and education. One of the evening news shows conducted an experiment a few years ago dealing with prejudice in our country. As part of the test, résumés with identical educational backgrounds and work experience were sent to the same employers. Résumés with "white"-sounding names were called back at a rate of 3-1 more than those with ethnic or "black"-sounding names.

I don't mean to suggest that this is always the case, but rather that there may be more to Keisha's experience other than how she views the universe, or you're willing to acknowledge.

-- Marc with a "C"

Keisha's letter generated a heap of mail and online comments, so it obviously struck a nerve. One reader pointed out that she's known plenty of Caucasians named Keisha, so what was the big deal? Most everyone took her side and said she was probably experiencing real discrimination, even from the Karma Cleanser. We didn't mean to say that Keisha's problem isn't real; there's no doubt racism is alive and kicking, and not just here in the South. Our point, which we didn't explain well enough, was that we saw the Law of Attraction in her situation: "That which is like unto itself is drawn," says Abraham Hicks. Keisha's name has made her hyperaware of race and the potential for prejudice, so the universe responds accordingly. Mea culpa.

Dear Karma Cleanser:

(In response to "Coming Up for Air," Feb. 6): I've always enjoyed your column, but I have a problem with your comments for "Coming Up for Air." Despite your cute advice to him, you made no mention of a condom. I have a close friend who has worked on HIV research for years, and she is blown away by the cavalier attitudes we men have.

So he ends up with a "stranger" in his bed and can't get it up at first and she's "adorable" about it and neither of them had time to think about a rubber? And then his little comment on how many "one-night-stands" she's had? What a dipshit. They are both idiots!

-- Put a Helmet on That Soldier

We agree completely. Both parties are culpable -- and clueless -- if nobody thought to use protection. But condoms won't do anybody a bit of good if the guy can't rise to the occasion, which was the case here. Given his status as a recent divorcee, condoms were probably the last thing on his mind at the moment. Thanks for keeping the safer sex message out there.

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