I guess McCarthyism is okay now that liberals are its biggest practitioners.

In his Sept. 23 Outlook article, Arnold Hirsch, professor of something called "urban affairs" at the University of New Orleans, decided that a large number of the citizens of Louisiana are "racists." I recently moved to the Washington area from Louisiana, having spent nearly half of my 44 years there. I would like to respond to some of Prof. Hirsch's assaults on the good people of that much-maligned state.

The thrust of Prof. Hirsch's blast was that the possible election of David Duke to the U.S. Senate would be the result of racism. The professor, of course, is wrong. If it were not for the conditions produced by the policies of Prof. Hirsch and his liberal pals, Mr. Duke would never have been taken seriously. The policies of the segregationists of a generation ago produced much resentment among those being discriminated against, and justifiably so. The reverse discrimination policies of the new race Demo-gogues are producing similar resentment.

Prof. Hirsch also lashed out at the New Orleans suburb of Metairie, where residents' calls for "color blindness" are, of course, racist. I know Metairie pretty well. Far from being the lily-white haven Mr. Hirsch would have you believe, Metairie is a multiracial, working-class community. The hard-working people there -- black, white and otherwise -- are resentful of special privileges being given to less qualified people. They don't like it when a lazy "worker" steals a job or a promotion they have worked years for.

From his academic ivory tower, Prof. Hirsch simply declared everyone who disagrees with him a "racist." Demagoguery such as his deserves the same contempt given to the race-baiters of decades ago -- it's the same trash, only in reverse.

The professor needs to get out of New Orleans and meet the real people of Louisiana -- the Cajuns, blacks, Creoles and whites who have worked together for generations to build a life for their families. He should travel up the Mississippi and eat some crawfish and some jambalaya with the folks who judge others by the Martin Luther King Jr. standard -- not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Instead of calling these good people racists, the professor should learn from them.

Prof. Hirsch might someday see what most of us have known all along: the fight is not between black and white or even rich and poor, but between good and bad -- between the producers and the parasites.

DON LYNCH Arlington