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Race and the presidential race

June 06, 2008

Re "Obama claims nomination," June 4

Barack Obama is now the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party. With his victory, our nation has turned an important corner in race relations. For the first time, a major party will nominate an African American for the highest office in the land. Whether or not Obama wins in November, this is an important milestone.

No one can doubt that there is still discrimination in America, and that there are miles to go before we are a nation that comfortably embraces the concept of racial, ethnic and religious diversity.

Despite their obvious partisan differences, I was glad to see that President Bush had the good grace to congratulate Obama. I think he realizes, as do many thoughtful people, that we are beginning to reach the day that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed of many years ago: when we will judge people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.

Oliver Cutshaw

La Habra

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Too bad Obama had to win a la George W. Bush -- not counting every vote. This manner of winning is not "change," it's just a perpetuation of the same old boys club. If Obama does not ask Hillary Clinton to be his running mate, then the nation shall remain under the butcher knife of the Republicans.

Louis Jacinto

Los Angeles

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As a fascinated overseas observer of American politics, could someone explain something to me? Why is Obama constantly described as the "first black candidate" for the presidency? I hesitate to be pedantic, but surely he is just as much Caucasian as he is African? Why not call him "yet another white candidate for president"? It would be just as accurate (or inaccurate). Unless, of course, his genetic heritage from his father is somehow inherently more significant than that from his mother. Indeed, if he had been born of a black mother and a white father, would he still be "black"? It must be the hair. Yes, that must be what's important.

Stephen Yolland

Collingwood, Australia

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Obama's successful bid to be the Democratic Party's presidential nominee provides Americans a great opportunity not only to help reverse and rectify the disastrous consequences of the policies implemented by President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, but also a great chance to atone for all those years when the U.S. practiced slavery.

At long last, we now have that chance to help realize Martin Luther King's dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

It is a great time to be an American!

Victor W. Monsura

Garden Grove

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Re "From underdog to alpha," Column One, June 4

Apropos the headline concerning Obama, isn't the usual expression "alpha male"? (I hate to sound like a sore loser, but I'm a sore loser.)

Mary Rouse

Los Angeles

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