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Nation of mutts

November 12, 2008

Re "Obama, curbing the euphoria, wins a fan," Nov. 8

I was at first taken aback by President-elect Barack Obama's reference to himself as a "mutt" in considering a dog for his family.

Then, after some reflection, I realized a large number of us Americans are "mixed breed." We are Irish/German, Polish/French/Scottish, Swedish/Italian/ English and so on.

The difference, of course, is that much of our muttness is not readily apparent. Obama's parents' interracial marriage would not have been legally possible in 16 states until a Supreme Court decision in 1967.

We are increasingly becoming a nation of mutts. To the extent this trend results in greater tolerance, let it be a cause for celebration.

Phil Shigekuni

North Hills

The writer is the civil rights chair of the San Fernando Valley chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League.

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