Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

(I.e., We are a bitter country, aren't we?)

James Pinette

Caribou, ME

Apr 23 2008 - 10:12pm

Web Letter

I think what is really eye-opening about race is the way it is used as a club to Obama. He does not represent the black guy at work you don't like or the Halle Berry minx you might like. He does not stand for blacks as a whole or as specific segment of the American community.

Obama has done his best to stand outside of a racial context. He is probably the best and the brightest the 1960s could have produced. His efforts in being Everyman have been beaten back by Hillary and Bill Clinton. She was a hope to my college campus in 1992 when she came to campaign for Bill. She was a new hope for what being equality as a First Lady and an educated woman. Sixteen years later, she is a war-making character assassin using race as a means to beat back an opponent. She is entitled to the presidency as a right.

Now Obama has to confront every fear every white person might have about a black person. It doesn't matter if he gave any reason for people to have a grievance with him specifically. It only matters that he account for every personal wrong, like the guy from Savannah wrote.

America has a lot of work to do to become a more perfect union. I don't want to feel depressed about the amount of work we have to do, but I am aggravated about the chances of convincing racial purists that race does not define what anybody is capable of. The television media has made it a point to not draw attention to the resistance Obama is experiencing race.

How long must our nation wait for equality on race?

Genevieve Banks

Decatur, GA

Apr 23 2008 - 2:14pm

Web Letter

Obama's appearance on the scene gives us a welcome chance to talk about race, really to talk. Of course mixed communities have more racial grievances. What do you think I felt like when some black teenagers knocked me off my bike just because I, a white man, was riding through their neighborhood? What do you think I thought when my parents, certainly not racist, moved from a changing neighborhood to one that was obviously going to be all white or at least white and rich Asian? It is easy to be tolerant and non-racist when you do not live with racial conflict.

Obama's candidacy has given us a chance to dream about a race-less America. It has also forced to recognize how naïve we have been. We in the so-called "elite" probably needed this wake-up call.

Norman Ravitch

Savannah, GA

Apr 23 2008 - 10:46am