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Regarding Ollie: in Search of the True North

Hard on the heels of your editorial on Sen. Bob Dole's rejection of Lt. Col. Oliver North came the news that Mr. Dole had recanted, and to show his commitment, had sent a $5,000 donation to the North campaign.

Imagine the reaction to North's incendiary remarks if he were an African American or a native American. Would conservative white America stand by as he spoke of storming the Hill? The reaction would be instantaneous and overwhelming.

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Yet we stand by as the self-righteous behaviors that characterized policies of slavery, the winning of the West, and the extermination of some native American tribes play themselves out again, probably because we have not yet come to terms with our history, and so are doomed to see its repetition. One of the deepest ironies is that North's supporters call themselves followers of Jesus, a man who preached love toward all and left no room for such hatred.

When Mr. Dole joined the fold, another brief flicker of integrity on the Hill was extinguished. Andrew Seager, Portland, Maine

Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published, and none acknowledged. Letters should be addressed to ``Readers Write,'' and can be sent by Internet E-mail (200 word maximum) to OPED@RACHEL.CSPS.COM, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115

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