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Evolving Attitudes Toward Race in America

In the opinion-page article "Multiracial Americans Deserve Better Than 'Other'" (Oct. 14) the author speaks well for the multiracial environment emerging in California and for the value of acknowledging the increasing complexity of multiracial combinations by the United States census.

I suggest, however, that the concept of melting pot also needs to change. Where "melting pot" implies a blending and disappearance of distinctions, the metaphor of "kaleidoscope" evokes a more colorful and continually changing landscape of cultural diversity and experience - one of the advantages of living in California.

Molly Freeman

Berkeley, Calif.

Regarding Gregory Rodriguez's inspiring piece: I am led to consider the possible consequences of a mass act of civil disobedience in protest against those who, for reasons of political and economic advantage, and with the support of our government, pit racial and ethnic groups against each other.

I propose that when the census rolls around, all Americans check "other" in response to the question concerning their racial identities. The ambiguities inherent in the official racial categories, and the rich genetic inheritances of Americans, would, I think, doom to failure any attempt to challenge the legality of what could be a national expression of commitment on the part of a majority of Americans to the goal of an integrated society.

Jon Barlow

Portland, Conn.

Sabbath, sports, or both

As an avid soccer player and devout Christian, I read with interest "Defending the Sabbath From Soccer" (Oct. 16). As I drive past a field of 12-year-olds practicing, on my way to church on a Sunday morning, I suspect that few of them would rather be going to Sunday school than playing soccer with their friends. To be sure, this would not be an easy choice for most 12-year-olds to evaluate, and it's a choice that begs for adult involvement. However, it seems more and more we are not even presenting it as a conscious decision.


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