Regarding Benin Dakar's Oct. 4 Opinion piece "Take heed, Democrats: Unrequited love is not an option": Even when black voters realize they are being swindled, they must stay with the Democrats if they know of no other game in town.
Black conservatives and Republicans deserve to be heard regularly and with respect in the media, instead of being routinely dismissed and vilified. They commonly began as liberal Democrats but developed conservative views through the hard truths of personal experience. Despite self-flattering and self-advancing claims of care and concern for those who are less well-off, the ideology and program of modern liberal Democrats is destructive - and worst of all to those who are not affluent.
Only if black voters regularly hear from conservatives and Republicans and consider their ideas will election-eve threats against Democratic indifference, neglect, and policy failures be credible. Until then, black Americans will continue to be swindled by the party and ideology to which they have been so blindly and self-destructively loyal.
Thank you for Ken Foskett's Oct. 8 Opinion piece, "Don't judge Thomas unfairly," about Justice Clarence Thomas. It was good to read a piece that didn't totally vilify an excellent judge and patriot. I, too, am black and don't accept the notion that we need help to compete with our white counterparts. God gives everyone the same amount of hours in a day to accomplish their life goals. What we choose to do with them is up to us. I thank God for sending a Clarence Thomas who has the guts to stand up to the racist, the elitist, and the whiners.
Kansas City, Kan.
The issue raised in Ruth Walker's Oct. 8 column, "Not a simple matter of black and white," about whom to call "African-American" has a simple solution she did not address. Let descendants from slaves use the generic term "African-American" since they can't know which country in Africa was their ancestral homeland. All recent immigrants from Africa can use a hyphenation of their country of origin - Kenyan-American, Nigerian-American, etc. This would be comparable to the spectrum of Americans with European roots who use phrases like Irish-American, German-American, rather than the generic phrase Euro-American.
Edward A. Olsen
The Oct. 7 article, "Plutonium: rising terror threat," seemed to disagree with the shipment of plutonium to France, but actually we ought to be grateful that we're finding applications for previously used nuclear materials. Right now the US is looking at the need for not one but six national geologic repositories. Yes, per U.S. District Court decision in Boise, Idaho, July 2, 2003, all 360,000 tons of liquid defense wastes at Savannah River and Hanford nuclear sites have to go to repositories.
Yes, plutonium was sent to France for placement in fuel rods; I'm delighted. The less high-level nuclear waste this nation has to bury, the better.
Rocky Mount, N.C.
The Oct. 7 article "In Round 2, can Bush help Bush?" noted Vice President Cheney's error in sending viewers to the incorrect fact checking website. The article failed to mention that the site the vice president intended to send viewers to actually validated Senator Edwards's claims about Halliburton.
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