Letters

Obama's presidential candidacy transcends issue of race

Earl Ofari Hutchinson's Jan. 29 Opinion piece, "Why blacks won't necessarily back Obama," is still clinging to the outdated white versus black view that someone like Sen. Barack Obama transcends. Senator Obama is not black, as Mr. Hutchinson states; rather, he is biracial. As such, Obama is aware that he can't side with one race against another; instead, he looks at the big picture.
Vince Hamon
Los Angeles

I agree with Earl Ofari Hutchinson that Sen. Barack Obama won't get the vote in the 2008 presidential race just based on color. However, I believe black voters are less concerned with the color of the skin of the president than white voters are. Blacks have lived with white presidents all their lives, so they are more concentrated on the issues. This is not to say that white people are not concentrated on issues, but some may be blinded by the color of another's skin.
Michael Hays
Marysville, Kan.

Find value outside traditional marriage

In response to your Jan. 30 editorial, "Finding family in a nonmarried world," I concur that singles still have relationships, friendships, and are not alone. But I do not agree that sanctified marriage or a vow is or should be the norm of American culture.

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With high divorce rates, and many cases of domestic abuse, the "altar shy" may have a legitimate quarrel with marriage. We've moved beyond marriage in America, and there is no turning back to an era when married-couple households dominated the census. No calamity has ensued; indeed the fabric of our domestic national life has not been sundered but sustained.
Patricia A. Palmieri
New York

North Korea won't give up power

Tony Hall's Jan. 30 Opinion piece, "What North Korea really wants," is astonishingly naive. What North Korea probably wants is another deal like the one President Clinton gave them, where it may ignore its obligations with impunity. North Korea's leaders know full well what they need to do, and their demand for direct one-on-one talks is just a ploy. They have not the slightest intention of giving up their hold on power.
Mary McLemore
Pike Road, Ala.

Independent booksellers can succeed

In response to the Jan. 26 article, "We're not in it for the money": As the proprietress of a two-year-old bookstore that is thriving, I felt compelled to write and let people know that not all in the independent bookstore world is doom and gloom. My shop, "breathe books," grossed more than $260,000 this year. I took a salary, paid employees, invested in inventory, and we still made a very healthy profit. I plan not only on surviving but thriving. And I see no reason why I will not become rich. Anyone running a small business with savvy and smarts should be able to create a sustainable, even prosperous living.
Susan L. Weis
Baltimore

African women carry their own weight

Regarding the Jan. 31 article, "Moving is often a head game in Africa": After years of observing these graceful women, I espied what must be a record: an Angolan woman with six cases of soft drinks stacked on her head. According to my calculations, that was probably more than 100 pounds atop a woman weighing perhaps 120 pounds. My hat's off – so to speak – to African women.
Lynn Austin
Campbell, Calif.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted will appear in print and on our website, www.csmonitor.com.

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