Not all African-Americans are angry after election

To imply that African-American voters are very, very angry at the results of this election, and to suggest that they will be unreceptive to the newly elected president is wrong (Earl Ofari Hutchinson's Dec. 14 opinion piece "Black ex-felons and Gore").

This type of accusation creates further division, not only in the nation but in the community of people of all ethnicities who work so hard to unite, reconcile, and forgive.

Yes, I feel that we (African-Americans) have the right to vote, and that vote should be counted fairly and equally. But we must now put the past behind us and work toward progress.

Derrick C. Darden Eatontown, N.J.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson's opinion piece about disenfranchised black ex-felons presents one of the most ill-conceived proposals I have seen.

Should the leader of the free world be chosen by ex-convicts? This makes no sense. The votes of African-Americans should count, but the way to do this is not to dip into the pool of people who have committed felonies.

There is a high proportion of African- Americans who are serving their country in the military. We should make it easy for these men and women who wear the uniform to vote. Why did Bill Clinton issue an executive order prior to the 1996 election making it more difficult for military personnel to vote on their bases? Why did Democrat lawyers prevent counting the absentee ballots from military personnel?

Why did the Democrat lawyers continue their blocking tactics only until Vice President Al Gore conceded? Why is Sen. Tom Daschle currently arguing in the Senate against making it easier for military to vote? African-Americans in the military should be allowed to help select their commander in chief. It seems that Democrats only want to enfranchise African-Americans who will keep them in power.

Ramon Carbo Miami, Fla.

Getting free-trade train back on track

Three cheers for David Francis's Dec. 8. column "Stick with globalization."

With a year's worth of hindsight, no one should have been surprised that the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Seattle ministerial failed; it would have been a miracle if the meeting had succeeded. For almost all of the preceding 18 months, WTO members were consumed by a struggle over the organization's leadership, while many countries came to Seattle seeking to renegotiate key aspects of existing trade liberalization measures.

Trade liberalization is not dead, despite negotiators' lack of success in Seattle. Let the protesters happily (and peacefully) converge on future international events ad infinitum. For the rest of us, it's time to get the free-trade train back on the rails. Business is ready to work with governments around the world to make this happen.

Thomas Niles New York President, United States Council for International Business

An overseas adoptee asks questions

Thanks for your Nov. 22 article "A wider circle of family" about overseas adoption. I am a Korean adoptee and found the article and pictures fascinating. It stirred up some questions about my heritage, and before I even finished the article, I was asking my adoptive parents questions about my adoption and childhood.

I also enjoyed your Nov. 22 review of "A book on adoption that doesn't pull any punches." I went to my local bookstore the next day and ordered it for my mother.

Holly Osmanski Prescott, Ariz.

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