Two nations, once again

By Eric Boehlert

By Letters to the Editor
December 19, 2000 1:28PM (UTC)
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Please don't overly emphasize the black vs. white feelings about this election. I'm white and I feel just as strongly as any black person that this election was stolen, the U.S. Supreme Court was partisan, etc.

Perhaps more blacks feel that way but many, many white people do, too. It's not just a race issue.


-- Barbara Ellisor

It is regrettable that Adora Obi Nweze, president of Florida's NAACP, believes that whites do not feel anger about the results of the recent presidential election. This unfortunate and, I trust, unintentional generalization is unfair to those of us who voted for Gore and who believe that the Florida election was conducted unfairly and perhaps illegally.

I would like to assure Nweze that there are indeed white Americans who are infuriated by the arrogant conduct of the Florida executive branch and the Bush legal team during this fiasco. This travesty should never have been permitted 35 years after the Voting Rights Act.


For the record, I also agreed with the O.J. Simpson verdict.

-- David E. Sallis

As a white American, I, too, am shocked that more Americans do not feel angry at the turn of events during the election and election contest. I am angry and I believe that something should be done to prevent this from ever happening again. I know that I am not alone in this -- my friends, colleagues and I have been involved in active debate over what has happened and what we can do about it. According to the article by Eric Boehlert, only 43 percent of Americans feel that politics influenced the decision of the Supreme Court to not count the votes in Florida. Please know that among this 43 percent there are those of us who feel very strongly about this and will not let it go.


-- Jane Cowley

I find it hard to believe that 50 percent of Americans would believe that Bush rightly won the presidency. As a black American, I must inject that the cloud of unfairness, deceit and partisanship is the reason for the lack of confidence. Bush neither said nor did anything to diminish our build-up of discontent over the process. Instead of supporting measures to dissolve any uncertainties, he moved to block all challenges to the truth. While I do not intend to forsake the voting process (that is our voice), I am waiting to see if the Florida issue will be fully investigated and vindicated.


Also, may I be perfectly clear, I have no problem with Bush winning via the will of the people. The problem is when that will is mislaid.

-- Ruthie Kidd-Howton

The deep rift you find between African-Americans and the rest of us about the fairness of the election is the wrong conclusion. Depending on who you read, 93 or 95 percent of African-Americans voted against Bush, while 52 percent of the rest did. So it is hardly news that 84 percent of African-Americans doubt the election results while 43 percent of the remainder do. If anything, the African-Americans are more forgiving.


The correct conclusion: Those who were denied the victory are largely not persuaded that the count was fair -- an absolutely necessary result in a democratic process. There's your rift.

-- Jim Heard

If the voters, in particular the black voters in Florida, want to ensure that the next time they vote the Florida fiasco scenario of 2000 doesn't repeat itself, then, dammit, they should ensure their ballots are correct prior to submitting them for the count. Most of what happened in Florida after Nov. 7 was due to voter ignorance, irresponsibility and laziness. I'm sick of the press and their cohorts blaming everything and everybody else for the stupidity of some of those people! Get over it, confront the truth and fix it! Until people start taking responsibility for their actions, similar situations will continue to occur.


-- Dan Page

Eric Boehlert's article on the different reactions of the black and white communities to the "awarding" of the presidency to George W. Bush is insightful yet flawed in its reasoning.

The 14th Amendment granting equal protection does not belong solely to the black community. As part of the Constitution, it applies to every single American. Plus, criticizing the Supreme Court's interpretation of the 14th Amendment in Bush vs. Gore as "novel" is dubious coming from the left. The court has creatively interpreted the law before, and cited rights that aren't specifically in the Constitution, such as abortion rights.

Black leaders interested solely in agitation will exploit split voting patterns in order to garner publicity. References to Selma are self-serving and mock the real sacrifices made to win the vote in the 1960s.


-- L. Cortes

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