We are writing in response to John Colson’s recent use of the term “half-caste” to describe Barack Obama (“The Voter,” Dec. 27).
The term “half-caste” is offensive above all because of its long use in the English language as an expression of racial violence and discrimination, as any competent editor could discover by consulting an authoritative dictionary. A reader can only surmise that Mr. Colson was implying that Sen. McCain, or any white candidate, represents a pure race. This ideology is shocking in its racism and has no place in civil discourse.
The Americans who put President-elect Barack Obama into office took no “leap of faith” but rather were compelled by his ability to transcend the divisive politics of the past 30 years and contribute to the ongoing reconciliation of the racial injustice of the past 400 years. Our hope for Obama’s presidency is that it inspires the American people, in our aspirations to greatness and in our numerous imperfections, to deliver on the nation’s promise to form a more perfect union.
Carl Elliott, Olympia, Wash.
Allison Carruth and Barron Bixler, San Francisco
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