Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 31, 2009 at 9:00 AM

The Obama presidency

About voters, not the man in charge

Lynne Varner wrote about President Obama’s election and inauguration as a triumph for minorities, especially African Americans, and the much-deserved credit they merit for that epochal change in America [“In the footsteps of many,” editorial column, Jan. 28]. But we often lose track of what this election has actually changed in America.

African Americans have long been qualified to lead this nation. Eloquent black orators have been around since at least Frederick Douglass. Minorities have supported such leaders ever since they could vote. These conditions haven’t changed.

White Americans have.

The concept of Frederick Douglass as vice president was impossible given the racial attitudes of the time. Presidential campaigns as recent as Jesse Jackson’s failed because of how many white voters would simply not vote for a nonwhite candidate.

In the past, when white voters had the chance, in the secrecy of the voting booth, to support full equality, they turned it down and caused both political parties to nominate only white candidates. Every time. For 220 years.

In 2008, sufficient numbers of white voters chose to do the right thing so we, the people, could elect the right person. That is the change, long overdue, that vindicates everything we have fought for all these years.

— Jon Shaughnessy, Bellingham

Comments | More in Barack Obama administration

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►