Like most of the country, I am amazed and in awe of the momentous election of Barack Obama. In "The 44th President/ Commentary," I can well understand the commenters' glee and pride as three of the four are African-Americans. Though I'm not, I am still an American and proud. I can't help but be a bit disturbed by Terry Edmond's comments ["From Disbelief to Hope"]. He had a "nagging" question before the election if there would ever be enough whites willing to vote for a black president, regardless of his or her obvious talents. But let's look at it another way. How many blacks voted for Obama just because he was black, and what if the nominee happened to be a different African-American? Would blacks have voted for him or her just because of his color despite a lack of talent? I think the answer would be yes. I don't think enough was made of this side of the equation in the media. Americans need to look at the issues, how the candidate can best lead our nation and once and for all put race out of the category of qualifications. That includes both black and white voters.
David Adame, Lattabra, Calif.
Cornel West ["The Obama Moment"] and Robin D. Kelley ["Unity for Racial Justice"] were generous in their praise of President-elect Obama, but they did not mention what could be the most promising change in the United States. That is the final elimination of the victim syndrome thrust on blacks by their former leadership including Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and the NAACP. Let us hope that they might finally see in Obama the opportunity to lift themselves up to a better way of life.
Ed Marlin, Evansville, Ind.
In "The Obama Moment," Cornel West asked whether the president-elect will become "a great statesman like Abraham Lincoln, a masterful politician like Bill Clinton, or a pragmatic experimentalist like Franklin Delano Roosevelt?" While history's verdict on Clinton is still out, the judgment on Lincoln and Roosevelt is clear. The path to true presidential greatness is not in a choice among the three but in a deft blending of all three.
John Mack, Odenton, Md.