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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Don’t let race determine next D.C. mayor

- The Washington Times - Friday, September 10, 2010

After Barack Obama's win as our nation's first nonwhite president, it is coming as a shock to me that the Washington mayoral race is being defined by race.

Voters need to look beyond the race of candidates and into the values and skills the candidates have. America seemed to be moving forward with the election of Mr. Obama, but unfortunately, race is still playing a large part in our elections. Washington Mayor Adrian M. Fenty is receiving the allegiance of the city's minority white population, while mayoral candidate Vincent C. Gray has won over the majority population, the black constituency.

It is absurd that one candidate is receiving the majority of votes from a particular racial group. This doesn't seem like a coincidence. In addition, Mr. Gray makes it a point to mention that the deputy mayor for education, the schools chancellor, the schools superintendent, the chief of police, the fire chief and the attorney general are not black.

The races of these officials don't represent the city's racial makeup, but these people hold the positions they do because of qualifications and abilities, not race. If a candidate for mayor can't get past the issue of race, the voters won't be able to do so, either. In order to get past racial prejudice, narrow-minded thinking such as this needs to be eliminated.

SAGARIKA DAS

Silver Spring, Md.

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