Letters: Philadelphia's never-ending cycle of racial politics

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ELMER Smith's assertion in his Sept. 28 column ("Street is Street's Worst Enemy"), that former Mayor John Street has taken improper measure of himself by criticizing Mayor Nutter regarding the latter's "racial" identity is right on point.

While I'm hardly a Nutter fan, if Street really has a problem with him, why hasn't he found someone to support other than those far removed from having a history of working in the interests of those who have been the majority of Philadelphia residents for some time now?

Even if he can concoct an explanation that appears logical, John Street's bizarre announcement of his support for a mayoral candidate smacks of the same kind of intellectual acrobatics and deceit that was often used by another politician whose surname was Street, too.

G. Djata Bumpus

Philadelphia

Re Chris Brennan's Phillyclout item "Street Gets Colorful about Mayor's Race":

Are we ever going to have a black mayor again? Who cares - why can't it be "Are we ever going to have a good mayor again?" - and, believe me, given John Street's past, that question wouldn't be directed at him.

Why does the fact that Mayor Nutter is black play any part in his role as mayor? It doesn't matter to me if our next mayor is black, white, red, green or orange.

I'm a Republican and would like to see an "R" in office, but if a "D" does a good job, I'll jump on the bandwagon - but to sit there and bring up race in a city that rides the race wave on every decision is pure insanity.

Andrew J. Dankanich

Philadelphia

John Street seems to be the George Wallace of Philadelphia government - and only seems interested in what can benefit one race of people in the city.

Race-consciousness seems to run in the Street family. Remember during Michael Nutter's campaign for mayor how John Street's brother, Milton, made multiple racist remarks about Nutter, including calling him the Watermelon Man? It appears that John Street keeps fanning the flame of racism instead of trying to extinguish it.

Ronald Suarez, Philadelphia

Selling privacy intrusion

In the Sept. 28 article "White House Wants to Make Wiretaps Easier," it was reported that U.S. officials are pushing to make it easier to tap into Internet and e-mail communications.

The feds are trying to sell us on the idea that "law enforcement needs to improve its ability to eavesdrop on conversations involving terrorism, crimes or other public-safety issues."

Anybody who works in sales knows that if you can convince a person that he needs your product or service in order to be safe, he'll buy it!

And that's exactly what the feds are trying to sell us - the idea that if we make it even easier for them to tap into our e-mails, we'll be safe.

I don't buy it!

Rob Boyden

Drexel Hill