I HEARD GOV. Rendell say that Barack Obama would not win the Pennsylvania primary because he is a black man, and, whites in the suburban areas of Pennsylvania would not vote for him. Even if he feels this way, why say it, unless you're trying to influence people?

I stood in line and voted for this man, and I am a minority. I never thought about his race. I just thought he would be a better governor than Lynn Swann, who is a black man.

We Americans have to get our heads out of the sand. We have some tough choices to make. And they should not be made on race, religion, or creed, but on deeds and who is best suited for the job of commander in chief. We as a nation are in big trouble. We can't afford to make a mistake.

Carolyn Rankin

Philadelphia

Obama's former pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright has been described as a caring and giving leader of his Chicago community for three decades. He is from the generation when the equal rights movement was the focus of black communities and their leaders, passionate and sometimes violent for change. While this is no excuse for Wright's morally offensive public criticism of the United States and of white people, it may explain his residual anger and bitterness.

My own grandfather was a churchgoing white man, originally from rural Mississippi. He, too, worked hard and gave selflessly to his community. He was smart, loving, kind and very, very funny. But his frequent jokes and comments about blacks (and Roman Catholics and Jews) were not smart, loving, kind or funny at all. His life experience in a racist South shaped his behavior. He was stuck in that time of intolerance and couldn't see beyond it. Does that mean that my family should have shunned him, stopped loving him?

Sallie Nangeroni

Doylestown