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To the Editor: As a Republican intern all last year and an individual privileged enough to attend the convention, I was interested to read the article "Student joins in convention melee" (The Daily Pennsylvanian, 9/7/00) describing Matthew Ruben's experience on the protestors' side of the fence. While I don't wish to belittle the protestors' experience, to portray them as the heroes of the week is grossly inaccurate. On convention Monday, the mass of people from City Hall all the way up Broad Street protested "poverty" -- a negative social aspect, but one that could not be attributed to the Republicans, or indeed to any party. Tuesday, a similar scene appeared and, as a co-worker informed me, anyone sporting convention credential badges risked being assaulted with super-soakers filled with urine. While the protestors certainly had the right to voice their opinions, their manner of doing so was hardly professional. The "inadequate" media coverage is easily explainable; they focused on the true event, the Republican Convention, where informed and intelligent commentary was articulately presented by such figures as Laura Bush, Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell. While protest does indeed have its place in American politics, the mask it donned during the convention deserves nowhere as much applause as the main event.

Emily Stetler College '01 To the Editor: Alex Wong's column ("A solid foundation?" DP, 9/8/00) has prompted me to write about a subject that has bothered me for some time, Hyphenated-Americans. My grandparents left Germany to became Americans, as others who chose this country to make a better life for themselves. Today's policy of making distinctions between different groups is degrading and divisive and weakens the principles that our country stands for. Often, the labels are incorrect. It is true that most blacks did not come here voluntarily. However, those living today are only partly African. A very high percentage have Cherokee or other Native American, white, Caribbean, Spanish or other ancestors. Many have no African blood at all. Because of intermarriage in this country, there is rarely a "pure" racial, religious or native background for any of our people. Let's stop hyphenating them.

James Dannenberg Professor of Pediatric Dentistr

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