To the Editor:

In yesterday’s guest column, “My take: We’ve been Condoleezza-boozled,” (11/1) the author made several statements to which I, as an African-American student, take offense. Ms. Olopade questions the “blackness” of the national security adviser and current secretary of state nominee, Dr. Condoleezza Rice. Her ascent to the highest levels of the U.S. government and her past successes as Stanford professor and provost should not be devalued simply because she is a Republican. No matter the color of her skin, Rice’s accomplishments are based on her hard work and she does not owe anything to Democrats.

Yes, Republicans have an image problem when it comes to race relations, but this administration has more women and minorities running the nation’s agencies and advising the president than any other. When Ms. Olopade accuses the party of simply paying “lip service” to minorities, it is she that sets us back 40 years with that kind of thinking. No progress can ever be made if one political party continues to accuse the other of simply playing a public relations game. For Ms. Olopade to suggest that Rice is a white man disguised as black woman is as blind and ignorant as she accuses Rice of being.

To quote Ms. Olopade: “How quick these minority defectors [Rice and Alberto Gonzales] are to jump onto the Republican bandwagon.” A defector? To that, I say, bologna! It is foolish that Democratic party has “saved” blacks and that blacks who happen to be Republicans are “defectors” and refusing to give other blacks the supposed rights and privileges granted to them by Democrats. To Ms. Olopade, I ask, do you owe your Yale admission to the Democratic Party? I didn’t think so.

Scott Woods ’06

Dec. 1, 2004