Letter: Column about GOP was divisive

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley arrives at The South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley arrives at The Statehouse in Columbia, S.C. (Jan. 18, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

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Usually I can shrug off a disagreeable opinion column. But I have to draw the line at Alvin Bessent's recent piece claiming that the Republican Party is alienating diverse groups ["GOP's hard line will hurt its appeal," Opinion, Aug. 30].

The speakers Bessent mentioned -- Mia Love, Gov. Luis Fortunato and Gov. Nikki Haley -- represent what is possible in this great country. Their presence at the convention, and their prominent achievements, proclaim loud and clear for anyone objective enough to listen that while racism still exists, it is no longer a true barrier to accomplishment. Bessent condescendingly refers to them as "a splash of color" at the GOP convention.

Bessent points out that Republicans' "hard line on immigration is repelling many Hispanics." I wonder how many of my fellow Newsday readers knew that President Barack Obama's administration deported nearly 400,000 last year, compared with 250,000 a year, on average, during President George W. Bush's term.

Bessent writes, "An electorate polarized by race and gender isn't good for the country." I submit that columns like this are exactly the type of thing keeping us polarized.

John Keenan, Commack

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