This letter is directed at Al Martinez and his naive and simple-minded column on the troubled Latino community in Northridge (Aug. 19).
I was driving north on Vanalden recently through a lovely residential area, clean and well kept. Suddenly the lovely green yards became patches of dirt, the houses became filthy and filled with graffiti. Garbage was thrown everywhere. There were people selling goods on the sidewalks and men hanging around drinking. It is well known that the crime and drug problem in that area is incredibly high.
Yes, Mr. Martinez, it is true that there is nothing wrong in being Latino (I'm one myself) and there is nothing wrong in being poor. But there is no excuse for being a pig! Even poor people can see to it that their neighborhoods are clean and well kept and their children disciplined. I came to America like every other immigrant looking for a freer and better life, and I found it. But when in America, you do as the Americans do. This beautiful land was opened to us and it is our responsibility to treat it with kindness and respect and if you don't want to by all means go back where you came from.