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Art Of East L.a.

May 01, 1988

The comments of Alice Ovsey and Susan Landau and the lame excuses of Mary Jane Jacob and Earl Powell reflect the insidious and pervasive prejudice that characterizes the relationships between liberal white folks and Chicanos in this city. As a Harvard- and USC-educated psychologist and researcher, I am intimately acquainted with all the great excuses: "The good ones will make it anyway" or "We just can't find any qualified people to apply" or "They just don't want to apply here because we don't have the right atmosphere for them." Weisman abdicated responsibility as an objective reporter when he characterized these remarks as "somehow inadequate" to explain the absence of Chicanos from galleries in L.A.

When The Times prints these remarks without presenting the numbers of Chicano artists who have sent their portfolios to galleries without acknowledgement, it is participating in the spreading of a stereotype about Chicanos that we "somehow" do not have what it takes to make useful and necessary contributions to our society. And then people like me do the best we can to pick up the pieces of our children's self-esteem--because we do have what it takes.

MELINDA GARCIA

Venice

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