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Commend Sponsors of Seminar on Racism

December 07, 1989

Re: "Students Get Lesson in Bias at This Camp," (Times, Dec. 3). Project Brotherhood/Sisterhood should be commended for sponsoring this three-day seminar on combatting racism!

The problem of racism has dramatically risen with the influx of Asian and Hispanic immigrants into the San Gabriel Valley in the last 10 years. Young peoples' attitudes toward race are strongly influenced by their parents. Many immigrants coming into our American "melting pot" have never had much opportunity to interact with those of different ethnic backgrounds. Their unfortunate ignorance breeds racism. As every young person knows, it's very difficult to change your parents' attitudes about anything! Schools offer the best hope of combatting racism.

When I graduated from Rosemead High School in 1970, our ethnic student population was approximately 66% white, 30% Hispanic, 2% Asian and virtually no blacks. Today, it is 13% white, 54% Hispanic, 28% Asian and 1% black.

My high school did such a fine job of getting us involved in student activities, that I was "color blind"--the ethnicity of my classmates never entered my mind. We were first and foremost, Rosemead High School students! Although times have changed, the basic principles have not: Students who attend these seminars and are actively involved in school activities will benefit the most; those who do not get involved will always be hampered in life by their own prejudice.

HENRY SAKAIDA

Temple City

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