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Fear And Reality

December 24, 1989

Your story was peppered with references to "Anglos." From my daily reading of The Times, I assume you use this word to mean European-American (or its shorthand equivalent, white) to denote people who are not Afro-American, Asian-American, American Indian or Latino. If my reading is correct, you are guilty of using a term that is imprecise at best and offensive at worst.

I can see two possible justifications for your use of Anglo . Anglo could either refer to ethnic ancestry or to a mother tongue. In the first case, Anglo would apply only to people with English ancestry and would be a misnomer when applied (as in Times stories) to German-, Irish- and Hungarian-Americans and the many other European-Americans with no English ancestry. In the second case, Anglo would describe the majority of Asian-Americans and others of non-European ancestry, contrary to your use of the term.

I am offended by your use of Anglo . On one hand, it negates my non-English European ancestry, which includes one immigrant parent. I resent being called Anglo just because I, like the children of many other immigrants, speak English better than any other language. Furthermore, I have read in The Times that some Latinos consider Anglo a derogatory term.

K. A. SCHMIDT, Los Angeles

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