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Ramos on Polanco

March 06, 1994

* I was shocked by George Ramos' criticism of Assemblyman Richard Polanco (D-Los Angeles) on what appear to be nakedly racist grounds (Feb. 28).

Ramos condemns Polanco for supporting his aide, Bill Mabie, for an Assembly seat held by a Chicano. Polanco says he talked to several qualified Latinos about the race, and all turned him down. Polanco then said that in his opinion Mabie was the best candidate for the job, and that the voters would eventually decide.

Ramos' response to what sounds like an elementary lesson in how the democratic process should work? "I don't buy Polanco's arguments. . . . What about helping your own kind. . . .?"

Apparently to Ramos "your own kind" is defined by the narrow bounds of race. Political philosophy and qualifications to serve should be subordinated to ethnicity. Based on that kind of thinking, someone like Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles), who represents a district where the vast majority of registered voters are not Latino, would not be elected, and Los Angeles will proceed down the path to becoming a mini-Bosnia, where ethnic background defines everything.

DALE N. FLANAGAN

Los Angeles

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