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Cinco de Mayo

May 11, 1997

Miguel Escobar, the press attache for the consulate general of Mexico in Los Angeles, exhibited some pique in his commentary piece May 5 on the observance of Cinco de Mayo by Angelenos. He is not satisfied that people in Southern California have a good grip on the "proper" respect to be shown on this holiday, which symbolizes "the will to repel foreign intervention."

He cynically notes that American politicos may be misapplying the high principles evidenced by the 1862 conquest of the dastardly French by Mexican forces, in order to seduce their Latino constituents.

Escobar has a tough road ahead of him, endorsing celebrations of "patriotic reverence." Perhaps he could confer with our senators and congressmen, who have long since given up trying to imbue American holidays such as Memorial Day and Veterans Day with that same sense of reverence. They surrendered when they moved the official observances to Mondays, so Americans could have the treasured long weekends.

But when you think of it, is a celebration of ethnic identity, complete with Mexican foods, dress, dance and family parties a bad way to endorse one's culture?

LISALEE ANNE WELLS

Long Beach

* Escobar is to be commended for setting the record straight regarding what should be celebrated on Cinco de Mayo. For too long this special occasion has been mired in gross commercialism.

J. ANTHONY CRUZ

Los Angeles

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