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Martin on Racism

November 01, 1998

Hugo Martin's " 'Secret' Identity Comes as a Shock to Closet Racists" (Oct. 24) really hit home.

Although my name gives me away, I most definitely pass for being white. This "luxury" affords the opportunity to hear and witness events highlighted in the article, and often they are much worse. The incredible thing is that these bigots assume that just because I am of a lighter complexion I am one of them. I have even pronounced my name at introduction with a Spanish accent and still heard remarks that belong in the antebellum South. Our "secret identity" gives us access to this grim world that oftentimes our brethren will never see.

No, I never get hassled by police, nor do I ever get confused with the gardener, but I do get to see the ugly, subtle racist two-face that my brethren have to counter every day.

CARLOS FERNANDEZ, Venice

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