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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Lack of Latinos at the O.C. Fair

August 10, 2003

Re "O.C.'s Latinos Are Missing Persons at the Fair," Aug. 3:

Not enough Mexicans at the public fair? One of the possible reasons for this might be the existence of an admission-fee requirement. But never fear, I'm sure that in due time, the fair will become adequately "Latino-ized," and then the surveys can focus on where "whitey" (Linda Martinez's word) went.

It boggles my mind that it isn't considered acceptable anymore to just have something as racially benign as a county fair without having concerns over why other diverse groups aren't attending.

Print brochures in other languages for those who can't read English. Have the people at the fair speak in other languages for those who can't speak English.

What is going on here? As if I didn't know.

J.R. Read

Anaheim

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I have so many problems with your article on Latinos being excluded from the Orange County Fair that I don't know where to begin.

Last I checked, the Orange County fair was located in Orange County, California, USA. County fairs are a fun and positive American tradition. Why must we reinvent our traditions to suit people who come to this country, refuse to learn our language or our customs, but expect us to bow to theirs?

The fair is fun and accessible to everyone. We were there last weekend and saw plenty of adults and kids of all colors and socioeconomic levels having fun.

So the San Diego fair attracts a greater Latino crowd; check the proximity to Mexico. The L.A. County fair probably does too. Good for them.

So Orange County doesn't. It's only $7 to get in, it lasts three weeks. Everybody gets the same chance at the midway. Nobody is excluding anybody.

And as for polling company Real Feedback's concept of "frugal fairgoer" days to attract the people who "better" reflect our population, I say this:

Not 20 miles away, "white-bread" Disneyland has no problem attracting hordes of Latino and ethnic families who manage to cough up $47 per person for admission. And I don't think it's the churros that are bringing them in.

Colleen Nelson

Santa Ana

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