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The Role of MEChA in Latino Community

September 11, 2003

Re "Mechistas? It's Mucho Ado About Nada," Commentary, Sept. 7: So Frank del Olmo believes that MEChA should not be demonized. Had the word "MEChA" been substituted with another, his column could have been written by somebody defending Group X's country club membership rules against allowing riffraff to join, "just to help" get more advantages for Group X.

I was a University of California student in the '60s, and I lived next door to MEChA organizers and attended MEChA meetings. I found more racism and separatism in MEChA than I ever did as an American teenager living as a foreign student in a Muslim country in the Middle East.

Although I can understand Del Olmo's interest in defending MEChA, he needs to appreciate that his defense of it as a practical promoter of education is akin to defending the KKK for its ability to offer its members healthful night exercise.

Janet Kaiser

Marina del Rey

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Thank you, Mr. Del Olmo. I am a graduate of Cal State Northridge and I too was involved with MEChA. I am grateful to MEChA and the faculty who supported it.

I owe my educational and professional success to MEChA and the Chicano studies department at CSUN.

Francina Vivier

El Segundo

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