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Black/Latino divide in the U.S.

December 01, 2007

Re "The blame game," Opinion, Nov. 25

Earl Ofari Hutchinson had some interesting observations on an important subject. His statement that blacks voted for Proposition 187 in 1994 was misleading. Undoubtedly some who voted for Proposition 187 did so with racial concerns, but the majority were concerned about the United States being overrun by people who have no regard for U.S. citizens or laws.

Unfortunately, the situation still exists. It is not a matter of color or race; it is a matter of legality.

Charlotte Van Fleet

San Marino

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Violence continues because people cannot see past skin color. Latinos blame African Americans for crimes that happen for no other reason than they're black, and vice versa. This violence and hate will not stop until people can learn to look past color.

Making a Los Angeles official step down or having a board meeting held in Spanish will not change hate. Only people can do that.

We all need to learn that we are the same despite color. We fought for racial equality, and every time a hate crime happens, we take a step back. When will we learn that it is not skin color that makes us who we are?

Sydney Cunningham

Coto de Caza

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Hutchinson's article on black/Latino conflict in L.A. was an insightful critique of the nuances of each communities' grievances with each other. While black activists such as Hutchinson have frequently gone to bat for Latino and African American victims of interracial violence, the silence of Latino leadership on the issue of Latino-on-black violence continues to bedevil calls for interracial coalition-building in South L.A.

Until the Latino community assumes responsibility for initiating dialogue with African Americans, black resentment over Latino encroachment will continue to fester.

Stephen Kelley

Los Angeles

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While I might sympathize with Hutchinson on which minority, black or brown, contributes the least to our society and which one takes the most, "lingering racial discrimination" rates as a weak excuse for underachievement and feels like a cheap shot at the white population that is most often victimized by the disproportionate criminality of the aforementioned groups.

Mark Aaron

Santa Monica

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Re "We aren't all in the same boat," Opinion, Nov. 25

I agree with Erin Aubry Kaplan. African American neighborhoods all across America are disproportionately affected by the crisis of illegal immigration. No other group of Americans is expected to "get with the program" as are American blacks.

Yes, Los Angeles may have a large Latino population, but it is still an American city in America.

African Americans have a long history in this country. As a people, they are a part of the American experience, not just another minority group to be lumped in with today's immigrant class. They are, first and foremost, Americans.

Jerome S. Woolfork

Los Angeles

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