Re "A mouthpiece says it all," Opinion, Oct. 25
Gustavo Arellano emphasizes that the use of a Mexican-flag-decorated mouthpiece by USC quarterback Mark Sanchez is a statement about ethnic heritage. Numerous hyphenated groups (such as African-Americans, Korean-Americans and Mexican-Americans) populate this country. The actual hyphenation itself is intended to recognize and honor the first part of the hyphen while, at the same time, affirming allegiance to the second part. One should not be confused with the other.
Alfreda P. Iglehart
Sanchez identifies himself as a Mexican even though he is a third-generation American. When does he decide to be an American? Isn't it this attitude that divides and diminishes a country? I assume he is grateful for the education and opportunities he has received as an American, so I wonder why he doesn't say he is one?
David W. Berke
I want to thank Arellano for his article on Sanchez, whose arrival as a starting quarterback is an exciting moment for USC and Los Angeles. Although some may wish that Sanchez ignore his cultural heritage and just play the game, the Latino alumni from USC are proud that his simple gesture so clearly stated, "It's my heritage."
Sanchez illustrates how sports can unite us around a football game, while the ugliness of the immigrant debate directed at Latinos only serves to divide our community. The Sanchez story is another reminder that, in this country, you are allowed to go as far as your ambition, hard work and skill carry you.
I am a third-generation American and a descendant of Polish ancestors. I am not Polish. I am an American. If I wanted to be Polish, I would go live in Poland. Sanchez has the right to be proud of his Mexican heritage, and he should be. But he is not Mexican; he is an American. That is an important message he should pass on to other youths he wants to influence.