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Voice: Elias ill-informed about Mexican-American culture

November 17, 2001

I really agree with what Mr. Javier Lopez had to say in his letter to the editor of Nov. 13 regarding Mr. Thomas Elias' opinion in this local newspaper.

Mr. Elias is apparently poorly informed regarding learning a new language and less knowledgeable about Mexican-American culture and politics because he has done it again in his most recent article, "Redistricting reveals a ceiling for Latino clout." Clout for immigrants does not develop overnight; however, Latinos know what they are doing.

It used to be that Latinos voted only for Latinos. My father used to tell me, "If he has a Spanish name, vote for him." The political situation is changing. Mexican-Americans have become more selective and they will take action when the time is right under the direction of their political leaders.

As far as education is concerned, I would like to see a dual-language program. Create a two-way bilingual schools, in which English proficiency and native English-speakers are placed in the same class to aid one another in acquiring fluency in a second language.

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But first we have to stop segregation of Latinos. Latinos are the most segregated than any ethnic group. America must integrate a dual-language approach curriculum based on a strong foundation to facilitate the development of the whole child.

I don't like a system that strips a child naked of all the culture he brings from home and disrupts his potential of learning two languages and becoming a selective person who can derive the best from two beautiful cultures.

Viva la causa.

ELSA DOWNS

El Centro

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