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Voice: Most Mexican-Americans won't assimilate into "gabacho" culture

June 02, 2002

I drove by Wilson Junior High School on Imperial Avenue as students were walking home. At least 90 percent were Hispanics and they were walking west. The year that I graduated (1960) from Wilson Junior High, we were no more than maybe 30 percent; of which the majority walked east.

Back then there was no affirmative action, MAPA, bilingual education, MECHA, Cesar Chavez Day or mariachi festival. Yet the majority of Mexicans refused to assimilate into the dominant gabacho culture. So those that entertain the illusion that we will now forget our language and traditions are most mistaken.

My personal opinion poll is that 60 percent of La Raza will not patronize the gringos. However, they will not actively oppose them, either. Thirty percent want so badly to be like "Americans" and to be accepted by them. Ten percent will not only not collaborate with whites, but will go on record as the opposition that will influence and organize the 60 percent.

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DANIEL SANTILLAN

Calexico

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