Letters to the Editor

La Raza a civil rights, not hate, group

Michelle Malkin's column "See La Raza for what it is: A hate group" (July 11, Page B-7) is a nativist distortion of fact. The term "La Raza," short for "La Raza Cósmica," was coined by philosopher José Vasconcelos in 1925. This term rejected the widely held idea of white racial purity in favor of an inclusive racial blend made up of all people, or a "cosmic race." It is used as a term for people as a whole, such as is the case in the National Council of La Raza.

In 2006, a Republican representative cited by Malkin, Charlie Norwood, called La Raza a "radical ... pro-illegal immigration lobbying organization that supports racist groups." La Raza refuted his claim in a press statement and demanded an apology -- which he delivered.

Malkin's article also attacks La Raza for being opposed to Proposition 227, which effectively outlawed public bilingual education -- but that is no sin. I am a product of bilingual education and, as a result, am fluent in English and Spanish.

La Raza is not the subversive hate group suggested in the column, but a civil rights organization. I could take apart the article point by point, but given space constraints I encourage everyone to do their own research.

JARET ORNELAS

Turlock

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