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We are not that far apart, if at all
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Jim Dorroh’s letter to the editor published on May 18 in the Manteca Bulletin refers to the incident that took place on Cinco de Mayo due to the wearing of the American flag by five students while Latino students were wearing the Mexican flag. Cinco de Mayo does not, according to my Mexican History textbook, refer to Mexico’s victory over France in 1862, as Mr. Dorroh stated, but to a victory by Mexican troops over French troops in one battle in the city of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The war continued and by May 16, the town of Puebla was starving and out of ammunition; the Mexicans surrendered and the city welcomed the French as their deliverers. (See pp. 256-7, A HISTORY OF MEXICO, third edition, written by Henry Bamford Parkes.)

I do not believe the battle of Cinco de Mayo is a national holiday in Mexico unless it has been recently so declared.  Be that as it may, if one group of people attending a school are ordered by school authorities to remove their flags, any other group or groups attending the same school or schools and wearing flags should also be so ordered and all should obey. Then this incident should have been used as an opportunity for discussion and learning as suggested by Mr. Dorroh in the last paragraph of his letter.

I am very discouraged seeing incidents such as this occur.  It is very ‘retro’ to me.  I grew up in an ethnically diverse community in the 1950s and for many years it seemed we may have gotten past all of this anger and suspicion - but no.  Here it is again.  How disappointing.  As I heard then and now, we must stop yelling and accusing - on both sides - and talk to each other.  Stop listening to ‘leaders’ who want only to divide.  Listen to our humanity, look at each other as humans with the same emotions and the same qualities both good and bad.  We are not so far apart, if at all.  Let’s not divide each other and ourselves into closed groups looking at the ‘other’ with suspicion.
Marie Evans
May 18, 2010