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Letters to the editor

June 13, 2003 | Page 4

Defend affirmative action on our campuses

Dear Socialist Worker,

I was reading the article on school resegregation ("The resegregation of U.S. schools," May 16), and I could not agree more with you. In high school, I was taught that affirmative action is self-pity, and such laws should not exist because we are all equal. However, we all know that is propaganda. Latinos make 69 cents for every dollar that the white male makes in the U.S.

At SUNY in Binghamton, N.Y., Latinos comprise 6 percent, and Blacks 5 percent of the school's population. Our president, Lois DeFleur, waves us around as multiculturalism, but yet does not release a statement on the crisis of affirmative action.

The Educational Opportunity Program has been cut 50 percent, and the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program may not even exist in the coming years. Yes, they want to show us off, but they won't allow us to learn our own cultures.

We are far from equal. Only when we achieve equality will there be no need for affirmative action, but that is not the case now.

Bush does not want to admit that having a wealthy, powerful father is what got him into Yale. No, we are told, that is not affirmative action. But to give the right to a Latino, Asian or Black person to go to a good school is affirmative action.

I just wanted to commend you for voicing this matter, and to say that we as students are mobilizing and are not going to let fascist corporate America lock our people in prisons instead of admitting them in colleges.

Zhandarka Kurti, Binghamton, N.Y.

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The struggle continues in Brazil

Dear Socialist Worker,

I've been in Brazil for the last few weeks, and I want to add some of my experiences to SW's coverage of what's been going on here. Especially in the face of workers' struggle, the present "left-wing" government is maintaining the same practices as its predecessors.

As a striking worker at JP Filtros, a recently outsourced subsidiary of Parker Hannifin Corp., told me, "Lula was a striker, president of a union, but now he's not doing anything to help people like us." Many are starting to feel the same way--and doing something about it.

In the next few weeks, there will be protests against the government's attacks on retirement benefits and perhaps a national strike of federal government employees. Many of the participants, including some union leaders, see this as the starting point for a new organization, perhaps a new party, that can coordinate this movement and take it forward to victory.

Rafael Greenblatt, São Paulo, Brazil

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