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If Latinos want to see what's in America's melting pot, they can turn up the heat

Ruben Navarrette Jr. on

SAN DIEGO -- The reaction to recent columns has been colorful. Reading about how tough it is to be brown has white folks seeing red.

A reader offered this advice: "I strongly think you have to get beyond this 'ethnicity factor' that you're eaten up with."

What eats at me is ignorance, prejudice, dishonesty and blindness.

Do some people really not see that President Trump's opportunistic rants about how there is an "invasion" of "bad hombres" who are coming to rob, rape and ruin have put a target on the backs on the nearly 60 million Latinos in this country?

Six weeks after a massacre in El Paso, Texas, that killed 22 people and injured 24 more, the alleged assailant was this week indicted by a grand jury for capital murder. Patrick Crusius drove 10 hours from North Texas to El Paso so that he could -- as police said the 21-year-old told them -- "kill as many Mexicans as possible" and fend off what he called in his manifesto the "Hispanic invasion of Texas."

The ghastly events of Aug. 3 will forever haunt that border town. "El chuco" could teach the rest of the country a thing or two about bringing together people of different races and cultures.

 

The reader who was eager to play psychologist and diagnose my mental ailments got lit up by a column bashing Stephen Miller. The White House adviser wants to kick undocumented children out of public schools in defiance of a 1982 Supreme Court decision that prohibits that sort of thing. Trump's anti-foreigner hatchet man is also cracking on legal immigration by trying to scrap the refugee re-settlement program and end so-called birthright citizenship, which is guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.

So much for respecting the rule of law and defending the Constitution.

Move over, Montezuma. This is Miller's revenge. I don't know what happened to him when he was growing up in the mostly white city of Santa Monica, California, which lies west of heavily Latino Los Angeles. But something obviously did. And now he seems to be itching to get even.

I say these things and poke at the powerful because that's my job. But then, in the minds of some of my white readers, I'm the one who's hung up on race or plagued by an "ethnicity factor."

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