Letter to the Editor: "A Dream of a Nightmare 2"
Santa Monica College Corsair Staff, We, the members of Santa Monica College MECHA (Movimiento Estudiantial Chicano/a de Aztlan), and concerned students are outraged by the insensitive and inaccurate editorial titled "A Dream or a Nightmare" and the racist, hostile and thoughtless cartoon that accompanied the article. Our campus Latino student organization, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, represents a diverse sample of Latino students on this ethnically diverse campus.
In the spirit of Global Citizenship, the Corsair newspaper should strive to bring our very diverse campus together, by highlighting the richness of cultures represented by the various ethnic groups and their contributions to the progress of this city, state and country.
Your newspaper is in a unique situation to educate SMC students and assist them to understand the comprehensive social, educational and political struggles that underrespresented students of color have to undertake in a multicultural society that is still fundamentally divided and racist.
We, as members of MECHA, would like to correct three erroneous statements that were made by the reporter. First, the Supreme Court of California, ruled in favor of AB 540 students in their recent decision "Martinez vs. Regents of the University of California". It was not the California State Supreme Court as was reported. Secondly, in response to the question as to why "Joe from Massachusetts is stuck paying $50,000 to attend UCLA…", All out of state students need to establish residency, in The state of California they must live for one year and then "Joe from Massachusetts" will qualify for in state tuition of $10,781 at UCLA." Jose from Guatemala" If he can prove that he attended three years of high school in California and graduated, is eligible for in state tuition as granted by California (Assembly Bill540 ) signed by Governor Davis in 2001.
And lastly, the most attention-grabbing question "How was Jose allowed to even attend an American high school without any proof of citizenship", undocumented students were given the right to attend public school by a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1982, "Plyler vs. Doe". This decision gave the children of farm workers in Tyler Texas, the ability to attend public school. The Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision-ruled that the children of undocumented farm workers are "humans" and are entitled to a free education, so that they do not become second class citizens in this country. We as College students and future leaders have the duty of being responsible citizens of this country and this includes being informed of and knowledgeable of state and federal laws. The fact that the reporter is not aware of the U.S. Supreme Court decision (Plyler vs. Doe) of 28 years ago – means that she is not practicing responsible journalism and perhaps should have had someone review her article before she sent it to press.