Originally Published in the Los Angeles Times
Letters to the Editor - October 6, 2020
To the editor: I am a dark-skinned Mestizo Mexican who has lived in Los Angeles for 33 years. My husband is white, and his 88-year-old mother lives with us.
I know first-hand the racism and discrimination faced by Torrance resident Abel Mata, who was caring for his white grandson when a neighbor called 911 and said he had kidnapped a child.
Any time I take my mother-in-law to a doctor or to the hospital, the staff assumes I am the hired caregiver. Rarely am I asked, “How are you related to her?”
So to those who say there is no racism in America, please take a journey with my mother-in-law and me.
Carlos Medina, Los Angeles
To the editor: I had two reactions to your article on Mata and his grandson.
First, the front-page, above-the-fold headline seems far more sensational than the inside headline, “Concerned citizen or racial profiler?”
Second, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, when children are abducted, it’s most commonly a family member (often a non-custodial parent) who is the kidnapper. There were 2,359 such kidnappings in 2017.
Thankfully, his incident was resolved quickly and correctly without confrontation or rancor. Better to call and better to investigate and get it right, than to have a kidnapped child gone for good.
This was a mistake, and motivations can be debated; but if ethnicity or skin color help identify a real kidnapper, is it prudent to leave that out when calling it in?
Mitch Paradise, Los Angeles
To the editor: A white woman hands a white child to a Latino man in front of a house. Another woman calls 911 about the kidnapping of a white child by a Latino male. The police go to the Latino male’s home.
How is it that this woman, who was carrying a sheathed samurai sword on the sidewalk yelling that this Latino man is a child kidnapper, is found to have done nothing wrong by the Torrance police?
Yet the police make an explicit warning to the Latino grandfather of the white child not to talk with this woman. If he does he can be arrested for harassment.
The woman is white. Racial profiling wasn’t done only by this woman. The Torrance police are guilty also.
Cathy Gregory, Lompoc