Dolores dice...Can't We All Just Get Along?

Dear Dolores:

There are so many Latinos from different parts of Latin America coming into this country, but I feel like we are all so separated from each other. I hear people spew hate against other people who are just like them. We might come from different countries and have different backgrounds, but here, we’re all treated the same. Why can’t we be one strong community who works together in fighting for respect and equality?

—Diana-Maria in Massachusetts

Dear Diana-Maria:

Wouldn’t that be lovely? Unfortunately, people everywhere have a special talent for finding a reason to hate other people—be it because they look different or speak differently or behave differently or practice a different religion. Whatever the case, it’s a worldwide tragedy that throughout the centuries, even to this day, has caused much blood to be shed. We don’t have to love or even like everybody—just respect them. And in the case of new immigrants, all we have to do is remember how we, or our parents or grandparents, were treated when we first came here. A friend of mine, who’s Irish American, has a sign hanging on the wall of her co-op in a fancy New York City building: “Irish Need Not Apply.” It’s one of the originals used by landlords a hundred years ago to discourage Irish immigrants from trying to rent apartments in their buildings. She keeps the sign, she says, because she doesn’t want to forget what her grandparents went through. Many of us have forgotten. And that’s another tragedy.

—Respect for diversity is a two-way street, D