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From the LA Times:

High school students in Compton were upset in February when they heard that a group of UC San Diego students had mocked their hometown by holding a “Compton Cookout” party and inviting guests to come as “ghetto chicks” and gangsters.

“We weren’t going to let them have the power to use our name. We weren’t going to let it slide,” recalled Compton High School senior Ernesto Villasenor, who will attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York in the fall.

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Villasenor and other Compton High students sent an impassioned letter expressing their anger about the incident to UC San Diego, where it was read aloud by a Compton graduate at a campus protest. “This causes us to question how the attitudes of racism and mockery are perpetuated and condoned by a public university,” the students wrote.

The letter launched a dialogue between very different worlds: the prestigious beachside university where blacks and Latinos make up about 15% of the student body, and the urban high school where last year 74% of students were Latino and 25% were black, and more than two-thirds were eligible for subsidized lunches.

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