Letter

Dear Friend:

Under separate cover we are sending you a copy of SLEEPY LAGOON MYSTERY. It is the story of the 17 Mexican-American boys who were convicted of murder and assault last year. Convicted not because they were guilty of murder - but because they are of Mexican descent.

As much responsible for their conviction as anything else, was the newspaper campaign of hatred and hysteria before and during their trial. You remember the headlines. You remember the mass arrests. Perhaps some one in your family was arrested.

This week, again, the Los Angeles Times has started a slander against the Mexican and Mexican-American people in this community. The articles (July 16 and July 18) pretend to be on juvenile delinquency, but they are vicious attempts to stir up feeling against Mexican-American youth.

Last year the campaign of hatred led to rioting on the streets of this city. We remember that only too well.

We must prevent such a thing from happening again. We who are interested in unity in this community - who know that we must have unity to back up our boys fighting on all the battlefronts - can and must take action:

Here are two things you can do:

  1. SLEEPY LAGOON MYSTERY explains how newspapers stir up hatred against a particular group. We have sent this sample copy to you in the hope that you will re-order for your friends. Send us the names and addresses of 7 people, enclose one dollar, and we will send each one a copy of the booklet with your compliments. If you prefer, we can send the 7 copies directly to you for distribution. If you can use more than 7 - that's even better. A return envelope is enclosed for your convenience.

  2. Write immediately to the Los Angeles Times. Tell Mr. Chandlor that you, as a citizen of this community, object to stories which malign American boys and girls of Mexican extraction. Call the Mayor's office - MIchigan 5211 - and ask him to demand that the Times stop printing stories of that kind in the interest of the community as a whole.

You have a chance to take action now - you have a chance to prevent a dangerous situation. Don't waste that chance. Take action. If there is further information you wish - call MUtual 4964.

Sincerely yours,

Alice Greenfield,
Executive Secretary