I was amazed at the bias demonstrated by the Oct. 31 front-page article "National Pride Leaves D.C. United Fans Divided." Its portrayal of the Salvadoran community as an uneducated, low-class, nationalistic and emotional community is not only offensive but inaccurate.
This is not about national pride but about the insult the fans feel that D.C. United has chosen to ignore the demands of its customers, the Salvadoran soccer fans. After all, doesn't D.C. United know that Salvadorans are 60 percent of the Hispanic population in the Washington metro area?
It seems as though somewhere along the line, D.C. United and the U.S. Soccer Federation decided that soccer in the United States should be mostly for white middle-class suburbanites who see the sport as a pastime rather than a passion.
It is also a shame that your writer chose to pit two communities against each other. As soccer fans, we admire all good soccer players; Marco Etcheverry is one of them. This is not about Bolivians vs. Salvadorans; it is about D.C. United not wanting to respond to a community that is willing to spend its hard earned money on the one form of entertainment that brings pride and joy and provides role models for youth.
I also disagree with your depiction of the Salvadoran community as "poor, uneducated" and fanatic. You have chosen to publish the stereotype rather than the reality. Today a great number of Salvadorans are permanent residents and U.S. citizens. Despite the fact that our parents are immigrants, and many of us are immigrants too, we are attending college and earning advanced degrees.
We work, we pay taxes, we vote, and we spend our money on the businesses that support our causes and serve us well. We are not a marginal group; we are at the center of this community and as time passes the powers that be will learn that our demands can no longer be ignored.
--Patricia E. Campos
I was disturbed by the finger-pointing accusations toward El Salvadorans in the article "National Pride Leaves D.C. United Fans Divided."
I am American-Salvadoran and was offended by the comments made by Maria Cecilia Zea where she characterizes Salvadorans as working class "in cleaning jobs, or at hotels, or as busboys." I want to know what is wrong with making an honest living? It is true, many of us did come to the United States with a lack of preparation. Many of us were fleeing a dangerous situation. Rather than begging for money on street corners or collecting welfare, we have become part of the "working class." Zea's comments were degrading and failed to mention how young our community is and how much we have progressed in such a short period of time. Her comments foment alienation within the various Hispanic groups instead of helping to unite us.
Bernard Mergan's comment that "there is a need for heroes and a need to be recognized in some way in immigrant groups or racial or ethnic minority groups who are trying to legitimize themselves" captures the reason why the Salvadoran fans are upset with the loss of Diaz Arce from D.C. United.
Finally, the article implies that Salvadoran fans are dangerous, mentioning that a Salvadoran fan was stabbed during one of the games. No mention of the descent of the perpetrator. There have been similar incidents involving people of different ethnic backgrounds. What is the point?
--Omar A. Hamdan