AMERICAN DIARY: July 4 hurts, until I remember my WWII uncle
But remembering his Uncle Ciprian Contreras' heroics as a U.S. Marine at Iwo Jima in 1945, makes him look at America's Independence Day differently. Im angry that my elders had to go to segregated, dilapidated Mexican American schools and most died barely literate. Im angry my father still avoids the sun, so he doesnt get too dark like he was warned as a kid. Im angry I went to juvenile detention when I was 16 and was repeatedly asked by police what my gang affiliation was. Weve learned about Ralph Lazo, a Mexican American teenager who volunteered to go to a Japanese American Internment camp in solidarity with an injustice he saw.