Speaking of Displaced Communities | Letters | Chicago Reader

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Speaking of Displaced Communities

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The first thing I noticed about Jesse Mumm's extensive letter to the Reader ["A Pinata Can't Speak for the Community," August 24] about the lack of coverage of the resident Latino community in Logan Square [The Logan Square Issue, August 10] was that his signature contains the title "anthropologist." I find it humorous that Mr. Mumm states indignation about the frustration of longtime Latino residents being displaced in the name of gentrification disguised as diversity. I always thought anthropologists that were worth their weight looked at the entire historical record. Had Mr. Mumm did that, he would have found that the Latinos actually displaced an established core of Scandinavian and eastern European families in the late 1960s and early 1970s. So the term longtime Latino residents somehow hits a sour note with me.

In addition, the Cuban influence in Logan Square in the early 70s was perhaps more significant than that of any other Latino group. Cubans represented a large cross section of hardworking people in blue- and white-collar jobs and many who owned their own businesses early in that transformation. There were even some notorious incidents. That there were halfway houses in Logan Square for Marielito boat people taken in by the benevolent President Ronald Reagan in the early 1980s is an established fact. Back in the 1950s, Polish Constitution Day was a huge event in Humboldt Park drawing thousands of Polish locals. Flash cut to the 1970s and it became a Cinco de Mayo celebration. That Logan Square has gone full circle in over just a handful of generations seems lost on the anthropologist named Jesse Mumm.

Mike Koskiewicz

Portage Park

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