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L.A. mayor addresses perceived tensions between blacks and Latinos

October 7, 2008 | 11:08 am

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Monday said Latinos and African Americans must "face up to" existing racial strains over jobs, language differences and violent crime by addressing the underlying causes of those tensions, primarily poverty and the lack of opportunity, reports Phil Willon.

At the same time, Villaraigosa dismissed those who believe that such tensions define the relationship between blacks and Latinos "as if it's endemic to our DNA to have conflict."

Villaraigosa waded into the volatile issue of race at the National Black Latino Summit, a conference of community leaders and organizers who came to Los Angeles to tighten bonds between the nation's two largest minority groups and counter the "hyperventilating" over perceptions of a racial divide.

Read more about Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa speaking at the National Black Latino Summit yesterday here.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City

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