For far too long, I've railed about history in Orange County, not only the lack of it, but then the warping of the tale once it gets told. And no case is more emblematic of this problem than our most famous civil rights case, Mendez, et al v. Westminster, et al. Anyone who knows about the case can tell you the story of the Mendez clan inside and outside; sharper observers can tell you about Lorenzo Ramirez, the plaintiff from the El Modeno (now Orange) school district.
And then...nothing. What do people know about the Estradas of Westminster? The Guzmans of Santa Ana? The Palominos of Garden Grove? Why must it fall upon this rag to write the first obituary on Arthur Palomino, one of the children in the Mendez, et al. case, who passed away last week--and no one in the media gave a damn, including us?
Palomino was a kid attending a Mexican-only school in Garden Grove, when his father Frank decided to sue the Garden Grove School District alongside Thomas Estrada, Ramirez, Gonzalo Mendez, and William Guzman. And...that's all I can tell you about Palomino--pathetic. I once had a chance to interview Arthur, do a story on him, even, but the idea was rejected--too much on the Mendez, et al families, went the excuse. Should've done it anyway.
Rest in piece, Arthur: a nation is grateful for your contributions to make this country a better place for all. May we remember you better in death than we did while you were alive...
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