It is a funny thing that the more things change the more they stay the same. Today city council is going to embark on the city’s latest fiasco by appointing a city board to oversee the development of a Latino/Hispanic/Mexican-American/And God Knows What Other Name It’s Going To Get Cultural Center. The conversation is an old-tired one that will result in the outcome that we all know but some people still cling to the notion that they have a say in the future of their city. To be clear, the cultural center is going to be another fiasco for the city. That the majority of the voters in El Paso are of Mexican descent does not matter because it is not the voters that drive the public agenda but rather the people with the money.
The cultural center debate has already degenerated into chaos dividing the community into multiple factions each with their own agenda and yet not one of those groups will get what they want because the outcome has already been preordained. The evidence is conclusive yet there are some in the community that still believe the city is inclusive of its Mexican identity.
Since some individuals still believe the cultural center will be what it should be I wanted to point out the evidence showing that it will be everything but reflective of what El Paso is.
Let us start at the beginning when El Paso political leaders stopped pretending that Mexicans were part of El Paso and embarked on the current public policy agenda to erase Mexicans from El Paso.
Remember when Ray Caballero and cohorts, Veronica Escobar and Susie Byrd, tried to erase Segundo Barrio from the El Paso landscape? They attempted to create TIF districts in Segundo Barrio in order to gentrificate the Mexicans out of it and reinvent it into some nostalgic yuppie feel-good center of what used to be. They were temporarily stopped but the gentrification didn’t end there, in fact, it became more important to them.
The public agenda drivers actually paid someone connected to them that needed some of your money to stay in business to create the now infamous Glass Beach Study in 2006. As you likely remember, the Glass Beach project determined that Mexicans were “lazy, uneducated, old,” and, oh yea, “Spanish speaking.” As if, all of that is horrible for the city. [Don’t bother rotten peppers, I already know what your comment will be.] The advertising agency that told you that Mexicans have no place in El Paso, much less its history is the advertising agency Sanders Wingo, you know the one connected to the PDNG group, the politicians that are driving the public agenda and the primary public relations managers for the ilk made up of Foster, Hunt and Sanders.
The truth is that the Glass Beach project clearly told everyone what the future for El Paso holds, yet many individuals still refuse to accept that it is the blueprint to tomorrow’s El Paso. It is a future that does not include Mexicans. I’ll just point you to page twelve of the presentation, you know the one titled “New West” as in the “new” look for El Paso.
First, notice that they even went so far as to drop the city’s name “El Paso” and replaced it with “New West.” It can’t get any more anglicanized than that. Clearly, they are already telling you that El Paso won’t be El Paso anymore but some urban-hip cool named city portraying the “westerness” of Texas. And this new city will be inhabited by Penelope Cruz and Mathew McConaughey, incidentally the Texan the uber-gentrificators of El Paso want in the city. McConaughey represents the Texas part of the city while Cruz represents the European blood that El Paso should be in the eyes if the agenda drivers. Mexicans need not apply.
Remember that the study, paid for by your money, described the hard-working people of El Paso, you know the ones that pay the taxes, as “gritty, dirty, lazy, uneducated and speak Spanish.”
The same people intimately involved with the Glass Beach mess are the same people currently in office that were too busy to chime in at city council last week about the cultural center some still believe will be about Mexicans. The reason Susie Byrd, Veronica Escobar, Jose Rodriguez and Beto O’Rourke were not there is because they know there will be no Mexican-American Cultural Institute (MACI).
That is what the horde does not want in the new renaissance of El Paso, too much attention on the Mexican culture of the city.
Yea, yea, some of you are going to complain that I’m dwelling in the past and that the Glass Beach study does not represent the future of El Paso. Oh really? Did you notice how the Lincoln Center was almost demolished under the radar and how it still sits in limbo. The city today is discussing a cultural center for El Paso and the Lincoln Center is still sitting there with many plans in “discussion” but no real resolution in the horizon?
When the horde wanted the ballpark, they imploded a whole building and no impediment to completing it was too much to handle. Yet, the Lincoln Center still sits in limbo and the enablers of the horde, like Emma Acosta, create layers and more layers of bureaucracy to wear you down until one day you wake up and realize the money for the Hispanic cultural center has been repurposed for something more important for the horde.
Need I remind you of how the city is issuing new change orders, even today, for things the horde clearly wants at San Jacinto Plaza but somehow it can’t figure out a way to put a bathroom in for you? The only thing missing from San Jacinto is a designated section for Mexicans to keep them separate from the rest of El Paso. Oh, my bad, there is not a need because they don’t want Mexicans in the city so there’s no need to create a separate section for us.
As if those examples are not bad enough remember that there is not enough money to build the cultural center in the budget. As a matter of fact, there is not enough money to deliver everything that was promised in the Quality of Life Bonds. City council is already grappling with the shortage by discussing more debt, moving money from one pot to another and cancelling certain features in order to meet the demands of the others. You really think the agenda drivers are going to allocate money for your cultural center. Sure, a swimming pool, oops two swimming pools are important to find money for but there will definitely not be enough for your cultural center because no one wants to bring too much attention to the Mexicans of the city.
With everything I have shared with you here, what makes you think that your cultural center will be reflective of El Paso? Remember, you do not even merit a toilet at San Jacinto!
Here is something else to keep in mind as you see this fiasco play out today at city council. The chairperson of the Bond Advisory Oversight Committee, Bernie Sargent, has for many years promoted the anglonized cowboy-western version of El Paso. His whole Six Guns and Shady Ladies production, at best ignores the Mexicans and at worst demeans the Mexicans. Remember above when I pointed out how the Glass Beach study wanted to rename El Paso as something connected to the “old-west?”
I believe the dots are clearly connected for you now. Sargent is the face of how the public agenda drivers are trying to hide the Mexican culture of El Paso by naming the cultural center an “all-inclusive” and generic Cultural Center hiding the Mexican part of its focus. That is why today’s action by city council is only part of the erasure of Mexicans from the El Paso landscape.
Clearly and very simply, there is no place for Mexicans, under the utopia being created in El Paso today and as such, you are witnessing the ongoing manipulation to keep the center from ever truly representing the culture of El Paso.