Today the city is abuzz about the upcoming Latino cultural center that city council discussed yesterday ad-nauseam. Parading before the cameras were many “El Paso Hispanic leaders,” as the local paper labelled them, imploring city council to make the Mexican-American Cultural Center a reality. After all, it was promised to the community by the politicos.
Make no mistake, El Paso deserves and needs an Hispanic cultural center. This should have happened many years ago. Unfortunately, the reason it has not happened is precisely the reason that the Mexican-American Cultural Center is likely to become yet another disappointment for the El Paso taxpayers.
Let us ignore for a moment the political rhetoric that oozed out yesterday from all of the politicos pandering to the cameras. I know there was so much that it will be difficult to ignore but I noticed something even more important yesterday.
Jaime Esparza led a distinguished group of Hispanics to demand city council do the right thing for the promised cultural center. It was a group of educators, politicians and other community leaders representing El Paso’s predominant Latino culture.
Yet, did you notice who was missing?
Let’s just focus on the elected officials who represent the 84 percent of Latinos in El Paso. Except for the city council representatives that had to be there, only Jaime Esparza was there.
Ask yourself, where was Veronica Escobar, self-proclaimed Hispanic leader. Where was her cohort, Susie Byrd who tells anyone that will take her seriously, how she believes the Mexican-American culture oozes in her blood? Or, how about Robert O’Rourke, who goes by the nickname “Beto” to pander to the Latino voters. More importantly, where was Jose Rodriguez who hasn’t met a Chicano cause he hasn’t scurried to for votes.
What do these four politicians have in common that ties all of them together? Hmmm, would it have anything to do with the public policy agenda that is destroying the identity of El Paso through gentrification and the exclusion of certain economic classes in the utopia that is being implemented in El Paso? You know, the public agenda being led by Woody Hunt and cohorts who do not want a toilet at San Jacinto Plaza to distract from the carefully crafted magical land they are building for themselves – actually more like keeping Mexicans out?
Do you really believe that none of the politicians I named above did not have the time to be present, send a representative or write a letter in support of the Hispanic cultural center? Or, is it more likely that they already know the outcome and therefore are letting you all think you have a say in the future of the cultural center that is supposed to represent El Paso.