Walmart has a choice to make. It needs to decide what to do with the store where 22 individuals were killed because they happen to be Hispanic/Mexicans. There were 13 U.S. citizens, eight Mexican citizens and one German among the dead. They were killed at one of El Paso’s Walmarts. It is likely one of the highest grossing Walmarts in the country.

When a killer targeted a gay night club in Orlando – Pulse – the night club was turned into a memorial. The community came together at the Pulse to heal. Although the El Paso Walmart is much bigger than the Pulse there are similarities in that the location must become a reminder of what happens when hate is allowed to roam free.

In the case of the El Paso Walmart there are some issues that make its future difficult. That particular Walmart is mostly land-locked in a location that makes it ideal for its target market – Mexican citizens and El Paso Latinos shopping for Walmart goods.

These are the same people that the killer targeted because of their skin color.

Money will play a significant part in the decision. Closing the Walmart will affect the tax base, inconvenience shoppers and hurt Walmart’s bottom line. In the case of Pulse where 27 more individuals were killed because they were different than in El Paso, the Orlando community decided quickly that the site should become a memorial. Government entities and private businesses and individuals offered millions in support for the project.

But like all political manifestations it has become embroiled in political intrigue. The owner of the Pulse, Barbara Poma, declined to sell the building to the city and, instead is now a board member of the nonprofit organizing the memorial. However, the non-profit is being criticized for allegedly profiting from the massacre. An audit is underway.

Unlike Orlando, El Paso does not have the tax base to fund the millions it would take to build a memorial at the Walmart. But El Paso has an ongoing controversy about building a Mexican Cultural Center that was approved by El Paso voters.

Could the proposed Mexican Cultural Center approved by El Paso taxpayers be located at the Walmart?

That is a question that should be considered because those targeted were Mexicans, both Mexican-Americans and Mexican citizens.

But Walmart must also decide what it wants to do. It owns the building.

Walmart sells guns at its stores so there is a gun control nexus to the issue. Walmart is popular both in El Paso and in México. Walmart must also consider whether it is appropriate to reopen the store after so many were killed for the color of their skin.

Those and many other questions need to be addressed in the coming months as El Paso begins to look to deal with the grief.

Unfortunately, politics and money will likely raise its ugliness to turn the tragedy into self-serving agendas and pocket lining schemes.

Walmart seriously needs to consider donating and funding a memorial for those killed for the color of their skin. El Paso city government should step forward and offer to allocate the Hispanic Cultural Center monies and support for a memorial that not only memorializes those that gave their lives but also showcases the cultural identity that was targeted by a hateful killer.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

2 replies on “What Will Walmart Do?”

  1. A really big Chicos? You forget that the cultural center is a downtown project intended to enhance the values of downtown properties and their investor owners. Your idea includes none of these. For that matter having a Mexican Cultural Center in El Paso is like having a Chinese Cultural Center in Beijing. How about a gringo Cultural Center in Des Moines?

    I am so f****** sick of you and others politicizing this terrible tragedy and trying to make hay from it. The only solution to the ethnic hatred inflamed by Democrat identity politics is e pluribus unum.

  2. “Look, dahlin’, Mr. Ringo is an educated man.”

    “Lupus non timet canem lantrantem.”

    Don’t recall this “out of many peoples, one American people” when the registered racist demonizes/incites violence against those whom he deems inferior.

    We call out white supremacy and we hear “meritocracy”, “identity politics”, “tribal” and more to disparage/divide us. Racists don’t like it when forced to look in the mirror. “Out of many, one” bs only works for white people of a certain class.

    Well we are sick too, sick and tired of being targeted, of being told by white people we don’t belong, of the exploitation of immigrants, of being told to assimilate, that the people of original tribes are separated and children caged. But most of all we are sick and tired, furious that our brothers/sisters are gunned down by cowardly white men who fear diversity.

    So the coward who put the target on the brown people of las Américas flew in like some Caesar to rejoice over the bloodbath by one of his foot soldiers and pose for propaganda photos. The next day with a vengeance he sicced his rabid dogs to terrorize hard working, real Americans.

    Wolves are not afraid of barking dogs. Unfortunately the self-serving politicos and the ‘fourth estate’ don’t miss the opportunity for fame and fortune.

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