Special to the El Paso News – There seems to be some confusion about my archive of El Paso news and information that I have maintained for over the last two decades. No, none of it has disappeared and all of it is still available online. Let me explain.
But first a short history.
I started the El Paso Politics project in early 2000. Although my original intent was not to get into El Paso politics, I nonetheless have consistently written about the El Paso political scene since then. In 2000, I brought onboard prolific political commentator Jaime O. Perez and El Paso Politics evolved into the El Paso Metro and later into the El Paso Tribune which then evolved into the El Paso News.
Although I was constantly threatened and sued several times for exposing corruption in El Paso, I kept on writing. In the business community I was blackballed because I dared to expose the ugly truths about El Paso. Ask Sito Negron, formally of the Newspaper Tree and now working for Jose Rodriguez about my blackballing.
For several years I weathered the constant pressure to back off writing about the corruption in El Paso. But in 2005, I finally succumbed to economic pressure and I shut down the El Paso Tribune. I was told in no uncertain terms that I either shut it down or I keep writing but my business would have to end.
I chose my business over politics.
In 2007, El Pasoans witnessed the FBI’s Operation Poisoned Pawns and El Paso corruption was exposed for the world to see. At first I felt vindicated but I soon realized that exposing corrupt politicos was, indeed a cleansing of El Paso, but not the traditional removal of corruption, but, rather, a surgical strike to remove one political faction to make room for another.
Many El Pasosans thought that the corruptors were removed from office. But they were conned.
The corruption trials of El Paso were the removal of the old-political guard to make room for the new generation of El Paso politicos, many of which, were just as corrupt as the ones that went to jail. Convicting certain El Paso politicos for corruption was culling of the herd. Nothing more.
Noting this reality and the continued lack of journalistic integrity in El Paso, I attempted to launch El Paso News as an alternative news source. As I am not wealthy and understanding that advertising places inherent limits on honest reporting, I tried to recruit writers from the community to write about El Paso issues.
Without paychecks I was unsuccessful and the business model to fund alternative news platforms remains elusive to me. Eventually, I was the only one writing on El Paso News, so I chose to convert it into my personal blog. I put my archives on it and continued writing about El Paso political issues. I continued posting blogs about El Paso and border issues.
In 2014, my blog on El Paso News was hacked by Russian hackers. I was forced to move my blog to another platform. Because of the extensive damage to El Paso News I was forced to launch EPN.xyz.
I moved all my archive to EPN and continued to blog, but I became more focused on national issues related to the border.
I also permanently left the borderland in 2011.
But the issue of corruption in El Paso kept nagging me. Several long-time readers kept asking me to continue to write about El Paso, but I kept resisting. Why?
Two reasons, it is not easy to constantly face threats because expressing an opinion or exposing harsh truths makes some individuals uncomfortable. The constant threats carry a price with them and I didn’t feel like the price was worth it. Especially because it was the same story with the same people, except that a few names changed along the way. That is the second reason, nothing has changed. For example, Duranguito replaced the controversy of the TIF Districts although both issues are about erasing the Mexican identity out of El Paso. Many of the other El Paso controversies remain the same, i.e. the tax burden and the social problems in the community, among others.
The Missing Latino Voice
For decades I have noticed how the narrative about Hispanics and Mexicans is told by a minority. Please do not confuse minority with racism as it is not about racism, but rather about a worldview that expresses Latino’s through the prism of one viewpoint that is not necessarily the viewpoint of Latinos.
El Paso poignantly expresses this reality. El Paso is 80%+ Hispanic yet the Latinos are severely underrepresented everywhere. Look at who leads the local news media outlets and who the leaders of industry are, and it clearly shows that Latinos have no voice in El Paso.
Again, it is not about the color of the skin but rather the cultural viewpoint. As an example, Beto O’Rourke is not Hispanic but he represents the El Paso mindset perfectly. There was some controversy over his nickname, “Beto” but the reality is that Beto quintessentially expresses what a fronterizo he is, which represents El Paso perfectly.
O’Rourke’s skin color is not the issue, it is his world view that is limited by his life’s experiences. Make no mistake, Beto’s voice on the El Paso narrative is just as important to the dialog as any other El Pasoan. But his voice does not represent the majority of the Latinos in El Paso.
The Glass Beach Study poignantly makes this clear.
Remember the Glass Beach Study? It was a City of El Paso project, paid for by tax dollars, that devalued Mexicans and laid out a plan to make El Paso Anglo-centric. The plan was to rebrand El Paso, to make it less Latino and Whiter to turn it into a vibrant city, or so, that was the plan.
My opinion article about Bowie High School demonstrated to me the inherent problem with the lack of equal representation in El Paso between Hispanics and Anglos. Again, it is not about skin color, but rather about a world view.
Latinos are not monolithic. There are Latinos that wholeheartedly support and vote for Donald Trump while others, like me, abhor what he represents. Just because Trump attacks Mexicans does not mean that all Latinos take offense to the attacks.
But the Bowie article points out that the pride of the southside has a legacy that many did not realize it had. Many did not realize it because what they saw was information selectively allowed through the minority worldview that controls information flow in El Paso and many other places.
My Bowie article was not meant to denigrate the school. In the contrary, it was to force people to think about what they thought was the truth. Bowie has a very important place in El Paso and it serves a very important function for the demarginalized community. To suggest that a name change is in order does not take its importance away from it.
To empower the 80% of the community that is missing from the dialog it is important to understand what is missing from the overall understanding of the city. Bowie can remain Bowie, with or without a name change.
But the power of knowing the legacy of the name empowers those who seek to express themselves about their community. By understanding why few thought about the legacy of Bowie’s name while celebrating the school’s achievements poignantly points out how El Paso’s worldview is limited by the community’s minority that imposes its worldview upon the majority.
That some readers are angry with me for suggesting that the name should be discussed proves my point that dissenting in El Paso is taboo. Why is that?
What’s The Plan?
Covid-19 has changed all our futures. Long-range plans are no longer true under the new normal. Like all of you, the pandemic has disrupted my plans. The social reckoning happening across the country and the unsettled belief within me that another worldview needs to be the new normal has led me to this point.
I have diversified my revenue streams to the point where not one source of revenue can dictate what I write about. I can no longer be silenced economically.
The El Paso News Archives
All my posts from 2000 onward remain online for those who wish to read them. The El Paso Tribune remains in an archive format online at this link. My archive from the original El Paso News is available and searchable on EPN at this link.
El Paso News Has Been Rebooted
Miguel Juarez has taken on the task of turning El Paso News into an alternative new media news and information platform focused on El Paso and its diverse culture and identity. Miguel Juarez is the editor of the El Paso News. Miguel is building the platform to give voice to those who are disenfranchised from the dialog. Juarez brings extensive educational and information dissemination experience to the table. I am excited to see what Juarez is creating with El Paso News. Juarez has some exciting plans for the El Paso News and I can’t wait for all of you to see what he has planned.
Miguel has the final say on what content is published on El Paso News.
If you would like to write or create content in any media and are looking for a place to express yourself then I encourage you to contact Miguel and ask to be a contributor for El Paso News. I know he will welcome all of you with open arms. Write to Miguel at: miguel [@] elpasonews.org
EPN and El Paso Politics
On my blog, EPN.xyz I plan to continue to opine on broader issues about border politics and immigration issues. But the pull to return to El Paso politics has led me to relaunch the original site, El Paso Politics. This came about because of the changes brought on by Covid-19, my economic independence and because Max Grossman has stopped publicly commenting and sharing information on the political front.
Readers may have also noticed that many of the political blogs have paused or ended their runs.
The need to expose public corruption remains.
Therefore, I have relaunched the El Paso Politics to offer a place to continue to expose the political shenanigans that makes El Paso the capitol of public debt and high taxes. Although I will create as much content as I can, I want, I need and encourage contributors that want to write about the politics of the city. I welcome all viewpoints, even if you believe that Donald Trump is the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Norma Chavez and David Nevarez have agreed to be regular contributors to the El Paso Politics. Norma Chavez brings her extensive political expertise to the dialog. David Nevarez has been advocating for veterans’ issues and chimes in about politics regularly. Eddie Holguin has also agreed to be a co-editor of the El Paso Politics, along with me. He will also provide commentary and insight into the city’s first city manager, the behind-the-scenes politics at the city that brought forth the ballpark, installed the Juan de Oñate statue aka The Equestrian and brought forth high taxes and the proposed sports arena.
Look for my “connect-the-dots” pieces and commentary on the politics of El Paso, as well as in-depth news reporting as to what the politics of El Paso are.
The disenfranchised voices, those of the majority of the community, remain silent. Miguel Juarez is offering one part of the solution to that problem through the El Paso News. El Paso Politics and my blog is another solution.
How about you? Are you ready to jump in and add to the narrative?
More needs to be done. In the coming months, there will be further announcements as to how some of us – as in plural – will attempt to help the majority reach their voices in the landscape of El Paso. Stay tuned.