National Latino Museum Plan Faces Fight

Kate Taylor, New York Times, April 20, 2011

Seven years after opening its National Museum of the American Indian, and four years before the scheduled unveiling of its museum of African-American history, the Smithsonian Institution is being urged to create another ethnic museum on the National Mall, this one to recognize the history and contributions of Latino Americans.

A federal commission has spent two years asking Latinos what they would want in such a museum, and next month the commission will report its findings to Congress, which would have to approve a new museum.

Though the creation of such an institution has support from members of Congress, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and celebrities like Eva Longoria, building it faces significant obstacles, including budget pressures and a feeling among some in Washington that the Smithsonian should stop spinning off new specialty museums and concentrate on improving the ones it already has.

{snip}

In Washington, where politics infects all matters, there is wide acknowledgment that the 50 million Latinos who live in this country have become an increasingly important constituency. But even supporters of the museum acknowledge it faces a battle. “The atmosphere is not friendly at all,” said Estuardo V. Rodriguez Jr., a lobbyist with the Raben Group who has worked pro bono on the museum proposal, citing the economic pressures and what he described as anti-immigrant sentiment.

{snip}

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  • Kingoldby

    “The atmosphere is not friendly at all,” A straw in the wind?

    Even with huge political backing, the sheer force of public opinion is turning against the population replacement crowd strongly enough to start making their lives uncomfortable.

  • Mr.White

    “The atmosphere is not friendly at all,” said Estuardo V. Rodriguez Jr., a lobbyist with the Raben Group who has worked pro bono on the museum proposal, citing the economic pressures and what he described as anti-immigrant sentiment.”

    ————————————————————–

    Anyone who enters this country in violation of our immigration laws, not to mention sovereignty, is not an “immigrant” but a criminal that deserves nothing but deportation!

  • Seneca the Younger

    “…this one to recognize the history and contributions of Latino Americans.”

    Just the officials pandering to the changing faces of America to keep their gated houses and high up connections. They do not look out for the people anymore.

    If it does open, here is a thought: Have it full of info on gangs, gang rape, ethnic cleansing, and alienating the culture of their host country they flee to.

    That way if Arabs want a museum too, they can add it on to the Latino one, since they have most of the same customs. Two birds with one stone. Don’t forget beheadings!

  • sbuffalonative

    I hope they have a Hall of Condiments featuring salsa. After all, we’ve been told it sells better than ketchup. It deserves a place of honor.

    One day, we’ll all have our own museums. At which point, whites will be forced to integrate their museums because only whites value museums.

  • Tim in Indiana

    The idea of having a black Smithsonian, a Hispanic Smithsonian, an Arab Smithsonian, etc. is such transparent pandering it’s laughable.

    Such patronizing museums can only call up embarrassing questions in the minds of thinking Americans: if there are all these “ethnic” Smithsonians then where is the all-white Smithsonian? If the original Smithsonian is the “white” Smithsonian then let’s call it that. If a “white” Smithsonian is verboten, then why is that?

    Then there is the issue of our supposedly living in a “color-blind” society. How can this be when we’re so explicitly race and color conscious that we need separate Smithsonians for the different races?

    Then there’s the issue of comparing the size and grandeur of the various “Smithsonians.” Are they all equal, and if not, why not? Perhaps the contents of the various Smithsonians will have to be shuffled among themselves from time to time to avoid any embarrassing conclusions about the relative importance of the various ethnic groups!

    Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!

  • Jay

    The problem is, the overwhelming bulk of the latinos in this country are post-1965. I mean probably 95% or more of today’s latinos are recent immigrants. Why should they get a museum?

    The 5% that existed previously, especially the 10-20 thousand mexicans who came along with the Mexican Cession, assimilated long ago. Newcomers don’t deserve a museum.

    A museum implies a long and rich history in a place. Latinos are mostly newly arrived and we don’t need to pay to celebrate their home cultures. That’s what the museums in their countries are for.

    I mean, what could you possibly do for a latino museum? A Cesar Chavez Hall? Do you really need a Smithsonian wing for salsa music, marimba, aztec murals and displays bout lettuce pickers or chicano activists?

    Then, what kind of latino would you celebrate? If you focus on mexico, the ecuadorians would say what about us? Then the Dominicans, the Puerto Ricans, etc.

  • dutch henry brown

    i wonder, will you have to flash gang signs to get in ? and will there be a wall for us to practice our spray painting graffiti skills? how about a room for us to test the decible level of our cars “fart pipes”? HAHAHA

  • Lucas

    Wow, I can hardly wait for the Italian-American, German-American, Irish-American, Hungarian-American, Chinese-American, Japanese-American, Dutch-American, Franco-American, Danish-American, Swedish-American, Polish-American, and Scottish-American, museums to open. After we do that then we need to fund the Woman’s Museum, the Muslim Museum and ultimately the Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, Transvestite, Trans-gender Museum.

    Luckily I don’t have to worry about which one to donate to because my government will see to it that my tax dollars are spent wisely and besides, we can always borrow more from China for these absolutely critical causes while we are in the process of three wars and a financial meltdown.

    Remember diversity is our strength. Kumbyah!

  • Madison Grant

    Blacks and Hispanics never go to museums and yet have the nerve to demand that white taxpayers build museums honoring their buffoonish communities.

  • voter

    Who goes to museums anyway? Whites do!

    Who supports museums? Whites do!

    Do you see blacks and hispanics hanging around museums?

    Never.

    Not unless it’s a museum about basketball.

  • Nick

    A museum to honor the “contributions” of Latino Americans?

    Wouldn’t a phone booth be enough room?

  • Mr.White

    Maybe they would like to “recognize” the Alamo and how it took thirteen days for a Mexican Army of over 6000 to defeat just 183 American patriots. Those Americans who were not killed during the thirteen days of battle were bayoneted to death after surrendering. I’m sure most Mexicans are aware of this battle and reminisce with great pride and satisfaction over this “accomplishment.”

    But any celebrations by the Mexicans would be short lived as 600 Texans attacked Santa Anna’s army at San Jacinto, defeating them in 20 minutes! Santa Anna was captured and the victorious Texans then struck a deal with Santa Anna: he and the remains of his army would be free to return to Mexico if he repudiated the Mexican claim to Texas. Santa Anna agreed and his captured army was set free, returning promptly to Mexico.

    As is the case with Mexicans and their inability to honor agreements entered into, this deal was later repudiated by Santa Anna’s successors; who refused to acknowledge the inclusion of Texas as part of the United States. This resulted in further escalation of the Mexican-American war

    Of course we had the last say in the matter (as we always will with this third-world banana republic) when Zachary Taylor and 30,000 American soldiers marched all the way into Mexico City, sending the cowardly Santa Anna retreating into Mexico, begging for mercy.

    So here were are some 150 years later and not only are we allowing Mexico to violate our sovereignty, but lowing them to do it with impunity. If this were not enough, we also now feel compelled to build museums in an effort to honor their so called “history and contributions.”

    I guess it’s true what they say about those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

  • Anonymous

    3 — Seneca the Younger wrote at 6:59 PM on April 21:

    “…this one to recognize the history and contributions of Latino Americans.”

    Just the officials pandering to the changing faces of America to keep their gated houses and high up connections. They do not look out for the people anymore.

    If it does open, here is a thought: Have it full of info on gangs, gang rape, ethnic cleansing, and alienating the culture of their host country they flee to.

    That way if Arabs want a museum too, they can add it on to the Latino one, since they have most of the same customs. Two birds with one stone. Don’t forget beheadings!

    —————————————————————-

    Right On!

    Very funny…except it’s not funny at all, just the ugly truth.

    Looking back on my life and the lives of everybody I know, I cannot think of one single positive contribution of Hispanics (from anywhere) to this nation.

    Sure, INDIVIDUALS, like Dean Martin, etc.

    But as a group?

    Basically, a horrible plague of violence, poverty, corruption, overpopulation. “Nuff said.

  • Anonymous

    “…this one to recognize the history and contributions of Latino Americans.”

    As another poster has stated, the vast majority of Latinos are very recent immigrants and played no role in our nation’s history. As for the small number of Mexicans who have been here since the 19th century, even they didn’t contribute a lot.

    This seems more like trying to make Hispanics feel like they actually belong here.

    I wonder what style the Invader Museum will be in; after all, they based the African American museum off a “hut”, so what? Will the Latino Museum be a towering Aztec Pyramid dedicated to the victory of the browns over Americans?