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Why are Hispanic interests under attack?

Workers with Rio Arriba County removed the sculpture of Juan de Onate from the Onate Center in Acalde Monday June 14 2020. Crowds of people for and against the removal lined Highway 68 in front of the center. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

With regard to Elizabeth Buchen’s “Onate indefensible, deserves no statue,” letter to editor, it is felt by many that these situations have gotten out of hand in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, due to the awkward, limited riot control measures taken and overall mishandling of these situations on the part of both Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber.

Statues, monuments and other such recognitions are not just off-handedly selected and placed on a moment’s notice and with no prior authorization and planning by those charged with such responsibilities. Thus, for some reckless, not duly elected or appointed, individuals to just arrive at any given locale and begin the process of creating unlawful and criminal havoc, and instilling fear, divisiveness and mistrust among the citizens of two communities, this harkens back “Wild West” times.

Many of these protesters were “outsiders” called in by the likes of Red Nation and Three Sisters and their reckless, lawless followers, to instill fear and create havoc in our two beautiful, historic and wonderful cities.

And both mayors seemingly buckled under some degree of desperation, allowing a “mob-rule” scenario to take over, in what could have led to truly violent situations, with insufficient law enforcement to handle it.

With regard to behind the scenes planning on the part of these groups, they have continually and selectively targeted Hispanic statues, monuments and historic activities, and with some prior knowledge, and/or seemingly a tacit degree of understandings from those charged with the responsibility of providing protections.

Thus, in targeting Hispanic-oriented objects and activities, these Native American groups have quite hypocritically not chosen to attack, knock down/destroy, smear red paint or jump atop other obviously targetable objects dedicated to Anglos and/or African Americans – cases in point: the various statues, monuments or naming of New Mexico geographic areas dedicated to historic figures, such as:

• Kit Carson, who led his troops in fierce attacks against Navajos then force- marched them out of their homelands to a poorly chosen Bosque Redondo reservation. Many Navajo and Apache prisoners died en route, or later of malnutrition and diseases.

• The Black “Buffalo Soldiers.” U.S. Army units were formed and trained to fight/kill Native Indians in the early American Southwest, including in New Mexico.

• The “Mormon Battalion,” whose volunteer soldiers were sent to fight/kill Mexicans. A monument honoring the Mormon Battalion was dedicated and placed in north-central New Mexico, and its plaque reads, in part: “History may be searched in vain for an equal march of infantry. Half of it has been through a wilderness, where nothing but savages – which has since been scratched off – and wild beasts are found.”

However, in the end, it is entirely foolhearted, criminal and reckless to attack any statue, monument, other object, or the naming of a geographic area (e.g. “Carson National Forest”).

And how would the Native Americans take to the same treatment from those who strongly object to the Po’Pay statue in the U.S Capitol’s Statuary Hall? Should it be jumped on and smeared with red paint? As Po’Pay did lead the Pueblo Indian Revolt against New Mexico’s early Spanish settlers, some of whom did oppress the Natives, the revolt resulted in the killings of 400 Spaniards, mostly women and children. Many were killed violently, including 21 Franciscan priests, whom for the most part ministered and taught the Natives various helpful trades.

So, let us see who the other figure representing New Mexico is at the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall. He is U.S. Sen. Dionisio “Dennis” Chavez, who was born to poor farming parents and had to drop out of school at an early age to work and help support his family, but who also later graduated from Georgetown University Law School in Washington, D.C., and served as a U.S. representative and U.S. senator, and championed causes of American Indians and Puerto Ricans, among other truly significant deeds and legislative accomplishments.

Thus, ya basta, enough damage has already been caused and it is now time for the Red Nation, the Three Sisters and their supporters and our mayors to look inside their own hearts for answers.

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