I found it necessary to respond to the article “Fiesta Historians downplay Acoma Massacre” after reading the letter to the editor by Marcus Chino.
I know Roberto Valdez, who indeed is a brilliant historian, and he does not deserve this type of negative publicity.
He was one of many who dedicated their time and talent to the fiesta and Espanola Valley to preserve our culture. He chose to center his comments on the fact that we as humans, looking past ethnic lines, can overcome and move forward in the face of such disaster. Instead of focusing on the rhetoric of killing, it is not to forget that it happened, but celebrate that we can live together side by side today in friendship, as most of us do.
All ethnicities have faced some type of injustice at the hands of humans, some more than others, but it is important to live beyond what has happened and do our best to move forward. Battles and killing have happened throughout history.
Why is the focus on one incident instead of what we have accomplished as two peoples living side by side for so long? It is 2019. There no longer has to be strife between Native American and Spanish people. It now becomes a choice.
I am deeply disappointed that the comments by Mr. Valdez were taken out of context and published on the front page as some sort of shaming. There is no shame in celebrating our ancestors or the barriers we are trying to overcome. Articles such as this place a deeper wedge between New Mexicans.
There was so much more that could have made the front page, such as celebrating community cohesiveness and preserving our Spanish heritage. Perhaps that could be the focus next time.