Juan de Oñate was convicted of committing atrocities against fellow human beings and kicked out of New Mexico. Why do we need a monument to a criminal who has been dead over 400 years?
Some supporters of Oñate cling to the myth that we are “Spanish Americans” or “pure Spanish,” whatever that means. I guess that we became pure Spanish at the same time that tamales, atole and tortillas miraculously became Spanish foods.
No, we are not Spanish Americans. We are Mejicanos/Indios/Españoles. That is why we are blessed with such a uniquely rich and beautiful culture/heritage in this beautiful tierra de adentre.
U.S. Senator Dennis Chavez was a very able and decent man who fought for the civil rights of Hispanic and native people. He was one of the first senators to have a statue erected of him in the Congressional Hall. He denounced the racist demagogue Joe McCarthy in the 1950s.
People like him should represent us, not a criminal.