The questions I have for those fighting for the removal of the Juan de Onate statue are, what does this change and what really is your message?
The problem with all of this is that it doesn’t matter how many statues are kept up or torn down because it will not change our past. The only thing these actions and debates accomplish is to further tensions between New Mexicans.
The exact same thing occurred when the Po’Pay’ statue was chosen to be erected in Washington. People complained that he wasn’t the appropriate image to represent New Mexico. There is no winner in this argument.
What occurred in the past was human beings at their worst. I would like to think that we could have learned something after hundreds of years, but it seems as though we haven’t. I am ashamed at the behavior, ignorance and insensitivity shown by New Mexicans when it comes to this debate.
Tearing down a statue or stopping an entrada and the fiestas will not change the horrible things that occurred. And pointing fingers at who “deserved” to be murdered is ignorance.
You can’t stop hate with hate and you can’t change hate with hate. All this debate has done is cause more resentment. What’s worse, is most people probably can’t tell you our history with specifics.
What we should be doing is teaching our children how wonderful our culture is today with its many languages, ceremonies, art and rituals.
The percentage of New Mexicans that are mixed with Spanish and Indigenous backgrounds far surpasses the number of people who are “pure” anything. We are failing our children when we attempt to change things with hate. And that’s all this debate is.
Those who are putting logs in this current debate fire, take a look into your family history and don’t pick which background you want to represent or which you might wish you didn’t have because whether we like it or not, we are multi-cultural.
As for the person interviewed who said Nortenos that claim to be “Spanish” say that just to claim white privilege is just more ignorance being thrown on the fire. There has to be a better way of dealing with things than to throw tantrums about statues. This will only lead to someone else complaining about wanting something else taken down. It will never end.