None of the below

The Times did it again.

Their Monday, March 16, 2015 on-line edition contained this survey:


As we wrote in Bait and switch, incompetence, or fraud? the ballot called for the voters to fund a “Heritage” cultural center.  The Times is again trying to spin an issue.


I’m not against the idea of a museum that helps us remember our local history.  However I don’t understand how we can segregate our culture into a particular building.

Isn’t culture about our common beliefs and practices, our traditions, our facilities, our lifestyles?  Why do we need a building dedicated to our “culture” when we live it every day?

We deserve better


11 Responses to None of the below

  1. archaic578 says:

    El Paso has a city-owned and operated history and archaeology museum as well as a fabulously successful art museum. Funds for the archaeology (ancient cultures of El Paso region) museum have been cut every year since at least 2007. The history museum does indeed include Mexican American culture and history and the histories of the diverse cultures are each getting their own exhibit in the changing galleries over time. My question is not do we need a Mexican American or a Hispano Cultural Center (why not hispano? at least that’s a Spanish word and not an Anglicized nonsense word) but how is it going to be DIFFERENT from the existing museums? A cultural center is not a museum. They are two different kinds of places. That is something that the subcommittee needs to address before anyone can figure out how much the interior finishings and the operation and maintenance will cost.


    • Reality Checker says:

      Great point. I, too, have been trying to understand the need for both a cultural center as it has been described and a history museum. Why not just have one truly great local history museum? We need to properly maintain and support what we already have.


      • archaic578 says:

        News on NPR – Gunmen Storm Tunisian Museum, 21 dead – this is why culture is important – it is a symbol of who we were and who we were tells us who we are and who we want to be. El Paso’s cultural center should be taken seriously as should all the museums – El Paso has over twenty museums that hold our cultural patrimony and share it with the current generation. Targeting museums is striking at the heart of a culture and a people in attempt to erase the past. The past is never over, it should never be forgotten, it must be discussed, debated, deliberated, re-examined by each generation. It cannot be erased, that’s been tried before but the archaeologists have always been able to bring it back to us.


    • Helen Marshall says:

      What exactly IS a cultural center? An entertainment venue? An art gallery? Will this one have admission fees to help pay maintenance and staff, or be free – requiring the city to find funding for same?

      Finally found a source, the Center is allocated $5.9 million. The one in Austin cost $11 million. You do the math.


  2. Helen Marshall says:

    PS I see constant references to inadequate funding for the “cultural center,” as well as for the children’s museum and the entertainment arena, but cannot find specific figures, does anyone know what they are?


  3. Helen Marshall says:

    The Times has put this on the front page several times, and its reports just hype the need for a Mexican-American cultural center, regardless of what the ballot said. Not sure why. I am not from EP and don’t have a dog in this fight, but I know enough of the city’s history to know that it is much more than a Mexican-American story. The city’s ethnic makeup runs from African-American through Chinese, Lebanese, Tiguas, Korean, Jewish, and yes, “Anglos.” A much richer story and one not told anywhere in the city’s institutions.


    • Reality Checker says:

      Culture is defined as the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time. So we have to decide whether this cultural center is going to be about El Paso and our local society as a whole or if it will be devoted solely to one group at the exclusion of others.

      Our local culture is a melting pot. Ours is a border culture. If this new project becomes a Hispanic, Latino, or Mexican-American Cultural Center, the focus of the museum will be no doubt be exclusive to that group.

      If we see ourselves as a multicultural city, one which values all of its people, perhaps it should be the Rio Grande Border Cultural Center, one which celebrates the melting pot aspects of our collective, shared culture and place.

      Perhaps the greatest value of this project is that this debate is bringing to light the blatant ethnic divisiveness that permeates our local culture. A cultural center that focuses on one group at the exclusion of others will simply perpetuate that mindset and the one-dimensional cultural image of our community. That’s nothing to celebrate.


    • Jerry K says:

      No one gives a shit about that. This is about the oppressed majority 🙂


  4. Jerry Kurtyka says:

    Apparently we need to more actively “celebrate” the culture that surrounds us so we appreciate it more. Me, I’d appreciate lower taxes more.


  5. As you can see from the limited choices, and as I recall, from some earlier reports about this thing (whatever the hell they intend it to be), this sure looks like an attempt to push the Mexican/Latino culture to the fore. And, frankly, I do not understand the need for it, since culture is indeed who and what we are. If they want another community center, or gathering place, why don’t they just say so?


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