Some common sense from Mr. Perez

County commissioner Vince Perez recently criticized state senator Jose Rodriguez’s remark in Texas Monthly according to  this Times article .

Evidently the senator said people want El Paso to be like “Gringolandia”–a homogenized American city.

Mr. Perez told the Times:

“His racially-divisive rhetoric further undermines civility in our political discourse and fuels a dangerous ‘us versus them’ mentality, that has hindered the legislative process in Austin and in Washington.”

Absolutely right

We could not agree with Mr. Perez more.  The senator is an embarrassment.  If he doesn’t like our culture maybe he should consider moving.

We deserve better


33 Responses to Some common sense from Mr. Perez

  1. Helen Marshall says:

    El Paso Speak has written elsewhere about the “arena” and the complicity of city council in this huge mess. Mr. Perez is married to one of the council reps who is deeply involved in the effort to build a sports arena downtown, and his attack on the senator surely is not disconnected from the senator’s criticism of those who show no interest in or respect for the history of El Paso. We can argue about the term “Gringolandia” all we like but that’s not really what this fight is about.


    • abandon hope says:

      I disagree. I think it is about the term. Until everyone, that is e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e quits using terms that pit one ethic group against another, Martin Luther King’s work is for nothing. I like Sen Rodriguez and am happy he supports keeping Duranguito. I really wish he had used the word “gentrification.” That is the correct term for what he was describing.


      • Helen Marshall says:

        Yes, gentrification would be a useful term as well…but the effect of the destruction of Duranguito will be erasing a large part of the history of El Paso in favor of a bland contemporary entertainment facility. It would be good if the city and its political backers would just back off and rethink the whole project.


      • call it what it is says:

        Here is what the senator said. “To capture what El Paso really is, you need to accept the Mexicanness, the Mexican-American, and indigenous roots of El Paso. There’s too many people who say, ‘I want us to move away from that. I want us to be like Gringolandia, like all the other homogenized American cities.'”

        Gentrification is not what the senator was describing. His entire statement was about ethnicity. Gringolandia and gentrification are not interchangeable in his statement, which also expressed his concern that El Paso would become “homogenized.”

        Look homogenized up in your dictionary. He is concerned about El Paso becoming united and blended. Homogenization eliminates separateness (segregation). The senator is well educated. He is an attorney. He knows the importance of word choices. He knew exactly what he was saying.

        What is most dishonest was that he tried to legitimize his own biases and prejudices by falsely attributing statements and words to others.


        • Jud Burgess says:

          you are stretching…This is about gentrification and the removal of Latino culture and residents from generational Latino neighborhoods and that is racist at it’s core.

          You can wail all you want about Rodriguez being a racist but that’s only because you aren’t thinking critically. He is no racist.

          He is using the word homogenized to describe this “Gringo” aesthetic that is the same in cities all over America. Starbucks, craft beer, faux ethnic stores, upscales restaurants, etc.

          He is advocating that El Paso stay true to our ethnic roots and geography. True to our originality. Our mayor, most of city council, downtown investors, special interests all want the boring gentrification that makes us like every other city that wants to feel like its arrived because we are co “cool” that Matt McConaghey and Penelope Cruz want to hang around DWNTWN.

          Meanwhile let’s tax the hell out of El Pasoans once again and kick out the “Mexican” element that doesn’t fit their expectations.

          Find something that deserves real outrage…this phony BS you and Vince Perez are griping about is lightweight.

          You should be yelling about the Glass Beach Study. Now there is some industrial-strength ethnic cleansing racism you can sink your teeth into.


          • abandon hope says:

            Well, sorry, Jud, I just don’t accept that gentrification is “gringo.” What the hell is “gringo,” except a term that separates one group from another. Someone may be Caucasian and live in a neighborhood like Duranguito. I don’t like the identity politics being played out here. And, really, there is no “gringo” aesthetic.


          • Stop With the Drama says:

            Well, well. There you go again, Jud. Ethnic cleansing? Really!? Give me break! Stop the intellectually dishonest drama. You’re the one that’s “not thinking critically.” The classic definition of ethnic cleansing is the expulsion, imprisonment, or killing of an ethnic minority by a dominant majority in order to achieve ethnic homogeneity. Don’t dare compare a dispute over the building of an arena or some economic development consultant’s proposal to the murder and mayhem in Syria, Myanmar, Kosovo, Bosnia, Cambodia, WWII Germany, and other God-forsaken places.


  2. Well, I tend to agree with Ms. Marshall, and I hate that word (gentrification) even more than his poor choice of “Gringolandia.” I agree with his statements, and I only wish he had found a better word.


  3. Old Fart says:

    This comment may upset some of you; but possibly in time Vince Perez might consider running for state senator.


  4. Jud Burgess says:

    I absolutely and unequivocally disagree.

    Perez is El Paso’s typical hyper-opportunistic pol who always points himself in the direction of whichever way the political winds are blowing.

    And you can bet this latest effort is meant to collaterally benefit his wife on Council. Why do you think she didn’t weigh in and sign the letter? This El Chuco House of Cards power couple don’t want to give the impression they are a political tag team.

    It couldn’t be more obvious despite her not signing the latest letter coming from Mayor Margo and 3/4 of council attempting to vilify Senator Rodriguez for using a metaphorical word that perfectly describes just what is going on in Barrio Duranguito.

    Brutus, you need to take a good hard look at the Glass Beach Study that was used by the PDNG group and ask yourself why all these city leaders aren’t coming down hard on that document that personifies racism at its worst.


    • call it what it is says:

      I’m always amused when people are unwilling to admit that bigotry and racism exists among all ethnic groups. You undermine your entire argument by trying to defend Rodriguez’s statement.

      “Gringolandia” is a “metaphorical” word? That’s absurd. You apparently choose to forget the origin and intent of the word “gringo.”

      Any wrongs of Perez or PDNG are not a license for Rodriguez to be a divisive bigot. Making divisive statements is not the way to bring people together. You need to ask yourself why you are unwilling to hold people like Rodriguez accountable for divisive, race-baiting statements. That’s called a double standard.


  5. Hector says:

    You must be a real polyanna Brutus


  6. Hector says:

    If you get so worked up about the use of the term gringo in El Paso, you must be a real polyanna, Brutus. Remember the guy who owned La Hacienda Restaurant and called himself “the old gringo in the cowboy hat”? Perez has no credibility.


  7. Senator Bulworth says:

    All we need is a voluntary, free spirited, open-ended program of procreative racial deconstruction/ Everybody just gotta keep fuckin’ everybody til they’re all the same color !


  8. Anonymous says:

    “GRINGO-Land”?? How long have YOU had this RACIST attitude, Rodriguez? I would guess your entire LIFE/Political career. I don’t know Mr Perez, he’s not my Rep, but he got this exactly right. I have lived in El Paso more than 25 years and it’s been my observation that you ARE exactly how you talk. An arrogant, racist, Democrat politician. No better, probably worse than another arrogant Democrat, racist, Luis Gutierrez of Illinois. Wonder why only Mr Vince Perez spoke up. Does Veronica Escobar share his OPINION/ATTITUDE?? What words do YOU use for the huge population of Asians, Blacks in El Paso?? Bet you have some really nice “Names” for them. I would say that YOU owe all of US an apology. But YOU are just another low-life politician in El Paso, would LIE and wouldn’t mean it. Thanks Mr Perez for speaking up.


  9. Geoffrey Wright says:

    From the point of view of developing El Paso’s brand, Senator Rodriguez could not be more correct. What we have that no other city our size has is our international flavor. The finest of Mexican culture mixed with the best of American culture should be our goal.

    What other city could claim that?

    Or we could pretend to be like any other North American city like Tulsa or Albuquerque or Memphis. How fake would that be?


    • Anonymous says:

      No comparison at all between El Paso and Tulsa or Memphis. Within a few hours can go to many other places from those cities. St Louis, Nashville, Kansas City, Indianapolis, etc,etc. Too many hours, days, miles from El Paso to any where else. El Paso is nothing more than an Interstate going East, West to some where else. A gas stop, lunch stop, night in a motel . People from Sierra Blanca, Columbus, Van Horn come HERE to shop. There is a ball field down town that the politicians CONNED, SCAMMED the taxpayers into buying for a local BILLIONAIRE. What else is here? Bums on every corner, bums, dopers, drunks sleeping in doorways, side walks downtown. “Nikie, Oakli, Kalvin Kline” Stores? Blowing trash, poorly maintained city and streets. Why would ANY business, industry, people want to move here to North Juarez?


    • anonymous says:

      You obviously have never been to Miami or San Antonio or San Diego.


  10. Beto Moore says:

    Jesus Brutus. I think you’re losing your grip. You can’t swing a dead cat in this town without hitting a Mexican. The population of gringos is dropping rapidly but those of us that are left pretty much like the Mexican culture. I don’t mind being called a Gringo. I just don’t want to go back to Wisconsin. You don’t miss your water until your well goes dry.


  11. JerryK says:

    I posted a version of this on David’s blog, but it applies here, too.

    This gringo travels a lot and when I say I am from El Paso, most people don’t know even where it is and are surprised when I tell them it is on the TX/NM/MX border, adjacent to Cd Juarez. In response to what El Paso is like, I tell them it is the American face of Mexico, a Mexican city (culturally, economically, politically) on US soil.

    They get that.


  12. Not a fan says:

    Whether you agree with the area in Durangito or not, the Senator’s remarks were stupid. They served no positive purpose. As a gringo, I was offended. I have always been proud to live in El Paso where we can show the rest of the country how to successfully live together and appreciate one another. I do not appreciate being separated by my “gringoness.” And I don’t think the Senator would appreciate it if someone reversed that statement.


    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly right. It’s racist politicians like Rodriguez and Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, that gives EVERYBODY the impression that El Paso is nothing more than Northern Mexico, Juarez. I have never voted for Rodriguez and never will. Apparently his thoughts, racist attitude do get him votes here. I do agree that those folks should never be kicked out of their life-time homes so that the “Society of Corruption” can build something else for the TAXPAYERS to pay for. It’s just another “Offering” by these politicians to gain “Favor”, campaign “Donations” in their pockets from the local BILLIONAIRE. Just something else the Mayor, City Council have lied about and just like the ball field the same politico weasels forced, scammed on the TAXPAYERS.


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