I want to cover some thing that bothered me here today. The article in today’s EP Times talking about “El Paso Day” in Austin - http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_5180879.
Once again we travel to Austin and come off as a border sideshow cliché. Instead of relating our reality, we act like bunch of characters from a movie about Tijuana. Read the article and you’ll see that our “representatives” of El Paso made us out to be margarita swilling, sombrero wearing idiots to the leadership in Austin. When they jerk our medical school funding I’m sure it will be because they think we’ll continue to get by on tequila and taco sales just fine. After all, we present ourselves that way to them.
I’ve never seen one person in the entire time I’ve lived in El Paso wear a sombrero unless it was a joke. I also rarely see anyone having a margarita – Bud Light is much more common. Representing ourselves in the way these people did only reinforces the stereotype applied to El Paso by the rest of Texas. We might as well have showed “The Three Amigos” to the legislators and saved some money.
We are NOT a bunch of poor drunk Mexicans looking for a handout. We are a booming, thriving economy of hard workers with family values, sophisticated culture and progressive values. We are also large enough to decide any state wide election. We are home to one of the largest military bases in the world as well as all of the people that staff that base. We are an international business center with the best potential to appreciate Latin Americas’ enterprise efforts in the US.
Constantly playing into a stereotype does not benefit us. Going down there and putting on a show gets us nowhere.
Having people in this community stand up and talk about the real issues without the clichéd rhetoric is what will get us what we need. We do not need to threaten nor kiss ass to get what we want. We need to vote. Not just straight ticket either. We need to show that we are more than a bunch of zombies married to one particular party. We have to stop doing the same things that haven’t worked for years. We need change in our leadership from top to bottom.
Just remember that people laugh at us when we do these things in Austin. Championing this in our paper as some kind of good thing is idiocy greater than our actions in Austin. Let’s be real for once. Let’s not be the court jester because we are intimidated anymore.