A good rule of thumb is that if the Smithsonian wants money for identity politics, oppose it and oppose it hard.
The Smithsonian African-American Museum decided that the nuclear family and coming to work on time were racist. The Smithsonian Feminist Museum’s head is out over sexual harassment charges. Until the Smithsonian LGBTQ Museum shows up, the battle moves on to the Smithsonian Latino Museum.
A project to build a national museum of Latino history and culture is up in the air amid a dispute over the museum’s contents that has cast its funding prospects into the larger fight over the fiscal 2024 budget.
The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday approved an interior and environment funding bill that bans the federal government from spending any taxpayer money on the National Museum of the American Latino, part of the Smithsonian Institution, which was approved by Congress in 2020.
With zero funding for a project that’s been a core priority for many U.S. Latinos, the museum’s immediate future is now at the mercy of highly politicized budget negotiations in Congress.
Few if any Latinos outside D.C. have heard of a Smithsonian Museum or care about it if they do.
At Wednesday’s Appropriations hearing, Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.) introduced an amendment to restore funding to the museum that was defeated 27-33.
“The Latino community is not monolithic. We are very diverse and the fact that Republicans want to drive a stake into the heart of the Smithsonian Museum honoring the Latino culture in America is unacceptable,” wrote Espaillat on Twitter.
The Republicans driving a stake through it… are Latino. And they hate what the museum is proposing to do.
The museum’s initial exhibit is unrelentingly leftist and, frankly, insulting. It depicts Hispanics as America’s victims, as army deserters, drag queens, and traitors, even suggesting that there is honor in deserting a U.S. military post.
“Whoever put the exhibit together was trying to make us feel ashamed of being American,” Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA) said.
It pretends that Cubans came here for economic reasons, erasing their flight from communism (the cruel, more than 60-year-long Castro tyranny does not rate a mention). The Texas Revolution was fought, it maintains, to ensure that Texas would become a slave state.
Puerto Rico, according to this mendacious exhibit (again, a prelude to what the museum will become), was invaded by the United States in 1898, not saved from the colonial clutches of Spain. Bizarrely, the exhibit, as surely will the museum if ground is ever broken, places a stress on gender and trans issues that is at odds with the Hispanic experience.
But as Diaz-Balart made clear, it’s what the exhibit’s curators chose to highlight that matters. “They could have mentioned, for example, one of the 60 Latino Medal of Honor Recipients. But of course they didn’t do that. They could have talked about Puerto Rico’s 65th infantry regiment, who are recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal. Nope.
“Let me tell you what that exhibit puts as example No. 1 of Latinos in the armed forces,” Diaz-Balart continued. “Here it is, in exhibit most of you have not seen — a convicted deserter. Does anyone here think that represents a Latino in the armed forces?”
Typical of this presentation, the gallery starts with a focus on the U.S. bombing of the Spanish base on San Juan and then launches an attack on the former Republican-linked governor of Puerto Rico.
In 1948, the United States finally allowed Puerto Ricans to elect their first governor, Luis Muñoz Marín. In 1952, Muñoz Marín created a new status for Puerto Rico— the commonwealth, or awkwardly called in Spanish “an associated free state.” Puerto Ricans are active in the commonwealth’s democracy. In July of 2019, group texts showing misogynistic and homophobic comments from Governor Ricardo A. Rosselló were leaked. As a result, 500,000 Puerto Ricans protested to remove Rosselló from office. Due to these protests and popular pressure, Rosselló resigned on August 2, 2019.
This isn’t a history museum, it’s a multi-million dollar taxpayer-funded attack ad and smear campaign.
The overall Marxist theme is that America is evil and needs to be destroyed.
The first section of ¡Presente! is “Colonial Legacies.” The case explores three main themes: the brutality of European colonization and its dependence on slavery on the left side of the case, the resistance of different colonized peoples in the middle of the case, and the early colonization of today’s western United States on the right side of the case.
No one wants this, needs this or supports this, or should be paying for it.