Ramon Renteria: Prejudice recalled in West Texas

Full story: El Paso Times

Elizabeth Taylor's recent death brought back painful memories for some of us who grew up in far West Texas.
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81 - 100 of 115 Comments Last updated Nov 28, 2012

“Legalize Marijuana-Now!”

Since: Sep 08

El Paso

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#84
Mar 28, 2011
 

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ElPasoCitizen wrote:
If you don't know where you have been you don't where you are going. Prejudice existed in El Paso and still does. Lets flash back as early as the 1960's.
The Plaza theater is living proof. On the back northwest corner of the Plaza theater is a small commercial entrance, now bricked up. That entrance was for African Americans so that they could only sit in the balcony.
Douglass school was the only school African Americans could attend in El Paso. Bowie high school was the only high school for Mexican Americans.
The Union Train Depot still has remnants of a glass frosted window that says.... Colored Waiting Room.
Literacy tests at the voting polls had to be taken by African Americans. A poll tax of $1.75 was levied to keep African Americans & Mexican Americans from voting. Only after the primaries would the Democratic Party offer to pay the poll tax for minorities in order to stuff the ballot.
Restaurants had signs hanging in windows that said... No Dogs, No Mexicans no Negroes. When the restaurant would close the proprietor would flip the sign over and it said... We're Closed.
Racism has not completely left El Paso yet, just recently the city buses were rerouted from San Jacinto so that the powers that be could build their emerald city without the Mexican element.
Forgive and remember.
Your ignorance is worst than your narrow mindedness, when you figure out how the "powers that be" can get rid of the Mexican element in a town thats 90% Hispanic, do let me know! And another thing, catch up with the times and realize that those of us who are old enough know the history of racism. We are one, all of us have the same father knucklehead!
Pacman

United States

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#85
Mar 28, 2011
 

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bunch of crybabies, count your blessings is what you should be doing. i don't care how poor you are in the USA, your still way ahead compared to the rest of the world. My dad came across as a Bracero, and has work hard and long all his life, taught us the same ethic. Which is the only ethic that works if you want to succeed. NOBODY OWES YOU A DAMN THING. THATS LIFE DEAL WITH IT
Blind Greengoes

El Paso, TX

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#86
Mar 28, 2011
 
You can believe racism in El Paso never existed, just like the holocaust never existed.

Like one writer said.... forgive & remember.
james russell

United States

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#87
Mar 28, 2011
 
Maybe what we should have is a law like that in Europe that makes it illegal to deny the Holocaust ever happened. Make it a law that states you have to acknowledge racism and bigotry are illegal and that it happened over the last 400 years in the Americas and is still happening now.

Since: Sep 08

Houston, but living in El Paso

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#88
Mar 28, 2011
 
Keep up the good work Mr Renteria!

I for one enjoy your column.

Unfortunately, Racism is something many would like to forget, but that is not going to happen anytime soon. And all thanks to all those unfortunate souls that were scarred by all those awful events.

I also lived through it and saw it from the other side.

No matter how you look at it, it was terrible.

Sincerely,
Gary G
frijole

El Paso, TX

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#89
Mar 28, 2011
 
Araham Bejia wrote:
<quoted text>
It was all in the movie ESTUPEDO!
Awwwww callate tu pinche fundillo pinche juareno jotillo. ese by the way it's spelled estupido you piece of mierda.
frijole

El Paso, TX

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#90
Mar 28, 2011
 

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A Vietnam vet also wrote:
<quoted text>
Hey frijole, someone must have burnt you. Mainly your brain. The German people didn't talk about the Holocaust and other heinous crimes committed by Hitler and his henchmen doesn't mean it did not happen. Eres un pendejo.
Hey pendejo vet too bad you weren't killed off in the Nam if you were really there. But I'm wasting my time since your jotillo culo most likely fled back to mexihole to avoid going to the Nam..vete a la chingada pinche marika
SuperMex

Saint Louis, MO

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#91
Mar 28, 2011
 

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Ramon was just skimming the surface. El Paso certainly wasn't as bad as the rest of Texas. But, when my parents took us on vacations to San Antonio, Corpus Cristi, Dallas, etc. in the 60's and 70's it was common for hotels to have "No Vacancy" even when the sign wasn't turned on, and the parking lot was empty. There were restaurants where the waitress wouldn't come to our table. On the Texas beaches it was clearly understood where the Mexican sections were. The large department store clerks would follow us around until we'd finally leave the store.

These memories aren't discussed much these days (even by those of us that lived them), but hopefully not forgotten. Assimilation is important for career opportunities, but a lack of ethnic solidarity is dangerous. Spanish used to provide a bond, but even that's slipping away with the "I don't speak Spanish" crowd. Hopefully our cultural identification will be enough for the future.
babe52

Los Lunas, NM

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#92
Mar 28, 2011
 

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Unfortunately racism exists and always will. I just find it odd that Mexicans are constantly complaining about racism in the U.S. when it is worse in Mexico. Mexican nationals prize fair skinned individuals while disrimination gets worse the darker your skin is. In fact the level of discrimination is terrible and shameful when it comes to Indians and Black Mexicans. They are considered second class citizens.
I have traveled Mexico over the years and was either denied service or received poor service because I am dark. Notice how the novelas and Mexican programming always have the hero/heroine being fair or blond while the villan or buffon is of dark complexion. Pay attention to the racist remarks still heard on Mexican radio and music. And how many Mexicans are constantly distancing themselves claiming they are Spanish because they are not dark. Or notice how many parents have their hopes up that their children will be blond and blue eyed thinking they will be better. Racism is bad, but worse when it comes from your own kind.
Obama bin Biden

El Paso, TX

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#93
Mar 28, 2011
 
JInjk wrote:
<quoted text>
True, but the Republicans are the racists now, STUPID. Boy you must be a real loser always writing about the Anit-Mexican topics. Get a life, loser!
Jajajaja, oh really?
Then prove it lib.
Obama bin Biden

El Paso, TX

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#94
Mar 28, 2011
 
SuperMex wrote:
Ramon was just skimming the surface. El Paso certainly wasn't as bad as the rest of Texas. But, when my parents took us on vacations to San Antonio, Corpus Cristi, Dallas, etc. in the 60's and 70's it was common for hotels to have "No Vacancy" even when the sign wasn't turned on, and the parking lot was empty. There were restaurants where the waitress wouldn't come to our table. On the Texas beaches it was clearly understood where the Mexican sections were. The large department store clerks would follow us around until we'd finally leave the store.
These memories aren't discussed much these days (even by those of us that lived them), but hopefully not forgotten. Assimilation is important for career opportunities, but a lack of ethnic solidarity is dangerous. Spanish used to provide a bond, but even that's slipping away with the "I don't speak Spanish" crowd. Hopefully our cultural identification will be enough for the future.
I wonder when the EPT is going to talk about how the Irish were discriminated against in the beginning history of this great country?

Probably not going to happen.
And you know what?
I don't care if they do or not.
Why bring up the ugly past?
So you can remember how ugly it was?

Jajajajajaja.

If it wasn't for Republican Abraham Lincoln, we would be in a lot more trouble than we are right now.
TUCHI

El Paso, TX

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#95
Mar 28, 2011
 
Afghan - Iraq Vet wrote:
I was beating bush in Vietnam during that time. Who gives a ****
DID Bush enjoy it and reach the final climax
Pinky

Montgomery, AL

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#96
Mar 29, 2011
 
My first real experience with racism was 1970. I was the co-captain for Socorro HS, we were 1A, at the time and we went to play at Iraan, Tx. Our coach was white and the two assistant coaches were Hispanic, to include now State Rep Chente Q. Before the game in the locker room, the referees from Odessa would check equipment and talk to the coaches and captains. The Referee asked our Coach "do your boys speak English?". One of the few white players, Steve, who was raised with us and spoke Spanish as well as us, said "Vamonos vatos, ya perdimos!". The coach replied "yes they speak English, and also Spanish, do you?", to the referee. During the game, the ref came up to me an apologized about ten times. Even though we lost 13-7, that was the very first time I could really relate to racism.
Obama bin Biden

El Paso, TX

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#97
Mar 29, 2011
 
Pinky wrote:
My first real experience with racism was 1970. I was the co-captain for Socorro HS, we were 1A, at the time and we went to play at Iraan, Tx. Our coach was white and the two assistant coaches were Hispanic, to include now State Rep Chente Q. Before the game in the locker room, the referees from Odessa would check equipment and talk to the coaches and captains. The Referee asked our Coach "do your boys speak English?". One of the few white players, Steve, who was raised with us and spoke Spanish as well as us, said "Vamonos vatos, ya perdimos!". The coach replied "yes they speak English, and also Spanish, do you?", to the referee. During the game, the ref came up to me an apologized about ten times. Even though we lost 13-7, that was the very first time I could really relate to racism.
So because someone assumed because of the color of someone elses skin they didn't speak English that's racism?

That's just ignorance.....not racism.

Time to let it go buddy.
Just let it go..........Gooose Fra Ba!!!!
Gooose Fra Ba!!!!
Pinky

Montgomery, AL

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#98
Mar 29, 2011
 
It will always stick with me because it was the first time I was a victim of stereo-typed, racism and ignorace by an individual who was an official authority of the game. But I could tell you more stories, especially while being on active duty in the USAF.
Socorro Tx Transplant

Montgomery, AL

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#99
Mar 29, 2011
 
You tell them Pinky!!
SuperMex

El Paso, TX

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#100
Mar 29, 2011
 

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babe52 wrote:
Unfortunately racism exists and always will. I just find it odd that Mexicans are constantly complaining about racism in the U.S. when it is worse in Mexico. Mexican nationals prize fair skinned individuals while disrimination gets worse the darker your skin is. In fact the level of discrimination is terrible and shameful when it comes to Indians and Black Mexicans. They are considered second class citizens.
I have traveled Mexico over the years and was either denied service or received poor service because I am dark. Notice how the novelas and Mexican programming always have the hero/heroine being fair or blond while the villan or buffon is of dark complexion. Pay attention to the racist remarks still heard on Mexican radio and music. And how many Mexicans are constantly distancing themselves claiming they are Spanish because they are not dark. Or notice how many parents have their hopes up that their children will be blond and blue eyed thinking they will be better. Racism is bad, but worse when it comes from your own kind.
You're describing variations of "Spanish" versus "Mestizo/Indian" discrimination in Mexico. Why are you so hung-up Mexico? This thread is about racism in Texas during our life times. These are facts that must not be forgotten, lest they will be repeated.
Herrera

Garland, TX

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#101
Mar 30, 2011
 
I belive Ramon told it like it was. For those of you, who say otherwise, are not Mexican-American, didn't live it, you definetely lived in the better parts of town. I was raised in South El Paso and graduated from Bowie. At Bowie, which was almost 100% Mexican origin, if you spoke Spanish you would be given two choices, corporal punishment or Spanish detention. Most boys would take the licks with the paddle, as some of us worked after school and the girls would take detention. When integration came along, the blacks were sent from Douglas to both Jefferson and Bowie and we were afterwards considered "white" for the sake of meeting the federal guidelines. We got along great with the black students and an added benefit from them was their athletic prowess. When Raymond Tellez became the first Mexican-American mayor, things changed for the better for us, with better city services, lighting, hiring and the paving of the alleys.
SuperMex

Saint Louis, MO

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#102
Mar 31, 2011
 
Herrera wrote:
I belive Ramon told it like it was. For those of you, who say otherwise, are not Mexican-American, didn't live it, you definetely lived in the better parts of town. I was raised in South El Paso and graduated from Bowie. At Bowie, which was almost 100% Mexican origin, if you spoke Spanish you would be given two choices, corporal punishment or Spanish detention. Most boys would take the licks with the paddle, as some of us worked after school and the girls would take detention. When integration came along, the blacks were sent from Douglas to both Jefferson and Bowie and we were afterwards considered "white" for the sake of meeting the federal guidelines. We got along great with the black students and an added benefit from them was their athletic prowess. When Raymond Tellez became the first Mexican-American mayor, things changed for the better for us, with better city services, lighting, hiring and the paving of the alleys.
I remember the girls being struck on the back of their hands with a ruler for Spanish in the classroom.
James

El Paso, TX

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#103
Apr 7, 2011
 

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James Moore
10352 Bayo
EL Paso, Texas

Dear Mr. Ramon Renteria

I read your article in the Times Sunday edition of March 27, 2011 on “Prejudice recalled in West Texas”. I found it to be very interesting about what was happening in Marfa when they were filming “Giant” and the movie stars in the movie. The part of the article that started me thinking was your comments summing up the article about “almost 56 years later, some people still speak with venom about Mexican-American and Mexican immigrants” and how “Hispanics are still mostly missing from American movies and television even as our numbers and buying power continue to grow”. I took offense to this comment because of how I perceived what has happened growing up in EL Paso. I have witnessed our community going from one extreme to the other where the “Hispanics”(if that is the correct term) have come from being from Mexico to owning the city of EL Paso. This town has bent over backwards to accommodate the Mexican lifestyle to where EL Paso is perceived by the rest of the country as being a Hispanic community and represents nothing of what you said in your article. After going over this in my mind I came to realize that growing up in EL Paso has giving me a very different view than what you see. When I look around I see Mexican newspapers, Mexican television, Mexicans in all public offices and in all professions, Mexican neighbors and close friends, Mexicans in movies and TV programs and yet I constituently keep reading in the news about this “racist attitude” toward the poor Mexican and wonder how long this is going to go on in this country. Like I said growing up in EL Paso has given me a different slant. The friends I grew up with let nothing hold them back and they went about there life’s being like everybody else just getting on with there lives no matter where they were from. In EL Paso some of use just had to struggle harder than others. I am sure what you say about other parts of the country is true but constantly crying “the sky is falling” is not where we need to be going. To me the news organizations are at fault because they keep bring up with “venom” how someone or some group has not had equal treatment. Like all my EL Paso friends and acquaintances’ have shown, we all need to just go back to work, and as long as there is a United States of America things will change.

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