Supporters of the National Museum of the American Latino are trying again to get Congress to pass a bill. It would establish its creation.
Voice votes put in to stop by Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah. This is to create a Latino museum and a women’s history museum as of last week. It spoiled years of effort.
A letter went last Monday by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to House and Senate leaders. In that letter, they were urging them to include the National Museum of the American Latino Act, HR 2420, in the $1.4 trillion spending bill. Now, Congress is trying to agree on to prevent a government shutdown.
The process for the museum to be eventually built includes a process for the museum which includes a feasibility study. In addition, to private fundraising, and site location studies.
Overcoming systemic discrimination, Latinos have contributed greatly to America’s success. Our stories have been very much erased from U.S. history, said Representative Joaquin Castro, Democrat-Texas. Castro is completing his term as caucus chairman. Castro illustrated the fact that Mike Lee, who is a United States senator, has no knowledge of the Latino experience shows the need for a Latino museum.
Lee had argued against “separate but equal” museums. This was in a debate last week. He said that the museums are for African Americans and Native Americans are acceptable. This is because they have according to Lee because they had experienced systemic racism and the erasure of their history. He suggested that Latino hadn’t.
However, Senator Bob Menendez, Democrat from New Jersey and others, which include many on social media, said his insensitive and ignorant statement show why a Latino museum is critical.
The caucus said in its letter that the lack of full Latino representation, over time, has created real blind spots that neglect the role Latinos have played in service and sacrifice to our nation. Moreover, there is a 500-year history that predates the founding of the country. Therefore, Latinos have been a part of the American story since the beginning. Yet to see the various galleries and exhibits throughout the Smithsonian, one would never know that to be true.