Texas — On Monday, Dec. 21, both houses of Congress approved a bill to finally create a National Museum of the American Latino. The measure was part of the $2.3 trillion dollar spending bill to provide COVID-19 relief that was drafted in Congress over the past few days.
The campaign to create the museum, which will celebrate the contributions of Latinos to the United States, began in 1994, after a “report found that the Smithsonian ‘displays a pattern of willful neglect’ toward the country’s Latinos,” according to the New York Times.
Below is a statement from Jolt Action’s Interim Executive Director, Antonio Arellano:
“It is long past time that the contributions of millions of Latinos in this country be recognized with a national museum honoring those contributions. As the largest ethnic group in the United States, and as the group set to become the majority in Texas by 2030, it’s critical that all Americans recognize the profound impact Latinos have made in the United States.
“Latino culture has permeated every aspect of American life, from art, music, and fashion, to food and beyond. Its profound impact on American society has made this nation richer, more vibrant, and more colorful.
“As a young brown boy, I grew up without seeing superheroes who looked like me, so I put on the cape. A national Latino museum will ensure our children see themselves reflected in the history of our nation, from war heroes who have fought valiantly for our country to community organizers who have led the struggle for equality, and leaders who have shaped legislation in our favor.
“This museum, detailing our complex and beautiful history with this nation, joins the ranks of other incredible institutions that can begin to educate and heal the racial and ethnic division still prevalent in the U.S. By sharing our stories, naming our heroes, and recognizing the brilliance of our Latino culture, we can begin to reshape American history for future generations and guarantee they see themselves reflected in the fabric of our past.
“Thank you to every grassroots organization and legislator who has championed for the creation of this museum over the last 26 years. Let’s proudly celebrate the brilliance of our Latino community and rightfully recognize our contributions to America.”