Blatantly racist anti-Hispanic hate groups target statues of Spanish leaders

Amid national protests against the unjust death of Geroge Floyd, radical anti-Hispanic hate groups have begun using the memory of Mr. Floyd as a channel to push through their anti-Hispanic rhetoric and take down statues of revered Hispanic figures.

Activists from the groups “The Red Nation” and “Three Sisters Collective” have been organizing vandals to destroy Hispanic monuments in Northern New Mexico and deface government property, including an obelisk in downtown Santa Fe, which was tagged with the word “racist” and the side inscriptions had been destroyed — the monument showing deep cracks.

Three Sisters Collective applauded the violence and destruction, writing on Facebook, “With regard to the graffiti written on the obelisk, although uncomfortable for some, the vandalism of this object pales in comparison to hate crimes against Indigenous, Black and Brown people.” However, the monument was erected to commemorate New Mexico’s role in fighting the Confederacy — the very opposite of support for racism or hatred for Black and Brown people.

The Red Nation is notorious for spewing anti-Hispanic propaganda, most notably by claiming in a 2016 blog post that “the ‘Hispanic’ or ‘Spanish American’ racial identity was a fiction created to make New Mexico appear ‘white enough’ to join the U.S. since both identities privileged a European or Spanish heritage even if the population was mixed or descended from detribalized peoples. New Mexico’s statehood was delayed until 1912 because white Anglos felt the territory did not possess a white majority, so a new ‘race’ of whites had to be created.”

That rhetoric is mild in contrast to the hate they have spread on social media in the comments of their posts, and the sharing of posts from other hate groups, including Antifa. The Red Nation also told the Rio Grande Sun, “Revolution is here… and if you’re not part of it, you’re gonna get swept aside.” 

The Red Nation partnered with Three Sisters Collective in the campaign to tear down statues of Spanish people, such as a statue of Don Diego de Vargas in Santa Fe’s Cathedral Park. De Vargas peacefully and bloodlessly resettled Santa Fe in 1692. While working with Three Sisters Collective, the group successfully convinced Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber to unilaterally remove the statue, without consultation with the City Council or citizens.

Now, Hispanics in New Mexico are fighting back — with over 2,000 signatures on a petition to restore Spanish historical statues to their rightful homes and urge Mayor Webber to cease the removal of any other Spanish landmarks in the city. Another petition to return a statue of Don Juan de Oñate statue to its rightful home in Alcalde has garnered nearly 500 signatures.

It’s clear that no matter how much these anti-Hispanic bigots want to erase us from history, they will not take our identity away from us without a fight. While militant Spanish-hating ‘revolution’ groups try to completely decimate our culture from the history books, we are dedicated to using our grassroots majority — not violence — to plead our cause and protect our Spanish heritage

There is no amount of intolerance, panic, and violence that we can’t overcome with respect and an honest approach. We should continue to urge Mayor Webber to hear our reasonable requests to keep images of our Spanish culture on display instead of caving to blatantly racist anti-Hispanic groups who have no regard for differing opinions. Only together can we stop anti-Hispanic bigotry and drive a culture of unity for all people in New Mexico.

Sign the petiton against the removal of Santa Fe historic landmarks here.

Sign the petition to return the Oñate statue here.

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