Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Is Steve Ortega a Bigot hiding behind Gay Rights?

Is Steve Ortega a Bigot hiding behind Gay Rights?
By Ike
“A community that doesn't fight against discrimination tolerates it, and I never want El Paso to be in that category." – Steve Ortega
But wait -- Is Steve Ortega’s legacy to El Paso the legitimization of openly bigoted, hateful, divisive discrimination against El Pasoans whom he finds undesirable?
In 2005 City Council approved 2 contracts one for $250,000 and another for $50,000 of CDBG i.e. federal money to help fund the Paso Del Norte Group downtown plan. The contract specifically forbid subjecting anyone to discrimination. One of the “work products” of the plan was an immersion audit called Glass Beach. It was presented at a public meeting. Here is a slide from the immersion presentation. See

So why did Steve Ortega not “fight” against subjecting the man in the image to blatant public discrimination?
Steve Ortega’s response
“The question that I was never asked during the interview was whether the juxtaposition of the adjectives lazy and dirty with the photo of the old Mexican was offensive” (See response to Burton, Jenni. “Those Who Live in Grass Beaches,” The Newspaper Tree, posted October 2, 2006).
Does this sound like the response of anyone opposed to discrimination or with even a limited understanding of Civil Rights much less discrimination?
Instead Steve Ortega seems to provide tacit approval of invidious discrimination against those El Pasoans he considers undesirable.
“I’d rather be associated with – you know, if I’m talking about a city – Salma Hayek than with my grandfather, you know what I’m saying? I mean who are you trying to attract? From a business perspective, from an investment perspective you want the Salma Hayeks, the Antonio Banderas, the Ricky Martins, that’s what people like. That’s what people find attractive, sexy, cool.” – Steve Ortega