Tio Cowboy: Juan Salinas, Rodeo Roper and Horseman by Ricardo D. Palacios
It's been a while since the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR) decided that undocumented kids could not receive any of their scholarships. I remember when I first heard about it a few years ago. It seemed so unfair and didn't make sense that DREAMERS who attended local schools, went and spent money at Houston malls, movie theaters, spoke English like most everyother Harris county teenager -- could not qualify for the HLSR's scholarships.
Now another group is saying that Latinos are not getting enough of the action as the events are planned. Maybe their clout is diminishing because organizers fear too many undocumented people will show up. I once heard a about an upscale Mexican restaurant in Houston who's owner said he didn't want "regular" Latinos as customers - they were too low class and would scare away the affluent Anglos - honest, someone who knew the restaurant owner really told me this.No matter what the reason, the administrators of the HLSR need to be more enlightened about the burgeoning Latino population in Harris County - as I understand it, the HLSR is for all residents of Harris County. The Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo has no qualms about accepting money from anyone who wants to attend it's events. Interesting that they can take the money in, but are exclusive about who gets any money back.
Hispanic group calls for boycott of Houston Rodeo
Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
A group of Hispanic leaders called for a boycott of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, saying show officials haven't done enough to include Hispanics in the event.
Their complaints Tuesday came the same day show organizers held a kickoff event event at City Hall to proclaim Friday as Go Texan Day. The three-week show starts Monday.
Made up of representatives from the Tejano music industry, Houston-area politicians and members of other professional organizations, the newly formed group VIVE Tejano-Houston gathered at the University of Houston to protest the livestock show.
"We request our friends across the whole state of Texas not to attend the Houston Livestock Show," said former state Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos.
The show is disrespecting the Hispanic community by hiring non-Tejano performers to play at the show's main venue on Go Tejano Day, and not enough of the show's scholarships go to Hispanic students, said Ruben Cubillos, co-founder of the group.
He also complained that the show doesn't have enough Hispanics at the executive level.
State Sen. Mario Gallegos, who said he tried to negotiate with show officials, offered to discuss the issues with them again.
"We're open to sit down and talk, and talk for real," he said.
Leroy Shafer, the show's chief operating officer, said Go Tejano Day is about Hispanic culture, not just one type of music.
This year's Go Tejano Day on March 16 will feature Duelo, a norteño band from Roma, and Los Horoscopos de Durango, a duranguense act from Chicago.
Tejano bands are scheduled to play on smaller stages. But because the genre's popularity has waned in recent years, a Tejano act won't take center stage, Shafer said.
"If, in fact, they're asking people to stay away because they're trying to keep this genre of music on a big stage, then they're asking people to go against the very essence of what this day is," Shafer said. "They're asking them not to come out and celebrate being Hispanic."
This is not the first time Go Tejano Day lacked a traditional Tejano artist on the main stage, show organizers said. That happened in 2001 and 2002.
Responding to the group's other complaints, show organizers said nearly a third of the 927 students who attended Texas universities on show scholarships last year are Hispanic.
The Executive Committee, the show's highest level of volunteer leadership, includes 11 active members and six lifetime members, but no Hispanics. Those members are elected based on years of service and leadership, as well as economic contributions to the show.
"We have several people on track to get on that committee but they won't be short-cutted," Shafer said.
Several members of the show's Go Tejano Committee also said they didn't agree with the boycott.
"They're completely out of line," said George Hernandez, a committee volunteer. "We're not chartered by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo to hear Tejano music. If they want their music heard, they should join a music association."
for link to Chronicle article click the title of this post