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Bill Introduced to Build a Latino Museum on the National Mall

by Countable | 6.18.17

A group of Latino lawmakers are calling on Congress to set up a National Museum of the American Latino, which they want to be a part of the Smithsonian Museums and to sit on the National Mall, which receives more than 30 million visitors annually.

In 2008, under former President George W. Bush, Congress set up a commission to explore the possibility of the museum. The commission said Congress should go ahead with it using a mix of federal and private funding, but Congress has yet to act on the recommendation.

"Since the dawn of our democracy Hispanic Americans have been an indisputable part of American history," Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) told reporters at the Capitol when he introduced the bill on Tuesday. “New chapters of that history are written every day by the more than 56 million people who make America’s Latino communities so strong.”

Unlike many things in Congress, the bill garners bipartisan support. In the Senate it’s cosponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), and in the House Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) introduced a companion bill to build the museum, which she says will be a global symbol – tying American Latinos to their home countries.

"The National Museum of the American Latino will be a symbol representing all the strife that Latinos have faced in their home countries," the Cuban immigrant said. “But whether you’ve come here because of the problems in your country, or whether you’ve come here because you’re seeking a new opportunity here, or maybe you’re family has been here for generations – that is part of the American Latino story as well.”

Supporters of the museum also point out that fewer than 2 percent of national monuments represent women or minorities, so they’re calling for a wing of the museum to focus on contributions to society from prominent Latinas, like Rita Morena, Selena, Salma Hayek and Eva Longoria.

Tell your lawmakers whether the National Museum of the American Latino should be built on the National Mall using the Take Action button.

- Matt Laslo

(Photo Credit: Public Domain)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(57)
  • Dan
    06/18/2017
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    All of you people that are saying no to this, and excusing it as "we need to be less divisive" and "don't use tax payer money" are forgetting that there are museums dedicated to African Americans, Asian Americans, Jewish Americans, and native Americans on the National Mall were built with taxpayer money. You all need to shut up, check your privilege, release how exclusive it would be not to have on there, and say yes to it.

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  • Courtney
    06/18/2017
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    Museums not walls

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  • Jim2423
    06/18/2017
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    When I first visited the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC back in 1966, I was amazed at our history. Two years ago I went back to D.C. And there were a Natural History Museum, a Native American Museum, a Aero Museum, they were building a Black Museum. What happened to an American Museum of all our cultures in one building living in one America as an American. Talk about self segregation. Each one of us are a part of history, no matter what, who you are. We all add to our history one way or another. So why do we each need a Museum? When I was in the military, you did not care who came to help you. You just really appreciated their help, so you could live another day. That is being an American. We weren't Army, Marine or Air Force we were Americans helping each other. No need for a Museum to praise each other, we were one.

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  • Ticktock
    06/18/2017
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    No. What we need is not more emphasis on how our peoples are separate but how we all came to be here in the same country searching for the same freedoms and opportunities. If there is going to be another museum, let's display where we all came from, how we all came searching for a better life and where we are today. We need to accept and celebrate all of our ethnic diversity not just one here and another there but display them together with our successes and mis-steps. If we are going to do this it should not only show our history and our present but also maybe give us an idea of how to proceed into the future.

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  • Heather
    06/18/2017
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    Wonderful idea. We should recognize the experience and contributions of Latino citizens.

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  • Sandra
    06/18/2017
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    This museum will do much positive to continue the confirmation of the true composition of Americans, a mosaic of immigrants and native Americans who all deserve to be represented in our great American institution, The Smithsonian Institute. And focusing on WOMEN should give this museum a progressive accent unique to the Latin American culture.

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  • Ginny
    06/19/2017
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    As a diverse society, where Latinos make up a significant percentage of our population, we need to recognize the contributions of latinos in America. We have spent tax money on almost every other group. Americans need to be educated about the historical role Latonos played in building this country. Plus we stole their land in the Mexican American war. It's the least we can do!

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  • Yahtzee
    06/18/2017
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    Please make sure my tax dollars do not go towards this. There are many more urgent causes and plenty of philanthropies that can take this museum on in the scope of their individual mandate.

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  • Ryan
    06/18/2017
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    A Latino Museum in DC is an excellent idea! Latin Americans have contributed SO much to this country, as a part of this country, and we should recognize their contributions and achievements.

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  • Jerry
    06/19/2017
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    "A Museum is a building, place or institution devoted to the acquisition, conservation, study, exhibition and educational interpretation of objects having scientific, historical or artistic value. The word Museum is derived from the Latin muses, meaning 'a source of inspiration', or 'to be absorbed in one's thoughts'." Being said I am strongly for the building of a Latino Museum...it is not about segregation but it's about education on a specific culture and ethnic group. Our American history is so broad and so diverse that we need to teach how part of The United States was once part of Mexico; and that's just part of the Mexican/Latino history that is not in text books or other museums. This is why I feel a Latino Museum would be excellent to teach about all Latino history to the public.

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  • Tilton
    06/18/2017
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    Yes, I support the building if a Latino Museum on the National Mall!. We should recognize the great contributions Latinos have made to our collective nation.

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  • Rick
    06/19/2017
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    In the greatest county on the face of the earth. As our politicians say Everyone's history must be recognized. That's who we are.

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  • Krystal
    06/19/2017
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    As a Latina who's family were natives of Texas, I support a Latino museum in DC. I also support the idea of a wing dedicated to both the extraordinary and ordinary Latina woman on the US.

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  • Dexter
    06/19/2017
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    Waste of money when the Feds are short of money

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  • Vanessa
    06/18/2017
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    As a first generation Colombian American, the Latino experience is very important to me. I would love it if you would help make this a reality.

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  • Cristian
    06/19/2017
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    All of you people are forgetting that there are museums dedicated to African Americans, Asian Americans, Jewish Americans, and native Americans on the National Mall. All built with funds from the private sector as well as the taxpayers dollars. Check facts before denying a possible attraction which will help create jobs and good for their local economy. As well as national economy people travel to see art in museums it is time to set differences aside and think about what is best for the country.

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  • Melanie
    06/18/2017
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    If this is being covered by tax payer's money, I say no.

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  • Bruce
    06/19/2017
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    Is it going to include the Cartels and all the wonderful things they have brought to America ?

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  • Morgan
    06/19/2017
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    I support a Latino museum on the National Mall. It would be a welcome addition and a step toward acknowledging Latino contributions to America.

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  • Melanie
    06/18/2017
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    Hooray!

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