We are T.U.L.A.-TEXAS UNITED LATINO ARTISTS.
In the year of our Lord-2005-September 17-Saturday We set out to celebrate our 6th Annual Mexican Independence Day Parade and Festival at the Texas State Capitol- fulfilling the promise of our Slogans-T.U.L.A.
Utilizing the Universal Language of Art For The Promotion Of Peace and A Better Understanding Between Us All. Seeking the Path to Equality we discovered that the means through the eyes of a Child.
On a bus ride down Congress Ave. I witnessed children of different nationalities discuss a drawing one of them had composed. We realized that the Arts community has been traditionally and historically less prone to racial, sexual, ethnic divisions than those imposed on us by society. Our second slogan-T.U.L.A – In The Spirit OF Diversity- Un Nuevo Amanecer. A New Dawn with more compassion for each other. By the mere fact that we celebrate this historic day at The Texas State Capitol demonstrates that we have all evolved. Art has been responsible for this evolution. While it is in fact a historical date we also celebrate the strength of the Human spirit, which involves all of us. T.U.L.A. is an inclusive organization.
People of all walks of life are Welcomed to participate. Within this premises we claim the Right to Self Determination. For we live in a Democratic Society. Simply Put -We Must Paint Our Own Rainbow. No one will come to save or lobby for us, but us.
In the historical context we are faced with a dilemma. A vibe which is deeply engrained in the equation of thought here in this Country. ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL. This is fine and dandy but it excludes first of all Women and people of Color. This is Racism, and horrible sins have been committed against us because of it.
As a result we are invisible in the civil human rights game. Human Rights activist can sin against us and still retain their Activist aura, as was the case when Alex Jones lead the minutemen charge against the parade.
Still, Once again we see this ancient demon raise its ugly head in the form of the minutemen. Twenty-seven years ago we saw the same character in their racist campaign. The slogans were the same. The same hatred that we saw as the minutemen that attacked our parade. The difference was that they were called the KKK.
The behavior of the minutemen was pathetic, offensive, a throw back to 1930. Shouts of wetback, go back to Mexico were the mildest insults directed at us. With out a conscience they offended us, not considering we had children in the Parade.
Equally inconsiderate were the Anglo "radicals" with their "in your face "Confrontation of the minute men which further aggravated the situation. We don’t need anyone to protect us. The irony is that they all missed the beauty of it all.
I wish to commend our Brothers and Sisters in their Beautiful Motorcycles, customized cars and their floats for showing restrain. In strength, the minutemen were no match for us. We are a Brave Proud People, Proud as an Eagle and we refuse to live in Fear.
So what do we want is a constant question. Folks, we want everything that a society that we have helped build has to offer. In this city we are 40% of the population and the major work force. We work hard to make the Dream possible. For everyone. We love our country, our children, our parents, our neighbors. And we forgive those who have exploited and oppressed us.
There are more pressing needs in this country than the hatred the minutemen demonstrate. We invite all good People to come and share a day of peace and the beauty of our Art, our Culture and our Friendship. We are good Friends. And to those who are infuriated by our quest for Equality, Think about it every time you put gas in your car or the phone rings and you have a loved one in Iraq.
We are in this together.
Joe M. Perez-Chair-T.U.L.A.