New Mexico Progressives send almost 5,000 emails to Las Cruces officials and El Paso Electric to ensure Tea Party’s message of hate is never allowed in future 4th of July celebrations
ALBUQUERQUE — In response to a Tea Party float that included a Confederate flag in the Las Cruces Electric Light Parade and was awarded a $1,000 prize, more than 4,850 New Mexicans from across the state have demanded action by the City of Las Cruces to ensure that this message of hate, racism, and division, is never rewarded nor allowed in future celebrations.
ProgressNow NM commends Mayor Miyagishima and members of the council who have taken swift action to address this and stand shoulder to shoulder with New Mexico’s values.
“I, along with the city council, city staff and the people of Las Cruces were caught by surprise when the Las Cruces Tea Party float, with a Confederate flag displayed, won the Best of Show award at the Las Cruces Electric Light Parade on July 3,” said Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima. “The Las Cruces Tea Party can believe whatever it wants, but to have this symbol and what it represents, highlight the winning float at a celebration of our nation’s independence is an outrage. I deeply apologize to the people of Las Cruces as well as our friends throughout the State of New Mexico for the pain that this has caused.”
El Paso Electric Company, who donated the $1,000 prize money, was also quick to ensure that their donations are never used to promote messages of hate in the future after progressives began the online campaign:
“El Paso Electric was surprised and outraged at the selection for an award of a float that contained a Confederate flag. El Paso Electric will not support the parade in the future unless criteria are established by the City to prevent such an outcome in the future. Finally, we appreciate the Mayor’s prompt response and concern regarding this matter.”
Full copies of each statement are available online at ProgressNowNM.org
In reaction, the Tea Party tried to say their float represented all of New Mexico’s history, but in their version there was no acknowledgment of our Spanish, Latino or native cultures, just a prominent display of hate.
In addition to denouncing the use of the Confederate flag as a rallying piece in the recent parade, at least one other instance of the Tea Party using the flag as a centerpiece in public displays has emerged and is shared on our blog.
“I’m proud that the rest of our state, including those in Las Cruces, were so solidly against such a display of hate and division in our community. It was wrong then, and it’s wrong now,” says Pat Davis, Executive Director of ProgressNowNM. “Caught off-guard, they claimed to be educating us about our history but they chose not to include our native, Spanish or Latino heritage. That’s not our heritage, that’s the future they are trying to create.”