Texas Ranger Mural

A mural depicting the five Texas rangers who founded Seguin sits upon the northern side of the Aumont on 301 N. Austin St.

Several community members are taking issue with the city’s newest mural painted on the north side of the Aumont Hotel.

Members of the local League of the United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and others who shared similar sentiment, gathered at the Seguin City Council meeting on Tuesday to express their concerns relating to the Texas Ranger Mural.

Schertz resident Chili Ornelas, who spoke on behalf of LULAC at a recent city council meeting, said the mural honors a law enforcement group that was responsible for the deaths of more than 5,000 Mexican Americans between the period of 1910 to 1920.

“Our members are important representatives of our community,” Ornelas said. “We have a Ph.D. professor at TLU (Texas Lutheran University), a member of the Seguin ISD school board … and even members who have sat in city council chairs. As you can see from our vocations past and present, we care deeply about our city … that is why it hurts us when an event like this brings sorrow to our hearts.”

Ornelas read from a letter addressed to the council that explained the history of LULAC and its stance on the art piece.

“The League of United Latin American Citizens has been an integral part of this community since the 1930s and has as one of its goals the abolishment of discrimination of all types,” Ornelas said. “Therefore, be it resolved that LULAC citizens would like to go on record as opposing the promotion of any mural or advertisement that highlights a dark chapter of our history.”

Jesus Trinidad, a lifelong resident of Seguin, told the council this is not a part of history that should be highlighted.

“I am really proud of this city; however, this thing regarding the Texas Rangers mural is upsetting,” Trinidad said. “When we were in school, we were not taught a lot of the history of the Rangers, and it’s only recently that many of us have become enlightened of that history. The period between 1910 and 1920 was when 5,000 Mexican Americans were killed, and that’s equivalent to one Mexican American killed every day for 10 years.”

He asked officials to reconsider before putting up any more historical displays.

“One thing that I would like from the council is that there not be any more murals or monuments here in the city,” Trinidad said. “Let the people judge the Rangers like they should and let the history books take care of that. I know that Seguin was founded by a lot of the Texas Rangers, and there’s a lot of history in regards to that, but many of us aren’t going anywhere, and we’d like to voice our opinions about that.”

While the mural depicted a small portion of the Texas Rangers’ history, Alberto “Beto” Rincón said it doesn’t paint the whole picture.

“I was disappointed in thinking about these words right here that are staring at me, ‘It’s real,’” he said. “The depiction of that mural to me wasn’t quite a very real depiction. In the real heyday of the Texas Rangers, there were more Mexicans legal and not legal lynched than in the antebellum south. That is daunting. And I have found that repeatedly cited, so that’s really a tough pill to swallow. The Texas Ranger Museum itself, from what I’ve been told, does not shy away from that dark chapter of the Texas Rangers’ history. So why does our mural have to?”

Plans for the mural emerged in January of this year and finalized in August after council approved the design with a 5 to 1 vote. Councilmember Chris Aviles voted against it.

At the time, Aviles said he believed the mural didn’t capture all that Seguin stands for, lacking critical components like the Guadalupe River, Juan Seguin, pecans and other historical aspects.

Houston-based artist Chris Garcia created the design and completed it for a little more than $14,000. The Seguin Commission on the Arts funded the project with funds from Guadalupe County United Way, Help Seguin Shine, ArtsFest and Seguin’s hotel occupancy tax fund.

Joe Martin is a staff writer for the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail him at joe.martin@seguingazette.com .

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(4) comments

Shepard

As usual, someone must complain about something.

LULAC is a partisan organization, like the multitude of others, which has a specific viewpoint and agenda. The most disappointing aspect of these organizations is their habit of objecting to anything that either focuses attention on an issue or subject in a manner not in line with their thoughts, or insufficient attention to gain them what they are in pursuit of.

Understanding that Seguin was originally established by several Texas Rangers and that the facts stated within the presentation are accurate, how could anyone object to such a benign mural?

Please let us move on to more important concerns and drop the pettiness of such a complaint. If everyone came forward and objected to a historical reference every time that they are presented, our culture would simply not exist.

Move on LULAC.

Dldmny

Places that have historically experienced conflict/war are often affected by lingering partisan prejudice. The use of hyphenated identities and partisan affiliation are examples that interfere in creating the unity and equality to which proponents ascribe.

Fpman26

If this is such an issue for the local residents amd the Seguin LULAC then why is Schertz resident Chili Ornelas, who spoke on behalf of LULAC at a recent city council meeting. This is somebody not from our community sticking his nose in our business if it's such an issue then why isn't someone from Seguin, who is a member of the LULAC speaking on behalf of the Seguin LULAC memebers. Not your city not your business stay in Schertz. If you are a citizen of Seguin and this truly bothers you it's your job to speak up to the city council. Calling in somebody who can't even vote for one of our city council members or our mayor is ridiculous. If you want change affect change don't expect other people from other places to do it.

HM8432

Would LULAC be supportive of a mural favorably showing Texians and other pre-American, Colonial Hispanics, despite the fact they displaced and slaughtered the then-local Native American population, summarily murdered Anglo and French innocents, and also had slaves? No group is as pure as the driven-snow!

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