Written by Dani Marrero Hi, Lissette Castillo and Sadie Hernandez in the Texas Observer:
"Earlier this week, the Observer published a piece by Domingo Martinez titled, “I Grew Up on the Texas-Mexico Border, but Now I Barely Recognize It.” Martinez laments the tremendous changes Brownsville, the border city where he grew up, has undergone since his departure 23 years ago.
Pointing out the 21-foot-tall border fence, a constant visual reminder of this country’s racist and xenophobic insecurities and the extreme over-policing our region is subjected to by multiple law enforcement agencies, Martinez calls Brownsville a “militarized zone.”
The border is indisputably militarized. That, however, is about the only thing that Martinez gets right. Throughout the rest of the piece, Martinez paints a deeply inaccurate, disrespectful and damaging depiction of the city of Brownsville and its residents.
Martinez, who genuinely appears to be surprised that the city he once called home was not frozen in time the moment he left, is guilty of disrespecting and erasing a rich history of past and current resistance efforts. Because he notices changes, he blames residents for the extremely violent and forceful measures of militarization that have been imposed upon them. He states that the “people who live here need to be much more involved in the determinations of their own future, and be far more vocal, instead of passive and submissive while waves upon waves of occupational government forces move in to make their future for them.” Although he hasn’t lived in the Rio Grande Valley for over two decades, he goes on to add that the “people who should be shouting down the out-of-towners who don’t depend on it are being dangerously, stupidly silent.” Continue reading