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Monday, December 22, 2014

National Hispanic Cultural Center exhibit ignores U.S. interference in Chile

Editor,

The most important fact for USA-ans to know is missing from the otherwise excellent exhibit “Stitching Resistance” at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, 1701 Fourth St. SW in Albuquerque. That fact is that the U.S. Empire engineered and strongly supported the violent overthrow of Chile’s government, Latin America’s oldest democracy, on Sept. 11, 1973 and ushered in Pinochet’s reign of terror — thousands of Chileans tortured, disappeared, imprisoned and executed.

This exhibit features dozens of patchwork and embroidery on burlap pieces sewn by Chilean women under Pinochet to expose the atrocities of his regime.

Several UNM faculty assisted in this exhibit. I phoned one of them, urging her to pressure NHCC to tell viewers the most important missing fact. She told me she is not ready to jeopardize her job at UNM.

The Chilean women risked torture and prison to stitch their agonizing truth. Torture, prison, disappearance, and execution scare the hell out of me. But sadly, the main reason many USA-ans today refuse to speak unpopular truth is they are scared of risking their jobs, of having to live on much less money and of being labeled and rejected by friends, relatives, co-workers and neighbors. These fears paralyze many USA-ans just as surely as the threat of the KGB and of being sentenced to years of hard labor in Siberia’s cold hell shut up Soviet people for decades.

With some freedom of speech left here, the test of our commitment to unpopular truth, as best we see it, is not our secret ideals what we risk and give up — big income, job, reputation, status — to live out those ideals. We pay a price if we confront our society’s idols, evils and insanities.

I have enjoyed attending many events at NHCC. However, NHCC and most institutions that depend on big bucks from corporations refuse to tell the truth about how the U.S. government and corporations have deliberately and routinely robbed and murdered millions in many nations for many decades.

Call Tey Nunn, director of the NHCC Art Museum, urging her to add and highlight the most important missing fact in a way no exhibit viewer can miss it. The exhibit stays up through January 2014, 12 more months. Sundays 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. are free admission.

Don Schrader
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