Corpus Christi, TX -- Can a power structure in a city like Corpus Christi influence the planning out how the process for the naming of a new school will take place and what convenient names will be "thrown into the hat" (as supposedly one administrative influential stated in his cozy office at the bank. For the layperson it seems too conspiratorial. "That only took place during the day of the late Political Boss Hayden Head -- and more likely behind closed doors," a local Corporate Attorney punned.
But those connected with the illusive elite club (or NETWORK FOR PROFIT) manifested and formalized as a shadow arm of government such as in the CORPUS CHRISTI / Nueces County area have the occasional privilege of getting a glimpse of the organizational structure. The leadership in this NETWORK was pushing for one of their own -- County Judge Loyd Neal (who is in the twilight of his life and getting to retire) -- to have the new school which will be built at Cimarron and Lipes named after him. They tried to do it by a NAMING COMMITTEE.
But the real problem was that it was HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH. Civil Rights Leaders and activists such as Joe Ortiz (who has a long honorable tract record in the field) were pointing out that over 53 percent of the kids at CCISD are Hispanic -- yet the leadership, especially the Superintendent of Schools has historically lacked the proper representation. Many of the Hispanic leaders took issue with the naming of the school after "Loyd Neal" (who has a tenebrific political history of benefiting via his insurance business connections from his political tenures in office). His benefits: the implicit and explicit lobbying to land fo the contracts for insurance companies (which he has traditionally been affiliated with during the course of the business ventures): examples include, lobbying for the contracts of the city, of the school, and even the insurance of the county; and that of the RTA. Neal has used his para-mouthpieces to lobby at offical and unofficial meetings.
In response: some pressure was applied to consider Hispanic names. They saw it as an indispensable humanizing force that CCISD adopt culturally relevant heroes and exemplary figures by recognizing positive Hispanic "role models" especially during HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH. Retired General Marc Cisneros and Jose A Gonzales were added to the roster of names under consideration.
The power structure turned, supposedly, to those figureheads (enrolled in the CORPUS CHRISTI HISPANIC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE) it channels business and/or favors to with tax-dollars and arranged for them to make the organization -- endorse the naming of the "new school" after LOYD NEAL. It backfired and the Hispanic Chamber was further exposed for its overt and covert activities for kowtowing to special interest.
Civil Rights Activist Joe Ortiz explained: "The arrangement of the powerhouse of Corpus Christi has not changed much over the years. The power structure (mostly Anglos) after the death of the late Dr. Hector P. Garcia saw the infighting and natural divisions in the Hispanic community in trying to resolve the new course of leadership. They did not see, as before, a clear identifiable figure they could approach for addressing Hispanic issues -- that clarity had been buried with the late Dr. Garcia. The elite decided to create an entity... that is, an entity they could co-opt. "
Ortiz added: "They penetrated and took over the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce so it could serve as a subservient-like entity to the regular chamber (i.e., the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce) as well as to justify their whims. The original Mexican Chamber of Commerce (when the Bonilla brothers/attorneys and other leaders) were there -- they had healthy goals. Later the Mexican American Chamber got absorbed and renamed the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The city even began to fund them. Why? The organization was gradually being transformed and shaped into serving as a front group for the top dog interest groups and their greedy agendas. In a few words: to broaden their power and domain."
But one TV personality -- Attorney Joe Flores (host of SOUTH TEXAS CROSSFIRE which broadcasts via KTMV) was the decisive counter-force that halted the move to use the CORPUS CHRISTI HISPANIC CHAMBER (again, during Hispanic Heritage Month) as a legitimizing front group. Attorney Flores blasted the resolution to support the naming of the new school after "Loyd Neal" for an entire week. Even politico/businessman JOHN VALLS and a few others (affiliated with the at some level with the group) gripped over the expose.
JOHN VALLS is seen in various lights: some insiders see him as just someone being prepped by the NETWORK as a role model for the HISPANIC COMMUNITY; others see him as an elitist "token head" who is too removed from the daily orbit of the Hispanic masses. His leadership in the RTA in the last year or so brought up many a stigmatization.
To return to the crux of the issue. Once the resistive HISPANIC variable of resistance started to go viral over the net and Loyd Neal's real profiteering endeavors began to surface and CCISD's School Board member Carol Scott's connection to multi-national corporate agendas (like the infamous scandal of her Coal Energy toot-horning and using CCISD to make promotional TV commercials) began to surface: the mandated "Plan B" supposedly came trickling down the chain to the various rungs of the cited NETWORK. The generic name of "Veterans Memorial" would be more suitable to placate the growing dissatisfaction among the genuine Hispanic activists and leaders. But some saw it as a move to alternatively suppress the naming of the school after an Hispanic.
And Retired General Cisneros is not coy in stating what in his mind. The general has accused the CORPUS CHRISTI CALLER-TIMES as racist in many a political endeavor; and he credits for criticizing his tenure as the former president of the Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
Joe Ortiz asked: "How can the man that was handpicked by the United States Government and the Penagon to go after the former dictator of Panama -- Noriega -- have such unpleasant experiences during his return to South Texas? -- this is one question that lingers on the mind of many. The social-political institutions have not changed much since he left South Texas (he is originally from Premont, Texas) to serve his country. The feelings seemed to get more personal when attempting to fight oppression at home than aboard."
But to CCISD School Board Trustee and NETWORK profiteer Carol Scott, who grew in nearby Bishop, Texas at a time where classical segregation of Hispanics and Anglos in residential pockets were evident -- where one could identify segregation and apartheid-like conditions with the precision of a razon blade, it was just a grip utter or a "chip" on a shoulder. However, to Attorney Joe Flores it was a mater of role-models: "Was it too much to ask for to name a school that is predominantly Hispanic, during Hispanic Heritage Month after a politiive role model who orbits and reaches out fairly to all sectors of the community like an Hispanic?". Flores favored the new school being named after County Commissioner Jose A. Gonzales (JAG), a former Justice of the Peace and an activist in EDUCATION IS OUR FREEDOM stared by the late HECTOR P. GARCIA, founder of the American GI Forum.
To top things off, the tension mounted. A thirteen year old Hispanic CCISD student was bitten by ants during a game at his middle school and died as a result of it. The school board trustees were asked by a TV station if they wanted to come and examined the site of the incident. Only Trustee Lucy Rubio and later John Marez inspected the it. Some observers interpreted the "no show" of some of the other members of the school board as reflecting the social distance still in existence in their minds between the two communities -- Anglo and Hispanic/ethnic minorities.
Attorney Joe Flores insisted during an interview: "The mindset needs to change pronto. The sensitivity level is beginning to foment unrest. Education should be our freedom, as the late Dr. Hector (Garcia) stated so eloquently during his day. These social walls fabricated long ago by ethnocentrism and cold convenience need to be brought down. There is only one race -- the human race. Yet we all share special and unique subcultures -- and thus should be respected and our way of life: observed... for not to do so, is to erase something special and also reinforcing disrespect for others that are culturally varying and unique in their ways."