Conversation with an angry anglo Crystal City Jackie Hooks is the administrator of the Zavala County road department. He has lived in Crystal City for all of his 47 years. The conversation started with the question, “How are things here, with Raza Unida running the show?” “It’s a dictatorship. It is. That’s all it is. A dictatorship run by Angel Gutierrez. “You can’t tell what they’re doing in the schools because they haven’t published a financial statement since they’ve been in. They never show the breakdown of how much federal and foundation money: apparently it’s all unsupervised. “I wouldn’t invest a dime here under this situation, and I’ll tell that to any businessman who asks me about coming in here. “I’m not going to say that there was no animosity toward the Mexican here before, but we were outgrowing that ’til this damn bunch come up preaching racial hatred. Hell, we were growin’ out of all that stuff and here they come along and start it all over again. “Now I only have this on hearsay, but what I heard is that Angel is telling the Mexicans that once he’s elected county judge, they can cut all the fences on all the ranches and take the cattle and vegetable crops and he’s gonna take the land away from the ranchers and divide it up and give it to the Mexicans. “What we’ve got here is a limited few, highly educated Mexicans Gutierrez, GSmez, Gonzalez and Andrade reapin’ the cream off the crop. They get these programs, sure. But what it is, they’ll get a grant for $25,000 and put in an administrator at $12,000 and an assistant administrator at $8,000 and a secretary at $5,000 and then what’s left to accomplish the program with? The money never gets own to the people it is intended for. Not t all, the people don’t get anything out of 11 these programs just the few who run em. “They put in such incompetent people to run things. We’ve got grammar school graduates or not even that to run three-four-five and six million dollar school budgets. I couldn’t care less if it’s a Mexican, a Negro or an anglo in the offices as long as he’s qualified to hold ’em. They had to fire the one deputy sheriff for lack of a G.E.D. Sheriff’s a butcher, that’s all he’s ever done. 61′ LL TELL you why people don’t vote. They get harassed at the polls. Two-three days before an election, we have comin’ in here cars with license plates from all over. You never saw the like of the element that descends on us beards, whiskers, serapes all drivin’ doodlebug cars or else vans. Election day here is one big carnival. They carry on with catcalls and threaten the Mexicans that vote in the Democratic primary. They set up a table right outside the polling place and they’ll start hollering at any Mexican that goes in there. “Raza Unida could promise no security to its supporters until it gained the school system, which is one of the larger employers in the county. They up and fired most of the teachers and the rest of ’em up and left. They begun replacing ’em with fresh graduates out of St. Mary’s and A&I, but they don’t stay long either. They’ve gained support by threatening people’s jobs. One of our fellows helped us poll watch and his wife was employed by the school cafeteria and she got fired the next day. Anybody who goes against ’em wham, they’re out. “I’ve been with the fire department for many years now. It’s volunteer. They said we didn’t have Mexicans in it. Well, we had the Mexicans and they wouldn’t stay with it. The Mexicans wouldn’t keep up with the training or come to the meetings. For quite a while the fire truck couldn’t even pass a state inspection for the insurance. We couldn’t get the city to pay any attention to requests from the fire department they said it was anglo. They won’t carry insurance on us I had to pay the doctor bill of $100 myself back here a while where I got crippled up on a fire. They finally did fix up the fire truck. We haven’t got any law enforcement here, in my opinion. None. But I’ll say this for the city police. For the past six months, the city police has afforded the fire department some help. We had 107 alarms in February, and they were there helping us at every one directing traffic and keeping the crowds back. It’s extremely hazardous, but they just fell in and went to heipin’ us. And I’ll tell you this, when that fire whistle goes off, you don’t know if it’s a Mexican, anglo or nigger house going up. “There’s some good Mexican people in Crystal. City. It’s just the one element, the Gutierrez faction that’s radical. And that is part of a trend all over the U.S. “I’m not sayin’ we had a good city government in the years prior to ’60. It didn’t do anything. But we had no debts. Course, had no money. “I’ll tell you what’ll chafe your rear end if you look it, it’s the money the United States government is giving out here. Now that is in part my money. And will you look here, what is this Federation of Experienced Americans down here on this list for a grant of $1.3 million? I happen to be an experienced American myself. If the U.S. government would get the hell out of here, this whole bunch would go down in no time. They don’t have to work. Government provides everything for ’em. Hell, Angel Gutierrez never turned a hand in his life and he’s 29 years old. I read in Human Events that such programs will be funded from here on out. Well, believe you me, none of that money has ever gone to the betterment of the community. “I THINK this is the worst thing in the world. This is just the way the communists work they go in and get the school children. I don’t say that Angel’s a communist, but his tactics are so similar to the communist tactics that I have to think he’s got some inclinations that way. Hell, he’s read Marx and all that. “It took a couple of hundred years to build this country up will be come ’76. But they’re out to tear it down in a hurry. You heard this Aztlan talk? They’re only teachin’ Mexican in the schools. They’re out to isolate the whole section through the language barrier. You couldn’t do it more effectively if you built a wall like in Germany. You couldn’t have a barrier be more effective than that. “The goin’ thing down here now is Jose Angel. Every reporter that comes down here capitalizes on him. The papers won’t talk about anyone else in Crystal City, just Angel. That’s the way they sell, papers. Bein’ a Mexican wasn’t good enough for Angel and them. They had to chsnge their name to chicano. “The war on poverty is the cause of all this inflation. They give these people food stamps now and do you think they .check the price of meat before they buy it? No. They just pitch a stack of those books down on the table and tear out some pages for what they want. I’m for helpin’ people, but only those who are incapable of helpin’ themselves. “I passed near the courthouse the other day where they have one of their programs. There was a sign out front that said “Crystal Self-Help Project.” But it was layin’ on the ground.” M. I.
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