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Too much reaction to city attorney's comment

June 10, 2013 at 1:10 a.m.


Editor, the Advocate:

The old phrase "a tempest in a teapot" comes to mind after reading the Advocate's Sunday story concerning a remark made by City Attorney Thomas Gwosdz. Victoria resident Clara Ramos complained that the remark was racist.

Gwosdz told then-mayor Will Armstrong to "be sure to sign in Spanish" when he signed an election document, a statement that has riled some people.

I salute Ramos for having enough interest in the city to attend council meetings, but I do question her wisdom.

Victoria was founded in 1824 by Don Martin de Leon, of Spanish descent. Most of its early inhabitants were of Spanish origin, including its mayor, Juan Linn. Prior to 1836, Victoria was a part of Mexico, so the citizens were Mexicans.

The last federal census reported 44.5 percent of the population is Spanish.

The Advocate quoted Ramos, 58, and Bertha Medina, 40, who both claimed the remark by the city attorney was racist. So?

I can see where Gwosdz was simply trying to take the pressure off the "tempest in a teapot."

I spent the first 20 of my now more than 80 years in Beeville, so I am well-versed in the differences languages can make in a community.

And my wife of more than 54 years, the former Olga de la Garza, of Goliad, is a direct descendant of one of the pioneers in Victoria, Don Carlos de la Garza, whose ranch southwest of Victoria was a haven for troops at La Bahia in Goliad fleeing the Mexican army in 1836.

As I was growing up, my father, F.D. "Fats" Nance, was general manager of Hall Industries Theatres, a group of a dozen moviehouses from Kerrville to Kingsville. He taught me early in life to look at the color of the dollar bill, not at the skin of the person offering it.

So I say to Ramos and Medina, get a life - or get involved with, or start, a group that tries to eliminate the tensions between people speaking different languages.

Bob Nance, Victoria

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