Eva Longoria Advocates for National Latino Museum at U.S. Senate Hearing
The Mexican American actress testified before the Rules and Administration Committee about the importance of establishing a Smithsonian museum that would honor the art, culture, and history of American Latinos.
On Tuesday, Eva Longoria spoke to the U.S. Senate's Rules and Administration Committee about why it's crucial to establish a National Latino Museum in the United States, which is home to about 60 million Latinos — 18.5 percent of the population. The Mexican American actress and activist argued that adding a museum to the Smithsonian that honors the art, history, and cultural contributions of American Latinos would "send a message we belong."
The committee is considering bills to establish a museum for American Latinos and another dedicated to women's history. Longoria advocated for both. "When you don't have representation in the official record, these contributions are effectively erased," she said, arguing that history books, national monuments, and statues of the country's Founding Fathers — who are white and male — do not reflect the diversity of this country, and exclude the stories of many Americans.
Latinos are projected to become 30 percent of the American population by 2060. If we don't celebrate everyone's contributions, Longoria said, then "we maintain the status quo in which women and Latinos are left out of our collective perception of American history, relegated as sidekicks to white male heroes."
There is a hope that the Senate will pass the National Museum of the American Latino Act by unanimous consent. In July, the House approved its version of the legislation, which was bipartisan, to create a national Latino museum.
Former Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lethinen has also advocated to establish the American Latino Museum in Washington, D.C. Even if it is an uphill battle, she argues that the effort will be well worth it. "A Latino museum will be essential to promote our pride in our roots. Establishing a museum is a long and difficult process. It may not happen this year or next, but I am optimistic that in the next five years the museum will be a reality," the Cuban American politician told People CHICA.