A SINGLE Republican Senator has blocked plans for Women and Latino dedicated exhibits to be added to Washington’s Smithsonian Museum.
Utah Senator Mike Lee, who is of Libertarian ideology, said that the planned exhibits would ‘further divide an already divided nation’. His was the only dissenting vote of all 100 Senators, with all other representatives from across the political spectrum supporting the plans for Women and Latino focused museum collections to be added to the Smithsonian.
The movement to add Latino history to one of the world’s biggest museums has been growing since a 1990s government report. The damning document said that the Smithsonian ‘almost entirely excludes and ignores Latinos in nearly every aspect of its operations. For almost twenty years calls for a dedicated Women’s history section of the Smithsonian have been growing.
“I understand what my colleagues are trying to do and why. I respect what they’re trying to do. I even share their interests in ensuring that these stories are told.” said the Senator ”But the last thing we need is to further divide an already divided nation with an array of segregated, separate-but-equal museums for hyphenated identity groups.”
Lee’s opposition to so-called identity politics is echoed by many members of the Republican party, with the Senator adding that such ideology ‘weaponises diversity’.
Latino Democrat Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in response to the vote: ‘Good to know Utah Sen. Mike Lee is spending his time today giving speeches about why Latinos shouldn’t have a national history museum and oh, while we’re at it, why there shouldn’t be a women’s history museum either’.