discrimination? National origin, race, color, genetic information,
sports — you name it and everybody feels discriminated against.
I remember how my good friend, the late Tony Galvez, was very proud of
his practice in the art of bullfighting (bullfighting is considered an
art, not a sport). I very clearly told him I didn’t want to hear about
ear cuttings and stabbing of the bull, because in my book that is
animal cruelty, regardless of the many bullfighters making a living
off their so-called “art.”
Did he feel discriminated against because I disagreed with his likes
and dislikes? Not at all; we remained best of friends until his death.
He just understood that he didn’t have to rub my nose into what I
considered cruelty. He practiced his “art” in Mexico and Spain, so it
was not imposed on anyone in this community.
An old friend of mine from many years past is an avid deer hunter.
Believe it or not, I have never seen a deer other than in pictures and
I see fear in their eyes; but it tore at my heart to think what that
poor animal might feel with a bullet through its body, if it doesn’t
Does my friend feel discriminated against? No way; my opinion and
feelings don’t count as discrimination.
Now, we have the controversy of “Charreria” or Mexican rodeo, and many
are already crying discrimination, feeling that banning the roping of
the front or hind legs of a galloping docile, domesticated and
defenseless horse is discriminatory, bias and racial animosity.
Many are of the opinion that the “Charreria” is a national sport of
Mexico and that Mexican cultural activities should never be
The majority of Latinos, including many Mexicans that I have spoken
with, do not tolerate the abuses and cruelties against animals unable
to protect or defend themselves.
More than discrimination against Mexican cultural activities, I see it
as political manipulation toward the many commissioners in fear of
losing the Mexican vote, couple with the story that Mexicans are the
majority and are threatening officials with the nonsense of losing
Adding insult to injury is the fear that politicians have of upsetting
a very powerful man — and probably a good contributor to their
campaigns — such as Michael Gaughan, the owner of South Point
hotel/casino and spa where the rodeo is to take place.
They were elected to represent the community as a whole, not just a
few select interests in the city, and they should perform their duties
as We The People pay them to do. I hope they still remember that
taxpayers in general are paying their salaries — and not only the ones
who feel discriminated against.
It is understood that Michael Gaughan was instrumental in bringing the
rodeo to Las Vegas, leaving its long-time home of Oklahoma City.
Gaughan is also a member of the National Rodeo Committee, the National
Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, and the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame.
If the Mexican rodeo is a national sport of Mexico and they have no
compassion for those abused horses, they should practice such a cruel
sport on their own soil.
Money, money, money is the name of the game. If the organizers of the
rodeo claim that it will attract more than 100,000 people to Las
Vegas, it is not for free. It will bring hundred of thousands of
dollars to their pockets at the expense of the well-being of the
If County Commissioners are afraid of losing votes in the next
election, they should consider their priorities, because many of us
against animal cruelty would be the ones denying them our votes.
The roping of the front or hind legs of a galloping horse should be
banned, regardless of the monetary interest of the already rich enough
man and/or the threat of losing votes. Animal cruelty is what it is.
Perly Viasmensky is the General Manager of the Las Vegas Tribune. She
writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Perly Viasmensky,
email her at pviasmensky@lasvegas tribune.com.