Mayor turns hateful comments into charity fundraisers


WICHITA FALLS (KFDX / KJTL) – A Facebook comment aiming to slander Wichita Falls Mayor Stephen Santellana has turned into a fundraiser for a local nonprofit.

The mayor said eating tacos was a badge of honor in Texas and no comment would change his positive attitude.

“I asked the person, ‘Did you call me a taco eater?’ He said, ‘I sure did,’ ”Mayor Santellana said.

The man referred to Mayor Santellana on Wednesday, the day before Mexico’s Independence Day.

“Put a post out there that I think is a badge of honor. I didn’t think this post would be very popular, ”said Santellana. “Basically, I was like if I get a thousand hands up we’re going to have a city-wide taco party that isn’t approved by the city, but I think I can get some people behind it.”

One of Santellana’s favorite sayings is “positivity creates positivity”. So when he saw the comment, he decided to make it positive by raising more than $ 1,000 Zavala Hispanic Cultural Initiative, a nonprofit that promotes education and culture while empowering the Hispanic community.

“You get a lot of these comments when you’re in office,” said Santellana. “When he was picking on my inheritance, I thought, let’s see if I can make something positive out of it, and so far we’ve achieved a lot in less than 24 hours. I mean hundreds of people who would like to attend the event to help raise funds for the event; I think it’s good. “

“It is important for us to recognize and accept culture, ethnicity and diversity and to be inclusive and use an inclusive language,” said Mario Ramirez, President of the Zavala Hispanic Cultural Initiative. “If someone belittles that in some kind of bigotry or racist way, there is a better way to fight it than to turn it into a positive right.”

As Hispanic Heritage Month begins, both men say they won’t be fooled by such comments and use this special month to spread their heritage and foster a positive, inclusive energy.

“Zavala is a Hispanic organization promoting education, culture, and leadership, and all three align with what we do and what we want to promote in the community.

The group and Santellana take this opportunity to push Hispanic culture against hatred during a very special time of year.

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