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Condescending and Patronizing on La Presa

Beldon Butterfield

You should have seen a fisherman’s look after I told him how Amigos de La Presa is keeping the shoreline clean. “Never heard of them,” he answered. “We do our own cleanup.”

“If you are going to be on the Presa, you, like members of Amigos de La Presa, should participate in picking up the shoreline garbage left by others.” When I told a member I considered this practice condescending and patronizing, and said, “Why don’t you do something important like stopping the cutting down of trees that fuel the brick-producing kilns in Pantoja?” I received the answer: “Why don’t you go back to where you came from?” That would be México City, where I lived and worked for forty years. You have to be careful about your opinions when around certain people.

The president of this organization then wrote to me and insisted, “I believe Amigos deserves an apology from you. Whatever difference of opinions we may have, I don’t believe that Amigos should be trashed.” He then went on to explain. “We and all our members, guests, and newcomers launch our boats from a piece of land that is littered with all manner of flotsam, including broken glass. So we clean it up once a month so that it is more pleasant and safe. Is this condescending?” This is an area approximately the size of my living room.

However, that is not what is stated, as one can read on the Amigos de la Presa website. This group is out there cleaning up the shoreline for guests like me and others who have been paddling long before Amigos de La Presa appeared on the scene. It would also include those newcomers who don’t paddle and leave the garbage in the first place.

Yes, this practice is patronizing and condescending, serving no positive purpose and does nothing to solve the problem. For certain people, it’s a “make-me-feel-good” project. I rather doubt most members of Amigos de La Presa have the faintest idea what is being said in their name. They are out there paddling like everyone else.


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