Sunday, August 13, 2017


By Juan Montoya
Where do you find the signs of misery as you walk though the streets of Brownsville?
Is it in the dry statistics of the MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) readily available through the Internet or at your local library?
Or is it in the long lines at the Texas Human Services Department building where women with their children sit from the early morning hours and wait patiently to apply or renew for assistance?

Maybe it's in the number of homeless people who sit on park benches. Or perhaps it's manifest in the homeless sleeping in downtown store doorways until the morning comes and they have to vacate the premises and hike to the Good Neighbor Settlement Home to get a meal and a shower.

Or does misery reveal itself in the number of families scavenging through fetid alley dumpsters behind second-hand stores looking for items they can resell or even wear themselves?

Perhaps it's the scores of young men carrying a plastic five-gallon paint cans asking if they can wash your car while you do your business in downtown stores or offices? Or does it manifest itself in the hungry and vacant eyes of crackheads panhandling the patrons at local dives to get the $2 or $3 bucks they need to buy the rock?

Or it it in the furtive, hopeful smile that the girls and women who hang around the hourly-rate hotel give you as they ask you if you want a "date?"

Or maybe it's in the eyes of job seekers walking on a beaten path on the shoulder of the road – most places there are no sidewalks – because they don't have a car and they don't have the bus fare to ride public transportation.

Yet, if he had a $350 bicycle bicycle and a snazzy Under Armor outfit, he would have a state-of-the-art bike-and-hike trial bought and paid for by our chisquiada city commission.

With all these distractions, it stands to reason that most of the time we are blind to the misery around us and have grown so inured to the poverty and squalor that it goes right over our head.

Witness, for example, the long lines at the local plasma donation centers. Many are local residents, but many of the "donors" at the downtown centers are from Matamoros who queued patiently from dawn to be able to donate their blood and walk out to the local grocery store afterward and buy the 10 pounds of pollo leg quarters ($3.90)  and 15 pounds of potatoes ($2.95) to feed the household for a week.

If you look closely, you can tell who has been to the centers by the telltale wrap around their left elbow where the needle was inserted to draw their blood.
The plasma companies report that the border has been a gold mine for their "service." And they're eyeing setting up shop in Mexican cities to tap onto that vein at the source.

Plasma is not cheap at a hospital, if it has ever been your misfortune to have to pay for it. The money they pay these "donors" is nothing compared to what they charge patients. But to the poor and destitute whose blood has been checked and deemed marketable, it's money in their pocket they wouldn't have any other way.

It's pollo con calabaza or pollo with potatoes. It's money for a "new" shirt or trousers at Ayner Second-Hand store. Maybe there might be something left over for a tarrito of draft beer over at La Carta before you take the mandado home.

If that isn't a measure of misery, then perhaps we have grown so jaded that only until you're there yourself, you won't recognize it.


Anonymous said...

But we are the Bicycle Capitol of the World, aren't we. And we have a parking garage that nobody uses. Maybe soon enough the vagrants will make themselves into that place and give it as their address at the post office.
Plus, we have building after building that is being turned into offices for city officials. The list could go on, and not until we get rid of Tony Blue Jeans and get Cesar de Leon as mayor, will Brownsville ever progress.

Anonymous said...

that's Ben Neece's district, bro. lets see what he does about it.

Anonymous said...

Brownsville is a cesspool inhabited by the ugliest people on the planet. It smells of pain, juan.

Anonymous said...

And the mayorvy la Jessica flaunting their wares
Los pobres son Los politicos que necesitan "likes" y "friends" pa sentirse importantes.
Those of us that donate, just need cash for the Sancha or the vice.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Brownsville is a cesspool inhabited by the ugliest people on the planet. It smells of pain, juan.

August 13, 2017 at 6:43 PM

If you live here and DONT do anything about it you are part of the problem and you are part of the cesspool. If you don't live here then worry about where you live and make a difference there. If you can't even do that, you are not only a problem to yourself, your community and your state. Maybe YOU should leave the state. Ugliest people in the planet? Please listen to Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror" and maybe you can see what the ugliest person in the planet looks like.

Anonymous said...

The poor you will always have with you..

What's in your heart to give or help them is that counts..

The LORD loves a happy giver.

Everything else is...b...s....!

Anonymous said...

Did citizens of Brownsville actually write this negative criticism of their own city???????? WOW! Do they vote?? If so, they need to show up to vote against Tony Martinez. Tony (Da'Mayor) Martinez has ruined our city. He began by spending our money to save Juliet Garcia's job....he and she lost, thus the citizens of this city lost. Now, we have millions of dollars of worthless real estate...thanks to Tony. Tony opposed the separation of UTB and TSC...he failed us again in favor of Juliet Garcia. While other cities in the RGV have prospered, Brownsville has and continues to swirl down the toilet. Tony Martinez has no leadership ability; he only seeks to protect his friends. Tony is a DICK!

Diego Lee Rot said...

At least we have beer

Anonymous said...

Fuck off, you annoying photo shopped Bob Marley -wannabe !

Anonymous said...

You are a moron. I have 2 very successful brothers as well as several dear friends that call Brownsville home and I can assure you that they are neither ugly ir lazy. You show ugliness on the inside and that is far worse.

Anonymous said...

There are no opportunities here. That is why people who leave rarely ever go back. As long as opportunities are non existent there will be a brain drain of talent and south Texas will be a net exporter of the people that can make a difference.

Anonymous said...

And you forgot the bicycle lanes that we have for the 4 or 5 people that use them.

Anonymous said...


Another part of the problem said...

Those of you that think voting is the solution to any problems, in Brownsville or anywhere else in the world, are wrong. Any single one of you could think of a solution to any problem, come up with a good idea get support from the community and make it work or at least try. Anyone can be a leader.
The problem in the world is that everyone likes to point fingers. No one is part of the solution making them part of the problem. And when someone does try to fix it many people just point out he flaws and complain.
Be a part of the solution.