New Mexico Republicans are so mad about the Breaking Bad statues

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A couple of weeks ago, we covered the unveiling of the Breaking Bad statues in New Mexico. I thought it was funny that they’d installed a bronze Walter White and Jesse Pinkman at the Albuquerque Convention Center to welcome folks. And I loved that the cast was so into it. At the time, there was one congressman, Rep. Rod Montoya, being a stick in the mud about it, claiming the statue was “going down the road of literally glorifying meth makers.” It was an overreach, so I made it more of a postscript in the post than anything. But now more conservative voices have jumped on the have gone Anti-Statue bandwagon! Seriously, these people have nothing better to do than accuse a cheeky likeness of glorifying the production of methamphetamine in the great state of New Mexico.

Albuquerque-based conservative talk radio host Eddy Aragon and Republican state representative Rod Montoya are two public figures condemning the 500-pound statues.

“I’m glad New Mexico got the business, but really?” Montoya recently told Fox News. “We’re going down the road of literally glorifying meth makers?”

“It’s not the type of recognition we want for the city of Albuquerque, or for our state,” Aragon added, noting that “what you saw on ‘Breaking Bad’ should be a documentary, honestly. I think, really, that is the reality in New Mexico. We try to say it’s fictional, but that is the reality… we’ve joked that [‘Breaking Bad’] should be on PBS. That is, unfortunately, the reality.”

Aragon blasted the state for erecting “Breaking Bad” statues after it decided to take down a statue of Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate, who was the first Spanish governor of New Mexico.

“Now we have brand-new statues,” Aragon said. “Now we’re putting fictional characters out in front. We have Jesse Pinkman and, of course, Heisenberg, and we have now erected statues and our progressive mayor from the city of Albuquerque has stood behind them. We’re funding those, so it’s OK to go get rid of real historical figures and now, somehow it’s even better, to [have] fictional, drug-dealing figures.”

[From Yahoo]

To reiterate, the show and its characters are being honored because of the amount of jobs and revenue it brought the city. With more revenue comes more mental health and drug program assistance. So I understand there is a drug issue in New Mexico, like the rest of the US, but people aren’t misinterpreting what the Breaking Bad statue is for. No one is giving in to the idea of “Whelp, Albuquerque is just going to be Drug City now.” It’s a show, these were characters. There’s a giant mouse sitting in the heart of Anaheim and no one thinks Southern California is celebrating the return of the black plague.

As for Eddy Aragon, he has a grudge to bear. Notice he’s attacking the mayor specifically in his rant. Well, guess what, Eddy ran against Mayor Tim Keller on an anti-mandate platform and lost. But let’s look at his argument about the city taking down the statue of Juan de Oñate y Salazar anyway. Before we dig in, remember the Walter/Jesse statue was paid for by Vince Gilligan and Sony, not the city. Anyway, Walter and Jesse are two fictional TV characters who went through a whole story arc, were portrayed with flaws, occasionally met with both karmic and legal justice, and again did not exist in real life. Juan de Oñate y Salazar was an actual Spaniard on stolen land who ordered the Ácoma Massacre, which saw the murder and mutilation of approximately 1000 Ácoma. He sentenced the surviving 500 Ácoma to personal servitude and cut one foot off of all the adult men. So I’m gonna give the point to Breaking Bad on this one. This Aragon and Montoya are the same type of people who argue the Confederate Flag doesn’t mean anything, but a bad likeness of Bryan Cranston is going to turn the next generation into toothless meth dependents. I realize it’s just an excuse to complain but it’s still dumb. I wasn’t even that invested but if these guys keep making a stink with these spurious arguments, it’ll sway me to Team Statue.

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16 Responses to “New Mexico Republicans are so mad about the Breaking Bad statues”

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  1. Miranda says:

    But Confederate “participation trophy” statues of men who actively participated in and fought to preserve chattel slavery, essentially a drawn out genocide, are just fine.

    Fun fact about the statue of Juan de Oñate: before it was removed, protesters cut off or otherwise damaged the statue’s foot on several occasions. There are still SO MANY statues of conquistadors and missionaries to New Spain who abused, enslaved, and killed natives.

  2. Tessa says:

    this is nothing new i recall Mary Tyler Moore has a statue in Minneapolis honoring her character Mary Richards

  3. It Really Is You, Not Me says:

    For goodness sake, no one who actually watched Breaking Bad could think that it glorifies meth users or producers. Literally everyone on that show was negatively impacted from using or being in the meth trade. Let people be a little cheeky,

    Also very telling that the New Mexico repubs are focusing on the fictional Breaking Bad instead of statues of conquistadors who actually committed genocide and other atrocities.

    • StellainNH says:

      I had watched a few episodes of the show, but couldn’t get into it. Ultimately, I thought the whole series seemed to the failure on American healthcare. Why else would a school teacher have to start manufacturing meth to pay for his own care. Not much has changed…

    • bettyrose says:

      That’s one of the aspects that makes the show so brilliant. There’s not one moment where the lifestyle is glorified. Well, okay, when Walt plays out his revenge fantasies on Elliot and Gretchen, but nothing where the cooking or use is displayed is ever remotely appealing, and the money management is displayed as beyond what a typical person could possibly figure out.

      @Stellain – You nailed it. The show was conceived as a statement on the failure of the U.S. healthcare system. I also found the first few episodes hard to get through and gave up on the show for years. It wasn’t until the later seasons were receiving huge critical praise that I tried again. It gets much better.

  4. Flowerlake says:

    Let them.

    There are a lot of dudebro types who love the show as well.

    Let them see what Republicans are really like.

  5. Luna17 says:

    I live in Albuquerque and overall people love breaking bad and the statues. The film industry is huge here and BB helped a lot in bringing money and jobs. Yes there is a huge meth issue and homelessness is out of control as rents and home prices shot up the past few years but those issues would exist without BB (systemic racism, cyclical poverty, poor education systems and job opportunities, desperate need for affordable housing, etc are the cause, not a tv show.

    Also the current republican candidate for governor is a local weatherman who is a clown. He is getting his ass handed to him and the memes alone are amazing. The Republicans know they’re not gonna do well in the upcoming elections and are trying to pin it on statues FFS.

    • The Recluse says:

      Ronchetti is such a tool. The fact that he couldn’t be bothered with working his way up the community service ladder to try to get into a position of power says a lot about him and about those backing him. I hope he gets trounced.

  6. jferber says:

    I’d rather they picked on the statues than getting their brains onto real people and how to take away their rights.

  7. SomeChick says:

    they should put a bronze pizza on top of that house that people are always throwing pizzas at while they’re at it.

    I just can’t with these clowns and their fake/misdirected outrage. (apologies to actual clowns)

  8. Betsy says:

    I stared for longer than I’m proud at the thumbnail picture trying to figure out who that person was. I pondered how deeply colored the skin was, but then also the whites of the eyes? Oh, Betsy. Get some more sleep.

    Of course Republicans are projecting their angst about this. They’re the ones who really really love big pharma.

  9. The Recluse says:

    Here’s another fun factoid about that Onante statue. It was built to service the tourist industry. That’s it.
    It’s offensive to indigenous people here and should stay gone.

  10. Mommy2b says:

    Horrible idea, it absolutly glorifies drug dealers. There’s no way around it.

  11. BeanieBean says:

    Way past time to take down any of NM’s memorials to those conquistadores. What they did at Acoma they did at numerous other pueblos & do not need to be glorified.

  12. susan says:

    let me know when they add one of Saul Goodman. And Kim. Especially Kim.