While much of the United States is currently in the process of making our country’s monuments less offensive, one man is boldly doing the exact opposite. The Corpus Christi Caller Times reports that a guy named Joe Michael Perez is trying to organize a Trump rally at Selena’s memorial monument in Corpus Christi, Texas, and to promote it, he put a MAGA hat on her statue. Now Selena’s family is threatening to sue.
A cease and desist letter from a law firm representing Selena’s family argues that Perez’s planned event is an unauthorized use and commercial exploitation of Selena Quintanilla’s name, image, and likeness. “Without obtaining Quintanilla’s permission, you have unilaterally associated Selena’s brand and identity with Donald J. Trump, whose public statements, ideology, and political re-election campaign are neither endorsed by nor affiliated with Quintanilla in any manner,” the letter states.
“Selena is an inspirational and uplifting figure to millions of people around the world, of all races, creeds, religions, and national origin, including young children and families,” it continues. “Associating Selena with any single politician, and particularly with the divisiveness and discord commonly attributed to Donald J. Trump, is entirely inconsistent with, and damaging to, Selena’s image and brand and is thereby damaging to Quintanilla.”
Perez announced on Facebook that he would be hosting an event called “Trump supporters gathering at Selena Statue” at 2PM on 7/11. “The Media has painted their own narrative about the Trump hat that was placed on the Selena Statue,” the description reads. “Now it’s our turn to come out and paint our own narrative. which is that the media has it wrong. Calling out all Trump Supporters to come out and support the cause. bring your flags and Trump Gear‼️🇺🇸 #Trump2020 #Hispanics4Trump.”
“The Selena statue is a symbol of the Hispanic community. I wanted to deliver a message that minorities who support Trump are not alone,” Perez told The Corpus Christi Caller Times. “I wanted to influence and encourage those that it’s okay to show support for our president.” Perez still plans to go through with the event, and he expects around 150 people to show up. He also says he intends to announce his mayoral candidacy for the city of Corpus Christi.