The forever war to command historical memory rages in Salinas, California.
The murderer is Tiburcio Vasquez. I'd never heard of him before, but this is what wikipedia says about him:
Even today, Tiburcio Vásquez remains controversial. He is seen as a hero by some Mexican-Americans for his defiance of what he viewed as unjust laws and discrimination. Others regard him simply as a colorful outlaw. A more balanced view is that he was indeed a robber, but became a folk hero in his own lifetime to Mexicans and Californios, who were oppressed and would grasp at anything to give them hope, even a bandit.Nix writes that the memory of Vasquez is contested territory. Some (mostly whites) argue that he was a convicted murderer and notorious bandit. Others (mostly hispanics) argue that he was a revolutionary, fighting against the new government of the United States. The position of the paper seems clear, given the headline.
I don't know anything about Tiburcio Vasquez, or the racial politics of Salinas. But this controversy is more evidence that history is a battleground. And once the battle is over (to the extent it can ever really end), won history is a weapon.