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Local man's pro-Trump Selena statue picture goes viral

Posted at 9:04 PM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-11 00:42:53-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The statue of Selena Quintanilla-Perez at a memorial along the sea wall is a magnet for Corpus Christi tourists.

It's also the centerpiece of a political statement from a local, ardent supporter of President Donald Trump.

“I was expressing my opinion and freedom of speech," said Joe Michael Perez. "Everybody does that all the time.”

Perez put a Trump campaign hat on the head of the statue, put his arm around Selena while wearing a Trump campaign shirt, and someone snapped a picture.

He then gave the picture to the Corpus Christi Crónica -- a bilingual newspaper. The Crónica posted it on Facebook, where it went viral with thousands of reactions, comments, and shares.

“I did it because Selena is a representation of the Hispanic community," Perez said. "I had a message that I wanted to deliver to everybody."

He says his message to the Hispanic community is that it is acceptable for them to support and vote for President Trump, a man he openly admires.

"The guy’s accomplishments, what he’s gotten done -- I’m drawn to that," Perez said.

While some of the Facebook comments applaud Perez, the majority are critical of his picture.

When self-described Selena super-fan Delia Hutchinson saw it, she said she burst into tears.

“It just breaks my heart that he would do something like that," Hutchinson said.