Metropolitan Museum of Art forcing undocumented migrants to subsidize taxpayers



The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the most famous art museum in New York, and perhaps all of America. For years the Met, which is supposed to be free because the City of New York owns its building, has had a very sneaky way of scamming people out of money. They posted a "recommended" admission fee of $25, without ever clearly stating that the actual amount you had to pay was up to you.

Well, after two lawsuits forced the Met to be more forthcoming about its admission fee, the Met found that it was in need of more money. So the Museum is now going to force out of state visitors to pay the full $25 fee. New Yorkers will presumably need to produce documentation to prove they are New Yorkers, or else they will have to pay the full fee.

But how will this documentation request affect undocumented migrants? Some have drivers' licenses, though not as many as you might think in car-unfriendly New York City. Many don't have documentation... which is why they are called "undocumented". Therefore, by this logic, many illegal aliens, even illegal aliens residing in New York, will be forced to pay the full $25 entry fee, and regular red-blooded Americans who live in New York can pay $1... or fifty cents... or ten cents... or nothing. Illegal aliens will be subsidizing taxpaying Americans. Surely this is a first!

In general I have noticed a very anti-immigrant atmosphere at the Met. All the museum exhibit signs are in English. I think this is done purposely to keep people of color--particularly Hispanics, Latinos, Latinas, or, as they like to be called now, Latinx (like Chex, the cereal), out of the museum. And sure enough, in my years in New York I very rarely saw people of color in the Museum. Most of the clientele was almost uniformly older, emaciated white women who looked like they were slowly melting. I got the impression they were only interested in another culture if it was securely dead and mounted in a glass box.

In fact, I think even asking for documentation discriminates against minorities. We have been told repeatedly that minorities are less able to get documentation for voting, and the same must prove true in this situation. I think, as with voting, that the Met should simply accept peoples' word about where they live, rather than demand documentation which will reduce access to their collection.

Do you think the Met is trying to keep minorities out? How would you feel paying a dollar to visit the galleries, knowing your visit is probably being underwritten by a hard working illegal alien?

[originally in AT]



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