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Discussion – 

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Texas as Understood from Longoria Affair and Enron

Texas one of the largest states in the United States of America is definitely a mover on
various issues and developments capable of affecting the whole nation. To understand these
aspects we look at insights from two different yet the same occurrences that have been
documented or written from Texas, The Longoria Affair and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the
Room.
Texas was mainly an Anglo state with whites as its main inhabitants but during and after
World War 2 there were many new American citizens drafted to the war and became American
citizens. This should have allowed them equal rights as the whites therefore when Felix Longoria
a private in the army died and was to be buried in his home of Three Rivers South Texas, his
family was denied access to have a wake for him. The works of Valadez John who shot a
documentary to try and account as to what happened tend to depict the town as filled with racism
and discriminatory acts. This may not have been the actual facts as viewers are allowed their
own opinion though the director may help sway the viewer to a certain conclusion. This was
different to the era of Enron years later where top executives of different race color, social and
family background work together, respect and coexist showing people can accept each other.
There are still some similarities between the two as they show that people are influenced to ideas
with or without all the facts for the Longoria affair people believed what they heard and forgot
the cohabitation they had established between themselves. Enron on the other hand portrayed the
picture of a clean successful company and nobody had any doubt on the wealth of the company
to warrant them to dig deeper as to the cause of the success.

2
These pieces on Texas show the political drive people associate with media covered
situations as they revel in the publicity, create and change the flow of outcomes to satisfy their
own goals this was definite in the Longoria affair which shaped the political careers of Lyndon
B. Johnson, Hector P. Garcia, and John F. Kennedy. Enron Energy on the other hand made and
destroyed business politics of executives of the company, accounting firms involved with them
Arthur Andersen a respectable firm lost their credibility. Enron’s demise was a result of “The
tale of Enron is a story of human weakness, of hubris and greed and rampant self-delusion”
(McLean 26).
Garcia and Johnson used the events of Three Rivers to garner nationwide support. This polarized
as Garcia accused Mr. Kennedy who was in charge of the matter at the funeral home of “refusing
to bury” Mr. Longoria which received criticism from the people of Three Rivers, the matter
became worse as discrimination from other towns and states was linked to Three Rivers. This
assisted their cause for political power which was pushed by these events.
The events depicted in the two shows how the economic activities of a town, city state or
country can be adversely affected. In the case of Enron which set the standard for other
companies on its level, with its steady profit margin spectacular stock levels could plummet the
way it did leading to loss of billions of dollars in stock .This led to loss of employment, increased
levels of criminal activities and vices. The executives of the major corporations set chain of
events that may have dire consequences and destroy the livelihoods of scores of people. Felix
Longoria who was denied his right to be buried in his hometown of Three Rivers led to the town
being viewed as a racist town and therefore led to loss of tourism from outside visitors, loss of
business due to racial profiling, vandalism and destruction of property which erodes the
economic activities of the town.

3
The two situations though from different times show nepotism aspects. Dr. Garcia
stereotyped all Anglo’s in Three Rivers as racist but if you do further research you will find the
people of Three Rivers cohabited well. Mr. Kennedy of the funeral home was compassionate and
served people as he had done so in the past countless times. It was this incident that was
continually tweaked and exaggerated by those giving it to fit their various goals and opinions.
The testimonies given later on after the documentary by Valadez suggests that the events are not
necessarily what happened in Three Rivers. Enron energy on the other hand gave preference to
employ applicants with a military background. This led to more qualified candidates losing out
on a position as the Chief Executive Officer John Skilling believed the military background had
their own culture, discipline and way of doing things. This goes on to show abuse of power as
some executives handled the corporation in a dictatorial manner.
This findings help find various insights from both scenarios. The research helps us
understand that change is inevitable and it will always come about one way or another as racial
bigotry has been phased out completely today and people live in harmony irrespective of their
race or color. This proves even Texas a state which follows traditions to the core some even way
past their time can change for the better. Enron Energy believed their dubious ways would not be
discovered as they were too big to either doubt or question but the people had to be answered
their questions leading to the truth.
The research performed also shows people should take interest in finding out the whole story of
an incident before judging or setting their mind to a certain conclusion this will help us not regret
any actions in future and be able to support our decisions and opinions fully. This has been
evident in Texas as shown by these findings. The people of Texas are now one and there is no
divide for powerful individuals and politicians to exploit.

4
Enron energy succeeded on deceit and confusion which they portrayed as the truth was
eventually discovered. The case of Longoria needed the intervention of everybody respective of
who they were as they were all equal citizens of America.

5

Works Cited Page
McLean, Bethany, and Peter Elkind. The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and
Scandalous Fall of Enron. New York: Portfolio, 2003. Print.
Valadez, John, dir. The Longoria Affair, PBS Distribution,2010.DVD

Fox, Loren. Enron: The Rise and Fall. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley, 2003. Print.
Kells, Michelle H. Legacy of Resistance: Héctor P. García, the Félix Longoria Incident, and the
Construction of a Mexican American Civil Rights Rhetoric. , 2003. Print.
Carroll, Patrick J. Felix Longoria’s Wake: Bereavement, Racism, and the Rise of Mexican
American Activism. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2003. Internet resource.
Gibney, Alex, Jason Kliot, Susan Motamed, Todd Wagner, Mark Cuban, Joana Vicente, Peter
Coyote, Kenneth L. Lay, Jeff Skilling, Andrew S. Fastow, William S. Lerach, Gray Davis,
Maryse Alberti, Alison Ellwood, Matt Hauser, and Bethany McLean. Enron: The Smartest Guys
in the Room. Los Angeles, Calif: Magnolia Home Entertainment, 2005.

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