Remember the Alamo? Actually, Texas Republicans would rather you didn't | Salon.com

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  jbb  •  4 weeks ago  •  27 comments

By:   Jon Skolnik (Salon)

Remember the Alamo? Actually, Texas Republicans would rather you didn't | Salon.com
Texas Republicans who claim to oppose "cancel culture" just banished an Alamo history event from a state museum

The gop in Texas says, "Forget All About The Alamo!"


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


An event for a book that discusses the little-known impact of slavery in the 1836 Battle of the Alamo — was canceled in Texas last Thursday amid pressure from Republican state lawmakers who felt that the book was a "rewriting of history."

The event was scheduled at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, and was supposed to feature the authors of "Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of An American Myth," published last month by Penguin, as the Texas Tribune reports. About 300 people were expected to attend.

But the affair was nixed hours before its scheduled start, amid pressure from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan — all Republicans who have expressed strong opposition to the use of "critical race theory" in education system.

Patrick, who has long been identified with the right-wing fringe of the Texas Republican Party, took personal credit for the event's cancellation, tweeting on Friday: "As a member of the Preservation Board, I told staff to cancel this event as soon as I found out about it. Like efforts to move the Cenotaph, which I also stopped, this fact-free rewriting of TX history has no place at the Bob Bullock Museum."

Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson and Jason Stanford, the book's co-authors, have responded by saying that the move was blatant political censorship, and that Texas Republicans were cracking down on speech they found distasteful. "Lt. Gov, Dan Patrick takes credit for oppressing free speech and policing thought in Texas," wrote Tomlinson on Twitter. "@BullockMuseum proves it is a propaganda outlet. As for his fact-free comment, well, a dozen people professional historians disagree."

Penguin Random House, publisher of "Forget the Alamo," issued a statement on Friday confirming that the governor had a hand in the event's cancellation. The company wrote: "The Bullock was receiving increased pressure on social media about hosting the event, as well as to the museum's board of directors (Gov Abbott being one of them) and decided to pull out as a co-host all together."

Texas historical orthodoxy has long maintained that the Battle of the Alamo was about valiant Texas rebels fighting and dying to defending the short-lived independence of the Lone Star State from Mexican tyranny. "Forget the Alamo" challenges that characterization, reframing the conflict as at least partly about Texas' desire to preserve slavery, which Mexico had ended in 1829.

"Just as the site of the Alamo was left in ruins for decades, its story was forgotten and twisted over time, with the contributions of Tejanos — Texans of Mexican origin, who fought alongside the Anglo rebels — scrubbed from the record, and the origin of the conflict over Mexico's push to abolish slavery papered over," the publisher's official summary of the book puts it. "As uncomfortable as it may be to hear for some, celebrating the Alamo has long had an echo of celebrating whiteness."

The Austin event's cancellation comes amid a broad Republican attack against "wokeness" and critical race theory across the nation. Last month, the Texas legislature passed a bill restricting what could be taught in public school classrooms, specifically targeting the New York Times' 1619 Project, a reporting endeavor that reframes slavery as a linchpin of U.S. history.


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JBB
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JBB    4 weeks ago

Will it now be illegal to teach Texas History in Texas?

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.1  Tessylo  replied to  JBB @1    4 weeks ago

Only a whitewashed one

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
2  seeder  JBB    4 weeks ago

Was Texas a part of The Confederacy? Yes, but do not ask a Texas school child. Nobody told them...

 
 
 
cjcold
Professor Quiet
2.1  cjcold  replied to  JBB @2    4 weeks ago

I went to Six Flags Over Texas once.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Masters Expert
3  Greg Jones    4 weeks ago

Why honor an undocumented fictional book about alleged slavery?

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
3.1  seeder  JBB  replied to  Greg Jones @3    4 weeks ago

Alleged Slavery? Texas was a Confederate State!

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3.1.1  JohnRussell  replied to  JBB @3.1    4 weeks ago

A few weeks back when I wrote an article about the Texas 1836 Project I had cause to look up the Texas constitution, which was written when Texas became an independent nation in the years between their being part of Mexico and when they joined the Confederacy.  In this constitution no person of color is granted any rights whatsoever. Not free blacks, not Indians, not Mexicans. If you were not white you had no rights whatsoever in that "nation". 

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
3.1.2  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  JohnRussell @3.1.1    4 weeks ago

If i remember right , texas has had 4 different constitutions , one when they became independant of mexico , one when they became a state , one when they joined the confederacy , and the last and current one when reconstruction after the war became a nessesity. and all of them different .

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3.1.3  JohnRussell  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @3.1.2    4 weeks ago

and? 

I'm talking about the constitution of the Republic of Texas. 

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
3.1.4  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  JohnRussell @3.1.3    4 weeks ago

IF i remember correctly , they were ALL called that . texas has always identified as a republic , just as mass has always identified as a commonwealth .

 with texas i think one has to identify a specific time period for which ever one was in effect , only one is currently in effect.

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
3.1.5  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  Mark in Wyoming @3.1.4    4 weeks ago

see if i can explain it this way , the first texas constitution was for a nation , it had to be changed in order for congress to accept texas as a state , this is usually where some texans think that texas has the right to leave the union today , it may or may not have had that clause allowing for it , that constitution was negated once texas joined the confederacy  with the confederate texas changing the preceeding one , it again was done away with with the death of the confederacy and reconstruction which required all states that rebelled to draw up new constitutions that the federal government had to approve in order to gain readmittance to the US,  absent in the reconstruction era constitution ( the one currently followed ) there is no mention of the states right to leave the union .

its kind of like our current constitution was preceeded by the articles of confederation , once the constitution was adopted and ratified , the AoC became irrelevant , so do does any preceeding constitutions of texas they may have had in the past , they are null and void.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
3.1.6  Ozzwald  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @3.1.4    4 weeks ago
IF i remember correctly , they were ALL called that .

Nope.Texas had 8 different constitutions. Only 1 of which was called the "Constitution of the Republic of Texas (1836)".

4 were called "Constitution of Texas (1861), (1866), (1869), (1876)"

Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States (1824)

Constitution of the State of Coahuila and Texas (1827)

Constitution of Texas - Joining the U.S.(1845)

Kind of surprised you didn't take the 45 seconds necessary to look this up before responding.
 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3.1.7  JohnRussell  replied to  JohnRussell @3.1.1    4 weeks ago

If I remember correctly, if a non white (free black, Indian or Mexican) wanted to, for example, own a piece of property in the nation of Texas they had to get a special dispensation (permission) from the government and if denied they had no legal recourse. They had no rights at all other than the right to exist I guess. 

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
3.1.8  Tessylo  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @3.1.2    4 weeks ago

You remember incorrectly

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4  JohnRussell    4 weeks ago

The events and personalities surrounding the Alamo are fairly well known, but perhaps not completely. I know there are some comprehensive books about it , but not the level of say the Civil War or the American Revolution. I dont think the participants in the Alamo and Texas at that time quite kept the records or diaries that people did in other situations. 

I first heard that the Alamo was fought to protect slavery in Texas 20 or 25 years ago, so it is not a new issue. 

It will be interesting to see this new book about it. 

-

The Republicans and conservatives in Texas would be more than happy and willing to hide the truth if they can. 

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
4.1  seeder  JBB  replied to  JohnRussell @4    4 weeks ago

It is illegal to teach The Tulsa Massacre in OK K-12.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1.1  JohnRussell  replied to  JBB @4.1    4 weeks ago

wow. I didnt know that. 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Guide
4.1.2  Sean Treacy  replied to  JBB @4.1    4 weeks ago

LOL.  The shit you guys believe...

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
4.1.3  Ozzwald  replied to  Sean Treacy @4.1.2    4 weeks ago

LOL.  The shit you guys believe...

New Oklahoma Law Sparks Debate Over Teaching About Tulsa Massacre

For decades, Oklahoma students weren’t required to learn about the Tulsa Race Massacre in school, in what the city’s school superintendent called a “conspiracy of silence.”

Now some residents and educators worry that a new state law could derail progress in teaching about the tragedy, in which white mobs burned much of the Black community of Greenwood to the ground a century ago, leaving as many as 300 people dead.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Guide
4.1.4  Sean Treacy  replied to  Ozzwald @4.1.3    4 weeks ago

Yes, thanks for proving my point. 

Imagine believing it's illegal to teach the Tulsa Massacre in Okla....

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
4.1.5  Ozzwald  replied to  Sean Treacy @4.1.4    4 weeks ago
Yes, thanks for proving my point. 

I get the distinct impression that you never actually read anything in my link....

Now some residents and educators worry that a new state law could derail progress in teaching about the tragedy
 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
6  Tessylo    4 weeks ago

It is unreal the shit dumbturds believe

 
 
 
Raven Wing
Professor Principal
7  Raven Wing    4 weeks ago

We lived in San Antonio TX during the summer between my 3rd grade and 4th grade school year. My Father was on assignment with the Texas Rangers as a Special Investigator for a select group of highly classified investigators under Lyndon B Johnson, who was TX governor at the time.

We had lived in Pawhuska OK for over a year while my Father worked with the OK Cattleman's Association and conducted his investigations. We had moved to San Antonio when the investigation was completed to testify against a large cattle rustling operation dealing in both OK and TX. While there we took tours around San Antonio, and of course, the Alamo.

It was indeed a very historical structure, very much like the setting used in the movie "Remember the Alamo." When it was time for us to leave I wanted to make one last trip to the Alamo, but, my Father was on a new assignment and we had to leave right away.

I had always wanted to go back again for one more visit to one of the most famous sites of American history. Unfortunately, that opportunity never happened. However, I at least got to see it once, and San Antonio was indeed a beautiful city.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
7.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Raven Wing @7    4 weeks ago

I visited the Alamo once.  What they call the Alamo now is just the church and some of the grounds. The other buildings that were there at the time of the battle are long gone, although I dont think there ever were many buildings, the place was mostly walls and fencing. 

It really felt like you were walking on sacred ground when you entered that church, and everyone was whispering. They have a large model in there that depicts the rest of the compound and the events of the battle.  Excellent gift shop too. 

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
7.2  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  Raven Wing @7    4 weeks ago
Lyndon B Johnson, who was TX governor at the time.

are you thinking of Connally the one shot at the same time as JFK?, LBJ was never governor of texas that i can find .

 
 
 
Raven Wing
Professor Principal
7.2.1  Raven Wing  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @7.2    4 weeks ago

You may be right, Mark. I had just turned 9 y/o at the time, and it was my understanding that LBJ was governor at that time.  But, it has been a long time ago and my memory is not as good as it once was. But, I do know that LBJ was in charge of the special investigators with the Texas Rangers, and I have the picture of the special group taken with LBJ. The year was 1953.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
8  JohnRussell    4 weeks ago

Commentary: Texans don't associate the Alamo with slavery. They should.

Julián Olivares For the Express-News
June 25, 2021Updated: June 25, 2021 2:56 p.m.

It’s time for a stark look at the prevailing narrative of Texas liberty, the Alamo and our state’s history of slavery.

=============================================

Those who died with valor and sacrificed at the Alamo did so in defense of liberty and slavery.

In these days of disavowing the Confederacy and the removal of Confederate statues from public spaces, it’s time to take a stark look at the prevailing narrative of Texas liberty and the Alamo. This enhanced narrative skirts the question of slavery, projecting Texas as a Western frontier state.

Annette Gordon-Reed, a Harvard professor and Pulitzer Prize winner, once wrote that novelist Stephen Harrigan reinforced the idea that most people do not associate Texas with slavery. The state’s “western” half — its cowboy half — acts as a kind of psychic counterweight to the cotton-kingdom identity that links it with the Old South,” Reed wrote in a 2019 essay in the New York Review of Books.

Indeed, the truth is that Texas was the deepest Southern, slaveholding state — and the battle to keep slavery was a harbinger of the Civil War.

Stephen F. Austin wrote in various letters and in the “Diario Mexicano de Estevan F. Austin,” which he wrote mostly in Spanish, that the Texas economy depended on cotton, which, in turn, depended on slaves picking the cotton. Without slavery, the cotton industry would have collapsed — and Texas would have, too.

“Texas must be a slave country,” Austin wrote in 1833. “Circumstances and unavoidable necessity compel it. It is the wish of the people there, and it is my duty to do all I can, prudently, in favor of it. I will do so.”

Austin went to Mexico in 1833 to negotiate Texas independence from the state of Coahuila. Mexico had become a centralist nation and would not tolerate a separate state nor continue to cast a blind eye at slavery. In January 1834, Austin was arrested for sedition and freed unconditionally in July 1835.

Like Saint-Domingue and Martinique in the Caribbean, Texas was a slave society, which Haitian American historian Michel-Rolph Trouillot described as “not simply societies that had slaves: they were slave societies. Slavery defined their economic, social, and cultural organization: it was their raison d’être. The people who lived there, free or not, lived there because there were slaves.”

Because slavery was essential to the economic growth and existence of the Texas colony, Austin arranged for his settlers to receive 80 acres of land for each slave they brought with them to Texas. However, the holding of ever-increasing slaves presented perilous situations that Austin was familiar with after reading about the first successful revolt against an empire — the slaves of Saint-Domingue who rose against France — and the thought of Black people butchering whites filled him with dread.

Austin wrote: “I sometimes shudder at the consequences and think that a large part of America will be Santo Domingonized in 100 or 200 years. The idea of seeing such a country as this overrun by a slave population almost makes me weep. It is in vain to tell a North American that the white population will be destroyed some 50 or 80 years hence by the negroes, and that his daughters will be violated and butchered by them.”

And what about other Texas and Alamo heroes, such as James Bowie? He and his brother, Rezin, trafficked slaves in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Now the Alamo is being glorified even more with the construction of a new plaza and center — and along with it the propagation of the same old narrative of “Remember the Alamo.” Children will flock to this shrine of Texas liberty and purchase faux coonskin caps and muskets.

Julián Olivares is an Emeritus Hispanist at the University of Houston.

 
 
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