Patterico's Pontifications


Julián Castro’s Mom: Remember the Alamo and How Much It Sucks

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:17 am

Heroes of the Alamo? Nah, they’re “drunks and crooks and slaveholding imperialists”:

Julián Castro is the son of Rosie Castro, a well-known ’70s firebrand who was among the leaders of La Raza Unida, the radical movement in Texas that was dedicated to defending the civil rights of Mexican-Americans and promoting a strong “Chicano” identity. One of Castro’s first acts as mayor was to hang a 1971 La Raza Unida City Council campaign poster, featuring his mother, in his private office. But this was a gesture of filial loyalty, not of ideological solidarity.

. . . .

I met the mayor’s mother in her office at Palo Alto College, where she runs a student-services center. She was born in San Antonio in 1947 to an immigrant mother who didn’t get past fourth grade; she didn’t meet her father till she was 34. To Rosie, the Alamo is a symbol of bad times. “They used to take us there when we were schoolchildren,” she told me. “They told us how glorious that battle was. When I grew up I learned that the ‘heroes’ of the Alamo were a bunch of drunks and crooks and slaveholding imperialists who conquered land that didn’t belong to them. But as a little girl I got the message — we were losers. I can truly say that I hate that place and everything it stands for.”

Well. You can’t really blame a guy for what his mom says. But it does raise an interesting question. As the Southwest fills up with Latinos who have never taken citizenship classes, studied our history, or sworn an oath to this country, will there be a change in the traditional views of places like the Alamo?

It is, perhaps, a reminder that citizenship is not just a technicality.

H/t to Fox News and a reader who noticed the story.

121 Responses to “Julián Castro’s Mom: Remember the Alamo and How Much It Sucks”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (83033d)

  2. Conquered land that didn’t belong to them? Like Spain and Mexico before them?

    Chuck Bartowski (3bccbd)

  3. You now how Jim Bowie’s slave was freed? By the Mexicans, after they killed Bowie at the Alamo.

    I seem to recall my “citizenship classes” glossing over a lot of that stuff – like, a lot of slaves in the Republic of Texas fought with Mexico because Mexico offered them freedom.

    Leviticus (cd2e4b)

  4. We need more Howard Zinn Fractured Fairy Tales and Backwards History Lessons !

    Alinsky 2012 !

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  5. Does she faint if you say “James K. Polk”?

    SarahW (b0e533)

  6. So Castro really is the next Obama!

    Patricia (e1d89d)

  7. Leviticus,

    Mexico did not recognize slavery but it was tolerant of the practice in Texas. Plus, there were several slaves at the Alamo. Here’s another view of your Bowie slave, who may have been named Charlie.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  8. And what makes you think we weren’t taught about this in school, Leviticus? It was in my part of Texas.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  9. “We need more Howard Zinn Fractured Fairy Tales and Backwards History Lessons !”

    – Elephant Stone

    What’s backwards about it? The Republic of Texas sanctioned slavery. The State of Texas was a slave state. A number of the guys at the Alamo had slaves. The guys at the Alamo were trying to carve out a Texan empire. So when Castro’s mom calls the slaveholding guys trying to carve out an empire “slaveholding imperialists,” what exactly is backwards about that again?

    Leviticus (cd2e4b)

  10. DRJ,

    My classes focused more on the “against overwhelming odds” element of the Alamo.

    Leviticus (cd2e4b)

  11. Leviticus, deciding that all conflict in history can be classified by the “good” combatants being those who opposed slavery and the “bad” combatants being those who practiced it is juvenile, much as all of Zinn’s work is.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  12. Texas has a mandatory Texas history class for 7th graders, and back in the day Mexicans were generally excluded from it except for Santa Anna. I can get the point she was trying to make, and a lot of first time high school/college graduate latinos thought that way but I doubt it has much leverage after La Raza Unida lost most of their power.

    It’s not just Mexicans, it’s people in general that have no civic pride. How else do you explain Obama having a chance to win.

    Julian is smart enough to stay out of the way so he hasn’t hurt SA too bad. In that way he’s better than Obama.

    BradnSA (980254)

  13. Leviticus,

    Mexico did not ban slavery until 1829, just a few years before the Alamo fell. Before that, it was a big part of the slave trade.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  14. Texas didn’t ban slavery until a bunch of other states fought a war to make it ban slavery, 36 years later.

    Leviticus (cd2e4b)

  15. _____________________________________________

    You can’t really blame a guy for what his mom says.

    But what is that saying about an acorn not falling far from the tree? I’ve heard that phrase used for sons and fathers, but I’d think it’s just as applicable — if not more so — to sons and mothers.

    Some of the national or cultural pride in the Latino, or certainly Mexican, community throughout the US would be somewhat understandable to me if Mexico weren’t such a socio-economic mess, full of aspects of mediocrity (to put it mildly) year after year, decade after decade. If one is going to be rather chauvinistic or boastful about one’s native turf, at least have a truly valid reason for feeling that way.

    Mark (e03145)

  16. Texans sure are slave-lovin imperialists

    JD (0b7085)

  17. I never mentioned Zinn, by the way, and I have no stake in defending him. Texas was still a slaveholding state, and I see nothing wrong with Castro’s mother’s assessment of the Alamo, regardless of what Howard Zinn might think of it.

    Leviticus (cd2e4b)

  18. Brad,

    I took Texas history in grade school and we studied many Spaniards and Mexicans, because they were so instrumental in exploring and founding Texas. But that was almost 50 years ago.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  19. Some of the national or cultural pride in the Latino, or certainly Mexican, community throughout the US would be somewhat understandable to me if Mexico weren’t such a socio-economic mess, full of aspects of mediocrity (to put it mildly) year after year, decade after decade. If one is going to be rather chauvinistic or boastful about one’s native turf, at least have a truly valid reason for feeling that way.

    Mark, when pride in your culture is all you have, pride in your culture is all you have.

    BradnSA (980254)

  20. “Texans sure are slave-lovin imperialists.”

    – JD

    Talking about well-excepted historical facts is so gauche, right?

    Leviticus (cd2e4b)

  21. DRJ, The Spaniards were studied a lot, but I’m talking about Mexicans. Who other than Juan Seguin do you remember studying? I also took it over 30 years ago.

    BradnSA (980254)

  22. Texas didn’t ban slavery until a bunch of other states fought a war to make it ban slavery, 36 years later.

    Yet slavery was pretty much a failure in Texas since the plantation system was impossible there. The few slaves in Texas were largely personal servants for people who lived elsewhere.

    Texas was a slave state only because Congress’s 1850 Compromise made it one based on latitude, not because it was needed or much wanted by most Texans.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  23. Leviticus,

    Have you studied the New Mexico Territory Slave Code and New Mexico’s “long tradition of indentured servitude” that didn’t end until the Civil War?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  24. *also the Compromise of 1820, of course.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  25. Strictly speaking, at the time of the Civil War slavery was legal in Massachusetts, and indeed in every state, due to the Dredd Scott decision.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  26. DRJ,

    I haven’t studied it, but if some old AIM veteran called 1850’s New Mexicans “slaveholders” I wouldn’t furrow my brow about the unpatriotic implications of his honest assessment.

    Leviticus (cd2e4b)

  27. Brad,

    It’s been awhile since I’ve thought about this but I know we studied Lorenzo de Zavala and Jose Navarro. There were others whose names I don’t recall offhand.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  28. I’m sure you wouldn’t, Leviticus.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  29. Leviticus,
    It’s the “imperialist” part. Yes, they had slaves, but imperialism is something much different. And the Mexicans weren’t/aren’t fighting to keep their culture and language, but the culture and language of the Conquistadors, who conquistadored their asses long before there was a Texas.

    If that’s the standard for culture, than they should have adopted American customs when America beat them.

    Ghost (6f9de7)

  30. ___________________________________________

    Talking about well-excepted historical facts is so gauche, right?

    Speaking of which…, Bernard R. Ortiz de Montellano

    It has been proposed that Aztec human sacrifice and cannibalism can best be explained as a response to population pressure and famine. The greatest amount of cannibalism, however, coincided with times of harvest, not with periods of scarcity, and is better explained as a thanksgiving…. The amount of protein available from human sacrifice would not have made a significant contribution to the diet. Cannibalism was not motivated by starvation but by a belief that this was a way to commune with the gods.

    In a recent article Harner proposed that the Aztecs conducted sacrifices in order to supplement their diet through cannibalism.

    Unpublished figures (Woodrow Borah, cited in Harner) place the population of Central Mexico at 25 million, with 250,000 sacrificed yearly, and that of Tenochtitlan at 300,000, with 15,000 sacrificed annually…. The evidence of widespread cannibalism is clearly shown in Spanish chronicles of the conquest, but these have been ignored by modern Mexicans and anthropologists.

    ^ Centuries later — and, considering the whole span of recorded human history, not all that long removed from the past — what is now known as Mexico is dealing with accounts of stunning brutality and savagery, of endless reports of headless bodies and sliced-off human limbs strewn about the landscape. Sort of like a small facet of history repeating itself.

    Mark (e03145)

  31. Brad,

    We also studied Mexican history in my Texas history classes, because we studied influence by Mexican leaders before and after Santa Anna — people like Hidalgo and Juarez. (There were no Mexicans before independence in 1820.) But I grew up in a town that had more than one year of Texas history, so maybe that wasn’t typical.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  32. Do you know how San Antonio schools teach this topic today, Brad?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  33. DRJ, they all fought for the Texans, didn’t they?

    It was more stuff like Jane Wilkenson being called the “Mother of Texas” that seemed to piss the La Raza latinos more than anything else.

    I went to college in Edinburg and had some “La Raza cosmica” latinos for professors, but they were pretty harmless compared to what I read about going on today. They mostly like to bitch about The Man and hang out.

    BradnSA (980254)

  34. DRJ, If you are really curious about what they teach I can find out, otherwise you will have to wait until next year when my boy’s in 7th grade. 😉

    BradnSA (980254)

  35. Different sides in battles always have different views of what happened and who was heroic. The battle of Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City in 1847 is an example. Mrs. Castro probably views the “six cadet heroes” of that battle, who have been immortalized by Mexicans, very differently than the “Alamo heroes” who have been immortalized by Texans. Yet both sets of heroes (against insurmountable and impossible odds and against the military superiority of a government) fought to the death to protect both their comrades and a structure/land that meant a great deal to them, doing what they believed was right and what their consciences dictated. In both battles the “heroes” had the opportunity to surrender and chose not to.

    I enjoy studying history as a window into the past and as a way to learn from it. I hate it when people try to rewrite and evaluate specific historical events based on today’s evolved societal values and our current laws (not to mention their own biases) rather than the circumstances and available facts upon which real flesh and blood people had to make decisions and live under in their own time a hundred or two hundred years ago.

    elissa (c0058b)

  36. The Curse of Our Times is Post-Modernism.

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (b8ab92)

  37. Brad,

    I’m happy to wait a year. In fact, I’m at a point in life where a year doesn’t sound like a long time.

    As for whether we studied Mexicans or exclusively Texicans, I’m sure we studied more about Texas because the topic was Texas history. But to understand Texas, students had to understand Spain, Mexico and South Texas politics, history, and cultures from 1600 forward. We studied that when I grew up in the Texas Panhandle 50 years ago, including the pro-expansion ideology of Mexican leaders who supported Austin’s colony, as well as the populist/anti-colonialists represented by Santa Anna. We didn’t just study Austin, Travis, and Houston.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  38. The problem is larger than this item, friends.

    Just do me a favor. Collect 12 students in their senior year of public school. Give them the following quiz:

    1. Show them a photograph of Winston Churchill. Ask who it was, where he was from, and what he did.

    2. Ask them in what decade the American Civil War was fought.

    3. Have them name the original Thirteen Colonies.

    4. Ask them when the Great Depression started, and when it ended.

    And so on, so I don’t write too much. You get the idea. You will be alarmed at the answers.

    I have the minority opinion that folks should not be able to vote unless they know American history and government to the extent of television’s “Schoolhouse Rocks.” I’m being serious.

    Yes, I know that poll tests were awful, but I think that ignorance is a resource used by shadowy political figures with their own best interests at heart.

    Go re-read “Brave New World,” by Aldous Huxley. At the beginning, the Controller Mustapha Mond, quotes “Our Ford” (they made a mythic figure of Henry Ford) that “History is bunk.” He quotes it reverently. Because people who control the knowledge of history control politics, in a version of Santayana’s warning.

    Sorry for the sermon. But I work with undergrads every day, and I am so disturbed by what they don’t know…and more so by what they think they know. And it’s not really their fault—they didn’t have my brother forcing me to read and discuss history endlessly as a boy.

    The schools don’t, as a rule. They have political fashion instead.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  39. DRJ, we seemed to spend a lot of time on early exploration, as well as independence. I really don’t remember that much and didn’t think about it until I read this post.

    The Spot Resolution is huge to latinos though. If you know what that is you really know your Texas history. We spent a class on that in a college Texas history class that was taught by an activist.

    BradnSA (980254)

  40. SJ, it has been stated before here that Native-Born Americans, to access their voting privilege, should have to pass the same test taken by applicants for American Citizenship.

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (b8ab92)

  41. “Polk lied, and people on both sides of the Rio Bravo died”; aka, politics as usual.

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (b8ab92)

  42. I never knew Santa Anna was so interested in social justice.

    So, Leviticus, do you think Texas would be better off if they had been under the government of Mexico all of these years? Or would illegal immigrants be crossing the borders into Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana to get out of the mess and try to find a better and safer life?

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  43. You know what strikes me as even worse than Mrs. Castro’s radical chic 1970s holdover Brown Power views? The fact that she is today described as running a “student services center” at Palo Alto College. I mean, of course someone with her views would end up in some cushy job at an urban junior college. She runs something called the Center for Academic Transitions, which is apparently so important to the school’s mission that it doesn’t even have a listing on the school’s website.

    I mean, Heaven forbid the remainder of the various 70s radical scene should have to find real jobs. It’s much better to hook them up with bogus academic positions where they can pass along their fetid politics to a naive and trusting generation of young students.

    JVW (edec8d)

  44. I don’t know what schools teach these days. I was taught FDR was the greatest president ever (at least until Kennedy, thought that WWI was as clear cut as WWII, still don’t know if Sherman was a war hero or war criminal.

    I do know that humans have been quick to brutalize other humans ever since there were more than 3 of them, and the brutalizers and brutalizees all come in all shades of color, they just rotate over the ages. For example, the Irish dies in the Potato famine in spite of their being p[plenty of food, it’s just that they ate potatoes while other foods were given to landowners, largely English, I guess. And one of the largest “race” riots in US history happened in Philadelphia between established “Americans” and the new Irish immigrants. The locals even used a cannon to blow up the Irish Catholic Church.

    I heard someone, actually someone I greatly respect for what he suffered during the civil rights era and came out without obvious bitterness, once go on a tangent about how it was the white people of the world, the Russians and the Europeans, who were most responsible for innocent bloodshed. I was shocked as everyone else in the room that heard him. This was a few years before things getting worse in Liberia and the genocide in Rwanda (though years after Cambodia).

    As Pogo said, we have met the enemy, and he is us; or as the Apostle Paul said, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

    Pointing fingers as to who of “us” is a worse enemy or who of “all” are the worst sinners is pointless if trying to justify one’s own innocence.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  45. For all the talk of how the United States “stole” the Southwest from Mexico, I have never, ever heard one of them explain Mexico’s legitimate claim to the land.

    It’s hold was tenuous at best, a claim much like the Atlantic seaboard state’s claims where their boundaries stretched for hundreds of miles to the west because they thought (well, they hoped…) they could get away with it. Mexico claimed that land without any ability to govern it, abused its residents, and lost it in an uprising or two. Recall too, that this all happened when the continent was new, at least to its European “invaders”. Mexico’s claim to those territories was spurious, damn near contemplative and speculative.

    Think of it as a basketball just after tip off. It’s anybody’s ball, and just because you control it for a second doesn’t mean that you’ll end up with it.

    I knew that Ms. Castro was a founding member of La Raza. Given its published ideology, that should disqualify her from any serious discussion.

    Chris (f379a3)

  46. we should have just annexed all of Mexico after we kicked their butts…

    that would have solved all sorts of problems.

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  47. Leviticus,

    I extend an apology if I offended you.
    My comments about Howard Zinn were actually not even directed at you, rather, they were directed at Julian Castro’s mother. After all, she’s the subject of the post. :)

    Quite honestly, I hadn’t even read your comments.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  48. Comment by redc1c4 — 9/10/2012 @ 11:05 am

    We would have but for those damned Abolitionists in New England, who “got religion” after they had made theirs.

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (b8ab92)

  49. Simon, public schools haven’t taught the basics for at least two decades.

    When I went to basic training in the Navy over almost 15 years ago, not one 18 year old (and these kids were just out of high school) could tell our Chief when WWII ended. One idiot actually guessed 1972. At that point, my Chief called on me to answer (I was 28 years old).

    It was then that I realized how our country would never be what it once was. How we were totally unprepared to compete globally. And how our education system had utterly failed. These kids were from all over the country and not one of them had received a basic education.

    PS: Brave New World was required reading in my high school. To this day, I still remember the ending. “…South-south-west, south, south-east, east.”

    That book changed me.

    Bets (ed5cc7)

  50. “Mexico did not ban slavery until 1829″

    They had peonage instead (a form of involuntary servitude). Peonage continued well into the 20th century.

    “Yet slavery was pretty much a failure in Texas since the plantation system was impossible there.”

    In 1860 about one third of Texas’ population were slaves.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  51. I heard some years ago that similar has happened in Germany., No one is taught who Ronald Reagan was or that he said “tear down this wall” (Tear Down This Wall? Pink Floyd, ja?)

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  52. Brad,

    We studied topics like that in Social Studies, not History.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  53. ‘When I grew up I learned that the ‘heroes’ of the Alamo were a bunch of drunks and crooks and slaveholding imperialists who conquered land that didn’t belong to them.’

    Yeah, yeah…just like the Spanish/Mexicans.

    Texas is ours because we were strong enough to swipe it from the last batch of thieves who stole it, and we’re still strong enough to hold onto what we stole.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  54. I wonder what Orwell and Huxley would say about the world today if they had a chance. Would they jump up and down and scream, “Didn’t you read the book?” Collapse with head in hands and moan “Why did I bother?”

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  55. “So, Leviticus, do you think Texas would be better off if they had been under the government of Mexico all of these years?”

    – MD in Philly

    Um. No?

    We should step back for a second: All I’ve said here is that when Ms. Castro calls the Texans who died at the Alamo “slaveholding imperialists,” she’s technically correct (at least regarding some of them – she’s obviously painting with too broad a brush, but her basic point is sound). I haven’t said that Mexico is better than ‘Murica. I haven’t said that Ms. Castro’s point has any relevance outside of its historical context. All I’ve said is that, regarding her point about “slaveholding imperialists,” she’s technically correct.

    If she refuses to heap adulation on these particular slaveholding imperialists, that’s her prerogative.

    Is there anything particularly contentious or “post-modern” (or insightful) about any of that? No. I just think it’s silly to be like “*BOOGEDDY BOOGEDDY* WHAT KINDA FUTURE ARE WE LOOKING AT???”

    And I don’t know why this particular post has prompted another lamentation about the state of American education, either. Show that she’s wrong before complaining that poor dumb American students don’t know any better than to listen to her.

    Leviticus (61727f)

  56. Dave Surls @ 53 is spot-on.

    Leviticus (61727f)

  57. They would be sad, MD. Because we have always been at war with EastAsia.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  58. Not to mention the Two Minute Hate we seem to have in our culture.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  59. she’s technically correct (at least regarding some of them – she’s obviously painting with too broad a brush, but her basic point is sound).

    Her basic point is that the people defending the Alamo were evil, and the army that annihilated them did a good dead.

    “technically correct” and “misleading impression” can be coexistent.

    Were those defending the Alamo more imperialist than the central government of Mexico? I do not see how a few hundred poorly equipped “soldiers” would be much of a threat if the people inhabiting Texas wanted to be under the control of Mexico. Let them sit in the Alamo and ignore them.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  60. Simon Jester,

    Excellent point about the dumbing down of American students, particularly in the area of history.
    I know that the Left Wing Indoctrination Education Complex does not like to hear that straight talk, lest it be considered as an “attack !” on teachers.
    As part of the Chicago teachers’ strike coverage, Drudge just posted an item that says 79% of Chicago’s 8th graders are not up to grade level in reading.
    Of course, it’s more than not being able to read—it’s that their reading assignments are junk history from the Howard Zinn Cloud Nine Unicorn Fantasy publishing house.

    Julian Castro’s momma should be ashamed of herself for mischaracterizing the Alamo in the way she did. Many of those Texians in the Alamo were citizens of the Mexican state of Texas, and they were fed up with the way they were being treated by the Mexican government. They were merely speaking truth to power, but I guess that’s only a legitimate rallying cry when the left wingers give their stamp of approval.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  61. Blame America First!

    elissa (c0058b)

  62. 59. And simply because a Southerner in that era owned a slave doesn’t perforce damn him.

    Bowie as a sometime slave trader is certainly at risk.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  63. Texas belongs to the Comanche and the Kiowa and everybody else there is a trespasser.

    (I am 1/128th Hopi from my fourth-grade classmate’s sister’s college room-mate’s side.)

    nk (875f57)

  64. “But as a little girl I got the message — we were losers.”

    I guess that’s the case if you consider yourself to be a Mexican as opposed to being a Texan or American.

    Personally, I consider myself to be an American and partly a Texan (I used to live there, so at least I should qualify as an honorary Texan), so I figure I’m a winner…at least as far as the Texas Revolution goes.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  65. Hey, if you aren’t a member of the Clovis people, you are all trespassers and thieves, so get over yourselves already.

    Pious Agnostic (ee2c24)

  66. “(I am 1/128th Hopi from my fourth-grade classmate’s sister’s college room-mate’s side.)”

    nk – Elizabeth Warren has nothing on you!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  67. “Texas belongs to the Comanche…”

    The Comanches got to Texas at about the same time as the Spanish. They were Shoshone (from up Wyoming way) who started raiding/wandering south after they acquired horses.

    At least that’s what the anthropologists say.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  68. I forgot that, Dave. That the Plains Tribes were a result of the Conquistadores’ runaway horses. Bet they ate them for a few generations before they figured out how to ride them.

    nk (875f57)

  69. So, if Señor Castro and his fellow travelers have their way, is this what will happen to the Alamo?

    The Anglo Dana (3e4784)


    Are you disrespecting DW?
    You’ve gone too far!

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (b8ab92)

  71. Mrs. Castro’s position simplifies the Texas Revolution to, and far beyond, the point of comic-book caricature. What became the Texas Revolution started as a protest against the then-new dictatorship of Santa Anna, which had abolished the legislatures of the Mexican states like Coahuila-Texas, instituted top-down military-controlled governments, and rolled back guarantees of freedom contained in the Mexican constitution of 1824. The flag that flew over the Alamo was not Texas’ famous “Lone Star,” but rather the flag of the 1824 Mexican government, and the Alamo’s defenders, like the Texican revolutionaries generally, comprised both Anglo immigrants from the U.S. and Latino natives whose families had come to Texas from elsewhere in Mexico decades before.

    The Texas Revolution was never all about race, nor ever mostly about slaves either — although it is quite fair to say that the Texicans, both Anglos and Latinos, were very much more pro-immigration, pro-individual liberty (including religious liberty), and pro-development than Santa Anna and his followers. It’s fair to argue about Jim Bowie’s slave, but not without also noting that he’d married Ursula Veramendi, the daughter of the Alcalde of San Antonio and former vice governor of Coahuila y Tejas, and that his personal history thus was a conspicuous symbol of cultivated brotherhood among culturally and ethnically diverse people.

    I don’t know whether Mrs. Castro is ignorant of that Texas history or simply prefers to lie, but her race-baiting is neither helpful nor typical of most Texans (regardless of their ethnicity or race). Hers is the viewpoint of the divider, the aggrieved, and, frankly, the racist, and it distorts history and unfairly maligns generations of Texans of all races and ethnicities who’ve worked together to build a great and successful state.

    Beldar (eed156)

  72. “I forgot that, Dave”

    No big deal. You just happen to pick two tribes (Comanche and Kiowa) that we think moved into Texas relatively recently.

    Guys like the Lipan Apache and Caddo were there first (at least that’s the current state of our knowledge).

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  73. How can you be racist when you are “The Race”.

    nk (875f57)

  74. Leviticus,

    I take issue with your “slaveholding imperialist” label.

    I was taught the earliest Anglo immigrants to Texas were the Austin Colony’s original 300, people who came to Texas as well-financed settlers that respected Spanish/Mexican culture and rule — much like the Spanish/Mexican landowners who settled South Texas and northern Mexico. The Austin Colony was initially established pursuant to an agreement with the Spanish government and then with the Mexican government after Mexico declared its independence. If you look at the definition of imperialism, it’s hard to call these settlers imperialists when they negotiated the legal right to live in a foreign country according to that country’s laws.

    Other than the 300 families of the Austin Colony, most Texas immigrants came on their own seeking adventure, land and fortune. (Many were also escaping debt collectors, which is why the Texas constitution has always provided generous exemptions for things, not cash.) These immigrants weren’t especially noble or evil, but IMO they were too unorganized and diverse to call them imperialists. For example, the Alamo defenders hailed from across the United States and Europe, and represent very different backgrounds and ideology. You might call them adventurers, fortune-seekers or land-hungry but it’s hard to call them imperialists.

    As for slaveowners, the original 300 colonists were the primary slaveowners. Many of the other immigrants to Texas were too poor.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  75. “Guys like the Lipan Apache and Caddo were there first…”

    More correctly, they appear to have entered Texas before the Comanche and Kiowa.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  76. Jim Bowie and David Crockett, I view like I view Columbus. Fearless adventurers. Not altogether rootless but always with their eyes on the horizon. And Dave said it in an earlier comment. The Alamo was not imperialism, it was the Texas Revolution.

    nk (875f57)

  77. Beldar’s comment explains what I was taught in school, only he says it better. He was obviously a better student than I.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  78. I don’t think Leviticus really meant to say “imperialistic”.

    nk (875f57)

  79. And FWIW, I was also taught that James Bowie was something of a scoundrel. With a big knife.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  80. nk,

    That’s the word Ms. Castro and Leviticus used. I assume they meant it, even if they don’t understand it.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  81. Beldar, DRJ,

    Each of you hit it out of the park. Well played.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  82. “Community Organizers” have to tear apart that which they wish to organize.

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (b8ab92)

  83. DRJ, some of the most significant, and memorable characters within American History were – and are – scoundrels.

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (b8ab92)

  84. Definitely the most memorable.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  85. something of a scoundrel. With a big knife.

    Having a big knife makes it easier to be a scoundrel.

    Thank you Beldar and DRJ. I now know more Texas history than I ever did before.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  86. What’s the issue with ceding the Southwestern United States to Mexico? A lot of these brown beret, separatista, Che Guevara lovin’ chicanos call it Aztlan anyways. Truth be told, that’s the aim of a lot of these Democrat politicians… give it away or piss it all away, it doesn’t matter to them.

    Colonel Haiku (fce587)

  87. A lot of people carried those knives, those days. A large, single-bladed, Spanish/Mediterranean knife. (Bowie was from Louisiana.) Bowie gave his name to it but he was the real “Bowie knife” — his courage, his strength, his speed, his ferocity.

    nk (875f57)

  88. *single-edged* not *single-bladed*

    nk (875f57)

  89. Daniel Boone’s (knife) was bigger.

    And if I were Leviticus I might argue that David Crockett and Sam Houston were bigger scoundrels seeing as they were politicians. 😉

    nk (875f57)

  90. MD,

    I rambled on about Texas more than anyone cared to hear, but I bet Beldar and my parents/teachers would be gratified we remembered a little of those Texas history classes.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  91. I want more Texas posts. Texas is a fascinating place with a fascinating history.

    More to the point, I want more Texas posts from DRJ.

    nk (875f57)

  92. So, is Texas being pretty dry a state, liquor-wise, a recent thing, or did cowboys volunteer for cattle drives so they could find a drink of whiskey in Kansas? 😉

    nk (875f57)

  93. I think Texas still separately criminalizes possession of the “Bowie” knife.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  94. NK,

    Texas isn’t a dry state—where did you get that idea ?
    Anyhow, when you propose to Leviticus, y’all can celebrate by buying Gallo wine at the Tom Thumb grocery store ! :)

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  95. I know, SPQR. It’s a Reconstruction law. I’ve read it. The concealed carry laws for guns are a relatively recent thing, too. Like I said, Texas is a fascinating, and add contrary, place.

    nk (875f57)

  96. “What’s the issue with ceding the Southwestern United States to Mexico?”

    Well, for one thing, I don’t want to live in Mexico.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  97. Easy, Elephant Stone.

    nk (875f57)

  98. Surls, better move fast.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  99. NK,

    C’mon, pal, you like to dish it…take it with a smile. :)

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  100. F*** with me fine. No s*** about other commenters through me.

    And this was a good thread before you injected your nastiness.

    nk (875f57)

  101. Comment by DRJ — 9/10/2012 @ 5:28 pm

    In case my comment was misunderstood, that was not snarky about Texas history, I really did enjoy reading about it and that was a sincere thanks.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  102. nk, who loves ya baby?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  103. NK,

    I apologize to you if you’ve mistinterpreted my ribbing in the wrong way. It’s all fun and games, man.
    The Tom Thumb chain does have a good selection of wines, as far as grocery stores are concerned. :)

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  104. Tell me where I can get whiskey and all is forgiven. 😉

    nk (875f57)

  105. Rule of thumb used to be the majority-Protestant counties were the ‘dry’ ones in Texas, and the majority Catholic counties were ‘wet’. It sort of set up a dividing line along Interstate 10 — wet down south, dry up north. But that’s been going out of style since the late 1970s, as more and more counties approved either partially dry laws (beer sales, but no mixed drinks), partially wet laws (beer, and mixed drinks but only in clubs, which turned into basically a $3 ‘membership fee’ at hotel bars), and fully wet counties.

    As for Rosie Castro and the La Raza Unida movement, they did take over Crystal City, west of San Antonio in the early 1970s, and the political/economic disaster they created pretty much killed the movement’s momentum in the state for the next two generations. That part of Texs only now is starting to climb out of the economic doldrums thanks to it’s location on the edge of the Eagle Ford oil shale activity, which brings up an interesting future problem — the radical movement people like Rosie Castro tied themselves to has far left allies outside of South Texas and the state itself. But they also tend to be militant anti-Big Oil environmentalists. It’s hard to see the two movements working well together for any length of time, since to support the full far left agenda in the San Antonio area would also mean to kill off fracking, and those hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs in Hispanic-majority South Texas that weren’t there before, and won’t be there in the future if the anti-drilling forces have their way.

    John (d4490d)

  106. I go back far enough in TX history to remember when you sometimes had to drive to the next county to buy a bottle of hooch (degrees of dryness were a “county option”), you had to BYOB to a bar where all you could get was beer, wine, and set-ups (unless it was a “private club” – memberships available at the door – and they would put your name on your bottle, and make your drink behind the bar…. and, at the end of the night, if you wished to leave your bottle for your next visit, they’d mark the level with a crayon).
    Funniest thing I ever saw (as a CA) was in Downtown Dallas the night before a Cowboys game, a couple got out of a cab dressed to the Nines in TX finery, with the gent carrying two paperbags – his and her bottles of whatever.

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (2bb434)

  107. MD — I didn’t think you were being snarky, but I’m not sure others would agree it’s interesting to talk about Texas.

    AD — I remember the days. There was a Pinky’s Liquor store near the county line of every wet county. That way the residents of the neighboring dry county wouldn’t have to drive as far.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  108. I’m thinking some posters here about are getting on my bad side and that would not be good.

    Not DRJ, though. I grew up in a wet county completely surrounded by dry counties. Selling liquor was the major industry.

    Ag80 (b2c81f)

  109. Let me see if I remember my Texas History correctly:

    A few drunkard Irish, Texicans, Tennessee folk, a guy with a huge knife, another guy with a passive-aggressive complex and a couple of Mexicans got their asses whipped in a small mission by a couple of thousand elite Mexican troops in San Antonio.

    Then a few weeks later, another drunk from Tennessee somehow managed to lead a stupid rabble in a surprise attack and completely defeat the elite Mexican force in the high ground of a swamp called San Jacinto.

    The leader of the Mexican force tried to pretend he was a regular soldier, but the drunk hillbilly from Tennessee, Sam Houston, let him live after being captured on the condition that Texas could be independent.

    That leader of the Mexicans was Santa Anna, the “Napoleon of the West” who would later become a dictator and invent chewing gum. Kind of.

    And the white guys were the “imperial” marauders?

    I think the Native Americans took a pass on the whole affair.

    At least that’s what I remember from the “Texas History Movies” comics. Real Texans will know what I’m talking about. :)

    Ag80 (b2c81f)

  110. “A few drunkard Irish, Texicans, Tennessee folk, a guy with a huge knife, another guy with a passive-aggressive complex and a couple of Mexicans got their asses whipped in a small mission by a couple of thousand elite Mexican troops in San Antonio.”

    Shoot, I think our side did pretty well, considering they were outnumbered about 10 to 1, not to mention our boys were all drunk and/or mentally ill.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  111. “That’s the word Ms. Castro and Leviticus used. I assume they meant it, even if they don’t understand it.”

    – DRJ

    I meant it, and by it I meant “trying to carve out an empire for themselves. I don’t know if that’s the right way to understand it, but that’s the way I understand it.

    Funny how we’re not focusing on the “slaveholding” bit – you know, the truly offensive bit. “Imperialist” is just another word for “Buffer Zone;” “slaveholder” means “I f”cked up generations so that I wouldn’t have to do my own laundry.”

    Leviticus (cd2e4b)

  112. Mexico did not not need slaves because it had the hacendados and the peones system. Just as the North stopped needing slaves because it had immigrants. “Servitude for a term of years”? “Apprenticeship”? Have you read the Slaughterhouse Cases, Leviticus?

    nk (875f57)

  113. No, “imperialist” is not another word for “buffer zone”. It is “the jewel in the crown”.

    Did Andrew Jackson (or was it Van Buren by then?) send a mercenary army to Texas to carve out one more piece for America? Or was it people with peculiar ideas of government who did not want to live under Santa Anna’s military dictatorship?

    nk (875f57)

  114. The only time I visited SA was to work at EAAA installing and training with a Texan Sales Engineer. The only truly knowledgable salesman I ever met.

    Didn’t make it to the Alamo but did go to La Fogada. Loved being able to get a beer with the taco at Taco Bell sort of fast food emporiums. Also remember the cabrito, dry, over-cooked.

    Reading the Alamo and San Jacinto accounts was a favorite from junior high, right up there with Churchill’s Second World War.

    Leviticus’ preciosity seems queer to me.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  115. Just think how much further aliens would have to travel to leave Mexico and enter the US illegally if Texas had never won it’s independence

    Dan Kauffman (623f5c)

  116. Oh wow Mexico did not have slaves? Uhh how much was the bounty they paid for Indian scalps? MHGMA

    Dan Kauffman (623f5c)

  117. You recognize thus considerably on the subject of this matter, produced me personally imagine it from so many varied angles. Its like women and men aren’t interested unless it’s one thing to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your personal stuffs great. All the time take care of it up!

    tutaj (c1443e)

  118. w. T. F.

    Colonel Haiku (d25006)

  119. Colonel, isn’t it hilarious how the spammers’ comments are more coherent than the trolls … or Finkelman’s?

    SPQR (26be8b)


    anime (f7d24c)

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