Earth to the Republican Party. You built this. Despite the opinions and craven spin artistry coming from the conservative media the recent act of racial terrorism in Charleston, S.C. was not an attack on religion. Period.
Progressives, liberals and Democrats in red states know the truth about the Republican Southern Strategy of race and hate. I would like to share my story from my perspective as a long-term resident of Houston.
As one who has lived in Texas for a long time I've never really understood the real meaning of the Tea Party "Come and Take It." flags. The one posted above is one of many. Of course many of us so-called transplants have a rather thin understanding of Texas history.
So, as an active volunteer for Democratic candidates during the 2014 Gubernatorial and other down ballot races, I found myself perplexed as to why state wide candidates ran against President Obama as if he were running for their jobs. Todd Staples the state's former Agricultural Commissioner who ran for Lt. Governor in 2014 had a tough but non-existent "conversation" with the President. As if Mr. Obama has an eye on Staples' wannabe job.
“You’re not a king, and Texans bow to no one,” Mr. Staples says, looking directly into the camera and addressing the president, before he is shown picking up a gun at a store, aiming it over a counter and vowing to “fight Obama’s liberal agenda.”
After running through a list of his conservative credentials, Mr. Staples, the Texas agriculture commissioner, ends on an equally aggressive note: “So, Mr. President, if you still want to mess with Texas, we’ve got a saying for you: Come and take it.”
Well, the tough talk and race baiting didn't work as Mr. Staples lost the primary election to Dan Patrick,
a more charismatic right wing snake oil dealer who had won the hearts and souls of the tea party base by convincing voters to vote against themselves. Patrick played the border invasion by "others" card. A narcissistic demagogue, Patrick made a convincing argument to those already primed by racism and xenophobia.
It didn't take long to realize the Texas GOP blew the dog whistles as loudly as possible in 2014. The time was ripe. After all, for the first time in U.S. history the American people had voted overwhelmingly for an African American Food Stamp President. And by God the Texas GOP would do all possible to scream foul from every rooftop. And while I get the Republican's divisive race baiting strategy since Richard Nixon's so-called Southern Strategy I remained confused by the meaning of Come and Take It.
So, just last week when relatives from Ohio visited my husband and I in Houston, we took a trip to San Antonio to see the Alamo among other historic landmarks in the area. One of my relative's friends had never been to Texas. So we took a quick tour of Central TX and the Houston area, of course.
It was in San Antonio, at the Alamo shrine, inside the Driscoll theater, to order to view a brief history about the Alamo, that I finally learned about the original meaning of Come and Take It.
Of course I've been to the Alamo a number of times but it wasn't until last week that I fully appreciated Texas history and the struggles that have made this state what it is today. Below is a very brief history of the origination of Come and Take It.
In 1835 when Texas struggled to become an independent Republic the Mexican government had loaned a cannon to a sparsely populated settlement in Gonzales, TX.
Most historians believe it was loaned, but there is some evidence the colonists thought it was given to them. It was relatively useless, having been spiked, but it was loud enough to scare the Indians.
The colonists were determined to hold on to the cannon.
As relations between the Mexican government and colonists throughout Texas deteriorated, Mexican soldiers were sent to retrieve the cannon, but were denied passage across the Guadalupe River:
Only eighteen men were in town at this time, but they stood ready to defend their cannon... and have come to be revered as “The Old Eighteen”.
The colonists fought to keep the cannon.
Moore pointed to the cannon and told Castañeda that the little cannon was on the field, so he should just try to “Come and Take It”. The flag* stating the Texans' sentiment was flying defiantly over the cannon. Moore then wheeled around. He shouted “Fire“—and a shot was fired from the cannon. The Mexican troops immediately wheeled around and withdrew to San Antonio.
Fast forward to 2014 in which the Texas Republican party, most of whose lawmakers are craven shills for the Koch boys,
the NRA, gun lobbies, oil and gas, loan sharks
and any entity that exudes money and influence, compared themselves to determined colonists who defied the Mexican government in order to keep a cannon for their survival. I guess we should be grateful that the Texas GOP candidates maintained a modicum of decency by failing to compare themselves to William Travis.
It's almost obscene and laughable to think the GOP would stoop so low as to compare its recent and current candidates w/colonists who faced life threatening dangers seven days a week but alas, it did because it could get away with it. And win.
Let's face it. The only dangers the Texas Republican lawmakers face today, quite frankly, is getting caught with a hooker, busted for corruption or by accepting a briefcase full of cash from a lobbyist.
We all know the Republican Party has been playing the race card for decades. It knows it too. Which is one more reason why Democrats, Independents, Greens, Socialists, etc. should hold the GOP and its water carriers in h8 talk radio, Fox "News" and the yellow-belied mainstream media accountable for the devastating consequences of the Party's willingness to play the race card whenever opportunity knocks.
New York Times Commenter Beautifully Exposes America's Racist Mainstream Right.
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