More Attempts to Hide the Past

I’m a proud Texan. There is really very little about the state I don’t like. I am also a realist. I recognize that in our short history — yes, short. Texas became a republic i 1836 and a state in late December 1845 — we’ve had a lot of stuff happen. I also know that things deemed as socially relevant and acceptable back then are far from it today. But there has to come a point when we stop putting the feelz of today ahead of historical accuracy concerning events of  the past.

What has me up in arms today is a report I saw a short time ago. It seems the city’s Equity Office thinks the state capital should be renamed. Yes, you read that right. A city department has recommended Austin’s name be changed because Stephen F. Austin supported slavery. Mind you, slavery was legal at the time. But that doesn’t matter because someone’s feelings might get hurt.

Stephen F. Austin is the father of Texas. Do we erase him from our history because of something he did, something that was legal, just because such practices are abhorrent today?

It’s bad enough so many cities and universities and other entities have been forced to spend who knows how much money to remove statues and rename streets and buildings. Now being politically correct means renaming cities. I don’t think so.

Let’s look at what it would entail. Because “Austin” is mentioned in the city charter, there would probably have to be a citywide election to determine if the name should be changed or not. Elections aren’t cheap. Then, assuming by some odd turn of events the city votes to change its name, there’s the cost of replacing everything, every piece of paper, every business card, every public and private listing, every sign to remove “Austin”. How many millions of taxpayer dollars would be spent? That is money that could be better used to help deal with some of the problems Austin faces today, not the least of which are diversity problems.

But it goes beyond renaming Austin. That same city department recommended others names be changed as well. Barton Springs, named after William Barton (known as the Daniel Boone of Texas) is a popular tourist destination. Its name, as well as a dozen or so streets named after Barton, should be changed, according to the Equity Office. Why? Because Barton was a slave owner.

Then there is the recommendation to change such names as Dixie Drive, Plantation Road and Confederacy Avenue, among others. I guess we should make every woman and girl named Dixie change her name. And when did plantations all have slaves? As for Confederacy Avenue, do we just ignore the fact Texas withdrew from the Union and was part of the Confederacy for awhile?

It’s funny how those same “concerned bureaucrats” aren’t worried about upsetting other minorities by having places named after people or entities or even places that have negative historical impact on their race or nationality or religion. But that doesn’t follow the current narrative.

In other words, when is this going to stop? After we erase all mention of the men and women who were part of the confederacy, what will be next? Will the government step in and try to force the descendants of those people to pay reparations? Or will they move on to the next group and figure out how to make sure they are no longer upset about something?

I’m sorry, instead of trying to erase a period of history that does not meet today’s mores, learn from it. Use it as a teaching exercise. Hell, show that even though someone did something or supported something we detest today, something like slavery, they could still do good. Where would Texas be without Stephen F. Austin?

It is time to grow up and recognize that history isn’t always nice and fluffy. It shouldn’t be. We need to learn from it and grow. We can’t do that if we erase it. In fact, we run the risk of finding ourselves reliving the mistakes of yesterday if we forget them and forget how we moved forward.

4 Comments

  1. I couldn’t agree more!

    And I don’t for one minute believe that this renaming nonsense has anything to do with sparing the feelings of the Perpetually Outraged and Professionally Wounded. Nope. If that was ever a factor, it’s long gone. It’s a naked show of power. “WE CAN FORCE YOU TO USE FUNNY NON-WORDS AS PRONOUNS!!! WE CAN CHANGE THE NAME OF YOUR HOME TOWN! AND TEAR DOWN YOUR STATUES!”

    Time to quit arguing reason and facts with those who recognize neither. My response now is “Go to Hell.”

    1. “You are trying to DICTATE *MY* speech, you NAZI!!!!”

      And that’s when I am not feeling all that irritable and thus am not (yet) really, truly angry.

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