|Tuesday, March 2, 1999||
Volume 64, Issue 104
Whitlock on Tom DeLay
Ed De La Garza
The Lone Star McState
McDonald's has been selling booklets in honor of Black History Month. At $1.69 a pop, the handy mini-reference guides, written by Lady Sala Shabazz, founder of the Black Inventions Museum in Los Angeles, are meant to show the restaurant chain's social awareness.
You can learn about the great achievements of African-Americans while you're swallowing something shaped like a hamburger. Think of it as lunchtime reading material.
It's easy to applaud this endeavor. There isn't anything wrong with being aware of the accomplishments of some of the most important people in history.
However - yes, there's always a however - Shabazz also devoted a page of her booklet to facts about Texas. She writes that our state anthem is not "Texas, Our Texas", but actually "The Yellow Rose of Texas."
Shabazz also writes that Texans won the first few battles in the fight for independence from Mexico. In reality, Texans lost their first battles. Remember the Alamo?
When reached by The Dallas Morning News, Shabazz said that she could not locate her sources, because she wasn't at her home. Sources? The woman obviously bought her encyclopedia set at Kroger's. What sources does she have to check?
One supposes they're the same sources that state Rhode Island is the same size as Greenspoint Mall. They're the same sources that say the state bird of Louisiana is the ostrich.
Did anyone realize that Alaska and Hawaii were actually the first states admitted into the Union? It was kept secret for almost 200 years, because the "farmers" of the constitution were afraid the colonists weren't ready to know.
Did you know Texas is bordered by ten states? Ever heard of Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, New Mexico, Old Mexico, East Dakota, Southern Tennessippi, Lower Manitoba, Texarkana and Sweet Virginia?
Remember how your Texas history teacher spent weeks talking about the war with Canada?
Writing about black history is a good thing. We should be educated about it. We just hope Shabazz and McDonald's (who doesn't have plans to reprint the booklet with corrections) keeps one thing in mind.
As the saying goes: Don't mess with New Hampshire.