'Don't mess with Texas'
Matthew E. Caster
In the nine months since September 11,
a new definition of "political correctness" has emerged. Whether you view
so-called "pc-ism" as good
or bad is up to you, of course. Throughout
this summer, I'd like to focus on how political correctness affects our
society, taking a look at both the
good and the bad. Today, we'll start with
In late February of 1836, 189 Texans barricaded
themselves inside a tiny mission in San Antonio against the wishes of the
commander of the
Texas resistance, Sam Houston. Mexican
dictator Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, embarrassed by the fact that his
relative, General Cos, had
lost the city of San Antonio to the primarily
American Texas rebels a few months earlier, set out to eradicate the resistance.
The grueling, 13-day battle between Texan
fighters like Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett and William B. Travis and the invading
force of several
thousand Mexicans climaxed with all 189
Texans, and at least 600 Mexicans dying. It is one of the proudest moments
in Texas history, and
"Remember the Alamo" became the battle
cry that catalyzed Sam Houston's victory over Santa Anna several months
later at the battle of San
As one of almost 10 million native Texans
in this great state, I'm very proud of what those brave souls did at the
battle of the Alamo. Some are
not so proud, however. A recent report
on FoxNews.com indicates that the Houston Independent School District and
several other districts in
the state are updating their Texas History
curriculum. The new curriculum neglects mentioning "Remember the Alamo"
and other facets of
Texas pride that emerged from Texas' struggle
Administrators claim that this move is
designed to create a friendlier environment for Hispanic students, particularly
Mexicans, who now make
up nearly 40 percent of all students in
Texas public schools. The traditional "us versus them" attitude has been
taken out of the curriculum.
This action sets a poor precedent on several
levels. First of all, the new text implies that Mexico has some sort of
moral claim to Texas; sort of a
"you were a part of us before you were
stolen from us by a bunch of reactionary American immigrants." This sort
of material may even
encourage a future separatist movement
by over-zealous Mexicans who are brainwashed into believing Texas should
still be part of Mexico.
The fact is that a course in Texas History
should teach exactly that: Texas History. This course should teach that
189 Texans were given no
quarter by a Mexican army of perhaps 6,000.
It shows that those 189 Texans chose to fight to the death so that Sam
Houston would have time
to build his forces.
To deny the heroism of the brave souls
who fought and died in San Antonio in defense of the great state we live
in today is equivalent to spitting
on their graves. If they want to teach
the Mexican History approach, let them do it in Mexican History. If we
want our children to know why and
how Texas got to where it is today, let's
teach the whole story of those 13 days in February and March of 1836.
Many question why such a drastic rewrite
of history is necessary. For example, the United States and Great Britain
are pretty good friends. A lot
of Americans live in Britain, and a lot
of Brits live over here. That's great. It promotes cultural diversity.
The last I checked, however, American
History still teaches that General George
Washington spanked the snot out of General Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1781.
Likewise, in the last 20 years, Germany
and France have grown very close. Commerce between the two nations is similar
to U.S. — Mexico
trading. Roughly 15 to 20 percent of each
nation's population is made up of descendants from the other nation. However,
I seriously doubt the
French will ever rewrite their textbooks
in such a way that their students never learn how Germany invaded France
twice in only 30 years.
Likewise, the Germans will have a hard
time forgetting that France, promptly smacked them back where they came
This is an example of political correctness
going too far. As wonderful as it is that our state can be so diverse in
culture, such extreme
measures to rewrite history are absurd.
It is often said that history in war is written by those who won. Why must
we rewrite history to spite
ourselves for those who lost? I want my
kids to know, and be proud of, what really happened at the Alamo, and how
that led to Texas becoming
what it is today, not some watered-down
version of history that makes it sound like Texas was stolen from Mexico,
or separated without a fight.