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Forget The Alamo? In Dallas, Maybe

Oh, here we go: [1]

Dallas ISD [Independent School District — that is, the public school system — RD] is researching the histories of Ben Franklin, Sam Houston, Thomas Jefferson and 17 other historical figures, looking into whether their connections with slavery or the Confederacy should prompt reconsideration of their names on DISD campuses.

Last Thursday, DISD administration recommended changing the names of four schools honoring Confederate generals: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnston and William L. Cabell elementary schools. During that discussion, it was mentioned that there is a much broader list of at least 21 names that bear further investigation, if trustees were compelled to do so.

They’ll be compelled, all right. More:

The Dallas Morning News has obtained a copy of that list, which includes Texas revolutionaries and founders such as Sam Houston, James Bowie and William Travis, U.S. presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, and Dallas pioneers James Gaston and William Brown Miller.

Elizalde acknowledged to trustees the difficulty in drawing a line on where to proceed. Some of the schools’ namesakes were involved with the Confederacy, but in lesser army ranks or non-combat roles. As examples, Elizalde mentioned John H. Reagan, the Confederacy’s postmaster, and Nancy Cochran, who according to Elizalde’s research, “encouraged her sons” to fight for the Confederacy.

So let me get this straight: in Dallas, Texas — Dallas, Texas! — the school board is thinking about expunging the names of Sam Houston, as well as Alamo heroes Jim Bowie and William Travis? That is even more shocking than Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin. If you’re not from Texas, or never lived there, it is impossible to overstate the reverence with which Texans hold men involved in the Texas Revolution. Except in 2017, I guess it actually is possible.

The demographics of the DISD student body tells the story:

That graphic is from DISD data [2], which also reveal that whites make up only five percent of DISD students. What is troubling is that racial identity is so strong that black and brown Texans may not see the state’s history as their history — and indeed, may not see American history as their history, owing to the impure thoughts and deeds of 18th and 19th century men with regard to race.

Imagine the impoverishment of the minds who believe the most significant thing to know about Jefferson, Madison, and Franklin, is that they were in some way tainted by slavery. Imagine the ignorance of school leaders who are going to investigate whether William Travis [3] and Jim Bowie [4] — both of whom died in 1836 at the Alamo — could have been involved with the Confederacy, which came into existence in 1861.

And imagine the spiritual decrepitude of those who would scrub the names of Travis and Bowie from Texas schools if they were found to have had anything at all to do with the Confederacy.

It’s disgusting, this iconoclasm. In 2015, 40 percent of DISD’s schools received a failing grade from the state. [5] To be fair, over 90 percent of DISD’s students come from low income homes, meaning that the school system has tremendous barriers to overcome in educating them. Still, the fact that the DISD trustees are even considering a cosmetic, p.c. gesture like this is a farce.

Yeah, yeah, I know: Dreherbait, no big whoop. But here’s the thing: this knee-jerk iconoclasm tells us something important about where we are headed as a country. When the Founding Fathers, as well as regional figures like Travis and Bowie, are held up to contempt, and “banished” because they do not fit contemporary standards — well, we are destroying the kinds of historical narratives that all nations need to cohere. We certainly should not overlook grave flaws in these men (e.g., that Jefferson, architect of liberty, owned slaves), but it’s madness to regard them as if these tragic flaws made them mere villains. I mean, look: Martin Luther King Jr. was unfaithful to his wife, but it takes an ideological pinhead to believe that this ugly fact diminishes King’s extraordinary accomplishments, takes away from what he gave to America, or in any way threatens his place in American history.

Very few great men and women are saints. I wish the knotheads pushing this iconoclasm would reflect seriously on where this is all headed, or likely to lead.

By the way, it’s starting in France now [6]. There’s a movement to rename schools, etc., that were named after Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Louis XIV’s finance minister who, in that post, had a lot to do with French involvement in the slave trade. The man leading the campaign is head of the French equivalent of Black Lives Matter, and writes in Le Monde: “How can we teach living together and republican values ​​in the shadow of Colbert?”

Right, because the name of a 17th-century French minister of state on the school prevents students from learning about republican values. What a crock. In Dallas, those public school students may graduate knowing next to nothing, but at least they will not have suffered the indignity of having studied in a school named for someone their progressive elders told them to hate.

The French reader who sent me the link said:

French republicanism has it good that culture wars and identity politics are virtually non-existent – until now. The local equivalent of BLM is trying to ban the name and effigies of Colbert from the public square because of his ties with the slave trade. First reactions are perplexed and even frankly hostile but it also started that way in America and now…

UPDATE: Reader Devinicus says:

Symbols are fundamentally statements about who/whom (or as Lenin said, кто кого?). This movement to rename schools in Dallas is just as Rod says — a statement by non-white residents that Texas history is white history and therefore is an affront to them.

Whether they are correct to feel this way is neither here nor there in my view. What interests me is the (I would say necessary) effect which Diversity has upon history.

As America becomes less and less white, the history of America becomes less and less valuable and interesting to Americans. And why wouldn’t that be the case? After all, white Americans are not especially interested in 17th, 18th, and 19th century American Indian history because “that’s not us”.

Before the era of Diversity was the era of assimilation and the “melting pot”. The effort was to convince (and force, let’s be honest) all that American history belonged to them and theirs even if they were not white, not Anglo, not Protestant, not even Christian. And to a significant degree, it worked.

But that is not the project of Diversity, which instead values difference for the sake of difference and either objects to solidarity in principle or has absolutely no program to produce it beyond “Hey, let’s listen to John Lennon’s ‘Imagine [7]‘ again …”.

99 Comments (Open | Close)

99 Comments To "Forget The Alamo? In Dallas, Maybe"

#1 Comment By Sourpuss On September 18, 2017 @ 8:01 pm

Of course black and brown Texans don’t see the state’s history as their history. Never have, never will. And once they have the political influence to assert their own history in school names and such, they will. Be bothered about it if you will, but it’s silly to be surprised. It’s exactly what Pat Buchanan has been saying all along. History that creates identity is history of a people, not a place or institution.

In fairness, European settlers didn’t exactly see Native American history as their history either.

#2 Comment By Redbrick On September 18, 2017 @ 8:09 pm

Alt-right: “if you let in milllions of non-whites and they become the majority they will change the nation forever, will probably not care for the nations past, and worse case may actually hate the nations white history”

Country club republicans: “shut up nazi…..who cares about things like national identity? Plus who will be our cheap wage slaves?”

#3 Comment By Ready for the Apocalypse On September 18, 2017 @ 8:10 pm

CK: Martin Luther King also thought that homosexuality was a mental disorder and suggested psychotherapy as a cure for it. This would get him shouted down as a “homophobe” today:

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#4 Comment By polistra On September 18, 2017 @ 8:17 pm

This was exactly prophesied by a King of the Hill episode. As I recall, Hank restored the correct names in a school play.

In the show he survived. Of course TV is fiction.

#5 Comment By Jake On September 18, 2017 @ 8:37 pm

The TX revolutionaries were anti Catholic slave owning pieces of **** though, weren’t they?

#6 Comment By Devinicus On September 18, 2017 @ 8:45 pm

Symbols are fundamentally statements about who/whom (or as Lenin said, кто кого?). This movement to rename schools in Dallas is just as Rod says — a statement by non-white residents that Texas history is white history and therefore is an affront to them.

Whether they are correct to feel this way is neither here nor there in my view. What interests me is the (I would say necessary) effect which Diversity has upon history.

As America becomes less and less white, the history of America becomes less and less valuable and interesting to Americans. And why wouldn’t that be the case? After all, white Americans are not especially interested in 17th, 18th, and 19th century American Indian history because “that’s not us”.

Before the era of Diversity was the era of assimilation and the “melting pot”. The effort was to convince (and force, let’s be honest) all that American history belonged to them and theirs even if they were not white, not Anglo, not Protestant, not even Christian. And to a significant degree, it worked.

But that is not the project of Diversity, which instead values difference for the sake of difference and either objects to solidarity in principle or has absolutely no program to produce it beyond “Hey, let’s listen to John Lennon’s ‘ [7]‘ again …”.

#7 Comment By MichaelGC On September 18, 2017 @ 8:50 pm

This wave of hysteria was precipitated by Dallas Mayor Rawlings and the city council voting to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee at an estimated cost of $500K. Now it’s on, and will probably not end until all known copies of of Gone with the Wind, whether the book or the movie, are gathered into one gargantuan pile and set ablaze.

#8 Comment By Sam M On September 18, 2017 @ 8:50 pm

So when can we change the name of the Harvey Milk schools? You know, the whole teenage boy thing?

#9 Comment By JamesP On September 18, 2017 @ 8:53 pm

“They’re eventually going to need a new name for the city of Houston.

My suggestion: Stalingrad. 2nd choice: Ho Chi Minh City.”

Ciudad Che is another likely candidate. Or they could look into the future and take a bold stance with “Kim Jong Unville.”

Any bets on how long any public ANYTHING named after anyone who professed to be a Christian will be renamed? I give it 10-15 years.

#10 Comment By Devinicus On September 18, 2017 @ 8:54 pm

Norman1 said,

“We really stole Texas, didn’t we? I mean, away from Mexico”. – Elizabeth Taylor in “Giant” (1956)

And the Mexicans stole it from the Spanish, who stole it from innumerable Native American tribes, who stole it from tribes before them and from one another, who stole it from the animals which first crossed the Bering land bridge.

The left should really beware this argument. It endorses the alt-right claim that black and brown people are stealing America from whites.

#11 Comment By John On September 18, 2017 @ 8:56 pm

I guess the board members feel they are best served fighting for a cultural war battle, where they can at least appear to be doing something. Thinking their way around the school district’s mediocre (at best) schools. Yes, bringing those scores up must be too hard for them so they figure that a feel-good move condemning slavery must be the way to go.

Okay, I guess they can do both, and with that in mind let me just say that Thomas Jefferson and James Madison should not be on the shunned list. I can’t speak about the Alamo soldiers, and well, the Confederstes for sure should have their names removed from positions of honor, but the founding fathers deserve credit for what they did for this country in spite of their flaws. Madison co-authored with Hamilton and Jay the Federalist Papers arguing for the Constitutions’s ratification. Geez!

#12 Comment By Captain P On September 18, 2017 @ 9:06 pm

sunshine says:
September 18, 2017 at 4:31 pm
In this country, people who aren’t white are told *from the time they are children* that American history is not their history.

————–

Utter hogwash. Sure, they’re told that by critical race theorists and related hucksters. Are there racist attitudes out there? Yes. But the older, fading melting pot ideology certainly didn’t say “Americanness is restricted to whites”, and in recent decades, educational, governmental, media and even corporate institutions have bent over backwards to tell stories and promote the achievements of everyone other than white men.

#13 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On September 18, 2017 @ 9:06 pm

How about we teach history instead of myth?

AMEN!

Even if people are immigrating with the sincere desire to become American, how likely is it that they will form deep attachments to the founding fathers, the Constitution, etc.?

That depends in part on what education they receive as part of applying for citizenship, and what education their children receive in school. Also how their aspirations tie in to the content of our Constitution.

No free person of African descent, either in whole or in part, shall be permitted to reside permanently in the Republic…

Which raised some difficulties for one of the founding citizens of the Texas Republic, a native of North Carolina, wealthy landowner, frequent source of loans and financing for “white” neighbors, who was in fact a “colored man.”

But they will proudly wear a Che shirt.

What’s wrong with that? (Aside from the fact that Che was a poor strategist, and an incompetent revolutionary, I mean.)

HUNDREDS of women, CK? Hundreds? Where did Dr. King ever find the time to lead a march or make a speech? And not one pregnancy outside of his marriage? Many men who have made valuable contributions to humanity have had weaknesses of the flesh, but surely you exaggerate.

Perhaps not, but I’m reasonably sure from listening to what black folks have to say that they really don’t see themselves as Americans as such.

Are you listening to talking heads, or interacting on a daily basis with a variety of people who have dark complexions. “Black folks” are quite as diverse a set of people as “white folks” or any other demographic category, none of whom can agree close to unanimously on much of anything. The only thing “black folks” have in common is that someone is always reminding them to “be black” or that “they’re all alike.”

Of one thing I am sure: Nobody who died at the Alamo was ever in his life a Confederate. Only the chronologically challenged would have trouble sorting that out.

Am I right to conclude that the warped liberal dream of affirming racial identities has effectively reinstated segregation?

Its much more complex than any “liberal dream of affirming racial identities,” which actually wasn’t the original “liberal” dream and isn’t particularly socialist either. But it is true that the USA remains to a large degree socially and residentially segregated.

Many things were mishandled about “integration,” mostly because people were shooting in the dark once they main Jim Crow laws were tossed and a basic framework of civil rights legislation put in place.

People forget that Rev. Oliver Brown filed suit against the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, so that his daughter could attend a neighborhood school, a few blocks from her home, rather than walk a mile through an industrial area across two active railroad tracks to catch a bus to the “Negro school” several more miles away.

And therefore, fifteen years later, students were being bused all over the achieve some racial numerical proportions. I once worked with a lady whose white son living in a black neighborhood was bused half way across town to provide racial balance to a predominantly Asian elementary school.

It was ridiculous to pretend that Rev. Brown’s daughter would be out of place or in any way a threat in her neighborhood school. It is equally ridiculous to pretend that a hard core drug dealer at age 16 is a Baptist pacifist who just needs a little love.

#14 Comment By lancelot lamar On September 18, 2017 @ 9:34 pm

I didn’t know only 5% of the kids in the Dallas schools were white, although it makes sense; they have so many private schools over there for a reason, and people pay a huge premium to live in the Highland Park ISD (inside Dallas) or drive to Frisco or the other outlying burbs. (And by “people” I mean middle and upper middle class people, of all races. Most of the private schools, like my sons, are filled with many upper middle and upper class blacks, hispanics, asians and arabs, and many of the suburban schools are also “diverse” racially, but of course not so much in terms of economic class.)

This kind of thing will stigmatize the government schools even more, and help the Texas legislature finally pass the voucher bill that has been waiting in the wings for some time. The Dallas ISD helping to cut the throat of all the public schools in Texas, not just their own. So keep it up Dallas SJW’s!

#15 Comment By Donald ( the left leaning one) On September 18, 2017 @ 9:42 pm

Yeah, this was Dreherbait. Defending Jefferson is easy. There is more to him than slavery. But as others have pointed out, the Republic of Texas was part of the project to extend slavery. Yes, it’s part of history, but we don’t have to fill our brains and our public spaces with sentimental mush about slave traders.

And I don’t see why you go off on these stupid issues so much. Yes, the PC types go too far, but what is so hard about saying, for instance, that they have a point about the Confederacy and some of the slave trading heroes of Texas? I personally don’t care if the names and statues stay up, but we should know the full truth about these people and about the racism that led to the erection of some of the statues too.

#16 Comment By Nate J On September 18, 2017 @ 9:58 pm

Rod, you should do a piece exploring how this relatively small issue of Confederate statues in southern states became a global monstrosity. North of the border, there is now a concerted push to strip the names of Canada’s early settlers and Prime Ministers from public facilities and infrastructure (using the justification of the historical treatment of native peoples).

It just seems like one day, this wasn’t an issue – like, at all, zero, zilch, nothing – then it suddenly was. It was almost as if a switch was flipped and left got their marching orders that iconoclasm was going to be the strategy. The obscure issue of historical monuments and names, an issue that was a million miles off the radar (especially in France and Canada of all places), became overnight the Issue of Our Times.

Is there something organized and nefarious behind all this? Or is it just a sign of our charmed, decadent times that we have so little to fuss about that we concoct weird obsessions? The cultural revolution does seem to get bored quickly.

#17 Comment By Stephen Hoffmann On September 18, 2017 @ 10:17 pm

“But there’s an important difference between France (where I lived as a teenager) and the USA. France has been able to assimilate all the episodes (*) of their history. No one, from Mme de Pompadour to Robespierre, from St. Louis to Sartre, is left out. And everybody is a great man (or woman) in their own way, as contributors to “Toutes las Glories de la France” (**)”. . .
At the center of the Pantheon in Paris, a sculpture representing the Revolution stands opposite one depicting the restoration of the monarchy.

#18 Comment By Don Pepe On September 18, 2017 @ 10:23 pm

I understand President Trump’s grandfather was born in Germany, also the name Eisenhower sound very german, yet nobody in their right mind would call them “German-American” presidents right ?, but Barak Obama is clearly an “African-American President” and if my son were to be elected President of the United States he would be considered the first “Mexican-American President”, what do you think happens when they keep telling children of immigrants that they are “Something else-American”

I told my children long ago that they are not Mexican- Americans, they are Americans plain and simple, it just happens that their father was born in Mexico, now try to explain that to the school system…even here in the People’s republic of California

#19 Comment By Pete from Baltimore On September 18, 2017 @ 10:31 pm

This past weekend, someone vandalized a statue of Francis Scott Key , in Baltimore.By throwing red paint all over it.And spray painted the words “Racist Anthem” on the statue

Att his point, every white American that has ever lived is fair game for the PC crowd

#20 Comment By Redbrick On September 18, 2017 @ 10:40 pm

“Is there something organized and nefarious behind all this?”

Careful there Nate J…… you are starting to ask some very dangerous and possibly bigoted questions.

#21 Comment By dd On September 18, 2017 @ 10:51 pm

“EngineerScotty says:
September 18, 2017 at 3:32 pm

This ain’t SJWs doing this, unless you think the Dallas school board is somehow stocked with them.”

I live in Dallas. The school board is stocked with them. No somehow about it.

The money supporting DISD comes significantly from white people who send their kids to private schools.

BTW, handful of the Dallas independent school teacher chieftains wanted to know, a couple of years ago, if there were any studies showing that reading helps you to become a better reader. What’s not to like?

#22 Comment By Hound of Ulster On September 18, 2017 @ 11:03 pm

Sam Houston opposed secession and got deposed as Governor for it by the Confederate lunatics.

If we as country were not so historically illiterate, we would not be having these discussions.

#23 Comment By dd On September 18, 2017 @ 11:52 pm

DISD changes its tune…restricts list. I wonder what happened and what “feedback” they got to bring this about.

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#24 Comment By Fabien On September 19, 2017 @ 1:36 am

Saw the op-ed in Le Monde in favor of “banning” Colbert. I wouldn’t worry about it though, the signatories are the usual suspects and they really don’t have that much influence (plus, choosing Colbert is the equivalent of skipping Lee and going right for Jefferson, a bit overambitious…).

#25 Comment By Mike Schilling On September 19, 2017 @ 2:51 am

However, if the entire founding myth of the State of Texas is to be discarded because it is tainted by slavery, what’s left?

The truth. Texas is the only state to secede in order to preserve slavery twice.

#26 Comment By dontex On September 19, 2017 @ 8:21 am

Exactly who gets to decide what is offensive to the masses? Dallas citizens were not given a chance to vote on those horribly offensive Confederate monuments. Heck Dallas didn’t even wait for the report from the monuments committee set up by the mayor. Deputy mayor Carraway took it upon himself to pronounce that the Lee statue had to go NOW.
Of course this is a priority in Dallas with its 1000+ potholes in the streets, daily drive by shootings, an unstable pension fund for police and firemen, etc, etc.
What happens in the future when some are upset with the way the Dallas city council and DISD treated history?
Those who erase history are doomed to repeat the failures of history.

#27 Comment By Jack B. Nimble On September 19, 2017 @ 8:25 am

Public schools should not be named after Confederate traitors, including Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnston and William L. Cabell. Schools should also consider naming plazas, auditoriums, athletic fields, etc. after a broader range of Texas historical figures, with appropriate commemorative plaques.

I’m more concerned with Mr. Dreher’s cited data showing 5% white students in DISD. For comparison, here are demographic data for the city of Dallas [from [10]:

549,966 [42.3%] Hispanic
379,630 [29.2%] White
304,850 [23.4%] Black

Dallas students have obviously been re-segregated along a public/private divide. That’s the real story here.

#28 Comment By collin On September 19, 2017 @ 8:56 am

Well Steve King (IA) was wrong! The Hispanic- & African Americans are working together!

Since you lived in Dallas, do their school districts teach any contributions of the Hispanic-American populations in the state of Texas?

[NFR: I don’t know. My kids were homeschooled. — RD]

#29 Comment By Mark VA On September 19, 2017 @ 9:55 am

” … we are destroying the kinds of historical narratives that all nations need to cohere.”

Not necessarily, in my view. If one self-serving historical narrative is merely replaced by another, then yes, it’s an exercise in futility. In such an instance the Unum of the United States will suffer, just as it suffers when a singular self-serving historical narrative reigns supreme. However, if fair, clear thinking professional historians take the reins (and not some politicized academic hacks), then clarity, humility, and reconciliation become possible;

These very complicated issues must not be decided in the streets by indoctrinated youths, apparatchiks of the Left or the Right, or media types. Level headed people must insist on this;

Regarding Texas (a state I’ve been visiting often for the past 35 years), I hope that both the diehard Anglos and Mexicans will acknowledge that the gracious Tex-Mex culture is the preferred future of Texas. Isn’t a Tex-Mex culture a much better alternative than the old pissing contest between the Anglo Alt-Right, La Raza, and Austin SJWs?

Reevaluation of a historical narrative can be a very beneficial process, if done right. For example, under the auspices of the Polin Museum in Warsaw, the long Polish-Jewish history is becoming better understood, stereotypes are put to rest, and real problems are addressed. This knowledge is then disseminated to the masses in both countries. I think the Anglos and the Mexicans of Texas can do such a reevaluation even better;

Here is an example of a well done historical reflection in the European context (punchline begins at the 6 minute mark):

#30 Comment By Ready for the Apocalypse On September 19, 2017 @ 10:18 am

Nate J: not just in Canada. That evil racist Gandhi is coming down in Africa:

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#31 Comment By Eddie Mack On September 19, 2017 @ 10:37 am

It’s important to recognize that the modern push for diversity didn’t begin in a vacuum. For generations, black Americans fought tooth and nail to get into the “Great American Melting Pot”, but continuously finding the way barred. The Irish, the Italians, the Poles, even Mexicans were assimilated warmly, but full recognition was not extend to blacks.

Is it any wonder why a portion of the black population broke away from the concept of assimilation? We are a people in search for ourselves, what culture was there to assimilate from? And to assimilate into a society that wanted nothing to do with you?

Eventually you just have to ask, why bother?

#32 Comment By TheGoldenOne On September 19, 2017 @ 11:27 am

You mean racial diversity and multiculturalism lead to conflict?!! Who knew? Well, aside from anyone that has ever cracked a history book.

#33 Comment By Alex Brown On September 19, 2017 @ 1:51 pm

We are a people in search for ourselves, what culture was there to assimilate from? And to assimilate into a society that wanted nothing to do with you?

In the XIX and early XX centuries, Germans, Irish, Italians…you name it, were also considered ‘races’ and nevertheless they all eventually assimilated and now they’re the Great Satan – The Whites.

But that is not the project of Diversity, which instead values difference for the sake of difference and either objects to solidarity in principle or has absolutely no program to produce it beyond “Hey, let’s listen to John Lennon’s ‘Imagine‘ again …”.
If diversity goes to its logical end, we will need UN instead of US to govern us. Anything less will be considered as unfair by some parts of ‘gorgeous mosaic’.

#34 Comment By Eddie Mack On September 19, 2017 @ 4:44 pm

@Alex Brown

In the XIX and early XX centuries, Germans, Irish, Italians…you name it, were also considered ‘races’ and nevertheless they all eventually assimilated and now they’re the Great Satan – The Whites.

I’m aware of that fact, sir. But thank you for illustration my point. What was so hard about extending that hand of friendship to black Americans? Why was American society willing to accept foreigners more readily than native-born blacks?

It take two to tango, assimilation requires a populace willing to assimilate and a society willing to accept the first.

#35 Comment By minimammal On September 19, 2017 @ 7:39 pm

These “progressives” are not even truly progressive because they don’t believe in progress as a gradual trajectory throughout history with perfection visible at some future date. Rather, they view history and the whole of white experience in this country as something to be indiscriminately smashed altogether with a glorious “woke” multicultural (aka non-white) utopia at Year Zero established in its place; instant progress, now.

In The Federalist yesterday, Peter Burfeind had a great article (link here: in which he details [12]) about how the whole “woke” movement is actually just plain ol’ re-hashed gnosticism, in which the material world is nothing more than a corrupt manifestation engineered by the evil white hetero-patriarchy and woke SJWs are those privileged enlightened few who understand this reality and who reject it to liberate their pure selves from this dark imprisonment. Burfeind states:

“Multiculturalism is the basis for the original use of ‘woke,’ in the Black Lives Matter context. The idea is that there are systems of oppression that no one can really perceive until he is woke. These systems of oppression are cultural, the prevailing white culture setting up the cultural architecture by which it sets the rules favoring whites and oppressing everyone else.”

So, it follows that this cultural architecture must be demolished, including the prevailing “white” historical narrative. Even seemingly benign figures like the heroes of the Alamo must be excised from our national story because they have nasty ties to conquest and “stealing” land from, in this case, the Mexicans (a “conquered people” and bona fide victim identity group). But, even more simply, they are white men which automatically forbids them from any place of prominence in the New History of multiculturalism, except as members of the faceless, nameless blob of white tyranny and oppression. It definitely precludes their being valorized and demands that they be vilified.

Ironically, as much as these woke activists proclaim to abhor white culture and Western Civilization, their demands for equality and human rights are inextricably based in the culture and intellectual tradition of Western Civilization and white men. Burfeind describes this paradox as such:

“But this brings up a paradox. Did culture produce the science of sociology from which the ‘woke’ terminological universe arose? Is the ‘science’ of sociology itself culture-based? What are the ‘beliefs, norms, and values’ that fed the birth of sociology? It’s a variation of the liar’s paradox. A Cretan says ‘All Cretans are liars.’ Is he to be believed? Similarly, a culture-bound person—there isn’t any other kind—says, ‘All thought is culture-bound.’ Is that thought culture-bound?”

Of course, as Burfeind notes earlier in his article, such logical reasoning against the gnostic cult of wokeness is fruitless since this gnosticism simply denounces rational thought and debate as merely oppression-enabling snares of white culture, even as it may use these to its own advantage. While the Left loves to say that it has science on its side (i.e. the whole “science is real” rubbish) this gnosticism is adamantly anti-science as evidenced by its very rejection of biology in its embrace of the trans agenda – rejection of the body for the “true self” is gnosticism’s MO. Burfeind states that these modern day gnostics claim that they’re able to penetrate through the cultures that they live in to the “objective” (though they wouldn’t use that word) truth of reality, thus their tenets are not merely culture-bound claims but a glimpse into that reality that exists behind the curtain that these woke enlightened buddhas so graciously bestow upon us (incidentally, my realizing that Buddhism was basically Eastern Gnosticism was another factor in my leaving it and going back to Christianity).

Burfeind ends his article on an optimistic note, saying that he sees this gnosticism as failing because its goal of a totally woke utopia can never come  into being. I’m not so optimistic. The fact that the efforts to reduce white American history to one narrative of absolute racism and oppression is gaining traction around the country, even in Dallas, Texas, of all places, does not bode well for the future of this country, regardless of whether the woke utopia is a success or not.

To accuse me of racism and white privilege simply because I’m white is one thing but to censor and cut me off from the history of my country and my forefathers is another thing entirely. I can live with the former but I cannot live with the latter; I cannot live without any connection to the past except one of guilt and self-hatred. No people can live like this. To control a people’s history is to control the people. The woke gnostics understand this, as do Richard Spencer and his ilk. What happens next remains to be seen but it doesn’t look good either way.

#36 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On September 19, 2017 @ 9:17 pm

Now it’s on, and will probably not end until all known copies of of Gone with the Wind, whether the book or the movie, are gathered into one gargantuan pile and set ablaze.

I don’t support book-burning, but that would be small loss to the world. Its a third rate soap opera at best. I summarize is as “And then I’ll never work for a living again.”

#37 Comment By Pelayo Viriato On September 19, 2017 @ 9:34 pm

Black and brown Texas do not see Texas history as their history. Increasingly, black and brown Americans do not see US history as their history. An African-American history professor I had in grad school once said to an African-American student, “Growing up, why did we need to read so-called great American novels that have nothing to do with us?” He said this in the context of venting his frustration with white colleagues who didn’t see the need for racial sensitivity training.

#38 Comment By Alex Brown On September 20, 2017 @ 12:41 am

@Eddie Mac
‘It take two to tango, assimilation requires a populace willing to assimilate and a society willing to accept the first.’

I suppose you ask me to admit racism-for sure, it was an original sin.
But US made long way towards integration. You should know the statistics: majority of whites approve interracial marriages and elected thousands of blacks to the state and local governments, police etc, including Presidency. If whites were still as racist as Coates claims, why would Africans from Somalia and other non-whites immigrate en masse to the States?
I think there’s no alternatives to a complete integration, assimilation and post-racial society in the longer run. That is, unless Left wins big and puts us on the road of official multiculturalism, e pluribus unum in reverse, so we can enjoy again separate but equal college dorms and white-freee days(oh, its already happening). And in the long term, separate but equal(?) States. Which would require civil and racial strife on an incredible scale. But I leave it to Richard Spencer to peddle.

#39 Comment By William Dalton On September 20, 2017 @ 2:12 am

And I remember when Dallas wondered whether it would ever live down its history of the being the place that took the life of President Kennedy. Well, it turns out the answer to the dilemma was simply to try to erase history – except the things we want to tell about ourselves. Of course, one hundred fifty years from now, if there is still a city in the place of Dallas, its then residents will have disowned those of today.

By the way, most people believe the City of Dallas was named for this man –

[13]

The most interesting thing about this one term Vice President is that when he and President Polk were presiding over the Mexican War and the admission of Texas to the Union, Dallas called for the United States to annex all of Mexico. I wonder how many denizens of the DISC applaud that sentiment?

#40 Comment By bflat879 On September 20, 2017 @ 7:35 am

This is where we are, after 8 years of Obama. If Hillary had won, this would have been coming down from the Department of Education. Since she’s not, thank God, the plans are being implemented at the grass roots.

The idea is to eliminate the history of the country. How long before these same people will eliminate Martin Luther King, Jr. because he advocated peaceful demonstrations instead of violence. Think I’m crazy? They want to take Sam Houston’s name off of schools in Dallas, Texas.

#41 Comment By SDN On September 20, 2017 @ 7:41 am

“The truth. Texas is the only state to secede in order to preserve slavery twice.”

Do you have a cite that doesn’t involve Zinn or * Studies?

#42 Comment By John K On September 20, 2017 @ 8:30 am

Briefly, we should not be confusing the methodology of Sociology with an ethical be principle. It is one thing to study cultures from a value-free perspective, something else to live as though filth and disease we’re of equal value as cleanliness and health.

#43 Comment By Eddie Mack On September 20, 2017 @ 10:16 am

@Alex Brown

And here’s where I agree with you, we have made considerable strides. I no longer have to look out for my neck when I go on a date with my wife. I could run for public office were I crazy enough to do so.

But I’m also aware that any routine traffic stop could be my last. I’m also bitterly sore about birtherism and its subscribers. I also remember people thinking my mother was a nanny because I’m light-skinned.

Do I believe that this country has gotten better for black Americans? Without a doubt. Is there still room for improvement? Absolutely.

As song in the musical Hairspray goes;
“We’ve come so far, but we’ve got so far to go.”

I believe that this trend of self-segregation is counter-productive at best and destructive at worst. I despise it with every fiber of my being.

I can’t agree with the sentiments expressed in the article referenced above, but I understand where its coming from. Its the attitude of exhaustion, an apathy born of frustration. I know it because I’ve felt it too. But I strive to see the good in people, to treat them better than they treat me and am thankful for the sacrifices my forebears have made on my behalf.

#44 Comment By Beldar On September 20, 2017 @ 10:30 am

Further to Hound’s comment above, from Wikipedia (boldface & bracketed portions mine, ellipses in original):

“Although [then-Texas Governor Sam] Houston was a slave owner [just like Ulysses S. Grant,] and opposed abolition [as had then-POTUS-elect Abraham Lincoln in his 1860 campaign], he opposed the secession of Texas from the Union. An elected convention voted to secede from the United States on February 1, 1861, and Texas joined the Confederate States of America on March 2, 1861. Houston refused to recognize its legality, but the Texas legislature upheld the legitimacy of secession. The political forces that brought about Texas’s secession were powerful enough to replace the state’s Unionist governor. Houston chose not to resist, stating, “I love Texas too well to bring civil strife and bloodshed upon her. To avert this calamity, I shall make no endeavor to maintain my authority as Chief Executive of this State, except by the peaceful exercise of my functions … ” [Gov. Houston] was evicted from his office on March 16, 1861, for refusing to take an oath of loyalty to the Confederacy, writing in an undelivered speech,

“‘Fellow-Citizens, in the name of your rights and liberties, which I believe have been trampled upon, I refuse to take this oath. In the name of the nationality of Texas, which has been betrayed by the Convention, I refuse to take this oath. In the name of the Constitution of Texas, I refuse to take this oath. In the name of my own conscience and manhood, which this Convention would degrade by dragging me before it, to pander to the malice of my enemies, I refuse to take this oath. I deny the power of this Convention to speak for Texas….I protest….against all the acts and doings of this convention and I declare them null and void.'”

We could observe from this that even a principled stand against the Confederacy and secession, a stand that was political suicide and ended Houston’s public life in conflict, isn’t enough to satisfy the Dallas Board of Education.

Or we could instead observe, more accurately, that the members of the Dallas Board of Education, individually and collectively, are probably too poorly educated themselves to know the difference between Sam Houston and Jefferson Davis.

#45 Comment By mark abrams On September 20, 2017 @ 12:36 pm

93% of southerners never owned slaves and many whites were sharecroppers, who weren’t particularly fond of the slave-owning plantation owners. What almost all southerners resented were the high tariffs. The south was agrarian and their tariffs paid for the federal government. They paid more than 90% of the tariffs which were the sole income of the federal government. Lincoln was a high tariff man, he aimed to increase tariffs even further. Between tariffs and US flag shipping laws, the south was essentially barred from importing the tools and clothing they needed. The northern industrialists were spared from foreign competition. It is no accident that the war started by the south firing on the customs station in Charleston bay. That the war was fought over slavery is a rationalization for the brutal slaughter that ensued. The proof is that the slaves were not freed at the outset of the war, and Lincoln’s own statements that he intended to exile them. Wars are almost never moral crusades.

#46 Comment By JonF On September 20, 2017 @ 1:20 pm

Re: 93% of southerners never owned slaves

That stat is somewhat deceptive, Mark. Slaves were generally owned by individuals. About 1/3 of antebellum Southerners however came from slave-holding families in which the paterfamilias (occasionally the widowed matriarch) held deed to the slaves, but everyone lived off the fruits of their labor.

As I have said before tariffs were not an issue in 1860, having been settled with compromise back in the 1830s. Moreover tariffs only affected the rich, since the average person in those days mainly bought goods that were sourced locally not imported (exotic stuff like quinine and black pepper were exceptions). Even the age of the mail-order catalog still lay in the future. Southern yeomen did not go to war so that their rich neighbors could buy French wines, silk shirts and Swiss clocks more cheaply.

#47 Comment By mhjhnsn On September 20, 2017 @ 2:07 pm

I thought Sam Houston fought against secession, and stepped down as Governor in 1861 when the State voted to secede over his objection?

Shouldn’t that make him, if not a hero, at least someone worth remembering and learning about?

I guess not, because the real agenda is to destroy all our history. Slavery and secession are just the initial wedge issues. And, almost nobody knows any history, anyway.

#48 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On September 20, 2017 @ 2:25 pm

What Eddie Mack said.

Mark Abrams, tariffs were offered as a reason for secession during the administration of Andrew Jackson. Most southern states declined to follow South Carolina’s lead, and President Jackson threatened to hang John C. Calhoun from the highest tree in South Carolina, affirming that “the United States is a government, not a league.”

What had changed in 1860 is not that tariffs were now a much more emotional issue for southerners. Nor was it that Lincoln and the Republican majority in congress were going to free the slaves. What had changed is that Lincoln and the Republican majority in congress, plus Lincoln’s chance to appoint Supreme Court justices as the opportunity arose, was going to close the territories to slavery, and foreclose new slave states being admitted to the union.

THAT was sufficient basis for South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisana and Texas to become vehicles for secession. Its in Jefferson Davis’s first address to the confederate congress — this measure would have rendered worthless billions of dollars of property, because without a market to sell slaves to, the market price would fall, and their value as invested capital, and collateral for loans, would virtually disappear.

The fact that President Lincoln was willing to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America, by force if necessary, was enough to motivate Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Arkansas to secede.

Kentucky figured they’d be more likely to lose their slaves if they did secede than if they didn’t. Maryland had markedly different economies in different areas of the state, and Delaware didn’t much care about the small number of slaves they still possessed.

Most of those who fought to preserve the union were indeed NOT willing “to fight to free Negroes.” But since they had to fight to preserve the union, against a rebellious clique organized and initiated by slave owners concerned with the value of their property, taking away title to the slaves, once and for all was acceptable.

God led us to a result few really intended to fight for. Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad. By the time the war was ending, Abraham Lincoln had it figured out… its well summarized in his Second Inaugural Address.

#49 Comment By richard40 On September 21, 2017 @ 10:44 am

To looks like Dallas is now doing their best to become just as screwed up leftist as Auston. If there are any real conservatives left in Dallas, they had better start chucking some lefties off this unified school board and replacing them with some real conservatives, now.