A little tidbit re the image used here by Ted Cruz (the turkey one has been around for at least half a decade btw). Like many of the ways the Right understands history, Cruz often cherry picks his data so he can come off as what he thinks is funny or tough or smart. Short thread:
In doing so, of course, he misses broader historical nuance and the reality of what he's talking about. Lots of folks have highlighted the ugliness of such a meme in light of the long food lines and huge spike in Covid cases in Texas. cbsnews.com/news/thousands…
Beyond that though this meme fits into the Right's broader fictitious culture wars that somehow some nefarious leftwing force is out to cancel Christmas or end Thanksgiving. The Come and Take It flag has also been used by the Right in 2A circles.
Here's the history of that iconic flag (which probably looked like this). The flag came out of the 1835 Battle of Gonzales wherein Mexican soldiers attempted to retrieve a small iron cannon from the town of Gonzales. They failed. Right wingers like Ted Cruz like to stop there.
Doing so allows him to fixate on a manly, heroic moment in Texas history. In reality, the Mexican Army did come and take it, during the Siege of Bexar. Texians from Gonzales transported several cannons to San Antonio, all were lost to Mexican forces when they retook the Alamo.
Mexican forces then buried the cannon and several others at the Alamo. The Gonzales cannon was never fired again. It sat, buried, for two decades. In the 1850s, former San Antonio mayor Samuel Maverick (grandfather of Maury Maverick) unearthed the cannon and had it recast into...
a church bell. That bell was installed at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in San Antonio, which sits on part of the original Misión San Antonio de Valero site. It's still there today.
Now I know Cruz probably doesn't care about this history and is content with getting attention w stupid ass Come and Take It turkey memes, and of course the broader reality of this history, which I think is more important, would be lost on him. But here is what I think matters:
1. The Battle of Gonzales, Mexican forces did not take the cannon.
2. The Battle of the Alamo, Mexican forces did take the cannon.
3. Once relocated the cannon was recast into a church bell, going from a weapon of war to a symbol of peace.
It's no wonder Cruz focuses on part 1, because if he focused on the end of the story, parts 2 and esp 3, he would have to admit that peace and human decency are the end of the story. And that's something we should all be thankful about.

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More from @HistoryBrian

6 Aug
A few thoughts on teaching/interacting w students in general, but especially in the age of Covid. Thread:

So I was trained in the school of "professors are hard asses." A number of salient sayings go along with this school, most notably "first you frighten, then you enlighten."
As a grad student, I adopted this school's philosophy both because I was required to, esp as a teaching assistant, and because I was influenced by my professors and mentors. I not only thought they were right, I had to adopt this thinking when I worked as a TA under those profs.
As a TA I was particularly draconian in my thinking and action. This was expected and condoned by the faculty I worked for. I've noticed in my career that a lot of times, although certainly not always, grad students seem to think that being a hard ass is how you professor.
Read 13 tweets
17 Jun
It seems a lot of folks who saw the news about Aunt Jemima are taken aback, “Aunt Jemima isn’t racist!” “How could you get rid of Aunt Jemima!” So for those who might be interested, here’s a little thread:
1. Aunt Jemima existed before the pancake mix. Her depiction was popularized in the 1870s in minstrel shows/songs. The advo below features a performance by Billy Kersands, a Black performer who did Black Blackface portrayals of Aunt Jemima. White and Black performers did this.
2. We get to pancakes with 2 White businessmen, Charles Underwood and Christopher Rutt, who launched Aunt Jemima in 1889, a year after they purchased a defunct flower mill. Rutt had seen an Aunt Jemima minstrel show and thought she would be the perfect hook for their company.
Read 15 tweets
28 May
I've been editing chapters on 1970/80s police reforms. Activists in particular fought for better police training, "minority recruitment programs" to diversify police depts, psych testing to remove troubled officers. PDs in many locales did all of it. It seemed so...hopeful. But,
such reforms were never universal. Good done in one city could be undone by a police killing in another. Training only went so far without the ability to get rid of untrainable, problematic officers. Diversifying mattered little when the institutional racism within PDs remained.
*A quick aside* This is part of the reason why the murder of George Floyd is so troubling. Diversity didn't seem to help him. The officers had numerous abuse complaints yet were not disciplined. MPD has "cultural awareness" training, sooo.... But I digress.
Read 6 tweets
17 Aug 19
The #ElPasoSyllabus:

It’s been 2 weeks since the horrendous shooting in El Paso, the murder of 22 innocent individuals & wounding of 24 others. 2 weeks, #ElPasoShooting is no longer trending, most news outlets have dropped the story, the process of forgetting has begun.
There are several things that may explain why we’ve begun to forget El Paso. Many people don’t know the city and it may seems geographically far removed from the worldview of folks unfamiliar with the Southwest.
The victims of the shooting, mainly Mexican/Mexican American people, may seem unfamiliar to some Americans, beyond the rhetoric/stereotyping of the immigration reform debate. Many people probably don’t see Mexican-origin people as the “normal” victims of racist violence.
Read 49 tweets

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