Debunking the myth of the Alamo

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You needn’t be a census taker to know that Minneapolis and St. Paul contain a considerably large Mexican population. For instance, any day of the week, any hour of the day that you go to the laundromat at Chicago Ave. and Lake St. in Minneapolis, you’re going to be surrounded by Mexican women doing their clothes. All up and down Lake St. you’ll find family restaurants full of such women and their families chowing down. And of course you’ll find plenty of children from families like those sitting in the classrooms of the Minneapolis School System. It hardly takes Sherlock Holmes to deduce that, similarly, St. Paul has a good number of Mexicans. And Mexican children.

The point being that when these youngsters get to the part in their history lessons at school where they’re studying how Texas became a state, they’d get the literally whitewashed version, a fable that for years has passed as fact. The turning point in the historic event, lasting from Feb. 23–March 6, 1836, was the siege of a mission and makeshift fort near San Antonio called The Alamo. Hollywood and schoolbooks put forth the propaganda that a brave band of freedom fighters stood their ground against the oppression of a ruthless tyrant; that Texas basically was rescued from Mexico.

Well, for one, Mexico owned Texas, plain and simple. For those of you in the slow section, that means Texas was Mexican land. The Texans living there were colonists who’d agreed to a contract with Mexico. And then they decided they didn’t have to live up to their end of the deal; that they could just decide the land was theirs. These so-called revolutionaries were at odds with Mexico over the “right” to steal Mexican territory (and, by the way, wanted to keep slavery, which Mexico’s president Generalissimo Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna had abolished). The only ones who could legitimately call themselves revolutionaries were Mexicans who lived in Texas and wanted to separate from Mexico – and about whom you seldom hear a word when it comes to remembering those who lost their lives at The Alamo.

Further, James Bowie, David Crockett (he did not, as it happens, go by “Davy”) and the rest of the defenders did not choose to die as martyrs. Bowie and Crockett wanted to stage a hit-and-run guerrilla action and harass Santa Anna from the woods, over hilly, broken terrain where they had an advantage. But they were victims of commanding Col. William Travis’ mistake of holding up at the Alamo in anticipation of reinforcements that never arrived. So the whole thing was a catastrophic blunder by land-grabbing thieves in the spirit of America’s infamous idea – Manifest Destiny. Added to which, once General Sam Houston outsmarted Santa Anna and won this land war, white Texans summarily kicked every last Mexican Texan, including Capt. Juan Seguin, who’d survived the Battle of the Alamo, right out of the newly “free” country. By the time Texas became a state nine years later, it’d been appropriated and overrun by white folk who had no business being there in the first place. Just like every other square inch of space in America.

Kind of sheds a different light on things, doesn’t it? If nothing else, it informs Mexican kids today – or at least it would, if the schools’ history books were worth a damn – that their history is not that of a people who waged evil warfare against noble Americans and were rightfully defeated. It also deflates some of the notion that the little white kids sitting next to them in class (what few that haven’t fled at the hands of their parents) are inherently moral better-thans. Bottom line; it tells Mexican kids the truth. And it’s long since time that happened.

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