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Should We Stop Saying Remember the Alamo?

We're not exactly subtle in Texas.
We're not exactly subtle in Texas.

There are quite a number of catchphrases that can be attributed to the Lone Star state. Among them, "Houston, we have a problem," "Don't mess with Texas" and "Who shot J.R.?" evoke a range of responses. Certainly, our colloquialisms are as unique as the state itself. But, perhaps the most well known is "Remember the Alamo," the battle cry of soldiers fighting for Texas independence from Mexico 175 years ago.

Apparently, the battle is still raging, at least for some, and ground zero is the Rio Grande Guardian. This time, however, the battle is not for independence, but over whether or not anyone should even be using the phrase, "Remember the Alamo."

Jeff Wentworth, a Republican state senator from San Antonio, recently penned an op-ed column for the paper and it didn't sit well with civil rights activist Jose Antonio Lopez, who calls the piece "xenophobic" and says the phrase is a "a senseless grudge against the memory and integrity of our Spanish Mexican ancestors who died fighting on both sides, no different than in any other civil war."

The subliminal message in your article is unmistakably divisive. It's meant to strike fear in Anglo Texans against the increasing browning of the population in Texas. Senator, the rise in the number of Hispanic Texans is inevitable and a natural process. Remember that Tejanos held that distinction when the waves of mostly illegal immigrant Anglos flooded into Texas in 1835-36.

Lopez goes on to refer to Texas as "New Spain" rather than "New England."

Wentworth's column, while not quite as filled with rhetoric as Lopez's, was more hyperbole than history. Frankly, the conservative senator's viewpoint sounded a little like a Michael Bay movie.

The stench of the burning bodies mixed with the lingering smell of gun powder, blood, and sweat from the pre-dawn battle.

No Christian burial or prayers. No flag-draped coffins or 21-gun salutes. No bagpipes playing "Amazing Grace" or bugles sounding taps. Just the roar of the flames and the shadows of buzzards circling overhead.

Oh, brother. We're more inclined to forgive the politician's missteps than we are his movie trailer voice-over script. Neither column was short on colorful language, which, at the very least, made this minor skirmish an entertaining read.


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