This afternoon I went to the Civil War exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences.
I saw the original Emancipation Proclamation that has been on display in Houston for 6 days. Today was the last day the Proclamation was being shown to the public.
The remainder of the exhibit is at the museum through April 29. It is well worth your time.
I don’t have any pictures of the exhibit as you were not allowed to take pictures. The photo above of the original Proclamation shows well enough what I saw.
The original is kept by the National Archives and Records Administration. If you poke around you can find a National Archives app for your mobile device that offers up a famous old document each day.
Depite the promise of freedom offered by the Emancipation Proclamation, Jim Crow replaced slavery in our nation for a century after the Civil War.
Today the same people who fought racial progress to the least breath, oppose President Obama as much or more so for who he is and what he represents as they do for any of his policies.
Things do sometimes change for the better and you can always appeal to the best impulses of our fellow Americans.
On the other hand, evil is for real and the work of progress and freedom is up to each of us.
At the end of this post is the weekly round-up of the Texas Progressive Alliance. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. TPA members are citizen-bloggers who are working hard for a better Texas.
Every Texan has the ability has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes, and even run for public office. The work of freedom is up to each of us.
With the round-up this week is news that the State of Texas is seriously considering a license plate honoring the Confederate army and the brutal and treasonous causes the Confederate army fought for in the Civil War.
Above you see an image of the license plate.
Some will claim that honoring the traitors who fought against American armies so that black men and women might remain slaves is a matter of culture or regional identity.
(Below–Southern culture and regional identity from the years before the Civil War.)
I’m certain that when borderline disloyal politicians like Texas Governor Rick Perry drip the hateful words of secession and nullification that all they have in mind is the protection of a noble heritage.
None of it has anything do to with a black President or increasing numbers of minorities in the U.S. or the desire of big corporations to be free of federal safety and environmental regulation.
The State of Texas can offer these license plates to Texas motorists. Politicians in Texas and elsewhere can talk about secession and nullification of federal laws. I welcome all free speech in our great federal union.
For those of us who think that the outcome of the Civil War should stand, we need to remain aware that the enemy defeated in 1865 never goes away in this country.
We have our first poll of Texas for next year’s presidential contest and Off the Kuff says that so far 2012 still looks like 2008.
Last week WCNews at Eye On Williamson posted on the Texas Republicans’ latest health care scheme: House GOP follows Oklahoma and Georgia into misguided health care compact.
Bay Area Houston has a theory about Rick Perry’s veto of the texting-while-driving ban. Read more »
Juneteenth is Sunday, June 19 for 2011.
Junetenth marks the day in 1865 that slaves in Galveston, Texas were told that the Civil War had been won and that they were free. It marked the first time that the Emancipation Proclamation was read in Galveston.
There are Juneteenth events in Houston area in the days ahead.
The Miller Outdoor Theater at Hermann Park will have a Juneteenth concert on Sunday, June 19 from 7-9:30 PM. This is a free event with (free) tickets required for the covered seating. Click the link for details.
There is a Juneteenth Parade on Saturday, June 18th at 10 AM that will start just outside Minute Maid Park. Here is the parade route and some more information.
There will be a Houston Juneteenth Parade at 10 AM on Saturday, June 25. This parade will begin at Independence Heights Park at 603 E. 35th Street. There will also be a battle of the bands at this event.
If there is an event that I am missing, please leave a comment. I’ll update this post with any additional information.
The bottom line of Juneteenth has to be that people know their history and that folks grasp the fact that the freedom of all people is connected.
Juneteenth is about the freedom of all Americans.
Below is a post I made a few days ago about the history of Junteenth and related subjects. Read more »
Today is the 165th anniversary of Texas Statehood. Texas became a state on December 29, 1845.
(Above–Texas State Capitol. As you see, the U.S. Flag flies above the Texas State Flag. Photo by Daniel Mayer.)
While our Governor, Rick Perry, has engaged in seditious talk about Texas leaving our federal union, Texas is one of the 50 states of the United States of America.
Loyal Texans see no conflict between seeing what is best about the many contributions Texas has made to our nation, and, at the same time, being part of our great nation.
(The San Jacinto Battlefield Monument and the USS Texas battleship in LaPorte, Texas. LaPorte is just outside of Houston. Texas independence was won in 1836 at San Jacinto. The monument and the battleship are well worth a visit. Photo by Louis Vest.)
There are many fine resources to learn about Texas.
Lone Star Nation–The Epic Story of the Battle for Texas Independence by H.W. Brands will tell you all you need to know about how Texans won independence from Mexico.
Texas: A Modern History by David McComb is short and readable history of Texas history all the way up to the current century.
The Handbook of Texas Online is very comprehensive on many aspects of Texas both past and present. The Handbook is also published by the TSHS.
I’m certain there are many additional quality resources about our state.
Congratulations to all Texans for being lucky enough to live in a state that is justifiably famous all around the world, and that is also a proud part of our union.
(Below—The President of the United States of America.)
What is America? How should America be defined?
America is the idea and the fact of a strong federal government over the lesser powers of the states as written in our United States Constitution. The Constitution was in many ways a response to failure of the Articles of Confederation and the incompetence and corruption of state legislatures.
America is Emancipation and the victory of freedom over states rights treason in our Civil War.
America is the expanded economic freedoms and opportunity of the New Deal.
These are the things that define America.
It is a story of progress, of ever-expanding freedom, and of an always widening definition of what it means to be an American.
If America ever becomes something else than the progress we see detailed above, then it will no longer be America.
This is wrong.
(Above—$50 bill from 1929.)
General Grant fought for the freedom of the American people. On the other hand, Ronald Reagan worked for evil states rights positions of racial and social injustice.
Philadelphia is where the three Civil Right workers–-Schwerner, Chaney, and Goodman-–were killed in 1964.
Mr. Reagan began his campaign in Philadelphia to signal to white Republican Southerners and other racists that the era of Civil Rights was over as far as the White House and the Presidency were concerned.
Mr. Reagan won a temporary victory for injustice with his election in 1980.
Yet good people know that justice is eternal and that wrongdoing cannot prosper forever.
Just 20 years after Mr. Reagan left office, our nation elected a black man named Barack Hussein Obama as our President.
The sacrifices and the outcome Civil War settled the fact that the federal government had dominion over the states, and that the rights of all Americans are the chief concern of our federal government.
Beliefs outside this hard-won conclusion are un-American.
(Below—Civil war dead at Gettysburg as photographed by Matthew Brady.)
The Obama administration is making a new effort to protect barrier islands and other coastal resources in the Gulf of Mexico area. Mississippi and Louisiana seem to be a specific focus of this program.
(Above–A picture of Ship Island off the Mississippi coast. In the background you see Fort Massachusetts. The federal government controlled the island in the Civil war and used the island as a prison for Confederate soldiers. Black combat units were also trained on Ship Island. Here are facts about Ship Island.)
From the Associated Press article on the Obama Gulf Coast effort—
“Since the 1930s, the Mississippi River delta has been slowly falling apart and eroding due to levee construction, oil drilling hurricane damage and other factors. Louisiana has lost about 2,100 square miles of coast and loses about 25 square miles a year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey…With sea levels on the rise due to global warming, experts warn that much of south Louisiana and Mississippi are at risk of being lost for good.”
This sure is interesting. You’d think that the good God-fearing folks down in Mississippi and Louisiana would oppose federal dollars to help remedy the effects of the great scam of global warming.
Here is a recent New York Times story about how people crazy enough to think that evolution is not real, are now adding global warming to their list of hoaxes.
I’m out of patience with this stuff. People are free to believe what they wish. Freedom of religion is a principle our nation is founded upon. But schools and public debates are places for facts. They are not places for ideologically-driven lies.
Maybe a referendum should be held in Mississippi and Louisiana to be sure that folks in these places believe in global warming. We don’t want to be wasting taxpayer dollars.
Here is a Times of London story about the possible impact of global warming on people and animal life across the globe.
Here is more from the Associated Press story—
“Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said the report “clearly demonstrates a positive shift in direction, but must be coupled with aggressive action on the ground — turning dirt. There is no time for delay.”
You are reading this correctly—Republican Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana wants some swift federal action to help address a problem in his state.
Here is how Governor Jindal felt about federal money last year–
“Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced Friday that he will decline stimulus money specifically targeted at expanding state unemployment insurance coverage, becoming the first state executive to officially refuse any part of the federal government’s payout to states.”
Here is the White House press release about this federal help that the people of Mississippi and Louisiana will no doubt be glad to take.
From the release–
“Ultimately, successful implementation of the shared vision depends on access to the best available science in a form that is useful for management decisions. The Working Group will assess current capacities and identify gaps in science so the Federal-State vision will be implemented based on the best information.”
I put the term “best available science” in bold so that nobody would miss what is being said. The Feds are coming down South to cram global warming down the throats of the people. Time for a tea party!
Is Republican Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi going to tolerate this federal intrusion?
From Think Progress, here is a portion of Mr. Barbour’s record on the environment from when he was a corporate lobbyist–
“Back at his lobbying firm in early 2001, Barbour was hired “to help apply pressure in all the right places.” He convinced President Bush to break his campaign promise to reduce global warming pollution from power plants. Barbour’s memo “Bush-Cheney Energy Policy & CO2” belittled global warming as a “radical fringe issue,” and called the regulation of carbon dioxide pollution “eco-extremism.” He urged the President Bush to avoid making decisions informed by science, which would “trump good energy policy, which the country has lacked for eight years.”
Here is the full report on Mr. Barbour’s record on the environment.
The federal government has dominion over the states. In this case, the federal government is going to provide help for Mississippi and Louisiana no matter if they like it or not.
(Below–Fort Livingston on Grand Terre Island off the coast of Louisiana. This fort, named after a political figure from New York, was built by the federal government and fell back into federal hands after the fall of New Orleans in the Civil war. Here are some facts about Grand Terre Island.)
Texas Governor Rick Perry is a study in hypocrisy.
Below are two pictures that show Governor Perry as a hypocrite.
First is a picture of Governor Perry with members of Acorn. I took this picture from a recent Burnt Orange Report post. This picture was taken in 2005 as the Governor signed a housing bill.
Now Governor Perry is criticizing his 2010 Republican primary opponent for Governor of Texas, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, for skipping out on a Senate vote that would have denied funding to Acorn.
It seems that not so long ago that Governor Perry was more than happy to be seen in the company of Acorn and it’s representatives.
The second example of what a fraud Governor Perry is, is this picture below where Governor Perry leans in front of the flag of the United States. (He’s leaning–right? Like he’s going to ask you your phone number or ask you your sign.) Governor Perry said recently that treason would be an acceptable option if some folks in Texas were sufficiently upset with policies coming from our elected officials in Washington.
Governor Perry should stay away from our flag if can’t be loyal to our federal union. The course of treason has been attempted before in our national history.
And don’t forget—Many Texas Republicans are open to a course of treason.
It is reaching the point where many Southern Republicans and Republicans across the nation are of questionable loyalty to our nation.
Texas Governor Rick Perry has said Texas has the option of leaving the Union if it does not like what the federal government is doing.
He said this despite the blood shed in our Civil War to preserve the Union and to free the slaves.
( 4/20/09 Update–Now a second Republican is talking treason.)
( 4/24/09 Update –Half of Texas Republicans share this disloyal view.)
“Texas is a unique place. When we came into the union in 1845, one of the issues was that we would be able to leave if we decided to do that,” Perry said. “My hope is that America and Washington in particular pays attention. We’ve got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, who knows what may come of that.”
According to the Handbook of Texas Online, Governor Perry is wrong that Texas can leave the Union. What it can do is divide into five states. Also, an 1869 Supreme Court case denied Texas the right to secede.
At the same time, this Voice of America story discusses Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s report that right-wing terror groups in the United States may be on the rise.
With leading Republicans talking the hateful language of disunion, right-wing fringe groups need only look to the news of the day to find ideas and support for their actions.
Below is a creation story as told by black preachers in Reconstruction era America. It comes from the book The Age of Lincoln by Orville Vernon Burton.
From the book—
“Throughout the southern states whites heard a different version of the creation story. In His own image, African American preachers declared, God created Adam and Eve black. They turned white, and the hair straightened, from sin and guilt, from encountering God after eating the forbidden fruit.”
As you can guess, stories like this did not go over well with southern whites. Black preachers, black folks, and whites sympathetic to black progress in the years after the Civil War were routinely harassed, attacked and killed in the post Civil War South.
Reconstruction was a time of great potential and tragic failure. It’s a time in our history that merits study by all Americans. While 2008 is a better day than 1875, you can still see today many echos of a brutal past.
Eric Foner’s Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 is a leading history of this time.
It remains hard to imagine that all that blood was shed in the Civil War and black folks still had to endure 100 more years of Jim Crow.
Nothing is so lousy that it can not come true. The work of freedom is never done.
As unbelievably bad as this would be, history teaches nothing is so horrible that it can’t occur. For example—
Over 200 years of American slavery,
Was followed by a brutal Civil War
And then 100 more years of Jim Crow
The good news is that we can still work to elect Barack Obama and defeat John McCain. We don’t have to accept one lousy thing and then another and then another.