Radicals have now turned their attacks upon a statue of Texas icon Sam Houston found in Hermann Park (shown) in the city of Houston, Texas. Previously, statues of several historical figures in American history, such as Christopher Columbus, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and Robert E. Lee, have all been targeted by leftists who will not be content until all vestiges of American heritage are eliminated from public view. These American Taliban even dislike the “Star Spangled Banner,” our beloved National Anthem.
A rally is planned in Houston on June 10 by a group calling itself Texas Antifa, arguing for the removal of the statue of Sam Houston, the famed hero of the Battle of San Jacinto, a battle that won Texas its independence from the tyrant Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.
Why does this group want to bring down the statue of Houston? Houston owned as many as 12 slaves, and apparently that means all of his positive accomplishments must be scrubbed from memory in the same manner as the Taliban, which blows up images it does not like.
The group revealed its plans on Facebook recently, writing, “Comrades, we need to fight to remove the disgusting statues of ALL war criminals and slave owners. Texans want these statues removed!”
Some Americans are old enough to remember that “comrades” is a term often used by communists to refer to fellow communists. Although Antifa does not explicitly call itself communist, its members do ally themselves with fellow radicals, such as Black Lives Matter (BLM), stating,
Texans agree the disgusting idols of America’s dark days of slavery must be removed to bring internal peace to our country. Several large groups of BLM have also pledged their support for this historic rally against the idols of an oppressive history, hence the name ‘Anti-Oppression Rally’ — These statues are a slap in the face of all Black Americans!
Radicals dating back to the French Revolution (which Soviet Union founder Vladimir Lenin cited as the model for his own Bolshevik Revolution that brought a communist dictatorship to Russia in 1917) have often presumed to speak for “the people,” and this group is no different, boldly claiming that “Texans agree the disgusting idols of America’s dark days of slavery must be removed,” as though there has been a plebiscite in the state on the issue.
The expansion of this Taliban-like movement to tear down heroes of American history beyond Confederate heroes such as Robert E. Lee has been widely predicted by many who have observed these growing efforts. In the case of Sam Houston, he often spoke against slavery, and as a senator, actually voted against the expansion of the institution to the new territories in the West.
He was also removed as governor of Texas when he did not support the secession of his state from the federal Union. Houston warned his fellow Texans that the northern states would not allow them to peacefully secede, and doing so would lead to a civil war, which the South simply did not have the resources to win. He stated,
Let me tell you what is coming. After the sacrifice of countless millions of treasure and hundreds of thousands of lives you may win Southern independence, but I doubt it. The North is determined to preserve this Union. They are not a fiery, impulsive people as you are, for they live in colder climates. But when they begin to move in a given direction, they move with the steady momentum and perseverance of a mighty avalanche.
The logic of the radicals calling for the removal of Houston’s statue dictates that we must now denigrate the father of our country, George Washington. After all, although Washington did free his slaves, the fact remains that he did own slaves. This dictates that the Washington Monument in D.C. needs to be toppled. And while we’re at it, we need to re-name our nation’s capital city, along with the 7,000 streets in America named for Washington to something that better suits modern political correctness.
In the case of Robert E. Lee, these attacks are not only mean-spirited, they are also based on a misconception of the motivations of Lee and hundreds of thousands of other men who served in the Confederate Army. Few Confederate soldiers owned any slaves, and they were not fighting to preserve the institution of slavery. I recall my recent trip to New Orleans (to see my Oklahoma Sooners in the Sugar Bowl). During our vacation, my wife and I took a tour on a double-decker bus. The tour guide noted the Lee monument during our ride, smugly remarking that we had better get a good look at it, because it would soon be removed. He then proceeded to deliver a one-minute-long rant about the supposed evils of Lee, dismissing him as nothing but a “slave-owning dude,” who had done nothing for the city of New Orleans.
The most charitable thing that I can say about these comments is that they are rooted in ignorance. While Lee had at one time owned slaves that he had inherited, he had freed them before the first shots were fired in the War Between the States. Another statue in New Orleans that is considered by some of the city’s radicals as another candidate for removal is the one in Jackson Square — of Andrew Jackson. Of course, history records that Jackson did quite a bit for the city of New Orleans. His defeat of the British Army in January of 1815 ensured that the British Parliament would ratify the Treaty of Ghent, ending the War of 1812, and keep the city in American hands. Of course, the agitators working to wipe out all of these monuments to American heritage no doubt believe that removing their city from what they believe to be a terrible country would be a good thing.
For that matter, without Sam Houston, there would not even be a Texas today — at least not a Texas that is part of the United States. And without George Washington, there would not even be a United States of America for Texas to be in.
Sam Houston of course was a flawed human being. As great as Lee and Washington were, they also possessed a fallen human nature.
If we wish to honor perfect human beings in American history, we would find no candidates. We honor these historical figures not for their flaws, but for their greatness.
The only American besides Washington to have a federal holiday in his honor is Martin Luther King, a man who did many things that greatly offended many Americans in his day, and no doubt offend many today as well. As Pat Buchanan writes in his new book on the Nixon presidency (Nixon’s White House Wars), “King, by 1968, was a divisive and unpopular figure who had compared Goldwaterism to Hitlerism…. In a speech at Riverside Church in New York City in 1967, King had called America ‘the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.'" Finally, King said, “If we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values.”
It is highly doubtful that these incendiary remarks are the reason Congress voted to make his birthday a national holiday; rather it is the image King has been given as a force for racial reconciliation as a result of the famous line from his speech on the Mall in Washington, D.C. in 1963: “I have a dream that one day my four little children will be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
One suspects, however, that the groups calling for the removal of the statues of Robert E. Lee, Christopher Columbus, Andrew Jackson, and now, Sam Houston, honor King not for his “I have a dream” speech, but rather for his call for “world revolution.”
Photo of Sam Houston sculpture: ChrisEngelsma