[Marxism] Texas Border Wall Can't Separate Latinos from Memories and Culture

Dbachmozart at aol.com Dbachmozart at aol.com
Sat Jun 14 04:49:42 MDT 2008


Texas Border Wall Can't Separate Latinos from  Memories and Culture
 

clip --

A short walk from the state capitol, at the Hideout Theater, the film  Border 
Bandits is upending some of the tall tales from that era of  revolution -- 
tales like the looming race war -- and replacing them with a  bloody history 
most folks don't know about. The film centers on the  recollections of Rio Grande 
Valley ranch hand Roland Warnock, who in 1915  witnessed Texas Rangers shoot 
two unarmed Tejano ranchers -- both U.S. citizens  -- in the back. 
During a Ranger-led border crackdown to root out so-called Mexican bandits  
and suspected sympathizers, meaning anyone with a Spanish surname and two good  
legs, lawmen and vigilantes killed 5,000; thousands more abandoned their 
ranches  and fled to Mexico. A postcard memorializing the border crackdown flashes 
across  the screen, featuring three mounted Rangers with their lassos tied 
around dead  "Mexicans." 
But were they really "bandits"? About midway back to the border, at a  
converted ranch house with creaky wood floors that now is the Kenedy Ranch  Museum, 
historian Homero Vera fills me in on the back story for the "Border  Bandits" 
film. 
"They were revolutionaries, they had their ideals," Vera explains. "They  
called them bandits because they were hostile, because they did kill some  
Anglos." 
The struggle, of course, was over land. Tejano landowners rebelled against  
the strong-arm land seizures by Anglos that robbed them of their ranches.  
Between 1900 and 1910, some 187,000 acres went from Tejano to Anglo hands in  just 
two border counties. Suddenly, Tejano ranchers and proud vaqueros (cowboys)  
became landless farm laborers. 
Inspired in part by this Tejano-Anglo conflict, Tejano rebels launched their  
Plan de San Diego. The 1915 plot called for the defeat of U.S. rule in Texas, 
 Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and California, the formation of a new 
republic  for Mexicans, blacks and Indians, and the killing of every Anglo male over 
age  16. 
Bands of rebels burned bridges, derailed trains and wreaked havoc throughout  
the Rio Grande Valley. It was the nightmare scenario Rangers had anticipated. 
 And though 80 years had passed since that seminal border battle, the Ranger  
crackdown evoked that old battle cry of the Texas Anglo: Remember the Alamo! 
Spurred by the film, state Rep. Aaron Pea (D) proposed a bill in 2005 to  
teach this largely ignored Ranger history in Lone Star schools. The bill died in  
session. Pea never revived it. 
Faced with the outcry over 21st-century Mexican immigrants, Texas, he said,  
wasn't ready to look back at injustices committed against Mexican Americans in 
 the distant past. "It's a less tolerant environment -- a xenophobic 
political  environment -- that we exist in today because of the immigration debate," 
he  says. 
But the 1915 Ranger campaign wasn't directed at immigrants, I say. It was  
directed at Tejanos, meaning: U.S. citizens. Fear, said Pea, made such  
distinctions irrelevant to Anglos of that era. 

full article --
_http://www.alternet.org/immigration/87699/_ 
(http://www.alternet.org/immigration/87699/)  



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