Today, Texas Celebrates White Supremacy Heroes Day
It's long past time to abolish Confederate Heroes Day.
“That in this free government, all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding States.”
The passage above was taken directly from the Texas Declaration of Secession.
The Texas Declaration of Secession, written and adopted in 1861 by the state of Texas, was about slavery.
The Neo-Confederates in Texas will tell you that the Civil War was about “states’ rights” or “Northern aggression.” That’s a lie. The Civil War, the Confederacy, and secession were about slavery. This is evident in the language used throughout the secession documents, which repeatedly references the institution of slavery and the protection of the “servitude of the African race” within the state.
The declaration states explicitly that Texas was admitted to the Confederacy as a “commonwealth holding, maintaining, and protecting the institution known as negro slavery” and that the people of Texas intended for this institution to exist in the future. It also claims that the non-slave-holding states have “unnatural” feelings of hostility towards the slave-holding states and their system of slavery and have attempted to abolish it through legislation.
Why are we talking about this now?
Depending on how long you’ve been following me, you may or may not know that I’ve written extensively about Neo-Confederacy and Confederate statues in Texas over the last several years. I also have a slow-moving series about active sundown towns.
It’s all connected.
After the Civil War, the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) and the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) were instrumental in perpetuating the idea of the "Lost Cause," a belief that the Confederacy was patriotic and not treasonous. The UDC rewrote history and spread this belief through the education system and our country.
Then, in 1973 the Texas Legislature passed Confederate Heroes Day in response to the Civil Rights Movement to continue to uphold and promote the white supremacist ideologies deeply ingrained in Texas.
White southerners felt threatened by the Civil Rights movement and clung to their belief in the "Lost Cause" myth, which portrayed the Confederacy and its leaders as heroic. By officially designating a day to honor Confederate heroes, the Texas Legislature was sending a clear message that they were still committed to maintaining the oppressive racial hierarchy that had existed for centuries.
State Representative Jarvis Johnson has introduced a bill to abolish Confederate Heroes day.
This is the third time Johnson has filed this bill, which previously failed under the GOP legislature.
It’s long past time to end this ode to white supremacy.
What can you do?
Sign this petition to show solidarity in abolishing Confederate Heroes’ Day.
Contact your State Representative and ask them to vote for this bill.
Texas is a diverse state, and it belongs to all of us. Its long history of white supremacy should stay in the past as the rest of us move forward with equity and inclusion.