Did Greg Abbott Just Sign A Law To Keep Texas’ Slave History Alive And Well?
Sounding every bit like Kim Jung-un and every other autocratic dictator on the planet, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday signed a law establishing the “1836 Project,” which the Republican said “promotes patriotic education and ensures future generations understand Texas values.”
In a video during which he signed the legislation, Abbott said, “To keep Texas the best state in the United States we must never forget why Texas became so exceptional in the first place.”
Abbott said that “every newcomer to Texas who gets a driver’s license will also get a pamphlet that outlines Texas’ rich history, as well as the principles that make Texas Texas.”
“The law also establishes the gubernatorial 1836 award to recognize students’ knowledge of the founding documents about Texas history,” he added.
To keep Texas the best state in the nation, we can never forget WHY our state is so exceptional.
I signed a law establishing the 1836 project, which promotes patriotic education & ensures future generations understand TX values.
Together, we'll keep our rich history alive. pic.twitter.com/4yZuygS2yX
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) June 7, 2021
What Abbott didn’t say during his signing ceremony is that Texas’ history began with it declaring its independence from Mexico in 1836 because it was determined to maintain slavery. Although Mexico abolished slavery in 1829, its government continued to allow U.S. settlers to bring enslaved people into the country. But then, as U.S. immigrants began to outnumber the non-Indigenous population of Spanish origin, the Mexican government attempted to reassert its control, including its prohibition on slavery. Mexico’s ruler, Gen. Antonio López de Santa Anna, sent an army to reestablish his authority in 1835, but U.S. settlers revolted and by 1836 had created the independent, slaveholding republic – Texas.
The “Constitution of the Republic of Texas,” which governed the then-sovereign nation from the end of the slaveholders’ rebellion against Mexico in 1836 until it was annexed by the U.S. in 1845, legalized slavery, outlawed emancipation and barred free Black people from establishing permanent residency. Then, 25 years after declaring its independence from Mexico to preserve slavery, Texas did it again – and for the same reason – seceding from the United States in 1861.
Dean Baker, co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, pointed out: “Of course, if they actually did talk about the reasons Texas declared independence from Mexico, it would be a very radical course.”
“Such a pure expression of fascism,” read another tweet.
of course if they actually did talk about the reasons Texas declared independence from Mexico, it would be a very radical course
— Dean Baker (@DeanBaker13) June 8, 2021