Recently, San Antonio College in San Antonio changed its mascot for political reasons. It was a long, drawn-out process that took several years and required scores of meetings of several committees. Like most things done in colleges. And it also took several votes by faculty, staff and students.

They are now the SAC Armadillos. For nearly 100 years, they were the SAC Rangers.

Here’s the scoop. They considered “Rangers” to be politically incorrect. According to historical reports from various students and faculty, the Texas Rangers have a sordid past, so they should not be a mascot.

Fool that I am, I thought the Texas Rangers were heroes of the pioneer days in Texas. I believed they were like “The Lone Ranger” who rode around, fought crime and administered justice in places without police authority. I grew up believing that they were fair and honest, loyal and faithful, never cursed, always told the truth and looked a lot like Clay Moore, the actor who played “The Lone Ranger.”

But what the good people of SAC proclaimed is that the Texas Rangers hanged and killed anyone they thought was guilty of a crime without the benefit of a trial or even a judge present. If they thought you were guilty, they hanged you simply because they thought you deserved it. No discussion.

Anyway, here’s the real problem. According to various SAC historians, the Texas Rangers mostly focused on two ethnic groups: Native Americans and Mexicans. If the Rangers caught a white European with a bunch of horses that were not his, he most likely was arrested, taken into a town, given a trial, and if he proved that he had bought them from someone else, he was not hanged. If they caught a Mexican or a Comanche with a bunch of horses with different brands, he was hanged on the spot, even if he could not speak English to explain himself.

Maybe we have a professor of Texas history or two who would elucidate us on this subject. Could it be true? Did the Texas Rangers really do these awful things? I would like to believe the Texas Rangers were like most law enforcement groups: many good guys, a few bad guys and a lot of rather unattractive men at the top concerned with political quotes and photo ops. But maybe I have been wrong all along. Maybe the Texas Rangers were bad guys with a badge. And if the Lone Ranger was really evil, does that mean Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were not the good guys they pretended to be? Please say it isn’t so!

And now that SAC has made such a big deal out of its mascot, do you think we should look at our local mascots? Well, I like the UNT Eagles and the NCTC Lions. And I especially like the TWU Pioneers. To me, Carine Feyten is much more of a Pioneer Woman than Ree Drummond, the redhead in the commercials who claims to be one. So I think our three local mascots are politically correct.

But I’m still unclear about the Texas Rangers. If you know about them, would you please write to me in the comments section or in care of this paper? Thanks.

RAMIRO VALDEZ has been a frequent guest columnist in the Denton Record-Chronicle and is a retired area counselor. He welcomes feedback and suggestions via letters to the editor or emailed to rambam.valdez@gmail.com.

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