Last time we discussed San Antonio College and how they changed their mascot for political reasons. They used to be the Rangers. Their history teachers thought the Rangers were not a good choice.

The first thing we have learned is that there are a lot of Texas history fans in Denton. They replied to my essay and recommended a long list of books that gave the true history of the Texas Rangers. The book that appeared on everyone’s list was Cult of Glory by Doug J. Swanson.

It is over 400 pages long, so I am not done reading, but I can already tell you that SAC did the right thing. The image I had of the Texas Ranger was wrong. Yes, it’s true they protected the pioneers, but there is a lot more to the story. They protected the interests of the white European settlers — and no one else.

While some would say they have a checkered past, it depends on who wrote the history books as to whether they were good or bad. Texas Rangers did so many bad things it is hard to list them. Murder, rape, theft, plunder and torture were common for them. However, they only did this to Native Americans, Black people, Tejanos and Mexican nationals to “defend” the white Europeans. In the book, white Europeans are called “Anglos,” and native Texans whose forebears are Mexican are called Tejanos.

The Rangers made no distinction between Mexicans and Tejanos. Well, you should know there is a huge difference. I have little interest in what is done in Mexico except for how it affects the USA. What the Rangers did is like faulting my friend Sean McCrory for crimes committed in Ireland.

The Texas Rangers also liked to collect rewards for catching runaway slaves. They killed and scalped Cherokees, Apaches and Comanche so often that they did not consider themselves a “real” Ranger until they had killed a Native American. They also killed native women and children just to teach their men a lesson. And any time a crime was committed by a Hispanic person, they took it out on Tejanos, even if they were not to blame.

We could go on and on, but suffice it to say that the Texas Rangers believed their job was to protect white people and rid the state of Texas of anyone who lived here prior to their arrival. Yes, Rangers like Leander McNelly, Sul Ross, Charles Howard, Capt. Bill McDonald and even Denton’s own I. D. Ferguson, who later became our county judge, did many bad things as Rangers.

But it is my belief that all those things happened a long time ago. It does no good for me to blame you for what your grandfather did to my grandfather. Or to proclaim the need for justice for something that happened 100 years ago. Let’s focus on how we treat each other today, yeah?

Which brings me to my soapbox: How come it is that in a city that is over 25% Hispanic and 13% Black, we have a Black mayor, Black chief of police, a Black assistant city manager, a Black member of the City Council and not one single Hispanic in an elected position in our city government?

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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