Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Not the Texas Rangers' proudest day

Grits receives the Texas State Historical Association's relentless daily email and today's missive told the story of a particularly unsavory, if successful, use of the Texas Rangers to enforce Jim Crow in defiance of federal courts.
On this day in 1956, an angry mob surrounded Mansfield High School to prevent the enrollment of three African-American students in what became known as the Mansfield School Desegregation Incident. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People had sued the Mansfield school district over its segregation of black schoolchildren. When a federal court ordered the district to desegregate--the first time a Texas school district received such an order--many white citizens resisted. Vigilantes barred integration sympathizers from entering town, whites hanged three blacks in effigy, and downtown businesses closed in support of the demonstrations. Governor Allan Shivers authorized the Mansfield school board to transfer black students to Fort Worth, seventeen miles away, and dispatched Texas Rangers to uphold the district's policy of segregation. The successful defiance of the federal court order helped inspire the passage of state segregation laws in 1957, delaying integration for several years. The Mansfield school district finally desegregated in 1965.
Grits was raised on stories of Texas Ranger heroism, but somehow that one never made it into the canon.

16 comments:

Lindsey said...

Ugh. New state motto suggestion: "Texas: Almost Always on the Wrong Side of History."

Anonymous said...

Governor Allan Shivers was a democrat.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

@5:03, congratulations, you must have passed your 7th grade Texas history class.

Anonymous said...

I caught an "omission" from your post. No thanks needed.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Shivers was definitely not a "democrat" (little d). But even calling him a Democrat while pretending 60 intervening years of history and partisan shifts (much less desegregation) hasn't occurred is disingenuous and more deceptive than the omission.

Maybe you didn't pass that 7th grade history class.

Anonymous said...

Good old Grits,,anything to degrade and spread hatred of cops...

Anonymous said...

Governer Shivers probably wasn't a tree hugging hug a thug democrat either.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

9:44, enforcing segregation may have degraded the Rangers, but a blog post cannot. Me or the Texas State Historical Association acknowledging historical truth doesn't spread "hatred of cops." But failure to acknowledge history and to understand the historical context of policing in America definitely can generate some ill will.

@4:53, Shivers wasn't any kind of Democrat one would find today (and not a "democrat" at all). But that's because at that time Republicans in Texas essentially did not exist. He was an authoritarian supporter of apartheid. If he looked to his right he saw just a few John Birch Society members; to his left was the entire state. He made John Connally look liberal.

Anonymous said...

You are right that Republicans didn't exist in a large way in Texas back then, but it simply isn't true to say, "Shivers wasn't any kind of Democrat one would find today." Party loyalty dies hard, even in the deep south. A few of them (even in California) make news. Will Quigg, California Grand Wizard, for example.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

You don't see many true Dixiecrats still around in 2016, 10:18, like you did even 10 years ago, but I suppose there could be a few octogenarians of that ilk floating around.

Lee said...

We were all sold lies and bullshit that was taught as history to us in gradeschool.

The reality is that United States and TX history are very inhumane stains on a warped distorted since of freedom and justice.

Lee said...

We are still sold those lies today directly from the top throughout our history.

If you like your healthcare plan, you may keep it.

There are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

I did not have sexual relations with that woman.

I am not a crook.

There are dangerous spies on the employ of Japan on our west coast.

American blood has been shed on American soil.

I still remember my in very early gradeschool of how we were taught that before Christopher Columbus reached the New World, how everyone thought the world was flat.

Anonymous said...

Don't you know a flatter model is easier to manage?

John Cokos said...

I seem to recall that the TR have a rather sordid inception, more to the point they were not more than hired gunslingers who worked for the highest bidder. Popular mythology has supplanted the historical facts.

Waco Kid said...

Old saying....Every Ranger has some Mexican blood...on his boots. I love the Rangers. 2 of my close relatives are DPS active and retired. I joined the USMC and my plans was DPS after the Corps. That said, denying reality never makes sense.

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