War on history: Austin, Texas, considers changing name over slavery

The city of Austin, Texas, is now considering changing its name after the city’s Equity Office suggested renaming the city after discovering its namesake, Stephen F. Austin, “opposed an attempt by Mexico to ban slavery in the province of Tejas and said if slaves were freed, they would turn into ‘vagabonds, a nuisance and a menace,'” the Austin Statesman reported.

Austin, for those not up on their Texas history, is known as the “father of Texas” and drew the state’s early borders.

According to the Statesman:

Before the council renamed Robert E. Lee Road as Azie Morton Road and Jeff Davis Avenue was changed to William Holland Avenue, the city gathered input from residents along those streets. A majority opposed the changes, which occurred in April.

Some accused the city of whitewashing history.

The latest report acknowledged the likelihood of opposing viewpoints and nodded to inconveniences to businesses and residents and the view that changing the names could be considered a threat to historical preservation. It also asked whether the proposed changes reside on a slippery slope.

“What’s next and where do we stop?” the report asks.

Good question.  The change would require an election since “Austin” would have to be struck from the city’s charter.

And what would the city’s new name be?

The Daily Wire added:

The Equity Office has met with a host of opposition, with most suggesting the progressive department is trying to whitewash Austin’s history. The Equity Office responded by saying that the time has come to make changes.

“It is essential to acknowledge that societal values are fluid, and they can be and are different today compared to when our city made decisions to name and/or place these Confederate symbols in our community,” they noted, adding that, when the markers were placed and the streets named, residents of color weren’t given a say in the process.

What’s next?  Renaming everything named “Washington?” The mind boggles…

On a final note, the city’s leaders should be reminded that George Orwell’s classic “Nineteen Eighty Four” was intended to be a warning, not a guide…


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Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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