People Love The Alamo

Well, a day like this would usually be reserved for hate mail, but there hasn’t been much good hate mail this go ’round. The best was from a gentleman who asked me if I wear a clown suit when I write. That was really, really funny.
But the most common gripe has been with me saying The Alamo is “the most overrated tourist attraction in America.”
Well, it is.

The general consensus has been that the Alamo–known in 1836 as San Antonio de Bexar– is a shrine, not an attraction. That’s only partially true. It’s a shrine, but it’s also the first thing that comes to mind when people think of San Antonio. It’s used in commercials designed to get people to visit San Antonio. That would make it a tourist attraction, yes?
But let’s get to this Shrine argument. What is the Alamo a shrine to? The inconquerable spirit of rebellious Texas?
Well, what were those Texans rebelling against? It was a bushel of issues, but one of the most significant in that bushel was slavery. A hook Mexico used to get people to move to Texas was that slavery was allowed. I forget what year it happened, but Mexico outlawed slavery after getting its freedom in 1821.
Those that high-tailed it to Texas with free labor in tow weren’t too keen on that.
As a result, I ain’t honoring that as no damn shrine.
But here’s something else interesting. I can’t remember the name of the book or the author, but a Mexican scholar released a book around 1998 saying that the myth of the Alamo is just that–a myth.
We Texans are taught that the Texans fought to the last man and refused to surrended to the Mexicans during the siege of the Alamo. However, this scholar found that many Texans actually died in POW camps, including Davy Crockett.
So, what’s the Alamo a shrine to again?
But it’s funny how slavery is ignored in most secular discussions of the Alamo. There’s nothing beautiful about dying for the right to own slaves. Nothing.
Especially if you, like me, descend from slaves.

7 thoughts on “People Love The Alamo”

  1. i dont agree with the shrine deal either, but the alamo was the best defence for a struggling republic, which is what texas was before its ratification into statehood. it is how ever a museum. and it is very personal to all san antonians, so if u want to call the st. louis arches, or the space needle in seattle, better tourist attractions than the alamo i think you need your head checked, being that racism and cloudy history is your only argument. how about fort sumpter, yeah lets take that one. history knows that jim bowie was a criminal, a land swindler among other things, texas was seen as a new start, a new nation and the alamo was the icon for that nation. its history, and its american history as well, because if not for those battles, the western us would probably still be mexico.

  2. I think the author you were talking about is Richard Flores. He’s an anthropology professor at that junior college in Austin. Ya know, the one with that football team you like?
    Someone must be testy that her alma mater went to overtime with BAYLOR.

  3. Ah the Alamo … the only reason why I would ever want to be like Ozzy Osbourne (Ozzy I think is banned from Texas after being arrested for urinating on the the Alamo).
    Once again, you have judged correctly.

  4. I can respect its importance to the city but it is not on my list of places to visit before I die.
    For me there are only 2 shrines in San Antonio, the SBC Center and the Alamo Dome. Anybody that knows me knows why.

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