Governor Greg Abbott boasts that he is a “conservative leader who fights to preserve Texas values like faith, family, and freedom.” But what is the truth about “Texas values”? What do Abbott and others like him hold dear? What is the state’s history and current reality? How have these Texas values developed and been expressed over 200 years? It is important to know the history of this—so take a look, take the challenge—take the “REAL Texas Values Quiz.”
1. The Alamo is:
- A sacred shrine to the heroes of Texas independence, the “cradle of Texas liberty.”
- A white supremacist monument to enslavement of Black people, genocide of Native Americans, and theft of a large part of Mexico.
- The name for numerous tamale shops across the state.
- Spanish for cottonwood tree.
2. The Texas Rangers are:
- Courageous defenders of liberty and freedom.
- Featured in a TV show starring Chuck Norris that glorifies police brutality.
- A pack of racist murderers who began as Indian killers and slave hunters, and in later years carried out atrocities including murder, rape, arson, and theft against people of Mexican descent along the U.S.-Mexico border.
- A professional baseball team.
3. True or False: In 1998, decades after the reign of lynch-mob terror had supposedly ended, and 133 years after the end of the Civil War, a Black man was savagely lynched in the East Texas town of Jasper.
4. La Matanza (The Massacre) was a systematic slaughter of people of Mexican descent in West and South Texas in the early 1900s. How many people are estimated to have been murdered?
- About 400
- Between 700 and 1,000
- About 5,000
- Less than 100
5. In Waco, the “Dr. Pepper Museum and Free Enterprise Institute” opened in 1991. What event from 1916 in Waco was commemorated with a state historical marker on May 25, 2021?
6. Mirabeau B. Lamar:
- Was the second president of the Republic of Texas.
- Is considered the “Father of Texas Education”; a university in Beaumont and schools across the state are named after him.
- Instituted a system of rigidly segregated public schools.
- Called for and led genocidal campaigns of “total extinction or expulsion” of Native Americans who had been living in what became Texas for hundreds of years before whites arrived.
7. True or False: Police in Dallas put a gun to the head of a 12-year-old boy and blew his brains out in their police car.
8. Paris, Texas has a 20-foot statue of “Jesus in Cowboy Boots” as one of its most prominent landmarks. What else is Paris known for?
9. In the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, Houston Police:
- Shot a barrage of over 5,000 rounds into the men’s dormitory of Texas Southern University, a historically Black college.
- Assassinated 21-year-old Carl Hampton, leader of Peoples Party II, at its headquarters on Dowling Street (now Emancipation Avenue).
- Had open KKK members in its ranks.
- Savagely beat José Campos Torres, a young Chicano vet, and threw him in Buffalo Bayou, where he drowned.
10. True or False: Texas has, by far, more people behind bars than any other state.