imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Forget the Alamo

by Don Santina Friday, Apr. 09, 2004 at 9:44 PM

Jim Bowie other Lone Star Staters were slavers.

Forget the Alamo

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Author: Don Santina

People's Weekly World Newspaper, 04/08/04 14:01





Film Review

Yet another film version of the story of the Alamo is about to descend on a movie theater near you. Although the makers of this latest Alamo incarnation have said they articulate the Mexican side of the conflict as well, the trailers proclaim that the defenders of the Alamo fought for “liberty” and “freedom” and – as their noble commander says in a film clip – to “show the world what patriots are made of.”

The perpetuation of this myth of the Alamo is a dishonest exploitation of our history. The fact is that the defenders of the Alamo fought for white supremacy and slavery.

This latest Hollywood edition of the Alamo story is not much different than the last half dozen or so, such as the 1937 “Heroes of the Alamo.” The most recent Alamo film saga was John Wayne’s lumbering effort in 1960. All of these films inevitably fall into a category known as White Man Movie Fiction.

WMMF does not allow a non-white actor in a movie unless the character is a servant, a comedian, or a criminal. The result is that the white man is always the central focus, or hero, of whatever action or event is being portrayed, regardless of historical fact.

We know that in the Old West trail drives at least one out of every five cowboys was Black. Yet hardly any Black characters have been portrayed in the thousands of western films made during the past 100 years. Have you seen any Black guys on horses with Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, John Wayne, Jimmie Stewart, or Gary Cooper? What about television serials like “Gunsmoke” and “Bonanza”?

The earliest major promulgator of WMMF was the highly esteemed director D.W. Griffith, who was a Southerner. Griffith – like Hitler favorite Leni Rienfenstahl – is excused for his blatant and pervading racism by film savants because of his technical innovations and artistic contributions to the film industry.

No one wants to be reminded that Griffith’s epic 1915 film, “The Birth of a Nation,” which was based on a fictional and inflammatory retelling of the Reconstruction period, contributed to the massive rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s. We also want to forget that lynchings increased and pogroms were carried out against Black people throughout the South whenever Griffith’s movie was shown. The massacres of Black people in Rosewood, Fla., and Tulsa, Okla., have been directly linked to local screenings of Griffith’s movie.

Another early Western filmmaker was William S. Hart. One of the most notorious subtitles in Hart’s silent movie, “Hell’s Hinges,” describes the villain as “mingling the oily craftiness of a Mexican with the deadly treachery of a rattler, no man’s open enemy and no man’s friend.” Phew!

So what was the Alamo standoff really about? Well, for starters, let’s take a look at one of the most legendary defenders of the Alamo, Jim Bowie. Bowie is widely celebrated in film and television as a daring and resourceful adventurer famed for the development and usage of a long-bladed knife, which became known as the “Bowie knife.”

However, Bowie was much more than a back-alley knife fighter. Shortly after the War of 1812, he and his brother went into business as slave traders with the pirate Jean Lafitte. In the 1820s they used their profits from the slave trade to become land speculators and eventually established a sugar plantation with slave labor in Louisiana. Ten years later they sold that business, and the 82 slaves who worked on it, for ,000.

Bowie took his share of the profits and went to “Texas” to join Stephen F. Austin’s group of Anglo colonists. He then became involved in a scheme to fraudulently acquire land grants from the Mexican government and ultimately garnered thousands of acres.

As the crisis loomed between the Anglo colony and the Mexican government, Bowie found himself on the side of William Travis’ “War Party,” a group that brooked no conciliation with the Mexican government and was dedicated to the creation of a “Republic of Texas.”

The Republic of Texas was a natural outgrowth of the Austin colony, which brought slavery onto Mexican soil in 1821. In 1825, 25 percent of the people in Austin’s colony were slaves and by 1836 there were 5,000 slaves.

However, the problem for the slave-owning crowd was that the fledgling national government in Mexico City threatened to restrict or abolish slavery on Mexican land. So the Texas colonists organized a convention in March 1836 to establish the issues for which they would do battle with the Mexican government.

In a two-week period they adopted a declaration of independence from Mexico, declared a republic, and produced a constitution for that republic. All of this activity occurred during the siege of the Alamo.

The Alamo defenders fought and died for the constitution of the Republic of Texas, which declared: “All free white persons who emigrate to the republic ... shall be entitled to all the privileges of citizenship. ... All persons of color who were slaves for life previous to their emigration to Texas, and who are now held in bondage, shall remain in the like state of servitude. ... Congress (of Texas) shall pass no laws to prohibit emigrants from the United State of America from bringing their slaves into the Republic with them ... nor shall Congress have the power to emancipate slaves; nor shall any slaveholder be allowed to emancipate his or her slave or slaves.”

The story of the Alamo is not a story of a fight for freedom. It is the story of a fight for slavery. Forget the Alamo as it’s portrayed in movies, but never forget what really happened.

Don Santina is a film historian, who is author of the Academy of Motion Picture Archive’s monograph “The History of the Cisco Kid in Film.” He can be reached at pww@pww.org.





Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Paraphysique de psychosomatique S22 6:58AM

Chuck Grassley: Women Abusing, Animal Murdering, Illegal War Supporting Criminal S22 2:58AM

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

Is the Financial Crash 2.0 Coming? A31 10:07AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy