Greetings everyone from the beautiful historic Ant Street Inn, located in downtown Brenham, Texas. Ain’t it purty?
I’m here to speak to the Washington County GOP for their annual dinner. And boy howdy, could this not come at a more appropriate time. You see, Washington County, where Brenham is the county seat, is known as the birthplace of Texas.
Yes, it was 182 years ago, March 1, 1836 that delegates met here at a settlement now known as “Washington on the Brazos” to draft the Declaration of Independence for the Republic of Texas. That declaration was issued on March 2, 1836…this coming Friday. How frankly awesome for me to be here near this hallowed ground where this incredible state, my new home, was birthed. And what’s even more astounding is that I’m here as a graduate of the University of Tennessee, for which we’re known as the Volunteers. Not too far away in San Antonio, those brave Tennessee Volunteers and other southerners — to include men from my birth state of Georgia — stood on the ramparts at a place known as the Alamo.
The historic battle there started on February 23rd and the siege ended on March 6th, just four days after Texas had declared its independence from Mexico, and the brutal General Santa Ana. In reading the history here, the citizens of Brenham and Washington County had to flee the coming advance of Santa Ana and the Mexican Army as he departed San Antonio heading this way. The state constitution convention had to be delayed due to the threat of Santa Ana. However, it was a Tennessean, Sam Houston, who rallied his force, and defeated General Santa Ana, who cowered hiding in the grass, at San Jacinto in April 1836, and solidified the establishment of the Republic of Texas.
Now, why do I share all of this? Well, simple, it’s history, and Texans are proud of their history. From the defiant words of the citizens of Gonzales, Texas in October 1835 — “Come and Take It” — to today. There’s something very distinct about the Texas way. Texas history is taught in their schools, and students must pass a test. However, I think any and every one coming to the Lone Star State, whose flag was birthed in Montgomery, Texas on Hwy 105, should be required to make the pilgrimage to Washington on the Brazos, and learn Texas history. And yes, perhaps those adults moving here should have to take a little test about this grand history.
Now, of course there will be those progressive socialists who will say “West wants to institute a history test in Texas.” Nah, it’s just a light-hearted suggestion. Then again, if anyone knows about literacy tests and poll taxes, it’s the Democrat party, used as a means to suppress the black electoral vote and participation. As a matter of fact, it was the Democrat Party that created America’s first domestic terrorist group, the Ku Klux Klan, to intimidate blacks from voting and enjoying their new-found freedoms. And oh by the way, it was the National Rifle Association, founded in 1871, that fought to ensure blacks did have their Second Amendment rights…hmm, some things never change, since the progressive socialists of the Democrat Party are still fighting against the NRA! Today the domestic terrorist gang wears black and calls itself Antifa, but the tune remains the same.
Lest I digress, but I do love history. It’s factual, not that revisionist crap the leftists embrace.
When I think of these folks moving into Texas from other states, failing states that don’t understand individual liberty, perhaps a trip here would do them well. There’s a reason why Texans have this pride…and a reason why this Tennessee Volunteer shares in that trait. I often banter back and forth with UT graduates…yeah, that other UT that came later, the University of Texas. How interesting our volunteers wear orange, and the Longhorns wear Bburnt orange, symbolic of the inextricable bonds between the two states. The first President of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston, hailed from Tennessee…and we all know the story of Davy Crockett, who after losing his congressional reelection, because his own political party, namely President Andrew Jackson, stabbed him in the back — sound familiar? –was known to have said, “May you all go to hell, I am going to Texas.” Sound familiar?
Sitting here in Brenham, Texas at this historic time is not coincidental, God always has a way. Today there’s still a fight for liberty in the great state of Texas against the modern day Santa Anas, the progressive socialist left. These “invaders” would have Texas turn into something that 182 years ago, men and women fought to ensure would not exist, would not thrive or be successful.
Isn’t it amazing that the words of George Santayana always ring true: “those who fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.” Here we are today with a contingent of people demanding Texans relinquish their liberty, just as the Mexican cavalry demanded their cannon back in Gonzales. And the same response must be given, and it cannot just be a bumper sticker slogan, but something taken to heart: “come and take It.: Which, if you know your history, is the English translation of the words from Spartan King Leonidas back in 490 BC at the Battle of Thermopylae, “Molon Labe.” And the same was said during our Revolutionary War at the Battle of Fort Morris, 1778, in my birth state of Georgia. Perhaps y’all know that the words “Molon Labe” are tattooed on my inner right forearm.
This is the historic message of our great nation, the great state of Texas, and has always been the rallying cry when liberty faces tyranny…”come and take It.” I would hope all of you reading this today would share this history with your friends, children, and grandchildren. Let them know what happened here back 182 years in Washington County Texas. Teach them that standing for liberty, true liberty is honorable and is truthfully the essence of what makes America great, and Texas as the microcosmic representation of such.
And just in case you’re struggling with how to define liberty, well, let us turn to one of the president’s whom we honored in the month of February for his birthday, Abraham Lincoln.
Lincoln said, “The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty, and the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name—liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names—liberty and tyranny.”
To the modern-day tyrants, the progressive socialist left in America I say to y’all, molon labe. Come and take it!
God bless these United States of America. God bless Texas, and happy Independence Day!
[Learn more about Allen West’s vision for this nation in his book Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom]