The campaign to remove monuments to the old Confederacy from public places in the south has started to expand somewhat. A group in Houston, Texas wants to remove the statue of Sam Houston from the spot it has occupied in Herman Park since 1925. Texas Antifa has posted on its Facebook page that “Texans agree the disgusting idols of America's Dark Days of slavery must be removed to bring internal peace to our country." The problem is that the hero of the Battle of San Jacinto’s connection with the “dark days of slavery” are a little more complicated than the group imagines.

Sam Houston opposed Texas seceding from the Union

To be sure, Houston owned 12 slaves. However, as a United States Senator representing Texas he voted consistently against the spread of slavery to the western territories. He also opposed the secession of Texas from the Union when he was the state’s governor, resulting in his ouster from that office.

The hero of the Battle of San Jacinto

Sam, Houston is best known for leading the Texas Army to victory over the invading Mexican Army of Santa Anna during the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836. He has led the Mexicans deeper into Texas on a retreat after the fall of the Alamo and the Goliad, both of which ended in the massacre of their garrisons.

He attacked Santa Anna’s army when it was at siesta, putting it to flight within minutes. Later, the captured Mexican dictator was brought before Houston, who extracted an order granting Texas its independence. Houston is thus considered the George Washington of Texas, having served as the president when it was a Republic and senator and governor once it was admitted to the Union.

What will Mayor Sylvester Turner do?

The Texas Antifa suggested that Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, a liberal Democrat, and African-American, would be in favor of tearing down Sam Houston’s statue. Turner expressed surprise at this idea, noting that the thought never occurred to him and it was certainly not on his agenda. Turner is also not prone to political suicide.

Rally scheduled for June 10

Texas Antifa is planning a rally on June 10, a Saturday, but has refused to discuss the matter with “the fascist media.” The group also claims affiliation with Texas Black Lives Matter, but a BLM spokesperson denied any such connection or involvement in the June rally. BLM, it goes almost without saying, favors removal of symbols of the Confederacy, as has happened in New Orleans, but has not said whether it includes Sam Houston on that list.