Friday, November 18, 2016

WHAT THE HELL IS GOING OVER AT THE BHA?

By Juan Montoya
Someone pointed out to us that the list of staff on the Brownsville Historical Association did not contain the name of born-again neo-confederate Craig Stone, listed before as the Program & Education Coordinator for the group.

You remember Stone. 
He was the avowed neo-Confederate who decked out in the gray of the Confederate States of America and celebrated Jefferson Davis' birthday at Washington Park. He was also a strident defender that the monument to the president of the CSA should remain at Washington Park because it celebrated the "heritage" of the Southern states, and did not glorify slavery.
We have often wandered how the BHA has become a coven of neo-Cons subsidized by a city who does not support the views that some of these people celebrate. 

Take for example, Eugene Fernandez, the Old City Cemetery Coordinator. We attended a part of his lecture on the Cortina Wars and quickly discovered that his lecture was one that slurred Juan N. Cortina as a "bandit," and illiterate, a horse thief, and a wastrel.

His take on Cortinas "pronunciamineto" where he lays out his reasons for resistance against the encroaching settlers supported by Texas authorities and U.S. military was that "it reads like it was written by a drunk poet."
Fernandez, defending the Davis monument, "very passionately expressed how he would defend it from "these bandy-legged upstarts." 

According to Juan Fidencio Trevino, the publisher of Brownsville Bright, a blog recently joining the local blogosphere, he has uncovered what he feels are hints of racism at the BHA and pointed to Stone as the most brazen of the bunch.
Since June 2013, Stone was the Program and Education Coordinator at the BHA, an institution dedicated to "preserve, educate, and promote the history, heritage, and cultural arts of Brownsville exhibitions." 

Treviño said that "However, I am disappointed to inform you that Mr. Stone is also an active member of the 6th Brigade of the Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, meaning that he holds a view on the American Civil War that does not coincide with historical facts.
This does not sound like a man who should be considered a reliable educator or museum coordinator, but maybe I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's take a look at the evidence."
He also charged that the BHA committed an "injustice...by promoting the glorification of the confederate movement but disregarding Rev. Martin Luther King Jr, a man whose words and actions were used to liberate rather than oppress, the day after...

"The 1902 SCV Constitution states that the group's purpose is "to instill into [their] descendants a proper veneration for the spirit and the glory of [their] fathers, and bring them into association with our Confederation.
In reality, Treviño said, they attempt to justify lingering bits of racist memorabilia as cherishable historical pieces of nostalgic and educational value, and they are very defensive about their stuff.

In December 19th, 2015, Brownsville citizen, Antonio Castillo, started a petition to remove the Jefferson Davis Memorial, a physical manifestation of outdated bigotry on public display, from Washington Park. Two days later, Stone shared a counter petition on his Facebook page, urging people to oppose its removal.
His cause is supported by James Mills, Vice President of the BHA board of directors, who told  the Brownsville Herald "we have a lot of dark history in the past" and that "we can reinterpret it today but it doesn't change the past." 
He thinks "it is important that it stays there in Washington Park." 
This statement shows that Mills either does not understand that there's a difference between acknowledging and glorifying these dark times or simply does not respect people of a different color."

We can only say that Mr. Stone's departure is welcome in many quarters where there is no room for glorification of ideas which have been tossed along with others into the "dustbin" of history.
Come to think of it, maybe Fernandez might take a little trip to the heap himself.  

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sometimes little rocks in the park give people reason to ask "What does this represent?"....and what we need is an answer that reflects history, not the glorification or degradation of events or persons. Juan Cortina was a very important person in local history for many reasons and his familial relationship to J.T. Canales is an interesting one...their lives and their ideas. History is about factual and documented evidence of the lives and events of the past. We should update that history with facts; not attempt to just change who or what is glorified.

Anonymous said...

Craig Stone moved to Dallas because of personal and family issues. It has nothing to with anything in this stupid blog.

Anonymous said...

Heap is right. A cluster of Donald Trump supporters, even on Facebook all about Trump. They use city funds to promote their white supremacist dress up parties and protect their racist monument for "historic" reasons ja ja ja. More like to rub it in every brown face at the park. We can all make an educated guess who they believe is the superior race around here, they sure make no effort to hide it. Just like that obscenity of a monument.

AT said...

What is the purpose of this article? I see that you are smearing people but you do little to provide a proper argument as to why we should remove the monument. Mr Stone and the BHA do have a proper claim that aims to preserve history (it is in their mission after all), but you just are pointing fingers at people trying in the ad hominem way to trash them just to change people's opinion. Did that work for CNN in their effort to defeat President-elect Trump when they labeled him as racist and sexist? Yes, I do not think it went that well for them and neither will it work for your little group.

Yes, the Confederates were fighting to preserve their way of life (who wouldn't?), but if we erase that from memory we will be losing an important of Brownsville's history as a slave-owning city, smuggling port, and after all that, a Union city. Just proves you how rich our history is. If you think that "the gringos" are to blame, you are part of the problem and you need to read history and not use amateur, ill-willed words of rogue people as authorities in history. That just makes you seem ignorant. Aren't we tired of being the joke of Texas and the whole USA?

If you are trying to change things about Brownsville, at least do it on a constructive way. You are free to say as you please, but you are not free to mislead people in such a sick and grotesque way.

Anonymous said...

No space for racists
We're full. Get em out!!!

Anonymous said...

About time that arrogant anglos ass kisser Eugene Fernandez (Probably Eujenio not Eugene) to take that trip to the heap.

Anonymous said...

O.K., guys. We know what happens when you try to bury history. Better to face it with facts.
"I have met the enemy, and it is us."

Diego Lee Rot said...

Them crazy, them crazy
We gonna chase those crazy
Baldheads out of town;
Chase those crazy baldheads
Out of our town. I'n'I build a cabin;
I'n'I plant the corn;
Didn't my people before me
Slave for this country?
Now you look me with that scorn,
Then you eat up all my corn.

We gonna chase those crazy
Chase them crazy
Chase those crazy baldheads out of town!

Ben Nietzche

Anonymous said...

all that's missing are the tall pointy white hats. It's Trump's AmeriKKKa now, you can start wearing them in public again.

KBRO said...

Craig Stone is missed at the BHA. Try discovering anyone from Brownsville who knows any of the local history. In recent years, Stone and others who held that position were usually hired from Harlingen or elsewhere. It may not pay much but the work can be fulfilling. Too bad too many people here are a superstitious gossipy lot who believe everything they read on the local blogs and seldom pick up a book to read, if at all.

Anonymous said...

Sigues con tus pendejadas, KBRO. Harlingen has more racists than Brownsville, but we have more self-haters here just like you.

rita