Thursday, September 11, 2008

Brownsville Raid

A while back I saw a documentary on the History Channel about an injustice that happened in Brownsville, Texas in 1906. It was on August 14 just after midnight that there was a shooting that left one man dead and a sheriff's deputy wounded. The fallout of this event explains to me some of the inconsistencies that I had noted all my life in the two major political parties of the United States.

Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation that freed the southern slaves. Lincoln was a Republican. Why was it that the descendants of the slaves were primarily Democratic? Learning of the Brownsville Raid and this event helped me to understand.

Brownsville demonstrated a strong prejudice against the black soldiers that were stationed at Fort Brown, which was just outside of Brownsville. Bigotry is at the root of the whole affair. Evidence indicates that there was a conspiracy behind the whole affair with the intent to discredit the black soldiers and to eliminate a deputy sheriff.

There was a group of hooded men that committed the crime of killing one man and injuring the deputy sheriff. There was a group of spent cartridges that were scattered on the ground in the area where the shooting took place. The cartridges were of the type that were used by the infantry. Witnesses accused black soldiers for the incident.

The soldiers at Fort Brown were in the barracks when the incident occurred. The white officers of the regiment testified that all 167 of the soldiers stationed at Fort Brown were in the fort at the time the shootings happened. Later it was shown that the cartridges that were part of the evidence were planted, not only by their location of proximity to each other, but they were not where the shots were discharged. Nevertheless, during the investigation and the collection of testimony, it was determined that the men at the fort were guilty and the whole affair became very inconvenient politically.

Theodore Roosevelt became aware of the situation and dishonorably discharged all 167 of the black soldiers from the infantry because of their "conspiracy of silence' when they claimed they did not know who committed the raid on Brownsville. The dishonorable discharge meant that the men discharged could never again hold a civil service job of any sort. They lost their pensions, their years of service, and their livelihood.

George Washington Carver protested to President Roosevelt about the discharges to no avail. It was near time for presidential elections. Taft was running for President of the United States of America. Taft continued in the same vein as Roosevelt and refused to reconsider the dishonorable discharges of the black soldiers. In fact Taft made the discharge of the soldiers a political statement and refused to do anything for the men.

As a consequence of the bigotry exhibited in Texas against a group of black soldiers there was an outcry of black citizens all across the United States where they wholesale switched political parties in protest of the lack of support from the Republican Party candidates and politicians.

In 1970 a book was written, The Brownsville Raid, that exposed the fraud of the dishonorable discharges by laying out the evidence in detail. The conclusion: the men at Fort Brown were not involved in the shooting, but were framed by frauds in Brownsville. In 1972 the case was reopened by the US Military and the men were exonerated and awarded honorable discharges. An official apology was extended to the men by President Nixon.

I found all of this quite extraordinary in view that Bill Clinton extended an apology to them when he was in office. I find Bill Clinton's action very redundant now.

Now I understand how some say it is OK to advocate abortion (kill babies), and be a civil rights advocate. These seem so dichotomous to me.

I have heard it said;
If you are not a Democrat when you are young then you have no heart.
If you are not a Republican when you are old then you have no brain.

This is somewhat like the Pharisees and the Sadducees, where they were more interested in opposing each other than they were in knowing and doing the right thing.

All in the name of politics.


  1. Was this one of your speaches for your Toastmaster's competition?

  2. I have not given the speech yet, but I do intend to give it next week.

  3. I didn't know that You had received so many injuries. I am glad that you were not crippled for life. You are precious to me. Mom

  4. I think that the former comment was posted in the wrong place.

    I think that politics become crazy, but a two party system would work well of people were righteous.


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