I’ll try, Robert. I’m no instructor but I am happy to share my knowledge with sincerely interested people like you.
When your primary
criterion for selecting a person to name a street after is race, it’s racist. Even if it’s only a factor in your decision-making process, it’s racist.
But wait, there’s more…Let me position my soapbox so everyone can hear.
When your criteria for selecting the
right person for a job includes consideration of race, it’s racist. The govt
calls this Diversity. To ensure that racism is institutionalized and a permanent feature of our society, the federal
govt has established Mandatory Diversity Training for all employees.
When your criteria for admission to a
public university includes consideration of race as a factor, it’s racist. The
govt calls this Affirmative Action because it sounds so positive. It’s
important to remember that govt and politicians are always more concerned with
appearances than Truth.
Please note that these govt actions all
fly in the face of MLK’s Dream that he looked forward to - A time when people
will be judged not on the basis of their race. That means color-blind - Not considered - Irrelevant. Amazingly, even people who claim to revere MLK, seem to have forgotten his message. They worship the Golden Calf because false prophets rule. They fall victim to propaganda and then they institutionalize racism by making laws that defend it on the grounds that the end justifies the means and two wrongs make a right. Folks are being misled by politicians who have a different agenda unrelated to equality.
This is also an important factor in govt
incompetence because the best people for the job are frequently passed over to
meet racial or gender quota goals. When race or sex replaces merit as the
determinant, competence declines just as it does when nepotism or other
irrelevant factors are used.
We see this in Kitchen’s selection of
the name to replace Robert E Lee Rd (REL). I know of no other streets named for
bureaucrats. Maybe there are some but I doubt they are very important if they
exist. REL is important because it is:
The only access to Umlauf Sculpture
The only access to Wright Field
The only access to the back entrance
to Barton Springs Pool.
The only northern entrance to and
exit from thousands of Barton Hills and many Zilker neighborhood residents.
Was named for a world famous American
military leader, commensurate with the importance of the street.
If a street is named for a bureaucrat,
it would make more sense for it to be in an area of government offices. We have
plenty of those in Austin, especially between the capital and UT. Since Morton
was Treasury Secretary, how about honoring her with a street by a Treasury Dept
facility? Try the non-descript Directors Blvd by the I-35 and 71 intersection for instance (check a map). That
street is practically all Treasury Dept. Or how about Woodward between I-35 and
71. It’s longer but it has a massive Treasury Dept facility located on it. It’s called the IRS.
How many other Treasury Dept bureaucrats
have been honored with local street names? I bet none. The primary reason
Kitchen chose Morton is not because of notable accomplishments or because her
fame justified an important street to be named for her. The primary reason is
because she was black. Kitchen even stated this in her press release. This is
all part of the divisive identity politics strategy being followed by the Democrat
Party across the country.
Kitchen is a politician. She is also an
opportunist. This is a case of politician meeting opportunity. When someone
vandalized four signs on Robert E Lee, she decided to take advantage of it. Oh
BTW, isn’t her husband a political strategist of some sort? Doesn’t Ann have
her sights set higher? Wasn’t she previously a state legislator who lost an
election? Do you remember all the street name suggestions that were made after
the vandalism took place? There were at least 20. I saw them on BHNA, Zilker
listserv, NextDoor and in the Statesman. Some were popular and even made by
people who live on or near the street. Not one person suggested Morton. Coming up with this name took research and a plan.
See, if you want to change the name of a
street, it ain’t cheap. First you have to pay several hundred dollars just to
submit an application. That, BTW, is only if you have the connections to get an
application in the first place. Nope, it’s not readily available, and in fact,
prior to this time, I have it from a good source that there has been a moratorium
on such action for quite some time. Suddenly, not so, evidently. That payment
is just the start. And it ain’t cheap for those living on the street either. If
successful, they have to change their address with everyone and on everything.
They’re individually responsible for those costs.
BUT, a savvy politician can find a way
to cut thru the bureaucracy. Not only that, but she can figure out a way to
thrust all costs onto taxpayers. These are skills that come from a life of public service. This is what Ann did.
And she plans on tooting her horn very loudly after she suceeds in her astute
use of her political skills. How proud she will be when Morton’s name adorns
this important artery instead of someone more deserving of recognition like Sam
Houston or Shudde Fath!
And she’s working to make sure it will
happen too. I have an interesting story of how I, as a long-time resident on a
corner of REL, have been shut out of the process, despite a longer, stronger
relationship to this road than others I know of who have been invited into the process. But
make no mistake, Ann knows that the most common weapon used by the Democrat
Party is the slime machine. When your rationale for your policy or street name
changes is garbage, you must rely on character smearing to win.
When I challenged the name choice on the
BHNA listserv, the Democrat Party Precinct Chair suddenly entered the
discussion. She provided a link to a map that supposedly supported the name
change based on how the street was named originally. She claimed that Robert E
Lee used to circle Barton Springs and it was named to drive away blacks.
However, her link didn’t support her assertion. I found a 1940 census map that
showed REL in nearly original form (attached). It’s interesting because it shows that REL extended
to S 1st St as what is now Riverside. I pointed out that her map link did not
support her assertion and asked her to provide sources for her claim of the
rationale for the name.
Magically, her link turned in to a map
section from an unidentifed source, with a tag line stating it was from 1935
and showing the section of Riverside identified as REL on the 1940 map as Riverside.
So apparently we are to believe that it was Riverside in 1935, changed to REL
sometime before 1940 and reverted to Riverside again sometime after 1940. Not
only unlikely, but not consistent with other even earlier maps I’ve seen. One
map indicated that REL was originally a railroad spur into the Butler
Brickyard, which is now Butler Park, of Crew desire fame. (BTW, ever the
opportunist, Kitchen leads from behind on that one too - and others.)
My requests for the source of the map
section and for the claim of racist rationale for the name of the street have
gone unanswered. Please note that I have not claimed her assertions were
untrue. Unlike politicians, I’m interested in the Truth, not just some
grandstanding opportunity to get votes. I mean if you go around spouting off
about how the city govt was racist back in the day and this street name is one
example of how that racism was manifested, you oughta be able to come forward
with some facts to back it up. Otherwise, it’s just more smearing. The supposed
1935 map section looks new, not aged like my 1940 census map. Nobody seems to
be able to document any of it.
While my points were well made and my
questions were valid, the BHNA VP decided to kick my ass out for challenging
the Democrat Party Precinct Chair. And believe me, she is far from the only Democrat
politico running the show in Barton Hills. I think they have a non-political
posting policy, but you would never know that because there is a constant barrage
of Democrat organizing and fundraising posts.
It’s pathetic because they won’t tolerate other views. Personally, I don’t like
either major party, but it would be nice if they were just upfront about their
political policy. I think the City Council is supposed to be non-political too,
but everyone knows Kitchen is a Democrat. Bunch of phonies.
But here’s the really reprehensible part
of this name selection. I asked the VP for the justification for kicking me
out. He said repeated personal attacks and racist overtones. I have never been
notified of any breach of rules for any reason. The only time I even came close
to a personal attack is when I called the Democrat Party precinct Chair a very political person. I asked for
examples. None have been provided because there aren’t any. It’s a totally
totalitarian situation much like the Zilker listserv. Then, the city govt
permits these tightly controlled undemocratic NAs to advise on behalf of the
neighborhoods as if they truly represent residents. They don’t. They never have,
but they have the power that derives from being designated as NAs.
So, continuing with the despicable part
of this name change strategy, argue against it because Kitchen’s rationale for
the selection is not good (and in fact, racist), and you get called a racist!
Beautiful. Only a political strategist would come up with this one. What’s
Ann’s husband’s name? I forget. I’m not into it. I don’t want to be a martyr
for some stupid cause like the street name on the sign I can see thru my
bedroom window. I don’t want to waste time fighting with some politician who
will drag anyone thru the mud so she can point to her great accomplishment of naming an important
street for a bureaucrat because she was the first black to hold a particular position in a bureaucracy (a bureaucracy that some think is more corrupt than most, BTW).
There should be a way to stop Kitchen
from using taxpayer dollars to pursue this name change. In fact, there should
be no special privilege for CMs to go around changing street names on the public’s money when they
don’t live anywhere near them. What’s more, what kind of
top down demockeracy is this? Like I’ve said before, I don’t think anyone has
been married to the name REL, but if you’re gonna do it, why allow some CM come
along and decide to make it a name nobody wanted? The people who own property
and live on the street are perfectly capable of coming up with an appropriate
Stepping down from soapbox now. Thank you.