Reimagining the Alamo

I recently found out about efforts by the Texas General Land Office and the Alamo Endowment to “reimagine” the historic Alamo in San Antonio.[1] As a longtime Texas resident, I was initially skeptical of this proposed project. The state, generally speaking, does a poor job of preserving its historic sites and does not prioritize state…

Racism and Welfare in America

Today I ran across a great article from The Atlantic about racism and the American welfare system. The author’s point is that the individual states are in control of which of their residents receive welfare benefits (called TANF—Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), and those with substantial non-white populations tend to be more stingy with them.…

Where Have the Historians Gone?

One of the long-term consequences of Dylann Roof’s brutal attack in Charleston, SC back 2015 has been a reevaluation of the place of Confederate monuments and memorials in the Southern states. In the weeks following Roof’s attack, attention focused on Confederate flags still flying at Southern state capitols. The Southern Poverty Law Center began taking…

Federalism, Canassatego, & Sen. Mike Lee

Earlier today MSNBC’s Morning Joe hosted Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) to discuss his new book, Written Out of History: The Forgotten Founders Who Fought Big Government.[1] Released yesterday, the book is Lee’s fourth since he joined the US Senate in 2011. If the title isn’t enough of a hint, then a cursory glance at Lee’s…

Rachel Maddow on Reconstruction

I don’t usually watch The Rachel Maddow Show but I happened to catch part of it last night. Maddow spent about 15 minutes reviewing some basic history of Reconstruction culminating in a discussion of the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act, which criminalized conspiracies to intimidate voters in federal elections. The Klan Act is currently the…