New Braunfels isn’t the only place…

facing such a problem:

It’s always nice to read in the Express-News how folks of all nationalities in San Antonio cherish and protect your city’s Hispanic culture and Texas history. The destruction of historical treasures for profit by greedy developers, backed by thoughtless politicians, too often results in a city losing its soul, that uniqueness its founders once nurtured.

San Antonio itself has also had to deal with this sort of thing; only it’s from those who would undermine the city’s other ethnic heritages in favor of the Hispanic influence. One example that comes immediately to mind is one Sabra was recently telling me about, of author Sandra Cisneros painting her home in the King William Historical District purple, a color forbidden by the San Antonio Historic and Design Review Commission. Purple was proscribed by the commission because it was historically inaccurate for the area, being that it was German and had more toned-down colors and architecture. From what I’ve read, Cisneros and her defenders said that purple was a historically accurate color because Mexicans originally owned the land in the King William district, but their assertions weren’t backed up with proof. (Albatross, Sabra or any other SA-area bloggers, feel free to correct me on any of this if it’s not right.)

However, I see very few if any protests about San Antonio’s German heritage being downplayed. Why is that?

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One Response to “New Braunfels isn’t the only place…”

  1. southtexaspistolero Says:

    Albatross (69.152.239.237)
    I think you’re about right on the Cisneros situation and why she felt purple was good for the King William area. That was a while back, so I don’t remember it clearly.

    As for the German thing — I think over time all historical cultures tend to get downplayed as the dominant culture gets stronger, whatever that happens to be at the time. The Spanish overshadowed the Indians, the Mexicans overshadowed what was left of the Spaniards, the Texans overshadowed the Mexicans, and now American culture, in general, is dominant. Anything else will tend to get built over unless someone speaks up loudly enough (and it helps to have political connections).

    Now, Central Texas, and a good portion of San Antonio, enjoys a history rich with German heritage. Some of this history includes open acts of resistance against the dominant culture. As an illustration, the Germans in the Hill Country were on the side of the Union during the Civil War, not the Confederacy, and the only Union monument south of the Mason-Dixon line is in Comfort, Texas.

    This shows that the Germans who settled here were very strong-minded individuals, and I would hope they passed on those traits to successive generations. (For the record, I’m half-German, but my family came to Texas in the 20th Century.) If today’s German descendants carry any of those traits, then they need to use them and speak loudly against the destruction of their heritage. It’s worked for other cultural groups, it should work for the Germans of Texas.

    But I could be wrong.

    Oh, and did I mention that it helps to have political connections?
    March 23, 2010, 7:39:54 PM CDT – Like – Reply – Edit – Moderate

    thepistolero (68.203.231.7)
    If today’s German descendants carry any of those traits, then they need to use them and speak loudly against the destruction of their heritage. It’s worked for other cultural groups, it should work for the Germans of Texas.

    That’s what I would think. I wouldn’t think they’d be afraid of being tarred as racists, but one really never knows in this day and age. Then again, though, they might well have just accepted American culture.

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