SAN ANTONIO -- The state’s leading independence organization is launching a renewed focus on Texas culture, including an emphasis on charity work, minority outreach and public education.
“Most other states don’t have a separate and distinct culture,” said Tom Belmore of Angleton, the new cultural director for the Texas Nationalist Movement. “We have our own identity, our own music, our own cuisine. It’s easy to get caught up in the political issues, but it all has to run together.”
Belmore made his remarks during the two-day Texas Independence Conference 2014 at San Antonio’s historic Crockett Hotel adjacent to The Alamo. The conference focused on the theme of “Clarity,” a call to put the organization’s message in better focus with the public.
The Texas Nationalist Movement seeks an independent republic of Texas, and its organizational goals are to protect and secure the political, cultural and economic independence of Texas.
“We are defending our culture because some rap singer from Los Angeles wanted to show his video on the walls of The Alamo, and a bunch of blue shirts (Texas Nationalists) showed up and said, ‘Nuh-uh!’” Belmore said.
Rapper Kanye West announced plans in May, 2013 to screen a new video by projecting it onto the walls of The Alamo. TNM members called attention to the planned publicity stunt and alerted the General Land Office and San Antonio Police Department, and Texas Rangers and San Antonio police were on-hand with some two dozen TNM members the night of the scheduled screening to prevent the Texas shrine from being commercially exploited.
Belmore said the TNM also has to do a much better job of communicating with minorities.
“I’m not talking about pandering, let the other side do that,” he said. “We have much more in common with minorities than they (liberals) do.”
The event also served as a launch for a food drive to benefit the San Antonio Food Bank. The 100 or so attendees collected several boxes of donations of Texas-produced canned goods, and a link on the TNM website allows cash donations to the project.
Several TNM members sought public office in March’s Republican primary elections at both the state and local levels, and one, Dave Mundy of Gonzales, won his party’s nomination for a State Board of Education seat. Executive director Cary Wise of Hondo said the TNM has learned from the example of Scotland, where the Scottish National Party is preparing for a September referendum on declaring independence from Great Britain.
“We’ve got TNMers who are judges, city councilmen, party precinct chairmen,” Wise said. “(In Scotland) they started out running candidates for similar posts. We’re finding the people who have the courage to stand up and put their butts on the line.”
Mundy, seeking the District 3 seat currently held by Democrat Marisa Perez of San Antonio, said the challenge for Texas is to “regain its independence in education.”
He told the members that conservative Republicans could win every seat in the Legislature, Congress and every major statewide office and “...within a decade we’d be back in the same mess we’re in now ... because almost all the new voters are born-again progressives. Progressives got where they are today because for half a century, they’ve been working on it, patiently, by taking over and then dumbing-down the American public education system and using it to instill their radical ideology in children.”
Mundy pointed out that although Texas has opted out of the Common Core Standards and even passed a law prohibiting the state and local school districts from using Common Core, major academic conferences have been held to teach Texas school administrators how to bypass the legislation, and many college programs such as one at the University of Texas are actively promoting Common Core use.
“They’re sneaking in Common Core the same way they snuck in CSCOPE, through the back door, behind elected accountability,” he said.
TNM president Daniel Miller told attendees they shouldn’t get discouraged by the resistance of the state’s mainstream Republican leadership to the TNM’s efforts to put a referendum before Texas voters.
“We are not running from something, we are running toward something -- and that something is a better future for all Texans,” he said.
The conference coincided with the monthly Alamo Guard Memorial Wreath Laying. On the second Saturday of every month, a group of 13 TNM members, known as the Alamo Guard, solemnly lay a wreath at the door of the Alamo in honor of those heroes who fell in pursuit of liberty.
Nearly 100 TNM members participated in this month’s event and all expressed a deep movement and pride in being a Texian.
Robert Jones, a TNM member from Katy, called it a “helpful reminder of what they sacrificed and were willing to do.” He said that “it is now up to us to pick up the torch and lead the way Texas independence once again.”
The next Texicon will be held in Fall 2014. Date and location to be determined.