The Texas House of Representatives was the scene of a dust up we haven’t seen in quite sometime…at least in this country. The stories vary depending on which party and which individual you listen to. The media, of course, has their spin that favors one side over the other. I wasn’t there but from reading the reports and claims from both sides, here is what I can tell happened.
The House was debating Senate Bill (SB) 4, that would work to force local law enforcement to work with and enforce federal immigration laws ending so-called sanctuary cities. A group of protesters unhappy with the bill occupied the gallery and were being disruptive and abusive to the point where Texas Department of Public Safety (state troopers) were forced to remove them and clear the gallery. One DPS trooper was slightly injured in the scuffle with protestors. Some number of the protesters carried signs saying “illegal and here to stay.”
This is where it becomes a little unclear as to exactly what happened and who did what but the representatives on the floor began to scuffle as well. Apparently, one Republican representative called (or claimed to have called) Federal Immigration agents on the protestors. There was pushing, shoving, name calling and threats among the various representatives.
Each side claims the other started it. Each side says the other made the threats of violence up to and including the slitting of throats and shooting in the face. The Republican representative who called or claimed to have called immigration officials was provided a protective detail for some period of time after the incident.
I was not there, as I said, and I don’t have first hand knowledge of how the incident played out or who was to blame and that is not the purpose of this post. Texas politics has been pretty rowdy on occasion. We’ve had a Governor who refused to vacate the office after loosing an election and was forcibly removed. Even General Sam Houston was removed from office for refusing to recognize the vote for secession prior to The Civil War.
And that’s exactly the point. The last time we saw such behavior in Texas was during the time of the Civil War. Texas has long been a diverse state and we have not always seen eye to eye on things but it has been a long time since we have seen this level of divisiveness, this level of conflict. Unfortunately, I think we are headed back down the same dark path we traveled in the 1860’s…
I hope and pray I am wrong.