Texas SCV leadership calling for approval of Buffalo Soldier license plate!
In a move unexpected by many, the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Texas may be endorsing the call for a special license plate for Buffalo soldiers.
by Mark Vogl
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Commander Granvel Block, the statewide leader of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Texas, announced today his intention to endorse a call for the Texas Department of Transportation to act swiftly in passing the approval of a special license plate to honor African American soldiers, known as Buffalo soldiers…" Block did not go so far as to say he would seek the approval of the Texas Division Executive Council, the board of directors of the Texas organization.
The Buffalo soldiers took over a portion of the defense of the American frontier after the War for Southern Independence, otherwise known as the American Civil War. The move by the pro-southern, conservative group is an example of the diversity of Texas, where blacks and Mexicans joined Anglo Texans in their fight against the Union. Texas is the only state of the 13 which seceded or attempted to secede where the people actually voted in referendum for secession. In some counties the vote was well over ninety percent, and the state wide percentage was near seventy-five percent.
Other leaders within the Texas organization who have expressed support of the move include Past Commander Ray James, and the current three Lt. Commanders of the division. The Texas Division is 2,500 members strong, spread across the state in eighty local camps. With the nation celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the war, interest in the SCV has risen in the past months.
In a prepared release from Austin, the state capital, Ray James, the former Commander who has been working for years on getting the Sons of Confederate Veterans a specialty license plate of their own said; "We know just how hard it is to get past stereotypes, and we want to extend a hand to our brother descendants of soldiers. While some may be prejudicial against the Buffalo soldiers for their actions against Native Americans, we know as descendants of Confederate soldiers that it’s the politicians and not the soldier who set policy."
Some 50 to 80 million Americans may be descendants of Confederate soldiers. And surprising to many, there were tens of thousands of African Americans who served the Confederate Cause. The only black naval officer in the war was in the Confederate Navy! Photos of Confederate Veteran reunions illustrate the African American presence in the Confederate military.
This announcement follows an opinion piece recently in the Houston Chronicle by Texas State Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson. Patterson sponsored both groups for license plates and has questioned whether approval of the SCV plates has been tied up in Presidential politics. Presently the board which approves the plates is short one member and awaits Governor Rick Perry’s nominee to fill the vacancy. Presently the board is tied 4 – 4 on the SCV plate.
Though this issue may be politically ticklish for Governor Perry, it could also go a long way to illustrate the five centuries of diversity which has slowly melded the cultures together to give us modern Texas. Texas is proud of its cultural and social diversity, and continues to be a staunch southern state in terms of many of the issues connected to the Bible Belt. The Six flags of Texas is an excellent reminder of the diverse cultures within the state.