Cancel Culture Is Coming For The Texas Rangers
Heads Up Chuck Norris. Cancel culture is coming for you ....and the Texas Rangers!
Ok. Chuck's not in trouble but the concept of the Texas Rangers as heroes is. (Chuck can take care of himself--there is a reason the joke goes like this...How bad is Chuck Norris? He's so bad, that when the lights go out at night, the boogeyman looks under his own bed to see if Chuck is there)
In an opinion piece in the Washington Post, writer Karen Attiah looks to capitalize on the current crushing momentum of cancel culture to call for the Texas Rangers baseball team to change its name.
A website on the history of Texas speaks to the Rangers dual nature, the good and the bad sides of the the Rangers.
"The history of the Texas Rangers is as complicated as Texas history itself... Their story contains heroic acts of bravery, but also moments that challenge our idea of the Rangers as noble lawmen. They protected settlers and enforced laws, but also sometimes executed thieves without a trial, drove Native American tribes from their homelands, and some Rangers even lynched Mexicans and Mexican Americans along the Texas-Mexico border."
Karen Attiah says America has bought into the myth and the lie that the Rangers were the kind of heroes as portrayed by the morals, values, character and justice served up by Chuck Norris's character on television's Walker-Texas Ranger. She says the Rangers bad history far outweighs the historic and present day good and because of that, baseball's Texas Rangers need to follow the footsteps of the Washington Redskins and find a new team identity.
How do you calculate the weight of the impact of one side against the other? There is the potential for elements of greatness and elements of disgrace in almost any human endeavor. How much good does it take to counterbalance the bad? How do we look back 175 years into the wild west of Texas and make judgments based on today's wokeness? Certainly some seem obvious but the actions of some bad Rangers don't tell the story of the organization anymore than George Floyd's murder tell the tale of all police.
Attiah has no problem making the calculations however and in her opinion the answer is clear, the Texas Rangers are a net negative, cannot be rehabilitated enough, so the name must be struck from sports in the culture and the public square.
From the history of Texas "Over nearly 200 years, the Rangers have transformed from a small militia protecting Stephen F. Austin’s colony to a corps of frontier lawmen who sometimes crossed the line between law enforcement and law breaking, and finally into modern-day Texas’s official state police force. Today, they investigate some of the state’s most serious crimes and difficult cases and carry on the legacy of the original Rangers, who sought to protect their friends and family from harm.".
“While we may have originally taken our name from the law enforcement agency, since 1971 the Texas Rangers Baseball Club has forged its own, independent identity,” the team said in a statement. “The Texas Rangers Baseball Club stands for equality. We condemn racism, bigotry and discrimination in all forms."
The response seems reasonable and pretty straight forward but of course it's July 2020 and that answer isn't good enough. "It’s time to pay attention. “It may be argued that the team name honors the current agency, not the worst elements of its history,” Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman, a native Texan, wrote last month, referencing the Rangers’ modern incarnation as an elite force. “But without the history and the legends, the franchise would not have adopted the name."
Chapman says, "No one would name a major league team ‘The Police’ or ‘The Highway Patrol." Probably true enough, but the name wasn't adopted to identify with history of past Ranger misdeeds! C'mon, do the Pittsburgh Pirates or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers identify with the murder, butchery, theft, kidnapping and cruelty of the pirates from the period between the 1650s and the 1730s. I suggest not. Why doesn't Attiah go after them? They don't even have a good side? Or perhaps maybe they're next!
Wait. What about the the Angels, the Royals, the Padres or the Nationals? How about the Golden State Warriors, the New England Patriots, the Raiders, Vikings and Saints? Surely between religion, savage opportunists and misguided nationalism, there is plenty to be offended about with all these names isn't there? The New England kittens? The New Orleans puppies?
Where is the line? How far do we go to reach back in an attempt to pull history into "proper alignment" with today's woke mob madness?
Karen Attiah concludes her piece with this, "If the team ownership, as it proclaims, condemns “racism, bigotry and discrimination in all forms,” there is an easy way for it to prove that. The Texas Rangers’ team name must go."
Or you could take the Rangers at their word. Some of us choose to do that.
Yes, the Rangers had some dark days in their past, some truly terrible moments, but the Rangers are more than those moments and the baseball team has chosen to model the excellence that has also been recorded in the history of the Texas Rangers
An article on ESPN on line notes the reality the Texas Rangers baseball team has had on the community. "Over the past 30 years, the Texas Rangers Foundation has invested more than $45 million on programs and grants in the areas of health, education and crisis assistance for youth in our under served communities," the team said. "We go forward committed to do even more, with a renewed promise that the Texas Rangers name will represent solutions and hope for a better future for our communities."
For now the Texas Rangers say they have no intention of changing the team name. I hope they hold strong...you know, like Chuck Norris would.