Texas Rangers? “The team’s name is not so far off from being called the Texas Klansmen.”

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Something else I’ve learned today. The argument is convincing. Just call the team the Texas Horny Toads from now on, and be done with it.

The Texas Rangers’ team name must go, by Karen Attiah (The Washington Post)

As the Washington football team finally gives up its racist slur of a name, there is one major sports team that has avoided the spotlight and resisted meaningful engagement with the violent and racist implications of its name. To know the full history of the Texas Rangers is to understand that the team’s name is not so far off from being called the Texas Klansmen.

I grew up in Dallas, raised on myths about Texas Rangers as brave and wholesome guardians of the Texas frontier, helping protect innocent settlers from violent Indians. At church, boys could sign up to be Royal Rangers, the Christian equivalent of the Boy Scouts. I still remember the excitement when Chuck Norris himself, star of the television show “Walker, Texas Ranger,” came to visit my elementary school class.

My dad sometimes took my younger siblings and me to Arlington Stadium to watch the Rangers play. No state mythologizes itself quite like Texas, so of course, it made sense to have a team name that embodied that gauzy, self-regarding history. At the same time, being from a Ghanaian immigrant family, we weren’t that invested in baseball, or the team name. I just liked going because my dad would sometimes let me take sips of his Coca-Cola mixed with beer.

What we didn’t realize at the time was that the Rangers were a cruel, racist force when it came to the nonwhites who inhabited the beautiful and untamed Texas territory. The first job of the Rangers, formed in 1835 after Texas declared independence from Mexico, was to clear the land of Indian for white settlers.

That was just the start. The Rangers oppressed black people, helping capture runaway slaves trying to escape to Mexico; in the aftermath of the Civil War, they killed free blacks with impunity. “The negroes here need killing,” a Ranger wrote in a local newspaper in 1877, after Rangers fired on a party of black former Buffalo soldiers, killing four of them and a 4-year old girl. A jury would later find that the black soldiers “came to their death while resisting officers in the discharge of their duty,” an unsettling echo of the justification for modern-day police killings …

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