The Houston City Council, with support of mayor Bill White, approved a project which would allocate $2,000,000 city dollars to pay for a black history museum. Many have questioned the initiative, since city dollars are not typically spent on the needs of discrete racial, religious, or cultural groups.
As stated in the Houston Chronicle, the city council felt it appropriate to buy land in the city's expensive museum district for the proposed Houston Museum of African American Culture, which would highlight the contribution of blacks to Houston's history and memorialize the discrimination and violence they suffered at the hands of whites.
The Chronicle article continued by quoting from U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee"Nearly two centuries ago people of African ancestry helped to establish the Houston and Galveston areas by assuming some of the most oppressive jobs on the railroads, building roads, and dredging the mosquito-infested bayou to make it more navigable for shipping," em>
So not only are tax dollars being allocated for something expressly for the African American community, the purpose of this museum is to memorialize white on black violence. And according to Jackson Lee, African Americans should be commemorated because they took tough and oppressive jobs. Does she think that blacks cornered the market on the tough jobs? Does she really believe that there were no English, Irish, Spanish, etc. who also worked hard to build Houston?
More importantly, why should violence from 100 years ago be "memorialized"? 100 years from now, will the City of Houston pay for a museum to memorialize the black on white crime that takes place in our city every day? Some how I doubt it, because even mentioning the fact that black on white crime is far too prevalent in this nation is viewed as "intolerant" and "racist". White and Jackson would prefer that we close our eyes to black on white violence while at the same time spend tax dollars to "memorialize" white on black violence.