Instagram of the Day
Is there a better way for kids to kick off the new academic year than a Back to School party hosted by rapper Paul Wall, with a special appearance by the Nation of Islam? The correct answer: no.
#RIP — Christian Taylor, the black college football player who was shot and killed by an Arlington police officer, was buried Saturday, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. More than one thousand people attended the funeral, including Arlington mayor Jeff Williams and police chief William Johnson. A day after the funeral, the Star-Telegram took a look at how in Arlington—and Missouri, New York, and beyond—social media is changing the way police-involved incidents are handled. The story details how Arlington PD, “known around the social media block as the cool kid,” went into immediate social media damage control after the Taylor incident, quickly taking action to get facts to the public. Although most stories about civil rights and police misconduct have focused primarily on activists’ roles in combatting injustice, the Star-Telegram focuses almost entirely on police efforts to counter “rampant misinformation that existed on social media.” The piece has the mostly one-sided, easy-on-authority touch of a TV news story, but there are some interesting tidbits. Apparently Texas “is one of the pre-eminent states for police use of social media to inform and interact with the public, said Lauri Stevens, a social media strategist for law enforcement.” Who knew?
The Night They [Almost] Drove Old Dixie Down — You know how UT’s Jefferson Davis statue was supposed to have been removed from campus this weekend? Just kidding! The university has delayed its relocation efforts “in response to a request for a temporary restraining order by the Texas division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans,” writes the Texas Tribune. “The relocation of the statues was set for Saturday, but it was put on hold after a restraining order was filed in state district court Friday afternoon. … Though the university is confident it would be able to move forward with the relocation, it voluntarily delayed the relocation so a court can review the matter next week.” The SCV, the same group that brought you the Supreme Court case concerning the state’s control of vanity license plates, “said the statue was originally a gift from George Littlefield as part of a tribute to the Civil War. And they aren’t sure the University has the authority to move it without approval from the Legislature, the Texas Historical Commission or the State Preservation Board,” writes My Fox Austin. UT seems to be playing an interesting game of Southern hospitality, saying it will go through the motions even though it doesn’t really have to. “We are confident we will move ahead with these plans,” spokesman Gary Susswein told the Los Angeles Times. “Under state law, he said, universities have the authority to relocate statues on their campuses.”
The Black Beef Market — While the high price of beef has inspired more than one brisket thief (and one unfortunate death as a result), the enterprise has mostly been regulated to already slaughtered cattle. But it seems cattle rustling is once again in vogue as beef prices continue to rise, and the Associated Press reports the always fascinating story from Giddings. “Cattle prices have been at record levels, and reports of missing or stolen cattle have followed. The nearly 5,800 livestock reported as such in Texas in 2014 was the most in five years, and the value of the animals—in excess of $5.7 million—the most in a decade.” The piece focuses on the more modern efforts of the thirty Special Rangers with the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, who’ve been quite busy lately. “Through July this year, they’ve worked nearly 400 theft cases; they did nearly 800 in 2014. In one case last month, a Texas man was charged with theft after 544 steers worth nearly $800,000 went missing.” For a really great read on the subject, be sure to check out “The Last Rustler,” from Texas Monthly‘s own Skip Hollandsworth.
A Different Mission — The Alamo and its missions are celebrated as a key part of Texas history, but the role of Native Americans in shaping that story is often overlooked. The San Antonio Express-News has an educational look at the organizations, ensuring that their history and ancestors’ involvement with the missions gets told. To mark the missions’ designation as a UN heritage site, “American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions wants to provide a tour that forces visitors to ponder the sacrifices, contributions and dilemmas of his ancestors. The nonprofit group had talked about a tour of the San Antonio missions for at least 10 years before [the heritage designation], and now the organization plans to offer tours to the public in the fall.” For those who feel like they need a little boost in getting excited about the less-familiar missions’ histories, one organizer “said he hopes to share stories of the mission ‘Indian militia’ that protected settlers and even presidio soldiers from attacks by indigenous tribes from the north.”