Is 'Come and Take It' racist? UTSA slogan banned, Internet says 'spineless decision'
Dating back to the Texas Revolution that kegalized slavery across the state, ancient battle cry of the San Antonio university was recently pulled
A nearly 200-year-old San Antonio university battle cry has been dubbed problematic after a professor accused the chant of perpetuating racist stereotypes against Mexicans, alleging it was also used by pro-gun activists. The popular battle cry, described as 'Come and Take It' was banned by the University of Texas at San Antonio after a petition denouncing it managed to acquire hundreds of signatures. However, the university's decision to withdraw the chant from its college football games as well as other athletic events has since been dubbed as a "spineless decision" by several social media critics.
News of this odd cancelation comes after elite woke schools began canceling Isaac Newton over 'racism' earlier this year. In May, a California professor had also scolded a 19-year-old student for cops ‘heroes'. The video of the teacher's scorn, which had since gone viral, saw her claim: "I don't trust them." Meanwhile, students in Nevada are allegedly being bullied on school campuses for sporting pro-Donald Trump and MAGA gear to class. In the case of the Texas university, news of the rallying cry on flags and banners was banned through an email to all students, faculty, and staff on the morning of Tuesday, September 7.
Is 'Come and Take It' racist?
The email announcement was sent out by university president Taylor Eighmy and revealed all use of the 'Come and Take It' banner, including the signature extra large flag that football games see unfurling in the student section, won't be allowed any longer. The banner is usually unfurled at the start of the fourth quarter in college football games, typically around the same time a cannon is fired as part of celebrations. But although the ban was announced a week ago, weekend photos from inside the Alamodome taken during a Saturday game show students waving the gigantic banner.
The banner and the cannon's histories are also tied; all the way in 1835, Texan colonists were left behind with a cannon from the Mexican military to fend off attacks from Native Americans. Soon the term 'Come and take it' was coined about the cannon, which ultimately led to a drawing depicting colonialists flanking the cannon and dating Mexicans to take it from them. This triggered the Battle of Gonzales which subsequently became a pivotal element of the Texas Revolution against Mexico. The chant has since become an emblem on flags and banners to endorse Second Amendment rights that allow citizens to carry firearms.
The history of the slogan goes deeper into Texas's past with slavery as well. When Mexico abolished slavery throughout its territories in 1929, Texas was one of them. This is what spurred tensions with Texan colonialists who were Anglo-American slaveholders. After the imminent Texas Revolution of 1836 where Mexico was defeated, the state became a republic, and slavery was legalized throughout. And these are the very grounds that professors at San Antonio demand the slogan be banned for.
UTSA fans brought their own “Come and Take It” flags and chanted the slogan right before the 4th quarter at tonight’s game. pic.twitter.com/3x64g36uAF— Malak Silmi (@MalakSilmi) September 12, 2021
Petition against 'Come and Take It'
The first major backlash against the battle cry came in August, when UTSA professor, Ellen Riojas Clark, circulated an online petition demanding the slogan be banned. "Referencing the infamous flag from the Battle of Gonzales, this is a slogan that embodies both anti-Mexican and pro-slavery sentiments," Clark stated in the petition, adding: "It has carried those white supremacist beliefs from 1835 to today, and in that time has also been widely adopted by anti-government, pro-gun extremists, such as at the January 6th insurrection at the US Capital. Like the Alamo, the Gonzales flag is an open wound for many Mexican Americans, especially Mexican American Texans."
Clark continues: 'Though UTSA is officially a Hispanic-serving institution, it has been criticized on multiple occasions for its failures to truly serve the Mexican American majority population in which it is located. We call for a public apology from UTSA President Taylor Eighmy and UTSA Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Lisa Campos, as well as the immediate removal of the 'Come and Take It', sign."
The slogan was finally disallowed after thousand signatures on the petition and a now-dissolved task force initiated by the student president to look into the matter. "After much research, consultation and deliberation, I am ending this rather young UTSA Athletics tradition at this time and will not be proceeding with the task force," Eighmy wrote, adding: "The matter has become a distraction from our mission and is likely to continue shifting our focus away from our work yet to be accomplished. I especially recognize that this decision will be unpopular with many of our loyal fans. The phrase - as well-intended as it was upon inception and adoption - has increasingly become incongruent with UTSA Athletics and our institution's mission and core values."
'Spineless decision': social media
With the UTSA to also removing the phrase from its "digital environment" and "licensed merchandize," social media has buzzed with criticism against the decision. Slamming the move one user deemed it a "spineless decision". Another wrote in protest: "So freaking ridiculous how bad cancel culture is getting! My fifth great grandfather literally said those words and defended that cannon." Some complained: "So fringe political groups came and took it? Soft." People have also since quipped "approach and grasp it", as a weighty alternative.
Some remarked: "Alamodome is offensive as well with the Alamo being in it. Take the L Mexico like a good sport. Wait....we lost that one....should we be offended and have anything named Santa Anna "cancelled"? Mexico...please cancel Santa Anna..." And one even called this a crafty PR move, tweeting: "I love the phrase and sentiment, but since the phrase is now synonymous with white supremacy, it’s a super-smart PR move to get rid of it. I get why people are pressed, but universities are a business, and at the end of the day, good PR = revenue"
So freaking ridiculous how bad cancel culture is getting! My fifth great grandfather literally said those words and defended that cannon— Meaghan Wood (Anderson) (@meagwood) September 7, 2021
So fringe political groups came and took it? Soft.— Hayden (@haydengaspard) September 8, 2021
With the announcement from UTSA of the Come and Take It flag no longer being used, I would like to suggest an alternative. pic.twitter.com/ugX8Cezza9— C-USA Refs (@CUSARefs) September 7, 2021
Alamodome is offensive as well with the Alamo being in it. Take the L Mexico like a good sport. Wait....we lost that one....should we be offended and have anything named Santa Anna "cancelled"? Mexico...please cancel Santa Anna... pic.twitter.com/Wb3QIGDcol— benniemietz (@benjam241) September 7, 2021
I love the phrase and sentiment, but since the phrase is now synonymous with white supremacy, it’s a super smart PR move to get rid of it. I get why people are pressed, but universities are a business, and at the end of the day, good PR = revenue— eliza (@elizaflyza) September 7, 2021