In the Lone Star State of Texas where rumors are spread like manure, and often have a similar smell when the Tea Party is involved, Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, had to make a statement to quell the Tea Party rumors that the Alamo now belongs to the United Nations UNESCO World Heritage.
Commissioner Paterson said the rumor, which was first born from an article by the right wing conspiracy website InfoWars.com, and was then spread by Texas Tea Party groups, said the rumor was “horse hockey”, as reported by the San Antonio Express News on Wednesday and Thursday.
“The people of Texas own the Alamo now and in the future. Nothing is going to change that,” said Jerry Patterson, a “gun toting” Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor.
The San Antonio Express News reported the Tea Party misinformation that said UNESCO would be taking over the Alamo were circulated by emails in the State of Texas, and started by George Rodriguez, the former president of the San Antonio Tea Party.
Rodriguez said he wrote his report as a “cautionary piece,” having lost faith in local elected leaders. In his piece, he wrote that the Alamo “may fall under U.N. influence.” Knowing that the Alamo stands for freedom, Rodriguez said, he did nothing wrong. It was only lies and misinformation, nothing wrong with that.
“I'm just constantly saying 'may' or 'might,'” in the article, Rodriguez said late Wednesday. “I'm never once saying that this is going to happen. We need to be aware.”
The land office has supported the heritage site nomination and is offering an exhibit at the 1836 battle site that focuses on its origins as a Spanish mission. The National Park Service, which runs four other missions, is also working in support of the nomination.
The articles by InfoWars and Tea Party groups in Texas place blame on Mayor Julián Castro, though he has no direct jurisdiction over the state-run Alamo or the federally managed missions.
“It's unfortunate, the untruths that blogs like this regularly put out, and even worse that there are folks who are inclined to believe it. But for those who are wondering, it's 100 percent untrue,” Castro said by phone from Japan, where he and others from San Antonio are meeting with Toyota officials.
“The UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) designation is a significant and advantageous designation that does not in any way relinquish control, and it's a designation that the Statute of Liberty and the Grand Canyon and other sacred American sites already have,” Castro said.
UNESCO's World Heritage mission is to:
- Encourage countries to sign the World Heritage Convention and to ensure the protection of their natural and cultural heritage;
- Encourage States Parties to the Convention to nominate sites within their national territory for inclusion on the World Heritage List;
- Encourage States Parties to establish management plans and set up reporting systems on the state of conservation of their World Heritage sites;
- Help States Parties safeguard World Heritage properties by providing technical assistance and professional training;
- Provide emergency assistance for World Heritage sites in immediate danger;
- Support States Parties' public awareness-building activities for World Heritage conservation;
- Encourage participation of the local population in the preservation of their cultural and natural heritage;
- Encourage international cooperation in the conservation of our world's cultural and natural heritage.
The InfoWars.com article said leaders of other countries such as China or France could oversee and influence Alamo operations. It claims the mayor “is currently negotiating with the United Nations” for the site designation, “meaning that a blue U.N. flag may fly above the historic shrine of liberty once it falls under U.N. control.”
InfoWars spreads lies and misinformation that tastes like candy to most Tea Party people, and they never bother to check the facts, because if they did, InfoWars would go out of business.
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