The Hispanic Texas mayor whose keynote speech wowed the Democratic National Convention crowd Wednesday night draws political inspiration from his mother – who was a member of a radical civil rights movement and who reportedly thinks the truth behind the Battle of the Alamo is that Texans swiped Mexico’s land.
Maria del Rosario Castro, the mother of San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, said in 2010 that she grew up being told the battle was “glorious,” only to learn the so-called heroes were really “a bunch of drunks and crooks and slaveholding imperialists who conquered land that didn’t belong to them.”
“But as a little girl I got the message — we were losers,” she told The New York Times Magazine. “I can truly say that I hate that place and everything it stands for.”
The Alamo, then a sprawling mission for missionaries and American Indian converts, was attacked in February 1836 by Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Though historical accounts vary, Texans, including famous frontiersman Davy Crockett, fought back for 13 days only to surrender, on March 6.
Maria del Rosario Castro also was a member of the La Raza Unida, a radical movement that defended the civil rights of Mexican-Americans in Texas.
The 37-year-old Hispanic mayor told New York Times Magazine that upon being elected mayor in 2009 he promptly hung in his private office a 1971 La Raza Unida City Council campaign poster that featured his mother.
Neither Castro nor his mother returned calls seeking comment.
Castro’s twin brother, Joaquin, is running for a Texas congressional seat this year.