Texas Governor Greg Abbott got into the spirit of Black History month by extolling Texas lawmaker Senfronia Thompson, calling the “longest-serving woman in the Texas Legislature” a “Legislative Bastion.”
Thompson is also, as Abbott points out, the longest serving African American in the Texas Legislature, noting that Representative Thompson is “affectionately known” to her colleagues as “Ms. T.”
Rep. Senfronia Thompson is the longest-serving woman & the longest-serving African American in the Texas Legislature.— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) February 21, 2023
Affectionately known to her colleagues as “Ms. T,” Rep. Thompson has paved the way for Texas women & African Americans in politics. #BlackHistoryMonth pic.twitter.com/wjfM5BklFx
The reactions to Abbott’s post, which strayed from his usual “Texas is the Best” boasts and “The Federal government is the worst” laments, were mixed. Abbott was accused of hypocrisy by some — “Putting your ‘black friend’ out for display, so people feel better?” asked one, while another wrote “won’t be able to read about her in the Texas history books.”
Others thought Abbott’s praise not hypocritical but unwarranted. One wrote: “Career politicians aren’t the win you’re thinking.” A number of commenters also accused Abbott of “pandering” and acting “woke.” One wrote: “Why do you do this?”
That answer might be found here: according to the Texas Tribune, “Texas is home to more Black Americans than any other state — more than 3.8 million, about 13% of the state’s population.”
Yet some believe Abbott’s very acknowledgement of Black History Month is a capitulation to the so-called woke movement. The interesting and famous Morgan Freeman 60 Minutes video below is posted as an argument that people should feel free to ignore Black History Month, since one prominent Black actor says he doesn’t appreciate it.
Morgan Freeman says Black History month is ridiculous It’s American history— 🦅 Eagle Wings 🦅 (@CRRJA5) February 10, 2023
How do you get rid of Racism?
Stop talking about it pic.twitter.com/3U4RYpcx9U
Other famous Black Americans, including former President Barack Obama have also talked about the role of Black history, saying, as Freeman does, that it “should not be separated out from the rest of American history.” Obama, however, makes this argument while explaining the purpose of Black History Month.
Gov. Abbott clearly thinks the month is meant to celebrate the accomplishments of successful and inspirational Black Americans, which he does with his post.
Currently serving her 25th term in the legislature, the native Texan Senfronia Thompson “received her high school diploma from Booker T. Washington High School in Houston. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Texas Southern University; a Master of Education from Prairie View A&M University; a JD degree from Thurgood Marshall School of Law and a Master of Law in International Law from the University of Houston.”