Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, whose office oversees the Alamo, had two key words Wednesday about rumors that the state shrine could fall under control of the United Nations. "Horse hockey," Patterson, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, said Wednesday in a statement. Rumors have circulated in recent weeks, via email and social media, that the U.N. would manage the Alamo if it -- and San Antonio's four other Spanish colonial missions — are granted World Heritage status.
Recently, for example, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization decided to grant World Heritage status the Alamo, giving the Texas historical site the same status as other American treasures such as Independence Hall, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and the Statue of Liberty. It would seem like the sort of thing that Texans could be proud of, and which might even help boost tourism in the area.
But it's not quite working out that way.
The conspiracy theory apparently started with George Rodriguez, the former president of the San Antonio Tea Party, who warned that ownership of the Alamo could be transferred from Texas to the U.N. It was soon after picked up by Alex Jones.
In an especially interesting twist, the right is going after San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, saying he "may have started a new 'battle of the Alamo,'" even though the mayor's office has literally nothing to do with the state-run site or surrounding national parks.
"Castro is a liberal who believes in a 'global society,' and apparently he sees no problem with the U.N. influencing or even managing the Alamo," Rodriguez wrote. He added that "a blue U.N. flag may fly above the historic shrine of liberty once it falls under U.N. control."
None of this is even remotely true, but local conservative activists are apparently worked up about this and state officials are doing their best to explain that the conspiracy theories are wrong. With Alex Jones keeping the right agitated,
I don't envy the Texas Land Commissioner's office.