Hey fellow Texans!
I had something on my mind that has been bothering me.
I see us generalized in the media and on this site.
We are called names - like "rednecks", and all sorts of ugly remarks.
We are judged by our politicians. I didn't vote for those politicians and yet I am judged by how they behave.
Yes, they embarrass us by their actions.
But why generalize all the members of the state by the politicians?
How do you handle this when you encounter it?
I see it on the site all the time.
Just wanted to vent - thanks for listening.
I have also experienced the common stigma and stereotypes of Texans as well (as necessarily being Republican, fundamentalist Christian, or "redneck"), and usually disregard it -though sometimes actually sympathize with some aspects. I'm a native Texan and lifelong atheist, with very unconventional social and political views - all that basically simply stated to illustrate how much I contrast with those common stereotypes. However, I also realize that I myself, and others, whether atheist, gay, or of political leanings other than Republican, are a considerable minority in this state. Does it suck? Yes. But I live here with full knowledge of the sociocultural climate in Texas. I live in Austin, though.. a liberal haven in an otherwise vastly red state (I'm not a Democrat, btw).
But I feel as though I'm digressing a bit. Do people adhere to ignorant stereotypes of Texans? Of course. As they do of Canadians, Australians, Mexicans, etc. Sure, it can be irritating. The reason I stated I "sympathize" or understand where those ideas come from related to something you touched on: politicians and others who constitute the most visible figures coming from Texas. By and large these figures that enter the general public's awareness (non-Texans), are conservative, fundamentalist Christian theocratic nuts, who are seemingly hellbent on eroding the separation of church and state and degrading education in this state to an absurd degree (and who are elevated to these positions by a majority fanbase, as well as moneyed interests). I know that Texas is only one of many states where this is happening, but with George W. Bush not long having been in our rear view mirror and Rick Perry's recent campaign, it's understandable.
I would loathe being associated with those common stereotypes of Texans, but I actually haven't seemed to encounter them much, even when living in Colorado and Chicago. When you actually meet people and they learn that you're from Texas, I find that they either view you as an anomaly or lighten up a bit in their previously held convictions about Texans.
I don't know if I contributed anything of value in that ramble, but figured I'd throw in my 10 cents.
Thanks for your reply David! Thanks for being my friend!
I live in Austin too!
For sure, Steph! Do you ever hang out with the people from Atheist Community of Austin? I've been intending to check it out, but always forget!
Trying to make time to do just that.
I listen to all their shows and have the podcasts.
I hope to soon!
Do you listen to Atheist Experience and the NonProphets?
At first thought my general response is simply to say 'fuck off' if someone insults me simply because I am Texan. They are showing the precise bigotry they accuse "Texans" (as if we're all the same) of having.
There is a lot of bigotry against "Southern" by people in northern states and vice-versa. Of course that's been around a couple hundred years. There's also, apparently, a stigma against us because we're from Texas, as in "the home of ...Bush." Of course the Bush clan is not NATIVE Texan but money chasers from the northeast. Then there's Prick Perry, the floater in Texas' toilet. I could go on listing Texas' infamous celebrities and politicians but what's the point? *I* had nothing to do with them being in office. And there is a fairly good majority who didn't like them and still dislike them here.
Fact is, the Texas governor has very little real power in this state. People should learn some government! Don't blame us because ALL AMERICANS let Georgie Boy and company rape this country for eight years! The truth is that brother Jeb, Dickhead Cheney, and their gang ran the white house and told George what to do anyway. So, again, don't blame Texas.
Texas is an ideal and a reality. The ideal exceeds the ideals of the U.S. constitution by a great margin. The quality of Texas land, the abundance of resources, etc., these make Texas a great place.
The reality of Texas sucks but no less so than the rest of the country. It sucks BECAUSE of the rest of the country. Texas suffers from the same idiots, religious fanatics and Republican assholes found coast to coast. It's a disease worse than the clap. It's a disease caused by the so-called media, talking Fox heads, and religious fanatics in mega-churches or who have their own propaganda arm to screw with people's heads. To single out Texas as anything different or unusual is to apply bigotry to an already abundant supply of dumbass. Redneck, right wing, just plain stupid people in rusted pickups, abound from the eastern forests of Texas all the way to the East Coast. Hard core nutcases are in abundance all across the south with more severe enclaves in the hills of the Carolinas, the Virginias, etc. So those little twisted taunts are misplaced as well.
I will admit to living in the center of the asshole of Texas. If any part of Texas stinks Lufkin is the place. Lufkin deserves all the ridicule and humiliation heaped unfairly on Texas as a whole. I can say that because I live here. I have that right. People who have NOT lived here, who are merely lifting themselves to a higher rung on the "I love me" ladder by trashing people they do not know, do NOT have that right. But even in this enclave of religious depravity there area a few of us who survive and whose ideals match that of the Ideal Texas, however tarnished it may be. There ARE good people in Texas, lots of good people. Some are that in spite of their religious obsessions. And there are even a few good people in this rectal repository of refuse. So, I say, do not judge people by their zip code unless it's on your own return address.
Lastly, and going back to my first comment, a true Texan, such as myself, recognizes the ideal Texas stands for. We true Texans are not proud of the Bush clan or the rapists of the poor who happen to hold power in Austin. We ARE proud of who WE are, however. Piss on our boots if you will, our feet are dry and our hearts are pure. We're used to kickin' a little cow shit around now and again anyway and we stand so much taller than the bigots and idiots who don't know what the fuck they're talking about that it's hardly worth the effort to respond.
How do I handle it when people think I am "redneck" and poor, etc? I throw out my suthun' accent and wallow in it. Idiots are idiots, no use trying to change their minds. People look down at me because I have a beard and long hair, I'm 'heavy,' I have a limp, I tawk funny, I drive an old van, my clothes are ragged, I wear a bandanna, I 'cuss' and smoke, hell, that's just the short list. Being Texan just ads one more ding to the dong. It's they who are missing out on the sparkling personality, witty demeanor, intelligent attitudes, enlightened thinking, and loveable disposition that lurks beneath. Those who truly know me, my kids and my wife, love me dearly!
I am who I am. I am Texan. I'll be damned if I'll hang my head or apologize.
Thank you Ted - you made me feel much better.
There are a lot of bigots out there. And yes, they accuse Texans of being bigots - when they are doing the bigotry.
Most people don't realize that the Bush's are not from Texas.
George Walker Bush
July 6, 1946
Idiots are Idiots and you can't change them.
Thanks so much!
George Walker Bush
July 6, 1946 (age 66)
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
You're welcome. As we say around here, I have a "thang" about people making snap judgements without the facts. The way of the world, though, huh?
Bush was born in Connecticut and is not really from Texas and I did not vote for him.
@Steph. Not a Texan, so I'll make this brief. I saw your response on the Brutally Honest posting, and I could not agree more. I responded in kind. By the way, I'm a born and bred northern Yankee, and damned proud of it. But, the ad hominen attacks, and churlish and childish smear of all Texans was too much even for this Yankee. You were 100% correct Steph. More power to you!
Thank you Pat! I appreciate it!
To be fair, the Texas government's been pretty shitty on some human rights issues as well as its stance in academia... No people should be painted with such a broad brush, but it does happen, as an aspect of human nature.
I love my home state, but right now... I really don't want to live there. No offense. Of course, half the reason has more to do with the 6-8 months of summer heat more than anything else. ;) Having lived abroad where I don't feel I have to hold my tongue about things, I'm loathe to move back home and find myself quieted. I do realize that I could live an outspoken life, but it would come at a high price, should I continue with a career in education. (There's also the reason that I'd like to live close enough to Japan that I don't have to take a 14-hour flight to visit. 10 hours from LA is a bit more feasible...)
That said, I remember having taken French in HS and college... I don't remember whether it was my HS teacher or my college prof, but one of them mentioned that should we go abroad, we were to identify ourselves as Texans, not Americans... because Texans were loved and Americans were thought to be rude--at least in France. That was obviously awhile ago and before our dear dubyah got into office. :/
I wanted to also point out... When I mention I'm from Texas, here in Japan, the older Japanese think of JFK and ask if I owned a gun back home... The younger Japanese either tend to be clueless about Texas or think of country western music and cowboy hats. As well, a friend of mine here who is from Kentucky had one of his superiors make a gun gesture with his hand and go, "Bang, bang. I'm American," so it's not just seen as a Texan thing.
I do think that should I ever move back to Texas, I'd have to live in Austin, else I'd have my eyes stuck in rolled position.