Saturday, December 21, 2013

Has the GOP Inspired Prejudice about Texas?

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

For some reason, millions of people who have never been to Texas persist in spreading lies, and misconceptions about the state, "dissing it" though they have never bothered to confirm their prejudices by actually visiting the state. Nevertheless --they are convinced or have convinced themselves that Texas is a horrible and backward place. How much blame must be directed at Bush for having destroyed the reputation of a state that had been Democratic or progressive for over one hundred years?

Texas is not a 'backwater'. Second only to California with a population of 26.1 million residents, it is, perhaps, the nation's most cosmopolitan state. In Houston, officially the nation's fourth largest city, you will find a population as least as diverse (perhaps even more so) than those of New York, Los Angeles or San Francisco. Having often visited all three of those cities, I suspect that that is the case.

The Houston Grand Opera is typical of the trend. Last time I checked, it was the nation's most honored Opera Company having introduced 43 world premieres and six American premieres since 1973. For its efforts, HGO has received a Tony Award, two Grammy Awards, and two Emmy Awards—the ONLY opera company in the world to have won all three honors.

Houston may very well be the nation's greenest large city. Large parks include the very large Memorial Park known for a network of hike and bike trails through virgin wooded forests. Hermann Park, between downtown and the Texas Medical Center, is somewhat smaller but equally green and equally popular with joggers, bikers and nature lovers.
Hermann Park enjoys a choice location in the Museum District half-way between downtown and the Texas Medical Center, famous for having pioneered the science and art of heart transplant.

The famous/legendary Howard Hughes was hurrying "home" to the Medical Center but died enroute. I covered that story and was among the press when Dr. Michael DeBakey revealed to us that Hughes had died enroute.

Texas shares an international border with the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas.

My title asked the question: has the GOP inspired prejudice about Texas? YES! Dallas suffered as a result of the JFK murder though the city had nothing to do with it.  Houston has fared somewhat better though Bush Sr lived in a high rise just outside Loop 610 north of the famous Galleria. I can only say this about Bush Sr whom I knew: he was NO Texan. Nor his idiot son!

Here's the kind of information that you might find in a guide book. I offer it for what it is worth:
Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth-largest in the United States, while San Antonio is the second largest in the state and seventh largest in the United States.
Dallas–Fort Worth and Greater Houston are the fourth and fifth largest United States metropolitan areas, respectively. Other major cities include El Paso and Austin—the state capital. Texas is nicknamed the Lone Star State to signify Texas as a former independent republic and as a reminder of the state's struggle for independence from Mexico. The "Lone Star" can be found on the Texas state flag and on the Texas state seal today.[9] The origin of the state name, Texas, is from the word, "Tejas", which means 'friends' in the Caddo language.[10]
Due to its size and geologic features such as the Balcones Fault, Texas contains diverse landscapes that resemble both the American South and Southwest.[11] Although Texas is popularly associated with the Southwestern deserts, less than 10 percent of the land area is desert.


Anonymous said...

Have the people that Texas elects to public office disgraced the people who elected them?

Unknown said...

I believe that many of those who were "elected" benefited from right wing gerrymandering of the state. That dates back to the middle to late eighties. I knew the man who did it --TOM DELAY! Prior to all that, prior to the wave of immigration that was primarily inspired by "oil greed", Texas had been Democratic, i.e, a "blue state". During that period, every TX gov had been Democratic.

LanceThruster said...

I learned just how cool the people of Texas can be fighting the good fight when I saw Robert Redford's "The Unforseen" about the Barton Springs swimming hole and the struggle to keep it healthy despite big money developers. We all face an uphill battle against TPTB.

Happy trails to ya', Len from your blue buddy in SoCal!

Unknown said...

Thanks, Lance. Over the years, I began to understand how SoCal shares many things with Texas. It may have been Towne's "Chinatown" that helped me understand that, like Texas, Los Angeles is a "desert community". Like Houston, Los Angeles is near a beach. Houston is just a bit further inland comparatively, but Galveston is on the Gulf Coast. Enroute to Galveston, a visitor from Houston will pass Clear Lake, in fact, an extensive Bay where you find will sailors and several harbors.