Connecticut Yankee in Greg Abbot’s Texas

A recent friend in Massachusetts posted a meme about Texas on Facebook. Political, ugly, and on one level true. But I live here now. . .and I said in response, it’s easy to pick on Texas it’s so big. And then he called me out, in his urbane intellectual way, “why aren’t you doing something about it”!?

I am tired of explaining Texas to those who have never set foot here. I am tired of my liberal, progressive heart (and compatriots, minority that we are) being tarred with the same brush as Abbot and the Clowns I didn’t vote for. But my New England soul, my Catholic roots, my Atlantic loving body gets tied in knots when I read a racist/bigoted comment on a friend’s wall. And not one Texan says anything. I did. Can’t help myself. And I unfriended the human.

The thread was about Kaepernick. There was support for his action and not. One human wrote something that triggered me to say: “He’s black, he’s not going to get good press in the current news cycle” To which the Human wrote: “Well he’s half white and that’s enough”. This triggered me, because my Yankee brain could not believe I’m seeing this in writing”. Half white. Good enough. A progressive.

This human is white. This human lives in Texas and more than likely voted in the Democratic primary. Now I’m not in full support of being politically correct in my writing and speech, for to me, politically correctness is a socially acceptable form of censorship. I did respond because I was triggered. First was a quote by Kaepernick that shows he identifies as a black man. And his point of view. Then I said, if you were a friend, someone I knew, I’d take you aside and say: “Your post sounds racist. Don’t post like that on FB.”

I must say I did it before. But in Houston, sick from radiation and Obama had just won his first presidential race. I spoke up and out in a hotel lobby after a white couple, middle age, healthy, commented on the newspaper headlines. And I alone doing it. And then I was scolded in the van that took us to the clinic.

The point of this ramble is this. It’s very hard to make changes for the positive for any population, when a huge part of the population has no language to cover the ground so to meet in the middle. It doesn’t matter what the issue is. For those living over the Edwards Aquifer, it’s water. Down near the Gulf Coast they deal with migrants and poverty that Massachusetts has never seen. It is a state where tax dollars go to Death Row. Mothers are dying from non-existent of prenatal care in this huge state where it’s political leaders claim to be Christian.

It’s 2016 and while we watch the first Black president leave office. We have no language between Texans. . .we don’t have language for any of this.