Leftovers, Again
Published in

Leftovers, Again

A White-Hot Mess in Texas

Karsten Wurth for Unsplash

UPDATE: I wrote this story back in the cold of winter, as the people in Texas froze to death due to the failing Texas energy grid. Months later, Texans are now dying of heat stroke, unable to properly cool themselves from the scorching Texas heat. I thought now was a good time to revisit the original article and thesis.

We have all seen the steady stream of stories about the devastating weather-caused power-loss impacting millions of people in Texas. We have seen the stories of Ted Cruz, and his trip to Cancun. And heard his lies. And we have seen Democrats, like Beto O’Rourke and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, working to help Texans impacted by the damage. And we have seen far too many stories about ERCOT, and the Texas Grid.

But the news cycle is lightning fast, and those stories have all worn out their welcome, so to speak.

What I did come to realize about Texas though was something I never knew before; a story that will stand the test of time, the story of the real problem in Texas.

No, this story is as old as they come. It’s basically the re-telling of the American story, with just a touch of Texas flavor. It’s the story of White Men having all the power and all the say over what happens: the story of White Men leading and everyone else following, even if following leads to death and destruction.

For the record, I am not a Texan: I am an observer of news. As such, I have watched with fascination the stories coming out of Texas these past 10 days. Story after story revolved around White Men trying to lay blame, trying to pass the buck, or trying to avoid responsibility altogether for the crisis that has taken over millions of lives.

For the record, I am a White Man.

Texas has approximately 27.5 million people living in the state, per 2015 numbers. More than half of those are women, and over 10 million — or well over ⅓ are Latino or Black. The median age of a Texan is 34.5 years old.

Texas IS big: that is a lot of people, and anyone having to deal with that diverse of a population would no doubt want a diversity in government to represent those constituents.

But not in Texas.

No, what we have seen over the past ten days is the ruling class in Texas; those who represent the people from Texas are mostly all White Men.

From Governor Greg Abbott to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Abbott, Patrick, and Paxton

And try as I might, who could forget, uh, let me see…oh yeah…former Governor Rick Perry.

Rick Perry

On the federal side of the government, there are the two White Men in the U.S. Senate, Rafael ‘Ted’ Cruz, and John Cornyn.

Cruz and Cornyn

In addition, there are a number of White Men serving as Congressmen, such as the infamous Rep. Louie Gohmert, and Dan Crenshaw.

Louie Gohmert
Dan Crenshaw

State politics has its own White Men representing Texas. State Representative Gary Gates tried to out-Cruz Ted this week by jetting himself off to Florida amid the Texas power outages. Shame shame.

Gary Gates

And who could forget everyone’s favorite White Man at the power company, Bill Mangess? I mean poor Bill, the CEO of the worst power failure in American history, has had his picture all over the internet. Here’s another one.

Bill Mangess

Finally, if we’re talking ruling class in Texas, we surely couldn’t forget Mr. Football himself, Jerry Jones could we? I mean when we talk about energy and Texas and money and greed, we have to mention Jerry Jones, because it is Jerry’s little energy company that has made a fortune off this disaster.

Jerry Jones

The common denominator in all this is not simply that White Men rule Texas: it’s that the White Men currently running Texas are running Texas into the ground.

Texas is a big, strong, diverse state, with a great history and great people. Back in the mid-80s, I spent a Summer in Texas, and I came away thinking how wonderful every Texan was that I met: I mean, honestly, Texans are some of the friendliest people you’ll find anywhere.

I wasn’t there this past week, but I’m willing to bet a lot of Texans aren’t feeling so friendly about their all White Man leadership team right now.

Remember the Alamo!

There is a slogan in Texas: “Remember the Alamo!” I hope the people of Texas will remember what this incompetent bunch of White Men did while the people of Texas suffered. I hope they remember those who blamed legislation that doesn’t exist, or frozen solar panels, or those who zipped out of town on a jet plane to avoid helping those in need.

There are real problems in Texas: problems that can’t be blamed on the Green New Deal or AOC. Or Climate Change. Or the Grid. Perhaps if leadership had spent more time building a grid — and not a wall — this could have been avoided. Who’s to say?

Texans will recover, and when they do, they will continue to be the nicest people anywhere. But after this, I hope they’re a little smarter, a little more involved in who they’re voting into office to run Texas. I hope they remember what these White Men did — or didn’t do — for them, and elect real representative leaders for the future of Texas, leaders who care for Texans.

I’m hopeful change can come to Texas, starting with the all-male leadership team. Energy is a vital part of the Texas economy, yet these men are not focused on fixing the energy problems, only on how they can leverage those problems into building their own wealth.

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© Timothy J. Sabo

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