Anybody who’s from Texas and travels outside the state knows what I’m talking about. You meet someone, you get to talking, you say you’re from El Paso, and their nose wrinkles up as they ask, “Texas?” like a bad smell just invaded the room. On Friday, I met a man who says he refuses to even fly over the state. How do you refuse to fly over a state? And why would you even bother?Â Sure, he was making a joke, sort of. But still.
I’ve tried to figure this latent and sometimes not-so-latent hostility out.Â What I’ve come to realize is thatÂ these people who wrinkle their noses when you say you’re from Texas are almost invariably liberal and their hatin’ on TexasÂ is a political statement: George W. is from Texas and Texas is a Republican state; ergo, Texas is bad. (By the way, I’ve heardÂ conservatives make similar statements about places like Boulder or Berkeley or San Francisco.)
Whatever. I don’t like Dallas myself but why not? Because of some stereotype? Besides El Paso, I actually really like some other places in Texas–Austin and San Antonio, for example. I do feel frustration that the Texas-Mexico border region is so frequently ignored by the rest of the state, except when the state wants to turn its eagle eye onto the “problems” of immigration or transnational crime. But the truth is, Texas is full of good people, some okay people, and some people who aren’t so hot and might even be downright evil–just like any place. The partisan politics that cause people to dislike an entire region areÂ pretty damnÂ silly, when you think about it. So why is it so socially acceptable?