|I felt this node was neccesary because so few people raised outside of the greatest state in the Union understand Texas Mentality. They seem to think we all live in the desert, drive Cadillacs with steer horns on the front, ride horses, wear cowboy hats, boots, and bola ties.
Comedy aside, there are some very significant differences between Texas and the rest of the United States of America, especially in our reasons for doing things. So, this node is for all y'all others out there. Keep in mind these statements apply to NATIVE Texans, raised in Texas, by Texans. If the tone of this writeup sounds fairly sarcastic or superior, please excuse. In some places I get rather cheeky, but keep in mind this is Texas Mentality, not neccesarily fact, and not neccesarily a joke either.|
- Texans are not Racists: The KKK is just a bunch displaced ancient Mississippi white trash that won't leave. Compare the stereotype of "conservative, white male power" state like Texas to the "bleeding heart, free love for all" state of Washington. And I have personally witnessed the following no fewer than three years in both states. (quite a bit more in fact in Texas)
THE STATE OF WASHINGTON - cries out how diverse and culturally aware it is. How much everyone is really just the same on the inside, and how much we should all just get along. But if you look at the demographic of the neighborhoods they are as rarified as a chess board. There are definite black, white, and asian neighborhoods. Those neighborhoods are in turn divided into ghetto and upper middle class, and filthy rich. If you look at most work establishments, you will find a very heavy racial segregation. A few upper class businesses have a token minority or two they tout and put on public display to show how enlightened the HR department is. The entire thing is very false, very fake, and very disgusting.
THE STATE OF TEXAS - on the other hand makes no pretense that we are all the same person. We don't want to be the same person. We will freely speak our mind about whomever the hell we want, regardless of race, creed, political alignment... if we want to insult you, or talk about you, we will. If we don't, we won't. Political Correctness never caught on in Texas. Why? Because no one (including those who were supposedly oppressed) really gave a damn. However, if you look at our neighborhoods, you will be hard pressed to find a definite black, white, hispanic, or asian neighborhood. Why? Because we all live together! Yes! Our little white kids DO play with little black kids, asian kids, you name it... We have barbeque at each other's house. We hang out together in social situations. Not out of any sense of obligation, but because we don't see anything awkward or wrong about it.
- We do Discriminate based on Age: Sadly enough, this is true. In a lot of states, like New York, it is very common to see elderly parents living at their children's house, working, and so forth. In Texas, if the elderly cannot care for themselves, we put them in a home. Visit them on holidays and occasionally send them pictures of the grandkids. Maybe a weekly or monthly phone call. If you are over 50, the only job you'll likely get is one at Wal-Mart or a grocery store. The primary reason for this is because we have a pack mentality. The older weaker members of the herd seperate themselves from the herd and make room for the new generation. I am not justifying this, but merely explaining the reasons. It is expected, accepted, and is not likely to change in the near future. HOWEVER, it should be noted that we do greatly respect our elders. We just like to respect them from a distance.
- You will be hard-pressed to find people in cowboy outfits: Not as hard pressed as, say, Guam, but the majority of people wear light clothing, comfortable shoes, and jeans. Baseball caps are quite commonly worn, though they usually do not have baseball teams on them. The only place you will find people wearing cowboy outfits is in a Country & Western bar.
- Texas is always capitalized: When I was in school I once got sent to the principals office for spelling "Texas" in all lower case. Recently, a business lost a multi-million dollar contract with our company because they spelled "Texas" in all lower case. It's a matter of pride. Additionally, you absolutely never abbreviate Texas unless you are sending a letter and have to use the 2-letter state postal codes.
- The Death Penalty is Justified: Regardless of your personal views, in Texas, it is justified. Texas breeds some of the toughest, meanest, hardest to kill bastards in the entire world. We grew from a land which has every natural and unnatural disaster except for Volcanoes and Earthquakes. 3 of the 4 native poisonous snakes in the US are indigenous to Texas. Heat waves literally kill people by baking them to death in 110+ degree heat. Hurricanes plague south Texas yearly. Tornadoes rip through the whole state. Lightning storms that leave blasted trails a mile wide are common. (I laughed when the one pathetic bolt of lightning I saw in Seattle made the front page). Combine that with Black Widow Spiders and Brown Recluse Spiders, mockingbirds that attack on site, killer bees, wildfire, drought, flood, ice storms that break mighty oaks in twain... you get the idea. And that's just the stuff that mother nature cooked up. It doesn't take into account things like pollution, violence, insane rednecks, Texas Drivers, road rage, and shotguns. What this means is that if someone is strong enough to live through all that they are not only tough, but afraid of nothing and if they are bad enough to deserve the death penalty, then like a rabid dog, the only thing you can do is to put them down. Rehabilitation, the fear of God, or even some sort of inner revalation is not going to divert them in the future, because they lived through Texas.
It is a little known fact that the Texas Constitution had an amendment nicknamed the "He needed killin'" clause. I kid you not. You see, Texas IS the border between Mexico and the US. Meaning that the most hardened convicts from both countries cross through here, trying to escape the federal authorities. If these menaces got away, they'd just come back across whichever border again to prey upon the weak once more. Most of them would hide out in Texas. People would -know- about a criminal, know it was him, what he did, but all the witnesses would be dead, or the evidence had been destroyed. But the town knew it was someone, without a doubt. So they let vigilante justice prevail in times when the authorities could not enforce the law. Keep in mind that even to this day there are areas of hundreds of square miles that only have one officer patrolling.
- We do not all carry guns, but we know how to use them: Some do not, I will not lie. But the standard Texan stereotype in New York is that all Texans pack heat and would sooner shoot you than talk to you. This is not true. While a lot of Texans own at least one gun, we are taught at a very early age to respect guns, and that they are never to be pointed at someone unless you intend to kill them. And you'd best have a good reason, otherwise their kin will probably hunt you down and kill you in retaliation. They might even do it even if you had a good reason. When I was six, I'd already been taught how to clean and field strip multiple types of rifle. By ten, I was an expert marksman with a .22 and by fifteen I'd already inherited by grandfather's .45 revolver. At 25, I'm now looking to start a collection of rare pistols. Yet I never once pointed even a toy gun at a human being. I never once have gone hunting. I have never used a gun in violence, anger, or in anything but cold clean thought at a safe target, in safe circumstances. And I'm an average Texan boy. It was never a toy, never something I felt compelled to show off to my friends. And all of our parents and grandparents knew they could leave a loaded gun in plain view and we honestly wouldn't touch it without permission. We don't believe guns should be a mystery in Texas. And most of us are pretty sure the reason so many child shootings occur in other states is because they treat the children like retards, and guns like poisonous vipers. The gun becomes a taboo toy, a TV-show dream, where they are the hero, and that kid that insulted them at recess is the villain. This simply does not happen in Texas.
- We don't care what you think: If you aren't from Texas, we really don't care what you think. Again, that sounds harsh, but we're a harsh state. Texas has a system that has allowed it to survive in an age of no air conditioning, no modern technology, and no law. And any crystal-wearing freak that tries to tell us how to run our great state is in for a rude awakening. In terms of geography, crime, natural disasters, and other bad news, we are THE worst place to live. And yet somehow we made it work and become one of the most powerful states in the Union while still retaining our right to cede if we get too angry with the rest of y'all. Our system works. It works well. Really damn well. This is the same reason that Independant Films rarely make it to the theatres in Texas. It's not that we're too stupid to get them, it's because we think the message they give is a bunch of trust-fund-brat-art-student-still-mooching-off-his-parents-and-trying-to-tell-us-how-WE-should-grasp-his-message-bullshit.
- We do not do incest: You're thinking of Arkansas. Most Texans can't stand their own family anyway, and will only pull together if the family name is threatened in some way.
- Texas has Culture: I mean it really has culture. Having been under six different flags, on the border of another country, Many of the most famous people in the world either were raised here, killed here, or died here. We've had more wars waged on our state's soil than all but the original 13 colonies. With the world renowned museums like Kimbell Art Museum in Ft. Worth, TX and The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, TX five major World renowned Universities, several US Presidents, the indigenous peoples, and the largest live music capital of the world Austin, TX and the source of millions of folk tales and urban legends... Texas has some serious cultural heritage in nearly every town you look. Texas and New York are the majority of what people across the seas envision America as.
The next time you think of Texas as a state of ignorant inbreds sitting on the porch and drinking Shiner Bock, ask yourself if your state can say the same thing about itself culturally. Ask yourself if your state even has anyone who cares. Ouch. Yes, we Texans are very patriotic.
- We do not like New Yorkers, Californians, or People Who Try To Talk Like Southerners When They Aren't: We do not like New Yorkers because they are pretty much our competition as to who the most important and cultured state is in the Union. That and they talk too dang fast. We really dislike Californians because they dress funny, try to tell us how to run our state, drive up the cost of living, and take away our guns and meat. California I have only this to say. In the American revolution our diet consisted of raw squirrel meat and whiskey. Britain's diet consisted of tea and crumpets. The outcome is we defeated a technologically superior, numerically superior, and better armed foe than ourselves. You do the math.
More than either of these, though, we HATE people that try to fake a southern accent, I strongly suggest y'all quit, because it sounds as stupid to a Texan, as someone faking Chinese would sound to someone from China.
- Baptists are pretty much in Control: Again, not a slam against anyone's faith, but fact. If you look at any of the state or city government in Texas, you will find that the majority of them are Baptist. Hence the phrase that Texas is the "Buckle of the Bible Belt"... that and for some reason it just seems to fit. This does not mean, however, that everyone is Baptist. Grand Prairie, TX has one of the highest Wiccan populations per capita in America. Austin has a thriving Jewish community. Houston has an impressive mix of religions from all around the world. Dallas and Fort Worth have... well... some Methodists... err... anyway, if you are curious why the things on the legal books are so strict and oppressive, but the Texan Mentality itself is rather different, that's because those making the rules are not the same as those who have to follow them...
- Last, but not least, We are VERY Patriotic: Don't Mess With Texas. Just...don't... you wouldn't like us when we're angry.