Texas, our Texas*

Commentary

Let’s be clear, y’all. It ain’t my Texas. And I pity the ones who claim it as theirs!

*(Texas, our Texas is the state’s official song)

For those of you who’ve missed it, Texas has been in the news recently. In fact there’s been so much written about the Lone Star state and their Looney Tunes governor, Greg Abbot, they’re giving the Sunshine State and our deceitful governor, Ron DeSantis, a run for the money.

Most of the attention on Texas has been on their egregious and, most probably, unconstitutional, abortion law.

But just because the news out of Texas has been dominated, and rightfully so, by the abortion issue, doesn’t mean that Texas’ right-wing governor and horrifying gang of GOP legislators have rested on their laurels.

In case you haven’t been paying full attention, besides the abortion ban, here’s what has recently passed in the Texas legislature:

  • Open carry law
    • Texans over the age of 21 will be able to carry a handgun without a license and without passing a training class.
    • The geniuses who dreamt this one up call it the “Constitutional Carry Law.” I guess the name derives from the fact that there were no “musket training classes” in 1789 so training and licensing didn’t make it into the Constitution.
  • Alcohol to-go
    • Texans can buy alcohol to-go permanently – something many restaurants and bars pivoted to during the coronavirus pandemic to stay afloat.
    • Take that MADD!
  • National Anthem
    • The “Star-Spangled Banner Protection Act” is a bill that would require any professional sports teams in Texas to play the national anthem before the start of a game. Those that do not follow the law risk losing millions of dollars in state and local tax subsidies.
    • Remember when Republicans wanted less business regulation? I guess all that take-out booze has muddied their brains!
  • Medical marijuana
    • While medical marijuana will now be open for people like veterans who suffer from PTSD, cancer patients, and other medical conditions, it is banned for use for all other Texans with chronic pain.
    • Texans with physician diagnosed chronic pain are the losers here. Guess they better start checking those flights to California and Colorado. But when they get back, they need to watch out for those little sniffing beagles patrolling the George W. Bush Intergalactic Airport in Houston. (I’ve been looking for an opportunity for years to call it that)
  • Vaccine passports
    • Vaccine passports will be prohibited in Texas. Businesses that require customers to provide their vaccination status against COVID-19 will be denied state contracts and could lose state licenses or operating permits.
    • See my post, “October in NYC was great except…). (https://around-the-block.com/2021/10/13/october-in-nyc-was-great-except/)
    • See my comment above, under “National Anthem.”
  • Critical race theory
    • Teachers are now limited on how they discuss certain historical events, race and racism in a classroom.

This last one is going to take a bit more than some flippant comment from me. Reread the words: Teachers are now limited on how they discuss certain historical events, race and racism in a classroom. What exactly do the GOP rulers of Texas mean by that? Which “certain historical events” are they referring to?

It didn’t take long to figure that out!

Texas school leader suggests balancing Holocaust with ‘opposing’ views

Houston Chronicle, Oct. 14, 2021

By Priscilla Aguirre

A top administrator with the Carroll Independent School District in Southlake advised teachers last week that if they have a book about the Holocaust in their classroom, they should also offer students access to a book from an “opposing” perspective

In a secret recording, a Texas school administrator advised teachers to have an “opposing” book regarding the Holocaust – also known as the genocide of millions of European Jews during World War II.

In the recording, Peddy, (Gina Peddy, the Carroll school district’s executive director of curriculum and instruction) told the teachers to remember the concept of House Bill 3979, which is a new Texas law that requires teachers to present multiple perspectives when discussing “widely debated and currently controversial” issues.

“Make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust, that you have one that has an opposing, that has other perspectives,” Peddy said. 

The Chronicle did not indicate which books Peddy suggested teacher’s recommend that have “an opposing, that is other perspective.”

Perhaps Peddy didn’t make any specific book recommendations because, well you know, the books that might have another “perspective” just might be debunked, anti-Semitic screeds, suggesting that this law is inane and the Texas’ GOP-dominated government is insane…certifiably so.

But to do my part to contribute to the continuation of Texas educational excellence, allow me to provide Ms. Peddy with some off the top-of-my-head suggestions:

  • Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
  • The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (author unknown – plagiarized from various authors
  • The International Jew by Henry Ford
  • The Revolt Against Civilization: The Menace of the Under-man by Lothrop Stoddard
  • Any books, interviews or articles by David Irving, British “historian” and Holocaust denier

After writing the last few paragraphs, I walked away for a bit to clear my head. It didn’t work.

When I reread what I wrote, I could only think: Is this Texas law really a thing? Is Gina Peddy really a school district director of curriculum and instruction? When will Texas’ lunacy start affecting other red states (it has, already regarding the abortion law)? When will this stop? Will this ever stop? Have we entered a rabbit hole from which we can’t escape? Have we stepped into that ’50’s cowboy movie quicksand we were all afraid of as kids and are sinking ever so slowly into the abyss? Are the only people around with ropes to save us Greg Abbot and Ron Desantis? Are they just standing there, smiling and waving goodbye? Am I going crazy?

The noted Yale historian, Timothy Snyder, has opined,

“…the past is not there so we should feel guilty about it. It is there so we can feel responsible for it. Patriotism is about “responsibility;” if you don’t feel responsible for you country, then you’re not a patriot. How does this fit together? History has to be about things that make us feel uncomfortable. A good history book is always going to have something that’s surprising, something that’s discomfiting, something that leads us a little altered after we’ve learned what’s actually happened. The moment that we legislate that history is about “feelings,” and that is what these memory laws in Texas are doing, the moment we say that ‘history is about feeling,’ we’re opening the way for people to say, ‘Well, I feel that maybe slavery wasn’t so bad; I feel that maybe Blacks did not have their votes suppressed; or I feel that maybe the Holocaust didn’t happen.” It’s not a slippery slope, it’s the logic of the whole enterprise; the logic of these laws is relativist – that history is not about what happened, it’s about how people might feel. And then you’re licensing people to say, ‘I’m going to bring my feelings into the public sphere.’ And that’s going to mean that everything becomes nonsense; everything becomes moral nonsense and factual nonsense.”*

(*excerpted from Timothy Snyder interview with Ali Velshi – MSNBC, 10/16/21)

A few years back, I think it was during the Obama presidency, there was a movement by some in Texas to secede from the Union. Go its own way. Revert to its former status before it entered the Union, the “Republic of Texas” (1836-1845). Maybe it’s time to review that idea. And, if and when Texas leaves, I’m sure that some of those six million European Jews murdered in the Holocaust, if they were still with us, might have said to Texas, “zei gezunt,” Yiddish for “goodbye, be well” in its literal sense, but often used in its more ironically sarcastic meaning, “goodbye and get real.”

So, since they can’t and I can, “Texas – “zei gezunt!” And, close the door on the way out; we don’t want any more of your idiocy infecting the rest of us anymore.

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy.

3 thoughts on “Texas, our Texas*

  1. Another example of the “you’re not the boss of me”, testosterone-fueled, adolescent attitude right-wing politicians are using to whip up the base. They really need to grow up…and stop reacting to their so-called “culture war” and start thinking about helping people.

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  2. Needless to say I have missed all of this. The world is going crazy!!!!! Not just Texas but it is leading the way!!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  3. How can there be an opposing view to the Holocaust when it is a historical fact? Yes, I know there are many who try to deny it, but theirs is not an opposing view, it is a blinded mentality. It is not possible to oppose a fact. The law is actually preventing anyone from offering their stupidity, if you read it properly in real English.
    But then, I guess Texan is a language all its own these days…

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