It's certainly true that Texas played a damnable role in slavery and the Civil War. And I'm embarrassed by the Texas Board of Education members who've attempted to inject creationism into the public schools, and by our idiot-in-chief governor, and his predecessor. And I'm appalled that there are enough idiots among Texas voters to keep putting people like that into power. But even so, I can't help bristling at a statement such as this:
And Texas, quite possibly the biggest asshole state on the Eastern Hemisphere
I'm sure that wasn't meant to apply to ALL Texans, and maybe not even MOST Texans. But even granting that, it still seems a bit unfair.
1. About half of all Texans accept that humans evolved from earlier species. While that may be worse than the national average, it still means that creationists (or at least, anti-evolutionists) are not a majority in Texas. And even the half that are
creationists are not all
2. While Texas as a whole is a pretty solidly red state, it's large population centers are mostly blue. In the last presidential election, Barack Obama won Dallas County, Harris County (contains Houston), Travis County (Austin), Bexar County (San Antonio), and El Paso county. If you look at the election results by land area or by county count, Texas looks like a sea of red, but if you go by population, the right-wing majority is narrower than you might realize. And the state seems to be trending bluer. I would not be at all surprised if Texas becomes distinctly purple within a decade, and blue in two.
3. You rarely hear that "war of southern aggression" phrase used here, and when you do, it's usually tongue-in-cheek.
4. Texas has some great universities, and even the ones that aren't highly ranked are mostly real, respectable, schools, not the "Bob Jones" or "Liberty University" kind of crap.
5. Texas has many great science museums, planetariums, etc. Fair Park (home of the State Fair of Texas) in Dallas has several museums dedicated to science. Their dinosaur exhibit has no humans hanging out with dinosaurs, and the fossils are dated much, much older than 6000 years. Their geology exhibit has even older objects, and you won't find any "flood geology" pseudoscience there. The last time I was there they had a DNA exhibit that discussed the genetic evidence for evolution and the large amount of genetic information that humans have in common with other species. Real science, not creationist junk.
6. Texas is home to the McDonald Observatory. One of the largest annual star parties in the U.S. is held near there.
7. Texas is home to NASA's Johnson Space Center. NASA's current Mission Control Center is there, as well as the old Mission Control Center where those famous words, "The Eagle has landed", were received. To me, that historical site is hallowed ground more than any religious site could ever be.
8. In 1925, Texas was only the 2nd state to elect a woman governor, and the first to do so in a general election. She was elected again in 1933, and another woman, Ann Richards, was elected governor in 1991.
I could go on, but I think that's enough to make my point. Texas does have more than its fair share of ignoramuses, bigots, and nutjobs. And yet, there's a lot of good here, and it's also home to some of the most intelligent, most tolerant, most open-minded people I've ever met.