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Don’t worry. The Riverwalk will still meander through downtown San Antonio with or without you. Photo by Ken Wheatcroft-Pardue

Boycott its blue cities, its red rural towns, its tony exurbs. Don’t choose Texas for your vacations, staycations, or conventions. Don’t worry. The Riverwalk will still meander through downtown San Antonio without you. Austin’s 6th Street will always echo with boisterous drunks with or without your help. Houston’s moveable feast of world cuisines won’t disappear entirely. It will still be there when and if Texas ever returns to sanity.

Do not send your young people to Texas for higher education. Our Republican Party is at war with the young because Zoomers — having spent too much time under their desks in lockdown drills — don’t buy into the GOP’s insane AR-15 idolatry. Boycott the state universities, but don’t stop there. Boycott the private ones, too. Texas wants to make it hard for college students to vote, take away a woman’s right to bodily autonomy, flood our streets with firearms, and overregulate what can be taught. The legislature knows it can get away with that with no cost at the ballot box. Make it pay in this way.

Boycott Texas products — American Airlines, ExxonMobil, Southwest Airlines, Dell, all of them. Boycott all things Texas because the state has become a beachhead of far-right, white, Christian Nationalist blowhards whose true mission is to serve the wealthy while joyfully scapegoating the most vulnerable: the poor, the homeless, minorities, immigrants, and trans teens.

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Texas is No. 1 in banning books and is home to one of the most draconian anti-abortion bills, the most gerrymandered political maps, the most anti-immigrant laws, the most lax gun safety legislation, and the most anti-LGBTQ+ laws. Some bills that could pass the legislature this session include SB 1933, which would give Texas’ Secretary of State the power to take and directly administer elections in any county, and SB 1029, which makes it extremely difficult for transgender Texans of any age to obtain gender-affirming care.

We have a governor who’s in competition to out-crazy Florida’s for the Republican presidential nomination. We have a radicalized state government gripped by three toxic ideas: sTOp ThE sTeaL, anti-immigrant, and anti-trans. What makes this especially heartbreaking is that we have real issues that the legislature should be dealing with. We’re the No. 1 emitter of toxic substances into our waterways. We also have the most people without health insurance, worst access to mental health care, and lowest overall well-being for children. Texas is failing our youth while its legislators whine about wokeness, whatever the hell that is.

I don’t propose boycotting Texas idly. I hate the thought of small businesses suffering and vulnerable service workers losing their jobs, yet I don’t see any other way to hurt all the lords and ladies in Austin. We live in a one-party state. Who can we beseech to moderate Texas’ John Birchy Republican Party? Can we convince the fundamentalists who now believe in a religion so at odds with the traditional Christianity of mercy, humility, and compassion that you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s the opposite of Christianity? Nope.

Can we reason with rural voters who though they’re hurt by hospital closings in their areas still back the Republicans whose refusal to expand Medicare is the cause of those closings? No.

Can we convince those ensconced in the far-right news silo of the rightness of our positions? No way, despite what the rest of us now know about all the brainwashing b.s. coming from Fox “News.”

Can we convince Second Amendment fanatics that continuing to inundate our country with weapons, leading to an increase in mass shootings, suicides, and gun deaths, hasn’t been such a great idea after all? They won’t listen. They’re fine with the mutilated bodies of elementary school-aged children just to never be slightly inconvenienced by common sense gun regulations.

Who can we convince? While Texas is home to a good number of rich rapacious rednecks who are all in on right-wing authoritarian governance, many large and small business owners don’t buy into the angry and hateful rhetoric of today’s Republican Party. We can’t blame the mom-and-pop shops. What are they gonna do? Pick up and move to Vermont? But you can bet the big boys, all the mega-corporations, love conducting business in a low-tax, anti-regulation state. They may or may not be embarrassed by all the crazies. As long as their bottom lines aren’t hurt, maybe they’re OK with all the hate and scapegoating. If we boycott them, they might not develop a conscience, but they, by the power of their vast money and influence, might moderate Texas’ far right Foxified Republican Party.

 

This column reflects the opinions of the author and not the Fort Worth Weekly. To submit a column, please email Editor Anthony Mariani at Anthony@FWWeekly.com. He will gently edit it for clarity and concision.

26 COMMENTS

  1. Since you are hating on Texas so much, I think that you need to find another place to be. We don’t need another fruitcake like you with all of your woke aspirations.

    • Robert, I am a fifth-generation Texan. I’m not going anywhere. The only way y’all win is because you cheat with your gerrymandering and voter ID laws. And, as far as fruitcake goes, my favorite is Texas’ own Collin Street Bakery. And, BTW, what is woke, anyway?

  2. This editorial is spot on. Texas is an embarrassment to sentient Texans and a menace to anyone half-awake, much less woke. Intellect is a sin and conscience is criminal.

    • Texas has thrived because of many of these “republican” policies. I say if you are not happy in this state I’m sure California or New York or better yet Oregon would love to have you stay with them.

    • Thanks, E. R., I’ll only add something I couldn’t quite work into the piece. Namely, that our state government, being a wholly owned subsidiary of the fossil fuel industries, is by its protection and coddling of them an existential threat not only to Texas but to the world. Yet another reason Texas should be boycotted.

  3. If you don’t like this state, you are more than welcome to get the hell out. There are 2 sexes, male and female, don’t mess with changing them, that’s not right. So, once again if you don’t like this state or what it stands for then LEAVE, we will help you pack and escort you to the state line

    • Bobby Lee, Just to be clear, I’m a fifth-generation Texan, who has no desire to leave the state I love. Thanks for the generous offer, though. And, yeah, the Republicans make a big fuss about trans people only because their attacks on gays started working against them. But the bottom line is Republicans have to find scapegoats to fuel their supporters’ anger. And it’s always the marginalized. Why is that, Bobby Lee?

  4. I have never read so many blatant lies about Texas! I left Commifornia to live in this free state where we still have our independence and freedom. Keep Texas red and God Bless Texas!

  5. Not worth acknowledging…I am now dummer for reading this. Opinions are like Aholes…everybody has one !!

  6. Another Texas has done copied the Railroad song to their Texas Longhorns song,”I have been working on the Railroad” too “The eyes of Texas are upon you” Texas Longhorns,How about that???

  7. Clap clap clap thank you fellow Texans. My family has been here since Texas was a country and if any one don’t like the Great State of Texas LEAVE and don’t let the border door hit you where you write your fairy tales

  8. I really don’t think Texas needs any of you people!! I love Texas, people do have options go back to wherever. I know all of you people could have your own state, island, etc, be who you want , be what you want, and leave real men and women in Texas along!!!

    • probably to get people to wake up and take a look around. even if it’s only one person.
      our once great lone star state is now just a one-star sad state of affairs.
      and i say this as a lifelong texan / fort worthian who has no plans on leaving or moving (as other commenters have so creatively suggested) because it’s my home too and a state worth fighting for.
      i envy those who are unable to see how far we’ve fallen. who still believe that our governor and lawmakers actually care about and work for their constituents. and that 27-years of republican majority rule has helped texas progress not regress.
      the willfully ignorant refuse to acknowledge that the republican party of yesteryear is dead and gone — replaced by bad actors who care more about punching down on the already marginalized rather than focusing on actual issues that affect the majority of texans. lawmakers so determined to dictate the lives of those they couldn’t even begin to understand — nor do they care to try.
      it’s a strange sort of bigotry… when those in power can and strive to affect certain people’s lifestyle that doesn’t affect theirs back in any way, shape or form.
      we’ve become a laughing stock for a reason, and those that don’t understand why or refuse to acknowledge this fact are this state’s most consequential problem.

  9. I hope all of those fleeing California in the mass exodus read this article and heed your advice!
    Did you address the homelessness and failed city / liberal policies of Austin in the article as well?

  10. I honestly don’t understand why you stay…Please move to another state that embraces your train of thought. FW Weekly please help the author by eliminating his position at your publication.

  11. So many wrong opinions. Check out what Private Equity groups are doing to rural hospitals in Texas and across the country. Texas is #1 on pollution? ..the least amount of insured? Worst in Mental health care? Do you know the population of Texas? Do you think that compares to Vermont? Do you know that 30 thousand uninsured illegal immigrants with chronic medical and mental conditions are crossing our border every day? Go back to elementary school and learn some math! And yes, please boycott Texas- we now have no room left-especially for snowflakes!

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