Friday, August 19, 2011

Bias Against Texas

Bias.  How can such a small soft sounding word have so many different meanings?   In the cognitive sense, the meaning of the word bias can be cruel and hurtful.  We researched many online definitions, but the one in was our favorite.  Bias has several different meanings, most relating to an offset or prejudice of some sort.  A bias is a prejudice in a general or specific sense, usually in the sense for having a predilection to one particular point of view or ideology. One is said to be biased if one is influenced. by one's biases. A bias could, for example, lead one to accept or not-accept the truth of a claim, not because of the strength of the claim itself, but because it does or does not correspond to one's own preconceived ideas.  [1]

Among ourselves, we call the political campaign season as the season to be biased.  Liberals introduced the concept of political correctness, in order to minimize social and institutional offense in occupational, gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation[2].  However, they are the master practitioners of bias which by definition goes against the principles of political correctness.

A case in point is the media's bias toward any concept or anyone that embodies the philosophy of conservatism.  Sara Palin has been a victim of media bias, and in her particular instance, they were biased against her political ideas as well as her gender.  Michelle Bachman stands a chance of receiving the same treatment if she doesn't begin to fall back in the ratings.  Newsweek magazine's bias against Bachman was so blatant that it actually caused the National Organization of Women (NOW) to protest on her behalf. 

We all know that often bias exists because of race, religion, or ethnicity.  There is a saying that we like to keep present in our minds:  Voting for someone because he or she is black is just as biased as voting against someone because he or she is  black.  Voting because of his race was in great part the motivation for Barack Obama's receiving 98% of the black vote in America. 

There is bias against the wealthy as well.  We're always amazed at the fact that voters seem to be in favor of taxing the wealthy who are what we often refer to as "old" money - people whose families amassed fortunes through business transactions, and work.  We'd like to see everyone of the nouveau riche in Hollywood and the entertainment business receive the same treatment and the same taxation as those "wealthy"  corporate persons that the Obama administration is so eager to tax - we speak of those who pay $35,000.00 a plate for his fundraising dinners, and those with whom he likes to hob nob while vacationing in the very exclusive Martha's Vineyard.

When we send our children off to college,  are we aware that we are thrusting them into an environment of bias and bigotry?  Pat Buchanan writes the following about bias in academia.   "A more scientific study from Princeton sociologists Thomas Espenshade and Alexandria Radford  confirms that a deep bias against the white conservative and Christian young of America is pervasive at America's elite colleges and Ivy League schools." [3]  Liberal ideology  which embraces socialist ideas and an anti  adopts an anti religion posture  is not a prerogative of Ivy League schools, it is endemic in many state colleges as well.

These past few days we are vividly witnessing a very strong and quite often unfounded bias - it is bias against Texas.  Recently, Texas U.S. Senator, Kay Bailey Hutchinson   accused the Obama administration of being biased against Texas.  "I see a bias in this administration against Texas… yes, I do see it in this administration, absolutely. We didn't get the help in the wildfires that I think any other state would have gotten," said Hutchison. "I think if you look at the things that have not happened in Texas, I think it is pretty clear that there is a bias against Texas. Even in the border issues we are not getting the help we should have from the federal government to secure the 1,200-mile border we have with Mexico. So I do think that a lot of the rhetoric has rubbed the administration wrong, and we have had to fight hard for our fair share." [4]

She's right.  People in other states equate a Texas drawl with lack of schooling and intelligence, yet we have excellent schools and universities in our State.  A Texas drawl is just a way of speaking that Texans find comfortable, and has no bearing on intellect.    Then there's what the journalists like to call, the Texas "swagger".  Ever walk in a pair of cowboy boots.  My husband, originally an Illinois farm boy and graduate Illini, has worn boots for the last thirty years and even gave our daughter away at her wedding wearing boots and a tux.  Boots might just be the answer to the infamous Texas swagger. 

In a paper entitled, "Don't Mess With Texas," Texas native Justin R. Erenkrantz writes the following:  "Without going on a limb, I will propose that the stereotypical Texan is a tall, white, cigar-smoking, boot-wielding, Stetson-wearing, engraved-belt-buckle-wearing, Cadillac-driving, money-grubbing oil baron who says ``ya'll'' a lot.  While it is certainly feasible that at least one person fitting this description lives in the state of Texas, it does not necessarily mean that only these sort of people live in Texas.  Most people will not suggest that the entire state of Texas is populated by such people.  However, the first perception when meeting a Texan will be drawn from this stereotype." [5]

Before our move to Texas 30 years ago, friends predicted that we would hate it here.  Raised in the East Coast, and educated in the Midwest, our family has also had the privilege of living in Louisiana and Florida.  We have a basis for comparison with other states, and to us nothing compares to the Lone Star State.  The predictions were wrong.  When we came to Texas, we came home.  Now as we travel through other states, as we often do, we miss almost everything about Texas, from the courtesy and friendliness of the people, to yes, the "Y'alls" and the soft Texas drawl.

Yes, Texans can be conservative, and many are deeply religious.  They identify with their state in a much stronger way than others do.  Texans are patriotic and take great pride in their home.  If those are reasons to be biased against Texans and Texas, that is simply sad and pathetically wrong.  In Texas we teach our children to be strong, resourceful and proud.  Perhaps if others, rather than criticize and mock our state, would emulate the Texas way, they'd be as well off as we are today.

"Texas, Our Texas"
Texas, Our Texas! all hail the mighty State!
Texas, Our Texas! so wonderful so great!
Boldest and grandest, withstanding ev'ry test
O Empire wide and glorious, you stand supremely blest.
Texas, O Texas! your freeborn single star,
Sends out its radiance to nations near and far,
Emblem of Freedom! it set our hearts aglow,
With thoughts of San Jacinto and glorious Alamo.
Texas, dear Texas! from tyrant grip now free,
Shines forth in splendor, your star of destiny!
Mother of heroes, we come your children true,
Proclaiming our allegiance, our faith, our love for you.
God bless you Texas! And keep you brave and strong,
That you may grow in power and worth, throughout the ages long.
God bless you Texas! And keep you brave and strong,
That you may grow in power and worth, throughout the ages long.

Two SiSters



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