Texas Bashing is a national phenomenon to which Texans take extreme umbrage. Texans have no way of seeing themselves the way the rest of the country, or world sees them. To a Texan bragging about Texas seems a perfectly natural thing to do. From early grade school Texans are propagandized with a theme summarized by the phrase 'Texas Proud'. To a non-Texan, particularly a Yankee,  and most particularly a West Coaster, Texas Pride can seem a bit delusional. Very few Texans seem to understand that it is their 'Texas Pride' which provokes most of the Texas Bashing.

The following excerpts are from emails sent to Eyes on Texas and from Internet Newsgroups. These excerpts are good examples of Texas Bashing and Counter Texas Bashing...

Spelling and grammar errors in excerpts from Texans were corrected. Please do not extrapolate from this  one more indictment of Texas being in last place in the nation in many education measurements.

The editing was done in the interest of clarity..

Go here for an excellent article about Messing with Texas

Eyes on Texas comments follow most of the excerpts,
delineated by being green and
smaller print.

email from 9/1/03
Why don't you get your slimy green self back up to the Northwest where you obviously belong? We don't need your kind down here in the great land of no state income tax and plenty of sunshine. So stick it where the sun don't shine ... how about Seattle for starters.

(PS - I am a big fan of the Olympic Peninsula and Washington State in general but four days of vacation in your green and lush state made me crave the puffy white happy clouds of Texas. You seem to be a very depressed person .. try eating some Jalapeno jelly .. it might perk you up!)

Let's deal with one or two erroneous concepts. It is September 1 in Fort Worth, Texas, it is raining, hard. For the 3rd day in a row. Meanwhile up in Seattle, in a state, incidentally, where there is no state income tax and where the sales tax is lower than in Texas, they are enjoying a summer without rain. They have had a couple of what they think of as heat waves, that being a few days in a row in the upper 80s and low 90s. Winter is when the rains come. The average annual rainfall in the D/FW Metroplex is higher than the average annual rainfall in Seattle. 

For those who enjoy being enlightened about their prejudices and relieved of misconceptions read this from the September 5, 2003 Seattle Post-Intelligencer.*

*shouldn't there be a Texas paper called the Pre-Intelligencer?

"You've been in this business a long time. What do you think is wrong with Dan Rather?" --- David Letterman to ABC newswoman Cokie Roberts on the Late Show.

"He's from Texas." --- Roberts in response.

Dan Rather shows up three excerpts below on a Texan's list of Texan stars....it is likely that Texan is not a Letterman fan...

I grew up in Texas (thank god), and I can say that there are Texas flags and lone stars and Texas shapes everywhere you go. I was really surprised when I moved away and found that most people don't give a damn about what state they live in or have any pride in their state flag. Too bad for them. The Texas flag is the most recognizable state flag there is, probably because we are so proud of it and fly it all the time. Does Alaska even have a flag? By the way, Texas did secede. Remember a little thing called the Civil War? Maybe you haven't gotten there in history class yet. Texas is also the only state in the union that has ever been an independent country. That's right, an independent, sovereign nation. That's part of the reason we're so proud.

Apparently this Texan is unaware that California and Hawaii are also states and also were independent prior to becoming one of the United States....also, when a Texan thanks 'god', 'God' should be capitalized, Texas being the buckle of the Bible Belt afterall...

Now as far as the Texas bashing goes just a little info on that front:

Seeing that so many of you want to stereotype Texas (and you know MOST of you have never been here) here are some facts.. just a FEW of the "dumb Texas inventors"

James Smathers from Valley Spring, Texas -invented the electric typewriter. The first step towards the invention of the computer.

Joseph Crane of San Antonio - some of his inventions were radio signaling equipment for use in aircraft trainers, which was licensed for use in the Link Trainer; the Navitrainer, the B-3 Drift Meter; the Gyro Panoramic Sextant; and numerous other navigational devices.

D. H. Wilson from the Panhandle- invented the electric fence

That is just naming a few of the Texas inventors.... I don't have to point out that Texas has the 11th largest economy in the world, not the US, but in the world.

Many of the world's biggest stars came from Texas, including Buddy Holly, Janis Joplin, Scott Joplin, Mance Lipscomb, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, Tex Ritter, Tommy Tune, Bob Wills, ZZ Top, Walter Cronkite, Molly Ivins, Dan Rather, H. Ross Perot, Nolan Ryan, Aaron Spelling...

And the list could go on and on...

All of these "dumb redneck Texans" contributed in huge ways to music, business, politics, sports and are or were also filthy rich.

Seems a pretty paltry list after 150 years of history...Aaron Spelling? So, we have Texas to blame for his TV shows...

If Texas ever wanted to secede from the union, we would almost certainly let it do so. That state provides absolutely nothing to the national economy and pollutes 5x more than any other. Texas is also a worldwide embarrassment in terms of race relations, criminal justice, poverty, and education. But they'd never try to secede, because Texas could never survive absent the rest of the country which keeps it alive.

A very rabid example of Bad Texas Bashing with its core faulty premise, that being that Texas provides nothing to the national economy. 

You just don't understand. We don't hate Colby because he's Texan, we hate Texans because they're Colbian.

The above was in reference to Colby Donaldson, the Texan who came in second place on the Survivor II TV Show.

Surprise!!!----you Texans have made total asses out of yourselves. Every time someone posts something a little disparaging about Texass the Texidiots Pavlovian response is to bring up Janis Joplin (StupidTrailerTrashBimboWhoreDeadDrugAddict) or some sports team, half of whose members come from Hungary.

Another example of rabid Texas Bashing. This person seems to really dislike Janis Joplin.

Texans are just plain annoying. The arrogant Texans have fooled themselves into thinking that they're better than everyone else, when, in fact, it's quite the opposite. Texas ranks last among the 50 states in education, healthcare, environment etc. I don't think I've ever met a Texan that I liked.

If this person visited Texas surely he/she could find at least one Texan he/she could like.

Once upon a time in the Kingdom of Heaven, God was missing for six days. Eventually, Michael, the archangel found him, resting on the seventh day. He inquired of God, "Where have you been?" God sighed a deep sigh of satisfaction and proudly pointed downwards through the clouds, "Look, Michael, look what I've made." Archangel Michael looked puzzled and said, "What is it?" "It's a planet," replied God," and I've put Life on it. I'm going to call it Earth and it's going to be a great place of balance." "Balance?", inquired Michael, still confused. God explained,  pointing to different parts of earth, "For example, northern Europe will be a place of great opportunity and wealth while southern Europe is going to be poor; the Middle East over there will be a hot spot. Over there I've placed a continent of white people and over there is a continent of black people." God continued, pointing to different countries. "This one will be extremely hot and arid." The Archangel, impressed by God's work, then pointed to a large land mass and said, "What's that one?" "Ah," said God. "That's Texas, the most glorious place on Earth. There are beautiful mountains, lakes, rivers, sunsets and rolling plains. The people from Texas are going to be modest, intelligent, and humorous and they are going to be found traveling the world. They will be extremely sociable, hardworking, and high-achieving, and they will be known all throughout the world as diplomats and carriers of peace," Michael gasped in wonder and admiration but then proclaimed, "what about balance, God? You said there would be balance!" God replied wisely, "Wait until you see the crazy bunch I'm putting next to them in Louisiana.

The above, obviously from a Texan, can only possibly make sense to a fellow Texan. But one would think a Louisiana native might take umbrage. Of course one could take this story and plug in just about any state, nation or region. For Texas one would think one could substitute Oklahoma for Louisiana without altering the humor level too much...

I think it's funny that so many Yankees (i.e. people not from the 13 Confederate states) think they know all about Texas and the South. It is simply impossible to pigeonhole a state as large as Texas that encompasses nearly every type of geography and culture in America within its vast borders. Sure, there are rednecks in rural areas; there are also some of the largest urban areas in the country, two of the top five, I believe, Houston and Dallas Fort-Worth., which has the country's what? busiest or second busiest airport?

A good example of Counter Texas Bashing...every type of geography? Where are the mountain ski resorts in Texas???

This is starting to get ridiculous. I can't believe that people actually base their dislike of someone on where they are from! You can learn so much from people that come from different places. How many of you that are bashing Texas have ever been here? How many of you have ever even talked to someone from Texas? I can't stress this enough, every place has a stereotype and we got the short end of the stick. I know how people generalize this state and I'm not saying that we don't have SOME inbred trailer trash. But we also have our share of decent, educated people with good jobs and nice homes. Not all of us have Texas flags hanging in our houses, not all of us drive pickup trucks, and not all of us have that unattractive southern drawl. I was born and raised here but if you met me you wouldn't even know unless I told you.

Did not know about the problem with inbred trailer trash til this Texan pointed it out.

why is there a strange holier-than-thou arrogance with Texans. They are a bad representation of America to the rest of the world. I wouldn't mind them so bad if it wasn't for that ... I mean all countries have their "Texans" but why must they represent the whole of the US? And it's not even fair to other people in Texas ... I have met some frigging awesome people from the south.

People who use the word 'frigging' really should not cast stones...

I just got back from Texas.

To be honest, I don't know that I've met friendlier, more hospitable people anywhere on this planet.

And that whole hillbilly thing is nowhere to be found.

Excellent Counter Texas Bashing.

Sue Morris of Tampa (recently escapee from Houston) remembers, "once went to a Jewish wedding in Texas. The guests had a problem remembering the words to "Hava Nagilah," but they piped right up when the band played "The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You." OY VEY!

Oy Vey is right. Who knew there were any Jews in Texas? Was this a Jewish Baptist Church?

One of the mellowest, fairest places on earth is Austin Texas. Their music scene is varied and inspired, they have a young demographic because of the huge university and all the high tech industry. Their cultural community is second to none, and all of it is laid out along a string of lakes that are so pretty it makes your heart ache. It is what Marin County was before greed made it what it is today. God I miss the place, now that I'm a "Yankee".

Austin is like Marin County? There is that Hippie Hollow nude beach on the outskirts of town...

I really hope all of them enjoy your ignorance. I really do. I really wish
the world would also look at themselves. Before they say these things it
would be nice to enter with an open mind and not just listen to other people
and know for themselves. Watching tv, movies and spending 5 min in a Texas
airport does not make you the authority on how Texas is and who they are.
Living in ignorance and dying in ignorance.

Well. The second time this counter-Texas basher spelled ignorance, he spelled it correctly. From the email address of this counter-Texas basher it would appear he or she is from the Austin area.  In Texas.  We will make no further comment and let his/her eloquent words speak for themselves...

Click focusing on West Texas for some specialized Texas Bashing, was submitted by an authentic West Texas bred native monikering himself with the totally Texas name of Gar.

Authentic Texans doing Texas Bashing are the best Texas Bashers you can find. Very well informed.

A website, www.plastic.com used the above collection of Texas Bashing to instigate a discussion of Texas Bashing and Counter Bashing. What follows is the best of that discussion.

Where I grew up (Oklahoma), Texas-bashing was a favorite pastime. Why do people like to insult Texas? Because the average Texan will happily tell everyone they meet that "we're the only state that was once a separate country". Like that's something to be proud of? We also didn't appreciate being considered 'North Texas' by a lot of people (especially Texans).

That fuss they make over that defeat at that mission in San Antonio seems odd too. And making a big deal about there having been Six Flags Over Texas seems odd too, it'd be like if Poland bragged about how often they've been invaded.

I once met a woman from Texas who claimed Texas was bigger than Alberta land wise. Yeah, RIGHT. We could fit three or four Texas's in Alberta. This woman, btw, eschewed the worst stereotypes as well. She was loud and was so proud she had four children in five years, and oh yeah, she was never wrong either.

You assumed she meant Alberta, Canada when it is likely she meant Alberta, South Africa...

I agree, in general, with your post, but the great thing about bashing Texas is the one-stop shopping factor. Texas is so big and so full of so many kinds of crazies, that you can say damn near anything about the state and be right.

Want tree hugging, granola crunching hippies? Try the area around Austin.

Gun nuts? The entire state.

Cross-burning, sheet-wearing KKK'ers? Large areas around Houston and anywhere in the hinterlands that still can't get regular TV reception.

Big business, Earth-raping, Mammon-worshipping, capitalists? My home town of Dallas.

Cowboy hat wearing, shit-kicking rednecks? Just across the county in Fort Worth.

And boy, do we have some insane politicians. And pollution. And guns. Lots of guns.

So, come on down and bash away, knowing that you never have to leave the state to whack on any particular group of nutjobs.

Y'all come back now, ya' hear?

Hey, now that is just rude what you say about Fort Worth, that is just way beyond bashing...and how can you be a Dallas native and think that Fort Worth is just across the county? Dallas is in Dallas County. Fort Worth is in a different county called Tarrant. 

People from Texas don't consider Oklahoma "North Texas." Most of us go years without considering Oklahoma in any way, for any reason, besides "Choctaw Indian High Stakes Bingo" (inside joke for those of you who grew up in D/FW.)

We're just a transplanted Yankee to the D/FW zone, so this Choctaw reference means nothing. But we do know what county we live in, unlike some Texans...

i've been living in texas (specifically dallas) for about five years collectively. i was born in louisiana and finished high school there, but i grew up in queens, ny. so, i'm technically not a texan, though i currently decide to live here. this is how i see it, being a cajun-yankee.

most people, as we all know, are complete idiots. whether it has to do with differing points of view, moral subjectives or common sense, whoever you are, from wherever you're standing, there's a seemingly infinite opposition surrounding you in some way. well, it's the same in texas. only texas is huge. it's seemingly cut off from what could be considered proper society. while people on either coast can experience life in a more internationally cosmopolitan way, we're busy trying to stop mexican piss weed from getting across the border and keeping illegal immigrants from taking all our choice dishwashing and ice cream cart jobs.

people in texas don't want to make decisions for themselves. they think they do. they think they are, but they are not. they let God decide. they let popular pre-processed media decide. they let fashion decide. they let oprah, lexus, starbucks & outback steakhouse decide. the malls look like airports look like loft apartments look like office buildings look like airports look like malls. 

but, so help me, dallas is relatively cheap and there's stuff to do. you have to sift through a lot of garbage & put up with a varied collection of knuckleheads on a daily basis, but every so often you can find something really worthwhile going on. and most likely there will be beer on hand. just because most everyone else seems like a jackass, there are places you can go where you will find at least a few like minds. and being surrounded by shallow-minded, culture-phobic, god-fearing retards only drives me to be stronger in my corresponding convictions.

A Cajun-Yankee? Have yet to meet any of that breed who will capitalize anything.

Texas is a large, swaggering, loud, cowboy who pretty much does what he wants, when he wants to. If you ARE the guy, you love it. If you AREN'T then of course you hate him. (Perhaps because you are a wee bit jealous.)

I was born in Houston, TX and now live in Austin (which, despite being a former home of G.W. Bush, is about as conservative as Berkeley, California) but my girlfriend sums up the whole Texas issue better than I can. Her sister (who lives in Berkeley) asked her why she would want to live in Texas when she could be out in good old California. She responded simply, "Because we have rights here."

Interesting. And those rights would be?
The following responds to the above assertion about jealousy.

Texas is a large, swaggering, loud, cowboy who pretty much does what he wants, when he wants to. If you ARE the guy, you love it. If you AREN'T then of course you hate him. (Perhaps because you are a wee bit jealous.)

The employees at my dad's company were so jealous that nearly all of them took severance packages rather than be transferred to Texas.

It's funny how that happens when companies transfer people to Texas. A hush falls over the room. The face of the transferred employee turns ashen as he tries to decide whether he should quit, right then and there. It's different than a transfer to, say, Seattle.

Jealous? No. Many Americans think of Texas as a place where the lack of any government oversight whatsoever has turned the state into a polluted stankhole where the quality of life is the pits. They don't want the rest of America to be like Texas. It's not much more complicated than that.

And although some Texans with nothing better to do might like to think of their state as the 800-pound gorilla, in truth it's still a backwater compared to the national and international influence of the Eastern seaboard and California.

Texas may be the laboratory of progress for GW Bush, but for just about everyone else it's a cautionary tale.

Now that was some harsh Texas Bashing. Followed by another reinforcing the same point.

The employees at my dad's company were so jealous that nearly all of them took severance packages rather than be transferred to Texas.

I had a very similar experience. A company I was working for announced that they were considering relocating to Texas (one of the Big shots lived there, and decided that everyone else would want to, as well).

After announcing it to the employees, every single employee cringed at the word "Texas", and the company scuttled the idea once they realized that they'd have to hire an entirely new staff.

Well. That's two with horrors at the idea of moving to Texas.

It's funny how that happens when companies transfer people to Texas. A hush falls over the room. The face of the transferred employee turns ashen as he tries to decide whether he should quit, right then and there. It's different than a transfer to, say, Seattle.

Sure well, it all depends on what is important to you. There are some people who want high taxes a low personal liberty. That's fine, Texas is certainly not for them.

As for quality of life, there are parts of this state that could be accurately described as a rotting cesspool. Houston is one of them. But that is a very small part of a very big place. Austin on the other hand, is the "live music capital of the world" and home to the biggest independent music/film festival on the planet. I have heard people describe the culture and attitudes in Austin as similar to southern California (except you can smoke in a bar here).

As for the comparison to Seattle, I've spent a lot of time there and would NEVER live there. It's not just that the weather is horrible and the town is uninteresting, but the people I met were all rude, unfriendly, oh-so pretentious. On the other hand, anyone who has lived in the American South will tell you that people here are mostly very friendly, laid-back types. Quality of life indeed.

First off. Here we see a good example of unfounded Texas Brag with the assertion that a music/film festival in Austin is the biggest in the world. Second off,  this Texan is verbalizing the myth about low taxes. And a new one about other states having low personal liberty. But the best is the last. Seattle is uninteresting? Let's see. Ringed on all sides by mountains and water. Clean water. Despite the myth, annual rainfall total is less than Dallas. Moderate weather year round. A waterfront with cruise ships and ferries. Pike Street Market. A vibrant downtown. The Space Needle. EMP. The Seattle Center. Ranked Most Liveable City over and over again (has this ever happened to a Texas city?) Most live theater productions after NY, LA and Chicago. Vibrant unique neighborhoods, top-rated universities.....and one more thing, how can you say Houston is a cesspool? A rotting cesspool. Houston seems to be a very nice city, it's no Seattle, of course, but then no Texas city is, well, San Antonio comes close, but Houston is definitely not a rotting cesspool.

I am a Texan. I was born in Texas, and have lived here my whole life. It is really humorous how misinformed people are, judging from this story and the links. I have gone out of state, and been asked by someone where I was from (no I did not run up to them and say 'I am a Texan, and damn proud') and said Texas. They responded by asking where my accent was, I just chuckled. I have NEVER met any Texan who fits the stereotypes that people have set fourth. Bragging about how big stuff is? That is really funny... the only way I could see how you got this impression is from stupid commercials. These commercials are made up by marketing people from out of state firms probably, who are caught up in this false Texas hysteria. I mean one of these links says 'From early grade school Texan's are propagandized with a theme summarized by the phrase 'Texas Proud'.'.... I have been through the Texas public school system, and we are not brainwashed or anything to be proud of this ‘big grand state we live in’. 'Very few Texan's seem to understand that it is their 'Texas Pride' which provokes most of the Texas Bashing.' Well I can pretty much guarantee that the author of this (these) stories are not 'Proud Texans' as you would call me (us), I mean this kind of stuff is really funny. So I think I better go out back and put the beans on the pot, after I put my boots on and get the horses ready... give me a break....

Really? Well the Texan in the previous blurb was bragging about Austin having the world's biggest music/film festival. When you cross into Texas from New Mexico on I-10 you see a big billboard advertising the world's biggest Harley Davidson dealer. Midway between Dallas and Houston on I-45 there is a huge sign advertising the world's biggest Subway shop. If you stop at the statue of Sam Houston on I-45 you are told that it is the tallest statue of an American Statesman in the world, and those are just a few examples....as for being propagandized in school, we were at a party not long after moving to Texas, there was a mix of native Texans and newcomers, for the most part all medical personnel. The subject of Texas Pride came up and one of the native Texans explained in a sweet Texas accent that 'we are taught in school to be proud of Texas...'

That I have never once in my life heard a Texan say anything about bigger and better. I've lived in Texas for 25 years, so I believe I'm qualified to speak on the topic.

In fact, think of the saying, "They say everything's bigger in Texas." They WHO, exactly? Even the phrasing of the statement suggests that it should be spoken by an outsider.

You run into this far too often. Texans who don't seem to know their own state. It's amazing how someone could live in Texas for 25 years and never hear a Texan describe something Texan as bigger and better. We've even heard Texans describe Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington as bigger and better than Disneyland! Like so many of these sort of statements it seems to be rooted in the Texan never having actually experienced the thing the comparison is being made to.

I've lived in Texas (Austin, arguably "not really Texas") for six years. In Texas, you can buy Texas-shaped pasta, Texas-shaped tortilla chips, and Texas-shaped cheese in any grocery store. If you market beer or trucks in Texas, chances are your jingles appeal to Texas pride and have the word "Texas" in it at least five times. I don't know of any other state that's so insular and into itself. As somewhat of an outsider, I find it fascinating. Can you buy food products that come in the shape of your state? (Colorado and Wyoming, you don't count.) This is not a rhetorical question, I really want to know.

So true. And such a good point. Texas, in many ways, is a self-contained world unto itself. 

In order to register to vote you need to show a driver's license. To get the license you need to show registration. For registration you need to show proof of insurance, car inspection and a social security card. All this happens in state and county offices located miles apart. I think this means you can't vote if you don't have a car. Maybe not even then.

Also it's hot in Houston. Real hot. Africa hot.

The churches have big rear projection screens on either side of the altar for the PowerPoint presentation that accompanies the sermon.

Tom Delay is my senator.

On the plus side, the cost of living is low. Gas is cheap. Your housing dollar goes a lot further than it does in California or New York. Spend the extra on a pool; and a summer place in the hills. It's that much cheaper. You can wear cowboy hats and boots if you want to but it's not required. Do you like BBQ? You're in luck. You can own guns and still be a Democrat. Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream.

Those who've never been here should refrain from comment.

Good mild bashing and counter-bashing. Bottom-line. There is much more to like about Texas than dislike. And much of what is bashed is a bit unfair and is based on myth and not experience. 

I'm a true Texan and have lived in Fort Worth for 38 years. It is very insulting and rude for you to say that Fort Worth is "Home of the World's Tallest Plywood Skyscraper". I cannot believe you would write something like that. You wouldn't say something like "New York, Home of the Largest Pile of Scrape Metal", would you?

Oh the irony. 'True Texan'. What is 'scrape metal'? Let's see, this True Texan is comparing a now cleaned up disaster where almost 3000 people died with a tornado damaged skyscraper where nothing but a city's skyline died, which was damaged a couple years prior to the events of 9/11 and which has gone from being the World's Biggest Plywood Skyscraper to being the World's Biggest Tin Can Tower. Or as some in the local press have called it, the World's Biggest Birdcage. What is insulting and rude is that this blight is allowed to continue to be an universally condemned eyesore with no fix in sight.*

*As of September of 2003 remodeling of the Bank One building has begun.





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