Memphis Daily News Chandler Reports Nashville Ledger
» Subscribe Today!
The Power of Information
Home
The Ledger - Est. 1978 - Knoxville Edition
X

Forgot your password?
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Article
VOL. 45 | NO. 40 | Friday, October 1, 2021

Maybe it’s time for Texas to stop messing with us

Print | Front Page | Email this story

The woman walking up the aisle at the Texas Rangers stadium in Arlington was attractive and apparently a baseball fan, two positive attributes in my book. But her T-shirt message was off-putting:

“American,” it stated. “Until Texas secedes.”

I thought, but did not voice, a rude objection to her implied loyalties. But now I’m having second thoughts.

A bit of background here on my relationship with Texas. My maternal great-great-grandfather, the Rev. Ambrose Fitzgerald, was born in 1827 in Tennessee, but as a young adult in 1846 made his way by wagon and yoke of oxen to Texas, after spending his teenage years in Missouri.

He soon became the first county clerk of Van Zandt County and later served as clerk of Wood County and then Rains County, where he died in 1893 and is buried.

His son, Alonzo Patton Fitzgerald, my great-grandfather, and Alonzo’s son Escar Ambrose Fitzgerald, my grandfather, were both born in Texas. So it’s fair to say there’s some old Texas blood coursing around in my veins, mingled with a more recent Mississippi vintage.

What’s more, I like everybody who I know is from Texas, all former work colleagues. They are, without exception, bright, talented, personable and fun to be around.

As might be expected, they’re proud Texans. One was so given to extolling the merits of his home state that I finally came to ask him what, then, he was doing in Mississippi.

“Missionary work,” he said.

Another kept a Lone Star flag draped on her chair at work. I approved. It’s a handsome flag.

A third, faced with the to-him lamentable prospect of having a child born outside the Lone Star State, collected dirt from various parts of Texas, including his hometown, Galveston. He put it in a baggie and persuaded a doctor to let him take it into the delivery room so that it could be under the bed and the child could enter life over Texas soil.

Alas, traffic delays prevented him from getting the dirt to the hospital on time. But his second and third children were so delivered, and he has lent out the baggie of homeland to allow other Texas expats to similarly bless their offspring.

You’ve got to admire that kind of devotion.

But there’s much very unappealing going on in Texas now. Its Republican officials seem determined to create a real-life version of Gilead, the patriarchal theocracy of “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Toward that end, they’ve passed legislation that all but outlaws abortion, in contravention of Supreme Court rulings and public opinion.

They’ve also, based largely on the bogus and refuted claims of a stolen 2020 election, set about making it harder to vote for people who disagree with the red political dogma.

The governor, Greg Abbott, has been constant in his efforts to ban mandates for masks or shots, despite the state’s status as one of the COVID hot spots. He also, in ridiculous defense of the abortion ban’s potential impact on rape victims, said the state would “work tirelessly” to “eliminate all rapists.”

Did I mention his plans to spend $250 million (for starters) on a border wall? His enthusiastic support for public, permit-less pistol-packing and pretty much any other pro-gun policies? His efforts, as attorney general, to have the State Capitol display the Ten Commandments and to defend the state’s ban on same-sex marriage?

With all of that (and more) in mind, my views on secession are evolving. Whereas I once thought of it as a fool’s errand at best – it has, after all, been tried before, with disastrous effects still being felt today – I’m now coming to think my judgment may have been hasty.

While I would not advocate secession for Tennessee – where, let’s face it, much of the same nonsense is going on – there are some other places I wouldn’t be sorry to see go.

So, Texas, if you’re of a mind to exit the Union and chart your own path as an independent republic or whatever again, well, don’t let the door hit you on your way out.

And take Florida with you.

Joe Rogers is a former writer for The Tennessean and editor for The New York Times. He is retired and living in Nashville. He can be reached at jrogink@gmail.com

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter & RSS:
TNLedger.com Nashville Editon
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0