First, let me start off by revealing an inherent bias: I am originally from Austin, Texas. In regard to a recent story by The Washington Post, it appears Texas is attempting to secede from the union. Cards on the table: We’ve always wanted to.
Texas is not alone, as other states have sent petitions, including Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina and Tennessee. I would guess that some of these petitions have been sent because Republican constituents do not like their newly elected president. In Colorado’s case, I would guess it’s because they don’t want Obama taking away their beloved trees.
But the case of Texas is actually very culturally different. Texas was once its own country, as Texans will readily point out to you. Texan independence is taught in state history to fourth graders, and I can’t even remember the number of times my uncle showed off the huge map he keeps of the Republic of Texas. In fact, Six Flags Over Texas is so named because Texas has been controlled by five countries (“flags”) and by Texans themselves.
Should Texas be allowed to secede? It would make my life more difficult, to be sure, and quite a few University of Wisconsin students would newly find themselves international students. However, I take issue with the perception the media is presenting about the absurdity of secession. It has happened before; it could happen again, and since independence is burned into the minds of Texans, it should be approached with more cultural sensitivity.
It is not so crazy to think states’ rights could still trump the national government, although national control is much stronger now than it was the first time Texas was a country. But we in the north need to understand that in some states, including Texas, the idea of secession is more than just a silly idea: It has been and could become a reality.
Taylor Nye ([email protected]) is a senior majoring in human evolutionary biology, archaeology and Latin American studies.