It had to happen. I predicted it over two years ago, when Texas Governor Rick Perry flirted with secession during the Tea Party's heyday. Any serious effort towards Texas secession would lead to large parts of Texas breaking away FROM Texas.
Within days of President Obama's reelection, over 600,000 Americans spontaneously petitioned for secession from the US in all fifty states.
Many Americans immediately showed their disgust. Anti secession petitions flourished. One petition simply called for unity. Another demanded all states pay their portion of the national debt before they could secede.
One of the angriest petitions called for stripping the citizenship of anyone signing a secession petition. Another called for deporting all secessionists.
Most of us knew this was coming: Many have called for Austin to secede...FROM Texas. it already has almost 8,000 signatures, already nearly a third of what's required for it to be officially reviewed by the White House.
"Peacefully grant the city of Austin Texas to withdraw from the state and Texas and remain part of the United States."
"Austin Texas continues to suffer difficulties stemming from the lack of civil, religious, and political freedoms imposed upon the city by less liberally minded Texans. It is entirely feasible for Austin to operate as its own state, within the United States, in the event that Texas is successful in the current bid to secede. It is important for Austin to remain in the union as to do so would protect it’s citizens’ standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers."
It's certainly understandable, and I fully support this and encourage the people of Austin to sign, and pass it along to friends to sign. Nothing would send a stronger message to the hardline conservatives, fundamentalists, and outright bigots that currently dominate Texas government and society.
Austin has been a mecca for left of center views since the 1970s. It is a city where whites are a minority, and not threatened by that fact, where health food stores outnumber "regular" ones, where gays are largely unmolested, and progressive ideas of every stripe flourish. Little wonder they would not want to be part of a state where many think the Earth is only 6,000 years old and would rather see poor people die in the street than give them healthcare.
But Austin is far from alone. Some Arizonans in Tucson, fed up with the racist repression of Joe Arpaio and other bigots in and around Phoenix call for their own state of Baja Arizona.
Much of Texas feels the same as Austinites and southern Arizonans, trapped under the domination of the hard right. Much of the state never wanted to be part of Texas, and still doesn't.
Keep in mind, the so called "Republic of Texas" never had control of most of the territory. The rather silly claims of the "republic: included territory as far away as what is today Wyoming and Kansas.
The US government wisely stripped those silly claims, but unfortunately did not go far enough. What is today South Texas, from Del Rio to San Antonio to Corpus Christi and everything south, was once called the Nueces Strip. Except for San Antonio, which was kep part of Texas by force, the rest of the strip stayed loyal to Mexico and was never part of the "Republic of Texas."
What is today the panhandle of West Texas also had little in common with Texas. It was, and is, culturallyand geographically much closer to New Mexico. The governor of the news state of Texas threatened violence and almost sent in the militia to force El Paso to become part of Texas.
Go to either West Texas or South Texas and it's completely different than the rest of the state. Nine-tenths of the people are Mexican-American. Spanish is as common spoken as English, even among many whites there.
The region is old world Catholic, not fundamentalist Protestant. That means they believe in being your brother's keeper. Few Latino Catholics complain about "big government." They want more of it. They want aid for the poor as Jesus taught them, and they want government work projects.
Republicans are scarce in most places, and not trusted. The region votes Democratic by a raio of 3-1. About the only Republicans are white suburbanites in San Antonio.
So guess what? The first petition for their secession FROM Texas is here.
"Allow the city of El Paso to secede from the state of Texas.. El Paso is tired of being a second class city within Texas."
"El Paso has little in common with the rest of Texas. Its demographics are more similar to New Mexico. El Paso is also proud to be part of the United States and wants no part of a state whom publicly contemplates secession from our great nation."
Again, this is something I predicted almost two years ago with my book The End of Texas. I fully support this petition and urge others to do the same, passing it along to friends to sign. El Pasoans are tired of the religious right and outright racists dominating their lives.
Now a similar petition has come from San Antonio, calling for independent states of West Texas and South Texas.
Again, I strongly urge others to sign and pass along to friends to sign.
Texas is unique in that it is the only state legally allowed to split into as many as five states. The new states of Austin, South Texas, and West Texas would add six new senators, senators certain to be progressive Democrats.
The time is now for an end to Texas progressives to suffer under rightwing Texan domination.
Juan Batista, author of The End of Texas.