Essay: Don’t Jump on the Bandwagon — Texas Is Suffering

Courtesy of Jno.skinner | Wikimedia CommonsPeople waiting in line to enter a pharmacy during the Feb. 2021 Texas power crisis.

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It seems weird I have to write this column, but I can’t say I’m surprised. Last week, Texas was thrust into a climate change-induced winter storm that’s thrown its power and water supply into chaos. No one knows yet how many deaths will eventually be tied to this. The state and federal response would be laughable if the implications weren’t literally life and death.

Abandoned by their government, Texans stepped up in a brilliant show of mutual aid

But while Texans were organizing to save lives, the rest of the country laughed and gloated, premised on a despicable way of thinking — red states got what they deserve. It’s Texans’ fault for not voting the “right way.”

I shouldn’t have to say this, but don’t make fun of Texas while people are suffering.

This disastrous, and heartless, way of thinking isn’t just wrong — it’s the antithesis to the ideology these people ostensibly believe in. 

It’s not the first time it’s happened and it probably won’t be the last. At the beginning of the pandemic, I remember seeing similar sentiments about COVID-19 deaths in red states. 

The South is often treated as a monolith — a scapegoat for everything wrong with the country. But issues don’t stop mattering once it affects a state you don’t like. 

Tell the houseless population of Texas, freezing from an indifferent government, that it’s their fault for not voting for a Democrat. 

Tell that to the Black and Brown families — whose voting power is severely diluted due to rampant gerrymandering — that they deserve to freeze in their homes because they live in Texas. 

It shouldn’t be radical to say no one deserves to freeze, starve or die because they live in a red state. If you believe housing, heat, food, healthcare, etc. are universal human rights — those beliefs shouldn’t stop for any reason. 

And certainly not when suffering crosses the border into the South. 

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