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HPPR People & Communities

What Makes a Texan a Texan?

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Tom Fox
/
Dallas Morning News

Last weekend The Dallas Morning News reprinted in full a New York Times article about what it means to be a Texan in the 21st century. The essay read, in part, “[Texans] believe that their way of life is under assault and that they are making a kind of last stand by simply being Texan.”

But the author, Manny Fernandez of Dallas, pushed back against the idea that Texas is under attack. He says the state is merely changing as America changes. He notes that minorities have become the majority in the Lone Star State, and that rural Texas is shrinking while urban and suburban Texas expands. Fernandez explained to Times readers that “as Americans become more transient, Texas resists. It declares, to itself and the nation: Place matters.” “America,” he adds, “needs a superstate, or to put it another way, an antistate.” And for Fernandez, Texas is filling that role.

Whether he’s right is for the reader to decide.