The truth about Texas

WHILE visiting Ireland on business, I read Sean Moncrieff’s ‘The Last Word’ column (Irish Examiner, Jan 7) which happened mostly to be about Texas and in which he said that when it came to bigotry, the ‘average Texan’ was not unlike Osama Bin Laden.

He made some interesting remarks about how we all have a share of the bigot industry, but some of his comments about Texas and its people deserve a rebuttal.

Texas belonged to Mexico and fought for independence when the standing Mexican military general declared himself a dictator.

Texans did not allow their freedoms or values to be compromised then, and we feel the same to this day. Texans don't consider that silly or unjust.

Moncrieff is correct about the obesity issue raging across the entire United States. But being grossly fat is not just isolated to Texas.

Anyway, there is much more to a person's constitution than how many stones he or she may weigh.

Rednecks are not just isolated to Texas. Government-hating, gun-toting rednecks are a distasteful pill for any big government lover to swallow.

Rednecks can often be a rough lot, but they have backbone, unlike the spineless civilians who rely solely on governments to take care of them and their affairs. Free people everywhere should always be sceptical of any government, and be able to say so.

At present, the United Nations is useless, and Texans ain't scared to say so. The misconceptions people have of Texas and its people are never ending. It's well known that the media are not fully informed and simply keep on repeating worst case scenarios until they become the stereotype.

The most damaging effect of all this is that people then generalise about anyone remotely connected to that region based on what they have read or viewed.

Unfortunately, this virus has spread throughout the world media. George W Bush deals with these misconceptions easily... he simply shrugs them off.

This seriously irritates those who don't know him.

And those who don't know him claim he is an idiot. History proves that humans fear and hate what they don't understand.

Average Texans believe in 'live and let live'. Average Texans understand that the world varies regionally, and we prefer to live in Texas.

Average Texans treat women with respect and, unlike Bin Laden, we don't believe in killing someone because of their religion.

Call me arrogant, call me what you want... I'll shrug it off. But anyone who hints that the average Texan compares to Bin Laden deserves a butt-kicking.

I regret the ill feelings generated between America, Europe and other long-time allies given the Iraq situation.

I dislike the USA being the world's policeman.

But somebody has to do the job that the UN is failing to do.

UN headquarters are located in New York and funded by American tax dollars. Roughly 40% of the entire funds required to operate the UN come from the US. If anyone has the right to question the UN's credibility, it is the US.

Consider an average Texan's point of view: the USA not Europe was the target for the latest evolution of terrorist activity.

From that moment on, the US changed, and it wasn't just for the oil.

The US was coping already without Iraqi oil, but much of the EU had lucrative deals with Iraq and didn't want that business disrupted.

Americans accept that many in Europe detest Bush. Americans also give Bush credit for doing something, even if it may not always be the best thing.

Bush ran his first campaign on getting the USA out of the countries that hate us. After 9/11, he was forced to change his policy.

Whether the rest of the world likes it or not, the average American appreciates that Bush took the fight to the terrorists before they could engage in further terrorism on American soil.

The Clinton administration was an embarrassment to the average American: the sexual activities in the White House, the pardons for known thieves and criminals, the land frauds, etc. Yet the rest of the world loved the Clintons.

It's all in what the media selects to portray. Or so it seems to just an average Texan.

Brad Penner,

1031, South Haskell Avenue,

Dallas,

Texas,

USA.

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