Hey fellow Texans!
I had something on my mind that has been bothering me.
I see us generalized in the media and on this site.
We are called names - like "rednecks", and all sorts of ugly remarks.
We are judged by our politicians. I didn't vote for those politicians and yet I am judged by how they behave.
Yes, they embarrass us by their actions.
But why generalize all the members of the state by the politicians?
How do you handle this when you encounter it?
I see it on the site all the time.
Just wanted to vent - thanks for listening.
I can understand my brother hiding his agnosticism in DFW, even if I don't agree with it. He said it would make life too difficult not to pass as xian. The bible belt will continue to be that way until there are enough of us to speak out, and I would not mind being more verbal save for the fact that if I enter education in Texas, I could be risking my livelihood. I hate that it's a real threat. We need to clear that threshold where people are willing to come out and be vocal about not holding beliefs.
Should I take that risk? I don't know. Would I be more likely to move home to Texas if I could be open about my atheism and not risk my career? ...Quite possibly, though I do still think I should live within flying distance to Japan, personally, once I leave here. Those 14-16 hour flights are terrible. x.x
Steph, not much more to add to what has already been said in the previous responses, but I do have some thoughts that might be helpful. Just my wandering, personal take on some of this.
I mostly don't take things too personally. People, and I include myself in this, have a tendency to generalize, paint with a broad brush, jump to conclusions. It seems to be a trait we have that I call sameness v. otherness. He/she/them aren't like me/mine, however they define what group they identify with. Is it laziness, ignorance, stupidity, or a sense of sameness, inclusion, recognition in your group? Probably a little of all, plus other influences in your life. A shorthand way of staying included within your community.
'Hey, I agree with you. I got your back. You got mine'. Very powerful, emotional connection. We help provide for each other food, shelter, protection, sex, acceptance, and love. All within a group that looks like me, talks like me, dresses like me. You get the picture. So even when we might be on the fringe of said group, we can still be a part of them.
I have found that over the years, if I get to talk to and learn something about another person, who is different from me religiously, politically, sexually, ethnically, that as long as that person treats me with respect, and I them, the generalizations, name calling, tend to fade. But this is one on one interaction. When dealing with masses of people, knowing someone is christian, muslim, jewish, buddhist, hindu, morman, etc. is a starting place. But only that, a starting place. Just makes it a little easier to initiate a conversation. So, this is one time a generalization can work to an advantage. But it is tricky, and fraught wiith peril, so tread lightly!
I personally believe most don't do it out of a malicious "spirit", just not enough information. You see, hear, read something that is anathema to what your perception is, how you think, feel. It's then easy to say 'What a ________ (insert insult here)'.
I try to think globally, as in I'm a human first, related to all these other crazy, stupid, ignorant, learned, kind, loving, horrendous, wonderful, upright, honorable, good, decent, and yes, evil people on this planet. They are truly my brother and sisters. And their failings are mine, as well as their triumphs. I strive for understanding, and I fail miserably most days. I am also a product of my biology, upbringing, culture. However, I can think. I can reason. And with that, I can continue to struggle toward a goal beyond my culture, my self identification with a group, toward a commonality that we as humanity have a right to.
I'm sorry, my friend, that I got a little carried away on this. Kinda went global on you, but I hope you will forgive me. It is something that is on my mind. So, as per usual, be well. Take care of yourself. I send to you my warm regards and wishes. Tony.