As a north Jersey guy who now lives in Pennsylvania, I have never embraced or understood the “Texas exceptionalism myth.” (At no point in my life have I ever rooted for the Dallas Cowboys in a National Football League game).
I do, however, believe in New Jersey exceptionalism. 🙂
Nevertheless, I found Karen Attiah’s recent Washington Post piece interesting. Here is a taste of “It’s time to bury the myth of Texas exceptionalism”:
I grew up in a suburb south of Dallas, and even though my parents were immigrants from West Africa, I was conditioned to believe in Texan exceptionalism. In high school debate, the question of whether the Lone Star State should secede from the union was a yearly issue. I argued absolutely yes. “We are fine on our own! We have our own power grid!”
Well, I was wrong.
This week, wrapped in multiple blankets and layers, I could only laugh at my past faith in Texas’s supposedly mighty grid. A winter storm might have been the precipitating event that left millions of Texans struggling without power in record-low temperatures. But what really has brought my home state to its knees is a chilling mix of unfettered deregulation, partisan gaslighting and leadership failure.
Was anyone prepared? Though utilities knew the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the state-energy regulator known as ERCOT, planned possible outages, residents did not get advance warning. Many of us in Dallas scrambled to try to find shelter and warmth, only to run into hotels that were full or also without power. Snow and ice on the roads caused fatal car accidents. In Fort Worth, residents were advised to boil water, because power had been shut off to treatment facilities.
Texans caring for newborns, the elderly or sick family members — covid-19 takes no time off for bad weather — tweeted in anger and desperation. Hospitals faced an influx of hypothermia cases. A woman and young girl in Houston died after being poisoned by carbon monoxide from a car being run in an effort to generate heat. There had been at least 10 deaths in the state as of Tuesday.
Read the rest here.