Sunday, July 10, 2005

I haven’t really lived in Texas since college. And even in college I spent most of my time in the Northeast. As a Texas native with a more liberal leaning than most Texans, I wanted OUT when I was 18. So I went far away to college, and settled down in the northeast.

But absence makes the heart grow fonder.

I actually love Texas now. I love the people, the culture. I love the Texan twang. I love going to the Rodeo in February. I love TexMex. I love Texas BBQ (it’s ALL about the beef people – you betta recognize…)

But there are parts of my home state that I don’t miss. Intolerance being at the top of the list. I remember when I first heard of the dragging death of James Byrd, Jr. in 1998. I wasn’t surprised. Stuff like that still happens in rural Texas. As a woman of color growing up in Texas, I learned early on there are parts of the south where it just wasn’t safe to go out at night. I know it’s sad to live life thinking that draggings and lynchings are a part of life. But it’s an unspoken reality of the American South.

But as the year’s go by, things get better in Texas. I guess as people are more exposed to other cultures they realize their bigotry is misplaced. Their stereotypes are wrong.

But sometimes, the more things change, the more things stay the same. The Minutemen movement in Texas reminds me a lot of the Klan – they have similar rhetoric. I guess it’s true history repeats itself. Vigilante justice is never the answer. Let’s face it; it wasn’t day laborers from Mexico who flew those planes into the WTC. This isn’t about homeland security. This is about cultural intolerance. There’s got to be a better way of protecting our borders from bad people while allowing people to immigrate to the US. Immigration is core to the American Dream and the fabric of our country. Closing our borders now is like denying who we are.

On a less depressing note, I went with my mom to see some movies this weekend. We saw “War of the Worlds” and “The Perfect Man.” “War of the Worlds” scared the crap out of me. The special effects in this movie are AMAZING. Stephen Spielberg did a fantastic job on this movie. I was even able to see past the annoyingness of Tom Cruise. “The Perfect Man” was cute – definitely a chick flick. I’d definitely say wait for the DVD. In fact the best part of this movie was the previews.

There were quite a few I’m looking forward to – most of them chick flicks (“Pride and Prejudice” and “In Her Shoes” both look particularly good.) I was most excited to see the trailer for “RENT.” Some of the actors they picked for the flick can really blow. I love musicals. “Chicago” is probably one of my favorite movies, and I enjoyed “RENT” when I saw it a few years ago. While I’ll probably miss most of the movies that come out in the fall because of school, “RENT” will be one of the ones I will not miss. (That and “Harry Potter.” of course!) Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes. How DO you measure a year in the life?

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