Photo: Nat Chittamai/Shutterstock

8 Assumptions We Need to Stop Making About Texas

by Turner Wright Dec 7, 2016

1. We’re indistinguishable from southerners.

Texas is part of the American south; there’s no disputing that. However, to say we’re this homogeneous blob of culture, language, and people is as ridiculous as saying Nigeria is the same as the Congo. There are certain expressions in Texas that would receive a blank stare if you tried to pawn it off on someone in Georgia, and if you compare our BBQ with North Carolina’s there will be war.

2. Everyone has a gun and uses it regularly.

The majority of Texans do not own guns. In terms of guns per capita, we don’t even make it into the top twenty out of all US states. The stereotype is probably more a result of Hollywood’s glamorization of Texas rather than our history with armed conflicts and shootouts.

We do have guns. Up to 36% in urban areas, around 30-50% statewide. People conceal carry, and open carry with the proper permits.

3. We all live in small towns in the desert.

Six cities in Texas – San Antonio, Houston, Austin, Dallas, Ft. Worth, El Paso – have more than 500,000 people, all of them from parts of the state with different ecosystems and culture. Of course, this also means there are several million in small towns in west Texas and up in the panhandle.

4. …and we don’t escape those small towns.

DFW is one of the busiest airports in the country, and Houston’s is close behind. Southwest Airlines may be common across the country now, but there was a time when it was limited to just a few destinations from Dallas Love Field. As a central state, we can reach San Francisco as easily as New York, and the travel time is the same to most Caribbean islands and Central America. Because we’re such a major hub, we have more passport holders than you might expect: 41%.

5. We’re all overweight.

Everything is bigger in Texas, right? To be fair, we do have quite a number of cities that are considered unhealthy (Houston…), but we’re not the worst out of all fifty states. Our childhood obesity rate is #19 as of 2014. With its running and cycling trails plus a wide variety of outdoor activities, Austin usually comes in the top twenty of the fittest cities in the country.

6. We settle our disputes with roundhouse kicks to the head.

Chuck Norris will always be one of us, but I don’t think anyone has tried to end an argument by using karate in Texas. Nor do you see scenes from the Old West playing out at high noon when someone in Austin discovers his sandwich was made with bread containing gluten.

7. We’re arrogant.

Yeah… we kind of are. But we call it Texas Pride.

8. We’re not diverse.

If you look at the states with the largest percentage of Hispanics and Latinos, Texas is equal to California. The answer, of course, are the border regions; most of these areas are primarily Hispanic, even more so when compared with major cities like Dallas and Houston. While some in small town central Texas can sputter and shout about how Mexicans are coming in and taking jobs, they don’t interact with them on a day-to-day basis. People on the Texas border, however, are the ones going into Mexico and receiving visitors (legally and illegally) from the other side.

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