Paris, Texas has long held the reputation of being a safe haven for the Klan and white supremacy. This weekend, Beto showed us all how much Texas is changing.
Beto has posted his campaign activities on social media, rallies, discussions with mayors, school boards, and hospital officials. If you’re following him on Facebook or Twitter, no doubt that you’ve caught a live stream or two, and if you were watching this weekend, you’re probably amazed at what Beto accomplished.
The Ku Klux Klan was supposed to hold a “white unity conference” in Paris. Although, I think it was canceled or moved because of the widespread attention. However, Paris is the headquarters for the United White Knights, a Ku Klux Klan chapter, and Paris has a history of Klan activity not only in recent years but stretching back all the way to reconstruction.
Paris’ history of white supremacy is well-documented. However, none of that stopped Beto from holding a rally there on Saturday night.
250 people came out to hear Beto speak.
While some of those people were opposition/protesters, most of the people who came were supporters.
The opposition was loud and obnoxious, but Beto handled them well and with grace.
As Beto approached the venue in a dark parking lot, a Republican approached him and said, “I know you ran for Texas Senator and President, but you’re going to ban guns now. And abortions?”
Beto responded by saying, “Well, why don’t you listen?”
Undoubtedly, the man in the parking lot thought he was clever, but it’s the same thing that every other RWNJ has said to Beto on the campaign trail and online. There is no originality among these folks. Instead, they repeat what they hear on right-wing media and believe everything they’re told by people who have an (R) next to their name.
Beto’s rally was initially supposed to be held at a restaurant called Tacos Queretaro.
Multiple stories were going around on whether the restaurant canceled because more people were coming than expected or because of the attacks from right-wing residents. Regardless, the event moved to Paris’ Farmers & Artisan Market.
Beto spoke to the crowd in a picnic area, where the people stood shoulder to shoulder, all hanging on our future governor’s every word. In the back, behind the supporters, stood the opposition, only their gun-humping flags visible to the rest of the crowd. And as we saw in Denton last summer, the hillbillies were out with their train horns.
Lamar County Democratic Party Chair Gary O’Connor introduced Beto and mentioned how he hoped the Republicans who were out would respect their right to assemble peacefully.
Why did that have to be said? Because we live in a time of extreme partisanship when political violence from the right has become normal occurrences, and after all, Paris has long been known as Klan country. Surely, Gary O’Connor knew that.
But it wasn’t so bad, the hillbillies in the back of the crowd heckled and blew their train horns, and Beto had the perfect response to them. He said, “I think the genius of this country, 245 years into this experiment, is that we can have a different perspective, a different point of view, a different way of coming at things. But more or less, we’re able to resolve our differences peacefully, find common ground, keep the trains running on time, and move this country forward.“
Beto isn’t worried about the opposition, because he knows that if they actually listened to what he has to say, they would find that he’s looking out for their best interests.
Beto said he wanted to ensure that the best jobs created anywhere in the United States of America are found right here in Texas. Unfortunately, this is something that Texas’ previous leadership has failed on. While Texas is a pro-business state, they are far from being a pro-worker state, and there are more low-paying jobs in Texas than in any other state in the nation. Better jobs would benefit everyone, regardless of political ideology.
He spoke about paying teachers fairly and graduating kids from high school who can be competitive in the job market. While he spoke about this, the hecklers in the back shouted, “Greg Abbott.”
Under Greg Abbott, Lamar County has experienced an 18.4% poverty rate, much higher than the national average. The opposition who came out to heckle Beto were cheering against their own best interests.
Nearly 22% of Lamar County is uninsured, but the opposition booed when Beto spoke of expanding Medicaid. However, their boos were drowned out by the cheering of Beto’s supporters.
When Beto spoke about legalizing cannabis, the crowd cheered so loud that if there were boos, they were hard to hear. 46% of the arrests in Lamar County are for low-level, nonviolent offenses, including marijuana possession. Legalization would benefit everyone in Lamar County, regardless of political affiliation.
Conservatives are scared.
Take Ray Null, for example; he’s running for Gary VanDeaver’s seat in the Texas House. But, of course, he doesn’t have a shot against VanDeaver, who is heavily gerrymandered into this seat he’s been in for something like a decade. But, his Facebook post shows Conservative fear.
He couldn’t attack Beto’s talking points, so he completely made something up, “he did not mention his weapon confiscation program.“
You know, Beto’s secret weapon confiscation program that he hasn’t told anyone about and no one knows about except for Conservatives.
It would be laughable if it weren’t so sad.
Being the person he is after the rally, Beto spoke with the hecklers, explained his positions, and by the end of the conversation, the hecklers sounded as if they were on the same page as him.
That’s the thing, if the right actually listened to Beto, instead of right-wing liars, they might find more common ground with him than not.
This weekend, Beto O’Rourke went to Paris, Texas, and hundreds showed up in support. This is significant because it shows how Texans are tired of right-wing disasters and are ready for change.
Beto will be our next governor, and his trip to Paris proved it.
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