Unpacking “Texit” and the potential consequences of secession.
A few years ago, we wrote “QAnon Conspiracies And Neo-Confederate Beliefs Behind Texit Movement.” This article addressed the group’s origins and some of its advisory boards. Since then, due to some of the marketing tactics its founder Danny Miller used, support behind the movement has grown.
On Monday, far-right Republican Bryan Slaton introduced HB 3596, proposing a referendum to ask voters whether Texas wants to reassert its status as an independent nation. But, of course, it ignores that all Texans don’t have access to the ballot box, how Texas is the most rigid state to vote in, and how Constitutional Elections only see about a 5% turnout.
The idea is to get as few people as possible to vote on the referendum to strongarm a win. However, we don’t need to worry. This referendum will never get through the legislature, as even the most hard-liner Republicans see it as a treasonous bill.
Although this bill will never see the light of day, we have to acknowledge that the Republican Party moves further right with each legislative session and elects more and more extremists.
The Texas Nationalist Movement (TNM) published a list of all the political candidates who signed their pledge to attempt to pull Texas out of America. The current elected officials who took the oath are Bryan Slaton, Sid Miller, and Julie Pickren. All three have problematic backgrounds and have been known to say and do racist things. However, dozens more pledge-signers ran for office in 2022 and didn’t win.
As TNM only targets the far-right, we should expect to see more pledge signers elected to office. And while Slaton’s referendum will fall flat this year, if the Republicans continue their rightward trek, it may not fall flat in 2025 or 2027.
That’s why we need to talk about what this group is and what they want for Texas.
Here (to the right) is just one of the dozens of examples of how the Texit movement targets women of color to appeal to white supremacists. This meme could have used any DC Politicians or Democrats to make their point, but instead chose a picture of three non-white people to plaster their message on.
It’s absolutely intentional.
Some proponents of Texit will argue that Texas should leave the United States because they believe that the federal government has become too overreaching. They will deny it’s about building a white ethnostate.
Despite what they say, their overall message uses the idea of Texas secession to push for a conservative, white-dominated society. It profoundly concerns and utterly antithetical to the values of inclusion and diversity that make Texas great.
The name of the organization, “Texas Nationalist Movement,” is troublesome. Nationalism involves a solid attachment to one’s culture to the exclusion or detriment of others. This can lead to a sense of superiority over other groups, manifesting as prejudice, discrimination, or even violence. Nationalism promotes an “us vs. them” mentality.
The language and messaging used by TNM echo white supremacist rhetoric. For example:
- TNM refers to asylum seekers as “invaders.”
- They use Russian propaganda to bash aid to Ukraine.
- They celebrate 1836 as an independence movement, not a battle over slavery.
- TNM frames hate speech as being removed from social media as “censorship.”
- TNM constantly praises the Texas state government while bashing the federal government.
- They have been an avid supporter of Confederate monuments in Texas.
Let’s talk about Texas.
Only 33% of children born in Texas in 2020 were white. 48% were Latino, another 13% were Black, and 5% were Asian. The only states/areas with a lower birthrate of white babies than Texas are California and New Mexico, both blue states. Washington, DC, also has a 33% white birth rate. DC is blue.
According to the 2020 Census, Texas is 39.8% white (non-Hispanic), 39.3% Hispanic, 11.8% Black, and 5.4% Asian. Of course, that doesn’t include the half-million Texans who were undercounted. The only states/areas less white than Texas are Washington, DC, New Mexico, California, and Hawaii. Once again, all blue states.
Despite this, 93% of Republican voters in Texas are either white or white-Hispanic.
The founder and president of the Texas Nationalist Movement, Danny Miller, in attempt to get more legislative support, has been touring the state in recent years speaking at Republican club meetings.
Although white people are now a minority in Texas, Miller has only marketed to Republicans, which are majority white. Unfortunately, this leaves millions of Texans entirely out of the conversation.
But TNM has three or four supporters of color.
The Black Republicans who signed the Texit pledge include, Allen West, that Apostle guy in Galveston, and Ajua Mason, who once danced in full Trump gear in front of protesters while her white friends hurled the n-word at said protesters.
Texit supporters will point to these people as proof that Texit isn’t racist because how could they be racist if Black people support their movement? But, of course, on the heels of the Tyree Nichols incident in Memphis, there has been a lot of conversation nationally about how a person doesn’t have to be white to uphold a white supremacist system.
The Texit movement is 99% white in a state they are a minority.
How would a hypothetical Texit build a white ethnostate?
The first and foremost is a loss of civil rights and protections. The federal government enforces civil rights laws that protect individuals from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, and other factors in Texas through various agencies and policies.
For example, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) enforces the Fair Housing Act to prevent discrimination in housing. In contrast, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Additionally, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights ensures that educational institutions comply with federal civil rights laws.
Without this protection, people of color in Texas may face discrimination in housing, education, employment, and public accommodations. For example, landlords could refuse to rent or sell homes to people of color, employers could discriminate in hiring and promotion practices, and businesses could deny service to people based on race or ethnicity. The lack of federal oversight could create a climate of fear and prejudice, reducing the quality of life for communities of color in Texas.
Without federal oversight of Texas law enforcement agencies, there is a greater risk of police brutality and misconduct toward communities of color.
As it is right now, Texas police agencies don’t follow laws on racial profiling. In Texas, Black people are 2.3x more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts.
A poll from the University of Texas/Texas Tribune found that 56% of white people said the deaths of Black people in police custody are isolated incidents, and only 16% of Black people agreed. Among Republican voters, 78% said the deaths are isolated incidents. That’s a massive problem for the Texit movement, as most white Republicans won’t even admit that systematic racism within policing exists.
The federal government provides oversight and guidance to law enforcement agencies across the United States to ensure they uphold the Constitution and respect individuals’ civil rights.
Without this oversight, there is a greater risk of police brutality and misconduct toward communities of color in Texas. This could lead to increased police shootings, racial profiling, and other forms of police violence that disproportionately impact people of color. In addition, without federal guidelines and accountability measures, there may be little incentive for local law enforcement agencies to reform their practices and address issues of police brutality and misconduct. The lack of federal oversight could have severe and long-lasting consequences for the safety and well-being of communities of color in Texas.
Six million Texans are currently uninsured. That number would skyrocket under the Nation of Texas.
As scarce as it is, Texas currently benefits from several federal healthcare initiatives, including Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These programs provide funding for healthcare services and coverage to millions of people in Texas, particularly those who are economically disadvantaged or have preexisting conditions. If Texas were to secede, it might lose access to these federal healthcare programs, leaving many vulnerable communities without access to essential healthcare services.
This could have severe consequences, particularly for communities of color, who already face disparities in access to healthcare and health outcomes. The loss of federal funding for healthcare initiatives could exacerbate these disparities and leave many people without the medical care they need to maintain their health and well-being.
Texas’ Cancer Clusters.
We already know how there are multiple cancer clusters in Texas and how they disproportionately impact communities of color. The federal government plays a critical role in protecting the environment and the health of communities across the country, including in Texas. Laws and regulations like the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act set standards for pollution control, waste management, and resource conservation.
These laws are designed to protect public health, particularly in communities of color, which often bear a disproportionate burden of environmental hazards and pollution.
Without federal oversight and enforcement of these laws, Texas may be more vulnerable to environmental degradation and associated health risks, such as respiratory problems, cancer, and other illnesses. This could have devastating consequences for vulnerable communities in Texas.
The Texit movement is not simply a push for Texas independence from the United States, but rather a dangerous ideology that seeks to create a white ethnostate.
The Texas Nationalist Movement uses manipulative tactics to further its agenda, including targeting women of color and spreading white supremacist rhetoric. While the recent referendum proposed by Bryan Slaton is unlikely to pass, the increasing number of far-right politicians being elected in Texas is cause for concern. We must speak out against this movement and work toward promoting diversity, inclusion, and equality for all Texans. As the demographics of Texas continue to change, all voices must be heard and represented in the conversation about the future of our state.
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