"A Critical Look at Texas Politics & Public Policy" by Cal Jillson

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Lone Star Tarnished: A Critical Look at Texas Politics and Public Policy by Cal Jillson Book

The state of Texas has fought long and hard through many challenges. The politics and public policies of this state have changed a great deal since Texas first started out. Many are quick to assume different things about the Lone Star State. To learn in depth a little more about Texas history lets look at Lone Star Tarnished: A Critical Look at Texas Politics and Public Policy by Cal Jillson as well as some other resources.

1930 was one of the first times that the country compared and ranked the states. Texas was 39th in wealth, 37th in education, 39th in health, it did not rank in public order, and had an average rank of 39th out of all the states. A statistic that Jillson points out “has not changed much in the more than eight decades since 1930” (Jillson). There is both a negative and positive way to think of this. The first being that Texas has stayed consistent. However, it may also be said that Texas is stagnant and not subject to change.

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In the 1960s, it was pointed out that segregation and overall discrimination was unconstitutional because the constitution is color blind. The Anglo elites in Texas eventually agreed to what society was trying to tell them. They then added, “If the constitution is color-blind, and we believe that it is and must be, Anglo conservatives now said, laws that take account of race, let alone laws that distribute privileges and benefits based on race, even if intended to do some presumed good, are unconstitutional” (Jillson). Although, the constitution should be and is color-blind, the Anglo elites made sure to use this concept to their advantage against liberals and others. The Anglos guarded their ways of discrimination indirectly through the first amendment. According to Gotanda’s research, “In private social relationships, business associations, and communal gatherings, one can choose whether to associate with those of another race. Speech intended to promote white domination qualifies as protected speech under First Amendment doctrine” (Gotanda).

America is a great country and Texas sis an amazing state, but with Texas Anglo elites spinning the constitution it adds to Texas not being subjected to change.However, this cannot be pinned all on the Lone Star State itself. It seems that the past elites of Texas always held a one-track mind rather than an open one. In May of 1954, a decision was made about Brown v Board, there would now be integration in schools (Jillson). Kluger brings to our attention that, “The decision marked the turning point in America’s willingness to face the consequences of centuries of racial discrimination, a practice tracing back nearly to the first settlement of the New World” (Kluger xii/foreword). It may have sounded like a step in the right direction and some might have let it happen, but other people retaliated. Citizen in Mansfield refused, with words in the paper that said, “We are not against the Negro, but we are against social equality” (Jillson).

A phrase that is a double-edged sword because any race that is denied equality would mean they are being fought against. Even though Federal Law told them this was some thing the citizens were going to have to accept, they still protested. Many people in favor of the black students sought help from Governor Shivers, who only responded with, “It is not my intention to permit the use of state officers or troops to shoot down or intimidate Texas citizens who are making orderly protest against a situation instigated and agitated by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People” (Jillson). As someone who is supposed to represent all these people, instead of denying them, the governor should have led by example.

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