Texas Secession Rally: “We Hate the USA”
In 2008, all hell broke loose when the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's angry comments about the U.S. were played over and over and over. Republicans couldn't condemn the African-American preacher fast enough. For some odd reason though, not one Republican has condemned right wing white secessionists for their anti-USA rally this past weekend in Texas.
Some 200 people rallied at the Texas State Capitol in Austin on Saturday to protest health care reform and call for the secession of Texas from the United States.
Larry Kilgore, a right wing activist who, according to the Texas Observer, has advocated execution for homosexuals, “drew some murmurs of disapproval” when he told the crowd: “I hate that flag up there. … I hate the United States government. … They’re an evil, corrupt government. They need to go. Sovereignty is not good enough. Secession is what we need!”
“We hate the United States!” he declared later in his address.
Although the Texas independence movement is nothing new, observers say it has been given new life by the debate over health care, which some secessionists see as an attack on the US Constitution, and therefore grounds for abandoning the Union.
But many observers place responsibility for the movement’s growth in prominence on Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who in April suggested that the Obama administration’s policies may drive Texas to leave the United States.
“If Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that,” Brian Beutler at TalkingPointsMemo quoted Perry. “But Texas is a very unique place, and we’re a pretty independent lot to boot.”
“Rick Perry’s talk of secession appears to have buoyed efforts by Texas secessionists who want the governor to follow through,” Dallas Morning News reporter Wayne Slater blogged on Sunday.
Slater went on to debunk some of the assertions made by the secessionists:
Another self-styled patriot invoked George Washington as an ally of secession (History lesson: Washington presided over creation of the union) and Sam Houston – “You go ask Sam Houston what he thought about secession. He did it anyway.” (History lesson: Houston opposed secession. He ran for governor as an independent Unionist in 1859. Despite his efforts, the people of Texas voted to secede, and he was forced out of office in March 1861.)
As the Texas Observer notes, no prominent Texas politicians showed up to the event, not even the 70 or so members of the state legislature who supported a declaration earlier this year affirming the sovereignty of Texas over its own constitutional affairs.
Prior to the protest, organizer Gerry Donaldson told Robert Moon of Examiner.com that secessionists are “calling for an orderly process that will allow our federal government to fall back in line with the Constitution. … Either we will restore America, we will live in a Marxist dictatorship, or we will secede and start over again.”
“For his part, Perry says he never advocated secession – only resistance to federal programs that infringe on states’ rights,” the Morning News’ Slater reports. “The message is part of his anti-Washington appeal to the right-wing of the Republican Party in advance of next March’s GOP primary against [prominent Texas Republican] Kay Bailey Hutchison.”