One hundred and seventy-one years ago today, freedom was declared and a new republic was formed: The Republic of Texas. If you aren’t from here you wouldn’t understand the particular pride in we have in our state, a pride that derives from an independent spirit that is as strong today as ever before. I’m fully aware of the consequences of the white man’s empire building arrogance, but the history of Texas is what it is and it can’t be changed. Interestingly, a lot of the negative came AFTER we became a state and the USA moved in to “settle” and “civilize” the West.

Bob Ray Sanders, an African-American columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, wrote an article today that I thought expressed some of that pride we Native Texans have:

“The people of Texas adore this state’s uniqueness of having existed under six flags, being able to balance and embrace its Western and Southern heritages, as well as its competing rural and urban interests. At the same time, the state continues to be a confluence of cultures that adds to the richness of our diversity.Those who call Texas home can argue about our differences, and even debate the positives and negatives of our connections to the nations whose flags have flown over this land.

But we would do better to talk about our similarities and what brings us together rather than what separates us.

We Texans are often accused of being proud to a fault, bordering on conceit and obnoxiousness. But believe me, it is not arrogance that we intend to display when we celebrate our heritage and accomplishments; it is just that we fervently honor our past and those who were part of it, and we relish what they handed down to us.

On this Texas Independence Day, we should give thanks for the sacrifices of those Texans — from all walks of life — who came before us, and we should rededicate ourselves to their ideals, understanding that they had their faults as well as their outstanding attributes.”

So, for those of you who are from this wonderful state, Happy Independence Day! Shouldn’t we be on holiday?