To Our Friends, Family & Neighbors Outside of Texas,

As you know, we are currently facing a once-in-a-generation storm that has blanketed nearly our entire state, which is the size of about four of your states. It's an unusual occurrence, and one we were obviously not prepared for. Thank God it should all be over very soon, but many residents will still have to deal with property that was damaged during this cold.

Most of the critiques we've faced are valid. Should we have winterized our wind turbines? Absolutely. Wind power is a wonderful alternative to less clean energy sources, and it manages to still work well in very cold climates. But like anything else, it must be prepped for the conditions it will be under, and many private win turbine owners chose not to pay for it. A private choice became a social problem.

Texas is all mostly on one grid that has utterly failed. Luckily, here in Lubbock, we're not on that grid (yet), so we have not suffered for days without power like our fellow Texans to the south and east of us. Does the ERCOT grid have some fundamental problems? Well, obviously.

I like to think some lessons were learned by Texans this week, and that some changes will be forthcoming. However, we aren't the only ones who need to change.

I saw a completely unacceptable amount of sociopathic glee for the state of emergency Texas is under. Countless people claiming we deserved it for being a red state, as if we sinned so grievously we deserved the death penalty. Because remember, people literally died, and sadly, we're likely to lose more people before it warms back up.

Here are a couple things you should think about before you make that "joke" on whatever news comment section you chose to inflate your ego with.

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First, Texas is not a monolith of political thought. Texas was a blue state prior to 1994 and is quite honestly a purple state now. Sure, we are gerrymandered to hell and back, but many states are by whichever party currently has control. But let me be clear before we break this down further: the party you voted for should not determine whether you live or die. This is a democracy, after all.

But to the point of just who Texas is...we are a very diverse state. And some of the people suffering the worst in this weather are not the GOP fat cats other states imagine Texas to be full of. The people suffering are from all walks of life, including people of color, the impoverished and the elderly.

I have very outspoken liberal and leftist friends who have been without power for days. The people 'on your side' are hurting, too. And when you claim 'well, you chose to live in a red state,' you're saying you hate the poor who cannot afford to leave if they wished to, and you're no better than the party you claim to hate. Even for many of us who could afford to leave, why should we be expected to abandon our home? There's a lot to love about Texas, and if you hate Texas enough to wish us dead, then you've obviously never spent any real time here.

So before you dance on our grave, consider that we are all Americans, and we deserve the love and support of our fellow humans.

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