How Texas is processing its past

That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column, here is one excerpt:

That [the Texas approach] may feel like dodging crucial questions about historic injustice, but consider Texas’s recent record of job creation and inward migration. The Texas approach has passed a market test by attracting and keeping significant numbers of minorities. By one measure, people of color account for 95% of Texas’s population growth since 2010. That too is a kind of restitution.

A visitor to Texas also can’t help but ponder questions about land rights. It is now common practice for universities and companies, especially in blue states, to make “land acknowledgements,” decrying the thefts of their current real estate from indigenous tribes. Yet there is rarely serious talk about giving those lands back — never mind giving indigenous peoples a share in Harvard’s hedge fund income or Microsoft’s dividends. This supposed acknowledgement mocks the powerlessness of those victimized groups while displaying the arrogance of power.

The Texas approach is more honest. Implicitly at least, the state recognizes that none of its land will be returned to indigenous peoples — but it offers the descendants of those groups the opportunity to shape its future and share in its prosperity, if only by working or owning property there.



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