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Why North Texas?

The Trib reprints a WaPo story about a cluster of Capitol insurrectionists in the Dallas suburbs, and it’s something.

Hope for Trump’s return is fervent in Frisco and across the northern Dallas suburbs, an area of rapid growth and rapidly increasing diversity. Nineteen local residents have been charged in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to federal authorities, one of the largest numbers in any place in the country.

Many of the rioters came from the “mainstream of society,” according to the FBI’s Dallas field office, including three real estate agents, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, an oilman and an actor who once appeared on the popular television show “Friday Night Lights.” They were driven by a “salad bowl of grievances,” the FBI said, including anger over the presidential election, white-supremacist ideology and the discredited extremist ideology QAnon, which holds that Trump will save the world from a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles.

Their groundless claims are being fed by conservative politicians and from the pulpits of large, powerful evangelical churches with teachings that verge on white nationalism, both motivated by fear that they are losing a largely white, conservative enclave that views these changes with suspicion.

More arrests are coming, and North Texas remains a focus for investigators who expect to charge as many as 400 people from across the country in the attack on the Capitol.

[…]

Over the past two decades, Collin County, north of Dallas, more than doubled its population to 1 million, according to census data, with newcomers drawn by the mild weather, good schools, low taxes and the arrival of several big employers and new corporate headquarters, including Toyota, Liberty Mutual and the Dallas Cowboys. The rapid expansion created an air of Disney World built on the clay soil of the Texas plains, one Frisco consultant noted, where everything is new and planned. The median household income is $97,000, well above the U.S. median of $69,000.

But this utopia on the Dallas North Tollway has its fissures, which have deepened in the last year, with debate over pandemic restrictions, the country’s racial reckoning and the divisive 2020 presidential election that pitted neighbor against neighbor and continues to divide. Unlike many other suburban counties in the country that helped sway the election for Biden, Collin County stayed red, with 51% voting for Trump and 46% for Biden.

The county’s rapid growth has increased its diversity — with the Latino and Asian American populations growing, and the white population in decline — causing tensions, some residents say. In 2017, Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere was challenged by an opponent who promised to “keep Plano suburban,” which LaRosiliere, who is Black, said was a “dog whistle” for residents wanting to keep the town white and affluent. LaRosiliere won the four-way nonpartisan race with 52% of the votes, but his “keep Plano suburban” opponent won 42%. This year, Plano City Coucil member Shelby Williams came under fire when he said in a post-riot blog post that “things could be much worse . . . People in many parts of the Muslim world are still slaughtering one another today.”

Frisco Realtor Hava Johnston said some residents feel the area has become “too diverse.”

“They created this perfect little bubble of the way they wanted things … now we’ve got true diversity, and those Christian nationalists are afraid of losing their power,” said Johnston, a Democratic activist and one of the internet sleuths who helped unmask local residents who participated in the Capitol riots. “These are the very people who would do things like have Trump parades every weekend and take a private jet to a riot.”

There’s a lot here, and I’ll get to one specific criticism in a moment, but I personally object to the “Collin County stayed red” line, not because it’s untrue but because it really misstate what has happened in Collin County this past decade. I mean:

2012 – Romney 65.0%, Obama 33.5%
2016 – Trump 55.6%, Clinton 38.9%
2020 – Trump 51.4%, Biden 47.0%

You can say “Collin County stayed red”, as if it were some act of defiance against the prevailing political winds, but come on. Collin County shifted a net 27 points in the Democrats’ direction, at least at the Presidential level, since 2012. That’s a seismic change, and very much in line with what was happening nationally. Collin County didn’t quite make it to blue county status in 2020, but boy howdy has it come a long way.

D Magazine had other complaints, starting with the charge that non-Texan authors who parachute in for this kind of analysis often fail to understand what’s actually happening and miss details that make locals scratch their heads. I have some sympathy with this, though I do think there’s some value in getting an outside perspective sometimes. Honestly, my main beef with this article was more along the lines of “oh God, are we still doing entire stories on the feelings of Trump voters? Make it stop already.” I guess the question of why there were so many insurrectionists from this part of the world is an interesting one, but please give me many more articles about the newly activated and energized Democrats of Collin County to balance it out, thanks. In the meantime, please feel free to blow a raspberry at that blonde realtor from Frisco who may well be the poster child for this whole story.

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15 Comments

  1. Flypusher says:

    ““Definitely not going to jail,” Ryan wrote. “Sorry I have blonde hair white skin a great job a great future and I’m not going to jail. Sorry to rain on your hater parade. I did nothing wrong.”

    May that remark come back to bite her, hard. And as the Twitterverse pointed out, she could be right, as she could go to prison.

  2. Jason Hochman says:

    LaRosiliere should send the dog whistle people to the Houston Heights, where the Democrat majority successfully gentrified and has riven the area of any minorities and torn down any Fiesta in sight. Looking back at the time I’ve lived north of I-10, I can’t believe how quickly the make up of the neighborhood has changed.

  3. Manny says:

    Jason, you make up stuff, which is typical for Republicans; they lie all the time. The main reason for the lack of grocery stores is or was that the Heights was dry. A large percentage of stores profits are in alcohol, like beer and wine.

    If ignorance is bliss, you must be the happiest person in Houston, Jason.

  4. Jason Hochman says:

    Manny when I moved back to Houston, there were two Fiesta stores in the Heights, now there are zero. The Fiesta on N. Shepherd survived for 45 years in a dry area. Then, it got torn down, HEB hired Texas Petition Strategy to create a fake group called the “Heights Beverage Coalition” and over turned the dry laws, and HEB took over that spot.

    Shows what you know. Not only are white people violent, a virus, racist, and oppressive, they are also drunks, who can’t exist in dry neighborhoods.

  5. C.L. says:

    Jason, so you’re a violent, virus’d (?), racist, oppressive drunk ? Is that what you just said ?

    As an FYI, the ‘other’ Fiesta’ on Studewood and 14th was long gone well before HEB petitioned to sell booze in the Heights.

  6. SocraticGadfly says:

    Nothing new. Dallas Observer had been keeping a running tab on the arrests. I had included one such update in my additions to the Progressives Roundup about a month ago. Probably Trib clickbait.

  7. Jason Hochman says:

    No, I am not white.

  8. Bill Daniels says:

    “Frisco Realtor Hava Johnston said some residents feel the area has become “too diverse.”

    “They created this perfect little bubble of the way they wanted things … now we’ve got true diversity, and those Christian nationalists are afraid of losing their power,” said Johnston, a Democratic activist….”

    Why is it that conservative Christians create nice, safe, clean places to live, and, like moths to a flame, it draws Christian hating leftists that want to move in and remake that safe, clean area into the same kind of shithole they came from?

    Hava admits the place WAS perfect, and here she is relishing the opportunity to turn it into just another cesspool. She already has South Dallas, why not just go there?

    Anybody see a pattern? Decent people settle an area, the area eventually gets taken over by leftists, and the decent people are forced to flee.

  9. C.L. says:

    Jason, I’m confused. Then you’re saying white folks are violent, virus’d (?), racist, oppressive drunks ?

    That may come as a shock to (some of) the white folks posting on this blog.

  10. Manny says:

    Jason, you are referring to an area that was not part of Houston Heights.

    Fiesta was owned by a white man, so not sure why you brought Fiesta up. There used to be a lot of Latinos there, Heights, also 6th ward. Times change. Cottage Grove mostly white people, many also sold and moved out. It is now happening to Indepence Heights. Happened to first ward early 90s.

  11. Manny says:

    Sharpstown area, Spring Branch, are two examples of areas that changed, from white to mostly Latino.

  12. Manny says:

    Jones High School area used to be an all-white area.

    McGregor Park area was primarily white.

    Not sure what point you are trying to make, Jason. Or is just the racist in you that likes to pretend you care about minorities?

  13. Bill Daniels says:

    Today’s satisfying story of the day:

    https://www.click2houston.com/news/local/2021/04/06/11m-in-disaster-recovery-funds-will-be-used-to-build-affordable-apartment-community-in-houston-heights/

    “Costs at Dian Street will range from $340……..”

    Congratulations, Heights denizens! You’re going to get the diversity you constantly laud. The poors that you ran out are coming back! The crime! The trash! The drug dealing! Of course I would have preferred that the city just build a Cuny Homes West there in the Heights, but this will be satisfactory, too.

  14. Jason Hochman says:

    The neighborhood had been awash in signs saying Stop Dian Street Villas. There was a guy who ran this campaign, but I am fine with having affordable housing in the neighborhood. Just because a person can’t get a high paying job, or perhaps is retired with little income, or is a single mom trying to work and go to school part time, or someone chooses to live as a starving artist, these situations shouldn’t force a person to live in substandard housing. I’ve always been in support of neighborhoods being real communities, combining people of different income levels, ages, and occupations. My only objection is that big developments bring more impervious ground and more traffic. In this case, the site is already a giant concrete slab, so the new impervious ground won’t be a problem, but perhaps it will create more traffic on the old streets with no sidewalks and too narrow for traffic.

  15. Joel says:

    Manny: ” … Spring Branch, are two examples of areas that changed, from white to mostly Latino.”

    wow, really? yikes, that dates me. when i went to high school (in Alief in the 80s), it didn’t get any whiter than Memorial HS. or Stratford. or the rest of ’em.

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