A A Texian Christmas a new constitution, structuring their military forces, arguing about banking and immigration policyand making total idiots of themselves as they squabble and factionalize and flame each other in full public view. Again, a quixotic openness that, if it doesn’t warm you to these people’s politics, at least makes you note their spunk and ask whether lefties like us Texas Observer readers don’t share some noble anti-status-quo impulses with Republic Texians. To explore this question, I decided to spend Christmas with them in their Fort Davis stronghold. A Republic member from El Paso whom I found on the internet gave me the em was with the Texas Observer and could I come out, it was clear nobody had heard of me or the Observer but they said sure. I arrived on the 24th, after driving the vast, jagged miles of Jeff Davis Countya place with so few inhabitants that the handful of Texians at the resort comprise a significant percent of the population. The building whose door I knocked on used to be a community fire hall and it looks itexcept now a computer-generated sign, on typing paper, says “Embassy of the Republic of Texas. No Weapons Beyond This Point.” A man answered: slight but well built, with a dishwater-blonde pony tail, a hawk nose, a beard and deep-set gray eyes. He’s got the same intense, ascetic mien that nobody likes to admit made accused Unabomber Ted Kaczynski look so sexy in his arrest photos. Unlike Kaczynski, though, the man at the embassy door wears a leather thong around his neck strung with Native American medicine bags, a bear claw and a gold fili Photo courtesy Evelyn McLaren gree Mayan amulet. Plus a belt on his hip with a leather-scabbarded hunting knife and a .44 magnum, Smith & Wesson. His name is White Eagle and he is a Cherokee. Later he told me that although he has Native American ancestry on his mother’s side, he was raised white and Christian, on a farm in Kansas. As a teenager he loved reading Thoreau, and during college, many of his friends were killed in Vietnam. While doing janitorial work in the government documents section of a university library in the early 1970s, he had the chance to pore through the Pentagon Papers which readings radi calized him. In the pro cess, he helped lead the student strike at Ohio State University after the Kent State killings. Since then, White Eagle has worked at many things, including farming, com puting, and running a medicinal, sacred and culinary herb business. He has also been adopted back into the Cherokee nation after years of study and initiation. Now he is a dedicated citizen of the Repub lic of Texas. He pays no taxes to the IRS, never has, and has openly stated his refusal in letters disavowing any contractual relationship with the federal government. He wears a gun because he is and al ways has been a member of the militia, as he considers every adult to beaccording to the Second Amendment of the United States, AGAIN, A QUIXOTIC OPENNESS THAT, IF IT DOESN’T WARM YOU TO THESE PEOPLE’S POLITICS, AT LEAST MAKES YOU NOTE THEIR SPUNK AND ASK WHETHER LEFTIES LIKE US TEXAS OBSERVER READERS DON’T SHARE SOME NOBLE ANTI-STATUS-QUO IMPULSES WITH REPUBLIC TEXIANS. JANUARY 17, 1997 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 9
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