Texas Matters

Fridays at 12:30 p.m. & Sundays at 9:30 p.m.

Texas is a big state with a growing, diverse population and as the population grows, the issues and challenges facing its residents multiply.  Texas Matters is a statewide news program that spends half an hour each week looking at the issues and culture of Texas.

Texas Matters is hosted by David Martin Davies, who talks directly with policymakers and newsmakers in a lively discussion designed to shed light on issues often overlooked by other media.

David Martin Davies:

Davies is the host of "The Source" and a veteran journalist with over 25 years’ experience covering Texas, the border and Mexico. He is a regular contributor to NPR and American Public Media's "Marketplace." Davies also has written for "The San Antonio Light", "The San Antonio Express-News," "The Texas Observer" and others, and hosted KLRN public television’s interview program "Conversations."

Texas Matters is made possible by the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures.

Texas joined the Confederacy on March 2, 1861.  About 70,000 men from Texas then joined the rebellious fight to preserve slavery. The women who stayed behind also did their part for the lost southern cause. 

Just west of downtown San Antonio, the Bexar County jail looms like a fortress. It's a seven-story building of stained concrete floors, white cinder block walls and brown heavy steel doors that shut and lock with a certainty. It’s an unforgiving place, but it needs to be. It’s built to hold not-nice people against their will.

In the spring of 1949 nearly every major newspaper in Texas published an eight-part series called “The Shame of Texas.” It was a shocking and horrid look at the state of mental health care in Texas and exposed them as the nation’s worst mental hospitals.

Since then there have been periodic attempts at reform and fully funding mental health care in Texas – with mixed success.

The Texas Identity – what do you think that might be? What does it mean to be “a Texan.” What is a Texas thing to do or say? Most people might think of a John Wayne cowboy type of character as the archetype of the Texas Identity. But has the image hit its expiration date. More Texans live in urban areas than in the country. And even then maybe more Texans today identify with Pedro Infante’s charro than with The Duke. 

Thursday Sandra Cisneros received the National Medal of the Arts, the highest honor given for achievement in the arts. Cisneros said she accepted the medal to honor her family and all other hard working Mexican Americans.

Sandra Cisneros said she briefly thought about turning down the trip to Washington D.C. to accept the National Medal of the Arts.

“At first I wasn’t sure if I should go. I just started a new book and I wanted to be home writing, ” she said.

Pages