Texas has long been known as the most secession-minded part of the United States, but that reputation, along with Texans’ reputation (earned or not) for being heavily armed and mentally not all there, was given yet another boost this week. A sixty-year-old man named Doug Leguin, nicknamed “Dougie-Doug,” held police and firefighters at bay in a multimillion-dollar home in a Dallas suburb on August 11th while declaring that the home was now “my little republic I just started” called “the Republic of Doug-E-Stan.” (That’s the spelling he gave a police dispatcher, including the dashes; I am merely assuming that the E is capital.)
(No relationship, apparently, to the similarly named Republic of Dagestan, a sometimes-secessionist multi-ethnic civil-war zone in Russia’s Muslim-insurgency-wracked North Caucasus region, home to breakdancing suicide-bombers and the most dangerous football club in Europe.)
Though details are murky, it seems that Leguin’s wife notified police that her husband had gone missing from their home in nearby Corinth and that he had in his possession an AK-47 assault rifle, several rounds of ammunition, and some propane tanks from his garage. Meanwhile, firefighters were called to the large home Leguin was holed up in to put out a grass fire, and when they arrived he began firing at them, which drew the police. An eight-year-old girl and what Leguin described to a 911 dispatcher he telephoned as a non-English-speaking Mexican maid seem to have been able to escape the home unharmed. It is not clear what relationship Leguin had to the owners or inhabitants of the house; he appeared not to know the address when he spoke to the dispatcher.
The complete transcript of Leguin’s conversation with the police reveals deep mental instability. Leguin told police, “I’m pissed off at America. America’s broke, it’s got a sorry government, and the people won’t vote.” He also told the dispatcher he was “pissed off at” a particular program by the Dallas Police Department; when the dispatcher asked which program that was, Leguin said, “Shootin’ the mentally handicapped.” He added, “I’ve got a clear mind and a full heart. And I’m serious about this. America’s gotta change.”
|Though the Republic of Doug-E-Stan was declared in a suburban part of|
Dallas County, its founder hails from Corinth, in nearby Denton County.
What indeed? Well, in an interview three days later in his Dallas County Jail cell, Leguin gave a television interviewer some context for the siege. He said that he was partly motivated by patterns of injustice exemplified by a recent Texan scandal over the light sentence given a wealthy Tarrant County, Texas, resident who killed four people while driving drunk. In fact, Leguin bucked the usual stereotype of the crazed Texan gunman by revealing significantly left-of-center views. He expressed concern for the plight of unaccompanied refugee children from Central America arriving in the U.S.—a development that has stoked racist anger at the other end of the spectrum—and he denounced those who scapegoat President Barack Obama. “If you stub your toe, it’s Obama’s fault,” Leguin said, “and that’s just stupid. That’s part of the racism that has to be talked about in America.” His comments came as Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, continued to spiral out of control in street confrontations and demonstrations over the killing of an unarmed African-American teenager.
|Doug-E-Doug’s rage reached a boiling point just as racial tensions in Ferguson, Missouri, exploded.|
|A Twitter user shared a photo of an upside-down flag flying at Leguin’s home.|
In anti-government circles, this is used to mean, “The republic is in distress.”
|What’s left of Doug-E-Stan|
[You can read about other manifestations of Texan lunacy, as well as the real Republic of Dagestan and sovereignty and independence movements both famous and obscure, in my new book, a sort of encyclopedic atlas just published by Litwin Books under the title Let’s Split! A Complete Guide to Separatist Movements and Aspirant Nations, from Abkhazia to Zanzibar. The book, which contains 46 maps and 554 flags (or, more accurately, 554 flag images), is available for order now on Amazon. Meanwhile, please “like” the book (even if you haven’t read it yet) on Facebook and see this interview for more information on the book.]Related articles from this blog:
“State of Texas Nonexistent, Claims ‘Child of God,’ in Court for Driving with ‘Republic of Texas’ Plates” (March 2013)
“Let a Thousand Secession Petitions Bloom: The U.S. Balkanized, but Perhaps Only on the White House Website, Nowhere Else—but Most Importantly: What Does All This Have to Do with Topless Car Washes and the State of Jefferson?” (Nov. 2012)
“Hispanics and African-Americans ‘Remember the Alamo’ Differently—at Least Some of Them Do” (Nov. 2012)
“Yee-Haw (Again)! Texas Patriots Ready to Defend Their State against O.S.C.E. Election Observers” (Oct. 2012)
“Yee-Haw! Texas Judge Vows to Defend Lubbock County from Obama and the United Nations” (Aug. 2012)
Many thanks to Jan Pierce for alerting me to this news story.