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SOUTH OF THE TRINITY: WHAT I AM WATCHING by Rufus Shaw Print E-mail
by DallasBlog.com    Wed, Jan 4, 2006, 01:00 PM

In 2006 I will be closely following a few stories that are very significant to those of us South Of The Trinity. The ongoing saga of New Orleans is at the top of my list. I believe that what happens there will have an impact on race relations in Dallas. For example, the latest police shooting of a mentally ill Black man in New Orleans has already threatened to reactivate tensions between the police and the African-American community. However, this latest shooting has an interesting twist to it since the Black police chief of New Orleans has cleared his officers of any misconduct in the shooting. Maybe, we all watch too much television and, thus, we expect dozens of armed police officers to be able to subdue a mentally ill man without having to shoot him down in the streets in front of shocked innocent bystanders and the world. Those of us South of The Trinity wonder if having an African-American police chief makes any difference if the culture of the police department is to shoot to kill. And we wonder if the mentally ill man had been white, would he have been gunned down for merely waving a knife at police officers who are supposedly trained in methods other then violent force. I don’t know the answer to these questions but I will be attempting to find them in the coming year.

The 2006 bond package promises to be the largest and the most needed in our city’s history. South of The Trinity voters stand ready to vote against any portion of a new bond package that attempts to turn Executive Airport into a busy, noise-producing airport that negatively impacts the quality of life in the surrounding community. Yet, we stand ready to wholeheartedly support the rebuilding of Dallas’ national icon, the Cotton Bowl. I suspect much will be written about the cost of the new bond package. Hopefully, enough will be written about the need for the continued redevelopment of downtown, sensible development of the southern sector, continued improvement of our mass transit system, and the building of our world famous Performing Arts Center. The point must be made that all of these much needed developments can only be financed through a large bond package. None of us is willing to finance these developments with taxes so high we could not enjoy a prosperous and growing Dallas.

Finally, I will be monitoring how Mayor Laura Miller will impact the bond election. It is my sincere hope that Mayor Miller is a positive force in the debate regarding the bond package. But I recognize our mercurial mayor has shown time and time again a divisive political style that appears racially insensitive and thus she becomes a liability to the political welfare of a city as diverse as we are. Maybe she will use her considerable charm to unite us instead of dividing us. I do not intend to give her a pass as others in the mass media have done. I am still very interested in the Mayor’s relationship with Southwest Housing and the FBI City Hall investigation. I still wonder why the mass media refuses to follow this story to its logical conclusion. The mass media’s refusal to investigate Mayor Miller as the media has investigated Black city leaders has caused those of us South Of The Trinity to link the FBI, the white mass media here, and Mayor Miller together in a relationship that threatens the very foundation of race relations in Dallas, Texas. Of course, the truth will help solve this problem. I hope along with the efforts of others to help find the truth. That’s how we see it in the beginning of 2006 from South Of The Trinity.

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