Strange bedfellows: Buzz is thinking about some of the response that came in from readers last week after our own Jim Schutze threatened to beat up Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price. All Buzz can say is: What did Schutze expect? The Pulitzer?
One reader, Ron Walenta of Quitman, Texas, communicated privately with our columnist saying he agreed with the core sentiment expressed in the column—that John Wiley Price is an out-of-control bully, and somebody should call him on it. But Walenta wanted to know why Schutze had to use such vile language to make the point.
And, yes, it was vile. There were scatological terms plus a certain biological reference to the female body usually used to convey cowardice, making its use not merely obscene but sexist.
Schutze wrote back to Walenta that he was probably right about the language. But, Schutze said, "My immaturity is what keeps me young." Buzz thinks maybe Schutze should take a tour by the mirror.
The more disturbing responses came from a bevy of full-fledged, drooling redneck racists who thought Schutze was a hero for going after Price, who is Dallas County's longest-serving and most controversial black elected official. Schutze was not thrilled to win their support.
But, he says, this is the basic conundrum with Price. Price hides inside a castle of race cards. If anyone goes after him, that person is giving aid and comfort to the racists. Therefore no one must go after him.
"There has to be a way out of that box," Schutze said to himself. "Somebody needs to go after him, because he's a bully, but also because he is not what he portrays himself to be—a man of the people. He is a tool of the plutocrats, posing as a man of the people."
To which Buzz says: whatever.
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Buzz thinks some of the more interesting responses came not from the racists but from defenders of Price, arguing that all of the incidences of violent behavior in his past cited by Schutze were trumped up by Price's white enemies. To which Buzz asks: All of them? A 20-year litany of assaults, some of which resulted in jail time?
And then there is the incident that spurred Schutze to write about Price—a television news video of him at the December 1 meeting of the Dallas County Commissioners Court smashing his fist down next to the face of Dallas County Judge Jim Foster.
Did they make that up too?
Buzz takes no responsibility for Schutze. He's on his own. But Buzz does wonder whether Price is really worth the trouble for anybody, even his supporters. Or, as Buzz puts it: What price Price?