Call it what it is: When I moved here from Houston three years ago, it was obvious that something was wrong with the Dallas Police Department. In time, I would learn about different goings-on within the department and wonder, "When is this guy (Bolton) getting fired?" I am black, and I only know a couple of other blacks who aren't happy that this guy is gone. Good grief! Call a spade a spade. Call an ineffective police chief an ineffective police chief. Here's a concept for the "black community": We don't all think alike. If I hear racism one more time from a community that routinely does not vote, I will shoot myself! How many of the people that wanted to recall Mayor Miller were actually registered to vote? Or voted in the last election? As a black person, I'm saying get over it, "black community." By the way, geographically speaking, where is this mythical land of all black people?
Alandria D. Berry
Chosen vessel: At first, I was thinking that we shouldn't pass up a golden opportunity. If Terrell Bolton is indeed a conduit of the Holy Spirit, as he claims ("Live by the Sword..." by Jim Schutze, September 18), maybe we should put him back on the payroll...not as chief of police but as the all-seeing eye. Then he could give us a God's-eye view of the true motivations of the council reps who are behind the Trinity toll-road project, the signature bridges and the American Airlines Center million-dollar giveaway to those poor downtrodden billionaires. Having a guy on the payroll who can look into the hearts and minds of the movers and shakers of our city government and school district could come in mighty handy. But since he's chosen to use his superpowers for egoistic aggrandizement and revenge, and not for good and for the benefit of all our citizens, perhaps that's not such a good idea after all.
Three-ring circus: "Ted's Excellent Adventure," by Jim Schutze (September 4), was just that, an excellent adventure. Every week, I read Mr. Schutze's articles. Sometimes I agree or disagree, and sometimes I'm apathetic. This article, however, spoke for the people that felt the council meeting fiasco has turned City Hall into a three-ring circus. It's embarrassing and downright immature to try to conduct business with people shouting about race throughout this whole ordeal. It's sad how everyone has lost sight of what this whole fight is for. Dallas needs a chief of police who's going to put crime on its ass, and we need it fast. This isn't about whether the new chief is black or white. It's about whether he/she is competent. I think Terrell Bolton would agree. I mean, if Terrell Bolton's driver had been incompetent, he would have gotten the boot, right?
Great job, Mr. Schutze!
Take it like a man: I am deeply disturbed by the political shenanigans in Dallas. First and foremost, the termination of Chief Bolton by the city manager was an administrative issue. The chief works at the pleasure of the city manager, much like many other Americans work for their superiors. Many people have lost their jobs because of discordant personalities or poor performance. The chief of police performs a job that makes him an "at-will employee." Former Chief Bolton knows about at-will employees--Bolton himself fired several police department assistant chiefs in his administration. The best thing to do in this situation would have been to "take it like a man." Chief Bolton, a proud man, felt compelled to hold a tearful news conference. To see a public official break down in tears is not a sign of strength; to see him go on an orchestrated campaign to impugn another public official is not dignified. For civil rights organizations that carry the mantle of brotherhood to race-bait against other races is not Martin Luther King-like. This becomes truly ironic as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the March on Washington. As President Kennedy once said, "We have come too far and sacrificed too much to disdain the future."
The future is one of which racial polarization will be here for another season. The words of the Reverend Jesse Jackson resonate in my mind and heart: "We must heal, rebuild and move on."
From Texas With Love
Rush to judgment: As a recent American alum of the IREX Young Leaders Program in Russia, I am dismayed to see that one of the best and brightest of Russia had to have such a negative experience with the bureaucracy of the United States ("A Texas Welcome," by Thomas Korosec, September 25). People make mistakes, but potentially cutting short a young man's stay to develop his skills is not appropriate punishment. If the United States would like to build good will throughout the world, it is better off acting like the citizens of Arlington did by reaching out to humanity, rather than the Department of Homeland Security and the Arlington police by rushing to judgment on who Pavel was or what his intentions may have been.
Homeland rights: John Ashcroft would be so proud!
Better turn the other cheek: Despite Billy Cundiff's childlike appearance ("Kick Ace," September 25), John Gonzalez would be wise to avoid the threat of using physical violence on him. Even Billy's twin brother, Haley Joel Osment, could handle a room full of sportswriters trying to fight one-handed so they don't have to put down their Big Macs.