If You Go Against County Commissioner John Wiley Price, May the Force Be With You

Hey, Bruce Sherbet fans, I know you mean well, but you're never going to get anywhere with that stuff about traipsing downtown to the commissioners court meeting and making your little mini-speeches during the open-mic session.

Last time you tried it, Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, the guy who admits he forced out Sherbet, the head of the county elections department, sat up there at the dais and made faces at you and laughed.

Everybody's saying when you all got up afterward and told him he should be ashamed of himself, he had a racial outburst. Sorry, but that was no outburst. He was so calm, he sounded like Obi-Wan Kenobi.

He said: "You are all white. Go to hell."

If this were something in a movie, it would go like this:

Street Scene. Sherbet fans, dressed as space cops, have pulled over Price in his hovercraft. Price: "You are all white." Sherbet fans: "We are all white." Price: "You can go to hell." Sherbet fans: "We can go to hell." Sherbet fans march off to hell.

Look, I'm just saying he got the best of you. Sorry. I don't mean to hurt you. But Price had all the macho and the power going for him, and you guys were sort of ... how can I say it? ... helter-skelter.

Look. Here's what you do. Remember you read it here.

Get a whole bunch of your troops together beforehand and rehearse this. Get it down just right. You need to be commandos. You've got to have the power walk.

Go down to the next commissioners court meeting. Form a picket line right across the driveway where Price parks. Don't just stand there, or they'll arrest you for obstructing traffic.

But you get out there, and you walk real real slow across the driveway. Real slow. So it holds everything up. While you walk, you chant, "No justice, no peace."

Then you pack the meeting. Every time Price tries to talk, do disruptive stuff that they can't catch you for. Start humming "God Bless America," loud as you can, but without moving your lips.

Stamp your feet up and down when nobody can see you. Get up and walk around and trade seats, but all of you at once, like a Chinese fire drill. They can't arrest you for trading seats.

I'm telling you, people, you've got to do a Tahrir Square on him. Rise up. Make the doctor take his own medicine.

There was a great story in The New York Times about Gene Sharp, the 83-year-old American intellectual whose theories are being read by young people involved in the passive resistance uprisings in the Middle East.

The thing Sharp said in the story that leaped out at me was this: "If people are not afraid of the dictatorship, that dictatorship is in big trouble."

C'mon, Sherbet fans. Time for some moxie.

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Jim Schutze has been the city columnist for the Dallas Observer since 1998. He has been a recipient of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ national award for best commentary and Lincoln University’s national Unity Award for writing on civil rights and racial issues. In 2011 he was admitted to the Texas Institute of Letters.
Contact: Jim Schutze