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King for a Day, And Then Some

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Oh, man, I think I may have bone cancer. Not, wait, I must be choking on food. Got the sweats bad. Is my hair on fire? I seem to be convulsing. Oh, I know what it is! I’m trying to spit out a positive remark about The Dallas Morning News.

Great story by Scott Farwell on Page One today about Peter Johnson, director of Texas operations for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. In it, Johnson basically calls today’s Martin Luther King celebrations a travesty and says the holiday needs to be moved to the day of his assassination. Farwell also reprises Johnson’s hilariously acerbic comments about Mayor Tom Leppert as the latest model to fall off the Dallas assembly line that produces what Peter calls SAWBs -- “Smart-ass white boys who know more about black people than we know.”

I happen to know that Johnson would have been ready, willing and able to go into a lot more incisive detail on that one, but that was not what Farwell was writing about.

Instead he wrote a great story about this sickening process by which history is subsumed by popular culture. My own fear is that one day, 200 years from now, Americans will celebrate the day every year when children are visited by a jolly old black man with a bushy white beard who comes down the chimney and leaves them “freedom gifts”: merry old Martin Luther Claus. --Jim Schutze

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.