The Sixth Floor's Message to History: Just Hush Now

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"There will always be in any of our tragic historic sites where major history was made," she said, "a sense of collective ownership. It's neutral ground.

"People will go there, they'll go to Gettysburg, they'll go to Mount Vernon, to the Washington Monument, to these battlefields, the good history and the bad, and they will ponder the meaning of life, the meaning of government, and they will talk about it.

"These places are like debate parks," she said, "where you can engage in the discussion and feel the power of history under your feet."

Scott Parks' story in the News was especially interesting in the interviews it offered with recognized presidential scholars and historians. They seemed to be of one mind — that the anti-Dallas epithets of the day, like "City of Hate" and "City that Killed Kennedy," have largely faded from memory and may even have a sort of funky anachronistic ring today. You know: Who cares about one little old city of hate, when now we have the entire state of South Carolina?

But beyond being stupid, the idea that Dallas has some right or prerogative to control free speech flies straight in the face of an over-arching global reality. Everyone alive on the planet today has grown up in an era of unconscionable official lies.

How can anyone be shocked that many young people think the 9-11 assault on the Twin Towers was an inside job, when everyone knows that Shock and Awe and the decimation of Iraq produced not a single WMD?

Young people would be idiots to believe what government tells them and fools not to question and debate every single thing they see and hear in the monopoly media. We should all be repelled and infuriated by what Dallas City Hall is trying to do, not simply with regard to the Kennedy assassination but for what it means to speech and freedom.

And I'm happy to say, based on the chats I have had so far, that people are already reacting appropriately. John Judge, an assassination historian in Washington, said to me last week: "A moment of silence that denies talking about his death on that day and certainly not talking about the historical truth behind it and the controversy is no longer a moment of silence. It's a perpetuation of silence."

Judge said it doesn't matter that we can't see exactly who is behind this push. We can see exactly what they want.

"We know the underlying theme. There is going to be a humungous crowd, and they want to catch it and capture the message and control it."

Judge was one of a few I spoke to who are already thinking in terms of what to do. "Maybe we have to do 'Occupy the Grassy Knoll 2013,'" he said.

What a terrific idea. In fact it would be the perfect marriage of physical occupation — the seizing of a place — with concepts of truth and freedom. And what a grand stage it could be, especially with all those cameras hovering.

I spoke to Robert Groden, the assassination author whom the city has arrested and jailed for expressing views and selling books in Dealey Plaza. His take on the assassination conflicts with Sixth Floor official dogma, which is, "We didn't do it; show's over; return to your homes."

Groden promised me he will be out there on November 22, 2013, and if the city wants to clap him in irons again and haul him off to a dungeon in front of Japanese news crews, he says he will be more than happy to play his part.

Judge had what I thought were very creative thoughts. Especially if the city goes really Super-Stalin and rings the place with cops, he thought perhaps it might be fun for counter-protesters to re-enact one of the theories about how the conspirators may have escaped.

"They could reverse the route," he said. "They could go down to the Trinity River bottoms, enter the storm sewer system, crawl uphill to Dealey Plaza and pop up out of the manhole covers."

Oh, wouldn't that be spectacular?

Look, I'm serious about organizing something, but only if anybody else wants to do it. My role would be only to put you together. Some sort of steering committee? Or not. The thing has to grow organically.

Do it without me. Just do it. Meaning them no disrespect, this cause should expand to include more than the community of people interested in JFK. Everybody with a speech issue should be welcome, even though I know that includes the birthers.

Everybody. Come on down. Send me an email at [email protected]. Don't use that little contact dealie on the web page. That may be a placebo. Send me a real email. If you want to anonymize, do so. We'll get it all figured out.

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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