|The Old Red Museum, formerly the Dallas County Courthouse,|
and the Criminal Courts building (left) on South Houston.
Last night's chaos in Dallas is quite different.
I love Dallas. Part of my heart remains there. Specifically, I love the West End. I have spent a great deal of time there and in Oak Cliff (just on the other side of the I-35). Some of the nicest people I ever met I found there.
The last time I visited Dallas was in December of 2007, mere months before my health would permanently prevent me from traveling. It was, as it always is, charming and relaxed. The people were welcoming and the southern hospitality that you often hear about stuck in my mind. I happened to arrive the day of the Cotton Bowl and the city was bustling. It was a wonderful time to be in Dallas.
|Old Red Museum and Texas School Depository (background)|
and the Dallas County Civil Court (right) and Military Entrance
Processing Station (left).
|Bank of America tower and John F. Kennedy Memorial (left)|
Last night as I watched the press arrive with their cameras to the West End, I saw many familiar sights. From the ever present Omni Hotel to the Bank of America tower, it's courtyard a lovely place to read a book on a lunch break, from El Centro College to Belo Park, where the protest march began, and to the Greyhound station that I've walked past dozens upon dozens of times, it was the city I love unraveling in chaos.
|From within the Kennedy Memorial.|
As Dallas and this country go forward I have no idea what the future holds for us. I have no idea how we come together and stop this train we're on. What I hope is this: We must come to a place where we will not be ridiculed for both protesting the loss of innocent life at the hands of bad cops while simultaneously supporting the good men in blue and mourning their lives when they make the ultimate sacrifice to the communities they serve. We must find a way to live together with all our different views, experiences and beliefs. What I hope for the city of Dallas is that they can rise from this tragedy as they did in 1963 and that it won't take decades for their reputation to be cleansed, removing from it the memory of violence.
The words of another Kennedy, chiseled in stone at another memorial, come to mind now: "What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness; but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or they be black."
May the city of Dallas, but not just the city of Dallas, also Baton Rouge, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Bristol, find peace in the hours and days ahead.