Warren Johnson explains his love of art.

Politics & Government

Why Was Dwaine Caraway Trying to Protect the Robert E. Lee Statue?

SMDH

A co-working FrontBurnervian who lives in the 75219 ZIP code brought in a postcard that she received in the mail at home. It’s an invitation to donate to a group called Return Lee to Lee Park. The name troubles me. Because Lee Park is now called Oak Lawn Park. So, really, the group should call itself Return Lee to Oak Lawn Park. Or maybe Rename Oak Lawn Park and Then Return Lee to It. Anyway, neither the postcard nor the website identifies who is behind the effort, but judging from this lawsuit and this video, it’s a guy named Warren Johnson (pictured above). If you are tempted to dismiss this whole thing as the pursuit of a loon and assume nothing will come of it — don’t. The Robert E. Lee statue has been safely squirreled away, and there’s talk of spending nearly $250k to remove the statue’s plinth and store it “archivally,” making it possible to restore the whole thing.

You know which member of the City Council was most vocal in protecting the statue and the Confederate monument near City Hall? Dwaine Caraway. Does it seem strange to you that a black guy from District 4 would do anything to protect a Confederate monument and a statue of Robert E. Lee? Of course not. Because that guy was crooked. Jim Schutze has written about all this, here before Caraway was busted by the feds and then here afterward. So I have two questions for the statue people: 1) which one of you paid Dwaine Caraway? And 2) do you get a refund now that he’s going to prison?

UPDATE (8/20/18) Through an attorney, Warren Johnson sends along the following statement: “I am aware of the article published in D Magazine on August 14, 2018, which implies a connection between Return Lee to Lee Park and Dwaine Caraway. There has never been, nor is there currently, any connection between myself or Return Lee to Lee Park and Dwaine Caraway. Soon after the removal of the Robert E. Lee and Young Soldier sculpture, I submitted my concerns to each Dallas City Council member by email. Neither Caraway nor anyone from his office responded. As explained at www.ReturnLeetoLeePark.org, we are a nonprofit organization seeking the return of the sculpture to its home through the exercise of our Constitutional right to petition our representatives and assemble peacefully.” 

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Comments

  • bmslaw

    Why does the picture at the top of this post look like an archived picture of Dale Hansen on a very bad hair day?

  • Reed Avalon

    Carraway only voted for accurate-history-folks at the end of his reign because he perceived his coming-federal indictment as “White-lash.” The ONLY story here is how Carraway, Rawlings, Medrano and Kingston took bribes from Leonard, the Kellogg Foundation and terrorists linked to the New Mexico Black-Muslim/child-assasin compound to destroy Southern culture and history in Dallas.

  • Tommy Huntington

    Why did it cost 450k to remove the beautiful art statue? Who else removes art? I’ll tell you, dictators, fascists, commies, the Taliban and Muslims. Lee and Soldier should never have been removed and should be put back where it was. Why didn’t we get to vote on it?

    • Sean Tyler Gill

      How about also liberated people such as when the Berlin wall came down in Germany, its cheap art created to repaint history and glorify the south when they are statues of racists for a failed racist cause. the south lost and we shouldn’t celebrate losers who were on the wrong side of history regardless of how many bigots are supporters.

  • Ed Huff

    Jim Schutze does not appear to be a coherent or very well person these days—. His recent (8/13) column blaming everybody but the coddling incubator which is the local liberal press (himself included–[as in decades of print] ) for the reign of corruption and abuse by what he NOW terms “south Dallas grifter” politicians is disingenuous. Now D magazine cites his previous rambling piece re: Caraway “saving” statues. The Robt E Lee historical statue, which bothered nobody for 80 years-BTW, is still warehoused somewhere in Grand Prairie. Even local Dallas DMN columnist Willonsky lobbied against it seeing the light of day in an obscure Tarrant County location –for reasons too tenuous to follow. I would venture that Mr. Caraway’s impotent “change of heart” may have had something to do with his council rivalry with the sleazy perennially absent Mr. Kingston and others after his notice of indictment by the feds.
    But cheer up Mr. Caraway–there’s so many ripe zoning and other issues in Dallas. The citizens suspect that some of your other colleagues on the city council may have been up to some similar tricks and there is perhaps still time to “flip” for a lighter sentence. Too bad though for local art work, and your constituents at Lakey’s BBQ and Rudy’s Chicken who suffered because of “shady deals”. (largely ignored for years by the press)

  • Bruce Bayless

    The only reason Dwaine Caraway started acted reasonably in regard to the Lee statue is he realized the Feds were closing in on him so he decided to try to make nice since he needed and still needs all the friends he can get.

  • Mavdog

    It is not surprising to see those who idolize the Confederate cause, and lament their loss of imposing its ideology, wish to return the Lee statue to the public land it sat on. Nothing says they are not gone than putting that symbol of insurrection back on its platform.

    Schutze has written for many years about the selling out by South Dallas politicians, and the Caraway position on the Lee statue is a continuation of that unfortunate situation. There is little question on why Caraway went down the road he did. The only question is if new independent leadership will take his place or will it just be more of the same.

  • Jim Schermbeck

    How come you aren’t also asking why CM Atkins and Thomas joined him?

  • Bill Gross

    How about the Park Formerly Known as Lee?

  • Ron

    Many people want to know why that in places where the statues and monuments were taken down the vast majority of the local citizens did not want them taken down, so why is it done DALLAS?

    • Sean Tyler Gill

      It’s because there statues of racists for a failed racist cause. the south lost and we shouldn’t celebrate losers who were on the wrong side of history regardless of how many bigots are supporters.

      • Bruce Bayless

        You like throwing around the term racists for no good reason. How about morons like yourself Sean Tyler Gill? The cause wasn’t a failed racist cause. As a retired American history professor I can say that ninety percent of the Southerners who fought for the South had no slaves and most of those men said themselves they were fighting for slavery and states rights. Although slavery was a major cause of the war it wasn’t the only cause (See Ken Stampp’s book “Causes of the Civil War” and Marc Egnal’s book “Clash of Extremes:The Economic Origins of the Civil War” for other causes).

        • John Tyler

          i’m guessing sean is 12 with an IQ of of 9…she loves outlawing historical monuments but I bet she won’t love outlawing abortion…
          she thinks bigots are horrible but babie killers are wonderful. you just can’t fix stupid. you just…can’t.

          • Sean Tyler Gill

            Wow john boy you sound like one of those good ol christian types that beat women and think they should shut up and make you a sandwich. You’d hate to kill a fetus but still believe the rape was her fault for looking to pretty. you as a man have no right to tell a women what she can do with her body, and women alone should decide that topic and the men in her life should support her, but your not one of those types right johnny boy? you think misogyny is just “boys being boys” your the type to not talk substance and just bash people you don’t know online. It’s funny when you Trumpers think you know something but your gonna vote for a billionaire con artist as president.

          • John Tyler

            oh if I just didn’t have a job, I’d find you so entertaining.
            oh btw- that’s President Trump to you you…over achiever you…
            enjoy 40 years of GOP Rule baby and thank Obama and Clinton for it 😉

          • Sean Tyler Gill

            Hahaha you mean russian dictator Trump? Or baby hands Trump? Or maybe sexual predator Trump? Ether way when he gets kicked out and dems take the house old misoginists such as your self wont have enough tiki torches to stop it.

  • Bruce Bayless

    Sean Tyler Gill also we lost the war in Vietnam. Many think we were on the wrong side of history with our role there. Jane Fonda comes to mind and George McGovern. The list is long. Yet we have a memorial in Washington DC that honors the war dead, and rightfully so. They died in a very unpopular war yet they served with valor.
    Union general Philip Sheridan once said “the only good Indian is a dead Indian”. A very ugly and racist remark. Sheridan is responsible for the deaths of many native Americans , yet we have monuments to him. Teddy Roosevelt said 9 out of 10 good Indians are dead. The statues and monuments to him are too many to count yet he is considered by many to be the father of the progressive movement in American politics. Lee was less racist than ninety percent of Americans of his day. If you doubt this read the Lincoln Douglas Debates to see what a racist Lincoln was who also wanted the slaves sent back to Africa. Just the facts!

    • Sean Tyler Gill

      Yes, Vietnam was also a stain on our history, and yes we should honor our dead, but that’s not what these monuments were installed to do, it was to glorify the southern cause. I don’t doubt others were racists, actually we need to acknowledge that racism has always been and continues to be one of the worst problems and embarrassments of our country. In all aspects, we should not glorify our history, instead learn from how unnecessarily cruel it was. White people hate the word racist but its what it is, it may have not been why the war was fought (even though the state right most fought for was slavery) but the war and cause was perpetuated throughout the 20th century by racists looking to rewrite history. many of these monuments were installed during Jim crow and the civil rights movement for as reason. The United States is a mess of military mistakes, from the trail of tears, to the nuclear program, just because i think the southern cause is ignorant doesn’t let the decisions that follow by the USA off the hook. These monuments are not for good and we cannot pretend they are, and anyone waving around a confederate flag today singin’ about the south rising again are the primary crowd of bigots these statues cater to. You wanna have a memorial for fallen soldiers of the civil war? fine. don’t make it about one side if its truly about the fallen men. We are one country now and to divide the memorials and statues is to say we are still not one country, and is to perpetuate the southern cause. So replace the Lee memorial for all I care, but not with Lee, it should be replaced by two brothers who fought against each other for a cause that was misguided because that’s what the civil war is.

      • manny

        The statue was no problem for 80 years. It should have not been removed. It was (is) a beautiful piece of art. How is the future going to learn about our mistakes if we destroy all of our past history?

        • Sean Tyler Gill

          by doing as suggested and putting it in a museum (the holocaust and human rights museum is a perfect example) and giving proper context. The Statue wasn’t a problem until we began prioritizing equality over the glorification of white causes, and only recently have we been able to make enough progress socially to realize that the divisive art of history does not need to divide us in the present. Art is only as good as the message it sends.

      • Bruce Bayless

        Sean Tyler Gill-You can’t judge these people by today’s standards. Most people in the 1860s black and white, North and South were bigots. Most of these Southerners owned no slaves and said themselves that they were fighting for independence and states rights. 270,000 thousand of these men died fighting for the South and deserve to have their memorials just as they do in the North since most of them were fighting for independence. However, slavery wasn’t even outlawed in the British Empire until 1840 and it was still practiced in Brazil and Cuba so slavery was still socially acceptable until relatively recently and had been for thousands of years. These men deserve to have their own monuments and should. If you want to be inclusive you put up monuments of your own not take down other people’s. Also these are primarily memorials to the men who died fighting for the South not art. The Civil War should not have even been fought. The United States was the only country that had to fight a war to free the slaves. The other countries compensated the slave owners for the slaves but the Abolitionists wouldn’t allow that in the US. If they had it would have cost a lot less than the war did. The Nazis and Communists already tried to erase history and it doesn’t work.

        • Sean Tyler Gill

          To say your men and my men is pert of the problem. we both agree the war shouldn’t have happened and that we are all one nation, so why put up statues commemorating one side or the other? if its about remembrance then put up a monument for all who died in the civil war, but southern causes breed hate and inequality due to peoples nature to generalize things. Unlike other people in this comments section I feel we have much more of a mutual understanding that something has to give and i think the removal of a statue is worth it if even one person of color can get past the dark history of inequality. Of course this one act alone does not do that but its a collective action, and the intent of the removal for equality should be treated with the same care as the intent of people who want to mourn the dead. and the nazis and communists may still have a presence but we must acknowledge that they have moved on much better from WW2 era then we still have from the civil war. Around half the time and yet there strides are worth noting.

          • Bruce Bayless

            There should be Confederate statues because there are Union statues for Northern soldiers so there also should be Confederate statues for Southern soldiers. If the Southern cause breeds hate I would say that this is partly due to ignorance. Around fifty years ago the Sons of Confederate veterans sued the Klan in order to try to prevent them from using the Confederate battle flag but the judge said the Confederate flag was in the public domain so the Klan was able to continue to use the flag. If it breeds hate people should educate themselves and realize that the majority of people including Lincoln were bigots (See the Lincoln-Douglas Debates) during that time. I’m sure some people do not like Confederate monuments but there are always somethings that someone doesn’t like but that shouldn’t make it all right to take down all the monuments. My great great grandparents (and two million other Irish) starved to death while the British were exporting wheat from Ireland but we don’t take down all of Queen Victoria’s monuments.

          • Sean Tyler Gill

            I would say though that yes back then they were all bigots, but the climate has changed and thats why its being addressed now, its less of an issue of dislike and more of an issue of perceptions. I agree it’s due to ignorance, but education is the only thing to solve that and it’s something a statue provides poorly. Unless people become educated they will always view the statue as white supremacy and by default others will be forced to view it as that as well.

          • Bruce Bayless

            Sean Tyler Gill here a link to a speech that Dr. James Robertson recently gave on Confederate monuments to the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. Dr. Robertson was in charge of the Civil War Centennial Commission, is the author of over 40 books on the Civil War, and has a long and broad knowledge related to the Civil War and Confederate monuments. He rightly and justifiably opposes the politicization of Civil War monuments. I think this video explains very well that the politicization of Civil War monuments and a lack of knowledge of the Civil War is causing some of these problems. I think that it is critical that everyone watch this video due to how well it explains the Confederate monument dilemma. https://www.c-span.org/video/?448679-5/debate-confederate-monuments

  • James Thompson

    Carraway is a member of the 97% who wanted it left where it belongs and not the 3% who wished in removed. Care to put the issue to a vote? Like we were once rumored to do in our former “glorious” Democracy.

  • Reed Avalon

    I think that the City of Dallas City Council and its advocates at D Mag have abandoned reason, sense, sensibility, history, respect and decency by demolishing monuments and calling for more of the same. I am embarrassed by them, as a lifelong Dallasite. What have we become? Children? Communists? ANTIFA members or associates?