MEDIADallas Examiner columnist earl pedford is weary of people praising and bashing him as a black writer who chastizes black leaders. “I try to hold politicians or personalities, black or white, accountable,” he says. “I’ve challenged the viewpoints of Mayor ANNETTE STRAUSS and ROSS PEROT, not just ALPHONSO JACKSON and AL LIPSCOMB.“
Since ’The Double Edge Sword1’ was unsheathed almost three years ago, Pedford has questioned everything from Dallas’s flood relief spending to hiring practices and low pay for the minority staffers at KKDA-FM 104.5. But despite his colorblind slashing, Pedford says that people are angered most when he challenges black politicos-“the traditional favorites. But that’s understandable, because I was holding these people’s heroes accountable,” he says. Pedford says that of late, fewer readers are attacking him as the messenger who brings up taboo issues, and more have begun pondering his message. “People used to only talk about some of these criticisms in whispers, and now they’re talking about them on street corners and at council meetings.”
Before Pedford, 39, took on Dallas’s problems, he overcame injuries from a helicopter crash in Vietnam, then subsequent drug abuse. He stresses that the black community’s road to recovery lies in fighting for economic development. As he puts it: “Trying to confront problems with an uninformed community is like sending troops to war with no weapons.” Pedford’s double-edged sword may not be all the weaponry needed, but it’s a good start.