Crime And Fear
Your articles about crime in Dallas were very interesting. As a resident of Oak Cliff, I have several things that need to be pointed out. First, Oak Cliff is a multiracial community that wants safer, cleaner, and better educated people to come together as a community. Second, I called 911 at 11:30 p.m. because four men were sitting outside my house smoking marijuana, drinking several cases of beer, and blaring their music. I was concerned because I was pregnant, had two other children, and my husband works at night. The police called me at 3:30 a.m. waking up my children and me to ask if the men had left. They never even drove by the area.
Thumbs down to D Magazine (May) for failing to check with me or anyone at the Republican Party of Texas before giving us a “Thumbs Down” because of our opposition to a Texas income tax. Yes, we are opposed to an income tax. It will cost Texans jobs and rob us of one of our best economic development tools. Anyone who believes other taxes will be lowered enough to offset its impact probably believed Bob Bullock when he promised he was opposed to an income tax in his television ads during his last campaign.
But despite what D Magazine erroneously reported, Texas Republicans are offering a program to avoid an income tax. Our House Republican caucus members have pledged to offer specific budget cuts on the floor of the House during the budget debate to support a two-year budget of $52.3 billion-the amount of money the comptroller has certified will be available during the next two years. I might add that despite all the talk you hear about a deficit, this is an increase of more than $6 billion in funds available since the last time the Legislature was at this point in the budget process-just two years ago.
REPUBLICAN PARTY OF TEXAS
Smith’s True Colors
In your April 1991 issue (“So We’ve Heard”), you stated that the majority of the black and brown vote in the mayor’s race would be split between Jim Buerger and Kathryn Cain. We don’t know whom your reporter has been talking to, but he obviously is not familiar with Forrest Smith or what he has done in the minority community for the past 20 years. Please inform your reporter that:
For four years Forrest Smith served as a member of the board of trustees of Bishop College; as vice chairman of the Parkland Hospital Board of Managers, he led the fight to pass an $80 million bond program to take care of the needs of those who use Parkland, most of whom are minorities; as president of the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce, he established strong relationships with the Black and Hispanic Chambers of Commerce; he was awarded the Distinguished Award from the Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in 1989 for starting the Hispanic Chamber’s Corporate Council Program; he received the “Thumbs Up” award from D Magazine in 1989 for starting the now nationally acclaimed Minority Counsel Program.
Minorities are like everyone else. We want to see crime reduced, a better educational system, and more job opportunities for everyone. We believe the best judge of a person’s ability to deliver on political promises is his record of achievement in the past. Forrest Smith’s record stands singularly above any of the candidates for mayor you mentioned in your article.
ON BEHALF OF THE FRIENDS OF
Regarding Laura Miller’s article about the interior decorator from Los Angeles who is looking for a Dallas woman (“Letter From La-La Land,” April); Boy, is his bubble going to burst when he finds out that Dallas women also love materialism, a career, driving a Mercedes with a car phone, and living in Highland Park. Then he can travel to Seattle, New York, Cleveland, and every other city in America, and find the same type of woman, mainly because his own values are so superficial, i.e., hair color requirement and chest size! Who is this guy kidding?
BARBARA A. HAIRSTION
Laura Miller makes quite a point about Dallas socialite Linda Ivy’s appearance on the front page of The Wail Street Journal “with mounds and mounds of big, yellow hair.” I find this reference rather odd in light of the fact that the Journal has never, to my knowledge, published a color photograph.
Still, critics who accused Ms. Miller of racial bias in the wake of her March cover story on Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price might wish to note that she has demonstrated, albeit unwittingly, that both she and her reporting are completely colorblind.
JOHN E, DIETRICH
“. . .Oh dear.” “.. .Oh no!.. .” “She really had fun with you.”
These are some of the local reactions I’ve received from people close to me after reading Miller’s article, or assassination of character of a true gentleman who took his most valuable time on a weekend to give her probably the most candid interview she’s ever received in her career!
Why didn’t she warn me that she was about to portray me as”… giving new depth to superficiality’1 and “Iraqi-type”?
What prompted her to slander me in such a manner? A good laugh? At my expense?
Did she read my press kit? Did she learn anything from it? I doubt it greatly! I demand a formal apology at once.
MR. RON DAYAN. M.B.I.D.
“AN ENGLISH GENTLEMAN”
Price, Take Two
The Dallas/Fort Worth Association of Black Communicators (DFW/ABC) is outraged by Laura Miller’s exposé on Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price (“The Hustler.” March).
As a professional organization devoted to fairness and accuracy in the media, we are appalled by Ms. Miller’s disregard for these basic tenets of journalism.
We question the absence of documentation to substantiate the very serious accusations of crimes allegedly committed by the commissioner. Ms. Miller’s story provides readers with no criminal complaints, offers no proof of an ongoing investigation, and quotes no law enforcement sources by name.
Indeed. Ms. Miller’s documentation primarily consists of anonymous sources who make very damning statements. This hardly represents standard or responsible journalism. Well-trained journalists learn early to omit information that cannot be backed up in print.
Ms. Miller employs an overused, racist stereotype to condemn Mr. Price’s image. She discusses at length the type of automobile he drives and the brand of clothes he wears, subliminally suggesting that Mr. Price and other African-Americans who own luxury items are “flashy,” to repeat a phrase used by the writer.
Without presenting evidence, an investigation, or public records to readers, Ms. Miller characterizes campaign contributions to the commissioner as payments made in exchange for county business. She conveniently fails to note whether these contributors made donations to other commissioners.
Cheap-shot, inflammatory journalism reaches an unprecedented low in the sensa-tionalistic paragraphs Ms. Miller devotes to the alleged rapes and an attempted rape committed by the commissioner. If Mr. Price rapes someone, he deserves to be punished. But readers are left to conclude that the commissioner committed rape because Ms. Miller’s anonymous “victims” say he did. Yet another outrageous accusation with no evidence, no paper trail, and a host of unnamed sources. Your readers, many of whom undoubtedly accept the printed word as fact, are left to trust the writer’s fairness and accuracy when her intentions clearly are questionable.
Any man who thinks he does not owe child support to his child, regardless of the reason, is not worth the time the media allots him. What an example he is for all brothers and sisters of any color. I’m sure he will never be a martyr in his son’s eyes.
AUBREY JEAN BUXTON