Don’t Bury Me Yet
Editor’s note: Our April story on the Dallas mayoral race (“Is Ron Kirk Inevitable?”) brought solid evidence that, contrary to our erroneous statement, former city councilman, mayoral candidate, and county judge candidate Max Goldblatt is very much alive. In his 10-page reply, accompanied by a bound oral history and numerous press clippings, Goldblatt accuses writer Jim Schutze of “misstatements of facts” about his record and philosophy. Goldblatt recounts his record of civic achievement-his involve-ment in building a new YMCA in Pleasant Grove, his early support for Skyline High School, his work in establishing the junior colleges, and more. Particularly incensed by Sckutze’s description of him as “transparently racist, ” Goldblatt spends several pages detailing his usually cordial relationships with African-Americans-his participation in the South Dallas Block Partnership, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, his admiration for Juanita Craft, etc. Following are excerpts from his letter:
I AM DESCRIBED AS “A PERENNIAL GADFLY, cranky letter-writer to the editor and Jewish Pleasant Grove hardware merchant who had been elected to the council because he was against big things and in favor of many weird things. ” [Schutze] further states that I was against mass transit, majorhighway repair, and construction of an arts district, and that I opposed neigh-borhood self-determination.
A gadfly is described by Socrates as someone who makes people think. I am very proud of my Jewish heritage, though I have trouble with it being mentioned in the article when no other religious faith was attributed to the other subjects [Ron Kirk and Darrell Jordan].
The statement that I was a transparent racist is patently untrue and a lie. The statement that I appeared on television everyday for two years and baited African-American council members is a distortion of the truth. There was a member of the council who was divisive and disruptive and created racial problems where there were none. I felt that she needed to be confronted and 1 did so. This councilwoman arranged for racial activists to appear before the council and to attempt to bait me and cause me an embarrassment. One of her followers appeared before us and stated that he had a gift for “the number one rat of Pleasant Grove. ” He handed me a box which was indicated to have a rat. It was a hamster.
Another time a minister complained that a member of the City Council should not be allowed to vote on a zoning change because he owned property in the same area. When asked to identify the councilman, he named me. I stated that 1 owned no property there or anywhere in North Dallas. If I resented these dirty tricks and publicly confronted her, I believe I had every reason to do so because I wanted to protect my good name and it certainly was not a racial issue.
I opposed the construction overhaul of Central Expressway and suggested that we could never get ahead of the traffic needs in this corridor by tearing up the freeway and spending millions of dollars on an impossible task. The need was to build a transit system that would be cheaper, faster, safer, and would not be disruptive. The monorail filled all those requirements and could have been completed in three years, Instead, 10 years later we are still struggling with construction work and no relief in sight. We could be there by now!
When a lazy reporter cannot find a substantive comment to make about someone he wants to discredit, he often resorts to religion, morals, or race.
MY FATHER, MAX GOLDBLATT, HASSTOOD squarely again all forms of racism his entire life. No one knows more about the evils of racism than a hardware merchant who watched a cross being burned in front of his store because he was a Jew. In addition, Max Goldblatt worked tirelessly to assist 79 black families in relocating their homes out of the flooded Roosevelt Heights area. He has always understood the divisiveness created by prejudice. Mr. Schutze should research the ideas he stood for in his public life and, at the very least, acknowledge the fact that he continues to be an active and interested citizen of Dallas.
LEAH GOLDBLATT LAHASK
New Iberia, Louisiana
JIM SCHUTZE REPLIES: Having observed Max Goldhlatt’s political career for the better part of 20 years, I know him as a complex figure. In his own defense of himself, he says he spent his time on the City Council telling off the black council members not because he was a racist but because it needed to be done. I say he did it to curry favor with biased white voters in his own council district. I note with great interest that black voters in the city at the time shared my opinion.
THE CONTEXT AND CONTRIBUTION OF Mr. Schutze’s article on the mayoral race was reasonable and informative.
However, I’d appreciate our view of the “aginner” label. I certainly am:
Against waste, and for responsible use of hard-earned taxes;
Against secretive manipulated government, and for openness that citizens trust;
Against D. A. R. T. as it is, and for a reformed D. A. R. T. that gives a dollar’s worth of mobility services per dollar in taxation;
Against crime, and for expanded public safety services to protect our citizens’ person and property;
Against the current decline, and for a positive, progressive Dallas.
So, being for change requires being against the status quo.
Thank you for considering our views.
Wall Street Woes
NEXT TIME YOU RUN A STOCK-PICKING contest, try not to allow contestants to use the next day’s stock prices to enter. You used prices from a Friday closing as your starting point, hut your deadline for entry was the following Thursday. It may have allowed anyone to look in the paper on Monday and see that Wellcome was being bought out. Your current leader shouldn’t be penalized for that as much as that he missed the announcement on the Tuesday prior to the deadline of the buyout of Affymax for $30 per share when it was priced at $ 19 the previous Friday. I thought about entering with rules like these, hut it was just too easy.
We purposely gave our reader contestants this jump-start on our experts as we thought-it would be an incentive to join the contest. As you may have noticed, however, the reader who chose Wellcome is no longer in the lead and is being outpaced by another reader. Maybe it’s not as easy as it seemed.
Correction: Models for last month’s “Who says Books are Dead?” story were provided by the Tomas Agency.
Don’t Bury Me Yet