By Sam Madden
In the original piece which I authored on August 29, 2017 I quoted Mayor Mike Rawlings of Dallas. He stated: “It is critical that we go about this process in a way that makes our city more united. Let’s use this opportunity to listen from one another and to make our city stronger!”
Mayor Rawlings did a 180 degree turn. Through pressure from primarily four city council members a vote was put on the agenda September 6. But even before the vote took place crane workers were already in position to take down the statue. They were just waiting for the vote to be taken.
Of course this is very fishy. Mayor Rawlings and the City Council obviously circumvented a true democratic process.
The Robert E. Lee statue at Lee Park in Dallas was not taken down that day though. A federal judge ordered a temporary restraining order as the workers were cutting into the base of the statue. The following day arguments were heard, but the plaintiffs did not make their case, according to the judge.
The statue was eventually removed September 14, and is now being stored at Hensley Field, a Naval Air Station.
(AP Photo/LM Otero)
The result is now a more divisive Dallas, 68% of citizens polled by NBC 5 in Dallas were against the taking down of the statue.
Mayor Rawlings instead of uniting the city just created more division. Let’s use this as a lesson that without civil dialogue, without using constructive ways to bring this country together and instead give in to mob rule we only worsen the divide and make it that much harder to bring this nation together.
Sam Madden is a board member for the Center For Pluralism.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org