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Crusty Jim Schutze of The Dallas Observer wrapped a very long, very sad week in Dallas history with some stuff to be actually positive about.

He didn’t come out and say it, but it’s really our real estate market:

Burdened as we are by a peculiar past, even hobbled by a certain disconnection from national progress, the fact remains that Dallas and its environs in the last decade have become a marvelous new realm, or, maybe more accurately, a couple of marvelous new realms.

Both new realms reflect changes that already took place in many other American cities 20 years ago. But they are happening here now, and these changes should make us all strongly optimistic for our future.

That peculiar past: the old way of running a city, he says, with iron fists, white iron fists. I wasn’t here in the sixties or even 1978, when Schutze says he arrived. But he is probably the most knowledgeable person in the city when it comes to race relations in Dallas. When I got here in the 1980’s and saw what people told me was a separate drinking fountain — separate for who, I asked?  Oh yeah, I had heard of those where I grew up, but had never actually seen one in Chicago, Boston or New York City. The whole concept of segregation like that was just so — so mean. I may have grown up in a Lily white Chicago suburb, but I never forgot the day my doll lost her shoes — wind blew them off — while walking down State Street in the Windy City with my parents. A kind man chased them down and returned them to me.

He happened to be black.

Schutze says he was info central this week for the out of state reporters here for a crash course in race relations, etc. They were reporting on the downtown ambush that left five of our finest dead. I’ve been cringing over this event since last Thursday night. How would it shape our city? Why Dallas? Schutze went ahead and told the out-of-towners about the skeletons (I wonder if he mentioned the name John Wiley Price), then he said something very positive: (more…)