The 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination will be coming up on Friday, and I have a post in the pipeline for that day, but I had to comment on this piece by James McAuley in The New York Times:
For the last 50 years, a collective culpability has quietly propelled the city to outshine its troubled past without ever actually engaging with it. To be fair, pretending to forget has helped Dallas achieve some remarkable accomplishments in those years, like the completion of the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, the development of the astonishingly successful Cowboys franchise and the creation of what remains one of the country’s most electric local economies.
But those are transient triumphs in the face of what has always been left unsaid, what the now-defunct Dallas Times Herald once called the “dark night of the soul,” on which the bright Texas sun has yet to rise. The far right of 1963 and the radicalism of my grandparents’ generation may have faded in recent years, they remain very much alive in Dallas. Look no further than the troop of gun-rights activists who appeared just days ago, armed and silent, outside a meeting of local mothers concerned about gun violence. If this is what counts as responsible civic dialogue, then Dallas has a long way still to go.
This year Dallas has a chance to grapple with the painful legacy of 1963 in public and out loud. Unfortunately, that’s unlikely to happen, although the city did quietly host a symposium on whether it really deserved to be labeled “the city of hate” earlier this month.
But when the national cameras start rolling on Nov. 22, Dealey Plaza, the abandoned, almost spectral site of the assassination and now of the commemoration, will have been retouched in a fresh coat of literal and figurative white paint. Cosmetics seem to be all we can expect.
“This is not a group psychology lesson,” Mike Rawlings, the mayor, told me over lunch recently. “We can do what we can do. I guess I could bring up all the relatives of the people that said bad things. But why would you do that?”
Go here to read the rest. McAuley apparently has “issues” with his heritage since his paternal grandparents were involved in conservative causes in Dallas. Poor dear! I am sure that caused him some social ostracism as a student at Harvard and Oxford! He can work that out with a shrink. My amusement with his piece is the continuing inability of the left to accept that their hero JFK, a centrist Democrat, was gunned down by a deranged Marxist, Lee Harvey Oswald, and not by some sinister right wing cabal. According to McAuley I guess conservatives in Dallas were responsible for setting a tone that led Oswald to slay Kennedy. By that logic I guess abolitionists were responsible for setting a tone that caused John Wilkes Booth to assassinate Lincoln. I expected a fair amount of absurdity from the main stream media over the Kennedy assassination anniversary and this idiotic piece by McAuley is no doubt merely an opening salvo.