Daily Archives: 04/06/2009

(Community Matters) Evolving perspective. First, some of the facts/observations which are further informing:

1) I haven’t spoken with an African-American who doesn’t consider the Highland Mall closing racist

2) Other large festivals accommodated around town, plenty with incidents: Rep of Texas Bike Rally, SXSW & ACL

3) When UIL talked about rotating between Texas cities, we reacted affirmatively, wanting to continue as host

4) Several non-minority progressives and moderates have written to me or debated with me on Facebook, expressing their perspective that the mall & bar closings could be simple economic decisions. Many also expressed that they didn’t feel any of these businesses had an obligation to serve as a public space

5) I have not yet spoken with representatives of the businesses.

6) I have viewed cited YouTube videos and don’t see the threat.

Some of what my African American friends said after church yesterday (I received permission to blog about the conversation):

“People can lie to themselves. They don’t want to hear the truth. It’s racism and it’s alive and well.”

One of the friends heard about the Mall closing on the radio while driving. She started crying. It felt like a return to the 60s. This woman organized pickets in the 60s and 70s in response to discrimination against her children. Reflecting on those times she recalls thinking, “I’m not going to have my children go through what I went through all my life.”

“Anytime white people feel the loss of control in a setting of black people, they find ways to shut the setting down.”

“Two million people where in Washington DC recently and it was our most peaceful day. The rampages going on are among men who are unemployed. Be concerned about people hardest hit by the global recession.”

“We are stepping backwards not forward.” The voter ID bill is another attempt at disenfranchisement.

more forthcoming

Iceland v Vanity Fair

(Community Matters) Regardless, Steven and I adore Iceland and Icelanders. I suspect they are a wee bit sensitive given their economic crisis – who wouldn’t be? story here

Texas Relays

(Community Matters) I’ve had lots of conversations about the Texas Relay situation – yesterday, today at church, in a meeting of 25ish after church, during Floodlines with a council member and with a council member to be, others at the event and over dinner tonight at a dear friend’s. Plus, other emails and FB messages.

There is a huge perception gap. I haven’t met a black person who doesn’t consider it racist. Many whites too, and just as many who also think the economic arguments carry water & it isn’t racist.

I’m still fixed on that actions can be racist whether or not intended. I’m even more fixed on what can we do to move forward, be even more welcoming and make amends to those we’ve offended.

Many calling for a boycott of Highland Mall. Will be interesting to hear how business was when opened today.

I haven’t yet spoken with folks from the mall or bars but hope I’m able. Many notes from today’s meeting after church which I’m blog about more coherently tomorrow.


(Community Matters) Jaclyn Pryor has produced and performed in Floodlines six years. First performed after 9/11, the production was Jaclyn’s master thesis. Steven and I participated last year – did so again today.

Heather McClellan & Matthew Scheer

Will write more when get the chance

Palm Sunday

(Community Matters) pics from St. James’ Episcopal Palm Sunday services