Why Do County Commissioner John Wiley Price's Supporters Distrust the FBI? History.

Categories: Get Off My Lawn

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Wilonsky and I attended the John Wiley Price rally together yesterday. He has already done a fine job here reporting on what happened. The only reason I would even open my mouth is in response to some of the comments I see in response to his item.

One commenter asked what's wrong with John Fullinwider, the writer, teacher and community activist who was the only white speaker at the three-hour rally at St. Luke "Community" United Methodist Church in support of embattled Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price.

"Did he get on Price's payroll? Or is it too much weed?" asked the Friend of Unfair Park who goes by the name Grumpy Demo.

I actually look forward to Grumpy Demo's comments most of the time, maybe because I'm kind of a grumpy Demo myself, but I think he takes a typical white-folks whiff on this one. If a white Tea Party member had made a speech saying all the same things Fullinwider said about the FBI -- and the Tea Party tends to share similar views on the feds on many occasions -- I don't think Grumpy Demo would have reacted the same way.

Fullinwider presented a broad history of instances in the past, both distant and recent, when the FBI has engaged in corrupt political sabotage of groups believed to be somehow anti-government. Fullinwider ran it down from the FBI's illegal COINTELPRO activities of the '60s to its marathon pursuit of Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford Sr., eventually acquitted by a jury of 11 whites and one black in 1993.

That's just history, man. It's fact. And it's a history that falls especially hard on the hearts and minds of black people, who have been targets of illegal and unjust persecution by police of all stripes and kinds more often than anybody else in the society.

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Photo by Mark Graham
John Fullinwider
Now, Fullinwider took it a step beyond the history. He claimed a direct causal link between the FBI's pursuit of black officials in Dallas on corruption charges and the waning of the power of the Dallas Citizens Council, the oligarchical group that has dominated city politics since the 1930s. Fullinwider's thesis is that the FBI has been trying to help the Citizens Council hang on to its juice as minorities have gradually been able to take some of that juice away.

That one we can argue. It's a good argument to have. We should argue that one, definitely.

What we're not going to be able to argue is the history of FBI oppression of black people. That one is just there. You can't wipe it away. And of course it's going to be a huge factor in how black people in this city view any kind of FBI mobilization against a black elected official. How could they not feel that way?

The FBI's bad history is not a permanent insurmountable King's X on federal prosecutions of black officials. There were black jurors on the jury that sent Dallas city councilman Don Hill to the pen in 2009.

I looked around St. Luke yesterday evening, and I had the same feeling I got at an earlier rally for Price at Kirkwood Temple AME Church a week ago. The crowd at St. Luke, like the one at Kirkwood, was the solid, middle-aged and older, business and professional class of Southern Dallas, not wingdings and crazy people.

The crowd at St. Luke will believe what the evidence says, if anybody ever goes to trial. No one has been charged yet. But given the history, that evidence will have to be really, really good if the government hopes to get a single conviction.

I wonder ... I've tried this before on other items like this one about race in Dallas ... is there any way all of the commenters who just hate everybody and everything black and want to cave in my skull with a ball bat could chime in first and just say, "S.Y.S.Y.T.A.H." or Sistah!, for "Screw you, Schutze, you total asshole"? That way we could maybe save some time and space and move on to the people who actually want to talk about it a little.

Nah. That won't work.

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John Finley
John Finley

So, I guess I'm the only one who giggled when all this started?

DotDot
DotDot

No, you're not - Maureen Dickey most definitely giggled, shoot!- she laughed out loud! And I'm willing to bet you that "Fat Boy" probably had a tiny bit of a smirk; Maybe even the teeth of Kenneth Mayfield can be seen pretty easily or perhaps Jim Foster's dentures are shinier than ever... And perhaps Bruce Sherbet's supporters are partying(but not Bruce. I don't think Bruce is one of those who gets happy at another's downfall) Oh, yes, lots of giggles going on here. Better be careful who you laugh at - none of us are exempt from trouble.

EricDallas
EricDallas

UH, so it doesn't matter if he's guilty of anything or not, its just the fact that a black man is being investigated that has the black community in an uproar.  Oh, so that's how it works.  I guess I need to look at a picture of my candidates before I vote from now on.  If I have white elected officials, then there won't be a problem investigating them if the FBI suspects something.  I kinda like the idea of investigating all of them personally, but I wouldn't want to be a racist, so I'll just vote white from now on, that way the FBI can investigate all they want with no protests and such nonsense.  How stupid we have become as a nation.

DotDot
DotDot

Oh wake up and smell the coffee! Sounds like just another "Oh, he must be guilty!" even though he hasn't been charged. Puleesse!

anonymous
anonymous

As a longtime county employee i would like to share some thoughts with you. Before march 2011 Dallas county had good computer support. Since that date the quality of our support has noticeably diminished. As i looked into this issue i learned that a company Qnet is the vendor does this company have a history with jwp?. It also appears they have particicpated with Kwanzaa fest as well as hosting jwp website and Kwanzaa fest facebook page. Additionaly as i looked into this i learned that the commissioner restricts access to his departments systems with one exception. My concern started when several of our county departments started receiving subpar computer support and then reading your reports claiming that a company named Vignon was involved in this investigation. After talking with fellow employees i learned that Qnet andVignon have partnered to try and support the county. it just seems fishy and i'm sure jwp is once again making money at the counties expense!!! Look into it i guarantee you find something......

DotDot
DotDot

And your point is??????

Rooster
Rooster

I accept the Price's supporters have a legitimate reason to be skeptical.  You can't look at history and think otherwise.

I also accept Price may very well be one in a long line of Dallas politicians, black and white, who are on the take.  You can't look at recent history and think otherwise.

Josh Ellis
Josh Ellis

I don't think any rational person would argue that the FBI has not always had the African-American community's best interests at heart, to say the least. Another report I read on the Morning News website stated that a Georgetown professor, Michael Eric Dyson, compared the FBI's investigation of John Wiley Price, to the FBI's investigation of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. About the only comparison you one can make between JWP and MLK is the color of their skin.To suggest the FBI's investigation of Price--a case where their actually appears to be some smoke--to that of Dr. King--a case where there clearly was  NO smoke--is ludicrous.

This is 2011 in Dallas. It's not Selma, Alabama in 1965. We live in the most culturally diverse county in the state (and the bluest county in the state). On a national level, we have an African-American in the White House and an African-American as the Attorney General, both of whom either directly or indirectly have some control over the FBI. 

Let us no forget the past, unless we want to repeat it, but let's be logical when making the comparisons.

Jay
Jay

The politics of victimization die hard. If an individual can't blame racism or discrimination as the reason for some failure in life, they would be forced to confront their own short-comings, and they might not like what they see. In the instance of JohnWPrice, I believe that a lot of his local supporters are having a very difficult time separating the man behind the public facade. In avoiding hard truths about him, they are default to charges of institutional racism and victimization (by the FBI). Not too surprising, heroes also die hard. I'll be more concerned what his supporters say and do if he is actually indicted, tried and convicted.

Penny
Penny

Wonder how it is that we black people are in such an uproar over the FBI raiding JWP's home and office, but nobody is mad that we are being asked to dig deep into our pockets to help pay for his defence.  Hell it was his home they found the 100k in, not mine.  And am I the only black person that is furious about JWP telling folks to go to hell.  If a white guy had been saying that to him, we'd all but dig up MLK himself to join in, in the rally

DotDot
DotDot

And your point is????

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

OK, so the idea is that the FBI have nothing better to do than go after a county commissioner merely due to his race?   Because what hurts worse: the FBI attacking your man downtown, or learning that your man downtown is just a two-bit con artist who was only ever looking out for #1?  Denial is ugly.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

I know Fullenwider, respect him, and I am so disappointed that he has hitched his wagon to this event. I think he has it totally wrong. I am of the belief, and it seems to be the correct one, that the FBI--made up of agents NOT from Dallas, by the way, may just be going after the grip of the DCC on Dallas. You have to go where the money goes, but you have to start at the end of the payday.

IF the allegations we assume they are following are that bacak leaders, both ministers and politicians, have been accepting money from rich, white North Dallas businessmen, okay. They got the cash to sellout their own people. Now, follow the money BACK, and the REASONS why the money was paid to begin with....

That is the idiocy here: IF JWP Is innocent, then he should plop himself down in the chair at FBI's offices an Dallas and offer to help. Ask them what it is they want, and see what this innocent child of God can do to help, because, by God, if someone is rigging the system--and black South Dallas is getting ripped off, you would think he would want to help....

John Fullenwider's COINTELPRO connection is what we call, "smoke and mirrors,"  or "slight of hand." Don't look to hard under the rug in Dallas, look over here, instead! Don't shine a light  on corruption, shine it on the one's investigating it.

Again, I am sad to see he has drunk the Kool-Aid. I spent many a time with him as we both fought against problems and control by others in DISD. He and I both know that the heart of this case, the truth in this matter, is also at 3700 Ross and at Cuty Hall. We both know that for too long, there has been a control of the DCC on this city, and it needs to end.

Man, John, I am so disappointed.

Perry Moore
Perry Moore

If Ross Jr. were a Dallas County Commissioner that sported corn rows, wore a bow tie, drove around in a pimpmobile with a giant picture of himself on the side, and told black people to go to hell, would the FBI raid his home? More importantly, would he ever be elected to the county commission in the first place? Flamboyance is an expensive lifestyle, even, and sometimes especially, in the black community.

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

"that sported corn rows, wore a bow tie, drove around in a pimpmobile "

Your comment indicates you're problem with JWP is his hair, his clothing, and his car, not his ethical problems.

Yeah no racism here.

FYI, Perot doesn't have to put his face on his car because D Magazine's CEO and Belo perform the same function, as for telling "black people to go to hell" why do think so many of Dallas' White elites are members of the Whites Only, Jew free Dallas Country Club? To tell minorities to "go to hell."

Do you have a problem when whites engage in the same behavior?

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

"I think he takes a typical white-folks whiff on this one."

As I sit in my suburban North Dallas ranch-style home, typing on my Macbook Pro, with my iPhone on mute, while listening to NPR, I am out raged at the racists malicious slur that you have cast on me sir, . . .

"white-folks wiff" indeed! I almost spilled my breakfast of Whole Foods yogurt and high fiber muesli, on my Brooks Brothers pajamas.

I'd say more but I've got go wash my Honda Accord, drop off a DVD (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), return a weed whacker to Lowe's and then pick up my wife's dry cleaning.

Yakuza_Fighter
Yakuza_Fighter

If you substitute "Blu-ray" for "DVD" that post is almost perfect.

Catbird
Catbird

I have a Prius and I'm black!

Bill Holston
Bill Holston

you don't have a prius?

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

Nah, Consumer Reports said I don't drive long enuff distances for a Prius.

Goin' to Starbucks. Anyone want something?

Bill Holston
Bill Holston

Yes, would you mind picking me up a grilled cheese with goat cheese and an artisan beer.

stuartbramhall
stuartbramhall

The FBI doesn't go after black people who know their place (like Obama) and support the white male power elite. I can't see any evidence that Cointelpro ever ended - at least not in Seattle.

During the 1980s the FBI infiltrated CISPES and broke it up twice (documented by the Center for Constitutional Rights). They also infiltrated and broke up the support committee for the African American Museum three times. Then there was the time in 1981 they infiltrated the cannery workers union and collaborated with Marcos agents to gun down two Filipino union organizers named Domingo and Viernes (this came out as a result of a lawsuit filed by the family). And the black postal worker and union activist who was brutally murdered in 1989 – only there was no homicide investigation because US intelligence (the Postal Inspectors) seized the evidence file from Seattle police. And oh yes, in 1997 the murder of the African American race car driver who publicized the fact that the DEA was laundering cocaine profits via the racing circuit.

I write about my own problems with phone harassment, stalking, and break-ins (as a result of my political activities) in my recent memoir: THE MOST REVOLUTIONARY ACT: MEMOIR OF AN AMERICAN REFUGEE (www.stuartbramhall.com). I currently live in exile in New Zealand

Rooster
Rooster

Please feel free to stay where you're at.  We have enough people walking around here wearing tinfoil hats.

Mountain Creek
Mountain Creek

why is it when I click on the link, it redirects to trolls.com ?  Must be the us gubmint after you...

Jay
Jay

Self-imposed exile no doubt.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Go away, Advertise somewhere else. This has NOTHING to do with Dallas. If you were really that dangerous to the USA, they would have killed you by now... since you broadcast where you live in every post you make.

Watching
Watching

Glad you are there.   1981?  Geeze, Louise.  Get a life!

cp
cp

Jim... El Ray and others have been maintaining that since the POTUS and the Attorney General are both black, then how can anyone say that the FBI is racially targeting black politicians.

But my questions is this: if JWP is indicted and goes on trial, how in the world can he get a fair trial in Dallas County or any other the other counties near here for that matter? Really in the whole state of Texas, since everyone in Texas seems to know something about him?

Mike
Mike

Wasn't that the whole idea with sending Al Lipscomb's trial to Amarillo?

Anonymous
Anonymous

A conservative panel of the federal appeals court in  New Orleans found that Judge Kendall sent the Al Lipscomb trial to Amarillo in order to deprive Lipscomb of a fair trial.To Just Sayin': Guilt is a wonderful thing in the the guilty.

Guest
Guest

My comments may have been sarcastic.

BCulbreath
BCulbreath

They love TV Star Oprah she is noy Black to them shes a TV Star.

Guest
Guest

I don't know why they'd think that. An Amarillo jury found for Oprah in the whole beef libel lawsuit. Surely that means they love black people up there.

JimS
JimS

Anonymous above is I.

just sayin'
just sayin'

Nothing stretches the wrinkles out of Jim's Dockers like white guilt and Angela Hunt in a red dress.

Citizen Kim
Citizen Kim

Ummmm, Angela Hunt in a red dress .... oh yeah...

John Finley
John Finley

Every time I go on a Swiss Home Tour, she's there in the same red dress. That thing is the new Lewinsky blue dress.

Phelps
Phelps

So, the theory is that the Obama Administration has sicked the DOJ on John Wiley Price to keep the black man down?

Nailemup
Nailemup

You do speak the truth. You leave out an important element of oppression. It is that which results when there remains in power a class of individuals who are free to engage in open corruption and abuse of power with unchallenged impunity. That is also a form of terrorizing and victimizing both black and white Americans and is far more prevalent and apparently more effective given that even as Rome burns this oppression remains unconfronted by the community and the press.

gabbahey
gabbahey

I would suggest starting with Tom Leppert.

Justin Julian
Justin Julian

Black president?  DOESN'T MATTER!  Black head of DOJ?  DOESN'T MATTER!  The system is CLEARLY RACIST!  Oh man, it'd be funny if it wasn't true.  Crooks are crooks.  I don't give a rat's ass how Price supporters 'feel' about the investigation.  Shut up, sit down, and WHEN he's charged, deal with that.  Protesting an investigation is the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

RTGolden
RTGolden

Good points in the article, however, I have a small, possibly insignificant counterpoint.  One cannot argue a history of racially biased prosecution in this country.  As you said, it's a matter of record.  What isn't so clear, however, is the pass given to many, in more recent history, solely because of race.  That is what I hope is avoided in this scenario.  I hope if JWP comes through this clean as a whistle it's because he IS clean as a whistle, not because the story gets twisted into some sort tired rerun of the Jeffersons vs. the Bunkers.Personally, I think this is, so far, much ado about nothing.  Nobody knows anything.  A lot of people suspect they know something, or have spoken to someone who might have seen something.... or not.  Even channel 8, so hot on this story when it broke I think they already had someone stationed outside Sterret, has backed off, and very carefully states that JWP hasn't been accused of anything yet (by the Feds anyway).So, I agree with the theme of the rally, if not its spirit.  Justice for John, may he get what he deserves, whatever it may be.

El Rey
El Rey

If people think the FBI is unjustly chasing after black politicians with clean hands while the President and US Attorney General are also black... Well then, somebody is smoking crack.

Montemalone
Montemalone

I agree.I think the effbeeye needs to indict some of the white folk criminals in the city/county/state.They're the ones really screwing everybody over.

Whodunnit
Whodunnit

Justice is Blind. I hope the Feds round up all of those who have broken the law. The law doesn't care what color they are. Period.

NatWu
NatWu

Well, that's just naive. The justice system in this country is run by people. Many of those people have their own opinions about who should and should not be prosecuted and how they should be sentenced. Often, this works to the detriment of people of color. Justice in this country has never been blind.

Cujo
Cujo

It's early days and there's still plenty of time to rat out the stupid white people. The smart ones, regardless of color, will stay untouchable. That's going to be it for today's lesson.

ray
ray

I want to see the news footage of the FBI going in and out of the W Residences of Ross Jr. Now, that's what I call really GOOD camera. Of course, that will never happen. We gotta cut the ribbon on that fancy new Science Museum. I wonder if JWP will be at thatopening cocktail partaayyyy? Haaaaayyy!!!

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