The Dallas Morning News Again Tackles the Root of All Evil: Car Washes

Categories: Schutze

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Today on The Dallas Morning News op-ed page we find a piece by Ethnic Tidying Kompaniechef Tod Robberson demanding that the Bulldozers of Compassion take down a car wash in southern Dallas, putting some poor son of a bitch out of business. And that would be why?

The business needs to be destroyed, Robberson reports, because there's a lot of crime and drug traffic going on around it. He reports: "Expand a search of police files by a mere half-block radius, and you'll find 542 separate crimes since 2005 involving a wide assortment of assaults, adult rape, child rape, robbery and drug activity. One report, from two weeks ago, involved unspecified child endangerment and drugs."

Wait, do what? You say expand the search by a half-block radius and you'll find all this terrible crap going on? Well, yeah. Doesn't that mean the whole area is a crack-whore, crime-ridden nightmare?

So, tell me again: You think people become crack whores, crack heads, crack dealers, killers and child-rapists because of car washes?

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Robberson goes on about how the owner of the self-serve car wash isn't on-site all the time like owners of nearby stores and other businesses. Well, you know, no shit, Sherlock. That's kind of assumed in the whole concept of a self-serve car wash, is it not? Does Robberson want to see a self-serve car wash where the owner is standing out on the curb with a gun telling bad-looking people they can't wash their cars there?

And by the way, what have the shop-owners who are at their places of business all day been able to accomplish in the war on zombies? Doesn't sound like much. If we feed the car wash to the Bulldozers of Compassion, will the bulldozers be satisfied? When the miserable conditions persist, won't the 'dozers want to eat all the other businesses too?

What Robberson wants is no self-serve car-wash, right here, right now, because The News says so. He's running out of patience: "After 51 straight months of our listing it as a trouble spot, isn't someone, somewhere out there getting the message?"

What message? His message is clear. Just make it go away, rub it out. It offends the eye of The Dallas Morning News editorial board.

The Morning News, in its "Ten Holes in the Bucket" editorial campaign to pretty-up the ghetto, has taken the "Broken Windows" theory of crime and turned it on its head to justify old-fashioned slum-clearance.

Broken Windows was the name of an article in The Atlantic published in 1982 expounding the views of two academics, George L. Kelling and James Q. Wilson. They said taking care of small things in a neighborhood -- a kind of zero tolerance for minor offenses -- creates an atmosphere that is inhospitable to criminals. The bad guys just don't like it, so they go away.

It's sort of like playing classical music on the public address. system outside the downtown McDonald's to drive off the homeless. That actually works, and Kelling and Wilson summoned solid research and scientific findings to buttress their theory.

But like any good theory, you can take it to extremes. It works in neighborhoods that still have a tipping point. The area Robberson is talking about won't have a tipping point until somebody does something about the hordes of crack-addicted zombies who infest it.

The zombies are not the fault of the car wash owner. Blaming a guy who's just trying to do business at the low end of the market traipses dangerously close to a long tradition of guilt by association and paranoid scapegoating in Dallas. One is reminded of the dearly held belief still current in a lot of South Dallas that poverty, crappy housing and alcohol addiction are the inventions of Jewish landlords and liquor-store owners.

Oh, sorry, I'm behind the times. I should have said Korean landlords and store-owners. The point is, it's always somebody. But it never seems to be the drunks, the layabouts, the whores, the thieves or the crack-heads themselves.

If we expand our search of southern Dallas way bigger than the half a block around the car wash and look at it as a whole, we see that poor black people in Southern Dallas have been figuring out this problem and coming up with their own brilliant solution for decades. They're moving out. And they're moving up. In a phenomenon the News' headline writers once denigrated as "black flight," tough, smart, determined, upwardly mobile black families have been doing exactly what white immigrants always did in this country as fast as they could -- moving the hell out of the ghetto.

For a family with kids, a young person with ambition, somebody who has overcome a dependency problem, that's what you do. The best thing to happen to southern Dallas is depopulation.

The thing I hate about The News's Ten Holes campaign is that it never touches the fundamental underlying issues of the self-destructive moral culture that produces the situation Robberson describes. It's not the car washes. It's the morality, stupid.

New York Times columnist David Brooks has a column on the op-ed page of today's Times that is at least tangentially relevant. He says, "As the Victorians understood (and the folks at Alcoholics Anonymous understand), if you want to change your life, don't just look for a clever trigger. Commit to some larger global belief."

In other words, if you're a drug zombie, bulldozing the car wash is not the thing that will turn you around. It's for you to find a reason to be a different person.

In the meantime, what are we supposed to do about the process of dismal distillation going on in a few concentrated hotspots in southern Dallas, where everybody who has the personal wherewithal gets out and all you have left is the zombies?

There are many people trying to do something, mainly in the churches. Churches, after all, are in the morals business, more than government or newspapers. If you want a really stirring experience, whether you are religious or not, attend a service at one of the big African-American churches at the southern end of the county these days. You will see a wonderful army of people on the march to a better life.

But what to do about the people who don't want a better life, who only want to do crack and stay where they are? All that takes is a bit of patience. A tad. Count to 10. Then tell the lads over at the cemetery to fire up the back-hoes.

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gift ideas for men
gift ideas for men

The co-workers at town authorities could choose when its excellent for us to have a car clean, and when its bad. They could also gather a few more cash on SUP allows. Individually, I don't clean my car so I don't health care.

Man and Van hire London
Man and Van hire London

These services show to be useful in maintaining the worth of your automobile. As a automobile owner, it is a tiny investment that assures a better performance of your automobile.

Shwhitley
Shwhitley

there is probably a 7-11 or some other corporate entity that wants that land for some reason...this guy's a punk

parkdale27
parkdale27

Thanks Dallas Observer for an alternative to the sanctimonious braying in the DallasSnooze and the stale articles in the Fort Worth StartleGram.  I wish the Dallas News would just vanish behind their pay wall.

MattL1
MattL1

They definitely need to shut this business down, because, as everyone knows, open businesses are MUCH bigger crime magnets than are abandoned businesses and vacant lots.

Sanders Kaufman
Sanders Kaufman

It's sad when churches, hotbeds of hatred, intolerance, crime and violence, are depicted as something better than the rest of society.

Bmarvel
Bmarvel

Just noticed from your Facebook page you listed "Atlas Shrugged" as a favorite book. Explains So much...

Bmarvel
Bmarvel

" ... churches, hotbeds of hatred, intolerance, crime and violence...."So glib, so chic to dump on churches. Requires nothing much in the way of deep thought or experience, but comes off as so sophisticated. So...modern. And, notice, you didn't say which churches, so you get to dump on all of them and no counter-argument is possible. Let me ask you: Is there any particular church you had in mind? Would this include Mosques? Synagogues? Quaker meeting houses? Or would this just be, say, white churches?

1500 Marilla
1500 Marilla

Let's give Ten Dropper Robberson a bit of credit here. First, he actually mentioned Okon Metals without demanding that they immediately shutdown and relocate to the Inland Port or Joppa or anywhere less special and valued than where Ten Drops is dripping. That's progress isn't it? Second, unlike Ten Droppette Colleen McCain Nelson, Dropper has actually noticed that one of the Dreaded old Drops is City of Dallas Housing Department funded. Dropper did not connect the drip dots but be assured this little Morning News dribble is causing deep concern at Marilla. Jamaica Drop is a free house given in the form a forgivable HUD loan, with Housing Director Killingsworth as Trustee, in 2004 in a program variously called SHARE, Home Replacement, Replacement Housing or let's just call it FREE HOUSE. In less than 10 years, it has been abandoned, declared unsound, accrued $20,000 in property taxes and been the site of a murder. All without the Housing Department, custodian of HUD loan funds, noticing.

FREE HOUSE cost the City $55,000 in HUD funds in 2004 and today a similar FREE HOUSE costs the City $103,000 in HUD funds. As lame as Ten Drops is, it causes deep consternation at City Hall (thus the hardhitting City Hall response,Ten Seeds). FREE HOUSE is outstanding constiuent relations.

JimS, if you knew how much City Hall fears Drops, you'd do your own DO Holes in the House. Send an intern to ask Housing (or HUD) for all the FREE HOUSEs for the last 10 years or so? Your very own Ten FREE HOUSE Holes? Just ripoff 4323 Jamaica as Hole One and there's a cute little drughouse on Gurley (2006, $70,000). Hole Two? To keep reader interest keen, throw in the slight variation: FREE HOUSE bought in a neighboring city($93,200 in Aug 2007) where the heirs keep the house and the taxes up on FREE HOUSE but not on the abandoned homestead on Colonial. If you don't think the variation is too complicated, maybe that can be Hole Three?   

Guest
Guest

I am hearing some really incriminating things about Jerry Killingsworth. If they turn out to be true, he will be sharing a prison cell with Don Hill and JWP, if convicted. 

I wonder who he will roll-on in City Hall?

Great Timing
Great Timing

Meanwhile....

http://crimeblog.dallasnews.*com/archives/2012/03/fight-ends-in-fatal-shooting-a.html

Fight ends in fatal shooting at West Dallas car wash

By Matt Peterson/Editor  4:15 PM on Fri., Mar. 2, 2012

A person was fatally shot this afternoon during an argument at a West Dallas car wash, and the suspect remains at large.

The shooting happened about 1 p.m. at a car wash at North Hampton Road and Leath Street, police said. The shooter then fled in a vehicle.

The victim, who was not identified, later died at Parkland Memorial Hospital, police said.

Detectives are interviewing witnesses and attempting to identify and locate the suspect.

Bmarvel
Bmarvel

Thanks for pointing out that a car wash is a place where somebody might get shot. Not unlike, say, a bar or a bank, or a post office or convenience store or your own driveway or bedroom. Or schools and churches.All places to be avoided, I'd say. Or, for the safety or our neighborhoods, to be torn down, Is there a rule somewhere that says that folks who blog-comment -- and I guess I'm going to have to include myself here-- abandon all common sense?

Reid
Reid

'Fight ends in fatal shooting on a vacant lot that used to be a West Dallas car wash' 4:20 PM on Fri., Mar. 1, 2013

Guest
Guest

Hey everyone, look, the skinhead that post isolated criminal acts showed up again! 

CR
CR

So if you are black and do cocaine, you are a zombie.   Instead of more fire and brimstone (because that's been part of the African American community for a long, long time), what people need are critical thinking skills and that comes from a good education.  The more educated a person is, the more likely they are to abstain or at least moderate their alcohol and other drug use behavior and are less violent.  Of course, that definitely means leaving South Dallas.

Sidewalkastronomer
Sidewalkastronomer

There is a small Dart transit center next to the car wash and I have seen drug dealing going on there too. I guess Dart should bulldoze their transit center too! LOL!

Dr FeelGood
Dr FeelGood

Its like focusing on a patients cough, versus the terminal illness to save their life! 

Just give the appearance of caring for South Dallas, nothing real. 

Travis Rex
Travis Rex

One is quite sure that closing it down will end all crime, prostitution and drug use in South Dallas..

marym
marym

The finer people in Dallas can read the Morning News and stop worrying about all those other alleged causes of or magnets for crime: bars, poverty, limited options for employment and education, lack of safe or reliable transportation ...

Larry
Larry

How about we go RICO on the News for its slavish advocacy of idiot notions; and total lack of adherence to basic journalistic integrity.. but Don't get me wrong - I'm not bitter.

JourneyMan
JourneyMan

Agreed, the DMN has totally sold out, just like the politicians they are in bed with.............

That is why we cannot trust what we read at the DMN..........therefore I do not read the DMN..............You have nothing DMN, if you dont have the trust of your readers.........

TexasAggie79
TexasAggie79

I usually read Jim's postings for entertainment and rarely agree with the man but this message is spot on!

Texas_Boy
Texas_Boy

That is because you are an Aggie!!! 

Couldnt help myself! 

marym
marym

"Drug zombies" is a clever phrase, but I don't think the zombies trend in fiction is all about druggies. In one of the Christopher Moore books (which reminded me of Ana B.N. Waggoner, a former Morning News editor whose name I hope I spelled right), the zombies were apparently exes. Some of whom might have been alcoholics...

Informed Citizen
Informed Citizen

Todd, sweetie, it's so sad to see you write "After 51 straight months of our listing it as a trouble spot, isn't someone, somewhere out there getting the message?"

Uh. No. Just look up your circulation numbers. Someone, somewhere out there no one is reading the Dallas Boring News.

pak152
pak152

hot dawg! one liberul calling out another i'm going to grab a bowl of popcorn 

sandra crenshaw
sandra crenshaw

The business needs to be destroyed, Robberson reports, because there's a lot of crime and drug traffic going on around it.  Why is it that when we say that the Koreans take risks in high crime areas and engage in drugg traffiking to make up the margin of difference. we ar asked to prove it and don't make unfounded allegations like we don't know open air market when we see it. why does the DMN gloss over the fact that the old guard of the coalition protested the white owned car wash. Blacks don't have to picket and protest black businesses to shut them down, they find any kind of excuse NOT to support black business cause we think it's more betta with a brand name to it--so much for integration.  It was a black council person that kept the car wash open despite his neighbors complaining. Remember the Criminal Justice Committee in the Texas Legislature held a hearing on the car wash when  the owner's rep took his allegations police harassment to the legis. The council person wanted to name the contractors for the city. So do not say, the protesters 

'niyastsuj
'niyastsuj

I think the biggest problem is with rich drug addicts vs. poor drug addicts. The rich ones get to get all hopped up on their choice of intoxicant, inside the four walls, of their splendid abodes(just take a look at Hollywood)....while the poor ones have to do it in the eye sight of the public(also, they don't have maids/gardeners/etc to pick up their messes, so the poorer areas tend to look less kept). Money gives ya certain rights, that not having money, can't.

Travis Rex
Travis Rex

no one has to do drugs in public...that's probably the dumbest things I have heard in a while.

'niyastsuj
'niyastsuj

If you don't have a place to stay and you are addicted to drugs...then, YES, you will do them in public(unless you don't understand what a chemical/physical addiction is). Sorry, your peon of a mind can't comprehend that, idiot.

GAA
GAA

Thank you for sharing.

RTGolden
RTGolden

Come this summer, it won't matter.  Stage IV water restrictions will shut down all the car washes and we can bulldoze every single one of 'em.

lip service
lip service

Self serve car washes are the bathhouses of the 21 century.

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

Dallas Morning news is doing same thing in South Dallas are West Dallas,using City and City using them in the greatest legal LAND grab ever.Tear all the property down,run all Residents out reclaim the land.Remember South Dallas has only real entry point to Trinity River,remember horse park,West Dallas has bridge to no where today, but is between Loop 12 and Bridge. South Dallas and West Dallas will become  UpTown South and  West Town Village. THe car wash owner fought this battle a few years ago when Councilman Chaney was trying to put him out of business.

XXX
XXX

Betty, If your right, then that means City Hall will move the poor black population even further South......................I hope they are going to provide Camels to help them find a job and get to work! 

RTGolden
RTGolden

It may be a legal land grab, and one on a pretty big scale, I'm not sure, but it is within the realm of possibility.  However, I think it is a far cry from the greatest legal land grab EVER.

Think of the following land grabs: Manhattan for a chest of trinkets; The entire Cherokee Nation by legislative decree; Seminole nation by legislative decree; all of Central and South America by Papal and Royal decree; All of North Africa and most of Spain taken by the sword in the name of Allah, Kingdom of Jerusalem taken by the sword again in the name of God, then again in the name of Allah, etc etc...... Oh yeah, and unless the south and west Dallas residents intend to give the land back to the Commanche, Caddo, and Tonkawa Indians, that land has already been 'grabbed' before.

Land changes hands. Period.  It is a fact of life.  It isn't always fair, it isn't always good, but it will always happen.

Urbandweller203
Urbandweller203

Soooo, I guess this mean the South Dallas land grab is really just a "drop in the bucket'. Any land this close to downtown can't remain a ghetto forever.  After 40+ years, it's time for a change!!!!!

WhiteyAcrossTracks
WhiteyAcrossTracks

It shall be so, Sayeth the Dallas Citizens Council. And all sayeth, Amen! 

AP
AP

OH yeah, Whitey cometh! 

And he be the blessed that Taketh! 

'niyastsuj
'niyastsuj

Isn't this just the continuation of the last article you wrote about,concerning moving the poor, under served black folks out of South Dallas? A new, Manifest Destiny, if we may?

Anon
Anon

Jim, I am disappointed in you - you missed an obvious counter-argumant. I did a search on the City of Dallas web site regarding crime reports. Look in Downtown Dallas and see the reported crimes listed there. Seems you could draw an equally valid argument that City Hall and the DMN both have crimes within X radius of those addresses. Perhaps they need remedial action too?

JJ
JJ

But, they don't have a car wash, do they?

Montemalone
Montemalone

 No car wash, but there's plenty of laundering going on, I'm sure,

JJ
JJ

Correct, there is CRIMINAL ACTIVITY going on every work day at City Hall, so we should shut it down too. Oh, that is different because its white collar, so "Open for Bidness."

TraneR
TraneR

Ok ok we get that you and the Roberson guy have to keep going back and forth.

Can we just say neither of you give a shit about south Dallas and call it a draw?

Max from the Sandspit
Max from the Sandspit

Amen brother, when I was a tot in the 60's I was givin a choice, Lilly White Church or goin' to the maids Church. I opted for the Black Church cuz of the entertainment value and it was cheap. A quarter in the basket was big to them.

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