Dwaine Caraway on Dixon Circle Killing: Fix the Big Picture or See It Get Worse

Categories: Schutze

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We're all holed up behind our verbal barricades on this Dixon Circle deal, me among the worst of them, surprise surprise. So maybe it's worth remembering that Dallas city councilman Dwaine Caraway was out there Tuesday night. He was urging calm among the hundreds of people angry about the fatal shooting of a young man by police.

Caraway is the exception. He sees this stuff from both sides of the barricades.
I watched it on television, of course, but the best flavor I got for what happened was from our own Anna Merlan's coverage, mainly because she went out on the street with her notebook and got quotes from the people who were venting about the shooting of a fleeing parolee killed while he fought with a police officer. I read back through the comments on her story, and I got this sort of sick undercurrent from all of it.

CarawayJan25.jpg
All he is saying ...
Everybody knows that seeing a young man killed by bullets is terribly heart-rending. But everybody also knows that the basic underlying lifestyle of that young man and his peers can lead only to this. Sooner or later they are going to come into violent conflict with the police. In that conflict, most of us want the cops to win. We just wish it didn't have to be like this.

Councilman Caraway, a product of southern Dallas, is unique in a lot of this because he sees the underlying issues, but he gets both sides of those issues. We spoke this morning. First he expressed his pent-up frustration with drug houses like the one where all of this started that seem to be able to operate over a period of years with absolute impunity.

"I'm zero tolerance first with drug houses," he said. "That's not been a hidden secret with me. I think that if we know where one drug house is, we simply go and shut it down."

He said he does understand that the police have to make a case. But he said he doesn't get why it's so easy and so fast to make that same case out on the highway but takes forever when the drug dealers are locked down in a house.

"If you stop someone on the freeway that has an ounce of cocaine, that person simply is arrested, the car is confiscated and could be confiscated, and you go to frigging court," he said.

He doesn't know why it can't work the same way with drug houses: "I just think there's not enough aggressiveness," he said.

But I asked him about the argument that the young men in the Dixon Circle area drift into drug dealing because they don't have another way to make it in the world. He did not disagree.

"It's a compounded issue," he said. "When you go to jail, you get a felony. You get out of jail. You can't get a freakin' job. If we are going to put all these people in jail, they gotta come out at some point.

"You keep overcrowding the jails, and then you refuse to give them a second chance and give them an opportunity to have a job, then what are their options of survival? It's an ever compounding problem."

Lastly, Caraway brought up the gun issue. "You look at the guns that these folks are carrying nowadays. I got a .38 revolver. These folks have got Glocks and all this kind of stuff. What are these guns that they are pointing at the police? What type of guns are these and where in the hell are they getting them?"

That question raised the hair on the back of my neck, maybe because I've been thinking about all those poor people in the theater in Aurora. Maybe I need to think about the fact that our police officers have to go out there and face down entire armies of armed-to the-teeth James Eagen Holmeses every day.

Caraway said, "We have got a gun problem. We've got a drug problem. We've got a felony problem. We've got a combination of problems."

He left me with some chilling last words:

"If we don't look at the overall picture," he said, "and come with an overall plan, this stuff is going to get out of control worse than it is now."

Worse than it is now? Actually hadn't even thought of that.


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69 comments
Chiggers
Chiggers

These are the most cogent, relevant words I have ever heard come out of Caraway's mouth.

 

I'm not usually impressed with his rhetoric, but this hits the mark pretty squarely.

Flabbergasted
Flabbergasted

Caraway has grown a lot as a poltician. He is one of the rare balck Dallas pols who will ask for calm, not instigate more fear or hate. I would like to see Mayor Mike convene a city council meeting at Dixon Circle. Be surrounded by poor, unemployed, crime ridden people and keep talking about bridges and bonds.  

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

we should ask Archie and Arthur how to proceed......Caraway is a buffoon. 

mmballet
mmballet

i don't know if you heard the police tape on the news, but I heard the part when the police officer said that the news media was filming them !!

Ben.
Ben.

Chief Brown ran down the sobering numbers tonight for Dixon Circle in the last 10 years. 81 murders, 100 assaults on police officers and 284 confiscated guns in that area alone. Those are cold, hard, glaring facts that no one can twist.

rufuslevin
rufuslevin

I think that Dwaine said...the problem here is with a bunch of blacks who have no skills, no values, no family foundations, no parenting, no education, no jobs.....and yet they keep birthing MORE blacks into the same situation without any fixes to the situation.

 

When a barrel if FULL, if you keep filling more into it...the barrel will burst and everything will spill out.

 

SO WHO IS GOING TO FIX THE BLACK COMMUNITY IF THE BLACKS DO NOT DO IT ALL BY THEMSELVES, AND PEACEABLY????

 

They are FREE today.  They are citizens today.  The are integrated today. They have equal RIGHTS....then get down to the EQUAL SET OF VALUES AND RESPONSIBLE ATTITUDES AND WORK ETHICS....and the deal just breaks RIGHT DOWN THERE, doesn't it.

 

IT SURE ISN'T THE FAULT OF WHITE TAXPAYERS, IT SURE ISN'T BECAUSE THE TAXPAYERS DON'T FUND SCHOOLS, EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES, COMMUNITY CENTERS, RECREATION FACILITIES...ETC...AND IT ISN'T THE FAULT OF THE POLICE EITHER...

 

so who is going to FIX it....John Wiley? Eddie Bernice? Royce West? Dwaine Carraway?..the black ministers?

 

THE PROBLEM IS AN OVERCROWDED BUNCH OF BLACK FOLKS COMPLAINING AND NOT FIXING THEIR PROBLEMS WITH THEIR OWN EFFORTS AND LABOR.

 

NO SOLUTION OTHER THAN FIX THEIR FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS.  TEACH THEM TO RESPECT THEMSELVES AND OTHERS, AND STOP TRYING TO BE COOL INSTEAD OF GROWING UP.

 

 

 

Travis_Rex
Travis_Rex

Perhaps Arthur and Archie can start a popcorn stand on Dixon..

BettyC1
BettyC1

 Caraway is correct . If you goggle Dallas War On Drugs same thing happen in 1988 on Dixon Circle, crowd  SWAT and all. One reason it takes so long to convict in Dallas,DA and investigators want an air tight case in other areas they take their chances. If the drug houses could be closed life would be better for Residents. That was a beautiful single family neighborhood  of middle class working people when White's moved out ,and it became all Black, first thing  was build a large number of apartments,next they build second set after that third large set that many people in that small two  lane street was to much. Nothing has been done to that street since time and begining

 

travishuse
travishuse

Caraway is pretty awesome, really. Honest, vocal leader in the black Dallas community. Hard to find those nowadays.

CrackerDaddy
CrackerDaddy

Give it up to Former-Mayor Dwaine.  He nailed this one pretty succinctly.

DirtyP1
DirtyP1

If DPD would have been able to task a drone to that area, the cops wouldn't have had to chase the guys as hard. They could have been marked by the drone and if entering a vehicle, shot to hell with a missle. Support drones, contact your congressman.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

Legalize weed.

 

That right there would eliminate about 70% of the problem.

 

The whole felony = no job thing, well, let's let all those republican job creators have that one.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

Good piece Jim.

 

The issues go from the failed war on drugs and the criminal element it has spawned, the failure of our public education system to prepare a person with the skillls to support themselves with a job, and last but not least the proliferation of handguns in our society.

 

wow. quite a list.

 

I've never looked at Caraway as a person with great insight, but I'll give him credit for this one. He sees the problems damn clearly. If only he could see how we can get out of this morass....

gmit
gmit

Caraway doesnt understand the rights of a domicile versus the rights of a home

 

Guess he doenst watch Breaking Bad or do any research about things he speaks of

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

"But I asked him about the argument that the young men in the Dixon Circle area drift into drug dealing because they don't have another way to make it in the world."

 

that is not a valid argument.  It can't be.

 

And I would have no problem putting a round in the spine of the movie-house shooter as he exited the door on his way out into the parking lot.

Tim.Covington
Tim.Covington

I'm very pro-second amendment and anti-gun control, and I agree with Caraway on where did they get the guns? For most, if not all of the people in that drug house, it was illegal for them to possess a firearm. We need to start enforcing the firearms laws we have and not accepting plea deals when it comes to violations of those laws. Find out how those firearms got into the drug house and charge the people involved accordingly.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Methinks DISD being so horrendous contributes quite a bit to this whole combination of problems.

RTGolden
RTGolden

 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz How, exactly, is the NRA responsible for the actions of a person with multiple convictions, who is violating his parole by being in a drug house, messing around with drugs, being in possession of a firearm, running from and assaulting a peace officer?  The NRA is responsible because they advocate for the lawful possession of firearms by law-abiding citizens?

 

Why couldn't the ACLU be responsible for his actions, since they advocate for all of the fellow's other Civil Rights?

CraigT42
CraigT42

 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz 

yeah no way is it the gun wielding, drug dealing thugs who run from and assault cops.  It must be the big faceless entity that works to guarantee your constitutional rights.

 

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

 @rufuslevin Rufus: when they get done with all that, you think they can fix white people?

observist
observist topcommenter

Yeah, they need to hire some people the shovel their dressage horseshit.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

 @mavdog Can't blame the schools.

 

These kids have to want to learn. They don't.

Even the worst teacher is at least in the class, going through the lesson plan.

if a kid wants to learn, a kid will learn.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

oh yes, there IS a "valid argument" in what Caraway is saying. Your insistence that it doesn't reveals a lack of knowledge. just how many low income black men do you know?

 

Your comment on Holmes is a) completely devoid of the subject at hand, and b) frankly a bit of hollow bravery to be honest.

rufuslevin
rufuslevin

 @Tim.Covington THEY PROBABLY GOT GUNS WHEN THEY BROKE INTO MY HOUSE AND STOLE THEM FROM LOCKED CABINETS.   MINE ARE LEGAL..THE THIEVES MERELY SELL THEM TO OTHER CROOKS.  GUN CONTROL MEANS NOTHING TO CROOKS...WAKE UP AND GET WITH THE SERIOUSLY REAL WORLD ON NON-TREE HUGGING LIBERAL PANSIES.

gmit
gmit

 @Tim.Covington So your saying figure out how the bad guys got the illegal stuff and follow the bread crumbs to where this illegal stuff comes from

 

BRILLIANT ! Why hasnt law enforcement thought of that

rufuslevin
rufuslevin

 @Scruffygeist METHINKS A COMMUNITY OF IRRESPONSIBLE MALES AND UNEDUCATED LAZY WOMEN WHO DO NOT HAVE A CHURCH COMMUNITY AND WHO MERELY LIVE LIVES OF TOTAL WORTHLESSNESS IS WHY NO MATTER HOW WONDERFUL DISD BECOMES, THE KIDS FROM THIS CULTURE GOING THERE ARE NOT GOING TO BE A BIT BETTER OFF.

rufuslevin
rufuslevin

 @JimSX When WHITE people start marching and shouting that we are victims or racism and violated civil rights and are downtrodden by an evil black population who just don't want  white folks to have EQUAL RIGHTS and free rent and free gasoline and lots of special White Affirmative Action Advantages maybe then it is not just a BLACK ISSUE for Blacks to fix on their own.

 

Then maybe the black folks that complain and blame might have something to offer to help such afflicted WHITE people.....but they gotta heal themselves first....and the media and the black leadership is not going to help them overcome their denial and victim hood...sells papers and gets donations and corporate blackmail funding for rainbow coalitions and such.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

agree, it's not "the schools" as such, it's surely not the teachers who work hard.

 

We could go on for a long time trying to determine what is wrong. Is it the underlying culture of being smart not being "cool"? Is it that the schools are working at the goal of educating kids for college, when many of the kids just want a trade/skill?

 

I disagree, "the worst teacher..going through the lesson plan" is boring the hell out of the students, and a bored class fosters unruly and disinterested students. If the lesson plan is bad, the education is bad or non-existant.

 

What cannot be disputed is there is a large group of youth who are not prepared to have a job in which they can support themselves much less than them and their family.

gmit
gmit

 @mavdog Justification for a life of crime, man this country is screwed and I dont care who is in politics

 

there are lots of jobs that require young strong men that can pass a drug screening, but if people use there economic or racial background as an excuse not to sacrifice your free time, your recreational substances or your buddies from the old neighborhood then yea I guess your right 

Tim.Covington
Tim.Covington

 @gmit I'm not saying that the cops don't do this. I'm saying the prosecutors end up pleading down the charges for the firearms offenses.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

 @rufuslevin Good point, would've been better with CapsLock off, but you don't need church to be a good, productive person. In fact, I'd venture to say that the whole God-fearing attitude that can be a large part of that area isn't contributing anything positive either--it's used as a crutch, excuse, and only brainwashes people. My opinion only, your mileage may vary. 

rufuslevin
rufuslevin

 @Chiggers YOU ARE ARE SOMEWHAT HUNG UP ON STYLE OVER SUBSTANCE, AREN'T YOU CHIGGERMAN?

 

WHY IS THAT....I LIKE ALL CAPS, BECAUSE IT FLUSHES OUT THE CONTROL FREAKS AND THE INTERNET MONKEYS THAT CLAIM ALL CAPS IS SHOUTING....LIKE THEY ARE OPTICALLY SOUND SENSITIVE OR SOMETHING STRANGE LIKE THAT...THEY USUALLY PREFER FOLKS TWEETING STUFF LIKE "lol, ROFLMAO u r 2 coolio, hommie bro..c u latr MoFo"

 

FRANKLY, I PREFER ALL CAPS.

 

rufuslevin
rufuslevin

 @DISDTeacher I HAVE SEEN LITTLE EVIDENCE THAT THE TALENT IS ON THE CAMPUS IN DISD. YOU ARE SELF PROMOTING AGAIN...COMMON PRACTICE IN THE TEACHING PROFESSION.   FACE IT....IF IT IS ALL ADMINISTRATION AND HOPELESS....WHY DO YOU TAKE A PAYCHECK FOR A UNPRODUCTIVE JOB?   HOPE AND CHANGE?  NO, SELF INTEREST.

DISDTeacher
DISDTeacher

 @mavdog Sorry, the last sentence should read that the money is there, the talent is on the campuses, but the necessary action isn't because the trustees have handed the greedy admins the checkbook

DISDTeacher
DISDTeacher

 @mavdog The problem with the schools is the school board.  They hire people and stand by while those people suck every last drop of money out of the pool (see the current salaries awarded by our new and overpaid superintendent, including a salary for a $100K a year "aide").  Our new super is at $6 million for a mere 66 positions in DISD.  Freaking immoral.

 

This leaves no money to restructure the schools to serve kids better.  Great kids, overwhelmed by home challenges, cannot get what they need from the unresponsive trustees and they just give up.

 

The members of the school board are serving corporate edu-business people and not their own neighbors' children.  

 

We teachers want alternative campuses for kids who need intensive counseling or intensive remediation or both.  We want to stop throwing all kids in a shitty, run-down portable and locking the door the behind them while the 3700 $100K+ club goes to lunch with the DCC, the RCC, and Belo people.  

 

The money is there, the talent is on the campuses, but the money isn't because the trustees have handed greedy admins the checkbook.

 

 

rufuslevin
rufuslevin

 @mavdog LACK OF VALUES AND RESPECT FOR THE LAW IS NOT AN ERROR IN JUDGEMENT BY AN ADULT.  YOU ARE AN APPOLOGIST AND THEREFORE AN ENABLER.

ceepee
ceepee

 @gmit  @mavdog Okay first, please, PLEASE learn the difference between 'there' and 'their'... Also, the shift key is what you push down on when starting a new sentence. 'Yea' is what you say when you are in favor of something; 'Yeah" is like, "Rock on, man, YEAH!" These little periods end sentences, they look like this . Like a dot. They follow sentences. The word *don't* is a contraction. 

 

Please enlighten us: in what line of work are you?

 

holmantx is wrong. I have worked with both young men and women on Dixon and live across from there and know the neighborhood intimately. I have steadfastly believed that if I was able to get just one kid off Dixon in doing the work that we did (and there are virtually no organizations, churches non-profits or any other type of outreach groups doing anything at all on Dixon), then our work was meaningful and good. We managed to get 30 kids out of the 'hood and onto either work or college tracks over the course of eight years. 

 

The big success story there is Larry Johnson and he donated a million dollars to the city to build a facility. I'd suggest you go hang around and be a mentor to some of those kids, you'd be surprised at their young life stories. 

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

The "mistake" is the error in judgement by participating in an illegal activity. A common use of the term I must say.

 

There are many ways to commit an illegal act, and the point of Caraway is how we deal with these folks when they are put back into society.

 

It's all too common for them to not be given a chance to work because employers don't want the risk (and yes, it is a risk) of hiring an ex-con.

 

as a society we are great at exacting a toll for their transgression, but we as a society suck at helping those who have stumbled and paid the toll get back up on their own 2 feet.

RTGolden
RTGolden

 @mavdog A criminal 'mistake' would be doing something illegal but not knowing it was illegal.

 

involvement in the drug trade is not a mistake, it is a conscious decision.  You can point to a lot of failures in our society, education, culture, historical injustice, parental indifference, etc.  You cannot eliminate the personal responsibility of someone who gets involved in the drug trade.  EVERYONE knows it is illegal, there is no excuse.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

I'm an "enabler"? yeah, right.

 

That is similar to saying that those who are against the failed "war on drugs" are responsible for the violence in Mexico, or responsible for the drug users.

 

yeah, your assertion is ridiculous. go figure.

 

You're so wrong, Japan has NOT "rebuilt". odd that "the Americans [you] talked to over in Japan" would not know that.......

 

"More than a year after the earthquake, nuclear meltdown and monster waves that killed as many as 20,000, a journey through Japan's tsunami and radiation zones reveals the overwhelming destruction that lingers even after extensive cleanup. Wind-whipped carcasses of houses, freakishly spared by churning currents, stand amid miles of salt-stripped rice paddies. Some residents have covered damaged houses with tarps and returned. They inhabit ghost towns awaiting eventual eviction."

http://www.oregonlive.com/today/index.ssf/2012/04/japans_reconstruction_founders.html

 

Those people who were in the street were loud and vocal for a variety of reasons. Some of them lost a family member, some felt frustration because they see the police as not their protectors but rather their antagonist, some were there because they saw it as an opportunity to be jerks.

 

So as much as you would like to put people in a neat little box and justify your myopic vision of reality, the fact is people don't fit in little boxes, there's a huge spectrum of motivations behind why people do what they do, and your myopia speaks for itself....

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

 @mavdog you are an enabler.  Indirectly you are responsible for the reaction by that crowd, as well as the actions of the Katrina vics - both by not being able to get out of the way of the hurricane, their refusal to go back to New Orleans until the illegals rebuilt the place at taxpayer expense, and the crime on Dixon Circle which I live not far away.  

 

Two years after the Tsunamis, Japan rebuilt.  Vast sections of New Orleans remains a wasteland.  The Americans I talked to over in Japan say it was done through the chnaracter and effort exnibited by the the populace at the neighborhood level.  There was no looting.

 

There is a mentality that pervades some of the citizens of this country who remain almost childlike and we have those who defend it, and you are the posterboy for the latter.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

see Caraway's comments on how a person who makes a mistake, goes to jail and cannot get a job after they get out. Caraway is right on point.

 

add to that the difference in pay between a minimum wage job and what they can get in the drug culture....

rufuslevin
rufuslevin

 @Scruffygeist religion was what kept a certain ethic bunch in control...grandma made the kids go to church and sing songs that did not include the words fuck or ho.   And women CONTROLLED that racial demographic...as long as there were FAMILIES and a HOUSE to live in and NO federal aid title whatever money to mean you don't have to boil no greens or blackeyes or bake no cornbread for the chilluns anymore. It isnt RELIGION...it is CHURCH COMMUNITY....has NOTHING to do with a religion at all.

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