Big D 50 Years Later: We Are Better

JFKEnraged.

That’s the only word I can think to describe my emotions after reading this unfounded, speculative dribble from a “Marshall scholar at the University of Oxford.”

Although I was not alive to experience the heartbreak seen and felt in my hometown that fateful November day 50 years ago, I have spent countless hours reading, watching and listening to stories, theories and factual evidence from that tragic day. I can only imagine that the feeling I would’ve felt had I been here in 1963 would have been similar to what I felt when two of our nation’s most iconic skyscrapers were being knocked down by cowardly terrorists in YOUR city, New York Times.

And, yes: I remember exactly how I felt that day more than 12 years ago. I remember countless posts, tweets and conversations regarding how I felt. I also remember not one single mention of how I blamed the City or people of New York for one man’s murderous actions.

To suggest such an idea is not only radical ignorance, it’s insanity. It’s not only insulting, but offensive, degrading and libelous. Especially coming from an author who claims to have Texas ties in his ancestry. The author continues his ignorance by suggesting that Dallas be known as “the city of hate” and by ridiculing and mocking our plans to commemorate the upcoming 50th anniversary:

“Dallas being Dallas, it will be quite the show: a jet flyover, a performance from the Naval Academy Men’s Glee Club and remarks from the historian David McCullough on Kennedy’s legacy.       

“But once again, spectacle is likely to trump substance: not one word will be said at this event about what exactly the city was in 1963, when the president arrived in what he called, just moments before his death, ‘nut country.'”

It’s never been a secret that Texas is different. Hell, our state tourism slogan used to be: “Texas: It’s Like a Whole Other Country.” And while Kennedy DID dub our area “nut country” on the morning of the day he died, the thousands of peaceful Dallasites that unexpectedly showed up that day to see a glimpse of the nation’s leader and his captivating bride surprised the President and those expecting a much more raucous and controversial crowd. While this city is still a bit “nutty,” this town was as captivated and entranced by the First Couple as any other city in the nation during that time period.

Countless evidence of our citizens’ joy is seen in any video or photograph taken from the streets of Dallas that day; in the smiles and laughter prior to Elm Street, to the tears, shock and horror on the faces of men, women, blacks and whites after Elm Street.

Although he criticizes the city’s planned events commemorating the death of JFK, the author’s comments to begin his article are the most enraging and inaccurate:

“For 50 years, Dallas has done its best to avoid coming to terms with the one event that made it famous: the assassination of John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963. That’s because, for the self-styled ‘Big D,’ grappling with the assassination means reckoning with its own legacy as the “city of hate,” the city that willed the death of the president.”

If the city of Dallas is supposedly still trying to avoid the events of that day, why, then, are we commemorating the events which you subsequently chose to criticize? Why not continue to turn our heads and ignore the events of that day? Because we have never turned our head. And we have never collectively come together to will the death of a president.

The author suggests we will “still not mention what the city was in 1963.”

Why WOULD we? In spite of having to live with the fact that we live in the city where one of the most beloved American Presidents was assassinated, our attempts to obligatorily commemorate those events and intentionally draw worldwide attention to the biggest black scar on our city are then incorrectly insulted and radically ridiculed by an Oxford student’s article–an article that serves no purpose other than as a less-than-Oxford-worthy attempt at personal gain that was subsequently published by one of the most well-respected publications in the world: The New York Times.

Why go back to that day and falsely claim inaccuracies when Dallasites have to live with it every day as it is? The aforementioned publication saw an opportunity to take a shot (no pun intended) in the ongoing Yankees vs. Confederacy cold war, and they took it.

Using the most controversial national tragedy in history and dragging the City and people of Dallas through the mud in an unfounded article that was published solely in an attempt for personal gain is an embarrassment on behalf of the author as well as The New York Times.

The author’s speculative dribble is laughable. Dallas isn’t what it was in 1963. It’s hard enough that Dallasites have no choice but to live with this scar for the rest of history. But in the 50 years since, we’ve made significant progress and have evolved into one of the nation’s greatest cities and most dependable economies. To suggest we go back to 1963 and mention what we were has absolutely no benefit.

The arrogance that The New York Times took by publishing such a disrespectful and libelous article is unforgiveable. With all the tragedy New York has had to deal with, your publication should know better than anyone.

He is simply a bully trying to kick his opponent during our weakest moment.

We don’t hold the scar willingly, but we DO hold it acceptingly. We can’t change the reputation that one man placed upon our city in 1963, but we can accept it, move on and become better from it. And we have, Mr. McAuley.

We ARE better. We are better than you, and we are better than what you think you know of our people, our lifestyles and our commemorations. We have moved on from what we were in 1963 and have become one of the greatest and most desirable cities in the entire nation.

They may teach history at Oxford, but they can’t teach what it means to be a resident of the great city of Big D. You will never learn that, Mr. McAuley. And The New York Times should be ashamed for taking the bait and publishing such disrespect of an entire city in the wake of an upcoming commemoration of a national tragedy.

This “city of hate” has never and would never publish such disrespect in wake of recent tragic events that have taken place in New York or London. You and your friends at the Times ridiculed us for publishing disrespectful words in 1963. We did in 1963. We don’t today. We aren’t going back there, no matter how much we are provoked, Mr. McAuley.

We are better. We’ve moved on from 1963. Maybe you and The New York Times should also.

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