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DALLAS 1990 A city of self-congratulation, self-righteous self-deception. Postcard perfect skyline faces receivership. Legendary roughneck oil millionaires practice sophisticated bankruptcy. “If you don’t own an oil well get one!” Time to change bumper stickers: “If you don’t own an S&L don’t bother.” A new jail and a new courthouse, already overcrowded like so many homes of the poor. Here Randall Dale Adams walked the thin blue line. Here the Dallas County District Attorney taught Lenell Geter the truth about his suburban home in Greenville, Texas a town whose motto was “The blackest dirt, the whitest people” despite his academic success and high-tech profession. Here Joyce Ann Brown had the same teacher, did her graduate work in Texas prison, an affirmative action institution. Here Jane Roe had no choice but to defend herself. It took years for these famous false convictions to be overturned. The jail and the courts together, where how many wait on like vindication make up Dallas’ criminal justice system. A new symphony hall, rave-reviewed, like so many hobbies of the wealthy named for its corporate patron. “A great symphony for a great city,” was the slogan of the bond campaign, and the cost overruns were forgotten opening night. Construction workers on the site, searched for drugs and tested, handed over more weapons than chemicals. A new race relations commission, appointed by the mayor, officially recognized racism as a “problem.” Unfortunately, the report concluded, there’s nothing we can do about it without changing the power structure. Hmmm. Well. Reasonable compromise needed. Better communications among the races, etc. Editorial writers in both newspapers one for the conservative wing of each political party, a free press being essential for the protection of liberty praised the “judicious” work of the commission. On boarded storefronts in South Dallas the graffiti opined, “Fuck the Police.” The Vice President, in town to boost Republican in the middle of the day. It gives me a lift.” I wish I was making this up. He toured an area wrecked by recent floods, offered prayers, but the residents interviewed had never heard of him. It rained when he left. 8 JUNE 1, 1990