McCaa Uncut: Saying goodbye to a Dallas political icon

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by JOHN MCCAA

Bio | Email | Follow: @johnmccaa

WFAA

Posted on June 24, 2011 at 8:36 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 24 at 8:47 PM

Dallas says goodbye to a political icon, who was a lightening rod who etched his name in the city's political history. It's this week's "Uncut" commentary.

Al Lipscomb was many things, but never silent.

Remember the 1980s? What a mess this city was in, and '88 in particular. That was the most politically explosive time in the 27 years I have lived in Texas.

Think there's racial tension now? How quickly we forget. There were allegations of police misconduct and protest marches. Five Dallas officers were killed in a single year. Their deaths unfortunately were entwined in the political theater that permeated the decade.

Among the loudest voices at the time was Lipscomb's, sometimes shouting and objecting while other times listening and embracing.

It has been said Dallas never had a civil rights era, which is simply not true. Certainly there was no King nor a Malcolm, but there were other voices, other people and among them was Lipscomb.
It's perhaps appropriate that some of his final hours occurred on an election day. His lawsuit helped bring about the current system in Dallas.

The bribery conviction and its overturn and the praise of supporters and complaints of detractors in death all speak for themselves.

Was he successful in his career? If it's based on how well he got along with others that record would be mixed.

However, the people who elected him to Dallas City Hall, who complained that their previous quiet and kinder representatives had been ignored, sent him with one purpose: to get your attention.  

So, in that light was he successful?

It's been well over a decade since Lipscomb sat on the Dallas City Council. While most have forgotten the mayor at the time, love him or hate him, they remember Lipscomb.

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