Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings is trying to put a stop to domestic violence in the city, and it's long past the time someone did.

The mayor says we live in a country where we disagree about almost everything, and he's right about that. We argue about gun control... birth control... the money our government spends... and the taxes we pay.

We disagree about the religion we choose (or no religion at all). We even argue with people about the people they choose to love.

But as the mayor says, how can we argue or disagree about this:

Dallas police Chief David Brown says his officers handle 13,000 domestic abuse calls every year.

Thirteen thousand.

Every year.

And imagine how many women are too battered or too scared to even call.

My dad hit my mom once (at least only once that I ever knew about), but he broke her nose. My dad was a big man, a truck driver with huge arms and one of the strongest men I've ever known.

But never has such a big man looked so small in the eyes of a little boy.

We need to change the culture of domestic violence. I've laughed at the jokes; I've told some of the jokes; I've seen the T-shirts some men wear.

But it's not funny.

It never should have been funny.

And it's time we change.

Just like we stopped the jokes about drinking and driving; just like we changed the culture about smoking the cigarettes that kill so many; we can change this, too.

I know it's not popular to quote liberals in Texas, but former Sen. Ted Kennedy said, "We know the future will outlast all of us, but I believe that all of us will live on in the future we make."

And we start making that better future now.

We make a better future for our moms and our wives... better for our sisters... a better future for our daughters and granddaughters.

We have been quiet too long, saying, 'It's none of my business' when it's everybody's business.

It is a blight on our city that has no boundary. It knows no color. It's a problem in some of our poorest neighborhoods, and a problem in the richest neighborhoods as well.

Real men... who are gentlemen... don't hit women.

Real men... who are gentlemen... we need you to join us and stand up now.

We stand together Saturday, March 23 at Dallas City Hall to say we won't stand quietly by any more; we won't condone it any more; we won't look the other way any more; we won't defend you any more; we won't listen to your excuses any more; and we will not accept it any more.

Let's join together and raise our voices together as we tell every man in our city, every young boy who will soon be that man it stops today.

We change the culture of domestic violence.

We change the future.

And we live on in that better future we make.


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